Technical terms

in a nutshell

A

ACD (Automatic Call Distribution)

Automatic call distribution (ACD) analyzes and identifies the caller's number and the service number that was called and then transfers the call to a specific agent depending on the service number, region/sales territory, subject or priority (e.g. VIP customer, key account, retail customer, new customer etc.). Callers who cannot be assigned to a particular agent or department are connected to the next available agent for that service number. ACD allows your customers to enjoy fast service without long queues even during high-volume periods.

AD (Active Directory)

Active Directory (AD) or Active Directory Service (ADS) is a directory service developed by Microsoft that offers centralized and standardized management of users, computers, printers and other network resources and network services at your organization. Active Directory allows secure user authentication for single sign-on on devices and access permissions for (web) applications. Other features include policy-based management and DNS integration.

ADFS (Active Directory Federation Service)

Active Directory Federation Service (ADFS) allows secure user authentication for single sign-on to external services and applications. The federation service allows users to sign in to applications such as Office 365 using their corporate user account that is authenticated against their organization's Active Directory. The organization's Active Directory is used by the Active Directory Federation Service but cannot be accessed over the internet.

Agent-Based Routing

Agent-based routing with calls distributed to specific agents based on the Last Agent, Least Occupied Agent, Longest Idle or Preferred Agent algorithms. Agent-based routing optimally distributes customer inquiries in your organization (calls, chats, e-mails etc.) and improves customer satisfaction because routing reduces wait times or directs calls to the last agent or to a preferred agent.

ANI (Automatic Number Identification)

Automatic number identification/calling line identification (ANI/CLI) are features to identify the origination phone number (ANI) and to transmit the caller's number to the called party's equipment (CLI). This information is used to route calls selectively.

ASR

Automatic speech recognition, or advanced speech recognition, as it is also known, allows the recognition, analysis and automatic interpretation of spoken language during calls. Callers can provide the reason for their call by talking instead of pushing buttons on their phone. The recognition of the language, key words and sentences and their meaning allows the call to be classified further in order to identify the right agent.

Attendant Pro

Attendant Pro is an attendant client for Skype for Business that offers powerful call management. Its intuitive user interface allows you to easily take and transfer calls with a click of the mouse or using the keyboard. The client's standard call routing features include blind transfer, safe transfer and consult transfer, and it gives you a quick overview of incoming, outgoing, parked and transferred calls.

Avaya Communication Manager (ACM)

Avaya Communication Manager (ACM) is the core component of an Avaya PBX. Avaya media gateways and connected lines are centrally managed and administered through the ACM. ACM offers a host of voice and video functions and provides a stable, decentralized network of media gateways and analog, digital and IP-based communication devices. In addition, Avaya Communication Manager impresses with robust telecommunications functions, high reliability, security and multi-protocol Support.

B

Blind Transfer

Accept and transfer a call: You take the call and route the caller to another party without prior announcement. The caller is routed and the call may or may not be answered. For SfB: The party to whom the call is routed sees the following message: "Call forwarded from...". If the called party does not answer, the caller is transferred according to the called party's settings (voice mail, mobile), or the caller hangs up and the call is disconnected.

BoB (Busy On Busy)

With the BoB setting, you can define and administer how incoming calls are handled if a user is busy. This setting applies to all Skype users system-wide. You can specifically control what happens with new incoming calls on busy both for internal and external communications. You can also reject calls with a busy signal when a call is placed on hold or parked. Other BoB features include call forwarding for incoming calls on busy, missed-call notifications, synchronizing contacts and allowing specific incoming calls on busy.

BOR (Business Object Routing)

Business Object Routing (BOR) allows for all types of objects to be distributed directly to the right agent through a central routing engine. Regardless of input channel - e.g., chat, Facebook, Twitter, documents, process results, business applications or events from databases - content is acquired, analyzed, prioritized and distributed to the right agent with the necessary skills and abilities through the routing engine.

C

Call Flow

A call flow is a road map to how calls are handled from the moment they enter the phone system to the end of the call. Calls are selectively routed using different methods and criteria, e.g. based on opening hours or dialed service number. Announcements or an IVR menu may require the caller to take actions during the call.

Call Journal

The call journal is a list of all incoming and outgoing calls. The call journal shows call details such as date, time and phone number.

Chef/Sec Portal

Chef/Sec Portal lets you centrally manage all cover arrangements in your Skype for Business environment. The device-agnostic, web-based real-time portal for PCs, smart phones and tablets offers intuitive operation and makes it easier for bosses and secretaries to manage cover arrangements. For example, the "follow me" feature can forward calls - including calls made to bosses - to another Skype user with all the permissions. Chef/Sec Portal also offers central administration of Skype users, permission management, presence and real-time display of all call forwarding arrangements.

