ICC - Inbound Contact Center
Zultys’ Inbound Contact Center (ICC) application is a complete software package for the Zultys MX systems that equitably distributes incoming calls to a group of agents, based on specific set of customizable rules, and queues waiting callers when agents are not available. As agents become available, ICC automatically distributes the queued calls to agents based on predefined criteria, such as total time on calls, priority, and skill level of agents.
ICC functions as an advanced automatic call distributor (ACD) and includes sophisticated collaborative and management features. Management tools include whisper mode, silent barge-in, fully configurable display wallboard, group mailboxes and more.
The ICC is a true IP call center based on SIP. This permits the MX30 or MX250 to interoperate with a variety of gateways and phones from alternate manufacturers. Agents can be located anywhere in the world, as long as they have access to a broadband Internet connection. This provides true flexibility and around the clock coverage, without the need and expense of relocating key talent.
A complete contact center solution is offered by Zultys, including IP PBX functionality, redundancy, survivability, Ethernet switches, gateways, power back-up, soft phones, hard phones, automatic archiving, and ICC software. Zultys sells and supports its products worldwide.
Whether an enterprise has few agents in a support group or maintains a global call center where every employee is an agent, the ICC solution from Zultys can scale to meet its requirements. ICC incorporates the most-needed functionality for call centers, large and small –
- Complete PBX functionality with integrated voice mail
- Up to 240 agents
- Floating licenses
- Queuing with music and announcements
- Indication of position and expected wait time in queue
- Queue exit options and overflow routing
- Fully custom wallboard
- Multiple groups
- Agents can log into multiple groups
- Multiple supervisors
- Silent monitoring and barge in
- Remote Agent Support
- Call recording (upon request by agent, full time, or initiated by supervisor)
- Callback processing
- Call Attached Data screen pops/pull-down menu for call wrap-up and account codes
- Group mailbox
- Instant messaging, presence, and chat
- ScreenDial™ allows Agents to call directly from CRM/EHR, websites and other applications such as Word, Excel, etc.
- Detailed historical agent and queue statistical reports
- Real time statistics and monitoring
- Screen pops
- Flexible call handling rules
- Automatic agent log out
- Multiple languages and worldwide support
ICC Application Details
As a sophisticated productivity tool, the beauty is in the details. Companies deploying ICC by Zultys can expect to dramatically increase their call handling capabilities, improve the effectiveness of their agents, and heighten customer satisfaction.
Click here to download the Zultys ICC brochure.
Configuration and Management
The administration user interface for the MX platform is easy to use and enables the rapid configuration of ICC groups. Adding members to a group is a simple operation, and any ICC member can be granted supervisor privileges. This permits on-the-fly modifications in reaction to unexpected call volumes or unplanned agent absenteeism. The administrator can configure a queue with announcements by installing a custom user-created WAV file, using the system’s default prompts, or creating announcements using the embedded text-to-speech capabilities of the administration user interface. Music on hold can be selected to play to callers in queue between announcements. The music may be provided via an external source or a customized recorded announcement file. Call handling rules can be configured as necessary to provide better service to customers. For example, if agents do not answer a call that is routed to their stations, they can be automatically logged out by the system, thus avoiding future callers having to wait for a non-active agent.
A single floating ICC license allows an agent to log into multiple groups simultaneously. When the agent logs out, that license is available to another agent to use. This gives enterprises the ability to staff a follow-the-sun call center at an affordable cost.
Any user can be configured as a supervisor. When a supervisor logs in, one license of the total configured licenses is consumed. The supervisor can also make and receive calls as part of the agent group without consuming any additional licenses. This duplicity of roles helps control costs and enables the supervisory functions to be accessed by any member of the group, as permitted by the system administrator.
All ICC agents use MX call control client application, MXIE (pronounced Mix-ee). This application runs under Windows, Mac OS X, or Linux. (Features vary by MX platforms.) Once agents have logged into MXIE, they can become active in the ICC groups that the administrator has preconfigured. Agents have multiple presence states. These indicate the time an agent is available, active, in wrap-up, or not available. Agents have the capability to send instant messages to other agents or supervisors. This feature can be used to seek advice or provide instruction far less intrusively than the traditional whisper feature. Calls are distributed to agents in one of three ways:
- Automatic least busy - The next call is sent to the agent who has been less active than others
- Ring-all – All agents receive the call simultaneously
- Round Robin – Each agent receives a call in turn
Supervisors who log into MXIE as a user can view monitor information and statistics for all ICC groups in which they have membership. Supervisor access from MXIE is available only on the Windows platform. Supervisors can view real time statistics for the performance of each group and can manipulate calls and call back requests within the queue.
