Siebel, Cisco join on IP-based contact centers

Looking to boost IP (Internet Protocol)-based contact centers, Siebel Systems Inc. and Cisco Systems Inc. this week announced product integrations to assist companies migrating from legacy technology to IP infrastructures.

Intended to assist with e-business deployments, the companies announced integration of Siebel Call Center Version 6 with components of the Cisco Customer Contact Software Platform: ICM (Intelligent Contact Management) Version 4.1 and the Cisco IPCC (IP Collaboration Center).

Companies can develop closer relationships to customers by closely linking customer data from enterprise systems to an IP-based contact center, according to Siebel and Cisco.

"At the end of the day, customers can buy these solutions, [which] work out of the box, and they have a complete IP-based multi-channel contact center solution," said Matt Malden, senior director of product marketing for call center and Web service at San Mateo, California-based Siebel. Special code was written to enable the tight integration of the products, Malden said.

The companies said benefits include:

-- Enterprise-wide contact routing over a multi-site contact center.

-- Validated computer telephony integration for automatic call distributor, PBX, and interactive voice response products.

-- The ability to support proprietary, legacy telephony infrastructures while evolving to IP-based infrastructures.

-- A single interaction application suite for voice, Web, and e-mail interactions.

-- A comprehensive view of customer interactions.

The announcement piggybacks on top of Cisco's unveiling Monday of enhancements to IPCC, featuring integration between ICM and Cisco's CallManager IP PBX.

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