Citrix

Citrix is a terminal/server solution where Windows applications and computing resources are centrally managed and provided by a secure data center (XenApp and XenDesktop). A Citrix environment located on-premise or in Azure with Citrix HDX technology provides full device functionality (Windows, Linux and Mac OS), enabling employees to access their workspace from anywhere in the world. The workspace is available across device platforms so users can, for example, stop working on one device and continue working on another one. Citrix provides a reliable IT infrastructure and telephony environment with the Citrix HDX Real Time Optimization Pack for Skype for Business.

Citrix HDX Realtime Optimization Pack

Allows the integration of Skype for Business for full device functionality (Windows, Linux and Mac OS) in a Citrix environment and optimizes data stream separation (audio/video) in a central terminal/server infrastructure. Other features include call control (hold, put through, hang up etc.), presence, support for most webcams (integrated webcams on Windows devices and integrated webcams (Facetime cameras) on Mac devices), location detection and display, SfB Federation B2C and reporting.

Co-Browsing

Co-browsing supports agents and customer care representatives by allowing two or more people to simultaneously navigate a website in order to, say, help customers find a certain page, make a purchase or conclude a contract. This boosts your online sales and reduces the number of customers who abort contracts or abandon shopping carts. Co-browsing ensures that the customer and agent always see the same browser window (content and mouse pointer) regardless of their choice of browser, even if they have different screen resolutions. While co-browsing, your employee can answer the customer's questions and offer product assistance on the phone.

Consult Transfer

Transfer a call after prior consultation: You take the call and route the caller to another party after announcing the caller. In other words, before you transfer the call, you call the person to whom you will be transferring the call. The call is then transferred and answered. For SfB: The party to whom the call is routed sees the following message: "Call forwarded from...".

CRM (Customer Relationship Management)

Customer relationship management software is a solution used to systematically capture, administer and manage customer relationships in a personalized fashion. All contact information, documents and events regarding sales and service customers and partners are entered in the CRM software. Additional information, call memos or next steps can be entered centrally during a phone call in order to maintain a complete history of customer interactions. Furthermore, CRM enables you to easily and quickly generate leads and forecasts of upcoming events at the push of a button. Maintaining your customer relationships systematically will build customer loyalty and boost your company's success.

CTI (Computer Telephony Integration)

Computer telephony integration (CTI) is a common name for any technology that allows interactions on a telephone and a computer to be integrated or coordinated using installed software. Using CTI, you can control phone features such as: automatic dialing, answering and ending phone calls, setting up conference calls, sending and receiving faxes, directory services and call forwarding. CTI software is installed on each workstation (client) and on a central server (CTI server).

CTI Server

The CTI server is connected to the PBX or Skype for Business. It monitors all registered extensions and provides each client with CTI information for its extensions (busy, ringing or caller and phone number information). It also serves as the central link between other system components.

D

DaaS (Database as a Service)

SQL Database online consists of scalable databases with predictable and adjustable performance, high throughput and guaranteed availability thanks to replicas and operating hours. SQL Database offers security features that help you meet your organization's or industry's compliance requirements.

DECT (Digital Enhanced Cordless Telecommunication)

The DECT standard is a solution for creating telephone systems based on radio services (DECT transmitters and cordless telephones). Existing DECT solutions can be integrated and connected to a Skype for Business environment over certified media gateways with the SIP2Lync software solution. They form the connecting link between SfB and the DECT technology, enabling DECT telephones to be used as full-featured Skype for Business devices.

Desktop Sharing

Desktop sharing generally refers to the simultaneous transmission of screen content to at least one other computer. This can be useful in various scenarios. For example, computer users at other locations can watch presentations on their monitors as if they had opened the file or presentation themselves.

Dynamic Attendant

Dynamic Attendant offers all the features of an attendant in your company and is available in various languages. Its features include a search function, an address book connected to various data sources (e.g. LDAP, ODBC, CSV), a busy indicator and hot key operation.

Dynamics CRM

Dynamics CRM is Microsoft's customer relationship management (CRM) solution based on Microsoft.NET.

Dynamics NAV

Dynamics NAV is Microsoft's standard software for ERP systems.

E

ERM (E-Mail Response Management)

Incoming e-mails are sent to the contact center's distribution system by your organization's e-mail server. E-mail content is analyzed, prioritized and routed to the most suitable agent.

