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Guest Blog by Lori Bocklund, President at Strategic Contact
A true cloud contact center technology solution built with an Application Programming Interface (API) provides game-changing possibilities. Gone is the binary choice of “buy versus build” that locked centers into frustrating limitations. Now, buyers can have the best of all worlds. They can:
The New Choice for Robust, Agile Solutions
Centers are no longer call centers; they’re contact centers operating in an omnichannel world. They handle a growing array of contacts that go well beyond phone calls and include email, chat, text/SMS, social media, and more. They create and tap a wealth of data and information in the handling of each customer interaction and use artificial intelligence (AI) to uncover actionable insights. And they need robust performance management capabilities that ensure a great customer experience and employee engagement.
In short, contact centers must move fast, with agility at the micro level for handling each contact and at the macro level to respond to new business needs and market trends.
The market has responded to these high demands, leveraging new technology and new thinking to relegate the binary choice between buy or build to a historical footnote. New architectures and sourcing strategies have changed the game – and thus the choices and opportunities. With an API-first cloud architecture, development and customization can move at a rapid pace.
Bought functionality serves centers that need solutions quickly and may not have ready access to IT support. These capabilities evolve rapidly with frequent and non-disruptive changes and additions. A user may receive “upgrades” or new features overnight with little fanfare but much to celebrate as they never again fall behind on versions or releases and can continuously improve operations.
Extensions enable centers to leverage third-party systems and applications. For example, they can integrate their cloud-based contact center technology solution with their CRM system, and have a choice of UI, embedding in the CRM system or providing a link into the CRM. Someone with an existing workforce management or quality management solution could continue to use it indefinitely or until they are ready to transition to another solution – from the vendor through its suite, through a partner, or even a built solution! Integration comes at a low level of effort for IT and the users, and no resistance from the vendor or their partners. In fact, vendor partners may contribute to the extensions through a variety of add-on packages that fill gaps and enhance service delivery.
Built functionality serves centers with unique needs (“we’re different!”) and the technical resources to accommodate them. APIs provide the environment to develop and deploy “custom” capabilities rapidly. Contact centers aren’t constrained to a lengthy holding pattern waiting for features or updates, and they don’t have to break the bank getting — or sustaining — them.
Flexibility as the Hallmark of API-Based Cloud Solutions
This new world is fluid, not constraining or rigid. A company can move between options as the business needs or requirements change, new capabilities are added and partners emerge. Best of all, an API-based platform can meet the needs today while retaining the agility to address new needs that arise tomorrow.
Learn more about embracing an API-based contact center cloud solution at the upcoming webinar, “The power of possibilities: Buy, extend and build on a true cloud platform,” on July 17th at 2 PM ET.
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