Monday, November 16, 2015

Supervisor to Agents broadcast messaging in Cisco Finesse

Having well informed agents is always a good thing. A well informed agent is quicker to respond, less stressed, provides more accurate answers and the customer experience is better too. And that is what we all are ultimately looking for, right?

There are plenty of training and wiki tools to keep agents informed and up to date with the product or service information, processes, guides and other how-tos. Agents should read those and attend trainings to keep up with the always changing world around us.

But let’s face it. The information is sometimes flowing so fast that even the best agents cannot keep up. Often times the most critical information has a limited time validity and needs to be spread ASAP.

A one-to-many broadcast system could come in handy. A system that delivers messages instantly, addresses multiple targets and is easy to use. That is why we have delivered a broadcast feature for supervisors to use in early versions of 2Ring GADGETS for Cisco Finesse. To remind how this works let’s have a look at the following picture.

(the interface used to send broadcast messages in TEAM gadget)

There is a selector for choosing agents individually, by teams or queues on the left side. A 2Ring Wallboard can be also targeted together with the agents. Supervisors pick who they want to address and then write a message using the form on the right side. If a message occurs often a template can be created and then reloaded quickly.

The message is then displayed instantly to all agents directly on their Finesse desktop and where applicable also on wallboards all around the place.

(a sample wallboard showing a broadcast message)

In the latest release we have extended this feature with message history. All received messages stack up and remain accessible to the agents even after a new message replaces them. A badge always informs about the number of messages in history. This allows agents to go back and review older messages they may have missed. Messages can be deleted individually or all at once. The ones that are not deleted persist even between finesse sessions so agents can keep them as long as needed.
(an infoPANEL showing a new message along with a history of older messages)

If a message has a limited validity it can be set to expire automatically. These messages are removed from the history once expired.

The broadcast feature with the message history allows you to instantly communicate important information. Messages are delivered in a hard to miss manner and stay front and center. And that makes agents productive. Which is what we need right?

Miro Moravek
Managing Director, 2Ring

Contact us
To learn more, visit the product page of 2Ring GADGETS at www.2Ring.com/GADGETS. You can also schedule a live demo at www.2Ring.com/WebEx.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Getting in touch with remote experts

First-call resolution is a mantra in many modern contact centers. Serving the customer well the first time she calls is the best way to maintain exceptionally high customer satisfaction. It is therefore almost a must for an agent to be able to answer all questions and fulfill all needs. Or is it? Unfortunately there is no such agent. Here comes the remote expert.

Agents are a customer’s first contact. It is therefore important for them to either serve the customer well or find someone who will. Often the needs of a customer can only be satisfied by an expert within the company. 

But how do you find her? Is she ready to help the customer? Is she the right one?
2Ring TEAM Gadget introduced an Active Directory contact search in version 1.x of its gadget suite. It allowed agents to search for a person inside the Active Directory and once found, to quickly make a consult call, transfer a call or at least ask for help via chat depending on what suited the agent best. 



If the company used presence software such as Cisco Unified Presence Server, it also automatically displayed the presence status to quickly see if the expert could help  at that time or if another should be asked for help.

However, the Active Directory is not always the best place to look for company experts. It may be too slow, too big, or too fractioned to find someone by a single search. To combat this problem, the 2.0 release of the gadget suite extended the search possibilities to query 2Ring PHONE SERVICES, a universal directory importing data from various multiple contact information sources(a CRM, ERP or even Active Directory itself).

Similar to Agent Profiles, the Contact Profiles allow integration of 3rd party web applications that extend the possibilities to determine important information about a contact. An often used scenario is to embed the intranet profile of the contact. This helps the agent choose the right person based on previous evaluations, interact with her through means provided by the intranet app, and finally endorse her after a successful call resolution. 
An example of an app to embed is Claromentis Intranet, as shown below:

Claromentis Intranet is a cloud based intranet platform that further enhances collaboration possibilities thanks to its integration into 2Ring TEAM Gadget.

Finding the right expert is now much quicker and easier. 2Ring TEAM simplifies the call handling and handover to the expert at hand. Integrating with an intranet extends cooperation into areas that have been the domain of stand-alone software solutions until now.

Miro Moravek
Managing Director, 2Ring

Contact us
To learn more, visit the product page of 2Ring GADGETS at www.2Ring.com/GADGETS. You can also schedule a live demo at www.2Ring.com/WebEx.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Call History and Agent State trace come to Finesse... Finally

Agents and supervisors have been able to view an agent’s call history for years using Cisco Agent Desktop and many alternative CTIOS-based desktop applications such as 2Ring Agent DESKTOP. However, call history was one of the features that was not immediately brought over to CAD’s successor, Finesse. 








