News Release

Cisco Systems Expands Customer Contact Portfolio Across All Customer Segments

Customer Traction Highlights Complete Breadth of Customer Interaction Network Solutions
Feb 25, 2004

ORLANDO, Fla., February 25, 2004 - Cisco Systems, Inc. today announced the expansion of its customer contact platform focusing on security, interoperability, scalability and customer flexibility. These enhancements continue to build upon Cisco's vision for customer contact - the Customer Interaction Network - to help enable businesses of any size increase to customer satisfaction, improve agent efficiency and deliver high return on investment.

Within the Cisco® IP Contact Center (IPCC) product line, Cisco announced IPCC Express Edition 3.5, IPCC Enterprise Edition 6.0 and IPCC Hosted Edition. Also announced was Cisco Internet Service Node (ISN) 2.1, an interactive voice response (IVR) and switching platform that tightly integrates speech-enabled self-service capabilities and Cisco's Open Customer Contact Interface (OCCI) to provide an integration point for third-party routing and computer telephony integration (CTI) applications to integrate with Cisco IP telephony.

Cisco IPCC Enterprise Edition 6.0 is suitable for enterprise customers that need a flexible solution, scalable to tens of thousands of agents. It features multichannel inbound and outbound customer contact, advanced CTI capabilities and interoperability with traditional ACD systems. New features include support for Java-based CTI applications and a redesigned agent desktop with enhanced redundancy. Cisco IPCC Hosted Edition is best for service providers looking to generate new revenue streams from customer contact managed services. Cisco IPCC Express Edition 3.5 provides a unified implementation of automatic contact distribution (ACD), IVR and CTI with scalability to 200 agents.

Group Dekko chose Cisco's IPCC Express 3.5 because it transparently integrates into their Cisco IP telephony solution. "It gives us capabilities of a high-end contact center at a very attractive total cost," said Chris Edwards, vice president of systems, Group Dekko Services, LLC. "We have a distributed customer contact organization with many small locations, rather than a traditional contact 'center'. With Cisco IPCC Express 3.5, we can queue calls anywhere in our network and deliver calls to an agent, making the geographic dispersion transparent to the end user."

Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide has used the Cisco ISN since summer 2003 and is beginning to roll out its second phase of their development of the application. "The Cisco ISN allows a range of automated features from finding hotel phone numbers to completing reservations using a conversational speech interface," said Karen Haney, vice president, contact center operations for Starwood. "It will also create another option for our Starwood Preferred Guest members to complete a number of transactions and to get account information. Also, if our customer transfers to a contact center associate, information collected in the Cisco ISN is transferred with the call, ensuring seamless, customized service."

Security, Interoperability and Customer Relationship Management

In today's business environment, network security is a major priority. To that end, the Cisco IPCC products include support for Cisco Security Agent, a host-based intrusion detection system that provides security to mission-critical enterprise servers and hosts. Cisco Security Agent helps customers create self-defending networks by going beyond conventional endpoint security solutions such as virus scanning software and firewalls. By identifying and preventing malicious behavior before it can occur, Cisco Security Agent helps mitigate known and unknown security risks that threaten enterprise networks and applications.

Cisco offers its Open Customer Contact Interface (OCCI) to help enable customers to be assured of maximum interoperability and flexibility in their customer contact environments for third party call center routing. OCCI helps ensure that CTI applications interoperate with Cisco IP telephony. This is a fully tested, hardened interface that provides crucial backup ACD routing and reporting functionality in the event of a third-party application failure.

Customer relationship management (CRM) is becoming a core value customer offering for customer care organizations. Cisco IPCC solutions integrate with leading CRM software packages, including Microsoft CRM. By combining the intelligent contact routing capabilities of IPCC Express Edition 3.5 with Microsoft CRM, businesses can maintain a single, integrated view of all customer communications to deliver more personal customer interactions, while increasing productivity, reducing total cost of ownership, and creating a competitive advantage.

The Cisco IPCC Solution and Customer Interaction Network

The Customer Interaction Network is a distributed, IP-based customer service infrastructure that comprises a continuously evolving suite of innovative, multi-channel services and customer relationship management applications. A Customer Interaction Network extends customer service capabilities across the entire organization, giving the organization a more integrated and collaborative approach to customer satisfaction.

Pricing and Availability

Cisco customer contact solutions are available starting at $1000 per agent. Cisco IPCC Express Edition 3.5, Cisco ISN 2.1, and Cisco IPCC Hosted Edition are currently available. Cisco IPCC Enterprise Edition 6.0 is scheduled to be available in May 2004.