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Praful Shah

[June 22, 2005]

Hybrid-IP in the Contact Center

By Praful Shah, VP of Corporate Development, EagleACD

Since its introduction in 1995, VoIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol) has rapidly become a mainstream technology for contact centers today. More than 50% of all contact centers are currently using or looking to invest in VoIP technology. Ultimately, all contact centers will move to a pure-IP network, however, the majority of contact centers are using the hybrid-IP approach. With the pure-IP approach, the entire IP contact center, including phones, gateway devices and application servers are IP based.

According to DataMonitor, Global TDM (Time Division Multiplexing) and IP-ACD market size is projected as follows:

Projected Global TDM

The hybrid- IP approach is an extension of the traditional TDM infrastructure with the addition of IP trunks and line cards. In this architecture, the channels for voice, e-mail and Web chat are segmented and housed on multi-platforms. With this platform, contact center functionality is not jeopardized whether the end-point is circuit-switched or IP.

EagleACD understands existing architecture of customers as well as their evolution towards an IP network. Consequently, EagleACD has decided to offer contact center services on the hybrid-IP platform, offering customers a migration path without obsolete capital investment for the TDM infrastructure. We continuously invest in our telecom network and data network.

EagleACD has taken a three-prong approach to reduce overhead cost for contact centers:

1. Total costs
2. Administration costs
3. Agent costs

Contact Center Savings

1. Toll Costs- For call routing from one center to another center, there is no toll costs (transport costs) for IP network compared to TDM network. This provides an improved cost management in the contact center.
2. Administration Costs- Multiple sites of contact centers can be administrated from a single location for performance tracking, quality monitoring and workforce scheduling.
3. Agent Costs- IP contact center can provide multi-skilled routing capabilities, the call center operators can leverage large pool of agents based on customer needs and traffic fluctuations. This reduces the total number of required agents and helps to reduce agent costs for the contact center.

In summary, the hybrid IP network is an intermediary step to pure IP network balancing the existing TDM infrastructure as well as gaining benefits of IP network. EagleACD will continue to move towards the migration of an IP network.

Praful Shah is a seasoned telecom professional with diversified telecom management and operations experience. Currently, he is the VP-of Corporate Development at EagleACD. He has held increasingly responsible positions, first in R&D at Johnson & Johnson (where he was awarded a patent for his work) and Bell Labs. Then, he shifted to marketing roles at AT&T including the development of marketing strategies for Europe, India and the Middle East, video on demand for the US market and finally global data and voice network operations, establishing contracts with various telephone companies. His volunteer works includes designing, developing and implementing Computer Technology Park and Outsourcing Center for disabled youngsters in India. He has a Masters degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Wisconsin, and a Masters degree in Business Administration from Rider University.

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