Cisco continues to innovate with Webex Contact Center
We’re living in a world where customer experience is everything.
If you want any hope of surviving in any industry, then you need to provide your customers with a fully immersive and memorable experience. The question for many companies, is how do they deliver those meaningful moments, particularly in an environment complicated by COVID-19?
Cisco, one of the world leaders in business communications, believes that its vision for the future of contact centres could help to drive businesses in the right direction. Agent and customer experiences are directly connected to the technology that supports them, Cisco’s ability to innovate at speed is allowing the company to redefine the standard for what the next-gen contact centre should be.
The latest Webex Contact Center solution is built around five key principles: multi-cloud federation, open functionality, universal accessibility, intelligence, and orchestration. I caught up with the CTO of Cisco Contact Center, Ryan Plant, to learn more about what this means.
In 2018, Ryan Plant was recruited by Cisco to come in and develop a path to the cloud for its cloud contact centre offering. Around that time, Cisco had acquired BroadSoft and it was his job to develop a cloud strategy while supporting BroadSoft customers.
All companies felt some shockwaves from the COVID-19 pandemic, including Cisco. Ryan told me that in the last year, Cisco was under a lot of pressure to simultaneously build its own CCaaS solution “from scratch”, while handling the growing demand from its customer base.
“We had to maintain the momentum of developing our own system while still supporting existing customers as much as possible.”
Plant told me that when Cisco was working on the new cloud platform, they knew that they had to begin targeting public cloud environments. They needed to enable multiple clouds at the same time – not just give customers access to one cloud option.
“Our customers need the freedom to choose where and how they want to operate. Our services are targeted towards the cloud, but they aren’t specific to any single cloud space.”
Notably, Ryan said that Cisco has taken elements from its heritage in the communication space to make the Cisco Contact Centre portfolio what it is today.
“As we continued to make progress on this new cloud experience, we discovered more ways to bring functionality and capabilities into our environment. This is how we built this incredible experience.”
Ryan describes the Cisco Webex Contact Center platform as a “tectonic platform shift” that will pave the way for the contact centre of the future.
“We haven’t been on the cutting edge up until now. When the cloud started accelerating in popularity, we had to ask ourselves whether we were going to be another “me too” provider, or whether we were going to create something new.”
With a strong focus on the future, Cisco believes that Webex Contact Center isn’t just a cloud contact centre – it’s a foundational platform for the future of communications.
“We see a future where everything is more cloud–based and mobile, connected and flexible. COVID just further emphasized that we’re moving in the right direction.”
Cisco’s focus on things like multi-cloud flexibility, extensibility, openness, and accessibility will make it a valuable provider for the contact centre of the future. This is particularly true as the company continues to increase its focus on the new capabilities available from AI insights.
I asked Ryan what the road ahead might look like for Cisco and Webex Contact Center. He told me that the most important thing for the company right now is executing its vision. Cisco wants to take advantage of the omnichannel capabilities it can offer, and the mobile technology that companies are relying on right now.
“We want to incorporate all of the components that customers need into a single environment that’s easy to use and immersive. We’re also working on bringing customers over into this new cloud landscape for the first time, making it as easy as possible to get involved. I think as we continue to execute on this strategy, we’re going to extend much further into new solutions in the contact centre and customer experience space.”
Today’s businesses have accepted cloud technology as a table stakes solution, according to Ryan, and now they need something more. “Businesses are looking for a cloud-based solution that can drive the right outcomes in customer experience and innovation. This might include more AI in the contact centre in the future and other useful insights.”
It’s safe to say that the journey really has just begun for Cisco and the Webex Contact Center platform.