IT Brief Australia logo
Technology news for Australia's largest enterprises
Story image

How cloud-based contact centres will ensure agents can work from anywhere

By Contributor
Fri 17 Jul 2020
FYI, this story is more than a year old

Article by NICE president of Asia-Pacific, Darren Rushworth.

In the early stages of the COVID-19 lockdown, all attention was focused on how to implement business continuity plans to keep organisations up and running. 

This included putting provisions in place to let staff members work from home with little notice, including contact centre agents. However, the solutions that kept the business running in those early stages may not be the same solutions required for long-term success in a changed business landscape, and cloud-based solutions are likely to dominate the future in which employees need to be able to work from anywhere.

The new reality is that people need to be able to work from anywhere without compromising productivity or security, and while delivering a consistent customer experience. 

Many organisations are heading back to the office as the COVID-19 threat recedes, but there is no guarantee that there won’t be a second wave of the virus, or another situation in which contact centre agents will need to be able to work from anywhere.

The future is likely to see a mix of work styles with many people preferring to continue working from home at least some of the time, split shifts in businesses to reduce crowding, and some workers going back to work full time. The challenge for contact centre businesses is how to deliver a consistent and engaging employee experience for all staff members, regardless of their location.

Cloud is the only infrastructure option that will deliver the kind of flexibility and agility required to deliver this experience. It improves the availability of applications and infrastructure, and removes the burden of management from the IT team.

Cloud-based infrastructure removes the need to spend large amounts of money on infrastructure in the office and in people’s homes, should they choose to (or be required to) work from anywhere. 

With a cloud-based environment, the physical location of staff members becomes irrelevant, as everyone can access the same systems and applications regardless of where they’re sitting. This is important because customers interacting with the contact centre need to have a consistent experience regardless of whether the employee is in the office or working from home. 

That means information must be available at the employee’s fingertips, including knowledge bases, resources, colleagues, and coaches, and the business must be able to deliver a seamless experience.

Using a cloud-based system with voice, text, and desktop analytics capabilities drives detailed insights on what employees are doing, which systems they’re accessing, and whether they’re being productive or need additional training, for example. Artificial intelligence (AI)-based metrics can also be used to measure employee performance, not just in terms of traditional productivity metrics but also in terms of the impact of customer-centric behaviours.

When employees are at home, they don’t have a manager sitting nearby who can help train and coach them, providing advice in real-time. Coaching can’t leverage social capital built up when agents and coaches spend time face-to-face. 

This is a key area that needs to be addressed. Workforce engagement and automated quality measurement solutions help enterprises identify the key improvement areas that need coaching.

With AI-based metrics, managers can see if agents are listening and being empathetic, if they’re acknowledging loyalty, and if they’re building strong relationships. This approach makes it easy to see which agents would benefit from additional training and which agents are the top performers. Gamification can help deepen employees’ commitment to ongoing improvement. And, these same tools must be available to employees in the office to ensure consistency.

A cloud-based solution can also help technology-proof the contact centre so that it can continue to provide exceptional experiences even as technology evolves, without having to invest in expensive, monolithic, on-premise upgrades. 

For example, the collaborative nature of work is expanding to include the customer. In this evolving field, cloud is the linchpin that makes collaboration, communication, and availability possible.

Some new employees may never have seen the office. Working from home for these people can mean that some things take twice as long. 

A digital twin can act like a virtual assistant, walking these employees through customer interactions and letting them know the next best action, so that they can deliver a strong customer experience right from their first day. From monitoring employee desktop activity to automating mundane tasks, digital twins participate in every key activity in the employee’s day.

As companies emerge into the changed business landscape, contact centre agents must be able to work from anywhere. They need to deliver outstanding and consistent customer experiences, empowered by the right coaching and incentives, and supported by technology that automates parts of the customer service task to free them up for more complex and high-value interactions. 

Organisations may also have to consider how they integrate additional technologies into the contact centre, such as augmented and virtual reality, in a way that complies with industry regulation and best practice.

There are plenty of opportunities at the moment for savvy contact centre operators to reduce costs with a more geographically-dispersed workplace supported by cost-effective and highly secure cloud-based applications and systems. 

Operators can do this while simultaneously improving the quality of the customer experience and deepening employee engagement, as long as they have the right tools.

