Companies across all industries are struggling with a common issue -- how to migrate from a traditional call center model where neatly organized rows of representatives answer customer calls to today’s unified contact center environment where it’s more than just phones that are being answered.
“An agent is no longer just a person who is taking or making calls from a call center,” says Charles Hewitt, a Senior Consultant within the HP Unified Contact Center Practice. “Call centers have become contact centers with full multimedia capabilities, which means today’s agents might be handling e-mail inquiries, interacting with customers via collaboration software or even chatting on the Web.”
And that’s where HP’s Unified Contact Center Practice comes in. For more than 15 years, HP’s highly qualified consultants and technicians have been helping large enterprises to develop comprehensive call center modernization plans that include:
- High level recommendations
- Feasibility studies
- Technology implementation
“We like to understand where the pain points are and why customers have made the choice to investigate new technology,” says Hewitt. “We learn what they want to do, how they want to achieve it, and what their budget is, and then we devise a solution that not only fits their environment today but will also provide benefits five years down the road.”
Often, those pain points relate to existing call center infrastructure equipment that’s reached end of life, notes Jim Hofmann, Manager, HP U.S. Unified Contact Center Practice. “Companies will come to us when they’re facing a large renewal cost on equipment that they’re paying maintenance on,” he says. “Forced to make choices, they decide to move to IP telephony.”
Other common challenges include:
- Driving down costs
- Meeting customer service level agreements or
- Improving system agility
- Integrating customer relationship management applications and call center applications
Since 2000, the HP Unified Contact Center Practice has led more than 100 successful contact center product deployments and trained more than 200 consultants. A worldwide Cisco ATP partner, the group has extensive experience with the Cisco Customer Voice Portal (CVP), Cisco Intelligent Contact Management (ICM), Cisco Unified Contact Center Enterprise (UCCE) and associated product portfolios, and has applied Cisco technology in HP’s own internal contact centers, where more than five million ‘calls’ are handled each month.
In addition, HP Unified Contact Center consultants have extensive experience working with Avaya, Nortel, Aspect, Rockwell, Ericsson and Siemens infrastructure technology, and are certified in project management practices. “The tenure of our technical people is unheard of in the industry,” notes Hewitt. “The thing we hear most often from customers is, ‘Wow! The technical person you sent here really blew us away.’”
Making call center transformations a reality
After working with HP consultants to provide virtual call center functionality across all of its customer sites, for example, a global logistics company achieved improvements in trunk usage and is now answering calls faster.
A state government department deployed a computer telephony integration (CTI) screen pop solution and is currently migrating to Cisco Voice Portal. Not only are its desktop agents more efficient in servicing customers, but dependence on its end of life platform is now greatly reduced.
And, an IT services provider now has a “single” call center solution based on Cisco UCCE with seamless handoffs across all of its branch locations, eliminating call overflow issues and reducing abandoned call rates.