SAN JOSE, CA., May 29, 2001 - Cisco Systems, Inc., the worldwide leader in networking for the Internet, today announced two new Cisco Powered Network designations -- Cisco Powered Network E-mail Management Services and Cisco Powered Network Collaboration Services -- designed for companies delivering hosted services based on the Cisco customer contact software platform. The new designations recognize eCRM (customer relationship management) application service providers (ASPs), outsourcers and service providers who are deploying the Cisco E-mail Manager and Cisco Collaboration Server components of the Cisco customer contact software platform to provide outsourced or managed customer contact services for enterprise companies. Three companies -- BT Ignite Solutions, National Support Center, and West Corporation -- have received the new designations.
Cisco today also showed continuing acceptance for the previously announced Cisco Powered Network Contact Center Services designation launched in January 2001. InfoNet Services Corporation and the three companies listed above, BT Ignite Solutions, National Support Center and West Corporation have all received this designation. The Cisco Powered Network Contact Center Services designation recognizes ASPs, outsourcers and service providers that are deploying the Cisco Intelligent Contact Manager (ICM) component of the Cisco customer contact software platform to provide outsourced teleservices for enterprise customers, or Cisco Network Applications Manager (NAM), the network hosted version of ICM.
"With the availability of hosted eCRM solutions, companies are now looking to take advantage of alternative channels to deploy CRM and customer contact systems, not only to better manage customer interactions for efficiency's sake, but to differentiate their businesses by the quality of the customer experience," said Bill Hills, senior analyst, IP Telephony Applications, Aberdeen Group. "The new Cisco Powered Network designations for Cisco's customer contact software platform give such organizations further reason to believe in the wisdom of outsourcing to improve the way they interact with customers through a multi-channel, converged contact center."
Now, through the three Cisco Powered Network designations targeted at the customer contact market, eCRM service providers, ASPs and outsourcers can differentiate their value-added hosted customer contact service offerings delivered on an end-to-end Cisco software and hardware infrastructure. The designations further Cisco's ongoing efforts to empower its ecosystem of eCRM service providers, ASPs and outsourcers to take advantage of the Cisco customer contact software platform to deliver quality services to end-users.
"Companies today are most challenged to deploy technologies that can help them extend new and existing customer relationships, creating greater customer loyalty and quality of experience," said Eugene Lee, vice president of marketing for Cisco's Enterprise Line of Business. "Both emerging and established service providers have stepped forward to meet this demand with various models of hosted or outsourced customer contact solutions. The Cisco Powered Network designations for the customer contact market help identify and recognize those eCRM service providers, outsourcers and ASPs with a deep commitment to customer service and support."
About the Cisco Powered Network Designations for the Customer Contact Market
To attain any of the Cisco Powered Network designations for the customer contact market, a company must deploy the software components of the Cisco customer contact software platform specific to each designation as a hosted or managed service. In addition, the company must undergo a complete assessment of their end-to-end network architecture based on Cisco's data center, Wide Area Network (WAN), 'Last Mile' and Customer Premise Equipment (CPE) solutions.
Cisco Powered Network designations for the customer contact market include:
- Cisco Powered Network Email Management Services designation: This new designation is designed to recognize eCRM service providers that offer the Cisco E-Mail Manager component of the Cisco customer contact software platform as a hosted service. Cisco E-Mail Manager is a comprehensive, enterprise-class solution for managing high volumes of customer inquiries submitted to a company mailbox or Web site.
- Cisco Powered Network Collaboration Services designation: This new designation is designed to recognize eCRM service providers that offer the Cisco Collaboration Server component of the Cisco customer contact software platform. The Cisco Collaboration Server is a leading Web-centric, visual collaboration solution enabling contact center agents to share Web-based information with customers such as Web pages, forms, and applications while simultaneously conducting a voice conversation or text chat using a common browser.
- Cisco Powered Network Contact Center Services designation: This designation (announced in January 2001) is awarded to companies that are deploying the Cisco Intelligent Contact Manager (ICM) component of the Cisco customer contact software platform to provide outsourced teleservices for enterprise customers, or Cisco Network Applications Manager (NAM), the network hosted version of ICM. Cisco NAM, provides managed customer contact infrastructure accessible by third parties as is typical in the ASP business model. Cisco ICM software provides enterprise-wide intelligent contact management by distributing voice and data from multiple channels - including IP networks, TDM networks, fax and email - to enterprise resources such as ACD and IVR systems, Small Office Home Office (SOHO) agents, and desktop applications.
