Some IT suppliers describe an overhaul of their applications in flowery language. But an official at Mitel Networks was pretty blunt in picturing the latest version of one of its main products.
“Our old contact centre, we burned it to the ground,” Todd Simons, director of product sales of the Ottawa-based company, said of the release Wednesday of MiContact Center 7.
The new version is total re-write, particularly of the optional multimedia and outbound calling sections of the platform. The core of the suite, the voice section, is largely the same although there are new reporting functions.
But the optional multimedia module has a new email/text/voice routing engine and desktop client which allows messages from multiple sources to be send to contact centre agents. Previous versions of the platform were tied to a purpose-built Microsoft Exchange server and messaging went through Outlook.
Version 7 can route a much broader range of email – whether its Gmail, Office 365 or Lotus Notes – to agents. Business rules can be applied as well (for example, give preference to voice calls).
Other new features include:
–For the first time an optional Outbound calling module is available, which allows organizations to set up calls and text messages to customers. It has a lite customer relationship management application that links to an existing database with a scripting engine. Organizations can use it to send automated weather messages, or a message to a person that their product is ready to be picked up.
It also includes a predictive dialer that can detect if an answering machine or person answers a call;
–A modernized reporting engine so reports have a fresher look;
–Support for tablets so supervisors can walk about with a mobile device and oversee the agents’ performance. Tablets that run Windows 8 will have real-time results. Apple and Android tablets need VMware View, however.
–Visual Workflow Designer, which had been used for building call flows and business rules with a drag and drop interface, now can be used for multimedia such as Web chats;
–A new Web chat client is no longer Java based due to security concerns and allows organizations to add a “contact us” tab to a Web page so customers can get in touch by chat. The application even shows wait times until the call is answered;
–Also new is an optional social media tracking capability. Mitel has partnered with three social media tracking companies whose aggregation engines will collect messages found on social sites that mention particular names — useful for organizations that want to know how their brand is being used. Subscribers will have to pay extra to the aggregators for the service;
While the core voice application can be installed over previous versions of Contact Center, Simons said organizations that buy the multimedia module will need Mitel [TSX: MNW] or partner consulting services for installation because of the new underlying code. Similarly the Outbound module also needs consulting services for installation.