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Publisher's Outlook
April 2004

Nadji Tehrani Discover The Huge Benefits Of IP Contact Centers
70-90% Attainable Cost Savings!


Memo from NT
To: The CEO & Senior Management

The contact center industry has been blessed with tremendous growth. In fact, if you lost count, this magazine was founded in 1982 to cover this burgeoning space. What is most amazing about the last two decades is the advances we have seen in technology. We literally saw agents using index cards in those early days. Later we saw predictive dialers and ACDs. Technology evolves continually and now contact centers can take advantage of one of the most important technologies of all, VoIP or Voice over Internet Protocol.

VoIP is here to stay. It allows you to deploy agents or banks of agents anywhere in the world with ease. It allows agents to work at home, on the road or at any computer connected to the Internet with ease. Super competitive global outsourcing and global competition dictate that ALL call centers, small and large, MUST explore IP-based contact centers.

TMC Is The Worldwide Leader In IP Telephony
We publish Internet Telephony' magazine, the industry's No. 1 publication providing credible and authoritative information on the IP Telephony industry since 1988. At that time, most every technical publication denounced this technology as never becoming a serious business tool. Now everyone realizes that it is an essential tool for every business, regardless of size. We also have a related conference & expo by the same name and in fact own the registered trademark for the term Internet Telephony'.

Time To Converge
From our vantage point, we feel that now is the time for IP Telephony and contact center technology to converge because there is NO other choice if you want to compete profitably!

Some Benefits: Marriage Made In Heaven
Call centers are by far the biggest users of telecom. The Top 100 teleservices agencies alone use in excess of 30 billion billable minutes. Considering that teleservices represent only a small fraction of worldwide in-house CRM, contact center and customer interaction centers, then the world-wide consumption can be roughly estimated to be about 3 trillion minutes. As such, savvy call center management MUST plan to adopt the new Internet Telephony technology.

Huge Cost Savings
A recent article in BusinessWeek estimated that from 70 to 90 percent cost savings can be realized from adopting IP Telephony, to say nothing about other unparalleled advantages.

Today, IP Telephony is being implemented in a variety of industries and for both cost savings and revenue-generating objectives.

Our industry-specific research has led us to an extraordinary white paper on the subject by eLoyalty Corporation (optimizing customer interactions'). Here are some excerpts from the above white paper:

  • Why Consider an IP Contact Center?
  • IP in the Contact Center ' What Is It?

Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) is a means for dividing up a conversation (an analog signal) into IP packets. The standard IP protocol is used to route a voice communication over an IP packet-based network. Whereas legacy PBX systems use proprietary, non-interoperable signaling on proprietary hardware platforms, IP Telephony uses standard signaling protocols enabled over open standard, high bandwidth Ethernet local and wide area networks.

Beyond enabling voice communications over an IP network, the next requirement is to provide sophisticated call control capabilities. IP Contact Center solutions include specialized call processing capabilities to set up a call, handle conversations between telephone numbers and IP data network addresses, enable sophisticated call routing business rules to be applied, and track and manage call progress.

Having met the requirement for sophisticated call control capabilities, we can consider the flexibility a converged IP voice and data network provides. The IP network can be location independent and service provider independent. Devices can be plugged into the IP network at any point in the LAN/WAN architecture and be visible to the entire enterprise. Network and device management can be accomplished from any point on the IP network, and can include every component of the voice architecture. This leads to inherent benefits in scalability, interoperability between voice and data systems, and ease of administration.
IP Contact Centers are no longer a 'next year' phenomenon. Many organizations in banking, insurance, retail, manufacturing, and even government have implemented Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) solutions for call handling. And, they are beginning to realize the value of leveraging their prior investments in a solid IP Data Network foundation.

IP Contact Centers can result in cost savings, easier administration, vendor independence, elimination of redundant networks, and scalability benefits. Further, 'Quality of Service' (QoS) works well now for converged voice and data, bandwidth is available, and successful deployment examples exist in many industries.

The purpose of this white paper is to establish that real value is being achieved from Voice over IP Contact Centers, and that the time has come to evaluate IP Contact Center solutions for your organization.

Executives should evaluate IP-based Contact Center applications and architecture solutions now. Many different success stories now exist. The applications of Converged IP in these stories include:

  • Linking hundreds of remote sites into a virtual multimedia converged IP network, resulting in an improved customer experience and $4.5 million of annualized telecom savings
  • Replacing outdated telephony technology to avoid the cost of upgrades to a proprietary platform and to reduce telecom costs through toll bypass
  • Enabling remote site overflow to international destinations and outsourcers, providing lower cost skills and significant savings on international telecom trunking
  • Enabling 'work-at-home' call handling to reduce overhead and increase job satisfaction.

The tangible financial benefits are there ' and interim managed services alternatives exist to help you pilot the capability and verify the necessary QoS and savings.

Whether for distributed environments, or simply as an alternative to upgrading your traditional, proprietary voice architecture, now is the time to evaluate migrating your traditional architecture to an IP-based Contact Center.
As always, I welcome your comments. Please e-mail them to me at [email protected].

I would like to gratefully acknowledge and thank eLoyalty Corporation and specifically Mr. Tony Compton, marketing director, for assistance and the excerpts from their informative white paper (www.eloyalty.com). His phone number is 877-471-7500.

Sincerely yours,

Nadji Tehrani
Executive Group Publisher
[email protected]

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