SMS and USSD messaging for Cisco Contact Center
Express (UCCX), Enterprise (UCCE) or PCCE

Add SMS or USSD messaging to your Cisco Contact Center and transform your customer experience. Send a structured SMS at the end of the call to confirm points discussed with the agent.
The SMS feature can be embedded as a gadget within Finesse. Or use it as part of one of the CRM connectors (SAP, Microsoft Dynamics, Oracle Siebel, Oracle Service Desk) that we provide. This provides full media routing and media blending to the Contact Center agent.
Use SMS as one channel besides voice and Email in a Multimedia Outbound Campaign, for example, to send reminders or confirm appointments if taken together with our "Expertflow Campaign Manager".
Our SMS function interacts directly with the SMPP gateway of your preferred mobile operator(s), which is in almost always the most cost-efficient way to send/ receive SMS. It is also the best way to profit from all features that mobile operators support.

Outbound SMS Gadget

With EF Finesse SMS gadget, Cisco Unified Contact Center (UCC) agents can send SMS messages during a call or after the call ends. This helps in sharing information such as an appointment, or in the case of directory assistance, an SMS with the targeted person’s contact details.

Finesse SMS History

An agent can view a history of all outbound messages to a customer.

SMS integration with CRM using UQ APIs (UCCE)

ExpertFlow provides CRM connectors for CRM solutions such as, Siebel, SAP and MS Dynamics for integrating inbound voice and SMS functionalities within the CRM. This integration to CRM works the same way as for a Finesse gadget with the only difference of an EF connector in place.
The EF CRM CTI connector is placed in between EF SMS Server and the Cisco Contact Center so the connector receives the messages from EF SMS Server and submits them to SocialMiner for routing to an agent. The rest of the flow remain as in case of the SMS Finesse gadget. See Inbound SMS routing with UQ APIs.
The reply of the agent is submitted to the EF SMS Server to be sent to the customer.

SMS2Chat with SocialMiner Chat Gadget (UCCX)

ExpertFlow offers SMS2Chat conversion with CCX Chat APIs. In this case, Cisco Unified Contact Center Express chat agents can be utilized to handle SMS communication in addition to chat. With this,
  1. An inbound SMS (as received by EF SMS Server) is converted into a chat message so a new chat request is submitted to SocialMiner through SocialMiner chat APIs.
  2. SocialMiner routes the request to an available agent through UCCX central agent routing.
  3. SMS Server maintains an SMS session for the SMS communication as maintained by SocialMiner for the chat request. This session keeps open until the SocialMiner chat session exists. This session oriented SMS communication ensures that the subsequent replies of the customer are sent to the same agent who handled his first SMS message. As soon as the chat session ends, the SMS session automatically ends.
EF SMS server retrieves replies of the agent on the chat gadget and converts them into SMS messages to be sent to the customer.

Inbound SMS routing with UQ APIs (UCCE)

SMS Server provides a gadget in Finesse for agents to send/receive messages. In this case, the SMS routing is controlled through Cisco SocialMiner Task Routing APIs.Typical flow of how an inbound SMS is handled is as follows:
  1. A customer sends an SMS to the contact center, which is received by EF SMS Server/Gateway.
  2. EF SMS Server converts the SMS into a task and submits it to Cisco SocialMiner using task routing API.
  3. Cisco contact center’s central routing routes the SMS to an available agent.
  4. The agent accepts the request and replies to the customer’s query.
  5. The agent reply is received by the EF SMS Server.
  6. EF SMS server sends the message to the customer number via SMPP connection to the client’s SMSC or via GSM modem based on the provider/platform the client uses to transmit SMS messages.

The gadget can also further show the history of the customer SMS message(s) to the agent with an integration to Cisco Context Service.

Note that this inbound SMS routing functionality can also be embedded within the CRM used by the client with EF CRM CTI Connector to SMS Server.

SMS Dialogue with Cisco CVP

ExpertFlow provides a node that allows you to use Cisco CVP Studio to create an SMS service. Cisco CVP is used to create an HTML script that is interpreted by the Expertflow SMS server, in parallel to VXML code for voice services that is interpreted by the voice gateway.
This allows users to create a service once only on Cisco CVP, including back-office integrations, and to then use the service over several channels: IVR, SMS or USSD.

