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Hosted Contact Center Releases an Industry First: Cloud Computing Platform for Call Centers

October 05, 2009

By Kelly McGuire,
TMCnet Editor

In addition to the call center software providers’ announcement of the 7.3 Release, Five9 has also made headlines today with an industry-first cloud computing platform for call centers that enables building native software integrations between Five9 on-demand call center software and other enterprise software applications. 

With this new functionality, call centers can access various horizontal functions including sales and marketing, customer service and support and others and combine Five9’s call center software with the company’s existing customer relationship management, or “CRM,” applications. 

“Now, every Five9 customer can leverage a first-of-its kind cloud computing platform for call centers that uses Web services technology to enable advanced software integrations with other applications and services,” David van Everen, vice president of product management at Five9, said. 

Five9 CTO Jim Dvorkin said that the company looked to build on its market leadership and call center innovation by introducing the call center industry’s first on-demand call center platform. 

“This will enable third-party developers to create industry-specific call center applications and integrated solutions,” Dvorkin said. 

Not only will this integrate two invaluable Five9 tools, but it creates a unified agent desktop that will help CRM call centers build industry-specific systems. 

“Five9 Cloud APIs provide an easy way to embed virtual call center capabilities into any application, opening up many opportunities for software vendors and services organizations to provide complete solutions with tightly integrated on-demand call center software,” Dvorkin said.

With Five9’s cloud computing platform, users receive two APIs: 

· CTI Web Services API which provides developers with access to basic telephony controls and sophisticated call handling functionality, which can be invoked by a separate application.

· Configuration Web Services API, which allows programmatic control of the Five9 virtual call center in the same way that the graphical user interface provides control for a human administrator.

Additionally, Five9 customers can use Five9 call center APIs to integrate with home-grown CRM applications, create custom agent desktops, use integration frameworks to create unified agent desktops and retrieve data from external systems for call routing.  

Since the Five9 call center APIs are web services, they are available to be used by the widest possible range of cloud computing and premise-based applications, and developers using the Five9 APIs can create code in their preferred development environment.

According to van Everen, customers have been asking for a cloud-based platform for developing call center applications so that they can avoid the costs associated with traditional premise-based technology. 

With Five9’s new platform, customers can develop proprietary leading-edge custom applications to suit their needs and provide themselves advantages over competitors.

“The Five9 Adapter for that is listed on AppExchange is based on this technology – it provides Salesforce CRM users across an entire company with greater productivity to access the Virtual Call Center suite as a native application from Salesforce,” van Everen said. “The Five9 cloud computing platform for call centers is also the enabling technology behind our RightNow, NetSuite (News - Alert) and Leads360 integrations.” 

Call center developers and IT professionals also have the ability to join the Five9 Developer Program which allows users to gain access to a community of developers that will leverage the company’s new cloud computing platform, and provide program members with innovation, information and dedicated developer support resources. 

With all this evolution, what does Five9 see by way of the future of cloud computing for call centers? 

“Hosted call centers are gaining acceptance with an increasing number of larger companies and call centers,” van Everen said. “The move to cloud computing for call centers will accelerate acceptance of cloud computing overall as call centers realize the benefits of the scalability and flexibility to develop custom, integrated, applications that it affords.” 

Kelly McGuire is a TMCnet Editor. To read more of her articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Kelly McGuire