A critical component of customer experience is to ensure that customer calls are answered in a timely manner. If the customer service line is down or if agents aren't available, customers become disappointed and dissatisfied.
Although cloud-based unified communications (UC) systems offer more contact center redundancy and resiliency, they are not free from operational and technological glitches.
Organizations migrate to cloud-based UC to reduce their server footprint, as well as outsource support and management to the UC provider. Contact center organizations can also integrate with the new cloud-based phone system.
Microsoft Teams, for example, integrates with contact centers to provide capabilities such as call routing, voice analytics, speech recognition, mobility and call scripting. Disaster recovery is another desirable capability as Microsoft invests more into redundancy and reliability for Teams. However, organizations must prepare for other failures that could result in a phone system outage for a contact center.
1. Connectivity redundancy
The greatest single point of failure for any organization hosting its calling platform in the cloud is its network and internet connection. IT leaders must ensure redundant networking and internet connectivity -- but not just for corporate headquarters. Remote users and offices must also be provided with multiple connectivity options.
Hosted systems can be vulnerable to cyberattacks fueled by something as simple as a leaked administrative credential. To ensure administrative systems are well protected, IT leaders must implement strict password policies and require users to satisfy multifactor authentication protocols before they can access a contact center's administrative console.
3. Quality and performance monitoring
For organizations relying on hosted phone platforms, the right bandwidth makes a huge difference in call quality. System health and quality must be continually monitored to ensure the network has enough bandwidth to meet performance objectives.
4. Patch and update management
Just like any cloud-based UC platform, Microsoft continuously updates Teams, and it's important that employees use the latest version of the software. Doing so helps keep operations secure and reduces the chance that a bug or an outage disrupts the users or client experience.
By following some of these recommendations, IT administrators can help ensure their phone system supports contact center redundancy. Even if Microsoft or another cloud provider itself suffers from an outage, these suggestions reduce client-side risks associated with configurations or system failures that could cause a system outage.
Reda Chouffani runs the consulting practice he co-founded, Biz Technology Solutions Inc. He is a healthcare informatics consultant, cloud expert and business intelligence architect who helps enterprise clients make the best use of technology to streamline operations and improve productivity.