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Upgrading the Contact Center
I moderated an Enterprise Connect/No Jitter webinar this week that featured a company relatively new to the enterprise communications/collaboration market — Subspace, which has developed technology for providing better network performance across the Internet. Its target market is contact centers, which now rely heavily on home-based agents, whose individual Internet connections are now the enterprise’s lifeline to their customers.
Contact centers are Subspace’s latest target market, but not its first. Not surprisingly, the company initially targeted multi-player Internet-based gaming, where real-time network performance is critical.
The pandemic has forever changed the way companies serve their customers. From a contact center infrastructure perspective, it’s hard to imagine physical facilities returning to the dominance they had before COVID sent agents home to work. That means enterprises have to demand real-time performance for their home-based agents, which is not what the Internet was designed for. As analyst Zeus Kerravala of ZK Research said on this week’s webinar, “The Internet was designed with resiliency in mind, never performance in mind.”
But it’s not just the infrastructure that needs to evolve. This week on No Jitter, consultant Elizabeth English of EE & Associates recounts some scenarios of how her clients’ contact centers dealt with changes brought on by the pandemic, and how they did their best to implement solutions for multi-channel contact, virtual assistants, and call recording. Like so much of the communications technology rollout during the pandemic, it tended to be on-the-fly and piecemeal.
Beth will lead a session at Enterprise Connect 2021 the week of Sept. 27 in Orlando, offering more “Tales from the Trenches” from the last year and a half. It’s part of a contact center track that dissects the new era’s challenges and opportunities, including:
- How WEO and WFM systems are evolving to improve the agent experience
- The evolution and growth of customer journey technologies and systems
- An assessment of AI in the contact center focused on which uses produce actual results versus those that are more hype
- The current hot topic of empathy and how technology enables agents to provide more empathetic service
We’ve also got a General Session panel, led by my colleague Beth Schultz and analyst Sheila McGee-Smith of McGee-Smith Analytics, titled, Contact Centers & CX: Blurring the Line Between Automation and Live Assistance. Despite that fairly specific title, I imagine this discussion will range far enough afield to take in the issues I’ve touched on here, as well as major market developments like Zoom’s pending acquisition of Five9.
I encourage you to check out our whole Enterprise Connect 2021 program. Besides contact centers, there’ll be plenty of focus on collaboration platforms, video, and the broader hybrid work evolution that the pandemic set into motion. I hope you can join us in Orlando.
Discover all the latest technology trends and topics in enterprise communications and collaboration at Enterprise Connect this September in Orlando, Fla. Use the promo code NJAL200 to receive a $200 discount. Register now!