As contact centers are being called upon to do more with less, most related technology investments require hard return-on-investment (ROI) statistics before they're approved. Looking to deliver what the customer service representatives (CSR) -- and C-suite executives -- want, nGenera Customer Interaction Management (CIM), a division of nGenera, has unveiled its latest iteration of nGen CIM Suite, version 8.3.
Looking to stay in the vein of delivering hard ROI, key themes in nGen CIM Suite 8.3 include improvements in search optimization, integration, and universal queuing. "The search optimization capabilities are geared to our self-service module, nGen Knowledgebase," says Nikhil Govindaraj, vice president of products for nGenera CIM. "It is our most-sold application that we have because it is rooted in hard ROI via call deflection."
nGen Knowledgebase 8.3 now has intelligent search capabilities, which can offer more relevant results for both CSRs and end-consumers. The federated search has also been bolstered to include more content sources such as forums, wikis, communities, and internal data sources. "This is a search on steroids," Govindaraj says. "You can search internal, external, cross-organizational ... and get a unified view."
John Ragsdale, vice president of technology research at the Service and Support Professionals Association, explains that nGenera CIM's relationship with Autonomy is central to the improvements in search. "nGenera added Autonomy in August last year, and everyone tries to [original equipment manufacture] a search vendor and usually leave it bad," he says. "I'm glad to see that nGenera CIM continues to work on the Autonomy product to make search as good as it can be."
Another major point of emphasis is the improved integration capabilities, due to the company's partnership with Cast Iron. Govindaraj explains that before the partnership, nGenera CIM would do custom integrations with existing applications from heavyweights such as BMC Remedy, Microsoft, Oracle, Salesforce.com, and SAP. "We stitched together integrations our customers wanted us to do," he recalls. "Now, Cast Iron can reduce the time to market for us with integrations that are pre-built."
Ragsdale believes the integration story helps prove nGenera CIM can work with larger deployments -- and companies. "The history from Talisma was a focus on midmarket," he says of nGenera CIM's history pre-acquisition. "It is a good proof point about scalability that Cast Iron would work with the company. Cast Iron wouldn't work with nGenera CIM if it didn't believe it to be a good, scalable solution."
The new universal queuing abilities due to integration with Cisco Unified Intelligent Contact Management enables routing in the cloud and a single agent desktop to handle interactions no matter what the communication channel, which looks to increase agent productivity and efficiency. To Ragsdale, it is "another proof point that nGenera's product line is heading much more upmarket."
While the latest features in version 8.3 may not be the sexiest, Govindaraj stresses that each one has a direct impact on ROI, which he says is his company's driving philosophy. "Everything we build must yield significant benefits for businesses," he says. "More so than before, we're focusing from the top down on how we can be a bit extra special, and add some magic to our products to make them better, faster, and more efficient."
Ragsdale explains that while this is more of a tactical than strategic release for nGenera CIM, it was exactly what customers are looking for right now. "Budgets are tight, and people are looking for ROI and really good examples of how technology can help them service customers," he says. "This is perfect, because if they were to put out a big, fluff Web 2.0 release right now, it would have no credibility in the market. It was a smart thing to do to get the infrastructure taken care of first."
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