DSC Tech Library
This section of our technical library presents information and documentation relating to Call Center Company Technology and Best Practices plus software and products.
Since the Company's inception in 1978, DSC has specialized in the development of communications software and systems. Beginning with our CRM and call center applications, DSC has developed computer telephony integration software and PC based phone systems. These products have been developed to run on a wide variety of telecom computer systems and environments.
The following article presents product or service information relating to Call Center Vendors and customer service help desks.
Now is the Time for Converged IP Contact Centers: Take the IP Contact Center Quiz
Gary Samuels, Vice President
IP contact centers have arrived. No longer are they a “maybe next year” phenomenon. Many organizations in the banking, insurance, retailing, and manufacturing industries have implemented Converged Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) solutions. These solutions handle calls and empower efficient and effective multi-channel customer interactions across an enterprise-wide network.
Properly assessed, planned, implemented, and operated Converged IP contact centers can yield substantial cost savings and significant architectural flexibility to address strategic business imperatives.
They relieve administrative headaches, free a company from over-reliance on a few vendors, abolish redundant networks and telecom carrier tie lines, and provide scalability benefits.
More and More, traditional call center telephony is out of synch with modern business needs. The constraints of housing traditional telephony, agent state management, call queuing, call routing business rules, and reporting in one physical ‘ACD’ is now often an inhibitor to:
a) Reducing excessive call center operating and telecom costs
b) Improving the customer’s self-service, multi-channel experience
c) Leveraging knowledge workers distributed geographically across an organization
If you were to start to build your call center architecture from scratch, would you build it by starting with the traditional telephony, box-centric architecture? With the benefit of Converged IP Networks, the network is the logical contact center – no one physical contact center is needed. This is largely possible because there are fewer issues once associated with Quality of Service (QoS) for converged voice and data. Converged IP Bandwidth is king and is easily available and, with the proper expertise, readily designed for Converged IP Contact Center applications.
Successful Converged IP contact center deployments can be found across numerous industries, even in state government.
Texas, for instance, is one state using the 2-1-1 dialing code assigned by the Federal Communications Commission for accessing community information and referral services. Callers find help with housing, maintaining utilities, food, locating counseling, services for the aging, substance abuse programs, and in other areas.
The Texas Information and Referral Network wanted to make it easier to access services by utilizing the 2-1-1 dialed number, improving quality throughout all calling programs, and cutting telecommunication costs.
Texas deployed a virtual call center that linked area information centers (AICs). The converged IP call center solution design leveraged the state’s existing IP data network for 2-1-1 call traffic.
The benefits that have accrued to Texas to date include system-wide common features not available in segregated PBX environments, identical features at AICs regardless of the call center’s size, significant savings from shifting toll calls to local calls and an ability to immediately provide updates to communities during emergencies or when a disaster strikes.
How do you determine for yourself if transitioning to a Converged IP contact center is a compelling alternative at your organization?
First, take the IP contact center quiz. Ask:
1. Am I experiencing increasing telecom costs because of too many tie lines, cross-center transfers and international routing?
2. Am I facing an upcoming and costly enhancement of ACD functions?
3. Do I manage several legacy PBXs or key systems in remote offices that could be retired?
4. Does my organization require a “local presence” in several remote communities?
5. Do my employees in my remote offices provide traditional call center services?
6. Are my specialist employees / Ph.D.’s underutilized?
7. Would creating a virtual center yield financial benefits?
8. Can the routers on my Wide Area Network prioritize voice packets over data?
If you have answered YES to at least three of these questions, there’s strong reason to believe that a convincing case could be delivered to your management team for a Converged IP contact center.
Following the quiz, the next goal is completing a formal feasibility assessment. That six-step process includes:
1. A review of your current network infrastructure, current telephony architecture, call flows, and integration points.
2. A review of your current call center operating model, including the cost structure for routing calls, determining which groups will be affected by a migration to a VoIP call-handling platform and gauging the capabilities of your existing management, support teams, and reporting functions.
3. Articulation of your converged IP business requirements. You should define key business and operations drivers for migrating to a converged IP contact center solution, determine the most effective routing strategy based on VoIP business capabilities, and assess reporting requirements.
4. Creation of a converged IP contact center technology design to support your business requirements. You should develop a short list of architecture options for deploying converged IP contact center technology, define your network infrastructure requirements, and design the architecture to support interfaces to applications as well as a phased deployment roadmap.
5. Development of a converged IP contact center business case analysis. You should develop cost projections and benefit projections for converged VoIP applications, for your traditional telephony/ACD solution and compare the two. It will aid in summarizing your business case and ROI model.
6. Development of a high-level implementation plan. Weigh the best pilot group to initiate the migration, develop the “phase-in” plan along with a high-level management and support model.
What will you learn from a formal feasibility assessment?
a) You will demystify the converged IP contact center solution architecture and determine if it is right for your call center.
b) You will gain insight into the best migration strategy that minimizes your risk of change
c) You will probably quantify a significant amount of cost savings for your organization
Along with your summary of key business drivers for a converged IP solution, you’ll have in hand a solid architecture design, a strong business case including benefit streams and cost estimates, a clear roadmap to support a VoIP migration, and ongoing operations and support recommendations.
For those organizations concerned about replacing your traditional ACD and Phones, not to worry. This may be the last step to consider in a Converged IP Migration Strategy. Many corporations are deriving significant value from Speech Recognition solutions. Placing these solutions at the ‘edge’ of the Converged IP Network can enable consistent voice treatment across the enterprise and allow for major cost reduction through IVR consolidation. Other corporations are interested in eliminating the costs and administrative complexity of managing their existing Circuit-Switched Telephony Services. A Converged IP Contact Center Design can remove these Circuit-Switched Telephone lines, enabling toll bypass and tighter branch/call center integration, and affording you the time to make intelligent pre-route decisions and then committing the call to the most appropriate end point.
And, these steps can be taken without removing your existing Phones and ACD. Over time, this step can be evaluated.
If you have a high quality network infrastructure capable of supporting voice and data, the opportunity is right around the corner. Take that turn and the advantages of distributed IP contact centers will come into sharper focus.
Gary Samuels, Vice President
CRM Call Center Software
Database Systems Corp. (DSC) has been providing CRM Customer Relationship Management solutions to businesses and organizations for 2 decades.
TELEMATION is a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) application employed in a wide variety of organizations including contact centers, help desks, customer service centers, service bureaus, reservation centers and corporate call centers. The package has extensive CTI features and is fully integrated with our PACER phone system. TELEMATION operates on Linux, Unix or Windows servers. Software programmers can develop call center applications quickly using the robost features found in the Telemation toolkit.
Call Center Phone System
The PACER is a call center phone system that handles inbound and outbound calls for a wide range of contact centers. Calls are either initiated by the phone system or accepted from the outside and distributed in an intelligent fashion to your service agents. The PACER includes ACD and IVR components, plus call recording capability. Using industry standard components, the PACER phone system has features and functions that can only be found in large scale PBX’s, but at a fraction of the cost. And the PACER has predictive dialing capability that cannot be found in most of these larger phone systems. The PACER phone system can connect calls to your employees working at home or in a local or remote office. The PACER communicates with applications written on Unix, Linux, or PC servers over a LAN. For a complete product presentation, download our PACER demo.