Third-party E911 services expand call management tools
In UC news, organizations are deploying third-party E911 services for additional call management capabilities, while Genesys announces a chatbot integration with Amazon.
Organizations are turning to third-party E911 services to gain management capabilities they can't get natively...
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from their IP telephony provider, according to a report from Nemertes Research.
IP telephony providers may offer basic 911 management capabilities, such as tracking phone locations, but organizations may have needs that go beyond phone tracking. The report, sponsored by telecom provider West Corporation, lists the main reasons why organizations would use third-party E911 services.
Some organizations may deploy third-party E911 management for call routing to ensure an individual 911 call is routed to the correct public safety answering point (PSAP). Routing to the correct PSAP is difficult for organizations with remote and mobile workers. But third-party E911 services can offer real-time location tracking of all endpoints and use that information to route to the proper PSAP, according to the report.
Many larger organizations have multivendor environments that may include multiple IP telephony vendors. Third-party E911 services offer a single method of managing location information across endpoints, regardless of the underlying telephony platform.
The report also found third-party E911 management can reduce costs for organizations by automating the initial setup and maintenance of 911 databases in the organization. Third-party E911 services may also support centralized call routing, which could eliminate the need for local PSTN connections at remote sites and reduce the operating and hardware expenses at those sites.
Genesys unveils Amazon integration
Contact center vendor Genesys, based in Daly City, Calif., revealed an Amazon Web Services partnership that integrates AI and Genesys' PureCloud customer engagement platform.
Genesys has integrated PureCloud with Amazon Lex, a service that lets developers build natural language, conversational bots, or chatbots. The integration allows businesses to build and maintain conversational interactive voice response (IVR) flows that route calls more efficiently.
Amazon Lex helps IVR flows better understand natural language by enabling IVR flows to recognize what callers are saying and their intent, which makes it more likely for the call to be directed to the appropriate resource the first time without error.
The chatbot integration also allows organizations to consolidate multiple interactions into a single flow that can be applied over different self-service channels. This reduces the number of call flows that organizations need to maintain and can simplify contact center administration.
The chatbot integration will be available to Genesys customers in 2018.
Conference calls face user, security challenges
A survey of 1,000 professionals found that businesses in the U.S. and U.K. are losing $34 billion due to delays and distractions during conference calls, a significant increase from $16 billion in a 2015 survey.
The survey found employees waste an average of 15 minutes per conference call getting it started and dealing with distractions. More than half of respondents said distractions have a moderate-to-major negative effect on productivity, enthusiasm to participate and the ability to concentrate.
The survey was conducted by remote meetings provider LoopUp and surveyed 1,000 professionals in the U.S. and U.K. who regularly participate in conference calls at organizations ranging from 50 to more than 1,000 employees.
The survey also found certain security challenges with conference calls. Nearly 70% of professionals said it's normal to discuss confidential information over a call, while more than half of respondents said it's normal to not know who is on a call.
Users are also not fully comfortable with video conferencing, according to the survey. Half of respondents said video conferencing is useful for day-to-day calls, but 61% still prefer to use the phone to dial in to conference calls.