1Cobrowse Overview

Overview of Cobrowse

Oracle Cobrowse Cloud Service is a collaboration tool that can be used during voice or chat interactions to enable a company representative to see the screen of the customer that the representative is interacting with in real-time.

Cobrowse lets agents better understand a customer’s question or problem, and provide faster and more accurate help, leading to better resolutions and more satisfied customers. Today, more and more businesses are moving processes and critical business applications to the Web. Many large organizations have multiple customer-facing websites and mobile applications to serve different audiences and business segments. All too often, customers or end-users can get lost in complicated websites and can grow frustrated or just give-up. This can have a negative impact on customer satisfaction, adoption of the internet channel, and the ability to profitably serve customers.

Ensuring success of end-users on web platforms has become critical to business success, and so collaborative tools such as cobrowsing software have become must-haves. Cobrowsing is used to engage customers online and provide real-time assisted service or guidance when necessary, which increases customer satisfaction and online conversions. In many cases, a customer and an agent can resolve an issue more quickly, with a greater level of understanding and satisfaction, by viewing the same content at the same time. Cobrowsing is an indispensable sales conversion and customer support tool that drives business objectives as well as revenue. This document will cover the end-to-end deployment process and the most effective best practices to consider when planning, deploying and using the Oracle Cobrowse solution, along with ways to measure its success.

Oracle provides the Cobrowse Cloud Service as both a standalone solution as well as an integrated feature of the Oracle Service Cloud Agent Desktop, Oracle Service Cloud Enterprise Contact Center, Oracle Service Cloud Standalone Chat, or Engagement Cloud.

How Cobrowsing Differs from Screen Sharing

While these terms can often be used interchangeably, in a business setting there is an important difference between screen sharing technology and cobrowsing technology, which comes down to the use case for which each is utilized.

  • Screen Sharing: a web collaboration session wherein one person lets one or more other people view his or her computer screen. In business, the screen is typically shared by the sales or customer service agent who invites a customer to view an online demo, presentation or web service. The “sharer” or “host” is the party that holds the license to use the screen sharing tool and is responsible for starting a sharing session.

  • Cobrowsing: a screen sharing session that the customer initiates, wherein a sales or customer service agent is able to see the customer’s screen and can provide guidance and insights with regard to what the customer is doing or seeing. In this case the “sharer” or “host” is the customer, but the license to use the cobrowsing tool is held by the company/agent. The customer doesn’t have to sign up for anything, download anything or do anything other than click a button to start a session.

Cobrowse Terminology

Cobrowse uses this terminology.

  • Instant Mode (ICB)—The mode Cobrowse typically launches in, using HTML-based cobrowsing technology and running in the browser.

  • Advanced Mode (ACB)—The mode Cobrowse can switch into that allows for cobrowsing outside of the browser or viewing more advanced, rich web technologies in the browser.

  • TrueView—The Cobrowse feature that enables agents to switch in and out of a view that perfectly matches the browser size and configuration of the customer.

  • Agent Console—The user interface where agents start and/or run a Cobrowse session.

  • Admin Console—The user interface where Cobrowse administrators manage the Cobrowse product, including configuration panels and reporting.

  • In-app Cobrowse—Cobrowse functionality that can be built into a native mobile application.

Cobrowse Modes

Cobrowsing is achieved by utilizing one of two different technology approaches.

The first approach utilizes HTML, and the second is a screen sharing based approach. Oracle Cobrowse combines both technology approaches with two modes:

Instant Cobrowse Mode (ICB): Fastest connection–Oracle Cobrowse makes the initial connection between a customer and agent in Instant Mode. The launch time is typically under 10 seconds to connect. ICB mode lets agents cobrowse with customers who are viewing web content on pages where the company has placed Cobrowse launcher script.

Advanced Cobrowse Mode (ACB): Greatest coverage–Agents can escalate to Advanced Mode from within an active session that was started in ICB mode. Occasionally sessions will start directly in ACB mode if ICB mode is not supported. ACB mode lets agents cobrowse content outside of the company’s domain, including third party websites and desktop applications. ACB Mode utilizes browser plug-ins and may require that a customer accept a certificate or download an executable. This process is described in detail later in this document.

You select Cobrowse modes when you configure your company deployment. See Configure Your Company Deployment.

Table What is the functionality of each Cobrowse mode?

Instant Mode (ICB) Advanced Mode (ACB)
Connect in less than 10 seconds x
Customer is using a mobile browser x
Cobrowse the company’s web pages x x
Rich media present on page (for example, Flash or Silverlight) x
Cobrowse third party sites (such as partner websites or resource websites) x
Cobrowse content outside of the browser (such as settings windows or applications) x
Configure field masking to block sensitive information x x
Configure page masking/URL masking to control visibility of web content x x
Configure application masking to control visibility of desktop content x
A Cobrowse session flow may follow this path:
An image depicting a Cobrowse session flow launching in ICB mode with a customer who would like to share a PDF document, and the agent escalating to ACB mode in order to view the PDF document.

