The desirability of giving organizations contact center functionality and UC capabilities everywhere, including accommodating the explosive growth of mobile devices by employees, partners and customers, has caused the cloud-based UC market to see intense interest both from customers and from vendors of all types seeking to enhance their functionality. It is why the announcement that service provider Sprint, through its unit, is teaming with contact center solutions provider to integrate robust contact center capabilities into with Microsoft Lync is of note.
An enhanced comprehensive offering
As Sprint says, the goal is to provide a one-stop shop for companies seeking to enhance their UC needs, and the partnership with ComputerTalk demonstrates what they mean about one-stop shop.
ComputerTalk offers a native contact center solution called ice. It is characterized as an all-in-one, software only, cloud-based contact center that has been built and integrated into the full Microsoft stack. Features include:
- Contact routing and distribution
- Full Interactive Voice Response (IVR) designer
- Call recording and historical reporting
- Real-time monitoring and skills-based routing
- Media-specific interactions
- “UC Workflow” designer for building self-service and complex routing apps
- Instant Messaging (IM), voice, email, Web chat and Twitter
- Ability to route calls to any end point that Lync knows (e.g. mobile devices, landlines and common area Lync phones)
- Ability to route IM to public IM clients
“Sprint is offering the first Microsoft universal communications suite with a native Lync contact center that offers enterprise grade capabilities,” said Mandle Cheung, chairman and CEO of ComputerTalk. “This will allow Sprint customers to quickly and effectively move to a cloud-first, mobile-first, enterprise solution for communication and collaboration while enhancing the business customer experience.”
Sprint is noting that its solution set includes enhanced mobility and SIP Trunking integrated for every user, and that this means the ability for customers to have an end-to-end UC platform with a consistent experience across all collaboration tools, operating systems and end points.
“Arming employees who have a wide variety of communication needs and workstyles with the right technology will unify them, promote stronger collaboration, and help businesses grow faster,” said Mike Fitz, vice president for Enterprise Commercialization, Sprint. “Enhancing Sprint Complete Collaboration with contact center features enables businesses to provide a consistent UC solution for all employees while adding capabilities for certain work groups, like the unique tools needed to directly support customers. Businesses can rely on Sprint as a one-stop shop for this integrated solution that will easily scale and adapt to their business needs.”
With UC the foundation of communications as a service (CaaS) offering in general, and bringing contact center functionality across not just the organization but ultimately to its entire value chain, the pace of industry players to enhance functionality, particularly with integrations with existing services and enterprise customer experience systems like CRM and ERP is going to be a major industry trend in 2015. Sprint’s teaming with ComputerTalk is indicative of just how important this trend is going to be.