Workflow

  1. A new service in CVP studio. The same CVP script can be used for an IVR service, as well as for an SMS or USSD service. The service logic is then deployed to CVP VXML server which runs on Apache Tomcat servers and will take over a large part of the existing back office integrations (they will be inserted into the CVP studio script as clear code).
  2. A customer requests a service (such as send an SMS to ) on his mobile phone which will be received by the EF SMS Server through SMS-C.
  3. The SMS Server will query the Expertflow gateway (VXML to HTML gateway) via HTML on what information to display. The EG will convert this HTML query into the VXML query and pass it to CVP VXML server.
These VXML and HTML pages are created dynamically at run-time, depending on the script that is executed on the CVP VXML server. All service logic is within CVP VXML server. The advantage of this approach is that a very powerful service creation engine (CVP Studio) is available for both platforms.
CVP VXML port licenses are consumed both for the Voice gateway, as well as for the EG.
  1. The CVP VXML server will receive this query as a normal VXML query, and (possibly based on user parameters, such as the MSIDN) send back html pages to the EG. Note that to the CVP VXML server, the Voice Gateway and the Expertflow VXML to HTML Gateway appear to be the same type of objects.
  2. The VXML to HTML Gateway will convert the VXML page back to an HTML page and send it to the SMS server.
  3. SMS Server sends the SMS dialogue over SMPP to the client’s SMS-C which then delivers it to the mobile number.

SMS2Email Support

SMS2Email allows contact center email agents to receive SMS message in the form of emails.
Moreover, the SMS Server also provides out-of-the-box SMS reports for all inbound messages to keep track of the queries received from customers and the response from agents to each query.

Integrable API/Webservice for integration with external systems

EF SMS Server allows clients to send targeted messages to individual customers. Clients can use the service to update their customers about targeted events such as ticket status.

SMS integration with IVR

An SMS message can be sent to an individual customer based on an event triggered when a customer selects an option on the IVR such as acknowledgement of order placement.

SMS Campaigns

SMS campaigns allow organizations to reach customers on their phones and notify them of a new discount offer, product launch or an upcoming event. These business campaigns can be tailored for a specific customer segment. For example, a group of customers who are eligible for a special discount. Activation and deavtivation of campaigns can be scheduled. It also provides statistics such as the number of messages sent/ failed. An active campaign can be also paused or resumed on the go.

Contact Management

Contacts can be managed through the SMS Server’s “Contact Management” interface. A business user can create a group of contacts and can later use it to run personalized outbound campaigns.

Bulk SMS using CSV files

With the SMS Server, one can also send bulk messages to a list of recipients retrieved from a third-party CRM.This works as follows:
  1. The Client’s CRM generates a CSV file of contacts along with the text messages and exports it to a shared location.
  2. The SMS Server reads new files in predefined intervals from the shared location and starts sending messages.
For the SMS server to read a CSV files, the read path location and machine credentials need to be defined.

Multiple SMS gateways support

While setting up the SMS Server, one or multiple gateways can be configured to send and receive messages.
The gateway types supported are “SMPP” and “JDBC”. A maximum of five gateways can be defined in the system.

Pre-Requisites

SMPP Gateway

The following prerequisites should be completed in order to connect an SMPP gateway.

    1. One or more SMPP Gateway(s) Account: We must have at least one (optionally more) SMPP service provider account already setup in the SMS Server. This SMPP Server can be a telecom operator’s SMS Center or a third party SMS gateway. The following is required to connect to an SMPP account:
      1. SMPP Host: This is the host address of the SMPP Server.
      2. SMPP Port: This is the port of the SMPP Server.
      3. SMPP Id: This is a user, defined at SMPP Server. The system administrators of SMPP Server will create a unique user for EF SMS Server that will be used by the SMS Server’s backend services.
      4. SMPP Password: This is the password for the above user.

SMS2Email Support

In order to enable SMS2Email feature, the following prerequisites must be considered:

  1. Supported email protocols/ Email accounts: The client should provide support for SMTP and IMAP protocols to achieve SMS2Email. At least one IMAP and one SMTP account from the customer are required.
  2. If SMS2Email is enabled, the total volume of the emails being handled on the client-side will add up to the regular emails traffic. Therefore, licenses for email agents must carefully be identified and ordered accordingly.
  3. As a mail server, EF SMS Server only supports Microsoft Exchange 2010 for CCE (10.5) and 2013 for CCX (11.0) based deployments.

Hardware Requirements

Server Cores

4 Cores

RAM

6 GB

Hard Disk

150 GB

Software Requirements

Operating System

Windows Server 2008 Standard Edition R2

Database

Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Standard Edition

Java

JDK 1.7.0_21

Tomcat

8.0.18

Browser

Firefox (44.0)

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