A new technology partnership between BT and Cisco Systems will enable customers with multiple call centres to address data-originated enquiries faster and more efficiently. With this new overflow solution, UK businesses are less likely to lose vital revenues from customers whose enquiries go unanswered.
Cisco Systems’ new Intelligent Contact Management (ICM) software is an intelligent solution that re-routes e-mails, web site enquiries, and 'call me' requests to the contact centre with the greatest capacity. Currently, ICM services on the market cater only for voice calls.
BT, as the largest network ICM vendor in the UK, is undertaking initial testing of Cisco's new software in order to offer its customers a guarantee against lost business.
Contact centre customers who sign up for these trials will gain early access to new software, and benefit from reduced time-to-market. BT will identify any software limitations on a customer case-by-case basis, and ensure they are addressed prior to full implementation of the solution.
Overall, BT's objective is to guarantee software downtimes for their customers of less than ten minutes per year.
Steve Kempt, head of BT's call centre product team, within BT Retail, said: "Cisco has developed a compelling proposition for managing consumer contact with call centres. BT's core capability is to manage the technology at the heart of the Cisco offering so that customers can deploy these advanced services with the highest confidence."
Mark Kummer, Operations Director of Cisco Systems UK, said: "BT has for the past two years been the highest quality provider of ICM capability, making it the most successful service provider in the call centre market. Cisco continually adds new software capabilities to ICM - so it is important that these are delivered to customers effectively. The technology collaboration between Cisco and BT has been designed to enhance and promote the development of the call centre market, and to ensure that customers can have the greatest confidence in the services that are delivered."
Core markets for the new ICM offering are home shopping, finance and utilities. The first product to be released as a result of the technology alliance will be ICM version 4.5.
British Telecommunications plc is one of the world's leading providers of telecommunications services and one of the largest private sector companies in Europe. Its principal activities include local, long distance and international telecommunications services, mobile communications, Internet services and IT solutions. In the UK, BT serves 29 million exchange lines and more than eleven million mobile customers, as well as providing network services to other licensed operators.
Geographically, BT has operations worldwide, although it is the company’s intention in the future to focus more on the UK and Western Europe.
In April, 2000, the company announced a re-grouping of its activities into new, self-contained business units. These are:
- BT Ignite, an international broadband network business, focussed primarily on corporate and wholesale markets;
- BTopenworld, an international, mass-market Internet business;
- BT wireless, an international mobile business with a particular emphasis on mobile data which BT intends to demerge towards the end of 2001;
- BT Retail, serving end-business and residential customers; and
- BT Wholesale, selling network capacity and call terminations to other carriers.
In the year to March 31, 2001, BT’s group turnover was £20,427m with profit before goodwill, amortisation, exceptional items and taxation of £2,072m. For more information, visit http://www.bt.com.
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