News Release

Cisco Announces Significant New Security, Scalability and Desktop Enhancements for its SIP-Supported Customer Contact Solutions

Cisco continues its innovation and leadership in customer contact solutions
Jun 20, 2005

SAN JOSE, Calif., June 20, 2005 - Cisco Systems today announced new security, scalability and desktop application enhancements for its customer contact center solutions aimed at helping companies of all sizes improve customer service.

The enhancements are all part of the Cisco Customer Interaction Network -- a continuously evolving suite of innovative, multi-channel services and customer relationship management (CRM) applications. The SIP-enabled Customer Interaction Network allows customers to intelligently route customer interactions to the most appropriate contact center agents, regardless of their location. SIP support will allow businesses to take advantage of "presence" knowledge for better visibility to agents and experts throughout an enterprise and extend contact center capabilities to non-contact center workers.

"SIP provides a standards-based approach to enabling IP communications with numerous devices and applications and our unique position in the market allows us to offer a SIP-enabled contact center that is part of the entire business solution," said Laurent Philonenko, vice president and general manager of the Customer Contact Business Unit at Cisco. "This is just the first phase of our SIP contact center solution. Cisco is very active in the ongoing development of the SIP standard and chairs several groups committed to SIP development."

Security is the name of the game

Cisco IP Contact Center (IPCC) and Intelligent Contact Management (ICM) Enterprise and Hosted 7.0 solutions all feature new security, scalability and desktop applications as well as more modular deployment options. Security in IP-based contact centers is a major concern facing customers today. Cisco is addressing this with protected passwords, secure call context data and secure configuration of system components in these solutions. These inherently secure solutions build a higher level of trust between businesses and their customers.

A Gateway to Scalability

The new Cisco IPCC Gateway provides customers with the option to increase the scalability of their contact centers while also offering more flexible deployment options. Customers can deploy and manage a single customer contact solution for an entire enterprise or choose site-specific Cisco IPCC Enterprise and Cisco IPCC Express solutions and manage them from a single ICM. This option allows customers to address contact center ownership requirements at a specific site while still maintaining a virtual solution. The Cisco IPCC Gateway also allows for greater overall system redundancy, business continuity and a seamless migration from a traditional call center environment to an IP-based solution.

Cisco Agent Desktop

The enterprise application integration wizard is a new desktop capability that provides supervisors and business managers with the ability to conduct rapid, on-the-fly integration with Web- based CRM and other enterprise applications without the need for custom development or developer support.

"Contact Center-in-a-Box"

Cisco IPCC Express 4.0 provides small to medium size businesses with advanced features like automatic failover for high availability and remote agent capabilities. In addition, the solution provides powerful automatic call distributor (ACD) features, such as conditional routing, call-in-queue and expected-wait-time messages, out-of-the-box computer telephony integration and integrated interactive voice response (IVR) services. Agent-based routing, combined with current skills-based routing, allows customer contacts to be routed to the call agent with the appropriate skill set. This allows customers to gain the information they need the first time they call a company. Cisco IPCC Express 4.0 also offers open standards support for third-party speech recognition and text to speech engines.

"Cisco IPCC Express 4.0 provides 'out-of-the-box' integration of our ACD and IVR functions," said Rif Kiamil, IT Manager, J.J. Fast Foods. "It gives us a single, integrated service environment and helps us provide our customers with the best possible service. Our callers only need to input their account number once even if they speak to more than one agent, resulting in a seamless process and saving them valuable time. It's a great return on our investment."

With the new enhancements to the Customer Interaction Network, Cisco is further demonstrating its leadership and innovation in contact center solutions.

"We are building on our standing as a 'leader' in the most recent 2004 Gartner Magic Quadrant reports for contact center infrastructure in North America; Europe, Middle East and Africa and Asia Pacific," Philonenko said. "The bottom line is that these customer contact solutions provide our enterprise and service provider customers with the tools they need to provide an overall higher quality of customer service for their customers."