28 March 2017

Making sense of the upheaval in the UC market

Written by Christopher Liko, Posted in Unified Communications, Contact Center

As recent events have shown, there is no question that the UC market is in the midst of a rapid transformation. The market’s landscape is changing, as big players exit stage right, and new names come to the forefront. Clearly, the biggest news in the industry is Avaya’s chapter 11 bankruptcy declaration. Don’t forget that only two months before that, Genesys acquired Interactive Intelligence. This same Interactive Intelligence had seen a $41 million decrease in economic earnings over the previous 5 years after moving to the cloud. (Forbes) Earlier in the same year, Aspect Software also filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, emerging quickly and repositioning itself in the market as part of the process. 

Despite this apparent turmoil for some of the longest-standing companies in the industry, the cloud contact center market is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 22.9% by 2022.

So where is this growth coming from? We know that many of the largest players are struggling to maintain pace in the growing cloud sector of the market. 

27 February 2017

Amazon Chime vs Microsoft Skype for Business

Written by Christopher Liko, Posted in Unified Communications

How does Amazon Chime stack up? Chime vs. Skype for Business comparison.

The Challenger

On February 13, Amazon released a new unified communications service named Chime. This product has been in the works since Amazon's purchase of Biba, a meeting solution provider, in late 2016. Chime is hosted on Amazon Web Services, and has been framed as an attempt to compete with Microsoft's Skype for Business. Is Amazon's product truly a competitor? Will we remember this product as the Skype-killer, or will Chime be met with resounding silence? Here is how the two products stack up on the most important 5 metrics:

06 February 2017

Providers in turmoil: futureproofing your contact center

Written by Christopher Liko, Posted in Unified Communications, Contact Center

The technology world is evolving too fast for some companies to keep pace. Contact center solution providers are no exception in this. As companies file for bankruptcy or merge, it becomes apparent who will innovate and who will be left behind. Customers are left wondering if their contact center will be supported next year, next month, or even tomorrow.

A contact center investment is crucial to any business. The worst outcomes are that this key investment reaches end-of-life or end-of-support. Luckily for customers, there are alternatives: a select few solutions are capable of performing a fast, effortless upgrade to a futureproof contact center. With this in mind, let's look at what to avoid and what to look for in a solution provider:

  1. PBX Agnostic Solution: Some organizations cannot upgrade all components of a PBX solution at once, yet some contact center providers don't offer options to integrate with other PBXs. To prevent service interruptions, contact centers require full functionality during the upgrade process. It is crucial to work with a provider offering PBX agnostic compatibility with your current solution, to upgrade one piece at a time.

  2. Innovation: Does your contact center offer social media integration? Does the solution offer hybrid cloud/premises capabilities? What new technologies does your provider enable you to leverage? If the answer to any of these questions is no, the solution is not future-proof. These concepts are here to stay, and you need a provider that offers them now, not as roadmap items.

  3. Homegrown Solution: As companies purchase smaller providers and attempt to integrate multiple solutions, it has become clear that this approach simply doesn't work. Rather than a multi-functional product, it results in independent products masquerading as a unified solution. Find a provider with a homegrown solution to ensure that your products are seamlessly compatible.

  4. Preparation for the Future: Many contact centers cannot upgrade overnight, in 6 months or even in a year. If your supplier won't be around next year, neither will the upgrade. Look for a provider that can see an upgrade through to fruition- at your pace, not theirs.

One final question remains: how does one find a contact center provider with these capabilities? You've come to the right place! ComputerTalk does it all and more- our solutions are endlessly configurable to suit your needs. Contact us today and see how we can help you futureproof your contact center.


25 October 2016

6 Benefits of Incorporating IVR Into Your Customer Service Strategy

Written by Nicole Robinson, Posted in Unified Communications, Contact Center

An IVR (Interactive Voice Response) system is an automated telephony system that interacts with callers. All of us have interacted with one before. You many have used an IVR system to get routed to the correct department or person, receive answers to FAQs, book or cancel appointments, check accounts, or more over the phone. Some IVR systems use speech recognition to allow you to communicate your needs. Below are some common benefits that organizations experience from adding an IVR system to their organization.

6 Benefits

1. Increase customer satisfaction

With an easy to use and reliable IVR, customers are directed to the correct agent or department who can answer their inquires. IVR systems are always available to customers regardless of the time or day. IVR systems can be programed with personalized greetings and queue treatment based on the caller’s number or ID information.

2. Decrease call times

IVR systems answer calls on the first ring. Callers can receive quick and informative answers to their questions such as account information, hours of operation and FAQs. If the IVR is unable to resolve the caller’s problem, the call is directed to the appropriate agent or department to handle their inquiry. The information the caller has provided the IVR is presented to the agent preventing them from repeating themselves.

3. Increase first contact resolution

Calls are routed to the appropriate agent or department that is most qualified to meet the caller’s needs. This reduces the likelihood of the call being transferred.

4. Improve efficiency and productivity

With an IVR directing calls, more calls can be answered simultaneously. Agents are presented with the information callers provided to the IVR system. Agents will be matched with customers in need of their specific expertise. This increases the speed in which they can provide appropriate answers and reduces the likelihood of transferring the customer to another agent. Agents can focus on other tasks or handle more calls as the IVR resolves a portion of the calls.

