Automated communications Featured

7:00pm EDT December 26, 2009

Recent emerging communications technologies make it possible for businesses of any size to integrate communications with their business processes in order to increase employee productivity, accelerate processes and improve customer care.

“Through tight integration of dispersed communications endpoints for office, mobile and call center employees, integration of communications technologies with business processes enables organizations to successfully complete complicated tasks that involve multiple teams with a shorter turnaround time, resulting in significant improvements in time to contact,” says Monty Ferdowsi, the president of Broadcore.

Such highly efficient processes harness the collective thoughts, creativity and energy of the entire work force and eliminate the delays caused by the time it takes to track down the right people and information.

By automating the communications process based on workflow events, communications-enabled business processes (CEBP) make it easier for the work force to connect, communicate and collaborate with one another, customers and suppliers.

Smart Business spoke with Ferdowsi about how your organization can use CEBP to automate its communications processes.

What exactly are CEBP?

The goal of CEBP is to optimize business processes by reducing the human latency that exists within a process flow. CEBP leverage unified communications capabilities by embedding them into the business process flow. The result is a more efficient, more automated closed-loop process — translating into significant ROI.

CEBP can be applied horizontally across different lines of business and different industries. Virtually every business process is hampered by human latency. Some other use cases that CEBP can be applied to include roadside assistance, stock portfolio alerts, personal information loss, claims processing and inventory management.

What are some examples of improved business processes based on new communications technologies?

CEBP can offer many useful services that will improve all of your business processes. For example, with CEBP, you can get real-time, online access to reports containing comprehensive customized communications reports and graphs for specific customer interactions. These reports can be used for:

  • Automatic and streamlined quoting processes for the sales staff
  • Creation, management and measurement of marketing campaigns
  • Display of accurate customer information on demand
  • Easy access to financial and management reports
  • Recruitment, management and retention of employees
  • Optimized use of inventory and other resources
  • Real-time information sharing across various operations

On top of those useful items, CEBP offer:

  • Automatic display of all caller information on an employee’s computer screen while he or she is processing a phone call. This can occur while answering an incoming call or during the processing of an outbound call.
  • Automatic routing of customer calls to their primary point of contact based on their caller ID without having to rout the call through the IVR menu options or talking to the operator. In case the primary point of contact is unavailable, the call can be automatically routed to another agent based on a preconfigured routing policy.
  • Automatic configuration of the sales or account management staff’s preferred mode of communications (i.e., instant message, telephone call or e-mail), such that a customer call may trigger an IM, e-mail or a telephone call to the customer’s account manager or salesperson.
  • Ability to handle a high volume of calls simultaneously in order to screen the calls, forward them to the appropriate personnel and to log the calls.

How can you find the right unified communications service provider that offers CEBP?

Look for a provider of hosted unified communications services. Through an extensible, highly scalable IP communications system, these companies can offer you a unified communications platform for voice (VoIP), data, video and mobility communications across your enterprise and multilocation businesses.

Another thing to look for is a company that offers lowered total cost of communications ownership by assuming the cost burdens associated with data redundancy, infrastructure expansions, technology obsolescence risks, system scalability, and new feature integration and updates. By removing the costs associated with infrastructure and additional IT staff to maintain increasingly complex communications technologies, you’ll be able to focus on your business’s core competencies while remaining current with the most recent communications technologies.

What other processes and technologies should businesses be implementing?

When you have faster and easier deployment of communications capabilities within the enterprise, employee productivity and business agility can be maintained with minimum interruption to business operations.

An open applications programming interface facilitates integration of communications technologies with your existing business software suites, Web applications and popular customer relations management applications such as Salesforce.com. Your internal technical groups, your provider’s professional services teams or third-party developers may perform the integration to develop unique applications customized for your specific needs. An open API allows resources to be defined and addressed over HTTP with simple XML allowing minimal software development for customization.

Monty Ferdowsi is the president of Broadcore. Reach him at (800) 942-4700 or info@broadcore.com. Broadcore (www.broadcore.com) has more than 20 years of telephony experience with five years of deploying advanced hosted telephony for major U.S. companies.