ERP

Enterprise resource planning

ESTOS

German company that develops unified communications and CTI software

F

Fat Client

Fat clients are computers with standardized hardware that are largely independent of networks and thus provide rich offline functionality for employees. The operating system and all the applications are installed on the fat client. Only the data is retrieved from the server to which the fat client has an open interface. Fat clients are powerful desktop computers with plenty of computing capacity, hard drive space, CD-ROM drives and high-performance graphics cards, as opposed to thin clients.

G

Genesys

U.S. company with customer experience and contact center solutions for medium-sized and large organizations.

H

HLB (Hardware Load Balancer)

A hardware load balancer distributes the load across several parallel server components.

I

IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service)

Infrastructure as a service essentially means providing virtual infrastructure components as needed on the fly. IaaS offerings include physical hardware, networks with firewalls and routers, user-specific virtualized platforms and service level agreements (SLAs). (Examples: file servers, server systems without operating systems or preconfigured VHDs, servers, CPU capacity, network capacity, communications devices, memory, archiving and backup systems).

IPD NOW (IPD Networked Office Workspace)

IPD NOW lets you purchase IT infrastructure (including hardware and service) for your start-up or organization directly from IP Dynamics so you can focus fully on your business. IPD NOW includes workstations, IP-based telephony, Office365, Skype for Business and customer relationship management.

IVR (Interactive Voice Response)

IVR is a voice dialog system that takes calls and answers them based on a custom-programmed call flow. Callers can operate the system by typing their entries on a DTMF keypad or speaking their choices out loud to a speech recognition system (ASR). The IVR has various interfaces for accessing a database or other connectors.

L

Last Agent

Agent-based routing that routes calls to the last contacted agent.

Least Occupied Agent

Agent-based routing that routes calls to the least occupied agent.

Longest Idle

Agent-based routing that routes calls to the agent with the longest idle time.

M

Media Escalation

Use an additional media channel (e.g. voice or video) during an existing contact (e.g. chat).

Media Routing

Routing of contacts (calls, documents, social media etc.) using the same routing engine.

Microsoft Azure

The Microsoft cloud computing platform provides extremely simple, powerful deployment and administration for your IT infrastructure. Microsoft Azure offers high availability and scalability across several servers. IT solutions can be built by mixing and matching local software and servers with central cloud-based services and servers. Microsoft Azure offers solutions for servers, services, applications and databases at every level with infrastructure as a service (IaaS), platform as a service (PaaS), software as a service (SaaS) or database as a service (DaaS).

Microsoft SQL Server

A database management system from Microsoft. SQL database servers are used as a central database for the contact center platform, for example.

Monitor Desktop Host

Unlike standard real-time monitoring in a web browser, the monitor desktop host lets you select and display several monitor screens in separate windows and adjust their position and size. This selection is saved when you exit the application and shown again next time you start the application.

N

Nagios

Application for monitoring complex IT system components.

O

Office365

Office365 is a Microsoft subscription service that includes the standard Office applications (Word, PowerPoint, Excel, Outlook, OneNote) and always provides the most recent version of these programs. Office365 also offers cloud-based productivity and is optimized for use on any device.

OfficeMaster

Gateways offered by Ferrari electronic. VoIP gateways OfficeMaster Gate and OfficeMaster Advanced connect existing ISDN lines with Skype for Business Server (also in combination with Exchange Server for Voicemail). OfficeMaster serves as an intelligent translator between the landline network and the SIP protocol used by Microsoft.

On Premise

The organization's ICT infrastructure is installed in owned or leased facilities and operated by the organization's administrators. On-premise solutions incur acquisition, operating and electricity costs that you can eliminate with cloud-based solutions.

P

PaaS (Platform as a Service)

Platform as a service essentially means providing the IT administrator or developer with a server and operating system as needed. An IT administrator, for example, may need a Windows server for an Exchange environment. A developer, for example, may need a server with a Unix operating system for developing web-based solutions for a period of 3 months. With PaaS, you get virtual servers with an operating system and update/upgrade service for the host operating system as well as patching and failover. (Examples: server systems with operating systems, web servers, web applications, high-performance PHP applications)

PBX (Private Branch Exchange)

Phone system that provides various interfaces (ISDN, analog, SIP/IP) for connecting devices (phone, fax, answering machine). Organizations are increasingly replacing conventional PBXs with Skype for Business in order to use its state-of-the-art features.

Peer-To-Peer

Direct connection and communication between devices, users, networks and nodes or computers in a network.

