Vonage Contact Center omni-channel solution

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What is Vonage Contact Center's Omni-Channel Solution?

Using Vonage Contact Center's omni-channel solution, agents can work on work items—cases, chats, leads, and so on—that have arrived through Salesforce and on phone calls received through Vonage Contact Center (VCC).

To be able to use VCC's omni-channel features, you must have integrated VCC into Salesforce and correctly configured the Salesforce Omni-Channel feature. For information about configuring Salesforce Omni-Channel, see Salesforce help. In addition, VCC's omni-channel solution must be enabled for your VCC account.

You can then configure omni-channel for VCC in two different ways:

  • Integration with Salesforce Omni-Channel presence
  • Integration with Salesforce external routing

Interactions in Salesforce and VCC

Interaction types

  • Live

    An interaction that, by default, requires an agent's full attention. Live interactions include phone or video calls. If enabled for your account, you can configure the capacity for a live interaction to a lower value, so that agents can simultaneously work on semi-live or non-live interactions. 
  • Semi-live

    An interaction that is live with a customer but does not require an agent's full attention. Semi-live interactions include web chats, for example, Live Agent chats.
  • Non-live

    An interaction that is not live and does not require an agent's full attention. Non-live interactions include emails, and Salesforce cases and leads.

VCC makes different routing decisions based on the interaction type. Agents can perform different tasks on an interaction based on its type.

Salesforce objects, work items, and interactions

Salesforce uses different terminology for the items known in VCC as interactions:

  • Salesforce object

    A Salesforce object allows you to store information in your Salesforce organization. The object is the overall definition of the type of information you are storing.
  • Salesforce record

    A record in Salesforce is a specific definition of a Salesforce object. A record contains data in fields as required by the object type.
  • Work items

    A work item is a Salesforce record that Salesforce can route to agents or a third-party. When Salesforce routes the work item to VCC, the work item becomes what is known in VCC as an interaction.

The Salesforce record may be a web chat or a case that arrive in Salesforce through Live Agent or email respectively. Defining a service channel in Salesforce for a Salesforce object enables Salesforce to route records of that type and makes such records into work items.

Integration with Salesforce Omni-Channel presence

Salesforce Omni-Channel presence integration is available in both Salesforce Classic and Salesforce Lightning Experience.

When you have configured Salesforce Omni-Channel, both Salesforce and VCC can route work to your agents at the same time. Salesforce Omni-Channel routes work items—cases, chats, and so on—to agents using routing settings configured in Salesforce, while VCC routes phone calls to agents using configured interaction plans. Because the two systems route different types of interactions independently, VCC may route interactions to agents who are already busy in Salesforce; Salesforce may route work items to agents who are already busy in VCC. This situation causes a problem for the agent in knowing how to prioritize their incoming work.

To deal with such conflicts, if enabled for your account, you can use Salesforce Omni-Channel presence integration. With Salesforce Omni-Channel presence integration, you can create mappings between VCC's major states and Salesforce's presence statuses so each system knows the status of the agent in the other. If the agent is busy in VCC, the agent appears busy in Salesforce. The converse is also true.

For information about configuring Salesforce Omni-Channel presence integration, see Integrating with Salesforce Omni-Channel presence.

When you create your mappings, you can configure the following events:

  • When the agent changes their state in ContactPad, their presence status updates in the Salesforce Omni-Channel widget
  • When the agent changes their presence status in their Omni-Channel widget, their state updates in ContactPad
  • When the agent logs in to ContactPad, the agent goes into an online presence status in the Salesforce Omni-Channel widget
  • When the agent logs out of ContactPad, the agent goes offline in the Salesforce Omni-Channel widget
  • When the agent goes offline in Salesforce Omni-Channel, the agent logs out of ContactPad

When Salesforce assigns a chat to an agent, and auto-acceptance is enabled, the agent's state in ContactPad automatically changes to Busy Inbound. If auto-acceptance is not enabled, the chat shows as Alerting in ContactPad until the agent accepts it in the Omni-Channel widget. You can optionally configure changing the agent's state in ContactPad to Busy Inbound whenever the agent's presence status in the Omni-Channel widget is updated to a busy status. For more information, see Integrating with Salesforce Omni-Channel presence.

Revert to status before interaction (inbound only)

When you have integrated VCC with Salesforce Omni-Channel presence, when an agent finishes working with an interaction or interactions including any wrap time, VCC changes the agent's Omni-Channel presence status to the status mapped to ContactPad's Ready state. In some situations you may want to override this setting. For example, an agent working on chats only may manually change their presence status in the Omni-Channel widget to Ready for Chats. When the agent finishes working with some chats and VCC changes their state in ContactPad back to Ready, the agent might prefer that VCC reverts their presence status to Ready for Chats instead of the mapped status. 

If the revert to last status feature is enabled for your account, when an agent's ContactPad state returns to Ready after working on one or more interactions, VCC reverts the agent's presence status in the Omni-Channel widget to their pre-interaction status.

