The Lync Between Customers and Contact Centers


The Lync Between Customers and Contact Centers

By Erik Linask, Group Editorial Director  |  March 18, 2014

In a crowded unified communications market, no solution seems to be gaining ground as quickly as Microsoft (News - Alert) Lync. Despite effectively failing with Lync’s predecessor, OCS, what Microsoft’s initial foray into UC proved was its market power. In fact, nearly every communications vendor at the time quickly announced support for OCS, and also for Lync when it was announced.

Where Lync has truly shined is in its success in growing a complete ecosystem, simplifying the migration process for businesses moving from traditional to IP communications – that includes the contact center, where UC is becoming a true differentiating technology.

The ecosystem that has developed around Lync is well suited for supporting the idea of a truly unified enterprise, including customer service organizations and staff because it includes support for contact center software, IVR systems, call recording, auto-attendants, and other customer-facing or

-influencing technologies.

The real strength of unified communications lies in its ability to drive higher levels of interactions and collaboration within the enterprise by unifying different constituencies within that environment to drive business processes. Those constituencies include everyone from sales to marketing, to customer service, to service techs, to management, and anyone else who has a role to play in the customer relationship – and that includes the customer.

So, before making a decision on unified communications, you have to start with looking at your customer behavior. Regardless of whether you’re a B2B or B2C operation, follow customer activities through your organization to determine which UC elements or features are going to be most influential to each internal constituency in driving customer satisfaction. Start with an understanding of which modalities are in play in different customer interactions. That might include in-person communication, phone, IM or e-mail, and social media – possibly even video.  Increasingly, the answer is going to be all of the above, which naturally leads to an understanding of which UC features each group or individual is going to require.

This is where the Lync community excels with its ecosystem of partners, products, and services, all proven interoperable with and verified by Microsoft. Not only does Lync offer a full UC platform, but its partner ecosystem delivers all the hardware and software you need for a full unified communications implementation across your enterprise, including the contact center.

From gateways and SBCs to IP phones and branch office survivability, from Lync applications to professional tools and services, Microsoft’s ecosystem makes available everything a business needs for its Lync Migration. In fact, AudioCodes (News - Alert), traditionally best known for its gateways, has taken the Lync ecosystem concept to a new level with its One Voice for Microsoft Lync portfolio of products, which effectively offers businesses a one-stop shop for all their voice network elements to easily implement Lync. In fact, there is a strong selection of contact center solutions that are both Lync and AudioCodes partners, further simplifying the Lync migration path for contact centers.

The true benefits of this growing ecosystem of technologies is that the promise of UC, the promise of increased efficiency, the promise of enhanced customer care – all of which contribute to greater levels of customer satisfaction and loyalty – can be implemented much more quickly than previously, with the comfort of knowing they will just work, allowing users to immediately begin leveraging the new features and capabilities to more effectively interact with customers and colleagues.

Edited by Stefania Viscusi
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