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Software Defined Contact Center

If you are a technology professional, then chances are that you are aware (maybe to the point of annoyance) that everything is getting defined in software these days. We have Software-Defined Networking (SDN), Software-Defined Data Center (SDDC), Software-Defined Storage (SDS), and the list goes on and on. Software defining anything has become such a powerful trend that we now have a generally accepted name and acronym for just that: “Software-Defined Anything” or SDx for short.

Despite the widespread nature of the trend, Software-Defined Contact Center (SDCC) is nowhere to be found amongst the Software-Defined goodness that floods our social media feeds on a daily basis. Software-Defined Contact Center is so absent from the online world that if you search Google for the term you get only articles that reference Software-Defined Data Center, seemly because 3 out of the 4 words are common to both. If you search for the #SDCC hash tag on Twitter you will find yourself at the official account of the San Diego Comic Con. This raises the question, why isn’t SDCC “a thing?” This question is particularly relevant since Cisco’s Intelligent Contact Management (ICM) has been allowing us to build Software-Defined Contact Centers since the late 1990s. Let’s take a look at how ICM delivers on the Software-Defined paradigm for Contact Centers. Read More »

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Lessons Learned from Upgrading Key Contact Center Systems

As described in my contact center upgrade post, Cisco recently upgraded the Cisco Unified Intelligent Contact Management Enterprise (ICME) and Cisco Unified Communications Manager (UCM) systems that serve our contact centers to software Release 8.

Here are the top lessons we learned from this activity and the recommendations I would offer to Cisco customers who are planning a similar upgrade.

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Upgrading the Call Routing Systems for Contact Centers

Cisco maintains a dedicated infrastructure of call systems to serve the company’s 110 contact centers worldwide. Our infrastructure includes two Cisco Unified Intelligent Contact Management Enterprise (ICME) systems for global call routing and six Cisco Unified Communications Manager (UCM) systems for call handling within a region or a strategic company location.  

We have a lot of different contact center teams and, over the years, we weren’t consistent in the way we upgraded the Cisco UCM software at each of the sites, which led to several problems:

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