Data Scaling

September, 2015

Data scaling has its issues for large-scale contact center hosting.

This month is a technical deep dive, with no apologies! The biggest challenge faced by service providers when scaling their systems isn’t voice traffic volume but data scaling. Imagine you are a service provider delivering service to 1000 contact center agents across 20 to 50 tenants and all of these tenants host their data on your database servers. It’s not unusual for some tenants set up inventory management rules that result in the database getting a battering while others define huge schemas and then never do any housekeeping. The list of things that a tenant can do to break a hosted database server is endless!

Running a relational database on a virtual machine (VM) is far from good. Trying to provision a database server VM instance per tenant with the right dimensions is great in theory but bad in practice. Relational databases are optimised for direct file system access. Of course, you can have a VM map directly on to a dedicated disk, but what happens when 20 small tenants each have to have their own disk? Not a practical option.

So that leaves the option of partitioning the database server; running multiple instances of your database server on one host, or multiple schemas, depending on how your database management system does partitioning. Once you have a handle on database partitioning and resource allocation there is then the issue of throughput management.

Your contact center database services ideally need to run a database proxy, in order to serialise database access for high throughput. Remember the days when each agent client would attempt to do a query to find a customer record? 250 client connections making random access lookups against the same table – not good! So, instead, you have an architecture where the database proxy caches customer records to serve up to clients, but also mediates any database lookup requests and pipelines these to the database along with other transactions.

This sort of architecture can deliver huge throughput. However, try doing this for a 1000 agent hosting platform and at some point either the database server(s) will fry or the database proxy service(s) will break as the native database driver struggles to cope. Solving this problem requires a certain amount of cleverness on the part of your technology supplier.

There are 2 aspects to this:

1) In the event that the database is cooked and is temporarily offline, the database proxy must be able to cache transactions and perform roll-forward recovery, or deal with permanent failure gracefully.

2) In the event that the database driver (hosted in-process by the proxy) is cooked, the proxy must be architected in such a way as to be able to recover from a database driver crash without loss of data.

The message is simple; you need to make sure your technology provider has solutions to both these problems if you want to be successful in delivering large-scale contact center hosting.

What We Offer

Sytel Limited develops and supplies Softdial Contact Center® (SCC), offering multimedia, multichannel, fully blended cloud contact center solutions, for quick and easy deployment by partners offering CCaaS or enterprise users. All Sytel cloud components are secure, resilient and scale seamlessly from 10 agents to 10,000+, whether local, mobile or remote.

  • Flexible Contact Center Platform

    Softdial Contact Center™ – tightly integrated modules, designed to deliver at scale

  • Blended Media Desktop

    Fully customisable, multi-channel, multi-session workspace

  • Work Anywhere

    Browser-based tools, no software installation required

  • Cloud Or On-Premise, Multi-Tenant

    Scalable, resilient, secure, proven

  • Customise, Localise, White Label

    Design all user interfaces to individual requirements

  • Integration Via APIs

    ‘Swap out’ components and integrate with 3rd party apps

  • World Class Development

    Continuous evolution pushing technical boundaries

Capabilities

Softdial Contact Center™ (SCC) is designed to be flexible, extensible and scalable, integrating with any legacy equipment, and meeting the most complex of requirements.

  • All Media Types

    Voice, chat, email, social, etc – fully integrated and blended

  • Agent Multi-Tasking

    Work with multiple live contact sessions of any media type

  • Dynamic Media Blending

    Automated, ‘best available’ decisions to blend and balance work load across all media types

  • Predictive Dialing

    Best-of-breed performance under compliance

  • Intelligent Routing

    Smart rules and ‘best-available’ decisions to drive great customer service

  • Agent Scripts

    Help agents achieve and maintain excellence

  • Voice and Screen Recording

    See and hear exactly how agents are interacting

  • Analytics and Data Feeds

    Measure and evaluate performance at every level

  • IVR, Bots & Conversational AI

    Design effective automated flows or integrate with 3rd party providers

  • Customer Journey Tracking

    Stored customer contact history, to aid routing and add context to conversations

Modules

A complete suite of tools, with unique flexibility to extend and swap out modules to deliver a tailored contact center solution for any environment

  • Softdial One™

    Highly flexible unified web UI for agents, supervisors and administrators

  • Softdial Scripter™

    Create complex process flow scripts for agents, IVR, chatbots and other applications

  • Sytel AI Dialer™

    Best-of-breed predictive dialing under any compliance rules

  • Softdial Pathfinder™

    Precise routing rules for ‘best available’ connection

  • Softdial Media Server™

    Core telephony functions to manage all inbound/ outbound SIP calls

  • Softdial Reporter™ 5

    Fully customisable performance stats, charts and reports, across all channels

  • Softdial Publisher™

    Comprehensive data output to build your own reports

  • Softdial Recording Monitor™

    Audio and screen recording of agent activity to ensure the highest standards

  • Softdial Campaign Manager™

    Comprehensive configuration and control for outbound campaigns

  • Softdial Repository™

    Central storage and configuration of common resources

  • Sytel Global Compliance™

    Flexible ‘no contact’ rules to protect contact center and consumer

Markets

Performance and efficiency for a wide range of business applications

  • Customer Service

    Connect quickly to well equipped agents

  • Sales & Telemarketing

    Maximise agent productivity with best-of-breed predictive dialing

  • Healthcare

    Secure, highly-configurable multichannel communications for excellence in patient care

  • Market Research

    Best-of-breed predictive dialing with CATI integration

  • Collections

    Automated inbound/ outbound blending integrated with any debt management app