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The coming year will be a turning point of a development which has been followed primarily by the marketing departments of many manufacturers: "More is better". More specifically: Under the promises of multi- and omni-channel solution those responsible for contact centers were driven to open even the smallest potential communication channel for customer dialogue. What began with phone, fax and e-mail was often extended to an immense number of other channels - for example the numerous social media channels - without thinking about its practical relevance.

The Challenges of Patchwork Communications

All this resulted in costly patchwork environments or a collection of separated solutions that are isolated from each other. So contact centers have been creating products in which employees only take care of telephony, others for postal inquiries and then some more for social media. On the other hand, the service employees have the impossible task to work with many different applications and interfaces while trying to maneuver through all communication channels in parallel.

The practice now shows that the blind pursuit of "all channels" is both economically and structurally hard to manage and its usefulness is also hard to justify most of the time. This downward spiral results in challenges for the whole contact center as well as the customers. Too little attention has been paid to integration.

The Road to Integration

Nowadays a rethinking has begun that will continue to spread in the coming years. Many contact center managers will agree that a change of direction is necessary: Away from the inflationary use of new channels and towards a better integration of existing communication channels.

Companies begin to back away from new stand-alone solutions and begin to link existing systems and channels with each other, thus consolidating their infrastructure. This applies both to the integration of communication channels as well as for the integration of communications and data - for example CRM and ERP with PBXs.

CTI Middleware as a Centerpiece

Our centralized solution in 2016 will therefore continue to be the LinkThat Cube. We therefore combine the functionality of telecommunications - whether classic or IP-based - and contact centers with leading CRM and ERP systems. We make it as easy as possible for the user to stay in known environments while using existing data. This way the customer service staff receives important information automatically and can provide support immediately and competently.
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