Cisco Contact Center Gets Shot In The Arm With Voicea, CloudCherry AI Integrations

The Cisco Contact Center Portfolio is benefiting from brand-new AI and customer experience capabilities from the two companies the giant acquired last year; CloudCherry and Voicea.


Cisco is making use of its two collaboration buys last year with the unveiling of new integrations and features to its contact center portfolio at Cisco Live EMEA on Tuesday.

Cisco in August announced plans to acquire meeting and voice specialist Voicea. The privately-held startup, which was founded in 2016, became part of Cisco in September and the deal introduced more AI into Cisco's collaboration portfolio, which offered basic transcription services before the Voicea purchase.

The San Jose, Calif.-based tech giant also in August acquired one of its portfolio companies: privately-held Customer Experience Management (CEM) firm CloudCherry. The deal gave Cisco's contact center portfolio more predictive analytics and customer journey mapping capabilities, Cisco said.

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[Related: 'No More Islands' Across Cisco Collaboration Portfolio, Tech Giant Says]

The newly-branded WebEx Experience Management platform, formerly CloudCherry's platform, gives contact center agents real-time visibility into customer sentiment so they can change the experience, Cisco said. The platform helps to remove "data siloes" that often prevent agents from having all the information they need to best serve end customers or understand how the customer is experiencing the system. It can also identify “at risk” customers so businesses can be more proactive in serving them better, Cisco said.

Cisco is shipping an integrated version of WebEx Experience Management platform within its contact center solutions, as well a standalone version of the platform, Omar Tawakol, former CEO of Voicea and vice president and general manager of Cisco's Contact Center Business, told CRN.

"We're allowing [businesses] to understand how people are reacting to your products, and give them the analytics to decide why your [Net promoter Score] is what it is and what can be changed," Tawakol said.

Along with Voicea, Cisco is teaming up with Google to infuse more AI into its contact center portfolio to improve the user experience. Specifically, Voicea's technology provides a call transcript and summary as a wrap-up for call center agents to that any action items are addressed. Call highlights can also synched to a customer's existing CRM solution, Cisco said. With Google, Cisco is pairing its own contact center technology with Google's Contact Center AI (CCAI) and speech capabilities, including conversational IVR, chatbots and agent assist. The combination will help reduce average call times and customer satisfaction, according to Cisco.

These updates will be available on WebEx Contact Center Enterprise, Cisco's cloud-based contact center offering for larger customers that will be made generally available in February.

Tawakol said there has been a lot of demand from channel partners for a contact center solution for larger enterprise customers. "There's a significant pipeline for this," he said. "When you're building a product and you're not crisp about the end buyers, you can end up trying to satisfy too many people. That's why we have two separate offerings and we can optimize our features different for WebEx Contact Center than what we are doing for WebEx Contact Center Enterprise," he said.

Cisco contact center software is used by more than three million agents across more than 30,000 enterprises worldwide, according to the company.

Cisco also took to the event to reveal updates to WebEx Meetings. Specifically, it introduced Cisco Webex Assistant for Webex Meetings, powered by Voicea technology. The company said that WebEx Assistant will also soon be available in Spanish. Cisco also unveiled Cisco WebEx Room USB, an option for smaller organizations looking for an entry-level video device for smaller spaces.