Is your call center a money pit? Are your agents hamstrung by inflexible, unresponsive applications? Are your customers getting the service they require?You can transform your antiquated call center into a distributed, multi-media contact center that can handle e-mail, chat sessions or Web-based contacts just as readily as a voice call. You can hire the most qualified agents no matter where they live and plug them into the network. And you can layer on new applications, such as screen-pop links to back-end databases or interactive voice response systems.Moving to the next-generation contact center requires two fundamental architectural shifts. You need to migrate to voice over IP, and you need to move applications to open, industry-standard architectures. Find out how in this Technology Insider.Building the next-generation customer contact centerPicture this: Instead of having to operate an expensive call center tied to a physical location, you've created a virtual, multimedia contact center staffed by agents working from home or in distant offices, connected through a voice-over-IP network. Is this hype or reality?VoIP is in your futureThe other major architectural change on the road to contact center Nirvana is to the packet-switched world of IP from traditional, circuit-switched TDM.