German software solutions provider SAP announced its Business Communication Management (BCM) offering, enabling firms to integrate contact centres with other back office applications and a host of other connectivity points.

BCM, SAP executives said, provides a backbone for business process applications to communicate with each other, especially when interfacing with customers. "BCM integrates separate office telephony, contact centre, mobile telephony and the IT system into one end to end solution," explained Kay Kretschmer, director for business development of BCM, SAP Asia Pacific and Japan.

"When a customer calls the contact centre and the agent doesn't have a broad knowledge about the query, usually the agent says he'll get back to the customer," Kretschmer elaborated. With the new solution, he said, agents only need to bring up a screen prompt, look for the expert with adequate skill level and put him in a conference call with the customer.

Among the many features of SAP'S BCM, Kretschmer said, include unified contact routing, IVR and voice mail services, online monitoring, reporting and analysis of calls, centralised management and administration of the contact centre, directory and presence services and voice logging.

"Everything is tightly integrated, and the exchange of information extremely easy," Kretschmer claims. "It's easy to tie in people from the back office to the contact centre through a conference call or through a transfer of screen content to others."

SAP's out-of-the-box solution melds well with other offerings such as ERP (enterprise resource planning), CRM (customer relations management) and BI (business intelligence), but can also run with third party and legacy applications, eliminating the need to look for other vendors, Kretschmer added.

Chinatrust Commercial Bank, SAP's first BCM customer in the country, said they were able to increase productivity and sales volume, tighten data security, swiftly reduce the amount of complaints, achieve convenience and accessibility 24/7 and establish a simple and reliable communication platform using the solution.

"By integrating BCM with CRM and BI, we were able to cover all critical areas and get a better understanding of our customers," said Anthony Robles, executive vice president, Chinatrust Commercial Bank.

Implementation of the solution took only six months, Robles explained, and was immediately operational, providing their company with the necessary data to interface with customers of its personal loans program. "Depending on the profile of the customer, we create the right value proposition before calling them. [With SAP's BCM], that [kind of] business intelligence is now present," he added.