The Changing Shape Of The Contact Center Supply Chain

March, 2017

Things have changed considerably with contact center technology. As a result, the way in which procurement is carried out also needs to change in order to make the right choice of suppliers.

A few years ago life was relatively simple for managers procuring new technology for their contact center.  “Round up the usual suspects”, issue an RFP, secure funding, select a winner, pilot and roll out.  Repeat every 5 years.

Once a contact center supplier reaches a critical size they lose the ability to innovate, owing to the need to maintain their customer base and manage change risk.  There have been several disruptive technology changes that compound this issue:

  • ISDN->SIP
  • phones->multimedia/multisession
  • standalone systems->distributed/cloud
  • bespoke UI->everything in a browser

This has led to new players with immature products entering the market, and the usual suspects struggling to keep up with the pace of change.  We’ve seen one industry behemoth after another bite the dust, leaving contact center managers with a real problem implementing solutions that provide the new functionality that their sponsors require and the reliability and stability of mature product underpinnings.

So how to overcome this challenge and pick winners in the brave new world of the cloud?

In our view the old-school RFP process doesn’t enable contact center managers to make value judgements to pick cloud solutions that deliver, and will support a contact center effectively over a 5 year term or more.  Here are a few of our suggestions on things to take a long hard look at when entering a relationship with a cloud contact center provider:

  • Whose switching and streamed media fabric is the cloud provider using?  How does the cloud provider manage this?  Don’t trust the provider that says ‘its ours’ and refuses to elaborate.  Developing reliable switching and streamed media fabric is expensive and difficult, and best left to OEMs and large open-source projects.  The underlying fabric used, and how the provider manages it to deliver scale, redundancy and media processing functionality is an important yardstick.
  • How does the ACD deal with managing different media streams in a unified fashion?  Can the agent do both single session blending for multiple media types, and have multiple session delivery?  What rules exist to allow the contact center to manage multisession behaviour?  Answers to this will expose whether the cloud supplier has a homogenous offering; ASD® (Automatic Session Distributor) instead of siloed ACD + email + chat + SMS.
  • How can the cloud contact center solution integrate with existing CRM and back-office systems?  Are the APIs natural and consistent?
  • Data integration.  Contact centers still need to keep control of their data.  Can the cloud provider work directly with contact center data sources leaving you in charge of the data whether hosted in-house or private cloud?
  • Is the reporting provided by the service provider configurable, and how well does it perform at scale?  Can it deliver all of your real-time and historical needs in an easy-to use form?  Lastly and most important, what is the underlying database technology?  A service offering based on a big data platform is far more likely to meet your needs over the system lifetime than one based on legacy database technology.

 

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

Flexible Contact Center Platform

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

Contact Center as a Service (CCaaS)

Contact Center as a Service (CCaaS)

Partners can run a functionally rich and flexible contact center stack in the cloud

Blended Media Desktop

Blended Media Desktop

Fully customisable, multi-channel, multi-session workspace

Work Anywhere

Work Anywhere

Browser-based tools, no software installation required

Cloud Or On-Premise, Multi-Tenant

Cloud Or On-Premise, Multi-Tenant

Scalable, resilient, secure, proven

Customise, Localise, White Label

Customise, Localise, White Label

Design all user interfaces to individual requirements

Integration Via APIs

Integration Via APIs

'Swap out' components and integrate with 3rd party apps

World Class Development

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

All Media Types

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

Agent Multi-Tasking

Agent Multi-Tasking

Work with multiple live contact sessions of any media type

Dynamic Workforce Management

Dynamic Workforce Management

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

Predictive Dialing

Predictive Dialing

Best-of-breed performance under compliance

Optimised Inbound Routing

Optimised Inbound Routing

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

Agent Scripts

Agent Scripts

Help agents achieve and maintain excellence

Voice and Screen Recording

Voice and Screen Recording

See and hear exactly how agents are interacting

Analytics and Data Feeds

Analytics and Data Feeds

Measure and evaluate performance at every level

IVR, Bots & Conversational AI

IVR, Bots & Conversational AI

Design effective automated flows or integrate with 3rd party providers

Customer Journey Tracking

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™

Softdial One™

Highly flexible unified web UI for agents, supervisors and administrators

Softdial Scripter™

Softdial Scripter™

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

Sytel AI Dialer™

Sytel AI Dialer™

Best-of-breed predictive dialing under any compliance rules

Softdial Pathfinder™

Softdial Pathfinder™

Precise routing rules for 'best available' connection

Softdial Media Server™

Softdial Media Server™

Core telephony functions to manage all inbound/ outbound SIP calls

Softdial Reporter™ 5

Softdial Reporter™ 5

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

Softdial Publisher™

Softdial Publisher™

Comprehensive data output to build your own reports

Softdial Recording Monitor™

Softdial Recording Monitor™

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

Softdial Campaign Manager™

Softdial Campaign Manager™

Comprehensive configuration and control for outbound campaigns

Softdial Repository™

Softdial Repository™

Central storage and configuration of common resources

Sytel Global Compliance™

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

Customer Service

Connect quickly to well equipped agents

Sales & Telemarketing

Sales & Telemarketing

Maximise agent productivity with best-of-breed predictive dialing

Healthcare

Healthcare

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

Market Research

Market Research

Best-of-breed predictive dialing with CATI integration

Collections

Collections

Automated inbound/ outbound blending integrated with any debt management app