Updated: Mar 17
AsiaInfo Product Marketing
Mar 16th, 2020
Call center managers have found that the troublesome things have become more difficult: Affected by trade and tariff factors, the cost of equipment for self-built call centers has increased, and the construction period has been longer, and the procurement budget in their hands has not increased; The business has expanded to more cities across the country, and the need for unified management of front seats and system resource support is increasingly urgent; new business promotion and user surges impact the carrying capacity of the call center system platform; the application of artificial intelligence technology and the compatibility of self-built systems, hinders the improvement of call center management and agent efficiency.
Technology is a key weapon in cracking down on the call center's woes. Cloud computing, artificial intelligence and computer communication technologies are giving call centers more powerful call processing capabilities, information interaction, storage, and analysis, making call centers more intelligent and information-oriented.
The development and change of call centers are inseparable from business needs. In 1956, the world ’s first large-scale, full-time call center was established to cope with the increase in passenger numbers and business surge. Pan American Airlines urgently needed to open a channel to connect to customers. Telephone became their preferred tool.
At the end of the 1990s, China ’s fixed-line and mobile phone equipment became more and more popular, business development intensified corporate competition, and product marketing and customer service demand soared. Large-scale construction of call centers began. To date, the industry has nearly 2 million seats.
01 The evolution of call centers.
Business development is external demand, and technological innovation is the internal cause of the change in industrial form. The problems of high cost and low efficiency of traditional call centers have become increasingly prominent, prompting call centers to update and iterate technically. Throughout the development process of call centers, it has experienced three development stages of self-built, virtual and cloud call centers.
Enterprise self-built call centers mainly use switches and middleware for embedded development, which is stable and reliable and has strong processing capabilities, but the cost is too high, the implementation period is long, and the launch is slow. And the flexibility is poor, there is no agent flexibility, unable to adapt to changes in business volume. The self-built facilities caused a certain amount of waste of resources, so a virtual model of integrating the resources required by the call center, and then assigning seats to various enterprises in the form of leases. In essence, the core technology remains the same, but the integrated utilization of resources is achieved, which reduces the cost of the enterprise to a certain extent.
With cloud computing, call centers have reached a new level in core technology. Many companies have migrated their call center system software to the cloud, achieving agent flexibility and more open technology. But simple migration has a single point of system problems, poor reliability, insufficient capacity and performance, and it is just a nominal "cloud".
02 Call center cloud services.
The call center cloud service, which is based on the all-cloud architecture and cloud-native technology, is the latest development stage of the call center.
The call center cloud service not only meets the needs of enterprises for flexible seats, on-demand use, and out-of-the-box, but also has better performance in terms of system stability, availability, and flexibility. The reason is that the call center cloud services are based on various mature components of cloud computing in terms of architecture design. This architecture is inherently with the "cloud" gene, which can give full play to the large-capacity and high-performance of cloud computing. Available and flexible advantages, stronger adaptability. At the same time, the service architecture is decoupled, and the upgrade of a single module does not affect the whole, and it is not necessary to affect the whole body, making the call center cloud service capability more stable.
The emergence of call center cloud services has greatly reduced the human, financial, and material costs required for enterprises to have specialized call centers. The service model is also used on demand and billed based on usage. Therefore, from the perspective of service mode, call center cloud services is the application practice of cloud computing in the call center industry. It belongs to the "industry cloud" and can provide enterprises with multiple services, not just an application software.
Through cloud computing and the integration of the network and high-quality communication resources, a call center cloud platform has been formed. The functions required by the call center are modularized and output as standardized SaaS software or customized PaaS service methods, allowing enterprises to meet actual needs, and to decide what features to use.
03 Value and Characteristics.
Nowadays, business models rely on the Internet, and high system availability is a prerequisite for normal business operations. Sudden business growth, peak fluctuations, regional expansion, and higher requirements for call center cloud service capabilities. It must have the characteristics of elasticity, high availability, and growth to help companies calmly respond to business fluctuations and accelerate progress of regional expansion. At the same time, it also needs to connect with various new technologies in the future to meet the transformation and upgrading needs of enterprises driven by new technologies.
As the leader of China's call center cloud services, AsiaInfo pioneered the road of "full cloud architecture" based on 12 years of industry accumulation and technology accumulation. The cloud not only solves the problem of capacity, but also lowers costs with outstanding high performance.
At present, AsiaInfo call center cloud service single platform supports 20,000 agents concurrent login and 10,000 agents concurrent calls. To reach this scale of production, the cost of self-construction is unimaginable. Now you just need to provision the service on the cloud and you can use it immediately. For a business that needs rapid expansion, time is capital, and whoever opens the channel first can occupy the market first. At the same time, the number of seats can increase or decrease with business needs, maximizing the utility of corporate funds and avoiding cost waste.
High service performance.
Based on the flexibility of the cloud, the call center cloud service can calmly cope with business crests and troughs. For example, in the food delivery and takeaway industry, business peaks will occur during the ordering period. If the flexibility is insufficient, the call center system may collapse and become unavailable under high concurrency conditions. The time period may cause waste of resources, which requires the elastic advantages of cloud services to effectively adjust and achieve reasonable utilization of resources.
Through DevOps organizational structure, the integration of design, development, operation and maintenance, and testing is implemented to make the iterative evolution of call center cloud services faster and continuously updated. One version is updated every week, which responds quickly to various needs of customers.
The emergence and application of new technologies will affect the continuous upgrade of core technology in call centers. The rise of AI needs to be based on the cloud's powerful computing storage capabilities to achieve technology docking. This is an open capability that traditional self-built call centers cannot reach. Call center cloud services are not only a service platform, but also an ecological platform. At present, the implementation of AI in call center cloud services is mainly in typical applications such as ASR voice transcription, intelligent quality inspection, and intelligent risk control.
High performance cannot be separated from the guaranteed stable network. Because the call center cloud service is implemented through the Internet, if the network is interrupted, no matter how high the performance of the cloud service is, it cannot be used by the enterprise. Therefore, it is meaningful that the high availability of cloud services is built on the high availability of the network. In particular, the introduction of the public cloud brings the improvement of the platform architecture, and accordingly puts forward higher requirements on the network.
There was this one time, Azure was struck by lightning, and the service was interrupted for more than 24 hours. Microsoft defined the incident as a "network problem." The problem of unavailability of cloud services has deepened the concern of enterprises on the cloud. To solve this problem and establish a disaster tolerance mechanism, cross-region services are the key.
Ensuring high network availability is based on three levels: cloud platform, core network, and access network, which is what we often call "three-layer networking". A complete network architecture design should consider the relationship between the core computer room and the cloud vendor. Network availability between the core computer room and the core computer room, and between the customer and the core computer room.
A more secure approach is to do dual cloud backup on the three-tier network structure, just like the dual cloud mutual backup and active-active partition mode of AsiaInfo call center cloud service. When extreme conditions occur, the call center cloud service can be stable. Drift to another cloud platform, so that the call center cloud service will not be interrupted, and ensure the normal operation of the customer's business without any impact.
In the future, AsiaInfo will continue to deeply explore cloud services in the field of call centers, so that advanced technologies can better serve enterprise customers.