Related stories
Top stories
Story image
Tech job moves
Tech job moves - Adatree, Brother, Databricks, Nutanix & Rubrik
We round up all job appointments from May 20-26, 2022, in one place to keep you updated with the latest from across the tech industries.
Story image
Customer experience
The importance of service level management to customer experience
Staffing shortages have impacted site reliability engineers in particular since they are under extreme pressure to ensure that digital assets perform at optimum levels 24/7.
Story image
DevOps
Deloitte expands cloud observability practice with Dynatrace
Deloitte is expanding its cloud observability practice, including DevOps principles, AI/ML, cloud complexity management and software engineering.
Story image
Contact Centre
Leveraging technology in contact centres to reduce attrition rates
Many organisations worldwide have accelerated DX to better respond to changing market drivers and business environments after the disruption of the pandemic.
Story image
Cybersecurity
What every CISO must answer to enable a best-in-class security operations program
It has been widely reported recently that South Australian government employees have been the victims of a cyberattack.
Story image
Cybersecurity
4/10 Australian SMEs fallen victim to cyber-attacks since pandemic
Almost four out of teb SMEs in Australia have fallen victim to cyber-attacks since the pandemic began, according to a new study.
Story image
MEC
MEC spending for private cellular networks to reach $5.8b
A new ABI Research report finds the revenue for Multi Access Edge Compute (MEC) deployments for private cellular networks will reach USD$5.8 billion by 2030.
Story image
Infosys
Consumer relationships with digital services continues to change
Two years of pandemic-induced reliance on technology for work has altered our relationship with digital apps and services, new research has found.
Story image
BYOD / Bring Your Own Device
How zero trust can lead the battle against ransomware
SecOps teams champion a zero trust strategy to support the fight against the escalating risk of cybercrime and help monitor threat actors across a network.
Story image
SaaS
MedCart achieves close to AUD$10 million in sales with help from Marketplacer tech
Australian health and medical start-up MedCart has achieved annual sales of close to AUD$10 million in less than 12 months, utilising Marketplacer marketplace technology to help achieve successful results.
Story image
Kubernetes
Sysdig unveils new Kubernetes troubleshooting and cloud innovations
Sysdig has introduced two new innovations that look to help bolster cloud services and simplify Kubernetes troubleshooting.
Story image
Artificial Intelligence
Gartner reveals top three tech trends for banks this year
Gartner says generative artificial intelligence, autonomic systems and privacy-enhancing computation are gaining traction in banking and investment services.
Story image
Digital Transformation
Digital transformation increasing business complexities
A new survey suggests businesses must re-examine their digital transformation approach to better help employees adapt to change.
Story image
Multi Cloud
Red Hat updates dev tools, empowers use of hybrid and multicloud
Red Hat has unveiled updates across its portfolio of developer tools, designed to help organisations build and deliver applications faster.
Story image
Transport
Third-party automotive apps bear significant privacy risks
Mobile applications for connected cars provide various features to make life easier for motorists, but they can also be a source of risk.
Story image
Ponemon Institute
Email revealed to be riskiest channel for data loss
More than half (60%) of organisations experienced data loss or exfiltration caused by an employee mistake on email in the last 12 months.
Story image
Red Sift
Entrust expands strategic partnership with Red Sift
Entrust has expanded its strategic partnership with Red Sift to make it easier for businesses to adopt Brand Indicators for Message Identification (BIMI) standards for email identification and security.
Story image
Digital Transformation
Harnessing digital innovations to maximise loyalty programmes and improve CX
When it comes to the retail sector, merchants have never had access to so many different client touchpoints and data to understand their customers better.
Story image
Digital Signage
MAXHUB's Digital Signage range to bolster boardroom productivity
The new MAXHUB Digital Signage technology is purpose-built to make every kind of team meeting more effective.
Story image
APAC
Top data and tech challenges for APAC banks - report
InterSystems’ new report finds that 87% of A/NZ banks experience frustrations and concerns in using their data to drive decision-making.
Story image
Phishing
MailGuard warns of new scam targeting Telstra customers
Telstra customers in Australia are being warned of a new scam involving "Unsuccessful Payment" messages.
Story image
NVIDIA
NVIDIA announces a spate of new innovations at Computex 2022
NVIDIA has announced its latest innovations in data center, robotics, content creation, and gaming in a virtual keynote address on the opening day of Computex 2022 in Taipei.
Exabeam
