8x8 Upgrades Virtual Contact Center Solution

8x8, a provider of cloud-based enterprise communications services, has added to its Virtual Contact Center (VCC) solution with new features that integrate quality management, customer journey analytics, and a prebuilt CRM integration tool that allows contact center managers to configure and tailor the agent and customer experience. The new VCC capabilities will be available in June.

The solution upgrades "focus on simplifying the contact center world," says Max Ball, Virtual Call Center product manager at 8x8. "If it's simple, you can serve customers effectively without having to spend ridiculous amounts of money."

In addition to the operational analytics that 8x8 unveiled last summer, the VCC Customer Journey Analytics capabilities announced today look at contact center performance from the customers' perspective to see what they actually experience when interacting with the company. It helps contact center managers visually understand the full customer life cycle for a call from self-service through agent interaction, provides insights into IVR performance to help companies increase the accuracy of their call routing, and drills down into specific customer call experiences to identify and correct customer interaction problems.

"With our Customer Journey Analytics, we're turning contact center analytics on their head," Ball says. "You can drill down and dig in much deeper. You can really look and see what the customer experienced. It gives you a step-by-step walk-through of the entire customer experience."

In offering Customer Journey Analytics, 8x8 is responding to the requests of its customers for such capabilities, according to Ball. "Companies want to know more about how they are serving their customers," he says.

The Quality Management module features a robust portfolio of monitoring capabilities for high-touch interactions, including a multimedia timeline interface that enables contact center managers to listen to voice recordings, watch screen captures, and jump from point to point within conversations. Quick Search functionality helps managers find specific interactions to improve the timeliness of agent coaching. Also included are agent scorecards.

"Our Quality Management module lets managers and supervisors closely monitor agents and what they are doing and provides a vehicle for them to offer coaching," Ball says. "Companies that have used it have also sped up agent on-boarding by 20 percent."

Quality management is something that 8x8 has been looking to offer for a while, and when the company acquired Quality Software Corp. (QSC) last June, it became a reality, according to Ball. "It was a very logical thing for us to offer," he says.

The VCC platform also integrates a sophisticated new capability, VCC EasyConfig, an out-of-the-box CRM system integration tool that gives contact center managers' direct control over the agent experience. "As a manager, I can define what I want the agents to use, what fields I want to look at, and what information I want to pull," Ball says.

In 8x8's initial deployment, the company is partnering with Salesforce.com, a company with which 8x8 has had a long-standing relationship. 8x8 solutions have been available on the Salesforce.com AppExchange since 2008.

8x8 this week also announced upgrades to Virtual Office Meetings, its cloud-based video conferencing and collaboration solution. Enhancements to the solution include borderless HD video and audio communications.

Virtual Office Meetings is built seamlessly into 8x8's Virtual Office (VO) desktop experience and allows users to schedule meetings, initiate instant collaboration on the fly, and transition IM conversations into a meeting, with a single click, from one VO desktop app. In addition, the solution gives users access to their corporate directories.

Virtual Office Meetings now includes plug-ins for Outlook and Google Calendar for one-click meeting scheduling; an integrated Presence feature can bring additional participants directly into a collaboration session. The new VO Meetings will also enable users to collaborate on the move. Mobile users can now collaborate with HD 720p video and share content from their mobile devices via cloud applications such as Dropbox, Box, iCloud, and Google Drive.

The upgrades to both the Virtual Contact Center and Virtual Office Meetings solutions come at a great time for 8x8. "Because of the breadth of our solutions, we're seeing tremendous growth of the company upmarket," Ball says.

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