April 4, 2013

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The importance of Who, When, What and Why in Unified Communications

In the recent past, Unified Communications was a buzzword and all the biggies like CISCO, Avaya, NEC and Polycom were tossing it as double-sided, win-win for new opportunities, new business streams and lines of business. From then to now, they have come up with rich UC solutions suites such as CISCO UCCE, UCCM, Unified Intelligent Center, Unified Customer Voice Portal, Avaya Aura, Avaya Aura Virtualized environment, Avaya Aura Conferencing, etc., and many more. They have showcased many successful case studies and helped customers transform their businesses.

Unified communication technologies have been widely adopted by enterprises, contact centers, public and government  bodies. The wide adoption was driven by factors such as employee productivity, profit margins and efficient business processes, thus increasing customer satisfaction. The product/solution selection for unified communication deployment was vetted on the basis of reduced total cost of ownership in an on-premise kind of deployment. With the evolution of UC into the cloud, the focus has shifted to total cost of usefulness (TCU) because TCO is inherently taken care of. To be able to decide TCU, the enterprises need to know who in their company is using UC, for what purpose, and when they use it. Apart from that, in self-service kinds of applications, who are the customers and other contacts involved? Also, the BYOD is quite prevalent and driving the emergence of a complex communication matrix. All sorts of UC communications, be they multimodal or trans-modal, are generating huge volumes of data at a rapid pace, and that includes unstructured data such as pictures, images, video streams, etc. Enterprises need to know what UC features and services are important so they can acquire a better package and offering from the cloud UC service provider. UC analytics solutions can help enterprises obtain deeper insight into unified communications and provide a slice and dice view of their enterprise communication data.

Most successful businesses know that to remain competitive, they need to not only focus on the product and services but also smartly manage “the customer experience.” In today’s world (many term it as world 2.0), the young generation is spending significant time on social media and mobile. They are more accustomed to using text/IM/chat as opposed to voice calls. Their experiences about any products or services go viral on social media. Companies need to focus and ensure a better customer experience by gaining more insight into customer behavior, predicting customer’s behavior and offering more personalized services/products. UC analytics help create a 360-degree view of UC data analysis, from the contact center to the back office to branch remote locations. It adds an analytical dimension that enables more effective use of resources to address customer demands. UC analytics can help with:

  • More useful information which is hidden beneath the surface
  • Sophisticated and multidimensional historical trending and drill-down reporting
  • Time-slice analysis
  • Predictive analysis for customer behavior and service assurance
  • UC performance analysis
  • Critical issues debugging and root causal analysis
  • Resource utilization
  • Customer satisfaction and loyalty

Multi-modal trans-modal communications, self-service applications and CEBP are generating complex and huge sets of data. The analysis and management of this data requires nontraditional tools and techniques. The BIG-Data and analysis tools and techniques such as map-reduce, Hadoop, columnar DB, HBase, OLAP, etc.,  will be widely adopted in UC analytics solutions. Also, due to varying deployments of UC solutions, the one-analytics-solution-fits-all approach will not fly. System integrators and solutions providers like HCL can play a major role in providing customized solutions as needed. The existing products need to be enabled to cater to BIG Data management and facilitate the UC analytics. HCL’s in-depth product engineering expertise in unified communication can help enterprises and contact center customers enhance their current solutions and equip themselves with UC analytics solutions.

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