Virtual Agent Integrations

CXone supports integrations with third-party virtual agentClosed A software application that handles customer interactions in place of a live human agent. providers on voice and CXone chat channels. The following virtual agent providers are natively supported in CXone:

If you want to use a virtual agent provider that's not natively supported, you can do a custom virtual agent integration. Custom integrations require additional development work to set up a secure communication route between the virtual agent provider and CXone.

Integration Process

Integrating a virtual agentClosed A software application that handles customer interactions in place of a live human agent. with CXone involves the following tasks: 

  1. Set up, configure, and test your virtual agent with the provider. Refer to your provider's documentation for help with this step.
  2. Create at least one Studio script with a virtual agent action
  3. Add a configuration app in Virtual Agent Hub to connect your virtual agent to CXone. Link the app to the Studio action used in your script.
  4. Test the connection and communication between CXone and the virtual agent. You can do this from the virtual agent configuration app in Virtual Agent Hub.
  5. Create a CXone voice point of contact (POCClosed The entry point that an inbound contact uses to initiate an interaction, such as a phone number or email address.) and assign the Studio script to it.
  6. Test the virtual agent end-to-end using the voice channel.

Every virtual agent provider has unique requirements and configuration needs. The online help for the integration of each supported virtual agent provider contains information about the process specific to that provider.

Voice Connection Options

There are two ways to set up a connection between CXone and the voice virtual agent provider. In most cases, CXone supports only one of the options for each provider. The options are: 

  • Utterance-based communication: Routing and utteranceClosed What a contact says or types. processing happens in CXoneVirtual Agent Hub. You're able to control and customize each turn in the conversation. This is the option supported for most virtual agent providers.
  • SIP backchannel connection: This option uses backchannel audio connections and a signaling connection. The connections are configured in Virtual Agent Hub, but no other Virtual Agent Hub processing or routing is used. The signaling connection allows the virtual agent to communicate with CXone when the conversation is complete or needs to be escalated to a live agent.

The voice connection option supported for each virtual agent provider is described in the table at the top of this page. You can learn more about using SIP backchannel connections on the SIP BackChannel Connections page.

Conversation Transcripts

 CXone can collect the transcripts and intentClosed The meaning or purpose behind what a contact says/types; what the contact wants to communicate or accomplish data from voice and chat virtual agent conversations. You can use the information in whatever way meets the needs of your organization. For example, you could have them saved to an external database. You could also have them sent to the agent application for interactions that are escalated to live human agents. This feature must be enabled in the configuration app for your virtual agent in Virtual Agent Hub. By default, transcripts and intents are not collected.

The exact data that's collected depends on how the feature is configured. You can have only transcripts collected, only intents, or both transcripts and intents. If you have more than one virtual agent, you can configure each one separately.

What you do with the collected data is up to you. If you want to save it for record-keeping, the virtual agent's Studio script must be configured to do so. By default, when conversation transcript collection is enabled, the collected data is stored until the interaction is complete.

Using this feature requires custom scripting in the virtual agent Studio script. It must also be enabled on the Transcript page in the virtual agent's configuration app in Virtual Agent Hub. This feature is supported for the following virtual agent providers: 

  • Amazon Lex V1
  • Amazon Lex V2 
  • Cognigy
  • CXone SmartAssist Powered by Amelia (chat only)
  • Google Dialogflow ES
  • Google Dialogflow CX
  • Microsoft Azure
  • Nuance Mix
  • Custom virtual agent integrations

Integration Versions

Periodically, Virtual Agent Hub receives updates that are controlled through numbered versions. Updates of this kind are not applied automatically. You must manually select the new version for each of your virtual agent apps in Virtual Agent Hub. This gives you control over what version you're using and when you upgrade. This is important because some versions require you to update and test your scripts before moving to a new version.

If you have more than one virtual agent, you can choose the version for each one. Additionally, if you ever need to, you can revert one of your virtual agents to a prior version.

Some numbered versions are limited to certain virtual agent providers. Not all virtual agents have the option for every integration version. The following integration versions are available: 

  • Version 1.0.0This is the first version of Virtual Agent Hub.
  • Version 2.0.0This version updated the schemas used with Google Dialogflow ES and CX.
  • Version 3.0.0: This version introduced StandardBot, which standardizes how CXone communicates with virtual agent providers. This version is available for all providers.

You can check the integration version you're currently using on the Properties page of the app for your virtual agent in Virtual Agent Hub. The Integration Version field shows the version the app is currently using.

Use care when changing versions. The changes made from version to version can affect many aspects of your integration, including scripts, settings, schemas, and more. Changing to the wrong version without testing the upgrade first can result in your virtual agent not working as expected. This could result in your contact center's ability to handle contacts through that channel being disrupted.

Custom Studio Scripting

Custom scripting is required for all virtual agent integrations. The scripts define the routing of contacts through an interaction with the virtual agent. They also configure the connection between the virtual agent provider service and CXone.

The online help provides guidelines and requirements for the scripts you need for integrating virtual agents. See the CXone online help page for your virtual agent provider for details.

There are three virtual agent Studio actions. They connect CXone and your virtual agent. The virtual agent you use might work best with a specific action. The virtual agent actions are: 

  • VoiceBot Exchange : Use the exchange action for complex virtual agents, or for when you need to customize the virtual agent's behavior from turn to turn. Your script must include at least two instances of the action.
  • Voicebot Conversation : Use the conversation action only for very simple virtual agents or if you need to use a SIP backchannel connection . This action doesn't allow for customization of the virtual agent's behavior from turn to turn.