If you have set Agent Post Call State to a state other than Ready or Ready (Offline), the revert to last status feature will not work. VCC will update agents' presence statuses to the mapped status regardless of whether agents have changed their presence status manually.

Integration with Salesforce external routing

An alternative approach to Salesforce Omni-Channel presence integration involves integrating with Salesforce external routing. Salesforce external routing is a routing model within Salesforce Omni-Channel that notifies a third party that an interaction needs routing. If external routing is enabled in your Salesforce org, you can configure Salesforce to delegate routing decisions for all interactions to Vonage Contact Center. Using your configured interaction plans, Vonage Contact Center routes the interaction to an agent according to the configuration in your chosen interaction plan in Interaction Plans Architect.

With external routing, VCC can route all types of interactions—live (such as phone and video calls), semi-live (such as web chats) and non-live (such as emails). For more information about interaction types, see Interaction types.

When Salesforce external routing is enabled, configured and integrated with your VCC account, when a record of a configured type of Salesforce object arrives in or is created in Salesforce, Salesforce routes the corresponding work item to the configured named route in VCC.

VCC routes the resulting interaction according to the settings in the named route's interaction plan. When VCC routes the interaction to a queue or to an agent, the exact events depend on which optional features are available for your account, and the type of interaction.

VCC makes routing decisions for the different interactions using logic configured in one place; you no longer need to configure the logic for routing phone calls within VCC, and the logic for routing other types of interactions in Salesforce. You can also report on all types of interaction activity—real-time and historical statistics for your agents and their interactions—within VCC.

Vonage Contact Center handles delivery errors that might occur in a third-party system. If a delivery error occurs in Salesforce when Vonage Contact Center routes an interaction to an agent, Vonage Contact Center informs the agent about unsuccessful delivery and routes the interaction to another agent.

When using external routing, an agent can transfer cases to another agent or an interaction plan using ContactPad.

Transferring interactions with external routing

Currently agents can transfer only cases; no other object types can be transferred.

For information about integrating with Salesforce external routing, see Configuring Salesforce external routing for Vonage Contact Center.

Multi-interaction routing

When you have configured omni-channel for VCC, VCC can route multiple interactions to an agent. The agent can work with those interactions at the same time. The number of interactions that an individual agent can work on depends on the available capacity of the agent.

ContactPad with multi-interaction routing

When multi-interaction routing is available in your account, agents will notice some changes in ContactPad. For information about ContactPad, see Overview of ContactPad. With multi-interaction routing, agents can work on multiple interactions—of different interaction types—at the same time.

Queue information panel

The number of interactions waiting in an agent's queue appears above the queue information panel tab. This agent has three queueing interactions: one live interaction and two semi- or non-live interactions (one call and two other interactions).

Multi-interaction queue information panel

Information panel

The interactions list in the Information panel shows the interactions that an agent is currently handling. To see the interactions list, click All in the Information panel. Each interaction the agent is currently handling is presented as a separate item in the All tab. If, for example, an agent is handling two chats, both will be listed as separate interactions in ContactPad.

In the first example, the agent has no active interactions. In the second example, the agent is handling one live interaction—a phone call. In the third example, the agent is handling two non-live interactions—two cases. In the final example, the agent is handling one semi-live interaction—a chat—and two non-live interactions—two cases.

No interactions

One phone call

Two cases

Two cases, one chat

Capacity and optimum load

Capacity

VCC sizes interactions according to their type. An interaction's size determines the percentage of an agent's capacity each interaction uses. Currently, you cannot configure an agent's capacity. The following values are the default sizes of interactions of different types:

  • Live interactions: 100%

    • By default, VCC can route one live interaction to an agent. To do so, the agent must have no other interactions assigned to them, as the live interaction requires 100% of their capacity in such a case.
  • Semi-live interactions: 33%

    • VCC can route up to three semi-live interactions to an agent, as long as they have no other interactions assigned to them.
    • If an agent is working with any other interactions, VCC can only route the agent a new semi-live interaction if their total used capacity is less than 67%, as the semi-live interaction requires 33% of their capacity.
    • For example, if an agent is working with one web chat (33%) and one case (25%), VCC can route another chat to the agent as they are at only 58% capacity.
  • Non-live interactions: 25%

    • VCC can route up to four non-live interactions to an agent, as long as they have no other interactions assigned to them.
    • If an agent is working with any other interactions, VCC can only route a new non-live interaction to the agent if their total used capacity is less than 75%, as the non-live interaction requires 25% of their capacity.
    • For example, if an agent is working with two cases (50%) and one web chat (33%), VCC cannot route another case to the agent as they are already at 83% capacity.

If enabled for your account, you can configure the capacity used by different interaction types. For information about configuring interaction capacities, see Configuring multi-interaction routing.

