Contact Center Pipeline January 2023 January 2023 - Page 36

UNIFIED COMMUNICATIONS AND COLLABORATION

THE VIRTUAL SHIFT UCC APPLICATIONS AND AGENTS ARE MOVING OFF-PREMISE , WITH SOME CHALLENGES .

BY BRENDAN READ , CONTACT CENTER PIPELINE
ILLUSTRATION PROVIDED BY ELENABSL ADOBE STOCK

Unified communications and collaboration ( UCC ) applications can be considered as the electronic solder that holds the contact center together . These solutions facilitate outside and inside team and management communication over multiple channels . They also permit “ informal agents ”: staff in small companies and departments and subject matter experts ( SMEs ) to engage with customers .

Yet like what has been happening with contact center ( CC ) applications , UCC solutions and their use , have been going virtual . With both the technologies and their users , like contact center staff , moving off-premise and out of traditional offices and centers to network and to work-from-home ( WFH ) clouds .
Consequently , but also anticipating demand , suppliers have been crafting , marketing , and deploying unified communications-as-a-service ( UCaaS ) products . Like they have been assembling and hosting or having hosted contact center-asa-service ( CCaaS ) products . However , UC solutions had taken to the cloud before CC solutions began their ascent to or were launched from there .
And while work-from-home ( WFH ) has long been in the toolbox of contact centers , the COVID-19 pandemic , and the post-pandemic resistance of employees to return to offices amidst staffing shortages , has made that practice permanent for many employers .
The use of UCC tools such as video that boomed with the shift to remote work , where digital communications became the only means to connect with agents and other employees , and supervisors and managers , have similarly become established .
To understand what is happening with UCC in the contact center we reached out to thought leaders at several leading suppliers . They are Dean Holmes , Director , Product Marketing and Peter Milligan , Director , Product Marketing-CCaaS , 8x8 , Nick Martin , Product Management , NICE , and Chris Mina , Head of CCaaS Product , Vonage .
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