USING IP IN CALL CENTERS
Benefits of new technologies for the adaptive enterprise
By Maazz Ahmed Shamsi
July 11 - 17, 2005
Emergence of new technologies pave way for businesses to improve their operations by deploying state-of-the-art technologies that brings productivity, efficiency and profitability. VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) is a buzzword these days and it is termed as the telephone system of the future. But how do you know which technology to adopt and what is the right time to move from a traditional phone system to VoIP? Key factor is the return on investment (ROI) and long term benefits while considering a new technology for your organization. In this article we will discuss the key benefits of VoIP technology to enhance productivity, efficiency and bottom line.
WHAT IS VOIP?
The idea behind VoIP is simple. Voice over IP allows telephone calls to be transmitted over IP data networks or the Internet instead of over public switched networks. In a VoIP network, digitized voice data is highly compressed and carried in packets over IP networks.
Investing in a VoIP implementation requires evaluation of the associated benefits and risks. VoIP offers many potential benefits, including reduced costs, new features, and more efficient infrastructure. However, extensive planning is required to reduce potential risks. Planning should include evaluating the costs and benefits associated with the implementation, carefully selecting sites for the initial phase of a staged deployment and anticipating possible pitfalls.
VoIP is creating much hype in the market about the potential cost savings, reduced infrastructure of converged networks, new calling features and support benefits. The most talked about benefit is related to cost savings. Replacing your telephone based setup with VoIP saves a considerable amount of money every year. Other benefits affect the bottom line and are more of a long term investment and gaining a technological leap.
The real benefits to VoIP are better integration with unified messaging. It supports the call centers where the computer screen can act as the telephone, and other combined voice and data applications. It also offers more robust failover backup for systems survivability. Of course, business continuity and disaster recovery are high on many company priority lists these days. VoIP is a viable business opportunity because the cost of bandwidth has gone down faster than the price of international long distance.
The benefits of VoIP can be summarized as under:
* Cost reductions for moving to a VoIP network can come in terms of capital and expense savings as well as savings on long-distance service that come from owning the network rather than paying a telephone provider.
* VoIP can provide productivity and savings in IT operations and support. Instead of having separate staffs to handle the phone system and the data network, the same team could handle both, resulting in reduced management costs, easier upgrades and other benefits.
* New applications and features in VoIP provide improvements in terms of productivity for end users and IT staff. VoIP provides advanced call routing, including integration with customer relationship management systems to have an update on customer information and can route calls to the appropriate technical support group.
* Another benefit of VoIP is convergence. Placing voice, video and data on the same network provides a single, scalable network infrastructure that provides a solution for all business communication needs while reducing the overall cost of network ownership.
There are many factors that a company should consider before investing in VoIP, however, meticulous planning and careful consideration should be the key. It is advisable to check for the following items when considering whether to invest in VoIP.
* Do you have a substantial communication requirement locally and internationally?
* Do you have enough bandwidth for all your data and voice needs?
* Are you planning on implementing unified messaging and other integrated voice/data services?
* Do you have a managed data network?
* Does your company have offices at multiple/remote locations?
Enterprise contact center management have to start planning for the changes that are taking place in the marketplace that will affect how customers will communicate with the enterprise, as well as the technologies that will cost-effectively deal with traditional needs.
MEET ZRG - LEADER IN IP BASED CALL CENTER SOLUTIONS
ZRG is a leading Call Center and contact management solution provider in the region. ZRG has the highest number of call center implementations in Pakistan and holds an excellent reputation for our robust solutions, technical strength and project management capabilities. Because of our previous project experience, we are able to share a wealth of knowledge with our customers in various telecom areas and related issues.
ZRG Call Center solutions are IP enabled from day one. ZRG solutions are based on Intel platform where all systems are network based. In PBX and ACD based architectures, IP is an after thought and it is usually done through third party routers and voice gateways. The integrated open standards approach enables tight integration with databases and a built in IP feature allows seamless voice and data transfer in a unified manner.
ZRG has a track of excellent performance and success stories.
* 11 out of 16 banks using call centers are using ZRG call center solution.
* Three major mobile phone companies are using ZRG call center solution.
* The largest shipping and liner Maersk is using ZRG call center solution.
* The largest oil marketing company is using call center solution by ZRG
* The largest natural gas service provider is using ZRG call center solution.
* 1st company to export a call center solution from Pakistan.
* 1st company from Pakistan to be profiled on Intel's website for a success story.
ZRG holds a leadership position in the call center market. Following is a partial list of our most prominent clients.
Bank Al Habib
Bank Alfalah Limited
Maersk Pakistan Pvt Ltd
PICIC Commercial Bank
Askari Master Card
Pakistan State Oil
Lloyds TSB Dubai
The author of this article is Business Development Manager at ZRG International Pvt Limited. Additional information about this topic can be obtained by sending an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org