The high cost of outsourced contact centers

* Contact center considerations

Today, we’ll conclude our two-week discussion on the IP contact center with a reader comment and a summary of some additional information resources.

First we hear from Larry Jacobs, VP of marketing at RAD Data Communications.

After our last newsletter, Jacobs wrote us and said that: “The issue of how to minimize the very high costs associated with transporting thousands of calls back and forth to offshore agents is of critical importance to the … ‘outsourced’ call centers.”

He continues: “[While] it would seem straightforward that the most economical solution would be end-to-end VoIP … the reality is not so simple.” He points out that the need to support hundreds of simultaneous calls across oceans on a single E-1 can cost several thousand dollars per month. A call center can easily spend as much money on international trunks as they save on offshore labor costs. To gain cost efficiencies, he suggests using G.729a voice compression, packaging the VoIP packets together and "trunking" them across the WAN. Jacobs pointed us to a case study about how VoIP and IP contact center technology can work together to gain efficiencies.

Another information resource we recommend is a white paper from AT&T. The paper discusses the maturation of MPLS, SIP, and VXML protocols and shows how the IP contact center that leverages open standards are inherently more flexible, easier to manage, and less expensive to deploy than legacy alternatives. This paper explores these three key enabling protocols and how they're transforming the contact center industry.

Finally, we suggest readers who want to know more about how VoIP and the IP contact center solution work together should take a look at a white paper from Spanlink. The paper talks about how VoIP and IP communications involve a network shift that uses an open, distributed architecture, in which servers or clusters of servers run separate functions – from call management and messaging to automated call distribution (ACD) and interactive voice response (IVR).

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Copyright © 2006 IDG Communications, Inc.

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