New Contact Center Mashup Unifies Customer Data

SynerG, formed in 2005 to develop interactive business mashups, has released its first product — a contact center application — from beta.

SynerG Contact Center targets a familiar pain point — one that all agent desktop apps have tried in various ways to address: the difficulty of accessing and integrating data from a company’s back end so that agents in the contact center can answer questions as quickly as possible.

SynerG does this by using a contact center’s own Web service-based or API (application programming interface)-based integration infrastructure to access the corporate database.

“We connect into the back-end system, pull out and sometimes merge together the necessary data,” Kalpana Narayanaswamy, vice president of products and cofounder of the firm, told CRM Buyer. “We don’t store or cache data on the desktop at all.”

Federation, Not Integration

In fact, “integration” is not the appropriate term to describe SynerG Contact Center’s interaction with the back-end corporate data, said Michael Norring, CEO and cofounder of the company.

“What we do is federation,” he told CRM Buyer. “We take the data in the format that it is in and then virtually merge it for a single view for the agent.”

So, if asked about several invoices in one call — an agent can view the relevant information in one document.

“The typical call center deals with multiple applications on the desktop,” Norring continued. Adding e-mail and chat can muddy an already-complicated scenario even more. “What we do is provide an application that ties all the sources of data together into a single experience for the agent and then structures that data in such a way to make it easy to answer the customer’s question.”

Competing applications usually sit on the desktop and “screen scrape information” to provide the necessary data to the agent, he said.

A Web-based model, the SynerG application is built on SOA (service-oriented architecture) principles. The connections to the back end are defined in XLM (extensible markup language), Narayanaswamy said, which means users can customize the application without having to write a single line of code.

Three-Month Cruise

Deployment takes three months at most, according to SynerG — and one of its early adopter clients, Cruise West, backs up that claim. The cruise line is using SynerG’s Contact Center app as an integrated reservation platform from which agents can research and book cruises against real-time information.

“Within three months, SynerG assisted us in defining the requirements and deploying an integrated and consolidated view of all necessary reservation information,” said Cruise West Chief Marketing Officer Al Petrone. “We knew we had the basic infrastructure in place — we just needed to operate more efficiently and provide our employees the single integrated application they needed to provide the best customer service and effectively sell our cruises.”

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