Microsoft Cuts Call Times

Clint Boulton

Updated · May 02, 2005

Microsoft has created a Web services software platform
to make call center operations run more efficiently and cost effectively for
service providers.

The Customer Care Framework decreases average call times by removing
extraneous data requests and delivering more accurate information faster to
agents who helm call centers.

With Web services as the core architectural approach, the software will
aggregate disparate customer relationship management, operations
support and business support applications service providers already have in

Web services is a form of application-to-application
communication that enables companies to integrate software from different
vendors and make them work together. In this case, Microsoft is using Web
services to help different applications to be accessed simultaneously from a
single interface in the call center network.

The platform works in conjunction with various Microsoft applications,
including Microsoft Windows Server, Visual Studio .NET, BizTalk Server and
SQL Server, the company said.

The framework is an example of how Microsoft is helping customers deploy
service-oriented architecture computing systems to help
businesses be more productive.

But the move is also a strategic one, as the company looks to draw from the
deep revenue pools of large service providers looking to improve their

For service providers with call centers, shorter calls means more customers
can get through to request assistance or procure new services. Satisfying
customers directly impacts the bottom line, making products that produce
efficiencies valuable.

Microsoft could butt heads with communications gear providers, such as Lucent
, Nortel , Cisco and Avaya
, all of which offer call center software.

But Vish Thirumurthy, group product manager for Microsoft's communications sector, said the company's foray into the call center market complements offerings from network equipment providers because it integrates various applications but does not take their place.

“[The software] has in fact been sold in concert with NEP and ISV
solutions,” Thirumurthy said. “Customer Care Framework enables the operator
to unlock the data and business processes that reside in multiple
heterogeneous applications to provide a unified view to the contact center

Web services are increasingly coming to the fore as a practical solution to
integration problems. Avaya today rolled out a new “intelligent communications” strategy that uses Web services
to let people connect to one another through video, text or voice.

The release of Microsoft's call center software also comes against the
backdrop of the annual Interop communications gear show, which commenced in
Las Vegas Sunday. Internet phone calling, or VoIP , is expected
to be the hot topic after a significant uptake in interest last year.

While Microsoft said it is initially targeting service providers with the
platform, the software will work with just about any enterprise whose call
center operations represent a significant part of its operations,
Thirumurthy said.

Microsoft expects the platform will be picked up by large financial services
and retail businesses.

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  • Clint Boulton
    Clint Boulton

    Clint Boulton, a senior writer at CIO, covers IT leadership, digital transformation, and the CIO role. He was a content marketer for Dell APEX. Inspire IT leaders with tales about the advantages of multi-cloud infrastructures. Dunning-Kruger bias is something that keeps IT leaders sceptical, but curious nonetheless.

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