Cisco Systems Introduces Collaboration Software for Social Media Interactions
The communications and networking giant's new Cisco SocialMiner promises ways to increase customer interactions through social media.
Posted Nov 22, 2010
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Cisco Systems, a networking and communications technology provider, has announced a customer collaboration software suite to help businesses track and respond to social media interactions: Cisco SocialMiner and Cisco Finesse.

Cisco SocialMiner can monitor status updates, forum posts, or blogs from customers in real time, alerting enterprises of conversations or comments related to their brand. Cisco Finesse, a web 2.0 collaboration desktop for customer care representatives, places all the information in a single, modifiable "cockpit" enabling agents to help callers faster, better, and with higher accuracy.

Cisco has also introduced a new network-based media capture platform that supports the recording, playback, live streaming, and storage of media, including audio and video, with recording metadata.

Cisco's Customer Collaboration software suite includes the following benefits:

Cisco SocialMiner: By providing social media monitoring, queuing, and workflow, customer posts on social media networks are organized and delivered to social media customer care teams, allowing companies to respond to customers in real-time through the originating social network.

  • Consumers benefit from the engagement that Cisco SocialMiner enables. Customers see rapid response from businesses that are providing value-added engagement when and where consumers are seeking it. Additionally, consumers will see the benefit of enterprises engaging with them to provide service and information, rather than having to find information on their own through company web sites.
  • Consumers will be able to continue to manage their online privacy in social media through opt-in and opt-out settings within the social networks themselves.
  • Through proactive engagements with customers, companies can enhance relationships immediately, address potential consumers or product issues, generate proactive sales opportunities and manage brand perceptions.
  • Internally, Cisco's Consumer Products team including Cisco Flip has been using Cisco SocialMiner to manage social media customer engagements.

Cisco Finesse: This new solution combines traditional contact center functions with Cisco Quad enterprise social-software capabilities.

  • This Web 2.0 architecture for the agent experience will allow businesses to integrate collaboration technology and business applications to give contact center agents the tools to provide the best possible customer experience.
  • Rich media capture: By recording conversations on the network, contact center agents will have access to captured media. The media can be accessed by different applications via simple interfaces, simplifying the architecture while helping to lower costs and provide optimum scalability for companies.
  • Through this ecosystem, organizations gain insights into caller issues, can guide customer service agents toward speedy first-call resolution, improve agent productivity and increase customer satisfaction

Ross Daniels, director of Cisco collaboration marketing, envisions the media capture being influential with agent training as wel"Multimedia capture itself will support playback for training applications...making conversations available in real time to a third party through an interface.... We see that as very beneficial in terms of reducing the time to effectiveness of new agents [and] reduce[ing] the amount of training," says Daniels. 

Michael DeSalles, principal analyst of contact centers at Frost & Sullivan, commented that, "[Cisco Socialminer can] become part of a holistic suite of contact center services. It is important that the contact center agent have all the tools [they need]. It could be email, Twitter, or Facebook."

DeSalles added that, "Based on my exposure to some of the other technologies, I think Cisco is on the cutting edge with this one. It moves you through that basic level of...proactive engagement. I think Cisco has really done their homework."

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