Guest blog alert! We are thrilled to have Michael Grebac, Strategic Sales & Marketing Manager from our partner at2Ringjoin us today in the blogosphere to talk about “How To Affordably Integrate Applications with Cisco Contact Centers.”
Michalhas gave hundreds of live WebEx demonstrations on Cisco Finesse with 2Ring Gadgets, and received valuable feedback from thousands upon thousands of contact center directors and supervisors.
This blog post provides a practical and easy to understand introduction to integrating CRM, Service Desk or any other line-of-business applications with Cisco Contact Centers. It also enables automation for supervisors and agents.
2Ring, a Cisco Partner Preferred Solution Partner, has been providing value for contact centers around the world for nearly 20 years. The 2Ring Gadgets to Cisco Finesse are already being used by hundreds upon thousands of supervisors and agents around the world. 2Ring was awarded the Cisco award for the best agent desktop tool in 2018. Click here to learn more. Cisco’s price list includes support and solutions for 2Ring.
Integrations were expensive and only offered limited benefits.
Since the release of Cisco Finesse’s first version in 2011, integration of 3rdparty apps (CRM, Service Desk and …)) has been a hot topic. 2Ring was involved with the first deployment of Cisco Finesse in Europe shortly after Finesse was released. Back then, integrations were expensive and businesses were interested. The benefits were usually limited to a screen-pop of the basic CRM screen based on a phone number. Only large contact centers were able integrate their CRM with their contact centers.
But, a lot has happened since then…
Major CRM players such as Microsoft Dynamics, SugarCRM, ServiceNow, and Microsoft Dynamics have made significant improvements to their APIs. Combine powerful APIs with pre-created Integration Options that are part 2Ring Gadgets Cisco Finesse, and run this combo in modern browsers like Chrome, Firefox, Edge-Chromium, or Edge-Chromium to unlock a powerful set integration capabilities. These older release notesGadgets4.3 – Ad-hoc Integrations provide more details. Cisco Finesse 10.5 with Salesforce.UI embedded in 2Ring Browser Gadget
Cisco Finesse 12.5 with Cisco Finesse 2Ring Gadgets 5.1Why Integrate
Integrating can reduce handle times and improve customer and employee satisfaction. Agents can verify who they are speaking with, authenticate callers, then create tickets or service requests automatically. This reduces handle time significantly and improves customer and employee satisfaction. The agent’s handle time is reduced by anywhere from $788 to $1051 per year (40 calls per days, $14 an hour, and a 1.3-loaded payroll cost). This means that even small and medium-sized call centers (50 to 75 employees) can have advanced features that improve customer and employee satisfaction. You can also get a Return On Investment (ROI), in USD, in 12 to 24 month.
2Ring bridges the gap between bespoke and out-of-the box solutions. It allows you to easily assemble building blocks and standardize out-of-the box integrations for Salesforce, ServiceNow MS Dynamics & SugarCRM.
2Ring can improve the agent experience even with standard integrations. 2Ring can build simplified input forms for CRM/ITSM systems that allow the user to stay in Finesse almost all the time. However, custom integrations can be costly. 2Ring’s integration uses existing APIs and points to backend databases. This greatly reduces the integration effort. Most custom or bespoke integrations take 48 hours to implement.
Cisco Finesse uses a team-based configuration. This allows each contact center team to decide how integration and automation should be done. 2Ring can deliver different sets Cisco Finesse gadgets to you and allow for different behaviors depending on your requirements.
Cisco Finesse – Each team can choose which Gadgets and the configuration. Gadgets may present different options for agents, and supervisors may have different options.
Which app should your users use?
There are two ways to bridge the gap between Cisco Contact Center, a CRM or Service Desk software.
Let’s talk about the pros and cons of each.
Approach A: Live and breathe in the CRM
One approach is to live only within the CRM/Service Desk habitat. This involves integrating Cisco’s agent state as well as call control into a CRM’s user interface. This is often a costly solution as agents are forced to use a UI that is not tailored to their needs. It also results in slower screen loading times. Agents in contact centers are often overwhelmed with information they don’t need, as well as lacking the information they want – agent, queue, team performance data, agent schedules and alerts.
Salesforce integration with Cisco Finesse. An Agent is using Salesforce Console Mode while on a call. An Agent is on a call and using Salesforce Console Mode.