Call Centers

Verizon to Introduce Hosted Contact Center App

Verizon Business is targeting the small to mid-sized market with the introduction this month of IP Web Center, a hosted contact center application.

It is providing this functionality by adding Internet protocol capability to its Verizon Web Center service.

This means that Verizon Web Center and Verizon Voice over IP now share the same network infrastructure and customer premises equipment, thus allowing Verizon Business to roll out IP telephony services to users, including IP Web Center, Hosted IP Centrex, IP Integrated Access, IP Flexible T-1 and IP Trunking.

In practical terms, all that is required for the SMB user to access IP Web Center is a phone and a broadband connection.

Driving Trend

It is little surprise that Verizon is pushing Voice over Internet Protocol into its contact center offering, Jon Arnold, principal of J Arnold & Associates, told CRM Buyer. “Contact centers are one of the key applications in the enterprise market for VoIP. It can deliver significant economies of scale and other advantages in that sort of environment — a high concentration of agents.” It also facilitates remote agent operations, he added.

Currently, the focus among service providers is the SMB market, he continued, specifically offering hosted contact center functionality. “Offering it on an on-demand basis enables the small company to have contact center capabilities that are on par with a much larger company,” he said. “All the company has to do is provide the agents — remote agents if it wants — and service providers like Verizon do the rest.”

“Verizon Business is marrying its IP and contact center services expertise to deliver one of the industry’s first end-to-end IP contact center solutions,” said Nancy Gofus, vice president of product management, Verizon Business.

“By combining the power of Verizon Web Center with our Verizon Voice over IP suite of services, businesses can reap the benefits of VoIP across their entire enterprise operations, and achieve new capabilities and cost savings afforded by IP Telephony,” she claimed.

Enhancing Web Center

Verizon Business has also introduced new enhancements to its Web Center: Overflow capabilities, guest supervisors, whisper announcements — that is, pre-announced caller information — and improved statistical data allow users to better develop business rules and routing strategies.

Customer service agents are also able to personalize their voicemail greetings. They can obtain more information about a customer’s history and better supervise call transfers.

New call control screening, virtual network computing and guest access allow contact center supervisors to better manage agents.

Verizon Business has also expanded its pricing options to let customers pay for IP-enabled Web Center services as they go.

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