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Remote Agent Options for Call Centers
In response to COVID-19 virus concerns, precautions, and corresponding disaster planning, call centers should plan for supporting remote (at-home) agents in scale to facilitate continued call center operations. This document is intended to provide guidance to existing customers on the technical options available to support timely implementation of remote agents. A variety of configurations are available. Options selected should be tested within each customer’s environment before deploying in scale.
Voxai is ready to discuss pros/cons of these options as well as implementation assistance to ensure our customers are prepared for successfully moving call center operations to a remote agent model.
Use SIP-Client (soft VoIP client) with existing Genesys CTI soft phone
Whether using Genesys WDE/WWE, Voxai Soft Phone, or other customized CTI soft phone, use of SIP-Client replaces physical hard phones. The SIP-Client would register directly with Genesys SIP Server allowing for call delivery to agent’s desktop either within corporate network or to remote agent desktops connected over secure VPN. Performance of this solution depends heavily on remote agent Internet bandwidth which is why testing and pilots should be considered as a first step. To help with voice quality performance, calls can be routed through Session Border Controllers (SBC) to transcode voice codecs. For example, transcoding higher bandwidth G.711 to G.729.
- Genesys licensed SIP-Client- Other options for subscription is also available. Lab and other components may be required
- Voxai SIP-Client
- Other industry available SIP compliant clients (CounterPath X-Lite)
Consideration for which client is leveraged depends on short and long term needs. Both Voxai and Genesys are offering reduced pricing to assist with interim remote agent support.
- Proven solution. Many customers already leverage these clients as hard phone replacements within their corporate network
- Support for rapid deployment
- Highly dependent on remote agent Internet bandwidth
- Potential dependency on SBC capabilities (transcoding) which may require additional HW and SW licensing
Genesys Remote Agent Configuration
Genesys configuration supports call delivery to any DN or phone number in leu of a voice (VoIP) endpoint registered directly with Genesys SIP Server. This can be an agent’s cell phone or home phone. This is an inherent ability of Genesys which does not require additional licensing. Additionally, other VoIP clients can be mapped to DN/Extensions and routed through a Session Border Controller (SBC) which can support a variety of voice codecs (OPUS). Routing again can be delivered to a PSTN DN or VoIP endpoint behind a dialable extension mapped within an SBC.
- Proven solution easily configured.
- No voice quality issues if delivered to a PSTN DN.
- VoIP endpoints and codecs supported through SBC configuration.
- Configuration changes required as agent DN changes.
- Dependency on SBC transcoding which may require additional HW and/or SW licensing.
For customers that already support software-based SIP/VoIP endpoints the issue is not necessarily the contact center technology but more providing a desktop system for agents to use. Home PC’s introduces security issues, adequate desktop controls, and not meeting minimum compute specifications. Amazon Workspace provides a quick and scalable solution to provide corporate desktops to remote agents on which VoIP call delivery technologies can be deployed. Remote environments only require access to the Internet, USB port for a headset, and minimal PC or tablet specs to connect to the Amazon Workspace image. Additionally, thin client remote equipment such as WISE terminals can be used eliminating any dependence on agent home PC/tablet.
- Speed to deployment
- Meets corporate security standards
- Addresses short- and long-term needs
- Still dependent on Internet bandwidth
Genesys Cloud is a pre-built, cloud native, multi-tenant contact center solution. This solution can be quickly configured to handle omni-channel volumes delivering these contacts to any endpoint with Internet connectivity. The voice client is WebRTC based which optimizes call quality in lower bandwidth environments. This cloud platform technology can be used to replace existing technologies or integrate with them. For example, a customer’s existing IVR can be leveraged for self-service with calls to remote agents routed through Genesys Cloud for delivery.
- Cloud subscription based supporting usage models
- Leverages WebRTC to support at-home Internet bandwidths
- Rapid deployment capabilities for full contact center functionalities
- Requires additional licensing on top of existing platform
Independent of the existing call center technology, if VoIP endpoints are supported sometimes the bottleneck or issue is secure remote connectivity. SDWAN provides a solution here for securing these home Internet connections with tunnel-less secure vector routing. This allows for encryption and optimized bandwidth performance without the overhead of a VPN tunnel. Voxai partners with 128 Technology to deliver SDWAN consulting and solutions.
- Secures and optimizes Internet connectivity
- Ability to monitor and trouble-shoot VoIP and bandwidth issues
- Potential procurement delays of required remote router hardware
- Longer implementation times
We understand this is a lot of information to consider. If you need help planning your path forward, don’t hesitate to contact us. You can email us at email@example.com and we will get right back to you.