One of the basic operational requirements for a call center is the integration of multiple back-office systems and applications.For example, agents need access to a customer relationship management system - preferably with a \u201cscreen pop\u201d that shows a customer\u2019s profile when the agent receives the customer\u2019s call. Other applications may include accounting, inventory, or even an application external to the company like a credit check database. Historically, integrating these multiple applications has required substantial systems integration that proved expensive and time-consuming.One improvement in how call centers integrate these multiple applications includes the introduction of XML, a standard developed by the World Wide Web Consortium.XML provides a means to structure, store and send information. As a markup language, it is a mechanism to identify structures in a document.XML has been designed to be easily understood and simple to implement. Many developers (and even some amateurs) have learned to write using XML rules. With a large development community available, XML has become a widely adopted protocol to communicate between applications.Desktop applications like Microsoft Windows and the Microsoft .Net framework provide an XML interface to ease integration with Web-based and e-business services. Enterprise back-office applications - including those from Oracle, PeopleSoft, Siebel and others - have also provided XML interfaces for several years.Because desktop applications, back-office applications, and communications systems applications now support common Web-based protocols, the foundation is laid to integrate these multiple applications onto single user portal - including the call center agent\u2019s desktop.