ShoreTel Contact Center 6 Opens APIs

Make it brilliantly simple! was the order of the day for VoIP vendor ShoreTel when crafting the latest version of its Call Center, according to Kevin Gavin, vice president of Marketing. The somewhat low profile, but veteran VoIP company sells 100 percent of its products through the channel, and so was particularly responsive to partner feedback when retooling the solution, which boiled down to: Give us greater simplicity, and make it less expensive to maintain and operate.

Contact Center 6 is specifically designed to better integrate contact center functions with a companys existing main business processes, using real-time APIs and event feeds that better track, respond and prioritize the entire lifecycle of the customer call, from the time it hits the VoIP switch to when the communication is terminated. By contrast, most solutions dont track the calls progress until it reaches the call center.

Responding to their partners requests, said Gavin, meant improving the administrative functions of the unit, and targeting the product at those IT shops that dont want or arent equipped to deal with the kind of product complexity that some of their bigger competitors entail. But not ShoreTel customers. [They] prefer a more straightforward approach; easy to use, less staff required, and for end-users, no manuals, integrate functionality on the same client.

Version 6s enhancements revolve around three basic themes. First, opening up its interfaces to enable real-time event feeds that provide group, queue and agent information. This in turn allows system integrators and customers to develop their own applications and integrate their existing business applications, based on the companys Developers Network. Its all about improving the customer experience by making call agents more responsive and flexible to a greater pool of customer experience data.

Secondly, ShoreTel has scaled its solution support from 600 to 1,000 simultaneous agents and 2,000 total agents. Consequently, it has built in a number of redundancy options for WAN connectivity, allowing the call center to establish multiple sites across a wider geographic footprint for greater uptime.

And third, Call Center 6 provides much greater transparency into the centers activities. The Contact Center Agent Dashboard provides customized dashboards for agents over any computer, including mobile devices; and the Interaction Viewer enables supervisors to view all customer/agent interactions, including multimedia, throughout the transaction. Managers can drill down on complete call details to pull deep analytics out of their call center traffic behavior.

Contact Center 6 is available as a free upgrade for existing customers on a company support contract.

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