GenOmega Achieving the Genesis and Omega

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1 GenOmega Achieving the Genesis and Omega Collaborative s GenOmega Digital White Paper Prepared by Dave Guertin GenOmega Partners Date 30 March 2001

2 Table of Contents Executive Summary...3 What are Collaborative s?...4 Collaborative Integration Explained...5 Solutions...7 Disparate Solutions...7 Integrated Solutions...8 Business Process...9 GenOmega Partners Phone: March 2001 Page 2 of 9

3 Executive Summary A few years back there began a push to provide , electronic fax and web based interfaces into the call center and therefore the term was coined, Center, defining multimedia integration with the traditional call center environment. An earlier GenOmega Digital White Paper described the capabilities of integrating customer interactions with an organizations billing strategy and although the billing side of the equation has lagged, today more and more organizations are migrating their call centers to customer interaction centers (CIC). Once the migration is performed, the questions of what s left and how has the organization saved money by adding more capabilities and interfaces in establishment of their new CIC might be asked? Well in answering the second part of the question, they more than likely have not realized the savings originally estimated. In their endeavor to implement technology solutions, they probably have irritated customers from automated interfaces, hired additional staff and now spend more time resolving customer requests by having forgotten the business drivers behind the technology solutions. In consideration of the first part of the question of what s left which also addresses the above issue, how about collaboration. If we remember that the foremost rule of any business is that the customer is the lifeblood of the company, the question has to be asked why organizations put brick walls into place that do not serve their customers needs and requests. What many organizations and technology companies have forgotten or are now beginning to infer to support, is that collaboration must occur in the access channel and not just within the CIC. In addition, to achieve the best cost vs. reward ratio for establishment of a CIC and collaborating with the customer in the access channel (or collaborative customer interactions), it requires knowledge of the customer, their current and / or past transactions, rating and value to the company to be considered in definition and implementation of the collaborative customer interaction. Although a range of technologies such as Computer Telephony Integration (CTI), Relationship (CRM), Response Systems (ERMS), Interactive Voice Response (IVR), Multimedia ACD (Automatic Call Distribution) Switches and others, all purport to achieve some or all aspects of collaboration. In actuality, in the majority of instances they are simply providing the routing and / or queuing function for when the customer has determined that the electronic access channel to your organization has not met their needs and they need to speak to a human operator. This is not to suggest that these technologies do not have a place or provide benefit in your customer access or customer relationship strategy. Just that to use them effectively and gain the most business value from their use, they need to be considered within a comprehensive strategy that defines their automated interfaces, integration and that collaboration with the customer in the electronic access channel occurs to ensure that the customers needs are met in conjunction with the cost savings to your organization. In the following sections, Collaborative s are further explained along with how to get the best use out of the aforementioned technology and begin collaborating with your customers in the electronic access channel to achieve greater business value from each interaction, regardless as to if it is a business or retail customer. The overall result of implementing at least the first of the three levels of collaboration, Collaborative Integration, will be industry recognition of an organization viewed for their customer service and at the same time achieving cost savings through more effective use of their resources. In the second level, organizations can expect to see increased sales revenues, as they become more interactive with their customers and customers are automatically guided or assisted in their decision-making within the electronic access channel using historical and real-time data to guide the collaborative interactions. Finally, in the third level, the business attributes and rules developed for customers can be adapted for suppliers to achieve greater value out of business-business interactions. 30 March 2001 Page 3 of 9

4 What are Collaborative s? Today s challenge is to understand your customer s and their increasingly different relationships to your organization, such as a business customer one day, a retail customer the next or a family member of an executive of a large corporate account. This implies a whole of customer view utilizing past contact history, and the intrinsic value it represents in conjunction with their current interactions, applied customer ratings or other data attributes contained in back-office systems that define the entire customer relationship. Terms such as whole of customer view and customer segmentation have been used to describe attributes for interacting with customers in a more focused, personal and business orientated manner, in order to increase sales, reduce costs or improve resource productivity. Recently, Gartner Group has coined the phrases C-Commerce (Collaborative Commerce) and ERP II and Forrester extended Relationship (XRM) that all extend the customer relationship directly into the electronic access channels to define a collaborative customer interaction for both business and retail customers. Although Computer Telephony Integration (CTI), Interactive Voice Response (IVR), Web, Wireless, and Fax all provide an interface to your organization, however Relationship (CRM) and these technologies today do little more than provide an automated interface or capture and delivery mechanism to the Call Center agent. Even when considering electronic CRM systems, these are more marketing driven than service based and may rely on historical data that may be of unknown quality. IVR Relationship Switch Call Center Agent base Synchronisation PSTN PSTN CTI / CI Router Supply Chain System Wireless Internet Internet Messaging Server Enterprise Resource System Fixed Dial-up / xdsl WAP Server Billing / Order Applications Web Server Cable / Satellite Understanding your customer becomes even more complex, as depicted above, when considering the myriad of access points to be supported, quality of service issues and construction of the access point interfaces that commonly leads to different interfaces, levels of information and business rules being created for customer interactions that must be combined together for Collaborative s scenarios. 30 March 2001 Page 4 of 9

