Cloud contact centres – get the best value from modular functionality
Technology underpins much of the functionality of any contact centre, from multi-channel communication methods and web-chat routing, to automated outbound dialling and interactive voice response. This technology is often expensive, not only at initial investment outlay, but also to maintain and support to ensure ongoing value. However, while technology is able to deliver this functionality – and more – most contact centre solutions available today come with all the bells and whistles. Saying this, not all businesses need the same functionality for many different reasons. The value found in a modular approach is just one more compelling case of why cloud contact centres make perfect sense.
The modular nature of cloud based contact centres include an array of added functionality, such as predictive outbound dialling, scripting, workforce optimisation, and, of course, customisation. While these technologies have been around for some time, they are also complex by nature and are the result of significant – and costly – Research and Development (R&D) by Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs), thus driving the costs of each module. The cost to produce, run, maintain, manage, deploy, train staff and effectively use these purpose-built functionalities is quite large and usually requires significant investment from organisations. Although cloud contact centres deliver the advantages of having agile access to these functionalities, they still require careful investment and are not to be undertaken lightly.
The benefits to be had from the functionality available with cloud based contact centres are large and varied, as described as follows:
- Multi-channel communication affords organisations the ability to interact over communication channels beyond traditional voice and email, such as SMS, web chat and social media. This opens up communication with a much wider audience, extending existing target markets and exploring new ones.
- Outbound dialling uses technologies such as predictive algorithms and automated profile viewing to enable bulk calling of customers, streamlining the call process for efficiency and value.
- Integrated voice recording, which ensures all calls are recorded, properly tagged and archived for compliance and quality purposes.
- Interactive voice response (IVR), which allows organisations to route incoming calls effectively, reducing the rate of transferred calls and improving efficiencies and customer experience.
- Scripting provides agents with a window on their screen with selectable pre-programmed talk cues based on the customer responses. This allows for faster call times and a more professional approach.
- Workforce optimisation is a tool that can be used across multiple channels, and forecasts inbound traffic, allowing organisations to plan their staffing requirements. This ensures that contact centres, and specific components of contact centres, are neither over nor under staffed. There are a number of additional benefits to this tool which all ensure that maximum benefits are drawn from contact centre staff.
- Custom reporting enables organisations to pull reports based on specific criteria, saving time, reducing waste and contributing towards improved decision making.
Being able to draw from these benefits and select only the ones which apply to an organisation is where cloud based contact centres offer a true advantage, as they are able to drive down costs through leveraging economies of scale. Pooled resources and shared infrastructure mean that organisations can benefit from the functionalities which suit them, while discarding the ones that don’t, without massive investment in the entire package or all the infrastructure. Of course, there may be limitations on the level of choice available depending on the Cloud Service Provider (CSP) selected and the types of functionality required.
It goes without saying that all of these benefits should be considered as a requirement of most contact centres today, especially given the growing need to evolve traditional communication methods as organisations strive to digitally transform. Changing customer needs demand more interaction channels, which in turn fuels the need for a more comprehensive contact centre. In order to reduce costs, maximise outputs and avoid waste of both infrastructure and staff, organisations should leverage the benefits afforded by the above mentioned functionalities.
The goal should be an efficient, effective contact centre which adds value and drives revenue in a constantly evolving technological world. Modular, cloud based contact centres provide organisations with the best way to do so, without requiring complete overhauls of existing contact centres, as organisations can choose what they need for now and build on that as they go forward.
Andre Deetlefs is Executive for Lines of Business at Jasco Enterprise. Jasco is a South African, JSE-listed company that delivers smart technologies across multiple disciplines such as telecommunications, IT, energy and industry.
NetNumber: Time for a cloud-native transformation
NetNumber is accelerating the transition in the telecom industry to 5G as it starts a shift to cloud-native architecture to address the fast-paced demands of global subscribers and businesses.
NetNumber is offering the industry’s first cloud-native platform designed to ensure InterGENerational™ network performance addresses both the legacy and next-generation requirements of telecom networks.
“NetNumber has developed the industry’s most robust cloud-native, InterGENerational platform that addresses both the legacy and 5G requirements of telcos,” said Matt Rosenberg, Chief Revenue Officer of NetNumber.
The platform provides vertical and horizontal scale-out with low latency, coupled with a suite of data replication capabilities, which provide flexible architectural options that can evolve with the changing network over time.
“Cloud-based solutions from other vendors tend to be limited in terms of supporting particular network generations or protocols. We’ve created our latest platform TITAN.IUM to allow customers to take any generation of applications, any generation of legacy services and protocols and move them into the new world of cloud-native architecture,” said Rosenberg.
“This is a really important part for a carrier to harmonise their network, bring data services together, bring legacy with new together in order to make a more effective and efficient network, as well as reduce their cost as they scale forward,” he said.
Established in 1999, NetNumber has fostered a strong team environment that leverages the industry’s best skills to offer software solutions tailored for carriers of all dimensions. Based outside of Boston and with presence in over 20 countries, the company delivers a range of products that address all generations (2G, 3G, 4G, 5G) of network functions in the core network, deep rooted security products and services, STIR/ SHAKEN and set of options around data services in more than 90 countries.
Steeped in experience in building telecom solutions, software, protocol stacks, and integration of third party tools, the company’s development organisation has proven to supply to the industry with the most reliable and flexible solutions on the market.
“At NetNumber, we focus on our core competencies – we are dedicated to providing industry expertise in signaling, routing, security, subscriber management and data services. We provide customers a strong ROI through platform-based solutions that reduce Capex and Opex in the long-term,” commented Rosenberg.
Five reasons why customers choose NetNumber:
- Expertise - NetNumber has experts with deep knowledge in signaling/routing, security, and subscriber database management.
- Integration - An industry-first platform brings together domain services, applications, security, and global data services.
- Scale - NetNumber has the ability to seamlessly increase network efficiency using vertical and horizontal scaling.
- Speed - World-class solutions have the power to help companies create new service offerings and accelerate time to ROI.
- Savings - Customers enjoy significant savings in capex and opex, flexible deployment models, and investment protection.
NetNumber and Virgin Mobile MEA
“We're very proud of our partnership with Virgin Mobile MEA as they've taken the concept of the InterGENerational platform into their regional network strategy,” commented Rosenberg. “That’s accelerated how they develop exceptional services across the Middle East and Africa region.
“We work with them hand-in-hand to deliver multiple applications onto our platform which has enabled them to provide exceptional, advanced and innovative services to their customers across the Middle East, who demand high quality services.
“What they've really taken advantage of is scale. What I mean by that is they are putting multiple generations of applications and services onto the same platform and distributing that data across their network. That has resulted in an advantageous position of time to market and operational savings.
“Rather than having different applications for many different vendors that cause operational chaos, they've been able to consolidate that and reduce their operating costs by having everything on one common architecture. We’ve had a long-term relationship with Virgin Mobile in Saudi Arabia, and recently signed an agreement with Virgin Mobile in Kuwait.”
Rosenberg says that with these solutions, Virgin Mobile MEA can take advantage of getting to the market much quicker and faster—which is what today’s discerning customer demands.