Supervisors can also specifically log in as an agent member to those groups for which they also wish to handle calls. Supervisors can log out any agent at any time. This allows the proactive supervisor to assist his agents when the group becomes backed up with waiting calls, and then resume his supervisory role when the peak traffic has subsided. When agents are equipped with Zultys IP phones, the supervisor can silently monitor a call and can barge into that call, if hands-on supervision is required. This provides a strong training tool for new agents.
The administrator can configure the actions automatically taken by the ICC when the call center is busy. Incoming calls can automatically be routed out of the queue based upon overall queue length, average time in queue, or the total time a particular call has been in queue. Proper timing parameters and routing rules improve the caller experience. Callers can be presented with their position or expected wait time in the queue. The ICC can play four different announcements to the caller at different times after the caller has entered the queue. The administrator can determine what options are presented to the caller when exiting the queue.
If wait time becomes excessive, callers can be prompted for a phone number so that an agent may call them back. Such call back requests are queued like standard calls and are distributed to agents accordingly. An agent returning a call from a call back request can specify the outcome of the call and can schedule another call back attempt at a later time. For example, if the wrong person answered the call and the correct person will return at a later time, supervisors have the ability to move a call to the top of a queue, pull a call from a queue and answer it, assign a call to a specific agent, transfer a call out of a queue, or direct a call in queue to the group voice mail box.
Agents may also monitor the status of the queue. This shows the number of calls in queue and how long the callers have been waiting. This allows agents to adjust their workflow to accommodate callers waiting for an excessive time. The monitoring function also shows the caller identification and indicates whether a supervisor has assigned a given call to a specific agent.
Through MXIE, supervisors can see real time statistics for all groups for which they are acting as supervisor. Using the statistics, the supervisor may decide to add agents or divert calls to improve the flow of the group and improve the caller experience. The ICC provides statistics that show a snapshot of the overall performance of a group. The current status of all agents in the group is displayed, including presence states. Detailed information on the number of calls, call handling, average talk time, and average wait time is available in a clear tabular form. Agent statistics give a supervisor up to date information on the performance of each agent in a specific group. A summary of login information and the time that every agent spends in each presence state is provided. Additionally, the supervisor can see how many calls and call back requests a particular agent has handled. This robust level of supervisory functionality differentiates the ICC application from other, less-featured call center solutions.
The wallboard feature allows agents to view a full display of information relevant to the operation and current status of the call center. With the ICC solution from Zultys, this does not require an expensive custom display panel. Instead, the data is projected onto a screen using standard equipment. The ICC software interacts with Microsoft Excel to pull data from the MX250 for specific ICC groups. This spreadsheet is referenced from MXIE and brought up as a wallboard display. Using Excel allows you to completely define the data that is displayed and its appearance on the wallboard. Changes are made easily at any time, as call center activity warrants. Both visual and audible alarms can be played when preselected events occur, such as the approach of the expiration of predefined maximum threshold wait times.
Call Recording on Demand
Any agent or supervisor using MXIE on an MX250 system can initiate a call recording of a call that has originated from the PSTN carrier or from an ITSP. The recording is stored in the agent’s or supervisor's voice mailbox. The system may be configured to insert call recording beeps so that the calling party is aware that the call is being recorded.
Full Time Call Recording and Archiving
Any call that originates from the PSTN carrier or an ITSP can be automatically recorded. No human intervention is required. Auto Record is configured by the system administrator for the specific ICC group. The recording is stored in a separate voice mailbox. This is a critical function for call centers in which all calls must be archived for a period of time, or to provide future verification of conversations between callers and agents. The recordings reside on the MX250 system in an archival file. Once the file has reached its capacity, older recordings are replaced by newer ones. If recording must be maintained for an infinite amount of time, the MX Archiving option is available. The system may be configured to insert call recording beeps so that the calling party is aware that the call is being recorded.
An ICC group can have both a fax and a voice direct DID number. Callers in queue that are sent to voice mail can leave a message in the group mailbox. When fax calls arrive at the group’s fax DID, the MX250 receives the fax and places it into the group mailbox. An agent or supervisor can manage the mailbox, distributing the contents to the appropriate agents as they become available.
