Telephony convergence--something for everyone.

Author:Heberling, Mike

For the best part of a decade, businesses have been faced with an ever increasing range of solutions which offer computer-telephony integration but are often dependent upon the type and age of the telephony system they have installed. In certain cases, this has led to the implementation of a CTI solution being so prolonged and complex that it has ceased to be viable. The issue has been further complicated by the development of IP telephony systems which are now seen in many areas as the only way forward for any business seeking to roll out a "world class" contact center.

Add to this the fact that it is only in recent years that vendors have developed solutions which offer fully integrated multimedia support and you can understand why the majority of IT and customer service managers have yet to see the true benefits of such an offering and why many businesses still have a wide range of "contact center" type services such as ACD, IVR and unified messaging provided by different vendor technologies.

This "silo" effect naturally leads to a situation whereby reporting and management issues are complex and the total cost of ownership is often far greater than the business has budgeted for in the first place.

By bringing all of these pieces of the telephony puzzle onto one managed platform, the issues of management and integration are immediately marginalized.

However, simply providing a tightly integrated CTI solution may not be enough. Customer interaction does not just stop when the call arrives at the agent's desk; in fact, it is here that the real value is generated as the agent opens up the appropriate business application to provide the service the caller is seeking.

It is the integration between the multimedia contact center platform and the business application which creates true value. Solutions such as HEAT[R] plus IP Contact Center from FrontRange Solutions do exactly...

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