The phrase CCaaS refers to contact center as a service. You will also often hear the term virtual contact center commonly used synonymously with this term. Basically it is a cloud computing offering, which provides the required functionality needed to route inbound requests from the potential customer to the right contact center representative, such as: Interactive Voice Response (IVR). This is the “selling” part of the term.

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One of the key selling points of this type of service is its inherent automation tools and feature rich features. Call center automation is the ability to easily integrate several different tools, such as: IVR, e-mail, telephone conferencing, VOIP/IP call routing, ACD/DAC integration, etc., to form a single unified communication solution. Call center as a service has the capability to handle not only telephone calls but also faxes, online data submissions, and other communication requirements seamlessly. This is achieved by the use of application-specific programming interfaces (APPLs), which can be integrated seamlessly and are typically developed and operated by a vendor who specializes in such tools and solutions. There are several different vendors who provide this software solution. Each one differs slightly in the way they implement and provide the various tools and features.
Some common tools and features included in a typical CCaaS offering include: automated call transfer, teleconferencing, appointment setting, appointment reminders, call screening, call transferring, asset tracking and management, analytics, detailed billing, data mining, and many others. A wide array of web analytics tools can also be integrated into this offering. In addition, there are several different ways to integrate database solutions such as Oracle, Sybase, Microsoft SQL Server, MySQL, and more. All these features and tools are highly useful for ensuring maximum productivity and profitability for contact center operators and customers alike.
To further streamline operations, contact center operators should be able to enjoy seamless integration with customer-facing web applications. The best way to do this is through automatic call distribution and analytics. This includes things like automated phone set up, automated call distribution, automated call routing, call answering, caller ID, call waiting, message delivery, and many others. Some of these features are available in most modern phones today such as Blackberry, iPhones, Android phones, etc. However, even if you have older equipment installed at your center, these advanced technologies and solutions will still provide the kind of functionality and analytical insight required to run an efficient contact center.
In order to truly take advantage of automatic call routing and automated call distribution, contact center automation tools should provide several different tools. For example, an operator terminal with visual interface capabilities could be used to display contact details, to make it easier for callers to select a representative, and to allow contact center employees to answer calls from various locations around the country. Some systems also include advanced conference calling functionality, which allows multiple callers to connect via conference IDs, quickly transferring calls between them. Similarly, there should be several different tools that enable supervisors to access information and data about the various locations where agents are actually located, such as their physical address or contact numbers, their status, and what networks they usually connect to. In addition, different utilities should be available for tracking and managing overall agent performance, such as workflow reports, workflow alerts, and agent downtime reporting.
Even with all these tools available, it would be foolish to think that automatically integrating a contact center with a traditional on-premise system would be as easy as it would seem at first glance. Contact center operators must be trained on the incoming and outgoing calls, as well as the technical aspects of making those calls. They must also understand how much information needs to be exchanged within their own company, and how much they need to share with the outside world. In short, contact centers need a lot of forethought and planning. Fortunately, cloud solutions do much to take care of this problem, making it much easier for contact center managers to integrate a contact center as a service into an on-premise system.