Skype for Business & the Contact Center
January 20, 2016
At BDO Digital, we perform many Skype for Business voice deployments and we understand that when a contact center is a part of the solution, it is the single most important factor in considering a telephony replacement. There are many questions surrounding what Skype for Business can and can’t do, what the options are for contact centers, and how to know what to use and when.
There are over 20 different qualified contact center solutions for Microsoft Lync and Skype for Business. Each of these solutions have their own strong points. Rather than offering you the “Microsoft” call center like many vendors do, Microsoft makes it easy to develop and integrate with their solution. This creates a best-of-breed approach that allows you to select the contact center that’s right for you.
Natively, Skype for Business has capabilities that allow you to route calls based on numerical or voice responses and times of day into queues and groups. These can be configured to route to your staff all at once, one at a time based on preference, round robin, or the longest idle. They can also be stacked, so if one group doesn’t respond, the next can, or it can route elsewhere. All of the data related to the call is stored in a SQL database and custom reports can be written.
For many firms, the majority of their groups can be handled this way. However, for others there may be capability gaps that need to be addressed. For those that need to let callers know their position or wait time in a queue, watch a real-time metrics dashboard, or queue emails, social media, and calls to the same team, a contact center will be required.
What to Look for When Choosing a Contact Center Solution
How do you choose when there are so many options? You’ll want to start by finding one that uses the “UCMA,” which is the Skype for Business Software Development Kit. This means that the contact center will be a part of the Skype for Business or Lync client, and not a separate phone system that calls will be routed to. After that, it depends on the features that are important to you. Looking for a mature and trusted platform? How about something that’s been built from the ground up for Skype for Business and is easy to use? Want it in the cloud? All of these solutions exist and BDO Digital is in a great position to help you navigate them to ensure project success.