A typical scenario might be as follows…
Historically you rented expensive TDM circuits which only came in specific sizes and you were no doubt locked in to an expensive proprietary hardware supplier. You quite likely moved to SIP believing in the benefits not available with TDM such as; cheaper calls, easy to scale and location flexibility. But, there are hidden costs and problems associated with SIP that many have suffered from, the majority of which are usually associated with the management of SIP infrastructure. Freedom of choice of phone hardware and applications means that someone has to install and maintain them. When companies add up their costs they can be more than the old TDM regime. Well that’s OK, if you can justify the differences in terms of increased flexibility. For example, the ability to relocate contact center services more quickly from one area to another.
Just as application software and services are disappearing into the cloud, so too has this been happening with SIP infrastructure, albeit at a slower pace. We expect this pace of change to accelerate as users increasingly outsource their telephony issues to the folk who should know best, namely; the service providers.
As with most things, there are a few fundamental points that, if followed, will pave the way to success. For call centers these are:
- ACD configuration
- data management
- network accuracy.
You can control the first two but you put your faith in your service provider for delivering the network accuracy. It is therefore crucial that you apply a well informed approach when selecting your service provider and are not simply swayed by price.
The contract you sign with your service provider should guarantee you the same level of redundancy you received when you used ISDN circuits. Once the service provider is in place, you should maintain your peace of mind by running your own periodic tests. Make test calls during peak loads to ensure you are being provided enough capacity. Also, compare your known and expected responses, when you call specific problem numbers, to those your service provider delivers.
If any of these results fall short, be assertive! Expect improvements or move to a better service provider.