Jacada this week is expected to unveil updated versions of its two contact center software products, which are designed to streamline the way agents work.Jacada's Fusion software hooks into enterprise applications and tackles workflow automation with features such as single sign-on and call scripting. New in Version 3.0 is desktop monitoring technology that tracks what agents are doing, anticipates next steps and notifies managers if processes have not been followed.As an integration platform, Fusion uses Web services to extract the content agents need to do their jobs. Companies don't have to alter their existing business applications nor do contact center agents have to constantly navigate among multiple applications to find the information they need, says David Holmes, an executive vice president at Jacada.Jacada's second product is WorkSpace, a thin-client application that melds applications and content agents need while dealing with customers. As more contact centers make use of distributed staff, including outsourced and home-based agents, a browser-based desktop application can simplify the process of bringing new agents on board, Holmes says.New in WorkSpace 3.0 is a universal agent feature that automatically alters the tools and applications displayed on an agent's desktop depending on factors such as where a customer is calling from and number dialed.Jacada is known for its mainframe integration and emulation products, but lately the vendor has shifted its product development from general connectivity wares to more targeted industry applications.Experience with legacy integration is a plus for Jacada in the contact center market, where using service-oriented architecture technology to improve agent productivity is a good fit, says Sheryl Kingstone, a director at The Yankee Group. "For years we've been talking about providing a single view of the customer and trying to consolidate all the different departments and initiatives in the contact center. But the agent still has to Alt-Tab between different applications and swivel-chair between different desktops," Kingstone says. "It's out of control."Convincing companies to work such technology into their contact center road maps will be a big challenge. "The very large contact centers can't get past that their Holy Grail is to rationalize the data in their infrastructures," Kingstone says. While it's important for the long term to consolidate back-end systems, that shouldn't preclude companies from pursuing a more immediate fix for their contact center woes. "Build that road map, but don't make your customer service reps pay for it for the next three years."