unblu Technical Documentation
The information below covers all versions up to and including version 5. However, in order to fully appreciate what version 5 adds to the experience, look at Visitor-Centric versus Agent-Centric.
This documentation is ostensibly designed for on-premises installations; where you integrate unblu behind your own firewalls, under your complete control... but don't leave just yet if you're a Cloud customer; while you may be spared the pain of large-scale integration you are spared none of the functionality contained therein.
But why should you read these documents? And while we’re at it what, exactly, is unblu?
It’s a co-browsing solution? Right?
It is a co-browsing solution but co-browsing is just the tangible layer of a way to Web-enable your customer-facing communications. But it’s more than that, it’s a constructor kit for people who want to build knowledge networks that maximize your in-house expertise (although, with unblu, the house is no longer a requirement). Once you build it it will enable you to create places for your visitors that persist over time. All activity and interactions are stored so that you can develop deep relationships with every visitor using persistent, asynchronous Conversations.
Your agents and visitors will be able to create not just relationships but the artifacts produced by those relationships, such as documents and messages, will persist indefinitely. This means that every interaction is ripe with context. Everything you ever said to a visitor is stored so that your agents can 'act as one'. While visitors may speak to different agents over time, they will be in the same place; a secure communication channel that contains all previous communications between that visitor and your company.
You might picture an unblu implementation as a nervous system, or a neural network but, unlike regular neural networks, which use weightings and iterations to blindly figure out patterns, each node in an unblu network is a human being.
This all sounds complicated, and installing on-premises is certainly complicated compared to, for example, our Cloud solution (which provides equivalent power by simply copying a single snippet of code to magic your Web pages into the raw materials of a communications solution).
But here’s the rub: Once the techie parts are done you get to build knowledge networks that unleash 100% of the potential of every individual who works for you. And that part is not only pretty easy, it can even be fun. All of the complexities you will face when integrating unblu at the deepest level pay dividends when it’s time to create a system that can capture the needs of your visitors and pair them to the optimum help and advice that you can offer. And that system can be quickly redesigned and refactored as your needs and the desires of your visitors evolve.
Technical documentation is traditionally designed to enable technical people to do technical things. This has not changed. Your techies need to know how to do techie stuff. However, this documentation should also be read by your leaders, managers, business process designers, in fact, anyone who might contribute. Once the heavy lifting (of integrating unblu into your own system) is done you will be in control of an extremely malleable system, where reconfiguring and redesigning your visitor-engagement strategies can be done without the need for any skills outside of those that you bring to the table.
The introduction to the collaboration server is a good place for everyone to start. It gives a flavour of the kind of close collaboration required within your own teams to get to an optimal solution. Then your technical people might want to look at order of deployment followed by some instructions on setting up the collaboration server.
Another must read for all participants is the introduction to the Agent-Desk. This is the place where everyone in your organization can gain insight into exactly what it all means and why. It is non-technical to the extent that no specialist knowledge or coding is required to understand it. The Agent Desk is the place where you will implement your designs and strategies, as well as engage with visitors, and each other, when it’s all up and running. As you will find out, the hierarchical nature of the design means your ideas can cascade through the entire system. Distance is no longer an issue, nor is scaling users or localization. Settings can be propagated through the whole system then tweaked or reversed according to the finer resolution required by each discipline and culture and service you intend to offer your visitors.
Some of these technologies, such as Webhooks or Docker Containers or even the odd blob might be new to you. Concepts such as embedded co-browsing or universal co-browsing are almost certainly unfamiliar to most so we have embedded a glossary into these documents to make it easier to get through sentences strewn with new concepts.
Implementing an unblu on-premises solution is very like regular software development but designing your engagement strategy, by manipulating settings in the Agent Desk, is best performed iteratively by people with seemingly unrelated or disparate skill sets, and can only be properly done in a highly-collaborative setting.
Cloud customers are also invited to peruse these documents, especially the Agent Desk. All of these aforementioned (visitor-engagement) design considerations apply also to our Cloud solution (with the added bonus of becoming aware of how cool it is to do almost everything described here by simply copying a snippet of code to your Web pages).
In conclusion, and before you get started, know that both the unblu Cloud (snippet copy & paste) and on-premises (a big job) carry almost identical feature sets and deliver the same experience. And whether there are internal directives or external regulations that compel you to fabricate your own 'unblu solution', or whether you've just copied and pasted a snippet into a Web page, you'll use the same Agent Desk to open and route direct communications between the people who need to be talking to each other; and you'll have access to the same tools that will shape the evolution of your engagement system.
Hot Tip! Whether you use the Cloud solution or an on-premises solution, after you are up and running you still have to configure the properties/settings. With many hundreds of settings to choose from this can seem daunting. But never fear! Have a quick look at this page to get a handle on how to do it.