Optimum load

An agent's optimum load is the ideal capacity that their assigned interactions should consume. When the optimum load feature is enabled, VCC preferentially routes interactions to agents whose assigned interactions consume closest to but less than their configured optimum loads. VCC routes interactions to these agents rather than agents who are idle, that is, not working on any interactions.

The purpose of the optimum load feature is to assign new semi- and non-live interactions to agents already working on semi- or non-live interactions, while freeing up other agents for handling live interactions such as phone calls; live interactions use up 100% of an agent's capacity. Optimum load aims to avoid a scenario where all agents are working on a small number or semi- or non-live interactions, using up a small amount of the agents' capacity. In this scenario, no agents would be available for handling live interactions.

VCC avoids routing interactions to agents whose assigned interactions consume more than their optimum load.

If enabled, you can configure optimum load settings for your account. For information about configuring optimum load for your account, see Configuring multi-interaction routing.

The optimum load feature does not work if either of the two interrupt toggles have been enabled:

Interruption and resume

Interrupt and resume are only available if you are using Salesforce external routing.

By default, VCC cannot route an interaction to an agent if the agent does not have the capacity to handle it. When the interrupt feature is enabled, VCC can temporarily stop the agent working on non-live interactions to increase the agent's available capacity. Increasing the agent's capacity enables VCC to route live, semi-live, or both types of interactions to the agent within their available capacity.

The interrupt feature can be enabled for live interactions, semi-live interactions, or both types of interactions.

The interruption time is not included in the interaction handle time.

For example, an agent is working on three non-live interactions and the interrupt feature is enabled for both live and semi-live interactions:

  • Live interactions

    When a new live interaction arrives, VCC interrupts all three non-live interactions and routes the live interaction to the agent. After the agent finishes handling the live interaction, VCC resumes the interrupted non-live interactions and the agent can continue to work on them.

    Interrupt live

  • Semi-live interactions

    When a new semi-live interaction arrives and is accepted (either automatically or by the agent), VCC interrupts just one of the non-live interactions to free up enough capacity (50%) to handle the semi-live interaction which requires 33% capacity. VCC routes the semi-live interaction to the agent. After the agent finishes handling the semi-live interaction, VCC resumes the interrupted non-live interactions and the agent can continue to work on them.

    Interrupt (semi-live interactions)

When the agent releases the live or semi-live interaction that interrupted the non-live interaction or interactions, the interrupted interaction is resumed. The agent can continue working with the resumed non-live interaction.

The toggles should not be enabled if the optimum load feature is being used.

Cross-media consult

If cross-media consult is enabled for your account, an agent can consult with a third party while they are handling a semi- or non-live interaction. The third party could be another agent or someone on another phone number. The agent always performs the consult using a phone call.

For information about using cross-media consult, see Using multi-interaction routing.

Transferring interactions

While working on an interaction, agents can transfer the interaction to another agent, number, queue or service depending on the type of interaction:

  • Live interactions

    Agents can transfer live interactions to another agent, number, queue or service in the normal way using ContactPad. For information about transferring live interactions, see Making and receiving calls in ContactPad.
  • Semi-live interactions

    Agents cannot currently transfer semi-live interactions.
  • Non-live interactions

    Agents can transfer a non-live interaction to another agent or service. For information about transferring a non-live interaction to another agent or service, see Using multi-interaction routing.

    If cross-media consult is enabled for your account, agents might also be able to consult with another agent, number, queue or service before transferring.

Agent Availability API

This API provides information on the availability of a customer's agents. The suggested use includes a customer using this API on their website to only show the live chat button when an agent is available. For more information on the Agent Availability API see the the API documentation site

The implementation of the API relies on the customer having the development skills available their side.

Auto-acceptance of or declining semi-live interactions

If auto-acceptance is enabled in your Salesforce org, when VCC routes a semi-live interaction to an agent—as long as the agent has capacity to handle the interaction—the agent automatically accepts the interaction. (If the agent doesn't have capacity, the interaction remains in the queue until the agent does have capacity.)

If the declining of semi-live interactions is enabled in your Salesforce org, when VCC routes an interaction to an agent, the agent can choose to manually accept or decline the interaction in the Omni-Channel widget.

The default is for the agent to manually accept interactions and be unable to decline interactions. For information about configuring auto-acceptance or declining of interactions in the Omni-Channel widget, see Salesforce help.

If an agent declines an interaction, the interaction returns to the queue until another agent accepts the interaction.

You can also configure timeouts for semi-live interactions in the Omni-Channel widget. If an interaction has been waiting in an agent's Omni-Channel widget for the configured period of time, Salesforce automatically declines the interaction on the agent's behalf and the interaction returns to the queue. VCC routes the interaction to another suitable agent when such an agent becomes available.

Notifications

When VCC routes an interaction to an agent, notifications received by the agent depend on the interaction type. For information about what happens when VCC routes a new interaction to an agent, see Examples.

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