Often, contact center inquiry handling processes require data exchange with third-party systems: billing, CRM, ERP, HelpDesk, document management, emotions and speech analysis systems, speech synthesis and recognition etc.
The Noda Contact Center platform offers a wide range of program interfaces for the receipt and transfer of data from and to external systems at virtually every stage of inquiry handling.
If an external enterprise system (e.g. CRM) serves as a source of contacts for calls or mailings, these contacts may be imported using REST API. XML and JSON data transmission formats are supported.
The external system may also simply export contact lists to xls/xlsx files uploaded to the contact center server, after which the Noda Contact Center will independently collect data on a regular basis and import the results of calls automatically.
The operation of self-service systems (for interactive voice response [IVR], external no-operator calls) and ACD systems is regulated by scenarios that are generally created using the basic blocks of the graphical Noda IVR Builder included in the solution. The solution architecture also allows for the creation of its own blocks in any programming language that supports standard input/output streams (STDIN/STDOUT) for use in scenarios.
In practice, this means that data exchange between self-service and external systems may employ a wide range of standard interaction interfaces: web services, RESTful, ODBC drivers etc.
In one of the projects Noda developed for a telecommunications provider, the following schedule was implemented for a Noda Contact Center after integration with external systems. When a call was received, the IVR script acquired the caller’s number and used it to access a web billing service which, in turn, returned the caller’s balance (provided the caller was registered in the billing system).
As well as this, the solution implemented the MRCP protocol support, which enabled the integration of IVR scenarios with TTS/ASR systems.
Noda SoftPhone, which is included in the solution, may be integrated with any application used by operators, through the use of COM or JAVA-script objects. With reference to the methods used by such objects, the application is able to implement full call control functionality (receive/hold/redirect calls, set up conferences etc.) and receives all the necessary information on the call (caller’s number, call receipt time, the project the call is assigned to etc).
Moreover, Noda SoftPhone may be directly connected to an external system. This enables the phone number to be displayed in the external system by way of a specified URL format and the initiation of a call to a number just by clicking it.
Noda SoftPhone also includes an integrated browser (Internet Explorer, WebKit); therefore, a web-oriented system may easily be displayed directly within the softphone interface. Upon receiving or making a call, the softphone opens a preset http link to transfer the required call parameters as a GET request.
During a conversation, an operator often needs information from several systems simultaneously and is therefore forced to switch between them constantly. Noda Contact Center allows for the configuration of a unified operator window to display external system data directly in the call card at the required points of the conversation. Access to external system data may be implemented through web services and ODBC connectors.
The integration of emotion and speech analysis systems with Noda Contact Center servers is done by connecting the servers to a user-defined router with a specific mirror (span) port. A voice traffic analysis server connects to this port and receives all voice traffic, including SDP packages and voice RTP traffic, which not only allows external systems to analyze a voice by dividing caller and operator voice streams, but also to link analysis results with a call registered in the Noda Contact Center statistics.
Noda Contact Center includes a report generation tool which provides aggregated data on the work of the contact center. To expand business analysis opportunities, this data may then be exported to report generators such as Crystal reports, FastReport, Jasper reports, Mondrian OLAP etc. All statistics on contact center operations are stored in a relational database accessed using standard interfaces. The database interface is open and the data structure is well documented.
Noda Contact Center offers a broad range of opportunities to integrate with third-party real-time solutions (monitoring systems, work force management). During inquiry handling, a real-time system mails out information on all events to the contact center using an xml-based protocol. An external system subscribed to this mailout may receive operative data on the current status of operators and calls being handled by the system.
The possibility of a real-time data exchange may be used to control work shift durations by monitoring an agent’s status. The received data may also be used to add new contact center status monitoring sensors to monitor the systems already used within the company.
The solution includes a web service which allows an external system to access conversation records.
One of the projects Noda worked on included integration with a helpdesk system. This enabled the client’s tech support staff to listen to a conversation (related to an inquiry they were resolving) by clicking a link in the interface. All data on the call (date, duration, agent, comments etc) was provided along with the record.