Conquer UCCE in 2020 by Overcoming Your Skills Gaps

After many years on the market, Cisco’s Unified Contact Center Enterprise (UCCE) offering remains a proven solution with a long and successful track record. UCCE provides powerful capabilities for intelligent call routing, multichannel communications and application integration.

Building on top of this legacy, Cisco and its partners continue to evolve UCCE to take advantage of the latest innovations in technology and information science, such as:

  • Omni-channel services provide new and varied methods to manage access when a customer needs help
  • AI and automation are increasingly being used to enhance call routing by building an awareness of the context around customer issues
  • The entire process is sped up by eliminating the latency previously attributed to manual operations

The very nature of UCCE deployment is evolving to take advantage of the available hosting infrastructure options – whether it’s an on-premise, hybrid or cloud-based deployment.

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The Skills to Keep Pace

There are positives and negatives to the evolution. It certainly makes for a fluid situation that demands a sound understanding of both the legacy and bleeding-edge features to make the most of a UCCE deployment.

So, it should come as no surprise that, at the heart of the matter, lies the need to have knowledgeable and experienced resources to maximize the potential of UCCE. Unfortunately, it is equally apparent that there exists a skills gap in most organizations.

In a recent Gartner Insights[1], Gartner described the overall situation around the skills gap: “As companies look at what it will take to digitalize their operations, many HR leaders see there is a significant skills gap. In fact, 64% of managers don’t think their employees are able to keep pace with future skill needs. Furthermore, 70% of employees say they haven’t even mastered the skills they need for their jobs today.”

Of course, these statistics refer to the IT skills gap in general. But when viewed in the context of a knowledge niche such as UCCE, the acuteness of the problem is further emphasized.

The lack of available talent affects the overall business in a multitude of ways. To start with, it results in a less-than-optimal UCCE deployment. This leads to further issues that affect business outcomes, including:

  • The risk to revenue lost due to the inability to maintain service level agreements
  • Performance issues that lead to lost opportunities
  • Underutilized assets directly affecting ROI

This breeds discontent across the organization. Business stakeholders end up holding IT responsible for subpar service delivery. And, of course, decreased customer satisfaction directly impacts the ability to be competitive.

Addressing the Skills Gap

So what’s the best way to address the skills gap issue? Many IT organizations will opt to build the expertise in-house. This involves either retraining existing staff or hiring afresh. Both of these approaches are not without their pitfalls:

  • Retraining of in-house staff takes expertise and time. Not every business has the resources in place that are required to launch and maintain such an initiative. The time factor alone pushes out the rewards to the future with limited benefits in the near-term.
  • Hiring also has the disadvantage of pushing out the reward cycle. Finding the right people with UCCE skills and experience is not an easy proposition. Indeed, this is the very root cause of the UCCE skills gap we are trying to address.

Any potential solution must provide for rapid results. Clearly training and hiring do not deliver on that promise – especially given current constraints. In the face of the UCCE skills gap, the most viable option is to look to partner with an organization with the knowledge and experience needed to successfully manage UCCE environments.

Such a partnership results in optimal usage of the UCCE deployment with improved performance, ROI and customer satisfaction. A partner with a proven history working with UCCE immediately addresses the skills gap as they provide readymade tools, processes and capabilities specifically geared toward managing UCCE deployments.

As we frequently write about in this space, there is no denying the direct correlation between a well-managed UCCE setup and customer satisfaction. In the face of a skills gap, a trusted UCCE partner is well worth the consideration.

[1] “Bridging the Skills Gap,” Gartner Insights.

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