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Intermedia Combines Enhanced Contact Center Functionality Into Unite UCaaS Offering

Intermedia is targeting SMBs with customer-facing employees who can use contact center capabilities to step up their customer service game.

Intermedia Cloud Communications has developed a new release of its Intermedia Unite unified communications-as-a-service platform that incorporates capabilities from the company’s contact center-as-a-service application.

The move is particularly targeted toward small and mid-size businesses that, while not having full-on contact center operations, have customer-facing employees who can benefit from traditional contact center functionality.

“What we’re really seeing, especially in the small and mid-size [business] space, is that there is a growing need for these features that you would associate with a contact center, but wouldn’t normally require a contact center application,” said Mark Sher, Intermedia senior vice president of product marketing, in an interview with CRN.

[Related: One Communications Platform Best In A Hybrid World, Says Intermedia ]

Unite, Intermedia’s cloud-based flagship communications and collaboration software, provides a raft of communications and collaboration functions including voice, video conferencing, team chat, file sharing and backup, call routing, contact directories and more.

Intermedia Contact Center, meanwhile, provides cloud-based capabilities for interactive voice response, webchat, omni-channel routing, and agent scheduling and quality assurance, among others. While Intermedia has previously added some contact center features to its UCaaS offering, such as call queuing, contact center agents have required a separate application to get the full contact center capabilities.

The new Unite release combines UCaaS and contact center functionality into one platform, Sher said, in an offering that simplifies employee and customer communications.

“Now we’ve taken that agent experience and built it into the Unite experience,” Sher said. “For those customer-facing people, all they need to do is hit an extra button to get all those contact features. You can do your job as a customer-facing company better when you have the whole organization behind you. It’s simply a matter of giving people the tools they need to do their job.”

Sher cited the example of a veterinary clinic, a small business that wouldn’t normally use contact center applications but has customer-facing people who can use contact center capabilities such as chat functionality to reach out to others within the organization when they need help with customer calls.

Businesses can also manage call volume and monitor call quality with the new capabilities in Unite. During times of high call volume additional employees can serve as call agents using the Unite system.

Intermedia said the new release also simplifies administration with a single interface for adding and managing users

With many employees working from home today the Unite application supports hybrid work environments, Sher noted, and provides desktop and mobile device applications.

“By adding enhanced contact center capabilities to Intermedia Unite, we are enabling customer-facing teams to seamlessly engage without having to switch between siloed application,” said Intermedia CEO Michael Gold in a statement.

“Because Intermedia owns the entire UCaaS CCaaS stack, we are able to deliver tighter feature integration as well as greater control over quality of service and solution performance. We will continue to develop the products that businesses want, and partners want to sell, and are excited to introduce the latest version of Unite, all as part of our mission to help businesses work better from wherever work happens,” Gold said.

Intermedia will continue to offer Intermedia Contact Center as a standalone product. Customers that have both products can add the new agent capabilities to their Unite system at no additional charge.

The new Unite release creates opportunities for Intermedia’s more than 7,000 solution provider partners who can offer SMB customers contact center tools traditionally used by bigger companies, Sher said. “It opens up the conversation more broadly. A lot of these contact center-type features can help almost any business.”

Intermedia initially acquired its contact center technology when it bought Telex in 2019 and began linking the contact center software to its UCaaS offerings.

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