Contact Center Solution Architecture: Choosing the Right One
A call center’s efficiency is essentially determined by the software and hardware deployed. To ensure that customer communications are effective and cost-efficient, it is important for a business to choose the right telecommunication and information systems in place. This involves making the right choice in the infrastructure and contact center architecture by assessing the actual requirements. Businesses must also decide whether to develop an on-premise solution or go for cloud-based call center solutions.
Building an on-premise contact center involves heavy investment, as it requires organizations to purchase multiple servers for hosting, load balancing, storage, and disaster recovery. In addition, there are software licensing costs to utilize features like IVR (Interactive Voice Response), ADC (Automatic Call Distribution), Multi-channel communications and more. On-premise solutions also require additional resources and tools to manage data security, which further adds to the overall operational costs for a company.
Off-premise or cloud solutions are thus increasingly emerging as an alternative to the costly in-house call center and allow companies to bring down their CAPEX and OPEX significantly.
Irrespective of whether you choose an on-premise or a cloud solution, the proper contact center architecture is largely dependent on what is expected out of them. A contact center solution can be super advanced or basic. However, there are some essential hardware and software that make any contact center:
- Computer and/or Phones: With contact centers, there is no need to have telephones when there is already a computer allocated to each agent. However, some businesses use both in tandem.
- LAN network: The computers working on the system must be connected with each other using a LAN network for easy call distribution and routing.
- ACD or Automatic call distributor: ACD is a system that used in contact centers to route calls efficiently across the panel of agents. It helps in reducing call waiting for queues and improves customer satisfaction rates.
- IP PBX: IP PBX or IP Private Branch Exchange is the central system that connects calls, both inbound and outbound, through the system. They are different from the PBX systems used in call centers and works on the popular internet telephony protocol - Voice over Internet Protocol or VoIP.
Different Contact Center Solutions Architectures, Explained
One of the many advantages of a contact center is that it is very flexible in terms of hardware options. Let us review some of the most important contact center infrastructure available today:
- On-premise Contact Center: As the name suggests, the crux of an on-premise contact center technology is stored at the office space where the business is located. With an on-premise contact center, the company owns and manages the hardware and software. There’s a dedicated IT technical division for the upkeep of the system.
- Hosted Contact Center: With the hosted contact center, the entire infrastructure for the contact center is outsourced to a third-party service provider, who hosts physical servers to run the services that businesses require. With hosted contact centers, the initial cost is very low and the businesses do not have to concern themselves with hardware maintenance or upgrades.
- Cloud Contact Center: Cloud contact center, also known as, off-premise contact center works without the business having to buy all the hardware and software. A cloud contact center essentially has a multi-tenant architecture, which allows sharing of computing resources as well as the cost incurred. With such setup, businesses can have a centralized infrastructure that can be accessed from anywhere. Cloud contact centers are also scalable, which means businesses can quickly scale up or down the resource capacity whenever there is a need.
Contact Center Software: A Vital Element of the Modern Call Center Architecture
With modern contact center architecture, businesses have the option to expand their services with add-on technologies, thanks to contact center software. With traditional contact centers, this was not possible because adding such options will require a complete hardware overhaul.
Imagine these new technologies as plug-ins or apps that you can add to your contact center software with which you will get more functions and features. Some of the major contact center technologies are:
- IVR (Interactive voice response): Integrative Voice Response uses automated voice responses to assist the caller by getting their response through keypad input or voice analytics.
- Omnichannel support: With contact centers, businesses can engage users through multimedia channel options like email, web chat, text etc.
- Database Integration: Businesses can also make use of data management systems that will help them store and retrieve information of customers.
- CRM integration: The contact center software can also offer support for CRM integration, adding more intelligence to the existing customer calling data. This facility allows agents and managers to better understand the customer and offer personalized solutions.
Contact center software solves many of the problems that plagued conventional call centers. The software essentially helps the agents to understand their callers more. It also stores customer details so that in an event where they might call again, the agent will have sufficient information to better guide them through the solutions to their query.
In essence, the contact center software is a major part of the contact center architecture. The optimal communication between the contact center hardware and software paves the way for an efficient work ecosystem.
Call centers rely on their technology to empower them to be as productive as possible. With 8x8's Virtual Contact Center you get world-class technology and everything your call center needs in one place. Call 1-877-800-7136 or fill out the form below to request a no-obligation quote from an 8x8 product specialist.