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Article : Answering Services: Getting Over the Hump

Content Developer and Marketer
Clutch
Add Contact

#contactcenterworld, @clutch_co

Grayson Kemper, Content Developer and Marketer for Clutch, examines the history of answering services and where it might be headed in the future in the following article.


Looking back twenty or thirty years, most industries would barely recognize themselves. Advancements in technology over that span (small things like development of the internet) have fundamentally transformed nearly every aspect of the industrial makeup of our economy.

For the answering services industry, though, the differences would be lost on many. In the 80's and 90's, automated phone answering services defined the answering services industry. According to research from Clutch, a B2B research firm, that paradigm has yet to change. Over half of businesses today that use answering services still employ some form of automated answering service, whether it be an auto attendant, interactive voice response, or traditional voicemail system.

While there have been significant developments in telephonic technology, like PBX and VOiP, which leverage internet connectivity to provide phone and voice-over services, these softwares do not necessarily qualify as answering services.

That’s also not to say there have been no advancements in the industry over that time. New and innovative services have emerged, like live virtual receptionists and internet-platform answering services, and have made significant headway in the answering services market. Internet-platform services in particular, provide software to manage digital communications, including email, social media, and live chat. However, each of these forms of service are only used by about 25% of businesses that use answering services.

Part of the reason why more traditional forms of answering services still dominate the market actually has a technical basis. Eric Schurke, Director of Operations for VoiceNation, explains how many answering service providers are essentially boxed in to only providing their current suite of offerings, thus the majority of offerings on the market remain a form of automated service.



"There’s about 3 or 4 major providers of live answering service software. It’s a 6 figure startup cost - anywhere between $100,000 and $200,000 just for maybe 10 licenses," Schurke said. "So now you’ve got these answering services that are financially committed and have a mortgage to these companies for their licenses."

These massive licensing fees, act as a sort of internal barrier to entry in which providers cannot afford to develop or contract more technically innovative platforms, from which they could provide or develop a more innovative suite of services. Faced with barriers such as these, companies like VoiceNation have developed their own software platform before entering the live-answering market market. While this maneuver requires a hefty initial investment, the long-term flexibility it provides a roadmap for future success and much more flexibility to adapt to a changing communications and technological landscape.

If more providers follow this sort of model, or find other means to innovate within the answering services ecosystem, it is doubtful that we find ourselves in the same position as we are now in twenty or thirty years.

#contactcenterworld, @clutch_co


About Grayson Kemper:
Grayson Kemper is a Content Developer and Marketer for Clutch. He focuses on telecom and enterprise mobility solutions.

About Clutch:
Company LogoClutch is a B2B research and review firm for SMBs. Based in the heart of Washington, DC, Clutch provides a platform where buyers of technology services can compare and review vendors for their specific area of need.
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Today's Tip of the Day - Select The Right Application

Read today's tip or listen to it on podcast.

Published: Monday, March 13, 2017

Printer Friendly Version Printer friendly version

2022 Buyers Guide Computer Telephony Integration

 
1.) 
Premium Listing
Call Center Studio

Call Center Studio
Call Center Studio is the world’s first call center built on Google and is one of the most secure and stable systems with some of the industry’s best reporting. It is one of the most full-featured enterprise grade systems (with the most calling features, one of the best call distribution, outbound dialing features and integrations—including IVR, AI Speech Recognition, blended inbound/outbound calling and includes Google’s new Dialogflow and Speech API. Call Center Studio is the absolute easiest to use (with a 10 minute setup), and is the price performance leader with lower equipment cost and less setup time.


2.) 
AMC Technology

DaVinci
DaVinci provides Computer Telephony Integration (CTI) to a library of pre-built applications + UXiPaaS (User Experience Integration Platform as a Service) built specifically for contact centers. As contact center needs evolve, organizations need to have access to extend or create new functionality, without waiting to be a part of a software roadmap. Get the benefits of CTI within your CRM like screen pop, click-to-dial, screen transfer, speed dial and more, but future-proof your contact center so you can expand and integrate how and when you want.

