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The Steely Dan Contact Center: When “Do It Again” Isn’t a Hit

In 1973, the group Steely Dan burst onto the music scene with two hits from their first album “Can’t Buy A Thrill.” Setting the standard for obscure lyrical references, a loyal following for the band endures even in 2015.

One of the hits, Do It Again raced up the charts as a pop-music rarity – a hit song in a minor key. Most Steely Dan fans have concluded that it’s about a gambler that must return to the tables. For a vintage rendition of the song, check out this link:

I had a recent experience that highlights just how much Do It Again resides in today’s contact centers. After being unable to locate the answer to my question on their web site, I engaged a long-time financial-service provider supplier for live help. Read More »

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Cisco CMX @ CES 2014

internationalces14This week CES was once again held in Las Vegas with in excess of 100,000 people in attendance.

Cisco demonstrated a number of CMX and IoT related things this week.

Firstly “The Internet of Everything:  On The Go”

In the Cisco booth some future thinking was applied with a concept that imagines the shopping experience with a simulated retail environment:  “BigBox.” While shopping at BigBox, visitors can walk through a combination of experiences involving location-based data, video, predictive analytics, security cameras, and sensors – designed to help retailers enrich the shopping trip for their customers, and more efficiently manage their stores.

Somewhat scary for some and exciting for others, while all the time enabling retailer increase their bottom line and deliver improved and personalized shopping experience to the consumers.

The next demo “Starlight Resort” was a combination of CMX, and Small Cell capabilities in the hotel resort environment. Read More »

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New Study Shows Value of Internet on Retail

For that last few years, Cisco has been watching the impact of the Internet on transforming the retail industry. As more people, processes and things are connecting to the Internet, retailers can capture more data to better predict when and where consumers will want to buy and capture more revenues.

Today, Cisco released Internet of Everything research that equates to $81 billion globally in 2013. But this represents only 45% of the opportunity that could be gained by the Internet of Everything. Retailers could have realized an additional $99 billion this year if they were more connected across their operations.  The good news is that retail IT executives are confident that can capture this value.  On average, retail IT executives rated their ability to capture Internet of Everything at 7.2, on a scale of 1 to 10.

Read More »

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Cisco in the Contact Center Business: Reflecting Back and Looking Ahead

With Cisco recently closing our fiscal year, I naturally started to reflect on the past year in our contact center business, and on our history in this market.  Since Cisco entered the contact center market in 1999, the industry has changed in countless ways.  We’ve seen technologies come and go.  We’ve seen an explosion in the number of channels customers use to connect with companies.  We’ve seen the mobile device become the primary entry point to many contact centers—regardless of channel.  And we’ve seen start-ups, new business models, consolidations, and divestitures.

With all of these changes and inflection points over the last decade or so, Cisco has been able to make its mark in the contact center industry.  We’ve grown steadily over the last several years.  In fact, Cisco became one of the top three Contact Center vendors after only five years in the market. As we’ve continued to grow and lead in this industry, we have shipped nearly 3 million Contact Center agent seats, providing the front line personnel with the resources needed to maintain relationships with customers. Cisco shipped 900,000 seats in just the past two years – and the impact that Cisco contact center solutions are making on the level of customer care offered by businesses of all sizes shows no signs of slowing down!

Today, universities fielding more than 25,000 student calls daily, financial institutions using 10,000 customer service agents to answer customer calls and inquiries, and countless other businesses rely on Cisco’s leading Contact Center technology to provide outstanding service and easily manage customer relationships to improve business.

On average, more than 2,600 businesses Read More »

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Mercedes Improves Customer Service Through Video

Have you ever put your car in for service and it came back with a ‘door-ding’, or some other damage? Now, to be clear you probably can’t be 100% sure it didn’t happen in a car parking lot, or was it kids being too rough with there toys?  And where did that scratch come from on your newly delivered car – was it already there? Who knows?

Well, if you were dealing with Mercedes-Benz Czech Republic (MBCR), you might find out!  Located in Prague, MBCR employs 400 people, and sells, services and supports Mercedes-Benz vehicles throughout the Czech Republic.

Mercedes Reference

Mercedes success story – click picture to view pdf on Cisco Case Studies  Slideshare site

The subsidiary was eager to maintain its excellent standard of service. One issue that was a constant source of customer complaints was vehicle damage. Customers were sometimes wrongly accused of damaging cars when the cars had been scratched or dented in transit. Damages could  also occur in the showroom or repair center and be wrongly ascribed to customers. MBCR had an analogue camera system in place to cover these incidents, but the pictures that it produced were of poor quality. In many cases, identification of number plates and faces was not possible. Administrators also could not easily locate the footage that they needed, and recordings only stretched back two days.

After investigating various offerings, MBCR decided to select a Cisco® closed-circuit TV (CCTV) over IP solution from its trusted service partner Clarystone.  Capable of monitoring multiple sites from a single location, the security solution allows administrators to:

  • Access live video anywhere over the Internet
  • Locate specific dates, times, or incidents in video archives in seconds
  • Cost-effectively add new cameras and video storage

Exterior cameras film cars being loaded into the showrooms and record details of every number plate. If a vehicleMercedes Quote is scratched in transit, the cameras record the incident. This arrangement helps ensure that customers are not wrongly blamed for the damage. Interior cameras film the reception, showroom, and repair center areas. Any accidents or incidents involving theft or vandalism are instantly captured. Customers who leave their vehicles for servicing or repair can rest assured that they are now covered for any loss or damage.

miklemenI asked Michael Klemen – Cisco Executive Automotive Manager in Europe (EMEAR) where video was going in the automotive industry and he said:

“New digital tactics are becoming more important to the auto industry in all areas,. As this matures the appetite for video content is growing at an insatiable rate: Show it, see it while being connected is important – digital dashboards, I-Services Kiosks, configuration & visualization from Car Design to Sales, After Sales services is what everyone builds into the value chain today !”

Read More »

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