Companies no longer need to lose valuable agents that need to relocate, nor do they need to lose business when agents cannot make it into the office. By leveraging the benefits of an IP communications system, agents can be located anywhere around the globe yet be part of an ICC group. Agents can even be located at home if they have access to a broadband connection. The at-home agent only needs a virtual private network (VPN) connection, an IP phone, and a PC running the MXIE software. This distributed model can also be used to rapidly add agents from other MX locations as needed should the main call center become too busy.
Larger Call Centers
Using MX Cluster technology, multiple MX250 boxes can act as a single system with redundancy. Linking four MX250 systems in an MXcluster enables connection for up to 8 T1 or E1 circuits from the PSTN for a maximum of 240 simultaneous PSTN calls.
Supervisors can access the administration user interface of the MX to generate a number of detailed historical reports. Information is pulled from the embedded SQL database in the system and presented using Crystal Reports. Supervisors may obtain historical reports on groups that indicate abandoned calls, call back reports, ICC group performance reports, presence reports, and agent activity reports. This information allows supervisors to plan and make staffing decisions on how to improve their call center’s operation. The internal structure of the SQL database is documented and standard ODBC access is provided to the data. Therefore, you can use various third-party applications to create custom reports that may be specifically required for a particular call center or customer.
Integration with Workforce Management, CRM, and IVR
Workforce management software from third parties can be integrated to analyze complete call performance data and determine how the call center should be staffed. Any CRM software that can use the ODBC access to the SQL data base provided within the MX system may be used to provide reports at regular intervals.
A TAPI interface is supported on MXIE which allows agents to originate calls from popular CRM programs, including Microsoft Outlook. For incoming calls, the MX provides caller identification information to MXIE which is sent over the TAPI interface. Depending on the CRM package, this may enable screen pops to appear with information regarding the calling party. For programs that do not support TAPI directly, middleware is often available which converts proprietary APIs to the TAPI standard protocol.
The system may optionally provide IVR capabilities with its comprehensive auto attendant and integrated text-to-speech engine. For more complex applications that require speech recognition and sophisticated multi-tiered database access, any third-party SIP-based IVR system can be used.
Zultys’ ICC is designed to extend the basic operation of the standard MX ACD (Automatic Call Distribution) feature. The primary advantages of ICC focus on increased functionality focus on robust call queuing options and sophisticated supervisory functions.
Is ICC right for your business? Here are some FAQs to help you evaluate your specific needs:
Can calls be recorded with this option?
Yes. Calls can be recorded full time and on demand either by the agent or the supervisor.
How long are recorded calls available for review?
All calls that have been recorded are stored in the MX system in a separate non-user related voice mailbox. When the capacity of this mailbox is reached, the oldest recordings are automatically deleted so that new call recordings may be saved. When call recording is used in conjunction with the Zultys Archive utility, recorded calls may be saved indefinitely. All Zultys call recording options are HIPAA and Sarbanes-Oxley compliant.
What is the maximum size of a single ICC group?
The software supports up to 240 agents (of which 64 can be supervisors) on a cluster of MX250 systems.
Can the software support distributed call centers?
Yes. Agents can be located at home or at different sites.
Can ICC support multiple direct DID numbers for special promotions?
Yes. Multiple phone numbers with text descriptors can be assigned to a single ICC group to allow agents to answer the call with the appropriate greeting.
Does ICC support call routing based on calling party ID?
Yes. When calls are passed through an Auto Attendant, the MX can route calls to ICC groups based on calling party ID.
Does ICC support wallboards?
Yes. Wallboard information can be customized by the user and presented either numerically or graphically.
How is ICC licensed?
This feature is licensed on a concurrent basis. If a company requires two shifts of 20 agents each, it is only necessary to purchase and configure the system for 20 ICC user licenses.
Can the MXIE Soft Phone be used with ICC in lieu of a desktop Phone?
Yes. However the voice quality on any softphone (Zultys or other manufacturer) may not be as good as on a physical phone. Due to the possible difference in voice quality and the need to provide callers into ICC with the best possible audio experience, Zultys recommends agents use a “hard” phone where quality is important and agents are on the phone full time.
Can you use third party phones with ICC?
Yes. Being a fully SIP architecture, the MX system is based on open standards. However, there are some ICC functionalities that may not be available when agents use third party SIP phones, such as support for silent monitoring or supervisor barge-in.