November 05, 2021
Cisco Webex Contact Center Customization Capabilities – Part One
How does the Webex Contact Center API and desktop customization hold up to Cisco’s on-prem products?
Cisco has entered the market of Contact Center cloud providers with their Webex Contact Center solution (WxCC). Since my team focuses on automation and customization centered around the Cisco Collaboration platform, I thought it was time to take a deep dive into how this platform stacks up to legacy Cisco Contact Center environments regarding APIs and customizing the Agent Desktop.
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In the legacy applications such as Contact Center Express and Contact Center Enterprise, there are many available APIs for automation/provisioning purposes and many custom capabilities with gadgets within the agent desktop application (Finesse).
This first blog of two is meant to be an introduction to capabilities. In the follow-up blog, we’ll attempt to create automation scripts and a customized agent desktop.
Background on Cisco Contact Center
First, a little background on the platform. The Contact Center application from Cisco promises the following:
- Delightful customer experiences: multi-channel communications via chat, text, social, email or phone call
- Intelligent super agents: AI-powered assistance with a new modular agent desktop
- Flexible customizable platform: able to add widgets and create automation scripts via APIs (This is where we’ll focus our attention.)
- Collaborative Contact Center: all-in-one messaging, meetings, calling and devicesWithin the flexible customizable platform, there are two main integrations available: an API library and the ability to add custom widgets.
The Webex Contact Center API
What's possible with the Webex Contact Center APIs?
According to Cisco, the APIs provide direct access to Contact Center environment data and enable users with the ability to:
- List and download media captures for agent-customer interactions
- View agent statistics
- Collect statistics for one or more queues
- View open and closed tasks filtered by channel type, organization or time frame
- Perform moves/adds/changes of contact center entities such as skills, teams and queues
For the purposes of these two blogs, we will be attempting to utilize the statistics APIs and the provisioning APIs.
Webex Contact Center Widgets
Whereas Cisco Finesse agent desktop utilized gadgets, WxCC uses widgets. What is the difference between the two? Not much actually. Basically, they are both web components that perform tasks or display information and are embedded into an existing web page.
Gadgets are typically tied to a platform, as a Finesse gadget would not work on any other platform other than Finesse. Widgets, on the other hand, can be utilized on just about any web-based platform. For example, a widget can execute within the Cisco Webex CC agent desktop as well as any other website if the widget isn’t accessing any Webex specific data.
More detail on the differences can be found on ThoughtCo’s website.
Here is an example of the WxCC agent desktop with a custom map widget on the right side:
Widgets can be placed anywhere on the agent desktop – within the header, in a separate tab or within an existing panel.
Migrating from Finesse to Webex Contact Center Agent Desktop
One of the important things to consider if using a Cisco Contact Center solution today is migrating the agent desktop custom functionality to WxCC. This could be a gadget, a workflow to perform a screen pop or simply an embedded web page within the desktop.
More information on gadget migrations can be found on Cisco’s Finesse Gadget Migration website.
Testing the Cloud-Based Webex Contact Center
Cisco has recently entered the cloud-based Contact Center market with the introduction of Webex Contact Center. As we do with all Cisco Collaboration products, we attempt to utilize APIs and other customizable options to create benefits for our customers and field engineers.
The API and widget features seem promising to ensure that we can create provisioning tools, agent desktop customizations and provide assistance with customer migrations to the new agent desktop. In the follow-up this blog, we will put these features to the test.