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CISCO SOFTWARE PLATFORM USED BY LEADING CUSTOMERS TO PROVIDE TEXT CHAT AND WEB COLLOBORATION IN MULTI-VENDOR CONTACT CENTERS.

Cisco Systems, Inc., has announced that the Cisco customer contact software platform is being used by leading customers for Web and Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) blending in a multi-vendor enterprise-wide environment. The new solution, featuring the integration of Cisco Collaboration Server and Cisco Intelligent Contact Management software (Cisco ICM), takes advantage of existing customer investments in PSTN infrastructure and offers intelligent blending for multimedia interactions. Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield of New York and Juniper Bank are among the first companies to enhance customer service with an integrated communications management system.

The Cisco customer contact software platform delivers a rich set of features that allows companies to interact with their customers through a wide variety of channels including Web, phone, chat, and e-mail. The integration between the Cisco ICM and Cisco Collaboration Server components of the platform consolidates a contact center's Web and telephony customer interaction channels into an integrated customer contact environment. This new integrated solution combines Cisco ICM's intelligent call routing technology with the ability to route customer Web requests the same way phone calls are routed. Agents can now interact with customers using a variety of modes including page sharing, Follow-Me Browsing, FormShare, text chat, application demo, application sharing, and white boarding. These Web interactions may be deployed as Callback with collaboration, text chat with collaboration, Meet-me, or Callback only. This enables customers to speak to an agent live via telephone, while sharing information on the Web for improved customer service.

Empire BlueCross BlueShield, New York State's largest health insurer providing coverage for 4.1 million indemnity and managed care subscribers, uses the customer contact software platform within its e-business strategy to offer its members a multitude of choices and convenience when contacting Empire about health insurance needs.

"Empire's integration of Cisco's technology solution provides the highest level of personalized service for our members, providers, brokers, and employers, " said Michael Galvin, vice president, Telecommunications and Network Services at Empire. "The technology empowers our customers with the ability to communicate with Empire call center representatives or technical help desk engineers via the media channel of their choice, be it ACD, Web, fax, e-mail, or in the near-future, IP Voice."

Juniper Bank, the nation's newest customer financial services company, is using the new integrated solution from Cisco to provide a wide array of options to their customers in how they interact with customer service agents.

According to a recent Forrester Research report, companies offer customers multiple communication channels to strengthen relationships and offer better service -- an average of 3.5 channels today, which will grow to four by 2002. Although the phone remains the dominant channel, growth in self-service increases the Web's importance. Companies also report that the information gathered from the various channels is rarely linked -- for example, only 23 percent report that telephone agents can view Web site activity.

The Cisco customer contact software platform combines intelligent contact management, Web collaboration, and e-mail response management with the strength of Cisco's IP telephony networking solutions. The customer contact software platform ingrates a variety of multiple contact channels including Web, phone, chat, VoIP, IVR, fax, and e-mail to support a unified customer experience.

To bring the value of its customer contact software platform to as wide a market as possible, Cisco uses its ecosystem of partners to accelerate the delivery and deployment of its contact center solutions to the market. Some of the channel partners that assist in the delivery of the combined Cisco ICM and Cisco Collaboration Server solution include Cap Gemini Ernst & Young, eLoyalty, KPMG Consulting and NetEffect Corp.
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Title Annotation:Product Information
Publication:EDP Weekly's IT Monitor
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Oct 30, 2000
Words:593
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