Now the dust has settled (literally) on the Icelandic Volcanic disruption it got us thinking about people being stranded in a remote country for some time.
With modern VoIP systems and Unified Communications users could easily work from their remote location assuming they had Broadband access then they would have a VoIP Client, Voicemail and email access – in fact was there any reason for them to rush back
In the last few months with the Snow problem and now the volcanic ash we can see compelling reasons to have remote access to the office.
We have been testing some new products to add to our portfolio in the area of contact centres and it suddenly stuck us – what is a contact centre ?
In the good old days (you always sound like your father when you say this!) all contact to a contact centre was via the telephone that is why they used to be called call centres but now a company can receive regular telephone contact, VoIP Calls such as Skype services, On Line Chat, emails and voicemails and in reality these all need to be handled in the correct manner. All companies are chasing business hard and who are we to advise a potential customer of the best way to contact us so we need to handle all contacts in the same efficient manner.
For Contact centre developers this brings a new challenge of being able to handle all these contacts and order them and feed them to the correct or best agents and then be able to report on how they were dealt with. I am sure that soon contacts from Social Networking will become an important part of business.
We also see that new generation customers are much more comfortable to do business without using the telephone and relying on chat or email for contact so contact centres have to move with the times and work patterns adjusted accordingly as these contacts still need to be handled in the way a phone ringing is handled.
We hear this term used a lot and from our experience it is far from dead, we sell Unified messaging solutions that combine Voicemail, email and Fax and we are still continually surprised by the number of users who still opt for the fax option.
With the march of VoIP solutions we see a big problem as VoIP networks were never really designed to carry Fax and so the old basic form of communications struggles on modern networks. For many businesses this is a real issue as certain types of companies will only accept fax communication and not email as a legal document.
We saw a really interesting article over on the FierceVoIP website Fax is Dead…Long Live FoIP! – FierceVoIP. by Marc Robins SIP Forum Managing Director entitles Fax is Dead…Long Live FoIP and in the article he discusses the challenges faced by VoIP networks and what the SIP forum is doing to try and sort this problem out – have a look as it makes interesting reading.