Amazon Connect Review

amazon connect call centerKnowledge is power, especially in the fast-paced world of technology where things are changing so quickly. At Bicom Systems we like to research and even test new products as they come out so that we know what we are up against. One of our developers recently spent some time looking at the Amazon Contact Center solution and wrote a review for all of you:

Amazon Connect: A Review

GUI

The GUI is not anywhere near where it should be. The content is breaking out and overflowing. Components take up too much space that you do not needed. Everything is fixed, you cannot adjust the window size, etc.

Contact Flow

Creating call flow logic is very easy with their graphical interface. You have components in which you add and connect with wires and then make logic. The starting position is the number which callers will dial and then enter into the system. I tried some custom, it was not too complex and it worked. But the question is how it will behave in a more complex situation. There are still some GUI problems. For example, when you move or edit a component, the connection is lost and you have to wire it again. After publishing it will show you errors and where you should fix it.

Prompts and Text-To-Speech

Prompts have the capability to use text-to-speech or recording. Text-to-speech is great for building small prompts, but of course it only works only with English.

Statistics

Amazon went with customizable reports, so it allows you to choose fields from a list and then you can save and run it again. This sound nice, but as I tried making a few reports – BAM – I would run into errors or fields that showed no data. If you want to talk optimization, well we know there is none. Even with little data, it requires a couple of seconds to build every report. And if you add fields, it takes longer and longer. So handling large data may not be possible.

The most annoying thing that I ran into was that when I was expecting certain data, it would not show at all or would show lower values than expected. So data accuracy is a big issue.

Also, unlike in our statistics, you cannot filter by time, for example from 8:00 to 11:00. You cannot break the data down to see all the CDRs an agent had at that time.

So statistics gets a big thumbs down. Though it may have plenty of filters and features, everything comes down to speed and accuracy.

Conclusion

Amazon took the approach of making everything customizable. But even with that in mind, there are too many things missing. First of all, you cannot create any queue strategies. You could create flows, but you cannot achieve automatization. Also, there are many instances of queue configuration on our system which would require big flows or be impossible to make. Statistics covers a lot of fields, but accuracy and speed are big problems here.

They have this simple WRTC softphone that works for simple functions – dial, hangup, transfer – but real call centers agents often need to see with whom they are talking. For now, the agent is put in this “after call work” state for every call, so there are no options like wrap-up time, auto pause, etc.

In conclusion, this software does not yet provide a good solution for large call centers. And even for small call centers, there are lot of bugs and GUI problems that need to solved.

If you would like to learn about our own call center solution, please visit our website.

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Unified Communications: Beyond Telephony

unified communicationsUnified Communications works great for telephony and voice. It makes communicating fast, easy, and efficient. But a good UC solution should be doing much more than just telephony. Unified Communications can support and improve your business in many aspects.

Collaboration

More than just a buzzword, collaboration is key to productivity in the workplace. Unified Communications solutions support collaboration with features like screen sharing, file sharing, and presence. gloCOM, our UC app, offers all of these features and more. Learn more by reading 6 Unified Communications Features that Promote Collaboration.

Billing

Integrated billing software automates invoicing, rate-setting, and other accounting tasks to free your time and concentration. Unique to our Unified Communications suite, TELCOware is a provisioning platform that performs billing, ticketing, accounts, shopping cart, and more, so that you do not have to.

Security

The issue of security is heavy on the minds of most VoIP users today. Our Unified Communications solution goes beyond telephony to help secure your network. sipPROT is an advanced SIP security module that protects against SIP attacks. Unlike other solutions, sipPROT works with live traffic, protecting the system even while it is in use.

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5 Benefits of the VoIP Softswitch

voip softswitch We have come a long ways since the manual telephone switchboard. 139 years, to be precise. From the days of manual telephone operators to PBXs to modern solutions that tap into VoIP technology to do more than just call routing.

We have written previously about what a VoIP softswitch is and even the difference between Class 4 and Class 5, but we had yet to actually delve into why you should use one. Let’s look at just a few of the benefits of using a VoIP softswitch…

1. Scalability

As a software-based solution, a VoIP softswitch can be scaled both up and down relatively easily. It will grow with your company so you can start as small as necessary. Upgrades are done by downloading new software.

2. Versatility

Routing, billing, reporting, and monitoring are just some of the functions that can be done on a VoIP softswitch. Integrated apps and software create a very comprehensive solution for maximum efficiency.

3. Billing

One of the most valuable functions of the VoIP softswitch, billing software is very accurate and gives you the ability to customize call rates and invoices for individual users. It takes the busywork out of billing so you have more time for what matters.

4. Cost-effectiveness

With no additional hardware to purchase, VoIP softswitches are more cost efficient than traditional switches. Upgrading via software is also much less expensive than purchasing new hardware.

5. Flexibility

Finally, with all of the aforementioned functions and capabilities, there is no denying that VoIP soft switches are very flexible. This makes them an ideal solution for all kinds of businesses and organizations.

An example of a VoIP softswitch is PBXware. Our integrated billing module is TELCOware. Visit our website to learn more today.

