Menu
Cisco reveals “true omni-channel capability” with Context Service

Cisco reveals “true omni-channel capability” with Context Service

“Cisco has done the industry a service by putting context into the customer service mix.”

The next frontier in customer service is the challenge of bringing together the relevant pieces of information about customer preferences, behaviours, and connections in a seamless whole.

So says Keith Dawson, analyst, Ovum IT, who believes this is monumentally difficult because of the siloed nature of contact centre applications and the fragmented customer contact landscape.

“But key vendors such as Cisco are tackling the problem, and its new Context Service offering shows great promise,” he claims.

At Enterprise Connect 2015 Cisco unveiled its solution to the broad problem of providing contextual background to customer interactions.

“Its Context Service is a cloud-based tool for storing, tagging, and managing interaction data; it is built into Release 11 and is available to users of Cisco’s premise or cloud platforms at no extra cost,” Dawson explains.

“The tool can store interaction data from multiple customer care channels such as voice (including IVR), chat, and email, plus emerging channels such as the Internet of Things.

“It can perhaps best be imagined as the storehouse for the historical details about what a customer has done already, across all channels, so that agents can see a continuous portrait of their journey and act in a way that does not add friction or fragmentation to the customer’s experience.”

Dawson says Cisco’s partners are already working with this storehouse of knowledge, in the form of APIs that allow them to build connections to apps such as analytics and journey mapping tools.

“For the last year the industry has been abuzz with the promise of the “omni-channel” customer experience - that theoretical next step beyond multichannel contact,” he adds.

“For the most part, vendors have been keen to board the omni-channel bandwagon, but there have been very few instances in which a solution has solved an actual business problem.”

Happily for Dawson, Cisco has squarely identified a problem - the lack of consistent contextual information as consumers switch channels - and made a solution available with a minimum of fuss.

“It is clear that Cisco intends Context Service to be easy to use - that is why it has put the tool in the cloud and made it accessible to its partners,” he adds.

“What is unclear is whether contact centre users will want to grab and format the data on their own, or whether they will rely on data analysis firms to extract the relevant insights and action items from the storehouse.

“In either case, however, Cisco has done the industry a service by putting context into the customer service mix.”

Follow Us

Join the New Zealand Reseller News newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags ovumcisco

Slideshows

Top 50 defining moments of the New Zealand channel in 2016

Top 50 defining moments of the New Zealand channel in 2016

Reseller News looks back on a tumultuous 12 months for the New Zealand channel, assessing the fallout from a year of sizeable industry change. Whether it be local or global mergers and acquisitions, distribution deals or job changes, the channel that started the year differs somewhat to the one set to finish it - Reseller News assesses the key moments that made 2016.​

Top 50 defining moments of the New Zealand channel in 2016
​Hewlett Packard Enterprise honours high achieving NZ channel

​Hewlett Packard Enterprise honours high achieving NZ channel

Hewlett Packard Enterprise honoured its top performing Kiwi partners at the second running of its HPE Partner Awards in New Zealand, held at a glitzy ceremony in Auckland. Recognising excellence across eight categories - from distributors to resellers - the tech giant celebrated its first year as a standalone company, following its official split from HP in 2015.

​Hewlett Packard Enterprise honours high achieving NZ channel
Nutanix treats channel partners to Christmas cruise

Nutanix treats channel partners to Christmas cruise

Nutanix recently took to the seas for a Christmas Cruise around Sydney Harbour with its Australia and New Zealand staff, customers and partners to celebrate a stellar year for the vendor. With the sun out, they were all smiles and mingled over drinks and food.

Nutanix treats channel partners to Christmas cruise
Show Comments