Five9 is betting on CRM software more than ever, as shown by its Fall Release 2014, which augments existing integrations with Oracle RightNow CX Cloud service and Zendesk.
"This announcement underscores the enhanced relationship that contact center infrastructure software has with CRM," says Mayur Anadkat, director of product management at Five9. "We're continuing to advance CRM integration and [believe that] the better [the] integration with those two pieces, the better the experience is for the agent and for the consumer in a call center environment."
Five9's beefed-up integration with Oracle enables companies to better manage multichannel activities from a single agent desktop regardless of channel. Previously, Five9 used only the voice piece of the Oracle solution to route calls but has now tacked on email and chat capabilities. Anadkat says that the enhanced CRM solution means that agents can work more efficiently since they are not being limited to conversations in just one channel.
"It's a pretty significant enhancement because it focuses on the routing," he explains. "Agents don't want to be trained on separate applications or have to toggle back and forth between applications."
The Oracle solution also benefits administrators or people who run the entire design of the call center and want their agents to be able to handle their work more efficiently across all channels. "This not only creates rules and systems for the voice part, but can separately create rules and workflows for emails and chats," Anadkat says.
The Zendesk CRM software expansion offers a stateless softphone operation. Softphone, Anadkat continues, emulates telephony capabilities and controls, typically over the Internet. The stateless feature allows agents to refresh the Zendesk application without changing the softphone application.
As an analogy, Anadkat says that being stateless is akin to when a user is in a Web browser and cookies stay open in the background. When a new page is opened, the user is still logged in. "In a similar fashion, the way we work with Zendesk is that we have our softphone control embedded in their Web application," he says.
"Instead of having to close tabs with each call, now agents don't have to re–log-in to the Five9 system, so this creates a stateless operation. When they reopen, they're still logged into the system and the softphone is logged in or opened as it typically would for most other integrations. This keeps the focus on the user experience" he says.
Separately, Five9 formally announced a standalone Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) compliance tool, TCPA Manual Touch Mode, which has been on the market for a few months.
TCPA Manual Touch Mode is hosted in a system that is completely separate from the other Five9 dialing systems, with separate log-ins, administration, and reporting. The new solution doesn't have the capacity to auto dial or automatically generate telephone numbers. Instead it is restricted to preview and manual dialing modes, and requires human intervention to initiate calls.
Changes in the Federal Communication Commission's TCPA regulations include a ban on autodialing mobile phones without express consent of the owner to ensure mobile phone users will not incur charges from telemarketers.
"When the 2013 TCPA amendment hit, it took people a few months to figure how far reaching the legal implications would be," Anadkat says. "People then realized this was going to be a big deal. We have a few outsourcers who have huge clients who could have multimillion-dollar lawsuits if they had made calls to mobile numbers. Our customers asked for an as-clean-as-possible legal version of such as solution and wanted the most bullet-proof tool against possible investigations or fines."