UPDATE: Cisco sends up IP communications software

Cisco Systems Inc. boosted its IP communications portfolio Tuesday with the release of two new call routing software solutions.

The products fall in line with Cisco’s strategy to reconceptualize the call centre, the San Jose-based company said.

Ross Daniels, product marketing manager at Cisco, said the IP solutions – Cisco Internet Protocol Contact Center (IPCC) Enterprise Edition 5.0 and Cisco Intelligent Contact Manager (ICM) Enterprise Edition 5.0 – introduce the company’s concept of a “Customer Interaction Network” through distributed IP-based call control, agent location independence and full multi-channel services.

Organizations are experiencing an increase in remote workers, branch offices and home offices – a shift from call centres to “contact centres,” Daniels said.

“The notion of 400 workers sitting in a big concrete building and that being your call centre is changing,” Daniels said. “It’s much more likely that your centre is going to be distributed, smaller, and that you’re going to be incorporating home-based agents, remote agents and even knowledge-based workers,” he added.

Specifically, the Cisco Internet Protocol Contact Center (IPCC) Enterprise Edition 5.0 call routing solution is designed for contact centres with 50 to several thousand contact centre seats and features “intelligent” contact routing, call treatment, network-to-desktop computer telephony integration (CTI), and multi-channel contact management over an IP infrastructure.

Cisco Intelligent Contact Manager (ICM) Enterprise Edition 5.0 enables contact centres to “extend customer service across a networked virtual organization,” Cisco said, by managing customer queries (via Internet, regular telephone or instant messenging) and routing calls to the correct agent and geographic location.

Available late February, pricing for both solutions begin at US$1,000 per agent, Cisco said.

Details can be found at the company’s Canadian site at www.cisco.ca.