IP Call CentersCustomer Access

Convergix believes the new-generation contact center, based on Internet Protocol (IP) connectivity, is a solution poised for rapid success in the global call center marketplace. It offers greater reliability, interoperability, and functionality than earlier IP, Ethernet, or LAN private branch exchange (PBX) solutions, and delivers immediate user benefits at a lower price point than traditional centers. IT executives looking to install a new center or upgrade an existing call center complex should give IP-based contact centers serious consideration. Here are the business imperatives:

  • There are several inherent advantages to implementing an IP-based contact center (IPCC) over a traditional circuit-switched call center when upgrading a legacy system, or implementing a new customer service location.
  • Implementing IPCCs can be difficult for an organization with multiple legacy call centers.
  • The organizational merger of voice and data groups has lagged the convergence of voice and data technologies that has begun penetrating the corporate marketplace.

The transition of the call center from a traditional and proprietary voice-switching and call distribution processor to today's modern customer interaction center provides several benefits to the customer. At a traditional call center, a major difficulty is the maintenance of a functional relationship between the incoming call and the information about the call throughout the business transaction. This often leads to problems that make quality customer service incomplete or difficult, at best.

With the use of IP technology, however, the telephone call and the call information are permanently linked. This linkage makes call handling and customer service a simpler task and is one of the underlying technical reasons for the advantage of packet switching in the contact center marketplace. There are many advantages, including cost and business benefits, which make the IPCC a product worthy of consideration today.

Corporations with ACDs, IVR systems or other call center applications already installed can opt to add an Internet telephony gateway as a front end to the call center switch. This gateway can then act as a bridge between the public switched telephone network (PSTN) and the Internet. This option will add IP functionality and allow the protection of capital investments in legacy equipment. This is not the ideal unified solution but can be an interim step to facilitate the transition to a next generation contact center.

The IPCC is able to provide a reliable, highly available, and scalable platform that is capable of handling multiple customers, side-by-side, through the implementation of a partitioned or multi-tenancy feature. The agent client software tends to be compact, and based on Java or ActiveX. The fact that the new-generation contact center is based on IP and computer telephony (CT) instead of the more complex CTI interfaces is also beneficial. This allows an ASP to integrate relatively easily with the customer relationship management (CRM) packages of multiple vendors with little interface development effort.

In contrast, the IPCC renders moot many of the LAN PBX's debilitating issues. IPCC feature sets are on par with, and in many cases, more robust than, traditional call center platforms. In addition, the IPCC architecture is inherently scalable, meeting the needs of large enterprises and service providers offering contact center functionality to their customers.

Convergix believes the IP-based contact center is a product to be considered in virtually every new call center/contact center or system upgrade product evaluation and decision. IP telephony-based architecture and connectivity provide unique advantages in the multi-channel contact center environment that cannot be matched by traditional call center solutions that typically come with higher price tags.

 

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