Find out how a behavioural analytics-driven approach can transform security operations with the new Exabeam commissioned Forrester study.
Link image
Story image
Symbio
Symbio consolidates TNZI business to support APAC expansion
Symbio has recently announced the consolidation of its international business (TNZI) under the Symbio brand to support its Asia Pacific expansion strategy.
Story image
Data Protection
Information management capabilities to meet privacy requirements
Organisations with customers or operations across more than one country face a spate of new and proposed privacy and data protection laws.
Story image
VPN
The most common online scams in Australia
No one is safe from online scammers, and many of these scammers have capitalised on the pandemic, using this confusing time to attack more people than ever.
Story image
Data Center
Preventing downtime costs and damage with Distributed Infrastructure Management
Distributed Infrastructure Management (DIM) can often be a lifeline for many enterprises that work with highly critical ICT infrastructure and power sources.
Story image
DaaS
NetApp launches Spot PC, a new Desktop-as-a-Service solution
This is a new managed cloud DaaS solution with security, automation, observability and optimisation capabilities, designed for the needs of today.
Story image
Check Point
Check Point and CCTV expert join forces to boost protection
The partnership will involve Check Point Quantum IoT Protect Nano Agent being embedded in Provision-ISR’s CCTV cameras for on-device runtime protection.
Story image
Microsoft
Microsoft, Cloudian partnership offers data center flexibility
Cloudian’s HyperStore object storage platform is now integrated and validated to work with Microsoft SQ Server 2022, offering more flexible and scalable data centers.
Story image
Rackspace
Skills shortages hold orgs back from capitalising on cloud 2.0
Organisations are becoming more comfortable with sophisticated 'cloud 2.0' technologies, even as they confront difficulties in hiring and retaining IT talent.
Story image
Managed service provider
Barracuda MSP Day 2022 highlights MSP opportunities
Barracuda Networks has released a report showing global services-related MSP revenue is set to increase by more than a third in 2022 compared to 2021.
Story image
Hybrid Cloud
Barracuda expands cloud-native SASE platform
"The expansion of Barracuda's cloud-native SASE platform for hybrid deployment models and IIoT environments solves a number of challenges."
Story image
Cybersecurity
Accenture - a collective security approach a driving factor for cyber resilience
With the approaching Davos World Economic Forum upon us, it is even more imperative to discuss the impact of cybersecurity on business operations leading into the future.
Story image
Sustainability
SoftIron named global leader for efficient DC infrastructure solutions
SoftIron has been named a global leader for supplying energy-efficient data infrastructure solutions for core-to-edge data centers after an assessment by Earth Capital Ltd.
Story image
Digital wallets
Australians lead the way in digital payment use - report
Australian consumers are at the forefront of mobile wallet use and adoption of digital banking tools, abandoning cash and physical payment experiences.
Story image
Sustainability
Aligned Data Centers increases sustainability-linked loan
Aligned Data Centers has increased its sustainability-linked loan from $375 million to $1.75 billion to speed up the next phase of its strategic growth.
Story image
Silver Peak
The path to an adaptive, modern network
Managing and securing the network looks different than it did just two years ago—especially given that most of these networks are made up of multi-generations of infrastructure stitched together over time.
Story image
Microsoft
Elevation of Privilege the top 2021 Microsoft vulnerability
BeyondTrust has released its 2022 Microsoft Vulnerabilities Report, finding that Elevation of Privilege is the top vulnerability category for the second consecutive year.
Story image
GapMaps
GapMaps Live to improve brand decisions on physical locations
GapMaps has released its latest service GapMaps Live, giving more insights and features to help brands make better decisions about physical locations.
Story image
Informatica
Informatica, Oracle enter strategic global cloud partnership
Oracle named Informatica as a preferred partner for enterprise cloud data integration and data governance for data warehouse and lakehouse solutions on OCI. 
Story image
Microsoft
Microsoft previews Power Platform website design offering
Microsoft has announced the preview of Power Pages, the fifth product in its Power Platform family, designed for low-code makers and professional developers.
Story image
SpaceX
Australian space tech startup secures SpaceX support
Space Machines Company has secured the support of SpaceX as a launch partner in carrying SMC's Optimus Orbital Transfer Vehicle to space next year.
Story image
Boost Mobile
Boost Mobile now makes up over 7% of Aussie prepaid market
Boost Mobile has doubled its market share over the past four years and now has more than 7% of Australia's prepaid market, equivalent to over 700,000 people.