3.) 
ComSys S.A.

CLink for CRM and Call Center Integration
CLink by Comsys is a middleware that connects in real-time the CRM and the contact center applications. CLink enhances the CRM with interaction management capabilities from the contact center that allow agents to work more productively across all communication channels.
Comsys is a provider of οmnichannel customer engagement solutions that assist companies around the world in delivering unique customer experiences. For the last 15 years, Comsys designs and implements complex projects for clients from the outsourcing, financial services, telecommunications, and retail sectors. Comsys enjoys strategic partnerships with technology vendors like Cisco®, Aspect Software®, and Microsoft® for the delivery of innovative interaction management and contact center optimization solutions.

4.) 
Consilium Software

Consilium UniAgent™
Today’s call centers need their agents to work more naturally, and respond better and faster. Here, we talk about the innovations Consilium has made with the latest desktop and mobile agent releases of the UniAgent™ CRM connector. From small enterprises to Fortune 500 companies and governments across 110 countries, UniAgent™ comes into action right at the moment of reckoning, making every contact center experience engaging and personalized, powered by simplified customer identification and anticipating customer needs.
UniAgent™ provides CRM integrations between all the Cisco contact center solutions (UCCX, PCCE, UCCE and HCS-CC) and over 20 CRMs, such as Salesforce, Microsoft Dynamics 365...
(read more)

5.) 
IntraNext Systems

IntraNext Systems develops agent efficiency tools and data security software solutions for medium-to-large contact centers. Our Event Intelligence® Platform solutions include SmartCTI™, iGuard®, and SmartSIP™. SmartSIP is based on our patented SIP layer technology and provides a DTMF masking solution for VoIP environments.

6.) 
Megacall

CRM integration
CRM
We know how important it is for a business to obtain data from its customers and to manage them effectively, so we help small to large companies by integrating their CRM with the Virtual Switchboard.

This type of integration will simplify the work of your team and improve the management performance of the contact list and its information.

7.) 
NovelVox

NovelVox CTI Connector
NextGen Cisco Finesse, Genesys & Avaya Embedded CTI Connectors for Salesforce, Microsoft Dynamics, ServiceNow, Zendesk & more.

8.) 
PhoneIQ

PhoneIQ
What is PhoneIQ?
PhoneIQ is the modern cloud phone system and contact center platform built exclusively for companies on Salesforce. Our all-in-one cloud communications platform brings together power dialing, local presence, voicemail drop, Salesforce call routing, call recording and a complete PBX replacement that lives within your CRM. With support for desktop, mobile, and desk phones, PhoneIQ works seamlessly at the office or remote, logging all interactions in Salesforce and generating reports in real-time.

Best For
Companies using Salesforce and looking for a phone system, dialer, or contact center software that provides deep integration capabilities with their CRM and expert Salesforce support.

9.) 
PRILINK

Easy Contact Center Traffic Analytics (Ec2Traffic)
Prilink Ec2Traffic provides network traffic analytics (NTA) for Internet, SIP Trunk and WebRTC traffic for on-premises and cloud Contact Centers.

Ec2Traffic analyzes network layer 2 to 4, RTP and SRTP packet loss and SIP protocols in real-time from the demarcation point or network edge, generating NTA metadata and requires little telemetry bandwidth.

Ec2Traffic provides:

- Year-round NTA metadata

- Daily CSV files upload to Customer business applications

- Capture packet to Wireshark for Deep Packet Inspection (DPI)

- detect traffic anomalies

- and more ....

10.) 
Teckinfo Solutions Pvt. Ltd.

InterDialog UCCS
InterDialog UCCS - a robust contact/ call center software that helps organizations provide a seamless customer experience across all channels in the customer service journey. All interactions from various channels come to a single unified queue on the InterDialog platform. With unified view agents get to see all historical interactions , enabling him to give a resolution quickly. InterDialog UCCS is a comprehensive Contact/Call Center Software with robust CTI, Unified Q ( ACD), Reporting, Unified Agent Management, Administrator, Supervisor - Monitoring (Pmonitor)
 

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