Recently, Cisco unveiled the innovative Cisco Cius, an ultra-portable, mobile collaboration business tablet that offers access to essential business applications and technologies. It delivers the most portable, powerful, reliable, and secure communications, computing, and collaboration experience for a device of its kind, according to Cisco literature.
With a myriad of real-time reporting options already in use on agent desktops, is there a case to be made for contact center stats on the Cius? Single, monolithic CRT monitors of the ‘90s begat dual, or in some cases tri-LCD monitor setups at agent desktops. Real-time queue statistics on LED-based telephony equipment begat the modern IP telephony system capable of statistics, call monitoring information, multimedia, and video content. Factor in smartphones capable of retrieving, or more often “pulling” KPI data from a middleware solution or the ACD itself, and your average CSR is faced with up to five reporting devices within an arm’s-length of her headset. It’s a crowded desktop, indeed.
Where does the Cius fit in? Is there room for such a device on the agent desktop? Does it offer benefits beyond desktop monitors, IP phones, and smartphones? Consider the capabilities:
- Virtual desktop client enables highly-secure access to cloud-based business applications.
- Android operating system, with access to Android marketplace applications.
- Collaboration applications including Cisco Quad, Cisco Show and Share, WebEx, Presence, and IM.
- HD video (720p) with Cisco TelePresence solution interoperability for lifelike video communication with the simplicity of a phone call.
- 802.11a/b/g/n Wi-Fi, 3G/4G data and Bluetooth 3.0 help employees stay connected on and off-campus.
One can argue (and I intend to!) that the Cius indeed does fill a niche on the agent desktop, taking the best of other reporting options and consolidating them into one standalone device. Today’s contact center agent is more mobile than ever. With contact center and CRM data flowing from the cloud more so than ever, why should the agent be tethered to traditional desktop reporting solutions? Why would the Cius NOT be a good fit for mobile agents?
In 2010, tablets are all the rage. Take the Apple iPad, for example. Enough said. Industry analysts galore forecast explosive growth over the next 24 months. I suspect that business tablets like the Cius will extend the role of the inbound contact center agent to full-time customer advocate (as it should). With tight integration to telephony equipment, cloud-based data sources, and a wealth of Android developers itching for a slice of the Cisco contact center market, I see the Cius as a homerun in the contact center. Agents of the future, be prepared for a ground-shifting device coming your way shortly.