Cisco and Avaya Are Looking to Integrate with Social Media

    These days, social media is becoming a bigger and bigger part of customer interaction and brand monitoring. Both Cisco and Avaya recognize this trend, and are looking to incorporate social media tools into their unified communications solutions. Avaya has released two social media solutions, Social Media Manager and FacePhone, and Cisco is currently in the process of developing its equivalent application.

    Avaya's Social Media Manager is an instrument that uses advanced text processing
    techniques to search for references to keywords, such as company or brand names or products. Once relevant mentions are found, it determines if any action should be taken and notifies those best qualified to respond, using a skills-based routing system.

    FacePhone, on the other hand, is a Facebook app that loads directly onto the Facebook interface and is designed connect onto the social network, for both a business-to-business basis and a business-to-consumer basis. FacePhone enables voice and video contact options, as well as the stock Facebook wall posts and chat functionalities.

    Cisco's as yet unnamed application works much like Avaya's Social Media Manager by connecting to various social media sites and scanning them for relevant information, then prioritizing, organizing, and assigning it. The company's solution is expected to become available this November.

    With social media becoming an ever-greater part of conducting business, firms should find the innovative efforts made by Cisco and Avaya to be more and more useful in managing social media presences as time goes on. Check out the post below from No Jitter for more information on the two company's solutions.

    Avaya, Cisco, Social Media and Contact Centers

    Following up on Sheila McGee-Smith's overviews on the separate contact center briefings Cisco and Avaya held for industry analysts, I wanted to dig a little deeper on a common theme at both events: social media integration. Both companies detailed the appliances they are developing to better tie in social media communications with contact center operations.

    Avaya's solution centers around a pair of social networking solutions, part of an Avaya Labs project called Customer Connections. One is FacePhone, a Facebook widget demonstrated before and with plenty of information already available. The other is Social Media Manager, a solution that is by no means secret but which has had less attention paid to it to date. The software resides in a gateway (yes, the Avaya Social Media Gateway) connected to the Avaya Aura communications environment. Initially focused on Twitter, it uses advanced text processing techniques to search for references to one's company or products or other relevant keywords. It determines if the use of the keyword is relevant (for example, if a reference to "united" refers to United Airlines or United Freight or something else), then determines if action should be taken by a contact center agent or other personnel responsible for social media interactions. If actionable, the tweet is treated as an inbound customer communication, entering the contact center engine which uses skills-based routing to determine those best qualified to respond.

    Cisco, meanwhile, has what it calls a social media customer care deliverable in the works. As yet unnamed, it is based on an appliance that can be set up either on-premise or in the cloud. The server searches and captures information from Twitter, Facebook, Blogger, and other public social media sites, then analyzes and prioritizes what to do with it, such as creating a workflow on what response is required and who in the contact center or elsewhere in the company is to be involved. The appliance can also aggregate profile information from LinkedIn, Twitter, etc. to create a mash-up profile of the customer having problems. If the customer's location can be determined (and if applicable with the customer support situation) the software can mash up a map showing nearby store locations where more help can be found.

    The Cisco social media appliance is expected to be made available this November, while the Avaya gateway can be ordered now for custom, professional services-related projects, with productization to follow around this time next year.

    via No Jitter | blog. Posted by Brian Riggs.