Pickup Bar

The Pickup Bar module lets you easily pick up calls on a specific co-worker's phone line. Other features include e-mail notification of the original called party about the call pickup, phone number display, direct dialing, transfer, presence display and change, authorizations or phone book.

PoE (Power over Ethernet)

Supplying devices with electricity through the Ethernet cable

Preferred Agent

Agent-based routing that routes calls to a fixed agent (preferred agent). If the preferred agent does not answer, calls can be routed to other available agents after a set period.

Presence

Real-time user status display. Also called presence status/display or availability. Presence states are shown using traffic light colors and indicate whether users are available, busy, not to be disturbed or away.

Presence Service

The presence service synchronizes presence states between Skype for Business, mobile phone, desktop phones, PBXs etc. so that all the devices and applications show the current presence status.

PSTN Telephony

The traditional public switched telephone network (PSTN) is a circuit-switched network for real-time voice communication (phone network). Analog subscribers that only have one line receive data consecutively in analog form. That means that only one device can be used at a time - either the phone, fax or answering machine. IDSN subscribers receive data in digital form. That means several signals can be sent and received simultaneously. As a result, phone, fax or answering machine can be used simultaneously via two channels.

Push Notification

The push notification service is designed for mobile devices that do not support running applications in the background. If an application is inactive, the push notification service is used to send new events – such as a missed call or missed chat invitation – to the mobile device.

Q

QoS (Quality of Service)

Quality of Service is a technology that reserves available bandwidth for certain applications. Different methods are used to define properties for transferring data over IP networks. For example, active network components (switches, routers) prioritize VoIP data packets over standard data packets. QoS is used to handle real-time data such as Voice over IP or video streaming.

R

Real-Time Monitoring

Real-time monitoring is a powerful web-based cross-media monitoring feature to keep track of all the cases being handled at the contact center. With real-time monitoring, supervisors and agents have up-to-the-moment information about utilization, the total number of callers per day, and service level agreement performance. Numerous visual elements display data in easy-to-read charts, clocks, tables and values (with a lag of less than 1 second). You can adapt all display elements and the entire monitor screen to your organization's corporate identity. Features and adjustable parameters allow you to define threshold values for alarms or escalation to a supervisor so you can optimize utilization and drive business process efficiency.

RONA (Redirection On No Answer)

Configurable time allowed to accept a call. The caller is redirected if no one answers. The non-responding agent is either flagged as 'absent' by the system or assigned a defined break. The caller is placed back in the queue.

RouteToAgent

Agent-based routing function that routes calls directly to a specific agent (personal contact) regardless of the agent's availability or skills.

Routing Engine

Central system component for automatically directing calls, documents, etc. to agents on all communications channels.

S

SaaS (Software as a Service)

Software as a service means, in a nutshell, that you download software from the internet on an as-needed basis. With SaaS, you provide software to your employees so each one of them is running the same software version. The software and IT infrastructure are provided and operated in Azure, where you (an Azure customer) use them as a service. That means your organization hands off all IT infrastructure and administrative tasks so you can focus on your core business.

Safe Transfer

Accept and transfer a call (like a blind transfer). You take the call and route the caller to another party without prior announcement. The caller is routed and the call may or may not be answered. If the call is not answered, the caller is transferred back to the original called party (operator or individual person).

SAP

Software vendor that develops ERP solutions for various business processes. Users can chat, e-mail and make phone calls from within the SAP application (SAP web client) thanks to interfaces with Skype for Business and the contact center.

Service Level-Based Routing

Routing decisions are made based on the current service level for a particular service, as measured on a second-by-second basis.

SfB (Skype for Business)

Skype for Business is a client/server architecture that provides an efficient unified communications solution. Skype for Business can be used within a single organization, across organizational boundaries and with outside individuals. The client interface offers the same look and feel across device platforms and provides real-time presence information, including the user's picture, availability and location. Professional teamwork is supported by commonly used channels such as calls, audio and video web conferencing, instant messaging (IM), file transfer, desktop sharing, voicemail, whiteboards and e-mail.

SfB Control Panel

Control Panel is the graphical administration interface for Skype for Business Server. An administrator account ("CsAdministrator" role) is used to perform central administration tasks. Settings configured for a SfB user in Control Panel are synchronized with AD.

SfB PowerShell

PowerShell is a command shell and scripting language for administering and managing Skype for Business Server instead of using the GUI-based Skye for Business Server Control Panel.

SfB Topology Builder

Topology Builder is the installation and management component of Skype for Business Server. It is used to deploy servers and create, publish and change server topologies.

