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,
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.