Thursday, January 2, 2014

Evaluating Cloud Contact Center Solutions

Cloud contact center solutions are becoming mainstream and are rapidly gaining market-share. Telecom, Internet and infrastructure service providers are diversifying into contact center services to expand their portfolio by utilizing multi-tenant contact center software. Cloud based deployments offer contact center software and associated infrastructure as a service, catering to on-demand growth. Using Cloud contact center services, with minimum capital expense, it is possible to start a contact center operation as long as there is adequate network bandwidth and connectivity.

In today's global marketplace, contact center solutions form an integral part of the overall business work-flow. When choosing a cloud service for a contact center operation, it is important to consider the data integration requirements with the business back-end systems. Web Services offer a convenient method for the integration of business applications into the contact center software. With hosted call centers, such integration can pose network and security challenges that need to analyzed and addressed from the get go.

Having access to data and metrics of a contact center operation is essential. This is usually accomplished through Application Program Interfaces (API). It is vital to select a cloud contact service with exhaustive API to allow full access to all the operational data generated during the running of a call center service. Functions and method-oriented Web Services can also expose existing contact center management functionality to effectively integrate  Dialer and ACD management software to automate aspects of contact center operations.

Above all, the cloud contact center services should offer high reliability with redundant systems, setup in an High Availability (HA) mode. HA setup should be in place for a fault tolerant system that allows fail-over to hot standby. There should be mechanisms in place to monitor and make failover decisions.

Asterisk is the leading open source telephony engine. Cloud systems based on multi-tenant contact center software for Asterisk provide feature-rich solutions that are cost effective. They offer flexibility and power, due the the power of the underlying Asterisk telephony platform.