IBM’s Sametime to be First Passenger Aboard Genesys’ UC Connect Initiative

Alcatel-Lucent-owned contact center solutions provider Genesys’ Customer Interaction Management (CIM) is ready for integration with IBM’s Sametime unified communications (UC) suite.

The announcement is part of Genesys’ UC Connect initiative, which is expected to see further direct integrations of CIM with other “major UC providers.” They are described as being “in process,” but IBM is the first to announce, according to Genesys.

The integrated Genesys/IBM solution will allow users to field and assist customer service interactions using the Sametime interface, rendering the new system familiar to longtime IBM UC users. It also provides for capabilities like screen pop/interaction preview, call control, and case status tracking through updates to call/context attached data, and preserves the quality of Voice over Internet Protocol. The solution also allows for call routing directly to back and branch office workers during seasonal and unforeseen traffic spikes, as well as when there are high-value customer contact opportunities.

David Radoff, director of public and analyst relations, claims that the solution has good return on investment, particularly in a recessionary economy. As enterprises are looking to boost productivity, cut manpower, and cut the number of steps necessary to resolve customer inquiries, CIM can meet those needs.

“As one of the very early players in UC, [IBM] has a significant base of UC seats,” says Radoff. “Now the [application programming interaces] let them go to market with that. It gives them the opportunity to go in and offer something relatively unique in customer service settings.”

Genesys is also hoping that its partnership with IBM will be a two-way street; that as IBM sells its own UC, it will be evangelizing Genesys’ service capabilities to both customers and competitors.

One interesting note about this announcement is that Alcatel-Lucent, Genesys’ parent company, is also a UC provider—often in competition with IBM.

“We’ve had the great advantage of being able to brand independently and take a very non-denominational approach,” says Radoff of Genesys’ relationship with its parent.

He explains that Genesys’ strength comes from being a provider that unites hardware and software from a number of different vendors. Alcatel-Lucent understands that and does not force it to provide solutions solely in-house. If that were the case, Genesys would look more like an Avaya or a Nortel [Networks] or a Cisco [Systems], says Radoff.

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