The Cisco Powered Network customer contact designations give customers all the benefits of an end-to-end network; simplified, cost-effective network management; higher network availability; more reliable, scalable and secure services; and faster deployment of New World customer contact services. In addition, companies that achieve these designations will be able to work with Cisco in areas of joint sales, marketing, and technology sharing to continually enhance their services and increase their speed to market.
For companies who are early in their development as they work towards achieving Cisco Powered Network designations, Cisco also offers a unique entry-level program called the "eCRM Marketing Ecosystem" which is designed to assist service providers in marketing and developing their contact center services. With the Cisco eCRM Marketing Ecosystem program, eCRM ASPs and outsourcers are provided with joint marketing benefits to assist service providers in promoting their services. Two participants of this program include vCustomer Corporation and Verette.
Four Companies Receive Cisco Powered Network Designations for the Customer Contact Market
Cisco today announced that four companies have received the Cisco Powered Network designations for the customer contact market:
BT Ignite Solutions (www.btignitesolutions.com) is BT Ignite's e-Business and communications solutions group. It has received the Cisco Powered Network Contact Center Services, Collaboration Services and E-mail Management Services designations for its Virtual Contact Center (VCC) Solution. The solution, based on Cisco NAM, Cisco E-Mail Manager and Cisco Collaboration Server includes a host of sophisticated value-added services that are based on customer needs. These include full CTI integration, IVR and voice recording, as well as collaboration and e-mail management. At the heart of the BT Ignite Solutions' offering is the ability to tailor the VCC into legacy systems, and the flexibility to deliver a solution designed specifically for a particular business. With the new designation, end users will have further confidence that their contact center solution is based on a proven Cisco technology environment.
Infonet Services Corporation (www.infonet.com) is a leading provider of integrated communication services to enterprises and powers the enterprise-wide global communications initiatives of more than 2,600 multinational companies. Infonet has received the Cisco Powered Network Contact Center Services designation for its high-performance, reliable and secure hosted call center service. Infonet utilizes the Cisco Network Applications Manager (NAM) component of the Cisco customer contact software platform to provide leading edge solutions that enable its customers to engage, manage and retain their customers regardless of the method or frequency of contact.
National Support Center, LLC (NSC) is a leading supplier of outsourced customer relationship management and customer service support. National Support Center has recently been awarded the Cisco Powered Network designations for Contact Center Services, Collaboration Services, and Email Management Services. Having implemented a pure IP infrastructure, NSC has deployed the Cisco IP Contact Center (IPCC) solution, utilizing the Cisco Intelligent Contact Manager (ICM), Cisco Email Manager and Cisco Collaboration Server software components of the Cisco customer contact software platform to route customer service requests to multiple contact centers and provide reporting on those interactions. NSC uses Cisco's IPCC to provide world-class customer service to leading technology and consumer electronics companies. Cisco's software components allow NSC to interact with customers in the form best suited to and requested by the customer and to respond to customer requests quickly and efficiently. NSC is committed to creating value for its clients by building and keeping profitable customer relationships on behalf of it clients and the Cisco customer contact software platform is a central part of that offering.
West Corporation (www.west.com), one of the nation's largest fully integrated teleservices companies, provides customized Inbound, Interactive, Outbound and Internet services. West has received the Cisco Powered Network Contact Center Services, Collaboration Services, and E-mail Management Services designations. West utilizes the Cisco E-mail Manager, Cisco Collaboration Server and Cisco Intelligent Contact Management (ICM) software components of the Cisco customer contact software platform to provide robust integrated solutions capabilities and a continuous loop of revenue and relationship-enhancing opportunities for all stages of their clients' customers' life cycle. In addition to expected high quality of service levels for their end-users, the Cisco Powered Network designations enable West and Cisco to develop joint marketing programs to broaden awareness for West's services.
About the 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. The key components of this platform include Cisco Intelligent Contact Management software (Cisco ICM), Cisco Network Applications Manager (Cisco NAM), Cisco Collaboration Server, Cisco E-Mail Manager, and Cisco IP Contact Center (Cisco IPCC).
Currently, there are over 450 worldwide service providers that are members of the Cisco Powered Network program. Situated in 49 countries, program members offer a wide range of Cisco-based services for businesses of all sizes.
For more information on the Cisco Powered Network Customer Contact Services designations and other eCRM service provider programs visit http://www.cisco.com/warp/public/779/servpro/cpn/.