Integration

More results. Less cost.

"Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere."

Albert Einstein

It's a familiar picture. Agents having to flick through several, sometimes tens of different systems and applications, having to memorise which one is to be used for what purpose, cutting and pasting various bits of data between them. As a result, mistakes are made, vast amounts of time are wasted, morale is low and agent training time goes through the roof. Not to mention the fact that managers have precious little stats as to what their agents are doing. Clearly it is not reasonable to attempt to rewrite all these systems. However, what is possible and indeed easily achievable, is to separate the logic of the call centre processes from the business systems while delivering their underlying functions in a 'just in time' fashion to the agents as and when required by each process. This is known as the Intelligent Desktop or Unified Agent Front End, and Synthesys™ does it particularly well.

It is only very rarely that a call centre system will exist in a vacuum. Normally, call centres will already be using an array of business systems in order to handle calls. This usually gives rise to a whole range of problems. For instance, agents need to remember not only how to use each system but also in what order to use them and when.

 

In addition, as these systems are usually not linked, there is a great deal of cutting and pasting and multiple retyping of the same details. This not only makes for an unpleasant customer experience but also for an inefficient contact centre. Ultimately it wastes time and money.

SysIntegration

It is, of course impractical to replace all these systems and certainly it wouldn't make any sense to do so simply for the benefit of the contact centre as most of these systems are likely to have a much wider use across the enterprise.

The solution is relatively straightforward, conceptually at least and it involves overlaying a new layer of user interface on top of all these disparate systems. This is known as the Unified Agent Frond End or the Intelligent Desktop.

Synthesys™ provides a unique approach to this issue by placing the concept of a "process" at the heart of our solution. The idea is to focus on the business process that the contact centre agent (or the web self-serving customer) is involved in and the task that they are trying to achieve. The other systems are then integrated into this process in a "just in time" fashion as and when the process requires them.

To simplify things even further, Synthesys™ Scripting is the tool that is being used in order to define these processes. It is through this that other systems can easily be brought into play, usually with very little or any technical effort.

For instance, Synthesys™ provides as standard the following mechanisms of integrating with existing systems, depending on the technologies that such systems support:

  • Wizard-defined synchronous web service calls: this allows the semi-technical user to invoke web services instantly, pass complex parameters and retrieve complex data. Such calls are useful when data needs to be retrieved from other systems or when other systems need to be updated instantly (such as interrogating CRM systems or making online payments).
  • Wizard-defined asynchronous web service calls: these are the same as the synchronous web service calls but are invoked at the end of an interaction in a transactional way so that they are not invoked if the call does not complete successfully. These types of calls are useful for exporting data into other systems.
  • Wizard-defined direct external database queries: these are user-defined mechanisms for reading data out of external databases and updating such databases with data captured in Synthesys™
  • iFrame component: this is a tool for embedding external browser based applications inside a Synthesys™ screen. The component allows the user to pass parameters into the invoked web page via the URL.
  • Hyperlink component: this is similar to the iFrame component but opens the external browser based application in a new browser window.
  • "Screen scraping" components: this is a mechanism for integrating to systems which do not support any form of programmatic API or database level interface. Typically this applies to older, "green screen" type mainframe applications. Synthesys™ provides an elegant way of interfacing to such systems with relatively little effort.
  • User written components: Synthesys™ is built in a completely open modular way which allows users to design and deploy their own components which can then be used within Synthesys™ screens. These components (ActiveX or Web Controls) can encapsulate external system functionality and be elegantly incorporated inside Synthesys™ screens with no change to the core of Synthesys™.

All these methods of integration make Synthesys™ the ideal solution for contact centres which need to juggle many different systems within the context of complex customer contact business processes.

Finally, this applies not only to the voice channels but also to web self-service and all the offline channels (email, SMS, etc.) in the context of a coherent and coordinated multi-channel stratregy.