FAQs

Are there any special considerations building a better desktop in a Citrix environment?

Cicero technology can be used in several ways in a virtualized computing environment such as Citrix and therefore, there are special considerations that must be addressed.  Cicero allows companies to integrate applications in several ways in a Citrix environment.  One way is to integrate applications using Cicero at the server and push an integrated, intelligent desktop to the users.  The second method is to integrate the applications at the desktop and include the Citrix client in the overall desktop solution.  The final approach is to integrate both the applications pushed from the server with other local desktop applications in a solution that allows you to seamlessly share data.

How fast can we make a change to the desktop for promotions or procedure changes, with Cicero XM?

Customers can roll out changes to the desktop for promotions and procedures in real time without interrupting the user.  These can include changes to user scripts, composite applications, or any other change to the desktop workspace. 

What will an smart desktop do for our multi-channel efforts?

A Cicero smart desktop will allow you to better integrate and display information as it is needed during each step of a customer interaction.  Cicero can also provide better insight into origin of information and how it is used during each interaction so that you can continually improve customer service processes.

What type of resources do we need involved in building/supporting a Cicero smart desktop solution?

The common resources involved in designing and building a Cicero smart desktop solution include an IT contact and 1-2 business analysts/users.

What sort of insight can we gain with your software about how our operations are running?

Cicero technology allows you to capture any activity at the desktop down to the user mouse clicks.  Using Cicero’s UDM technology, you can blend this data and store it for both real time and long term reporting needs.  This data provides you with vital information about your operations such as how applications are used, what end users are doing during customer interactions and other areas for improvement.

What does a typical engagement process look like with Cicero?

Cicero’s approach to Cicero XM implementation is to team closely with the customer to meet the business objectives and timelines. Generally, Cicero and the customer define the solution and timeline together, then during the initial implementation the customer provides the business expertise and Cicero provides the product and implementation skills as well as provide training and mentoring so customers can become self-sufficient.

Overall a typical engagement process can take between 8 and 14 weeks.

How long until we can start improving the desktop for our business users?

Using Cicero, you can begin improving the desktop almost immediately.  Customers often start with improving certain processes such as adding single sign-on or eliminating copying and pasting between screens.  They then begin adding more ‘intelligence’ to the desktop.  Cicero’s visual development environment, Cicero XM Studio, allows companies to continually improve the desktop using an iterative process.  Other customers take longer and design a fully integrated, intelligent desktop.

Does your software help with security or compliance?

Yes.  Cicero can be used to monitor, capture, and report on end user activity for reporting purposes or generating alerts.  It can also be used to enforce security policies and compliance rules such as hiding fields, enforcing data entry rules, or providing prompting to the end user. 

How do I build a business case for an smart desktop?

There are several ways to build a business case for a smart desktop.  One way is to have the Cicero team assist you in evaluating your current desktop environment, identify business processes that can be streamlined, and present the projected ROI for an intelligent desktop.  Another approach is to begin evaluating your current desktop environment.  Below is a checklist that you could follow to build a business case:

  • Create a project team consisting of users, supervisors, managers, trainers, and others who are very familiar with all tasks performed by the end user at the desktop
  • Compile a list of the top 20 transactions/inquiries handled
  • Identify all of the systems that are accessed to address and resolve customer inquiries or to perform tasks
  • Compile a list of all fields that are accessed by users in all of the various systems, and prioritize their importance
  • Design new intelligent desktop servicing screens that give users access to the data fields they need to resolve at least 80% of all inquiries, keeping the number of screens as small as possible
  • Review the new screen mock-ups with leading users, and identify missing information – this iterative process must be performed until the team is satisfied that the new screens will achieve all of their enterprise goals
  • Once the screens are designed, identify user tasks that can be eliminated through the use of context-sensitive scripting and smart workflows
  • Prioritize the development of smart workflows based on frequency and improvement potential of each task including the time saved and dollars associated with savings
  • Identify information that needs to be shared with multiple systems
  • Identify information created by users that is important to share with other operating groups and systems, as well as data created by other operating groups that would improve user performance but is not currently shared

After these steps are completed, you will have the information you need to rapidly build a new intelligent desktop servicing environment using the Cicero XM suite. Cicero’s professional services team is available to assist or guide you through this process.

What technology is Cicero XM based or built on?

Cicero XM is based on the Microsoft .NET platform.

How does Cicero technology fit with IT group initiatives like SOA and desktop image management?

Cicero technology supports both SOA and desktop image management.  Cicero can be used to both consume and produce Web Services as part of an integrated, smart desktop and in support of a company’s SOA strategy.  Cicero can also be included as part of any desktop image management software solutions.

We have a CRM system that handles most of what we need. Isn’t the idea of creating a new desktop just re-creating what we have with CRM?

First, if you don’t own the CRM system to make changes to it, which is often the case as a BPO/customer contact outsourcer, you need smart desktop software that can run non-invasively at the desktop to automate manual tasks and present information in a more useful way. 

Secondly, CRM solutions are deigned to capture information about your customer so you can better serve them going forward.  They have traditionally NOT been designed to make the present conversation go smoother, faster, etc.  There are many systems that are working on better configurability in this regard, yet there is a limiting factor with CRM and SFA systems that keep our addressable market around 90% of all customer contact operations, which is the fact that not all the relevant information to embed in a script or needed to prompt the next best action or useful in a 360 view of the customer resides in that system.  There is some information that comes from your CTI solution, your billing platform, 3rd party websites, provisioning systems and knowledge bases.  If you want a really intelligent screen, prompt or look at how interaction work is really getting done, you need both integration and smart desktop capabilities like Cicero XM to get there. 

Finally, over 50% of the demand we see unsolicited, comes from IT and Ops departments looking to make a Siebel or SF or SAP or Amdocs environment more malleable to their changing user and customer needs – and our solution doesn’t replace.  It enhances, extends what you can pull off with your existing technology assets – most of which are quite good at just about everything except real time conversation assistance

Is there anything that you can’t integrate? What about within an application such as Siebel? Is there any way to make life easier?

The quick answer is no.

Here are few things to consider, however, when you’re pursuing an integrated/smart desktop service advantage

  • 80% of applications can typically be integrated out of the box with Cicero
  • The other 20% take some engineering effort on our part – usually between 3 days and several weeks – so we like to identify any potential exceptions early in our assessment phase and plan our work alongside design and planning so that there isn’t a project delay.
  • Not everything needs to be /should be integrated or leveraged in your desktop improvement roadmap – one of the greatest things about our software is that you can hook it up to the PCs and tell it to gather how work is really happening on the desktop (to complement the management, rep and QA input) so you don’t go off and build /integrate /automate or script a non-impacting or non-present issue altogether.
  • Finally – we’ve architected our Cicero XM smart desktop software to not care where data comes from – so we often use our patented desktop integration capability to grab information from the applications running on the desktop – and that’s the best place to get it in the case of a BPO – and you don’t have access to a DB feed or maybe a web service – yet Cicero can grab information all 3 ways (DB, desktop or WS) and once in our data model, all of the automations, the prompts, the composite views of information are built off the data model) – so if your IT wants to take the applications off the desktop over time, Cicero XM was designed to be smart today with an easy IT change of data providers /sources under the covers when the information is moved into the cloud so to speak.
    • And the business will never feel the change
    • Ops can make changes to the desktop without burdening an already swamped IT
    • IT can make data source/security changes without any impact to the user desktop
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