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CosmoCom Takes Contact Centers into a New Service Dimension with CosmoCall Universe Version 6

March 17, 2009

CosmoCom has come out with Version 6 of its CosmoCall Universe. The system’s new capabilities and enhancements will enable CosmoCom to take the licensees of its unified IP contact center suite into a new dimension of customer service and operational efficiency.

The key elements are:
--Unified customer communications (UCC)
--Contact enter mobility
--Virtual outbound calling
--Real time reporting and analytics
--Screen recording and multimedia call recording
--Integration with Microsoft Outlook

UCC has two new user types that make deployment of this functionality more scalable and cost effective: ReadyRep and Business User, in addition to the traditional CosmoCall Agent.

The ReadyRep licenses affordably connects subject matter experts or who have other knowledge and skills such as hardware repair that are traditionally outside contact centers, but who add great value to the customer service process. The new feature can link them directly through the ACDs or indirectly via presence. It also has application integration for screen pops and the tracking for management reporting.

In short the ReadyRep has all the same features as the CosmoCall Agent yet it is available at lower cost. That is because CosmoCom has priced this license based on less expected usage as compared with dedicated contact center agents.

The Business User licenses are basic extensions. Similar to ReadyRep they are part of the contact center user community, but unlike it are not connected into the CCU 6 ACD. The Business User licenses expands the CCU into the business universe by connecting administrative and back office staff such as in accounting, data processing, HR, and marketing, thereby spreading out the outlay and increasing the ROI.

“The trend of making the contact center bigger than just the individuals has been around for a long time,” explains Steve Kowarsky, executive vice president, CosmoCom. “The ReadyRep and the Business User licenses will make this concept much easier for enterprises to understand and puts it in reach for them.”

CosmoCom has put key features of Version 6 of CosmoCall Universe in reach of agents literally wherever they are via their wireless devices. The new solution, CosmoGo, a smartphone application gives expert agents, knowledge workers and others who need to be mobile connectivity to the ACD, screen pops, and inquiry and transaction enablement for recurring subjects. It is also ideal for automotive sales reps, field techs, real estate agents, and visiting nurses whose productivity is enhanced by ACD functionality and who need the CRM data via the screen pops.

CosmoGo supports tracking and reporting that make the operation manageable. While the application prefers 3G (or higher) for its simultaneous voice and data it has a fallback mode for 2.5G where data and voice are both available, but not at the same time.

“In the past 25 years, we have learned a lot about the power of contact center technology to make customer communication more efficient and productive,” says Steve Kaish, CosmoCom’s vice president of product marketing. “But before CosmoGo, all of these benefits were only available to people who were tied to a desk with a computer and a telephone. Now mobile knowledge workers with smartphones can also join the party.”

Deskbound agents, ReadyReps, and business users also have a new phone: the CosmoPhone. The CosmoPhone is a hardware SIP phone that is an option to the direct-from-computer softphones. The CosmoPhone works directly with CosmoCall Universe; no additional IP telephony infrastructure is required. The CosmoDesk PC application is fully synchronized with CosmoPhone, enabling each user to adopt either interface and to switch seamlessly between them.

The CosmoPhone has several key benefits. It enables an easier transition from TDM to IP for contact centers that traditionally have had separate phone sets; agents will not have to learn and get used to softphones. It permits easier multitasking by allowing users to be the phones while handling e-mails, chats, IMs, filling out forms, and looking up information. It also makes better use of onboard memory and processing and avoids the possibility of strain on those functions. For home agents separating the two functions provides backup: the ability to call if the desktop apps go down; the quality of service is also marginally better over SIP phones than softphones.

“When you’re working in a call center someone is calling you for a reason,” explains Kowarsky. “You got your CRM, order entry, and inventory: whatever you need to do business with them. Having a separate phone protects that voice conversation from any interference from any other process on your PC.”

The new virtual outbound calling feature is a fully distributed architecture that supports outbound campaigns. Agents in any number of sites, including those working from home, can combine their efforts in a single campaign or in a blended array of programs.

Helping to make this happen is Linked Campaigns, also introduced in CCU 6. With Linked Campaigns, multiple lists in different formats can be easily combined into a single campaign, without the management overhead of creating consistent columns in every source. This capability not only eases the execution of campaigns with multiple data sources, but also enables blending of completely different ones across a large virtual agent population, smoothing the workload and maximizing agent productive time.

“Virtual outbound calling lets large outbound operations benefit from economies of scale that were not available to them earlier because of the limitations of traditional outbound technology,” explains Kaish. “With legacy technology, large campaigns had to be broken into smaller parts that fit the capacity limits of dialers and of individual facilities. In telecom applications, multiple smaller groups are always less efficient than one larger group. Now you can assign unlimited resources to any campaign, regardless of their physical locations, and reach unprecedented levels of efficiency from one virtual group.”

CosmoCom has also taken reporting to another universe with CosmoDashboard. Rather than forcing supervisors and managers to stare at eye-glazing numbers it lets them creatively and imaginatively configure their reports from what the firm calls ‘gadgets’: programmable tools that make charts, graphs, tables, and clocks. It also enables administrators to create standard views for different applications and supervisors to devise personal views and permits them share the information with others.

All CosmoDashboard reports are automatically filtered according to the permissions profile of the users, ensuring that they see only the relevant information they are authorized to see. This feature enables efficient information handling and staff management i.e. need to know.

CosmoDashboard is as near realtime as reporting can get. You can set the refresh rate to as low as every three seconds.

A new screen recording function, integrated with CosmoCorder™, the multimedia recording component of CosmoCom’s unified contact center suite. It captures the entire user desktop during contact sessions of all channels including voice, e-mail, and chat, providing a record not only of what is said during a call, but also of what is done. This information is valuable for compliance recording, for dispute resolution, and for agent training and coaching.

CosmoCorder is a unified product that works seamlessly with the overall contact center, not a separate system that requires costly integration, separate maintenance, and complex diagnostics. The screen recordings use the common WMV format that makes them viewable on any PC with standard, no-cost media players and no proprietary codec. This makes recordings easy to share with anyone who might need to see them.

The Outlook integration feature connects CCU 6 into another universe: the large one consisting of Outlook users. The integration allows them to originate CosmoCall Universe calls from their Outlook contacts.

“The phrase that CosmoCom introduced in the year 2000 – Unified Customer Communications – is the most concise way to describe Version 6,” says Ari Sonesh, CosmoCom’s chairman and CEO. “The capabilities of CosmoCall Universe now reach far beyond the walls of the traditional contact center to include all customer communication in the enterprise. CosmoCom is proud to introduce such a significant and comprehensive set of enhancements now, and expects, with the help of these innovations, to emerge from this time of economic challenge as one of the strongest participants in the contact center industry.”

Brendan B. Read is ContactCenterSolutions’s Senior Contributing Editor. To read more of Brendan’s articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Patrick Barnard