News Release

Cisco Systems Ships Version 4.0 of its E-Mail Messaging System, Cisco E-Mail Manager

Cisco E-Mail Manager Key Component of Cisco Customer Contact
Sep 19, 2000

Cisco E-Mail Manager Key Component of Cisco Customer Contact Software Platform

SAN JOSE, Calif., September 19, 2000 - Cisco Systems, Inc., the worldwide leader in networking for the Internet, today announced the general availability of Cisco E-Mail Manager 4.0, a comprehensive, enterprise-class solution for managing high volumes of customer inquiries submitted to a company mailbox or Web site. Cisco E-Mail Manager is used by leading enterprise and service companies including, Dell Computer Corporation, the Faneuil Group and NUASIS Corporation, to enable contact center staff to rapidly and efficiently respond to e-mail inquiries.

For contact centers, Cisco E-Mail Manager is an important element of the Cisco customer contact software platform which combines intelligent contact management, Web collaboration, e-mail management with the strength of Cisco's IP telephony networking solutions. Multiple contact channels from Web, phone and chat to VoIP, IVR, and e-mail can thus be managed in an integrated fashion in support of a seamless and unified customer experience.

"Increasingly, companies are recognizing that they must deploy a multi-channel interaction strategy to provide the highest level of service to their customers. For many companies, e-mail response management is a crucial component of their multi-media strategy," said Brett Shockley, vice president and general manager for the Customer Contact Business Unit at Cisco's Internet Communications Software Group (ICSG). "Cisco E-Mail Manager adds rich productivity and management features to the Cisco customer contact software platform. These features, in combination with the customer contact software platform's other key components including, intelligent contact management, Web collaboration, and blended collaboration help organizations better interact with their customers via many communications channels including phone, Web, chat, VoIP, and e-mail offering a richer customer experience."

Cisco E-Mail Manager 4.0

Cisco E-Mail Manager, a key component of the Cisco customer contact software platform, is a comprehensive, enterprise-class solution for managing high volumes of customer inquiries submitted to a company mailbox or Web site. Based on customizable business rules, Cisco E-Mail Manager accelerates the response process by automatically directing messages to the right agent or support team, categorizing and prioritizing messages, suggesting relevant response templates, or sending automated replies. A full-featured, browser-based interface provides agents with the productivity tools and knowledge resources they need to provide fast, accurate and personalized responses to customers. Cisco E-Mail Manager gives managers automated service level management, real-time and historical reporting and bulk management tools they need to ensure that desired service standards are met, to gain valuable insight into customer needs, and to generate new revenue opportunities.

Version 4.0 adds many key enhancements to Cisco E-Mail Manager that build upon the strength of the Cisco customer contact software platform. These include new flexible productivity tools, extensive management tools and new platform support.

Flexible productivity tools enable integration of Cisco E-Mail Manager with an enterprise's existing Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system. This results in a more personalized experience for the customer, while driving increase levels of efficiency in the customer operation. For example, businesses can define customer data variables in response templates. As an agent opens a suggested template or any other library templates, CRM-based customer data will automatically populate the template variables. If no data exists, a default value will be inserted. Version 4.0 also features an API for consultant integrators to immediately begin integrating Cisco E-Mail Manager with various CRM systems and other external data sources. New case management tools for agents to reassign or escalate inquiries are also featured in this release.

Sophisticated management tools are crucial for large contact centers to successfully monitor and improve the quality of service that they are providing their customers. Until now, e-mail management systems have not offered the same level of reporting and monitoring interfaces that are common in traditional ACD's (Automatic Call Distributors). The new management tools in release 4.0 include configurable, time-based and load-based thresholds for personal and group e-mail queues and provide the ability to define detailed workflow for messages and queues that hit queue-specific thresholds. Automated actions can include pager notification and escalation or spillover to other queues. Other new management features in release 4.0 include additional rules-based processing that can be performed on each message to qualitatively define actions based on categories, mailbox, priority, etc. Real-time monitoring screens provide thorough information on current agent activity and performance, including the average handle time of a message response.

Based on a platform-independent, Web-based architecture, Cisco E-Mail Manager now supports Sun Solaris. In addition, 4.0 introduces support for Windows 2000 and expanded support for version 4.0 of Windows NT.

Cisco E-Mail Manager's unique design has made it an industry-leading messaging system for e-mail management. Key features of the solution include:

  • A distributed architecture that allows customers to create separate business rules by division and department;
  • An advanced, graphical rules processing engine that allows business administrators to create and manage a sophisticated set of hierarchical business rules for managing a large volume of free-form e-mail, structured forms, and other media;
  • Effective management tools that provide contact center managers the ability to monitor and assign message queues to ensure service level goals are being met;
  • Flexible productivity tools that give managers the opportunity to determine the best way for system users to read and respond to messages, whether they are full-time support agents, infrequent responders or external partners;
  • A MailTrack feature which forwards e-mail messages received by Cisco E-Mail Manager to a subject matter experts' own email client for response while still maintaining tracking and monitoring.

Pricing and Availability

Cisco E-Mail Manager 4.0 is shipping today and pricing starts at $1,500 per agent seat. Platforms supported include Windows NT, Windows 2000 and Sun Solaris.

To bring the value of its customer contact software platform to as wide a market as possible, Cisco uses its ecosystem of partners to accelerate the delivery and deployment of its contact center solutions to the market. Some of the channel partners that assist in the delivery of the Cisco E-Mail Manager component of the customer contact software platform include eLoyalty, HP Consulting, KPMG Consulting, LCC, and Spanlink Communications.

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