WebRTC World Feature Article

March 20, 2014

CafeX Takes Collaboration to the Next Level

Applications like Amazon’s Mayday are starting to introduce the benefits of real-time communications in an enterprise solution, and not just video. File sharing, annotation features and contextual data are transforming applications from static to dynamic.  

CafeX Communications provides real-time customer engagement solutions for mobile and the Web. All of those are hot buzzwords in the industry and especially this week at Enterprise Connect. I caught up with Allan MacGowan, marketing director at CafeX, to discuss the company’s latest products, its solutions in action with customers and industry trends, and in particular, WebRTC.

The company’s Fusion Live Assist brings real-time communication to almost any Web or mobile application.  It can be embedded within an application and is WebRTC-based, offering video, voice, messaging, annotation, screen sharing, file sharing, profile information, contextual data, remote screen control and more, taking collaboration to the next level.

MacGowan emphasized that CafeX and its products are not asking users to use different applications or rip and replace existing infrastructure and equipment – its functionality can be embedded seamlessly into applications, bringing the real-time functionality to applications that already exist.

Fusion Live Assist was recognized this week as Best of Enterprise Connect, which MacGowan explains really speaks to two main things. The first is how CafeX fits into existing enterprise infrastructure. It’s not asking to overhaul contact centers or infrastructure – it can just add value right away. The second is that it provides real ROI and changing the customer experience. He asks, “Does your kid have better technology than your business?” The goal for CafeX is to bridge that gap, and have enterprise technology catch up to the consumer space.

Another solution the company recently announced is Fusion Palettes for Contextual Mobile Engagement, which is software that extends existing enterprise contact center functions to mobile and Web applications. Palettes is more contact center specific than Live Assist, and works on the server side to adapt with existing contact center infrastructure. It allows functions from the contact center to be extended out to platforms. The visual IVR captures contextual information and transfers it to the contact center and routing engine, so when the user does decide to make a call, an agent has any information on the customer’s behavior. It’s much more powerful because it’s available on mobile and Web, MacGowan explained.

CafeX’s solutions help customers overcome a few challenges and deliver some key benefits.

“Customer experience and customer loyalty are hard to measure, but they’re definitely real,” MacGowan said. This solution is different because it enables companies to provide personalization and engagement, and therefore increase loyalty. Beyond the end user side, however, CafeX helps agents. Customer interactions become much more contextual and efficient, and agents prefer using these type of personalized and engaging solutions. Organizations can reduce call handling time by not having to redundantly ask for information, which offers real cost savings and tangible benefits. The visual IVR feature from CafeX also means more enhanced self-service.

American Express has an application that features this type of agent-customer interactivity, dubbed “Mayday-like” video chat as part of its customer care team. The real-time communications feature is provided by Cisco, which whitelabels CafeX’s product.

“We’re not out to rip and replace,” MacGowan said. “Customers have invested a lot in their infrastructure. We want to extend it out and overlay infrastructure, not replace it.”

Six out of the top 10 banks are using CafeX’s technology, and the company also serves the healthcare and retail industries. Customers can customize the technology and easily embed these real-time communications capabilities to their existing applications. “You don’t have to be a telecom expert to do this,” MacGowan explained. “It’s simple to implement, and the underlying app knows very little of what’s going on. There’s not a lot of complex integration.”

Serving these different industries means compliance and security are critical. CafeX understands that, and leverages authentication and security mechanisms in addition to the encryption with WebRTC to ensure a secure channel between all parties.

As more people become more familiar and comfortable using video, their expectations are growing. They’re thinking, “If I can do this with my friends and family, why can’t I do that with my bank or my retailers?” The level of comfort is growing, and with that comes growing expectations. MacGowan explains that the next generation of customers is so savvy when it comes to purchasing and researching that agents need to be up to speed. CafeX understands these evolving customer needs, and is delivering a solution that they are looking for right now – not future-looking or something they’ll want to use in two, five or ten years, but something that can make an immediate impact. It’s flexible enough for companies to just start with pilot programs and test how their customers respond.

In the future, MacGowan expects to see a bigger merger between big data and collaboration. Contextual data will be key for marketing campaigns and collaboration solutions, and overall, to help the customer experience.  

Edited by Cassandra Tucker


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