June 2009 | Volume 28 / Number 1
Supplier Survey: IP Contact Center Solutions
By Brendan B. Read
Clients are asking for conference bridges, webinars, collaborations, the ability to remotely take over another PC and the ability respond quicker and in a more engaging manner. To that end, Zultys has added MXmeeting to its functionality, which is an appliance that tightly integrates with ours that allows unlimited conferencing, webinars, remote support, and remote desktop control for one fixed price starting at $1,199 without recurring costs or trunk charges.
Zultys is a core provider of open standards SIP-based phone systems that conform with industry standards, which are quickly becoming de facto standards. Our core differentiator is that we bring about an outstanding suite of products and functionality that include our multiplatform CTI (News - Alert) which works on PCs, MACs, Linux, and even 64Bit Vista. Our secure Linux-based appliance is only a 2U, is extremely energy efficient, installs elegantly and quickly, and scales to 10,000 users.
IP and convergence has been here for over a decade now. IP phone systems are being rolled out today at increasing rates. Having desperate and unconnected systems is a thing of the past. Even 2 wires to the desktop is no longer an option. Clients are demanding integration with voice, data, video, integration and synchronization with Microsoft (News - Alert) Exchange, Outlook, CTI, and ACD. The needs for compliance and archiving are further increasing the demand on our platform. H.323 and MGCP are quickly giving way to SIP.
Bandwidth is becoming ubiquitous, cheap and increasing by the day. Remote agents only need 80 Kb of bandwidth to talk. Therefore with most DSL and Cable today surpassing 1 Mb that argument is now irrelevant. And unlike other platforms, our telecommuters never require VPN or special connectivity. You can take your laptop with you and make it act like a phone, or take your entire phone with you to your house and be an extension of your office.
There has been a debate between hard and soft IP phones. Thanks to our soft phone embedded with our ‘ONE’ packages, our clients do not have to chose as they get both. You can make an argument for both technologies. There is a time and place for either. For example, when I am in my office, I would favor my SIP based 5i Zultys phone with the large LCD display and if my PC crashes – no worries – my phone is still alive and well. However when I am at home or on the road I prefer to take my laptop with me – and with an inexpensive headset, I can totally conduct business, leverage the phone lines at my office, and answer any call from my laptop.
The big growth right in IP solutions is in healthcare and in contact centers especially including work at home. Our ACD can connect anyone, anywhere, anytime.
When buying IP contact center solutions shop carefully. Understand all of the features and how much space they will take. Ask questions like how many file servers must be added to make this system work. Understand not just the immediate price but rather the total cost of ownership that must be considered.