Hosted Contact Center Featured Article

Keeping Your Contact Center Up and Running When It's Needed Most

January 17, 2014

By Blaise McNamee,
Web Editor

During emergencies, whether it be a widespread natural disaster, like a hurricane or an earthquake, or something localized, like a building fire or power outage, ensuring that your contact center remains operational is essential to keeping your company afloat.  Business continuity and disaster recovery options are thus at the heart of well-functioning customer service.

The problem with on-premises solutions is that, when disaster strikes, these systems are directly impacted themselves.  A utility can’t get word of downed power lines throughout a county if its call center, too, has been destroyed by the storm.  Both SMBs and large enterprises, meanwhile, can’t provide their customers with operations updates if their server room is flooded.   Fortunately, hosted contact center options exist to provide both public and commercial organizations with the availability and scalability they need to stay effective during emergencies.

A recent Five9 blog post by Tom Schollmeyer points out that thousands of large enterprises, financial institutions and government agencies are turning to cloud solutions to ensure continued operations through unplanned disruptions.

“Their cloud platforms are architected for a high degree of fault tolerance, leveraging redundant phone carriers, Internet connections, hardware components and software servers,” Schollmeyer writes. “They are built to support multiple accounts optimized for high-volume telephony and resilience in hardware and software.”

He explains that the cloud also offers the opportunity for “geographic redundancy,” meaning that the contact center platform will automatically back itself and failover to an alternate hosting location, should a disruption ever occur at the primary data center – dual protection, if you will.  It would thus seem that the system protecting your business even protects itself.

More than that, however, hosted contact center solutions allow a business’s customer service department to rapidly scale to meet changing demands.  Because there is no in-house physical infrastructure to adjust and manage, changes to capacity and available can be implemented in mere minutes, as opposed to hours or days.

“During an emergency this is particularly relevant,” Schollmeyer explains. “For example, when facing a crisis situation a center may need to add staff to handle a surge of incoming phone calls, update recordings in an IVR system to deliver up-to-the-minute information, or rewrite agent scripts.”

The nature of the cloud allows for unparalleled redundancy, 24/7 operational support, unmatched business flexibility, and extreme cost-effectiveness.  Thus, organizations with assets in the cloud are sure to be the ones to maintain poise when disaster strikes.

Edited by Alisen Downey