Call Center Infrastructure Disruption – A True Voice 2.0 Application Incorporating Skype

OnState’s Web-based ACD for Skype 3.0 Brings 20 Years of Enterprise Call Center Experience to the Small Medium Enterprise (SME) Market

What changes to Call Center infrastructure and business model can be wrought if you combine

  • A team with over 20 years experience as seasoned call center solution provider executives in the enterprise call center market
  • Recognition of voice as an Internet application
    • with a complete implementation of the Voice 2.0 Manifesto
  • Integration of a call center solution with the web
  • Partner with Skype to incorporate an ad hoc IM =>Voice => Desktop Sharing protocol
  • Redefinition of the call center business model while keeping enterprise-class features
  • Think of Skype applied as a marketing tool

Today marks the official launch of OnState Communiations’ OnState ACD for Skype 3.0 – a unique offering that delivers enterprise-class call center robustness at a disruptively low price point. To quote their OnState ACD for Skype press release:

The OnState Automatic Call Distribution (ACD) solution is a fully integrated, Skype Certified™ third-party application, which is available as a Skype for Business Extra. OnState ACD for Skype does not require installation, hardware or special software yet it delivers enterprise-class customer contact management capabilities spanning services such as skills-based routing, chat, click-to-call Web integration, interactive voice response, and reporting. OnState ACD for Skype is part of a suite of OnState Intelligent CallCenter solutions for Skype solutions to be rolled out in the coming months.

Call Center solutions are not simply extended PBX’s that can handle multiple phone lines but rather an complete customer interface business management infrastructure that takes what is known about the caller (whether a sales enquiry, a technical support call or a customer service issue) and matches that caller with an appropriate resource within the called business. For instance, a business website could take information gleaned from a customized SalesBuilder dialog with the visitor and route it in real time to, say, an appropriate, product specialist (whose geographical location is irrelevant).

  • The intelligent routing involves not only the responder’s skill set but also his/her current availability.
  • Business rules, queue management and Instant Messaging play a large role in the ACD solution.
  • Any customer can access a web-marketed business via this solution whether via Skype or via the PSTN combined with SkypeIn
  • If chat is involved, OnState’s ACD provides a web-based chat window for the non-Skype caller.
  • A more complete discussion of how it works can be found here.

What is the role of Skype? From their website:

The actual conversation between your customers and employees is always through the Skype network, and not OnState. Skype is providing the network and services for your customers and employees to communicate. OnState is providing the logic to ensure that the right customer is connected to the right resource and adapting in real-time to changing business and environmental conditions.

OnState’s ACD for Skype represents a true Voice 2.0 implementation in that it leverages voice as an embedded communications tool combined with business rules, call queuing and other communications modes (such as Unyte’s Desktop Sharing). From the Voice 2.0 Manifesto:

Voice 2.0 is a user-centric view of the world. In Voice 2.0, “it’s all about me” — my applications, my identity, my availability. Voice 2.0 is all about developers too — the companies that exploit the platform assets of identity, presence, and call control. It’s not about the network anymore.

At the highest level OnState’s ACD can be viewed as turning Skype into a mission critical marketing tool.

Oh yes – that disruptively low price point: when the subscription service launches in late March: $29.95 per agent per month.

A follow up post will comprise a discussion of how OnState’s ACD can be used by eBay resellers as a Skype-based marketing tool.In the meantime you can check out the free trial available via Skype Extras Gallery (Tools | Do More | Get Extras | Business) or directly from the OnState website.

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About Jim Courtney

Bringing over thirty years' experience in the sales, marketing and management of cutting edge technology businesses.

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