News Release

Cisco Expands its Customer Contact Software Platform with Introduction of Cisco Turnkey CTI Suite

Provides Contact Centers End-to-End CTI Functionality with a Cost-Effective, Turnkey CTI Solution that can be Deployed in a Fraction of the Time Required for Other CTI Solutions
Mar 06, 2001

Los Angeles, CA - March 6, 2001 - Cisco Systems, Inc., the worldwide leader in networking for the Internet, today introduced at CT Expo (Booth # 2019 and 2033) an end-to-end CTI solution for single-site and multi-site contact centers, the Cisco Turnkey CTI Suite. With the introduction of the Cisco Turnkey CTI Suite, Cisco offers a complete range of CTI (computer telephony integration) solutions designed to meet the diverse requirements of customers, integrators and Customer Relationship Management (CRM) vendors that wish to integrate their solutions with Cisco's customer contact software platform.

Cisco delivers three different levels of CTI support, including server-to-server integration for third-party applications that include CRM packages, logging, recording and workforce management solutions; CTI toolkit integration via ActiveX and Java controls for customers who want to do custom integration and offer CTI to their contact center agents at the desktop; and with the Cisco Turnkey CTI Suite, organizations now have an out of the box solution to rapidly deploy CTI throughout the enterprise.

The Cisco Turnkey CTI Suite integrates with Cisco's Intelligent Contact Management software (Cisco ICM), which consolidates a contact center's telephony customer interaction channels into an integrated customer contact environment. Easy to deploy, configure and manage, the Cisco Turnkey CTI Suite offers pre-configured features for agents and supervisors who want to increase productivity, improve customer satisfaction and reduce contact center costs; and provides seamless integration with the Cisco Internet Protocol Contact Center (IPCC) -- a key component of Cisco AVVID (Architecture for Voice, Video and Data), which delivers intelligent call routing, and multimedia contact management over a single IP network.

"The utilization of solutions such as the Cisco Turnkey CTI Suite with our offerings to customers, further reinforces the commitment of Cisco and Cap Gemini Ernst & Young to offer a complete range of solutions to the customer contact space," said Kirk Strawser, vice president of the CRM service line for the Americas at Cap Gemini Ernst & Young, and who is currently using the Cisco Turnkey CTI Suite as part of its Lab Demo Center. "Using the Cisco Turnkey CTI Suite, we are now able to offer enhanced CTI expertise and consulting to single-site and multi-site contact centers that are looking to be operational quickly, and want to blend their traditional TDM-based contact centers with IP telephony-based contact centers."

The Cisco Turnkey CTI Suite does not require custom development, which addresses one of the major hurdles for deploying critical features that contact centers need to be up and running quickly with a CTI solution without sacrificing quality and future growth. The turnkey nature of the product enables contact centers to be installed and operational with complete screen pop, soft phone and agent/supervisor coaching capabilities in typically less than one week.

The Cisco Turnkey CTI Suite's integration with Cisco IPCC and legacy ACDs, allows contact centers of all sizes to rapidly deploy CTI in new locations and to migrate from traditional TDM-based (Time Division Multiplexing) contact centers to Voice over IP (VoIP) contact centers. The integration of the Cisco Turnkey CTI Suite with Cisco ICM allows for the routing of each customer contact to the best enterprise resource, optimizing service and enhancing efficiency, and provides turnkey CTI capabilities such as screen pop, soft phone and supervisor-to-agent text chat, interactive voice response (IVR) integration, call queuing and consolidated reporting.

"Cisco has gained strong acceptance from large contact centers via the CTI toolkit approach that allows customers to integrate desktop business applications with Cisco ICM software," said Brett Shockley, vice president and general manager for the Customer Contact Business Unit in Cisco's Internet Communications Software Group. "Expanding on this success, we are now bringing to market a CTI solution for contact centers seeking a turnkey solution that provides a platform to support future growth. This approach allows us to expand our market acceptance with contact centers that want to start getting business benefits quickly without sacrificing quality, and future growth for their contact centers."

Key Features Include:

  • "Out-of-the-Box," Turnkey Design - Enables single site contact centers to be up and running quickly without sacrificing features or operational control;
  • Proven CTI Screen Pop, Soft Phone and Agent/Supervisor Coaching Capabilities - Improves agent productivity for faster, more efficient and effective customer service and overall improved customer satisfaction;
  • GUI-based Management for Ease of Customization, Maintenance, and Change Management - Decreases IT dependency enabling call centers to reduce costs and improve efficiency at the contact center level; and
  • Ease of Deployment - Offers easy and cost effective means for rapid installation of new call centers, typically in less than one week;
  • Agent Workflow - Provides patented non-procedural specification of interaction between third-party software applications and the telephony infrastructure, and simplifies the application interaction to events and calls of interest.

Sample Applications Include:

  • Soft Phone - Agents can utilize the soft phone capability on their PC to control telephony functionality. This will include the ability to answer, hold, conference, and transfer calls from a PC rather than from a traditional handset telephone.
  • Screen Pop - Contact center supervisors and administrators can define screen pop capabilities on a number of different parameters. For example, the solution can capture the ANI (Automatic Number Identification) of a caller and utilize that data to perform a database lookup of the customer associated with that ANI. Once found, the customer information will "pop" into the contact center agent's customer service/business application screen. This enables agents to be more productive and allows them to spend their time solving customer problems rather than querying customers for account numbers and performing data entry.
  • Agent Coaching - Supervisors can participate in coaching sessions with agents and customers either through conference calls or through silent monitoring. The supervisor has the ability to send text messages to any agent participating in the conference call, to serve as coaching points, for example, to suggest an up sell or cross sell to the customer. These chat messages are invisible to the customer, and are much easier for an agent to process than a supervisor "whisper" into the agent's headset.

Cisco Customer Contact Software Platform

The Cisco customer contact software platform combines intelligent contact management, Web collaboration, and e-mail response management with the strength of Cisco's multi-channel networking capabilities for both TDM and IP infrastructures. Cisco's ICM is the core component of this software platform and provides network-wide intelligent contact management of customer interaction by distributing voice and data from multiple channels - including IP networks, TDM networks, and e-mail - to distributed resources such as ACD and IVR systems, SOHO agents, and desktop applications. Cisco's ICM software combines Pre-Routing and Post-Routing capabilities with extensive management and reporting capabilities that are supported using a distributed fault tolerant architecture, which supports the mission-critical reliability necessary for customer interaction. Solutions are provided for single-site, multi-site, and network-integrated deployments.

Pricing, Platforms and Availability

The Cisco Turnkey CTI Suite is available and operates on Windows NT. Software pricing starts at $1,100 per agent seat, and on a per-server basis, starts at $10,000. The Cisco Turnkey CTI Suite will initially be sold through Cisco's direct sales force.