In this example, at the point in the conversation where the agent needs to cobrowse content that is not browser-based, the session would cease supporting the interaction. However, with Oracle Cobrowse this agent has the option to transition into the Advanced Mode for greater functionality, supporting the customer’s need to cobrowse a document, settings window, or third party website.

It’s important to note that while advancing into ACB mode does provide for the functionality to cobrowse documents, applications, and third party sites, the company controls exactly what is visible to agents when configuring the Cobrowse product. So it does not simply open up the customer’s desktop for the agent to view; only approved websites, domains, and applications will be visible.

Note: ICB is not supported on some browsers. In these cases, Oracle Cobrowse will launch in ACB mode.

How Instant Mode (ICB) Works

Oracle Cobrowse will typically launch in ICB mode.

ICB mode requires that a Cobrowse launcher script be present on all web pages that will be cobrowsed, typically by placing the Cobrowse launcher script on the global header of the company’s website. For Integrated Cobrowse, this is accomplished within Customer Portal by utilizing and adjusting various widgets.

Only website content tagged with Cobrowse launcher script can be viewed by the agent when cobrowsing in ICB mode. For any content that includes sensitive customer data, the Cobrowse script can be configured to prevent the Agent from viewing these pages. Additionally, field blocking can be applied to prevent viewing sensitive form fields during a Cobrowse session (such as credit card numbers or social security numbers).

Here is how an ICB session connects and runs:
  1. The Cobrowse engine, written in Javascript, collects a URL and page contents (including dynamic content like windows, radio boxes, and check boxes) and sends data to the Grid Server through a secure websocket connection.

  2. The agent’s browser retrieves this data through the same secure websocket connection and renders the contents received to an HTML page.

  3. Ongoing data is captured and sent, including mouse moves, clicks, and keyboard events.

How Advanced Mode (ACB) Works

Agents can escalate to Advanced Mode if they need to access extended capabilities to continue serving the customer during a Cobrowse interaction.

Here is how an ACB session connects and runs:
  1. The agent clicks the Advanced Mode escalation button within the Agent Console.

  2. The customer clicks on a request to activate Advanced Mode.

  3. The main server assigns the ACB session to a grid server.

  4. The grid server will conduct the session between the agent and customer.

It’s important to understand that while ICB mode utilizes JavasScript to pass/render HTML content, ACB mode requires a different technology approach to function. Typically, screen sharing technologies (such as Webex or Go-to-Assist) utilize a download or executable to achieve screen sharing, which enables them to build very robust products with a great deal of functionality (annotating, recording, or chat). While this works well for a number of business use cases, it does not translate well for a customer service interaction. To utilize a screen sharing based tool for a customer service use case, the solution has to be fast and very easy for customers to use. That’s why we built Oracle Cobrowse to leverage existing browser plug-ins when possible, with a fast, easy and secure executable included as a back-up launch mode.

Oracle Cobrowse ACB Mode will launch and run using one of three technologies, depending on the customer’s environment:
  • Option 1: ACB mode will use .NET

    • This is the mode most often used, and is used with browsers that support the ClickOnce plug-in natively (Internet Explorer always supports ClickOnce, for example).

    • The customer will click “run” to run the .NET component.

    • This does not require a download or executable in the sense that the software uses a download or executable to function (for example, Webex or GoToAssist). It simply requires that the customer utilize components already present within their browser to start the cobrowse ACB function.

  • Option 2: ACB mode will use Java

    • If the customer’s browser supports Java, it may be used to launched ACB mode.

    • On some browsers, the customer may have to click “Run this Time” in a separate window to activate Java.

    • After Java is activated, the customer may have to click “Run” on a Java Security Window (verifying security of the Oracle Cobrowse application).

    • This does not require a download or executable in the sense that the software uses a download or executable to function (for example, Webex or GoToAssist). It simply requires that the customer utilize components already present within their browser to start the cobrowse function.

  • Option 3: ACB mode will use an alternative .NET launcher

    • This mode is used when the browser does not support ClickOnce or Java.

    • This is an executable that is downloaded.

    • The executable is a substitution for the ClickOnce browser plug-in, meaning that the job of the executable is to launch the .NET component (the same .NET component that is used with ClickOnce-supported browsers).

    • All the security you get from using a .NET component within the browser is preserved. The functionality that pertains to screen sharing does not reside within the executable.

Considerations for Cobrowse Deployment

Before beginning the configuration and deployment of your Cobrowse product, it’s important to thoroughly think through and document your use cases.

Many of your UI and security configuration decisions will be made with these specific use cases in mind. Get input and feedback from all of your stakeholders so there is agreement across the business on how Cobrowse is intended to be utilized.

Questions to ask:
  • Who will be cobrowsing with whom?

    • Which customer segment(s)?

    • Which agents in which contact centers?

  • What will they need to look at together on the screen?

    • Websites?

    • Desktop applications?

    • Mobile applications?

  • What should agents be able to do on the customer’s screen?

    • View and point?

    • Click and type?

  • Should all agents have the same privileges?

  • Are there any web pages where agents should specific NOT be able to click and type even if they have these privileges elsewhere?