5 Collaborative Integration Explained Supply Chain Dialler / Application / Systems Enterprise Resource Billing / Order Applications Wireless Preferred Treatments Collaborative Integration Channel & Enquiry Available Destinations Web IVR Business Preferences Measures Collaborative s CTI / CI Router Relationship Call Center Agent To create an environment for Collaborative s requires a Collaborative Integration platform that can provide a common integration point for all customer electronic access channels, back-end application and data systems, call center operations as well as providing a mechanism for common interface construction, information presentation and utilization of business rules for the required interaction scenarios. Although electronic / traditional CRM and Multimedia ACD Switches have some of these same characteristics, they often lack the real-time data integration, interaction capability and business rule environment for definition and implementation of Collaborative s. An additional capability that can be associated with the Collaborative Integration platform is the capability for the business user themselves to define and select what attributes define the customer relationship for the line of business or enterprise. In addition, what interactions are to be applied and information is to be presented to the customer in a collaborative manner within the electronic access channel or within the call center operations in a customer-agent interaction scenario. Examples of collaborative customer interactions may be: To play different sets of voice prompts for customers using a telephony channel utilizing IVR; Determining how to respond and manage an from a customer enquiring about their personal services (who also happens to be the CEO of a large company doing millions of dollars a year of business with your organization); 30 March 2001 Page 5 of 9

6 Providing real-time reminders and suggestive selling to a customer transacting business with your organization through their mobile device; Automatically processing an information request where a document is to be returned via , fax or postal mail correspondence; preferences and value are taken into consideration when determining appropriate destinations (direct to agent or queue) and treatments (call-back, v-mail) for customer assistance requests. The number of relationships and models of customer interactions are vast and the absolute need to collaborate in real time using data from different sources should be considered critical to your organizations growth and long-term success through not just interacting but collaborating with your customers. Collaborative s can then be further defined as using all the enterprise s information about your customer s, regardless of the data source, in a real-time interactive manner within the access channel. Thus, knowledge of the customer s history, spending habits, value to the organization from different perspectives and customer preferences can all be used, to define how the organization interacts with individual customers within the electronic access channel in a real-time fashion. ABC Manufacturing ABC Manufacturing Autoresponse ERMS Telephone Response ERMS CCI IVR Always Transfer Play: Account Balance Account Transfer Account Transactions Speak to an agent Agent IVR Identify Treatments / Service Play X Y Z Prompt A D A B B F C E G Treatments X Y Z Wait V-Msg Wait V-Msg Mobile Call-back Home Traditional Collaborative Agent As in the diagram above, that examines traditional and collaborative treatments, collaborative interfaces will be more intelligent, more customer friendly and more cost effective and eventually more revenue generating for organizations through common business rules and flexible interfaces. Although a definition tool for cohesive business scenario-based interactions and how the available enterprise customer data attributes are used for customers in a real-time manner across all electronic access channels is required. This capability is beginning to appear in products and can be found in many EAI / Workflow products that can also be used to provide centralization of the business rules for Collaborative s. 30 March 2001 Page 6 of 9

