Need for contact center resiliency amid COVID-19: GlobalData

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London: COVID-19 (Coronavirus disease) pandemic has underscored the need for contact center resiliency to be part of the business continuity planning, according to GlobalData.

The pandemic has created many operational issues for businesses across the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region. While many B2C businesses across sectors such as retail, tourism, and transportation are struggling to stay afloat, they cannot ignore their customers during the crisis.

Against this backdrop, the pandemic has underscored the need for contact center resiliency to be part of the business continuity planning.

According to GlobalData, several legacy contact centers are not architected to cope with COVID-19 scenarios. Especially for companies that are facing different degrees of anxiety among customers, the ability to address customer needs is crucial for long-term success.

In Asia, India and the Philippines are the two key call center outsourcing destinations and as these places go into lockdown, contact center operations are affected. Some of these contact centers may not have the technology and process in place to support remote agents. 

“The COVID-19 crisis has revealed the need for contact center solutions to be more resilient, scalable and easy to setup. As things become unpredictable, businesses want the flexibility to scale their operations. In dealing with the immediate demand, there is no time for extensive RFP and vendor evaluation,” said Siow Meng Soh, Senior Technology Analyst – GlobalData.

“Businesses can look to their existing suppliers for solutions that can meet their near-term requirements. Established players such as Avaya, Cisco, and Genesys all have cloud-based solutions that can enable customers to scale their contact center operations,” added Soh.

For example, Avaya is offering a 90-day complimentary license for remote agents and Genesys has a set of interim license programs to help customers manage higher interaction volumes as a result of COVID-19.

Cisco has also announced ‘Work from Home’ Webex Contact Center Quick Deployment solution which offers a temporary solution (90-day subscription) with no minimum volume requirement and can be deployed in five days.

“In the longer-term, companies across the region that are looking to replace legacy solutions should consider a range of cloud-based solutions available in the market. They should also consider the potential of AI in the contact center, the importance of having the ability to support omnichannel, and automation through communications platform-as-a-service (CPaaS),” pointed out Soh.

There are many cloud-based contact center solutions in the market. One that is gaining attention from enterprise customers is Amazon Connect. As a leading cloud provider, AWS enjoys competitive advantages over other smaller cloud-native contact center companies.

“Cloud-native solutions come with the obvious benefits such as rapid deployment, consumption-based pricing model (based on usage rather than capacity or number of agents) and the ability to scale to meet unpredictable demand. These are crucial attributes in light of the COVID-19 situation,” concluded Soh.

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