The Agent State Log feature was also omitted from the first versions of Finesse. 
Many partners and customers have begged for these feature to come back, and some have even refused to move to Cisco Finesse until these features return.





















On the other hand, Cisco has made its new desktop alternative Finesse a very customizable and pluggable platform. There is a set of APIs that allows skilled developer partners or even individual developers to enhance the out of the box experience with features not even yet known in the form of plugins called gadgets.

2Ring has specialized in bringing the comfort of  CAD’s features to Finesse since its first day of availability. 2Ring migrated the first European customer, a bank, to Finesse from previously used CTIOS architecture, and to do so it had to replicate many missing features for Finesse. 

Although Call History and Agent State Log did not make it into the 1.x releases of 2Ring GADGETS, they have become part of a major update called 2Ring GADGETS 2.0 released in May 2015. Both of these features have been integrated into 2Ring TEAM Gadget.



The new incarnations of Call History and Agent State Log are now accessible for both agents and supervisors. The history can be loaded for a single day, multiple days, or even weeks. The grids have been enhanced by inline filtering, paging and sorting, features not available in the original form.

The call history also allows users to redial previously held calls with a single click of a mouse button if an agent needs to call back or again. The visualization is modeless and does not block the agent from using any other part of the desktop. Supervisors can even switch between multiple agents without the need to reopen the history on each individual agent. They can just pick another agent and the history is automatically shown.

2Ring did not stop here. The agent profiles can actually host almost any other web-based application relating to agents. Now various reports from CUIC, call recording software, or workforce management can be accessed. The agent profile has become a one-stop shop for all agent relevant information.

Please welcome back the most requested features, Call History and Agent State Log.

Miro Moravek
Managing Director, 2Ring

Contact us
To learn more, visit the product page of 2Ring GADGETS at www.2Ring.com/GADGETS. You can also schedule a live demo at www.2Ring.com/WebEx












Friday, May 8, 2015

Tips for Configuring Grids in 2Ring DASHBOARDS&WALLBOARDS

This blog post would like to help users who are new to configuring layouts in 2Ring DASHBOARDS&WALLBOARDS, a real-time reporting solution for Cisco Unified Contact Centers - Express (UCCX), Enterprise (UCCE), and Packaged UCCE.

Problem Definition
You mastered the configuration basics and you created a grid with all the real-time statistics that you need. You placed the grid in a layout only to find out that you have too many columns to fit on your screen, causing some of the text in a grid to get cut off (agent and queue names and/or values).
This is an example of what your grid might look like after your initial configuration. 
When this happens, our customers and Cisco Partners usually ask us if we plan on allowing users to  specify the font size for grids in each column or at least introduce an "auto-fit-text" feature for titles and values based on what the column size is set to.

The answer is that yes, we plan on introducing some of the requested options in the next major release of 2Ring DASHBOARDS&WALLBOARDS since these requests keep coming in. However, it needs to be understood that using the auto-fit option will make each row or cell use a different font size, which will impact the design. Also, setting a font size firm will make it more difficult if not impossible to view the same layout on multiple screens of different sizes and resolutions.

We at 2Ring believe that the current feature set provides many ways to resolve this situation without configuring font sizes and we would recommend that users experiencing the issue described above fine-tune their grids and layouts using these means even once additional font sizing options are provided.

The Solution
The golden rule is simple: "Look at your layout and search for empty spaces. Remove these spaces." Here are some suggestions on what to do:

1. Abbreviate / Shorten Text in Titles

Do you really need the Service Level column to be called Service Level Percentage? How about SL% or simply SL? Review text in all headers and try to make it shorter (but still understandable).

2. Change Column Heights

You can also try to adjust space reserved for headers. The default column header is set to 15%; go with 10%. This will automatically adjust font size. Font for data will increase while the font size in headers will decrease. If it happens that your data do not fit, consider changing the value’s display format. Do you really need SL% to be displayed as 98.23%? Would 98.2 work as well? Analyze all your data formats and make changes if needed.

3. Adjust Your Layout

Go to the layout hosting your grid, and simply reserve less vertical space for your gird. This will most likely make your content fit, and at the same time it will create room for additional KPIs or another grids below or above it. You can also add a message ticker, current weather ;), a live news stream, PowerPoint slides, and much more. Please remember that the use of some of these content types means that you will need to run your layout in 2Ring DW – DESKTOP Client.
Space for Grid made smaller, to 1) decrease font size, 2) create space for additional content..
4. Increase the Number of Rows
If all you really need is just that one grid, you can increase the number of rows displayed in your grid. This will leave your layout intact, and your data/texts will fit. You can play with the number of rows to maximize the font size used.
Grid in 2Ring DW with additional, empty, rows to decrease font size.
5. Last Resort Option ;)

