Implementation is the key to successful call centre technology

Careful technology implementation and integration is the key to success for any call centre project, says Jacques du Toit of Vox Orion: “Too many people spend a fortune to buy a great product, and then break it by not doing the implementation properly.”

March 13, 2012

Careful technology implementation and integration is the key to success for any call centre project, says Jacques du Toit of Vox Orion: “Too many people spend a fortune to buy a great product, and then break it by not doing the implementation properly.”

“A call centre is a complex human and technical environment,” says Du Toit. “You can’t just buy new systems and plug them in. The trick is in how you integrate it: Did the consultant understand your business processes and how different systems need to work together?”

There are two major ways to break expensive technology, adds Du Toit. “The first is failing to pay your consultants to do a detailed business analysis together with a complete implementation; the second is failing to manage your people and their behavioural changes to their working environment. Either one could leave you with a white elephant on your hands.”

Before making any technology decisions, says Du Toit, call centres should carefully assess their needs. “What kind of growth is expected, do you do mainly inbound or outbound work, do you have a requirement for converged messaging, voice and video services, how much social media capability do you need and what are your strategic technology needs?”

A small contact centre might do well with a hosted, open-source platform such as Verto Standard, says Du Toit, with costs starting at R70 per extension per month. “Hosted platforms give you all the advantages of flexibility and scalability at low cost, but you may have to tweak your processes to fit the technology.”

“At the other end of the scale is Verto Connect, based on Avaya and Presence technology, which can cost up to R3,500 per extension per month and take up to a year to implement,” says Du Toit. “But then you’re getting the Rolls Royce.”

“There’s a place for both the inexpensive and fast and the state of the art systems,” adds Du Toit. “You need to choose a consultant who will work with you to choose the option that is most appropriate for your own business.”