Cisco has introduced a variety of new additions to its Webex Contact Center portfolio, released in February 2020. These include Webex Experience Management, Webex Contact Center Enterprise, and Google Contact Center Artificial Intelligence (CCAI).
Webex Experience Management fuses Webex with Cisco acquisition CloudCherry. New capabilities focusing on improving customer service include:
Webex Contact Center Enterprise offers a scalable solution, supporting 2,000 to 24,000 concurrent agents per tenant. The solution is cloud-based, with add-on options and APIs, and has an administrative portal for management by Contact Center staff.
Cisco is also utilizing AI-enabled features that utilize Cisco’s acquisitions Voicea and MindMeld, alongside partnering with Google CCAI’s Dialogflow. In particular, Google CCAI offers a conversational IVR, bot customer virtual assistant, and Cisco Answers. Google CCAI solutions are to be released mid to late 2020.
Source: Software Reviews, Cisco Unified Contact Center Enterprise Product Scorecard, Accessed February 7, 2020.
It was only a matter of time until CloudCherry’s capabilities would be fused with Cisco’s Webex Contact Center Portfolio. This new addition, coupled with Cisco’s partnership with Google, ensures Cisco remains a key player in the contact center as a service marketspace.
However, Cisco joins the vast range of vendors in this space offering a subscription model for its contact-center-as-a-service solution. It is not yet clear how this will fare against Amazon Connect’s pay-per-use model, which is growing in popularity. As most vendors in the contact-center-as-a-service market have largely matured what capabilities are table stakes (which Cisco’s Webex Contact Center portfolio now meets), 2020 will largely unfold as a battle between these two payment models.
The complication to this battle, of course, is how quickly Microsoft can roll out its contact center model for Teams. For if a contact center solution for Teams meets standard capabilities over the next two years (the initial offering rolling out in mid-2020), Office 365 users will be hard-pressed to explain why they would choose other suites or solutions.
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