By now, you’ve probably heard all about the benefits of cloud-based, or hosted, contact center solutions over traditional premise-based solutions. They offer lower overhead costs, workplace flexibility, and unlimited scalability for functions and data storage. They can be accessed from anywhere in the world, anytime.
However, technology has progressed to the point where even a cloud-based contact center solution can be seen as traditional. It’s been around long enough (in tech years) that new cloud-based solutions are being developed to solve issues that businesses often face when they invest in a cloud-based solution.
Picture yourself on vacation. You decide to go to an amusement park, and there’s one big awesome rollercoaster that you absolutely have to ride before you leave for the day. You have to wait in line first. And the line is long, looping around itself like an anaconda in the middle of the amusement park. The amusement park attendants can load 12 people on each train and there are 3 train cars running at a time, but the entire line bottlenecks at the loading station. There aren’t separate lines for each of the train cars, so you have to wait in line for the chance to get into any of them.
Now, I’m really about to ruin your vacation.
Imagine that some guy in the front of the line has a heart attack. They have to stop the line for 30 minutes to get him safely into an ambulance before they can resume letting people on the ride. Some people have already left the line because they’re sick of waiting in the hot sun. They would rather ride something with a shorter line, but you want to ride this coaster; it’s the best one in the entire amusement park.
This is how a centralized server works. All functions go through a single centralized server before they are sent out to service end points to be fulfilled. For contact centers, this means that all inbound requests come through a centralized server before they are sent to individual agents for processing, which takes up time. If the central server goes down, then all operations are put at a standstill until IT can fix the problem that caused the outage. Centralized server speed and functionality is eaten up if you want to back-up and store your data.
The good news is that you no longer have to rely on a centralized server to host your contact center functions. An innovative grid-style architecture distributes the essential functions of a system across multiple nodes instead of being routed through a single point first. Think of grid computing as a fast-pass for your customers to get on all the rides without having to wait in a long line first.
If one of these nodes fails for any reason, the functions are just routed through the remaining available components of the system. In a centralized server system, if the central server fails, then you are basically screwed.
Grid computing enables a system to maintain functions even in the case of an emergency. It can easily be scaled up or down because the amount of end point nodes determines the division of the work load. You can even add additional nodes to provide extra support when the system experiences a spike in demand, or the nodes can remain idle until they need to be used for backup and data recovery. You can also take end point nodes out of the system if they are eating up unnecessary bandwidth and causing infrastructure costs during period of low demand.
The entire point of having a cloud-based solution for your contact center is to maximize your service offerings while reaping in cost benefits. If you experience major downtimes with a hosted contact center solution, then you’re losing money from the lost opportunities and missed customer connections resulting from outages. Instead of dealing with the emotional rollercoaster of centralized server failure, think instead about a cloud-based solution that implements grid computing to ensure availability and reliable service.
By Madeleine Coe
Publish Date: June 18, 2013 3:31 PM