Siemens adds social networking to UCC

* OpenScape Fusion Social Media Integration integrates both public and corporate social media tools into enterprise customer contact centers and UCC solutions provided by the company

Siemens Enterprise Communications recently commissioned a study that found businesses are missing out on social media opportunities. The study, which was conducted by Yankee Group, found that the "vast majority of employees and consumers would prefer to use social networking for business communications." The findings are not surprising, given the popularity of communications tools such as Twitter and Facebook -- but what the study also found is that even though 70 % of consumers want to interact via social media, only 30% of companies are ready for it with a formal social networking policy.

The study also found that:

* Nearly 60% of customers feel company outreach via social media would improve their loyalty to that company.

*The majority of customers feel that companies should monitor social media for customer feedback.

* Fifty percent of respondents use social media daily or several times a day.

* Nearly 70% of employees want better tools to track and manage social media for business.

Concurrent with the study, Siemens Enterprise Communications (SEC) has released "OpenScape Fusion Social Media Integration," which is designed to integrate both public and corporate social media tools into enterprise customer contact centers and unified communications and collaboration (UCC) solutions provided by the company.

The social media aggregation tools are integrated with existing desktop communications so employees can collaborate and monitor customer or partner activities. In a statement SEC suggested that "the integration of social media and UCC into contact center processes can improve average call time, first contact resolution rates and customer loyalty" with tools like automated routing of social media interactions to contact center agents, monitoring and reporting tools, and streamlined information sharing via blogs, corporate wikis and chat groups on a UCC desktop.

Commenting on the study, Chris Hummel, chief marketing officer at Siemens Enterprise Communications, said in a statement, "Businesses simply must improve their ability to serve consumers using all manner of social media [and our] research shows that increasingly customers are demanding that business talk to them in the language of their choosing -- whether it be Twitter, Facebook, blogging -- or the next new thing."

The OpenScape Fusion Social Media Integrations are now available through Siemens Enterprise Communications and select channel partners.

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Copyright © 2010 IDG Communications, Inc.