Cloud-based unified communications (UC) services provider PanTerra Networks has introduced its Unified Business Analytics platform that enables communications and collaboration to improve contact center operations in real time.
Geared toward the midmarket, the Unified Business Analytics platform integrates with companies' existing UC platforms and provides services that go beyond basic contact center metrics.
Organizations using the cloud service can access it through an account portal that offers a centralized management platform, PanTerra Chief Executive Arthur Chang said. From there, organizations can choose from more than 100 key performance indicators (KPI) they want to monitor.
Many organizations use hosted contact center platforms that lack the analytics features found in on-premises systems, Nemertes Research analyst Irwin Lazar said. PanTerra believes it can narrow that difference by providing combined UC and content management analytics and integrating its SmartBox file-sharing service.
Integrating communications with analytics
By enabling communications capabilities within the analytics platform, organizations can do more than monitor specific metrics. For example, Chang said if a sales agent exceeds a certain amount of time on a call, the system could be configured to notify a supervisor via email, instant message, text or a live monitor.
Through the platform, supervisors could enter into a supervisory mode and silently listen to the call. Through the platform, the supervisor could coach the agent in real time without the customer hearing or take over the call in order to resolve the issue.
The supervisor or agent could also use the platform's SmartBox integration to share relevant files and documents, like an instruction manual, with the customer without having to open a separate application.
"When talking about real-time conversation, it has to be seamless," Chang said. The analytics software, communications-enabled supervisory mode and file sharing all occur within the same app to create a more efficient contact center.
Bringing collaboration to the platform
Integrating SmartBox with the Unified Business Analytics platform adds an element of collaboration for users.
For companies to improve collaboration, analytics must be a key piece, said Bill Haskins, Wainhouse Research senior analyst and partner. PanTerra's platform offers an end-to-end view of who is communicating with whom and who is sharing content.
If an agent or other user has a question related to a piece of content shared through SmartBox in the analytics platform, an audio or video call can be initiated through the platform, Haskins said.
The file-sharing capabilities are somewhat unique to the platform, as there are few vendors that offer such integration with other applications, Lazar said. The document analytics that come with SmartBox allow organizations to see if people are downloading sales documents, white papers and manuals.
"The use case there is interesting," Lazar said. "If you're selling a product and everyone's downloading the owner's manual for it, but not for other products, that flags a problem with the product."
Organizations can take that information and bring it to the call center, where they can analyze calls regarding the product and send that information to product managers.
While the platform is currently contact center focused, Chang said PanTerra plans to expand to other areas of business by adding additional metrics like budget costs, as the platform develops.
Gaining customer confidence in the analytics platform
The big challenge facing PanTerra is convincing organizations that its analytics platform solves their business issues.
"Adoption is often a challenge with KPI-driven solutions," Haskins said. "You have to solve a very specific problem in order for an IT team to invest the time they need to adopt and roll out what can be complex reporting engines."
A lot of data is available in the big data analytics space, but few people have the time to go through it, Lazar said. Data must be packaged in a way that is easy for organizations to analyze and use to improve business processes.
Security is another concern for the cloud-based platform. Haskins said organizations have to be confident with not only putting content in the built-in SmartBox platform, but in the security of the analytics data. The platform, however, has built-in security features, Haskins added.
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