Contact Centre Agents Talking to Customers

Synopsis: If you are facing the challenge of delivering a usable desktop environment for your contact center, then this post will describe what’s happening in the financial services industry and how this could make your life a great deal easier…

What Is Interop?

Say the word ‘interop’ to a technology team in any tier-1 bank or a major hedge fund and there will be a subtle nod of the head. You’ve just set the context for a conversation about application integration, operational cost savings, enforcement of processes and compliance. Yes, one word does all of that!

Interop, short for Interoperability, is about sharing data between desktop applications. Imagine you’ve got two in-house web-based apps from different development teams and you want them to exchange data. Interop will allow one app to talk to the other using pub/sub or similar.

How Can It Help a Customer Service Agent?

These days, a full-service interop platform will integrate applications from any technology stack (e.g. Java, .NET, VB/COM, JS etc) and support data exchange patterns such as request/response, shared data contexts, streaming. In addition, the best ones will offer a set of common services to make the customer service agent’s life less stressful:

  • Integration of application UIs to manage UX, reduce application hops, remove copy/paste etc.
  • Universal search of business data across any applications.
  • Universal notification handling across any application and the desktop operating system.
  • Monitoring of user behaviour for subsequent behavioural process mining.
Why Is Interop Best Practice?

Interop is therefore the integration mechanism of choice for dealing with the needs of end-users. By the way, this is not some re-birthing of screen-scraping technology; no, this is an approach in which you can componentise your existing applications and tailor applications for a specific, simplified UX.

One reason why Interop is one of the fastest growing integration movements, is the emergence of standards to make this quick, easy and best of all, vendor agnostic at the data layer. Standards are being defined (e.g. to support the discovery of applications and their capabilities as well as envelopes and taxonomies for data contexts.

The good news is that much of this is usable in other vertical industries and Glue42 is now pushing this standards-based approach into Telco contact centers. So, if you’ve got a desktop that looks like this:

Contact Centre Desktop Before Glue42

And you want one that looks like this:

Contact Centre Desktop After Glue42

Then there is a way forward!

The bottom line is that users love it, because it makes their life easier. Operations people see a reduction in Average Handling Time, elimination of call-wrap and improved process compliance. IT can forget about the issues of integrating different language stacks and apps that don’t expose back-end APIs. Finally, the business gets a pragmatic means of achieving their digital transformation ambitions with their employees. Happy employees make for happier customers!

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James Wooster