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Call Center PBX: An Enhanced Software

call center pbxI recently stumbled upon an article claiming that PBX phone systems cannot replace call center software. My initial reaction was to scoff and dismiss it, but the article kept coming back to me as a response formed in my mind.

Rather than replying: “Yes, PBX can replace call center software”, I began to wonder why it has to be a question of one or the other – is it necessarily a replacement?

A PBX phone system that is dedicated to call centers is essentially enhanced call center software. Not a replacement, per se, but an improvement.

The aforementioned article challenged PBX phone systems on the basis that they do not offer the following features: Advanced routing, Call queueing, Live call monitoring, and Live reporting. The article further criticized PBX systems as less scalable than traditional call center software. Let’s go through these allegedly absent features one-by-one…

1. Advanced routing

Call centers are, by definition, dedicated to call management, so advanced call routing is essential. Call Center PBX solutions like PBXware offer skills-based routing, Interactive Voice Response (IVR), and Automated Call Distribution (ACD). Our skills-based routing supports the following criteria: skill level, training level, performance, availability, call priority, and queue load. Additionally, should a call need to be manually transferred, gloCOM shows the real-time status of other agents and supports instant drag-and-drop transfers to whoever is available.

2. Call queueing

Queues are, without a doubt, indispensable in any busy call center. PBXware supports not only unlimited queues and optional callback, but also real-time queue monitoring and statistics. Live wallboards with real-time queue stats enable call center agents to monitor and keep up with call traffic. Queue reports enable supervisors to achieve better customer service by forecasting call volumes, calculating agent requirements, and comparing results with expectations.

3. Live call monitoring

Constant call monitoring ensures optimum customer service quality and satisfaction. PBXware supports real-time agent monitoring and barging. Supervisors can drop in on calls unannounced and unnoticed to verify that call quality standards are being met. Alternatively, they could jump on a call to provide input or assistance without ever placing the caller on hold or transferring them. Call center agents perform more consistently when they know that a supervisor could be listening in at any moment.

4. Live reporting

Real-time reporting of call center statistics inspires agents to perform better and keeps supervisors informed on progress. PBXware gives data on queue statistics, call detail records (CDR), actions logs, and system CLI messages. Many call centers put these stats on wallboards so that progress is at the center of attention throughout the day. Detailed reports can also be run after the fact and delivered at a specified interval.

5. Scalability

One of our primary goals at Bicom Systems is to enable partners to grow. Your success is our success and we have helped entrepreneurs start from the ground up as well as large corporations expand even beyond what the knew they could. PBXware is highly flexible and can scale both up and down fluidly. Bicom Systems is committed to giving you a solution as small or large as you need to get started. We are confident you will grow, so we are happy to start slow and grow with you.

Call Center PBX solutions do not need to be an alternative to call center software, but an enhancement of the traditional software. PBXware Call Center PBX is a powerhouse under-the-hood with all of the features and technologies that busy call centers need, but wrapped up in a simple and user-friendly interface.

Learn more about our Call Center PBX solution on our website.

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7 Features of CRM Integration That Your Sales & Marketing Teams Need

crm integrationCRM software is great for business. VoIP solutions are great for business. Integrated together, they create a powerhouse that will support both your sales and marketing teams.

Lead management is a core part of any business and getting it right can make or break your success. A standard, efficient workflow to apply to all contacts and individualized nurturing for each lead are of equal importance to get through the sales cycle.

The balance can be reached with CRM integration through the following features:

1. Call & email logs

Integrated CRM software tracks all calls and emails to contacts. Forget flipping through your calendar or racking your brain to remember your last call with a specific lead or customer – an integrated CRM will give you that information and more in seconds.

2. Click-to-call

Now more an expectation than a perk, click-to-call with CRM integration makes it easy to call leads or customers as you are reviewing their account. Cut the time it takes to get through a list of sales calls by doing everything from one screen.

3. Call pop-ups

If click-to-call simplifies your outbound calling process, call pop-ups greatly enhance inbound calling. CRM integration puts the caller’s name and detailed information on your screen before you even lift the phone receiver. No more pressure to remember details or asking the caller to wait while you change gears and catch up.

4. Marketing campaigns

Your CRM is no longer just for the sales department. Marketing teams will find an integrated CRM invaluable for creating, sending, and tracking marketing campaigns. Responsive marketing that targets audiences based on past behavior and interests shown is more effective than passive, mass marketing.

5. Marketing automation

All the buzz in 2017, marketing automation is quickly becoming standard practice. An integrated CRM makes it possible to automate marketing campaigns on multiple levels without forgoing a dynamic, responsive approach. In fact, the data collected by your CRM will make marketing efforts even more responsive to lead behavior.

6. Data organization

Arguably its primary function, it goes without saying that your CRM organizes contact data. But an integrated CRM will go even further in placing pertinent information exactly where your company needs it.

7. Lead Tracking

An integrated CRM goes beyond contact information and call logs, you can now track website visits, social media behaviors, downloads, and much more. Both the sales and marketing teams can get better results when they have more information at their fingertips.

PBXware and gloCOM integrate with Salesforce, Zoho, Sugar, Zendesk, and Microsoft Dynamics. We can integrate with other CRMs through custom solutions. Learn more about gloCOM or contact us today.

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