The new cloud-based contact center application FairPoint is rolling out today is indicative of the value-added services network operators are pursuing to keep their Carrier Ethernet customers happy and generate additional revenue. (See FairPoint Puts Contact Center in the Cloud.)
The contact center app is an add-on to FairPoint Communications Inc. 's Hosted PBX and SIP Trunking services for its enterprise customers and fills a gap for those companies that goes beyond the traditional auto attendant, mobility and voice mail features, says Bob Ashley, director of product development.
"As more and more VoIP services roll out, there are gaps in what the customers need and we want to be the end-to-end service provider," Ashley comments.
Specifically, the call center app lets customers handle customer service across multimedia with all the functions of a call center -- automatic call distribution, interactive voice response, unified messaging and workforce management -- and none of the investment in hardware and software systems.
A government client of FairPoint's is using the Cloud Contact Center app to distribute inbound calls to the correct department on an automated basis, Ashley says. Beyond that basic application, the app can also handle instant messaging online chat, email and social media queuing as well.
It is aimed at a wide range of customers, large and small, and at multiple industry segments including retail, financial services, insurance, government and healthcare, he says.
This is one of a number of cloud-based services FairPoint is pursuing, says Greg Ross, vice president of products. Recent value-added additions include wireless managed LAN service and high-speed PBX, "but we are looking at many other software-as-a-service applications, and the opportunities they represent," he says.
The overall goal is to retain customers and increase their spending -- although FairPoint leans heavily toward the former goal, Ashley says. "That's a huge piece of it for us, the more screens you get on with your customers, the more communications applications they are using, the stickier the service becomes and that generates new revenues and new partnerships," he comments.
The new service is available across the FairPoint footprint and that's the primary focus, he adds, although the service has been extended in a couple of instances to additional locations of existing customers, outside FairPoint's service territory, which today includes 31 markets in 17 states and many largely rural areas.
— Carol Wilson, Editor-at-Large, Light Reading