Nortel Releases Enterprise Contact Center Solutions

Nortel is unleashing a host of new contact center products and services arming today's businesses with the most advanced capabilities available. Heading up the new offering is Contact Center 7.0, followed by enhancements to Nortel's interactive voice response solution, the Interactive Communications Portal (ICP) and added functionality to the company's Agile Communication Environment (ACE) platform. 

Contact Center 7.0 is a native Session Initiation Protocol-based solution with tightly integrated unified communications (UC) capabilities and hundreds of new features, including integration with Microsoft Office Communications Server (OCS) 2007. 

Key features of Contact Center 7.0 include:

  • Open Interfaces - In addition to the openness delivered by SIP, Contact Center 7.0 provides open application programming interfaces using a services-oriented architecture (SOA), which enables integration of the contact center into a company's business applications and processes. With Web service interfaces for queuing, computer-telephony integration (CTI), and database integration, a business can automate workflow between front- and back-office applications to remove manual processes.
  • UC in the Contact Center - With Contact Center 7.0 and Microsoft OCS integration, customers can interact with a business using various modes of communication. This integration provides a single, unified agent desktop interface for inbound/outbound voice, email, Web chat, and instant messaging. For example, Contact Center 7.0 can intelligently route customer contacts to available experts using SIP-based presence. Agents can also use presence to quickly determine which of their experts is available to help with a customer request, enabling first-contact resolution.
  • Predictive Outbound Dialing - Typically provided as a separate application, Nortel has fully integrated this technology within Contact Center 7.0 to improve the efficiency of agents by allowing the system to intelligently predict when an agent will become available and place an outbound call to coincide with her availability. And, because it is integrated with Contact Center 7.0, reporting and management are seamless.
  • Service Creation Environment (SCE) - Contact Center 7.0 also features a graphical 'drag and drop' tool that takes the work out of contact center and self-service workflow creation. With SCE, the workflow orchestration between different applications uses open, Web services interfaces, which reduces the cost and speed of deployment. Nortel estimates use of this tool to be five times faster than traditional workflow creation methods.
  • Services - Contact Center 7.0 solution is complemented by an enhanced set of new services, including consulting and design; development and customization; implementation and integration; manage and maintenance; and optimization services.

In addition to the Contact Center 7.0 solution, Nortel is also improving its ICP offering with Feature Pack 1. Enhancements include outbound detection for discerning between a person and an answering machine; co-residence of the Nuance speech server, eliminating the need for a separate server; and extension of SIP CTI interworking to support Avaya AES.

"To call a new product next-gen has become cliche, but Nortel has truly put its Interactive Communications Portal in a class by itself in terms of innovative design, openness, interoperability standards support and ease-of-use," said Joe Outlaw, principal contact center analyst, Frost & Sullivan. "Long-time market leader Nortel demonstrates with ICP, it is committed to bringing leading solutions to the market."

Nortel also continues to pursue an open application environment adding the following functionality as part of ACE Release 1.2:

  • increased support of Microsoft OCS 2007 for enhanced presence capabilities (e.g. telephony presence) across heterogeneous PBX environments;
  • integration with IBM Lotus Sametime Client 8.0.1 for click-to-conference and enhanced presence capabilities; and
  • services for application customization, prototyping, and custom application development.

"More and more businesses are discovering that having the ability to automate services and processes, while having multiple channels of communication available, can improve efficiencies, lower operating costs, and build customer loyalty," said Joel Hackney, president, Enterprise Solutions, Nortel."UC-enablement is clearly the path forward and we've provided a simple roadway for our customers to reach this goal."

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