Consider the “Gift” of WebRTC for your Contact Center
Dec 19, 2014
Web Real-Time Communication (WebRTC) is the realizable future of contact center voice and video by allowing customers and agents to interact with each other through Web browsers: without specialized downloads. With WebRTC conversations are seamless, faster, and productive. Neither customers nor agents have to use separate phones for voice conversations. This feature of WebRTC also simplifies home agent deployments by avoiding softphone downloads or additional phone lines.
Cumbersome old CTI, IVR, and PBX applications will fade away as customers communicate through the Web instead. Hardphones will become yet another fading relic, best found in museums like InfoAge, in Wall, New Jersey, near Belmar.
There is current Frost & Sullivan research on WebRTC in the contact center and in enterprise communications. I am working on a new report on WebRTC that will be published in the New Year.
There are many issues remain with WebRTC, like not all of the browsers are WebRTC compatible. But these obstacles will fade away as the standard evolves and as market players like Apple get on board.
In the meantime two prominent vendors are joining in the spirit of “out with the old/in with the new” with packaged WebRTC applications for contact centers.
Avaya recently released the Avaya Agent for Chrome offer. It links the Avaya Aura Call Center Elite with Chromebooks. Avaya Agent for Chrome can deliver calls to agents from any incoming source: toll-free PSTN or SIP as well as WebRTC-based or Adobe Flash-based internet sessions. It removes the need for thick clients, and it supports full agent capability on a lightweight, economical Chromebook.
LiveOps offers, with its partner Twilio a WebRTC-enabled bundle with Acer or Asus Chromebooks, Chrome management consoles and support, and Plantronics headsets. The plan includes 7,500 telco minutes monthly and setup for each agent. The LiveOps plan is available at $90 per agent per month with a two year commitment, with LiveOps Cloud Contact Center priced separately.
Both of these solutions are “gifts” to companies’ financial bottom lines, employees’ well- being, and to the planet—it is rare for these three goals to be aligned—by allowing agents to work from home. Why finance bricks-and-mortar offices and force people to make costly, time-consuming, and stressful commutes that result in more harmful emissions, when the same work can be done from home offices?
These may be the best investments of your time in the future of customer service and your contact center that you will probably make in 2015.
Brendan Read is Senior Industry Analyst with over 25 years’ experience covering business, communications, staffing, and technology. He has worked in, prepared reports, and blogged on a wide range of topics including customer contact, CX, CRM, IoT, social media, supply chain, and BC/DR. He also has backgrounds in construction, manufacturing, materials, resource extraction, site selection, and transportation. He examines the broad economic, environmental, innovation, political, and social mega trends, and their impacts on businesses, markets, and society.