If none of the above generate the desired result, then we recommend that you split your grid into two separate grids and A) place both in one layout, or B) if you are using DESKTOP Client and you have no space to place on your screen to fit the second layout, create a sequence of two grids. The sequence means that in one area of a layout, each grid would only be displayed for X seconds, so you can be flipping back and forth between multiple grids.
Two Grids in 2Ring DW above each other.
The Summary
The capability of layouts built in 2Ring DASHBOARDS&WALLBOARDS to automatically scale / resize to the space provided is a major benefit and therefore we recommend that users follow the steps described above when building layouts to enjoy the same fine-tuned layout on any screen and any device with a supported browser (Chrome, Firefox, IE9+, and Safari) including iPhone, iPad, Lumia, Surface, Galaxy, Chromebook, .. Those few extra minutes that you invest into building your layout will return via better usability for users.

Please share your experience with 2Ring DASHBOARDS&WALLBOARDS by leaving a comment below, or even better, by tweeting your screenshots while mentioning our Twitter handle @2Ring4UC.

Can I host my application in Cisco Finesse? Simple IFrame Compatibility Test

Any web application that you would like to make available in Cisco Finesse (CRM, service desk, knowledge base, ..) has to be able to run inside of an OpenSocial container. The container itself is a webpage that uses HTML IFrames to host other applications. Cisco Finesse agent desktop is a good example of such a container.

The apps running in these IFrames are referred to as gadgets (widgets by some). An example of such a gadget is 2Ring BROWSER (part of 2Ring GADGETS for Cisco Finesse) that allows you to host multiple applications inside of it without the app knowing about it or without the need to customize the application.


2Ring BROWSER Gadget with Salesforce
However, not all applications can be hosted this way. For the app to be hosted, it needs to live and behave well inside of an IFrame. So how do you know if your application can be hosted in a container?

The Solution – The Test
1) Download this .zip file from our web site and save it on your machine:
https://www.2Ring.com/media/90446/2ring_finesse_gadgets_test_file.zip

2) Unzip the contents of the file and run the iframe.html in your browser.

3) Put the address of your application including the http/https portion into the text box at the top of the page and click load.

4) If your page loads below the text box, give it a try and perform various tests with the app to confirm that you can achieve what you need to in this mode.

5) If everything works as expected, you are good to go.

6) If there is an error displayed or the application behaves differently than how you expect it to, you probably hit a roadblock. If the application is developed internally, you can customize it until it works properly. If the application is being developed outside of your organization, you can also contact the software company and request guidance or ask them to share their plans on supporting IFrames. I would also encourage you to contact 2Ring since there are ways we can help you create a unified view for your agents even if your application turns out not to support IFrames.

Basic Troubleshooting Tips
Once you launch your test file, you might not even be able to login to your application. The login screen might say that it cannot run in IFrames. Do not give up! It might only be that the login screen itself doesn’t support IFrames. You can try to open your browser, login to your application as you are used to, and once you have the application running and you are logged in, launch the html file again. Even if this doesn’t work, there is still some hope. It might be that only some configuration settings need to be changed. We encourage you to contact 2Ring to have one of our experts take a look and let you know about other ways we can help you create a unified view for your agents even if your application turns out not to support IFrames.

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Another great ride at the #CiscoPS15

Cisco has never disappointed in creating an overall superb program at partner summit. This year is no different. Even though I am participating remotely via social channels and live broadcast, I am sure being stoked again! Cisco has done it! No questions asked.


Since 2Ring's line of business focuses mostly on collaboration I was very impressed with Rowan's SPARK demo. We started using Project Squared inside our organization and now are amazed with an additional functionality that Rowan's team has created. SPARK is definitely an advantage in the business world. Aren't you tired of your 100 emails a day? I sure am! 

I am going to give it a spin and try to convince our business on using it. Wish me luck.

See you all this afternoon or morning wherever you are! 

Make sure to follow and join conversation.





Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Cisco Partner Summit 2015 on April 27—30 in Montreal, Canada



Cisco Partner Summit 2015 on April 27—30 in Montreal, Canada

It has been another great year here at 2Ring and we are happy to be back as a Social Media Ambassador at Cisco's annual partner summit this year! So, let's buckle up for the third time in the 2Ring history.

 Flashback to 2013 & 2014 - I wish I could have added these as .gif files as many of the popular sites these days ;)

John & Jim demoing a unique waste management system



Remember the "Play along" app?


Are you using one of these bad boys in your home office yet?




Most important, do not forget to tweet ;) #CiscoPS15



Let's stay connected! 2013 - ??


 #CiscoPS2015
video

We are all looking forward to the next week. Let's stay in touch #CiscoPS2015

Twitter