and Cisco offer fully cloud-based call center is combining its on-demand call center software with on-demand IP telephony. It will allow companies to launch a call center without hardware, software or data centers. and Cisco Systems Inc. today detailed a new integrated product connecting's contact...

center software with Cisco's on-demand contact center telephony.

The product, dubbed the Customer Interaction Cloud, will be available in the first quarter of 2010.

"They've had a relationship for a couple of years and had some integration earlier," said Chris Fletcher, analyst with Boston-based AMR Research. "This is a different slant on the same integration. Taking with the on-demand offering from Cisco, you can create a call center in your office with no other equipment besides a desktop computer."

Under the arrangement, provides the contact center software and CRM while Cisco provides the IP telephony, PBX and routing.

"The combination of Cisco's Unified Communications and's Service Cloud 2 will provide companies with a true cloud-based option when it comes to their customer service needs," Alex Dayon, senior vice president of the customer service and support product line at, said in a statement. "Companies will no longer have to manage routers, servers and switches when it comes to their contact center. They can focus on delivering the best customer service possible."

The offering will appeal primarily to small and medium-sized businesses, Fletcher said, though it may prove useful for larger enterprises opening up a new division or needing to bring a new acquisition's customer service operation up and running quickly. In fact, the Customer Interaction Cloud will focus on organizations with 30 to 300 customer service representatives. and Cisco had integrated their offerings in the past with the Cisco Unified CallConnector for, an application that could be downloaded from, integrating Cisco's Unified Communications Manager (formerly Cisco CallManager) with the application.

"We've talked to companies [that] are using on-demand in their contact center,” Fletcher said, “but this is the first time I've seen an IP-based contact center technology combined with an on-demand offering.”

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