InContact, a provider of cloud-based contact center software and cloud workforce optimization tools, today launched its first major release of Customer Interaction Cloud for 2016. The latest release provides omnichannel routing, workforce optimization, voice as a service, and an open cloud platform.
Scott McDonald, vice president of inContact’s Product Solutions Group, says the biggest change in this release is the addition of text messaging as a means for companies to reach out to their customers. The Personal Connection Outbound Solution, for example, has been updated with Agentless SMS Campaigns, a new feature than enables companies to provide their customers with updates, such as bill payment reminders or weather alerts, via SMS.
"Outbound SMS is a key part of providing customer service today," McDonald says.
And though not included in this release, inContact is also working to add email to the list.
"In the contact center space, although voice is still the biggest component, we are starting to see digital channels like chat, email, and SMS become a bigger part of what the customer wants to do," McDonald says
Also new in this release is inContact MAX (My Agent eXperience), offering increased agent flexibility to ensure that agents are always handling the highest priority contacts. New features include Email Parking, Contact Tagging, and Panels, as well as enhanced accessibility and ADA compliance.
Updates to the workforce optimization include a new hybrid deployment model that enables users with premises-based automatic call distributors to leverage the cloud for recording and quality monitoring. The workforce management solution now offers features and functionality in the cloud with multiple algorithms to generate forecasts and schedules. The solution also enables multiskill and multisite capabilities.
InContact also added a Personalized Voice Quality Dashboard to its voice-as-a-service offering, enabling voice quality to be measured every day, for every call, so users can track their personalized average daily voice quality measurements.
McDonald calls the voice-as-a-service offering "an interesting development," noting that as larger companies embrace cloud communications, voice quality is becoming a much larger issue.
InContact is also building a guaranteed service level into its offering and promises refunds if service drops below a set level. To increase reliability, the company is moving select portions of the cloud infrastructure to Amazon Web Service (AWS).
Additionally, more than 75 new and expanded APIs are included as part of the Customer Interaction Cloud release, increasing the total number of integrated APIs to more than 250.
As part of this, the release features an integrated Salesforce.com experience. The inContact Admin for Salesforce gives supervisors direct, administrative access to agents and skills through the Salesforce Service and Sales Clouds. Agents gain presence integration with Salesforce Omni-Channel and the click-to-call functionality of inContact's Dynamic Address book.
The release also includes an enhanced developer portal that contains all the necessary APIs and other components needed for companies to build their own connections. "We keep adding more and more APIs to make the platform more open," McDonald says. "It's part of a bigger strategy to have an open platform for our partners to use."
"Today, everything has to be available in one platform, and it all has to fit together," he adds. "This release does that."
According to McDonald, this latest release is the first of three planned for the year. The other releases will be coming out in midsummer and late fall.