7 Solutions Although many of the platforms and tool technologies used today to enable and conduct customer interactions have a beginning in the Call Center segment of the marketplace, they are quickly evolving to encompass other forms of customer access to the enterprise, such as , Web, Mobility and in some instances the processes associated with business-business interactions. These tools are becoming the focus of what was the traditional call center application environment and enabling applications to be developed for multiple channels and web based information distribution and marketing with back-end application, data systems and either containing or providing integration to CRM systems. These Solutions play and will increasingly play an important role in an organizations Collaborative strategy, serving to support individual or integration of several channels of customer access, specific capabilities in the customer interaction process or assist the sales / service agent with interacting with the customer. These solutions are also being extended through incorporation and / or integration of analytical systems such as On-Line Analytical Processing (OLAP), artificial intelligence / pattern matching technologies, data warehousing and data mining capabilities that enable customer information to be stored, analyzed and retrieved for use as part of the customer interaction. However, as can be seen in the diagram below the mechanisms to enable the data storage are dependent upon extraction applications that store the data in a central repository for the analytical processing engine. The data and information realized out of this procedure can be valuable, but is usually not available when it is needed most as in a real-time customer interaction scenario, thereby requiring a data access and / or copy operation for use upon future customer visits instead. Disparate Solutions Response System Extraction Back-Office Systems Extraction Analytical Processing Engine Internet Marketing System Router Access / Copy for Next Visit Interactive Voice Response Disparate Solutions Therefore, the complete view of the customer is not obtained in a real-time sense where it is needed most; as these are often disparate platforms and technologies that were not designed to work in concert with one another and have their own rules for how to interact with the customer. This creates further difficulties of integration, common presentation, interactions and treatments. 30 March 2001 Page 7 of 9

8 Integrated Solutions What is then required is a means to link together Interactive Voice Response (IVR), Computer Telephony Integration (CTI), Response Systems (ERMS), Predictive Dialers, Relationship (CRM) and other Internet technologies such as web chat, Voice over IP (VoIP) and web collaboration. Further, such an integration platform would also enable real-time storage of data into a Collaborative Repository that would be accessed in a continual real-time manner by an Analytical Processing Engine. This engine would perform its analytical operations and store the results back in the Collaborative Repository, for use in real-time customer interactions as depicted in the diagram below. Collaboration Collaboration Response System Collaborative Repository Back-Office Systems Real-Time Access for Collaboration Internet Marketing System Collaborative Integration Interactive Voice Response Router Analytical Processing Engine Integrated Solutions As depicted above, such an environment provides a seamless integration of all customer access or marketing channels such as Telephony, Wireless and of course Internet and at the same time bring together the enterprise s information and application systems for driving the business rules that make up the Collaborative scenarios. Through the integrated solution approach, there is also the capability to provide either full centralization or distribution of the business rules. In the latter model only the business rules associated with the specific channel are distributed thereby avoiding replication or obsolescing the extensive investment that has been made in the development and deployment of business applications / processes and Centers and enabling the common business rules to be used across all electronic access channels. Therefore the costs savings, customer interface improvements and eventually the revenue benefits originally intended through the establishment of the Center can be finally realized through the Collaborative Integration platform and the associated and defined Collaborative business rules and processes. The add-on benefit that will also be realized is reduced development, dependency and integration costs and time through the reuse of business rules and processes and the integration platform itself, by not having to build each interface in isolation and integrate it to backend application, data or CRM platforms and systems. 30 March 2001 Page 8 of 9

9 Business Process Supplier Marketplace (Web Server) Security Policy Server Content / Personalization Platform Supply Chain Enterprise Resource Planning Portal (Web Server) (Batch) Business- Business Integration Collaborative Enterprise Application Integration Repository Channels Intranet Portal (Web Server) Relationship Real-time / Other Sources Analytical Engine The Collaborative processes (business rules) ensure your customers and prospects get the right treatment and receive the most up to date information, independent of the channel they use to access your organization. Service Agents know when the customer last accessed the Web site, how much they paid using the Bill Pay IVR, when they looked up their account balance using a WAP Phone and which representative spoke to them the last time they rang the Call Center. The Collaborative Integration platform can store this information in one of your existing information resources or use its own Collaborative Repository and therefore enable your organization to begin collaborating and not just interacting with the customer. However, in a business process management scenario that involves interacting with business customers, distributors and / or partners, as described earlier, both Gartner and Forrester have described using Relationship to enhance those interactions. Although this delivers the benefit of dynamic pricing based on loyalty, profile attributes and ordering volume, again there are the issues of real-time analysis and system integration between business-consumer and business-business channels. Although the business rules may be different, many of the same principles apply for collaborating and not just interacting with your using business customers, distributors, partners and suppliers. As seen in the diagram above, the Collaborative Integration platform can be used for both business and retail customer collaborations, supplier and other business-business interaction scenarios with integration of Supply Chain, Enterprise Resource, Relationship and other enterprise data, system and security applications and platforms. Thus, the same benefits as delivered by an integrated Solution can also be applied to Business Process providing cost, development and integration savings in the first level and revenue benefits in the second and third levels of Collaborative s. 30 March 2001 Page 9 of 9

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