5. Reduce operational costs

The improved efficiency and productivity from the IVR system will reduce operational costs. IVR auto attendant systems can replace receptionists or a customer service agent who directs calls lowering head count.

Agents are experts within their area of expertise. Since they do not need to be trained on all areas this reduces training costs.

6. Improve company image

Smaller companies can create a larger and more professional image with an IVR system fronting their greeting. At the same time, a larger company can use an IVR system to maintain consistency with their greetings and handle higher call volumes.

These are just a few of the common benefits organizations experience by adding an IVR system. Let us know if you have experienced any of these benefits or other benefits by leaving a message in the comment section below. If you would like more information on IVR benefits or applications message us or request a demo.


28 October 2015

Congratulations Kids Help Phone on the BroTalk Launch!

Posted in Unified Communications, Contact Center, ComputerTalk, Success Stories

ComputerTalk is proud to be the webchat provider for Kids Help Phone, connecting children and teenagers to trained counsellors through the web.

BroTalk is KHP’s new microsite focused on helping teenage guys aged 14-18, who are 31% less likely reach out and discuss mental and emotional issues. When they reach out, usually the situation has escalated. BroTalk provides them with resources and stories so that they can come up with solutions themselves and encourages them to reach out before it escalates to something more serious. The entire site, including the web chat portion, is mobile friendly and services all 10 provinces and 3 territories.

Here are links to BroTalk (English) and BroTalk (French). Videos explaining BroTalk are available here:

02 October 2015

ComputerTalk Brings Contact Center Capabilities to Microsoft Enterprise Cloud Alliance

Posted in Unified Communications, Contact Center, ComputerTalk, Press Release

Toronto, Canada (PRWEB) September 28, 2015

ComputerTalk Technology Inc., a leading provider of enterprise-class Microsoft Skype for Business (formerly Lync) native contact centers, today announced that it has joined the Microsoft Enterprise Cloud Alliance, in order to further deliver powerful cloud and hybrid contact center capabilities to its customers and partners, using the power of Microsoft technologies.

ComputerTalk brings its 28 years of experience delivering contact center solutions and its latest Intelligent Communications Exchange (ice) contact center software to the alliance, providing customers with a multi-channel contact center experience built on the Microsoft unified communications platform.

ComputerTalk’s Director of Sales and Strategic Partnerships, Brandon Viamonte notes, “Being a part of the Enterprise Cloud Alliance not only brings us closer to the Microsoft customer community it will help build awareness to the Microsoft service integrator community and fill a gap in their unified communications strategy for their customers. The pairing of Skype for Business through the Skype Developer Platform and ice allows Microsoft integrators to deliver end to end unified communications and customer service solutions. Our solution is extending customer service beyond just a phone call and using the power of Skype for Business to take it to chat, video, SMS, email and social media making sure enterprises are aligned with the needs of the modern consumer”.

This collaboration with Microsoft reinforces ComputerTalk’s commitment to bringing the most powerful, flexible and feature-rich contact center offering to enterprise customers who are using Skype for Business on-premises or through Microsoft Office 365. The ComputerTalk software can be deployed entirely in the cloud, on-premises or in a hybrid arrangement. These options will make sure the solution fits into any technology roadmap. The ice contact center is native integration through the Skype Developer Platform on the latest version of Skype for Business and also integrates with any legacy PBX, offering customers a smooth transition path to next generation technologies and cloud-based services. According to Mandle Cheung, founder and CEO of ComputerTalk, “The cloud model and the Microsoft technology platform allows us to quickly deliver powerful, flexible and security-enhanced PCI-compliant contact center services to customers of all sizes, across all industries and all levels of government. Joining the Microsoft Cloud Alliance demonstrates ComputerTalk’s ongoing commitment in providing our customers with the best of the best.”

The ice contact center is an all-in-one platform that solves business challenges faced by organizations of all sizes and levels of complexity. The ComputerTalk solution unleashes the power of Microsoft Enterprise Voice integrated with the Office365 suite of products and Dynamics. It provides detailed analytics, sophisticated real time monitoring, recording, and in-depth historical reporting, enabling decision makers to create and execute strategies that will fulfill business goals and customer needs.

The ice contact center product has passed the Lync ISV Qualification Program, demonstrating compliance with enterprise-grade industry standards and the ability to work as an integrated Skype for Business native application. The ComputerTalk contact center cloud offering is Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI-DSS) compliant, offering unparalleled security for credit card information processing.

“We are excited that ComputerTalk is providing customers an enterprise-class, security-enhanced contact center option that uses the power of the cloud and Microsoft technologies of Skype for Business, SQL and Windows servers. Increasingly we are seeing customers ask for this type of solution,” said Chris Lwanga, Principal Product Manager, Microsoft.

To learn more about how ComputerTalk products work with different Microsoft technologies, please visit: http://www.computer-talk.com.

About ComputerTalk:

ComputerTalk helps organizations deliver excellent customer experiences across every communications channel. Our solutions improve contact center productivity and integrate the contact center with the applications that businesses rely on to more effectively leverage their knowledge workers. Our contact center solution is an ACD and Speech IVR powered by an application designer tool. This tool empowers organizations to build custom applications that transform the way they interact with customers.

ComputerTalk, founded in 1987, is headquartered in Richmond Hill, Canada is a global provider of enterprise-class contact center products, cloud hosting services and advanced IVR applications. ComputerTalk is a Microsoft Online Service Advisor with Gold Application Development and Gold Communications competencies.