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Web-enable a call center with an alternate CTI solution.

A unified architecture simplifies the process and serves customers well.

When Boxlight Corp., a distributor of presentation equipment, services and training, started looking at a Web-based communications solution, the company had already grown to 100-plus employees struggling to keep up with customer demand. The company was relying heavily on the phones--involving expensive long-distance charges--to support both end users and resellers, and requiring the sales team to spend time answering the same questions over and over.

The firm's outdated and overtaxed PBX and voice mail system could not meet customers' demands for alternate communications options like Web-based self-service, Web chat and Web callback. Additionally, the lack of a link among three remote offices and two buildings at corporate headquarters located in Poulsbo, WA, presented other inadequacies.

The search began for an "alternative" CTI solution--one that afforded a simpler way to Web-enable the call center, while still giving Boxlight sophisticated telephony capabilities like interactive voice response (IVR), automatic call distribution (ACD) and fax services. The company found an open, software-based interaction management solution based on a unified, instead of an integrated, architecture.


The unified platform of the Enterprise Interaction Center (EIC) from Interactive Intelligence consolidated interaction processing via a powerful Java-based engine. By reducing the number of devices required, Boxlight purchased an entire Web-based communications solution at about 50% less than the cost of comparable solutions. Fewer devices meant faster deployment, and training time was reduced due to the solution's single user interface. In fact, the system was up and running in about 90 days.

This single-vendor solution also gave the company a comprehensive feature set, including PBX, IVR, ACD, voice mail, unified messaging, fax services and extensive Web capabilities. No duplicate reporting tools needed to be bought, nor did a new programming interface need to be learned when Web services were incorporated. Instead, an easy-to-use graphical application generator could be applied across communication channels.

Leveraging Boxlight's resources, this tool enabled the firm to write only one set of business rules for any type of interaction. For example, Web chats could be routed using the same logic used for routing phone calls. Agent queues could be blended, and the system easily customized to adjust the level of incoming interactions for any given agent. End-to-end reporting across communication channels could finally be achieved.

Today, Boxlight's interaction management solution supports 130 employees, including 40 contact-center agents, dispersed across multiple sites, which are linked using multiple muxed T-1s for both data and voice. The Windows terminal server (WTS) is used over a wide area network and via the Internet, enabling the sales force to be logged onto the system from any Internet connection and still use the main office phone system's low rate by connecting local lines or cell phones to headquarters.


In addition, the interaction management software integrated with a customer relationship management package gives Boxlight agents vital customer information via screen pop simultaneous with a customer call. It also embeds call control features right into the company's interface so that its sales team can take advantage of functions like autodial features for outbound calls.

Perhaps most importantly, this solution powers the new iService option, a key component of the Web-based contact center. iService gives customers the option of "chatting" in real time with a representative from one of Boxlight's many departments.

Now, the company is able to offer all of these interaction options, and maintain the same high service levels regardless of what option the customer selects. The biggest fear of the organization was that it would be able to offer its customers all these great new interaction services, but would be unable to support them. By selecting a communications solution based on a unified architecture, however, this pitfall was avoided.

Boxlight's ability to customize applications on-the-fly gives it a major customer service advantage over its competitors. In addition, by easily integrating the solution with existing IT systems, vital back-end data was put back into the hands of the people who need it most, exactly when they need it.

Circle 259 for more information from Interactive Intelligence
COPYRIGHT 2001 Nelson Publishing
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2001 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:Product Information
Comment:Boxlight Corp, a distributor for presentation equipment, services and training, needed a new communications solution to help its transition to the Web.
Publication:Communications News
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Feb 1, 2001
Previous Article:Have you heard the news about speech recognition and the hand-held Web?
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