SharePoint

Microsoft platform that allows employees at your organization to work on documents simultaneously. Other central features include web content management, document management and security features that help you meet your organization's or industry's compliance policies.

Single Sign-On

Single sign-on (SSO) lets users access multiple resources for which they have access permissions after presenting their login credentials only once. Employee data (passwords, access permissions, etc.) is recorded centrally in a main directory. All services and applications access the main directory in order to authenticate the user.

SIP (Session Initiation Protocol)

SIP is a signaling and controlling protocol for IP-based multimedia and mobile communications services and applications. In VoIP, it is used to set up calls, transfer data during the call and tear down calls (SIP session). Calls are signaled by resolving either a number or a name, such as the SIP address "sip:john.doe@company.com". SIP trunks are used to connect system components to one another in the local network, to connect to servers in the internet and to connect to the public switched telephone network (PSTN).

SIP Address

SIP addresses (also known as URIs) can be used to contact people with a software phone (e.g. Skype for Business client) or a SIP telephone. SIP addresses have the same structure as an e-mail address, except they use the prefix "sip:" (e.g. "sip:info@example.com"). If you know your party's SIP address, you can enter the SIP address instead of a phone number as long as the phone or software accepts alphanumeric SIP addresses.

Skill-Based Routing

Skill-based routing assigns customer contacts to agents or agent groups with certain skills, qualifications and specializations. Skills can include language proficiency, specialization in a particular field, education or other qualifications. Skill-based routing requires you to define skills (language, field, contact type), skill levels (e.g. 10=specialist and 1=in training) and skill groups (a group of agents that have the same skills). Customer inquiries (calls, chat messages, e-mails, etc.) are assigned to appropriately qualified agents at your organization in order to drive key factors such as customer satisfaction.

StorSimple

Microsoft hybrid cloud storage with data backup, archiving and disaster recovery. StorSimple is an on-premise storage solution with a flexible, scalable cloud extension. The entry-level versions begin at 15 to 40 TB in local storage and 200 TB in the cloud. Local storage gives your organization rapid internal access to data. The extended cloud storage holds data backups and snapshots as well as inactive or cold data specified by user-defined retention policies.

System Center

System Center from Microsoft is an IT administration suite of management consoles for different tasks, plus multiple automated management tools for deployment, configuration and monitoring in hybrid IT infrastructures (on-premise/Azure). Virtual Machine Manager, for example, is a powerful tool for administering virtualized data centers. Configuration Manager enables the deployment of more efficient IT services, compliance enforcement and powerful resource management for servers, desktops, laptops and mobile devices. Operations Manager (SCOM) allows flexible, cost-efficient monitoring of your IT infrastructure.

T

Thin Client

Client workstation in a Terminal Server/Citrix environment that has no applications of its own installed, but only runs applications provided by the server. Thin clients are computers with standardized hardware that access a server over a remote connection. All the business logic runs on the servers. The thin client is only used to display data and capture user input (e.g. standard web client).

U

UCC (Unified Communications and Collaboration)

UCC combines products, service features and business processes in a way that unleashes synergies for your organization. "Unified" means not only that different communication channels and methods are combined and consolidated into a single user dashboard, but also that communications content is provided across platforms on all devices such as SIP phones, smartphones and tablets (with application support). "Communications" refers to all types of communications, including voice, data and desktop content for telephony, voicemail, e-mail, fax, text message, multimedia message, regular mail, etc. "Collaboration" refers to distributed, computer-based work jointly performed by teams and groups at different times and/or locations and includes e-mail, calendars, wikis, blogs, chat, presence information and management, audio/video conferences, document and desktop sharing.

V

VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol)

VoIP lets you communicate by voice, data and video over a local area network or the internet. It is a low-cost alternative to landline or cellular telephony for voice and video communications.

Voxtron Client

Voxtron Client gives agents a powerful toolset for efficiently and intuitively serving customers across all communications channels. Customers can easily contact your organization by phone, e-mail, chat, video, fax, documents, business processes, social media, etc., while your staff can choose from four different outbound dialing methods. When combined with the Skype for Business client, Voxtron Client represents a flexible, state-of-the-art communications solution. It provides contact center agents with all the features they need for streamlined communications processes and high productivity.

Voxtron Communication Center

Voxtron Communication Center is a software product comprising multiple modules. Each module serves a specific purpose. Modules can be added or removed as needed and managed on a central website. There are modules for automated distribution of inbound and outbound calls, interactive voice response (IVR) menus, computer-telephony integration (CTI), web chat, e-mail and business object routing, call recording, reporting and real-time monitoring.