Enterprise social technology provider Moxie Software is integrating its Spaces by Moxie social software suite with the Microsoft Lync unified communications application.

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According to Moxie Software VP of Products Nikhil Govindaraj, the Spaces-Lync integration is “part two” of the November 2012 integration between Spaces by Moxie and the Microsoft Dynamics CRM application.

Lync brings voice into the contact center and fully integrates the Moxie multichannel desktop,” Govindaraj said during an interview with CMSWire. “It has the potential to make a difference in the contact center. Phone is still the leading channel and leading cost center for customer contact. Even with remote agents there is still a huge investment in hardware and infrastructure. It’s a multibillion dollar market ripe for disruption.”

According to Govindaraj, Moxie and Microsoft hope to cause this disruption not just by bringing Lync voice calls into the contact center, but by fully integrating Lync as the system of record with Spaces by Moxie serving as the multichannel layer.

“Phone offers access to rich information,” he said. “Users will be able to offer different services and tailored services through the customer’s channel of choice.”

The integration will also allow contact center agents to collaborate in real-time and enable the intelligent routing of Lync calls through interactive voice response (IVR). Looking ahead, Govindaraj said the upcoming integration of Lync with Skype is “great news for the consumer” and will lead to “omnichannel” customer service. “There will be no notion of channel anymore,” he said.

Taking the Dynamic Customer Care Approach

As mentioned above, the latest Moxie-Microsoft partnerships builds upon last November’s integration of Spaces by Moxie with Dynamics. By combining the functionality of Microsoft Dynamics CRM solutions with the Moxie Spaces suite, users can turn Dynamics into an interface for all customer interactions.

In addition, users can automatically search the combined knowledge base from within customer case records, publish case record data as knowledge base articles, conduct rules-driven customer chat sessions that can drive lead and case records in Dynamics and link the customer service agent desktop directly to the Dynamics platform.

Now phone calls can be fully integrated into the mix, greatly improving the level of phone-based care, while also expanding the contact center’s view of the customer and enabling a wider range of multichannel (or omnichannel, if you prefer) services.

Skype Integration Offers Intriguing Customer Contact Possibilities

Govindaraj made a point of citing the upcoming Lync-Skype integration, and it does offer some intriguing possibilities for expanding the level of interaction companies have with their customers through contact centers.

As recently reported in PCWorld, the expected June 2013 integration will eventually lead to Microsoft adding enterprise voice capabilities and Web meetings to Lync Online. Upcoming Lync mobile apps are also expected to soon allow voice- and video-over-IP communications, and iPad users will be able to view shared desktop and application content in Lync meetings.

“With its Lync product, Microsoft competes primarily against Cisco's WebEx online meetings and voice and video-conferencing product and TelePresence tools,” states PCWorld. Imagine having full video conferences with customers or groups of customers. This would be especially useful for B2B customer care or for giving personalized tutorials on how to assemble or user complex consumer products (such as DIY home and auto). This type of functionality is a ways away, but the initial Spaces by Moxie-Lync integration will officially launch April 1, 2013.