ShoreTel Connect Contact Center LIVE Webinar Recap – A Closer Look & Comparison

Webinar Recap – ShoreTel Connect Contact Center LIVE

By Chris Recio, Director of Contact Center and Advanced Applications

It’s no secret, we’re pretty big on knowledge sharing and one of the best ways we do this is through our webinars. One of our latest series of webinars is about ShoreTel Connect, which we receive countless questions about. Our recent webinar on ShoreTel Connect Contact Center covered things a close side-by-side comparison of the old and new, key differences when working with Connect Contact Center, new features and updated options, director views and configuration options, and a live demo. Our webinars typically cover a a lot of information and this one was no different. We thought we share a little of what our “closer look” is like in our webinars in case you happen to missed this one. If you’re interested in getting even more in-depth, make sure to sign up for our webinars to get the full scoop on all things contact center.

Let’s begin.

Because the usage of words and phrases are very common in the business varies, it’s important to clear up the vocab as well. To start, what’s different in Connect ECC? When you think about Connect Contact Center, which is the Connect ECC, number one, it takes what was ECC and puts it in a browser. It’s very simple and straightforward. It becomes a browser-based client tool for the agent and supervisor. Some of the other tools still remain as a desktop tool, but this is the primary difference. This is a view that we’re going to go into more detail.

It is a browser-based app for agents and supervisors. The difference is for supervisors, some tools are still local in what’s called a thick client, you have to install, but by and large, when you’re managing the Contact Center and you’re monitoring what’s happening, agents and supervisors will use the exact same login.

Even though ECC has been webified into what’s called Connect Contact Center — for simplicity, I’m just going to refer to it as Connect ECC — not all things are equal.


The web-based client is a web application through your browser. The biggest advantage is there’s nothing to install for agents. If you’re on the legacy version, you had to install communicator. You had to install a contact center tools. You had to integrate the tools. There’s a lot that had to happen.

If you’re from the IT side of things, and you had 50 or 150 agents, you had to do a lot of installing or pushed out the install to an MSI package. There’s a lot more to manage. Thankfully now, it’s a much easier deployment. Most of the installation is now related to servers and maybe a couple of supervisory tools.

Some of the management features have also been consolidated into the single-view web app.

Most agent interactions are now integrated into the same web app as well. Telephone calls, web chats, and QueueMonitor have been consolidated.

From an administration point of view, configuration options have also been consolidated into the single Contact Center Director. If you’re an admin or IT, and you log into Director, most of it previously was based on simple settings.

If you wanted to do things such as wallboards, KPI wallboards, or configuring different options you had such as screen pops, you had to go to an external application, which is no longer true. Specifically, screen pops are now configured in Director.

The number one issue we’ve seen about the screen pop is that, if you configured a screen pop, there was no way to elegantly configure a different screen pop for a customer service group rather than a tech support group. ShoreTel has done a great job of making this very explicit.

Here is the advantage. If I’m a single agent who supports customer service and tech support, the system can be configured to say, “This is a tech support call. Do a screen pop to my ticketing application. If it’s a customer service call, do a screen pop to my CRM.” They’ve done a really good job here.

That agent wallboard metrics, they’re now called KPI wallboard or dashlets or dashboards, but they basically live inside the same screen pop. When you think about the legacy version, any KPIs that you wanted to show an agent, there was an older, clunky version that was found in Communicator that gave a wallboard, but it looked more like a ticker tape on top of Excel.

Also when you configure a wallboard, you simply assign a wallboard to different individuals and groups. It’s so much easier to do mass-scale deployment, configure more wallboard, assign to the individuals. It’s very similar to assigning a class of service if you deal with that as well.

Call Profiles

A call profile is any information about the call, such as date and time and the customer’s caller ID — you also know that you can configure custom call profiles to extract things from a CRM such as account balance, maybe account aging, when the next payment due date is.

What happened in previous version, if I wanted to show five pieces of data into a call profile, I had to go into each queue and assign the call profile. That can be a lot configuring. What they’ve done now is they’ve consolidated the call profile, and now you can group them.

You could have a group of five pieces of data called tech support, a separate group of five pieces of data called customer service, and then you just assign to the group. You no longer have to pick one at a time. You create your group and then just log your group into the actual assignment. Pretty easy.

Premise vs. Cloud

With Connect Contact Center, you actually have two options. You can have a premise-based version or a cloud-based. The push is for cloud-based. The cloud-based gives you flexible options, such as not having to manage things out on the floor. They’re all in the cloud.

Here’s a basic overview of changes between premise and cloud.

Now let’s look at the old and new.

On the right hand side, the agent had communicator. ECC was embedded in communicator. Where I have the arrows pointed are the various places you could see information about the call.

In the upper left hand corner, that’s the call that I’m on. The lower left hand corner where I would see all calls in queue. On the right hand side, I would see details about the call in either of these two options. Actually, the toaster pop at the bottom where you see that 562 phone number, that also shows information. That was the older view.

If you wanted a wallboard or something on the agent desktop that shows stats — what’s the collective wait time, hold time, how many calls are in queue — you would have to deploy this wallboard.

This wallboard clunky and old school. That’s not to say it wasn’t used, but the net result is you had multiple applications for an agent.

Now, this is the new view. For Connect Contact Center, the agent view is a single application. It’s all web-based. Let me call your attention on a couple things. On the left hand side, you see that first blue arrow is pointed to queues.

If you’ve given the agent permission to view queues, they can now select this button and see what’s hanging out in queue and to see the performance of the queue. The second option where you see call type, email, group, caller ID, this is all the call profile details.

Not only do you see the details about the call, and incidentally, I’ve only chosen to display a couple. You can choose which ones you’d like to display for the agent, but I’ve also included account balance and account number. This is where all that juicy data shows up.

On the right hand side the far right, you see that arrow at the top. This shows the details of the call I’m on. What used to be three apps is now one. I’m going to add one more piece to you.

At the very bottom, do you see that arrow that’s pointed to primary voice? That’s actually where the wallboard exists now for reps. They can see the performance. These KPI boards, which was once four apps, is now one single app.

I think ShoreTel did a good job of consolidating this and making it much easier for the user. After all, in my opinion, it’s always about the user even though the technology could do great things. The user is the one most impacted by the product.

Interested to learn more? Make sure to follow along with our frequent ShoreTel Connect updates here on the blog and make sure to check out our webinars.

We Have a Slew of Other Insightful Webinars

We frequently host complimentary webinars that show in real-time how to configure ShoreTel systems and go through various best-practice scenarios.


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