Customer-relationship management vendor E.piphany Inc. joined forces Tuesday with Cisco Systems to bring together analysis and customer-service software with contact-center apps. The long-term result, the companies say, will be real-time routing of customers through contact centers to the most appropriate service agents based on value and need.
The two companies have integrated E.piphany's E.5 Web-based CRM software with Cisco's Intelligent Contact Management platform, Cisco's IP Contact Center and the Cisco Collaboration Server. The integrated package is expected to be available in December, but pricing is not yet available. "We want to provide queuing and routing to make sure that customer contacts can be efficiently channeled," says Brad Wilson, E.piphany's VP of product marketing and platform partners. "We've got the rich customer profile and transactional history, and now we can marry that with an advanced contact suite."
The next phase of the partnership will be to take customer data and E.piphany's real-time analysis and apply them to Cisco's communication network. That would let customer calls be routed not only according to available resources and customer needs, but also based on additional sales opportunities.
Meta Group analyst Steve Bonadio says analysis software needs to become a bigger part of operational and collaborative processes. But Bonadio says he'd like to see E.piphany and Cisco go beyond using profiling and analysis for better routing. "The idea is to tie the right person to the right channel at the right time based on their value and what they need," he says. Businesses "need to provide incentives for customers to use the channels they want them to."