Zultys Adds Features for Premises and Cloudby Sandra Gustavsen in Telecom
Unified Communications (UC) solution provider Zultys recently announced a new software version for its MX telephony and UC solution. Release 11.0 introduces a number of enhancements related to customer service, including a new Web chat capability and improved Salesforce integration, plus a new disaster recovery capability and diagnostics tool.
Unlike some competitors that stagger new releases, often making these available for their premises-based equipment before rolling the new features out to their cloud service, the new R11 software is available immediately for Zultys’ MX-SE and MX250 IP-PBX hardware appliances, as well as for the MXvirtual virtualized software which is deployable on-premises or available from Zultys partners as a hosted/cloud subscription-based service.
During past two years, Zultys has steadily evolved the MX solution per discussions with its channel partners and evaluation of market trends. In early 2014 with R9.0, Zultys introduced a virtualized software-only version of the company’s MX IP phone system that larger corporations can run on their existing VMware infrastructure (MXvirtual). Additionally, authorized Zultys channel partners can act as managed service providers, hosting the virtualized software in their own facility and offering the solution as a subscription-based service to end customers (a wholesale managed services offer). Later in 2014 with R10.0, the company introduced Zultys Cloud Services Hosted Phone System and Unified Communications as a new Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS) “retail” offer whereby the channel partner acts as the reseller, making the sale and providing support to the customer, while Zultys is responsible for the hosting and billing and provides SIP trunking and carrier services.
Having multiple pricing and deployment models differentiates Zultys from many of its competitors in the business communications space. Channel partners can choose the sales model that best suits their go-to-market strategy. The Zultys premises-based MX IP phone system or the MXvirtual VMware-ready virtual appliance continue to be available as a standard, one-time purchase (the traditional capital expenditure or CAPEX model). Alternatively, partners can offer a managed (hosted) subscription-based service (a recurring, operational expenditure or OPEX model), either as a wholesale managed service or the retail UCaaS model.
What’s New with R11.0?
Zultys MX is known for “all-in-one” functionality that embeds capabilities like voicemail and call center (basic ACD) as standard features, with other collaborative functions built-in and easily license-activated as needed, including unified messaging, meet-me conferencing and the company’s MXIE UC client application for desktops and mobile devices. Additional applications can be added optionally. With the cloud offer, customers can choose from three subscription feature bundles for standard, premium or contact center functionality.
Zultys offers an identical user and administrator experience whether the solution is deployed at a customer premises, as a managed/hosted service or in a hybrid environment with both types of deployments. Below are some of the new R11 features:
- A new Web chat capability (called Multi-Media Queue) allows a customer to start an instant messaging session with a contact center agent by simply clicking on a website button (a Web Chat link is integrated into a company’s website). When agents use the Zultys MXIE unified communication client, they will be able to process both voice calls and Web chat requests using this single interface. Supervisors will be able to monitor chat conversations, coach agents and interact directly with the customer for both Web chat and voice calls. Multi-Media Queue is included with the Advanced ACD software license or the Contact Center Agent hosted/cloud user package.
- The Zultys Salesforce Communicator interface is redesigned for improved functionality and now works with any Web browser and operating system (previously, only Internet Explorer, Chrome and the Windows OS were supported). Contact center agents can view screen pops for incoming calls with details of previous customer interactions, as well as make calls directly from the Salesforce application. Agents can also view a record of all recent calls without the need to exit the Salesforce window.
- Hunt group calls can now be delivered to an agent with an external telephone number such as a non-IP home phone or a mobile phone; this expands the call coverage options to improve customer service.
- A new option helps to balance call distribution among agents who are assigned to multiple groups. After ending a call, agents can now reset their idle time to “0” for all groups which prevents them from receiving another call immediately and ensures a more even distribution of calls among all agents. Previously, idle time was only reset for the specific call group in use, thus making it possible for a call from another call group to be presented to this agent immediately.
- Voice mailbox messages are now replicated across all nodes in a multi-site network. This is particularly important during outages since it allows users to continue to access their mailbox content even when the “home” server or instance is not available. This is a standard feature in the Zultys hosted/cloud offering and is part of MXnetwork redundancy and network licenses for the Zultys on-premises solution.
- The MX Administrator interface includes a new built-in diagnostic tool with access to several Real-time Transport (RTP) Quality of Service (QoS) statistics, including system-level Packet Loss, Jitter and Round Trip Timeout. This information will aid administrators with troubleshooting and identification of voice quality issues.