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It is difficult to build a solution if you don't know the requirements. User requirements are the least technical and also the most subjective. Your task is to gather requirements (User, Application, Device and Network) to complete this project with the help of techniques such as questionnaire, one-on-one interviews with users, Call Centre Management, and Staff Members. Application requirements can be determined from application information, experience, testing and represent what is needed by applications to successfully operate on the system. Device requirements are related to performance characteristics of network and their location information. With the help of diagram’s and flow charts, categorize all these requirements in groups and create an assessment plan for the Call Centre network.

Your task is to come up with a logical, efficient and scalable network design that is suitable for the Call Centre requirements. Analyze all requirements gathered in Task 1 and propose suggestions accordingly. Create network performance metrics such as (Bandwidth, Delay, Jitter, Packet loss, Utilization etc) and justify your proposed solution. Make sure you provide enough information that will allow IT technicians to build network infrastructure from scratch. The Company has allocated an adequate budget to purchase any networking device such as routers, switches, IP phones, access points, network cables etc., yet obviously does not want to spend more than necessary.
 

Network Requirements

User Requirements

The user should be able to:

  • Make a call to client
  • Receive a call from clients
  • Send a message to customer
  • Chat on a user-friendly web interface

Telecommunication Network

The network interconnects the agent with a client. The requirements needed include:

  • Ethernet switch
  • Router
  • Public switched telephone network
  • Long distance carrier
  • Contact server
  • Modem

If the call centre is receiving and making calls outside to other regions, then the long distance carriers between the areas will be interconnected by the international private leased circuit. Also, the call centre may decide to implement the voice over internet protocol (VoIP) which can transmit data, voice, and fax to several locations via the internet protocol [1].

Hardware Requirements

The call centre will have state of the art hardware elements including:

  • Microsoft Windows or Mac OS X Platform
  • Intel core 2 Duo Processor (1.4GHz or higher)
  • Minimum of 2GB RAM to enhance performance
  • Minimum of 250GB ROM
  • Super VGA monitor
  • Minimum of 1024x768 screen resolution
  • 8MB minimum for video graphics card
  • Citrix Presentation server with minimum of 2.0 GHz, 2GB RAM, HTTPs connectivity to the TPx service environment
  • Citrix ICA Client workstation with minimum processing speed of 1.2GHz, 128 RAM, 8 MB minimum RAM for video graphics card, and network connectivity
  • Desktop for agents
  • Predictive Dialer
  • Automatic call distributor
  • Local area network
  • Interactive voice response
  • Computer technology integration
  • Web integration
  • Fax-on-demand, messaging, and Voice logging

When all these components are integrated it forms a simple, easy to use, sophisticated, and efficient call centre platform. 

Software Requirements

Software requirements include:

  • Customer relationship management software
  • Web browser
  • Operating system
  • Outlook (required for contact directory)
  • Sun Microsystems Java Runtime edition

Software requirements form an essential part of setting up a call centre. A customer relationship management software to help agents collect client (who are online) information. The software facilitates separation o clients into distinct categories and identifying the value of every class. Also, the call centre will require an operating system to manage the services [2]. Depending on the user requirements the following operating system may be installed: Mac OS, Linux, Unix, Windows OS.

Logical Network Design for the Call Center

The purpose of the Cisco unified mobile agent is to allow agents using broadband VPN connection and PSTN phone to operate as if it were a unified CCE agent. CTI ports are used as proxies for the caller phone and endpoints (mobile agent phones). The ports are needed for each agent that has signed in and takes the position of the Cisco IP phones controlled and monitored by Unified JTAPI. The local CTI port DN is utilised by the agent to sign in, and it is where clients are directed when the agent is chosen.

The remote CTI port notifies the operator when chosen for a call-by-call interconnection or a nailed linkage. Cisco unified mobile agents allow system admins to setup operators to use either nailed connection or call-by-call dialling [3]. Also, agents can be configured by the admin to select the type of communication during login. For call-by-call dialling, the remote phone of the operator is dialled for every call coming through. The operator’s phone is disconnected when the call end and prepared for the next incoming call. The agent after logging in to nailed connection, the line remains open via several phone calls. 


The Cisco unified mobile agent (CUMA) tone notifying connection gives a two-beep notification in nailed connection when the call is connected. The operator will hear the tone after receiving the call. CUMA can connect to any unify CCE by the use of any PSTN phone that allows routing to a Cisco Voice Gateway. Registration of the voice gateway can be done using the same or different Unified CM cluster [4]. For CUMA to operate, it needs desktop agent application in addition to the phone.

Hardware Components

If the operator is using an IP phone on similar group related to agent PG, it is beneficial from the view of the performance of Unified CM to allow the agent to use extension mobility rather than the feature of the mobile agent [5]. Nevertheless, the JTAPI user has to be linked with the IP phone, and there is a little efficiency hit for making the linkage on Unified CM.

In the diagram below, 1A and 1B voice gateways are both registered on cluster 1, and gateway 2 signup on cluster 2.  An incoming call to 1A can be redirected to any of the operators. Cluster 2 has no PG, and IP phones for mobile operator 4 is not controlled or monitored by JTAPI.

Mobile Operator Call Scenarios

CTI ports can be located anywhere because it is virtual. Caution should be taken when locating CTI post for mobile agents. Supervisors at the call centre should make sure that VoIP endpoints are colocated with the pair of CTI port when the operators are called [6]. Accountability of call admissions will be incorrect if mobile operators are allocated CTI ports with varying location with the VoIP.

The configuration of the Unified CM should be done in a manner that ehn a remote CTI port dials the phone number given by the operator at sign in, it directs to a Voice gateway in a similar location as the operator CTI ports. Admission control accounting will work incorrectly if otherwise [7]. Additionally, the configuration can be done such a way that there is a specific gateway where CTI ports can go through without considering the called phone number. If the company wants a dedicated gateway, then such configuration is recommended because it is easy to manage. However, it cannot be regarded as an efficient type of configuration from the view of utilization of PSTN trunk.

Sometimes the mobile agents are busy, and you want the clients to get entertained when on hold like listening to music, then allocate MoH (Music on Hold) to the admission voice gateway linked to the caller [8]. The source of the audio is determined on the local CTI port setup. If the operator likes to hear music when put on hold, then allocated MoH to the trunk linked to the operator. When there are no active calls in nailed connections, the operator is put on hold. 

Call Center Perfomance Metrics

Software Requirements

Productivity: the call center should be utilizing the resources available to achieve its objectives. Some main metrics include: Percentage of contact center operators who are occupied in activities related to direct customer service and the number of inbound operators where low number shows underutilization of the operators; and a high value show better scheduling and utilization

Service Level Metrics: these metrics are connected with scaling the level of quality of service delivery by the center. Some of the essential metrics comprise of first, the ASA (Average Speed of Answer). It is the total time waited by callers in line partitioned by several calls and managed by live agents and IVR [9]. The metric is a scale of the contact center responsiveness. It is used to monitor the compliance of service level under sets objective. Secondly, is the response time and service level. All calls received by a live agent within some seconds is known as service level. It is a measure of the contact center responsiveness to the clients and measures compliance with the service under established targets. Response time, on the other hand, is the calculation of time taken to finish 100 percent of the contacts. These metrics are linked to the desired productivity in a contact center.

Thirdly, is the CAR (Call Abandonment Rate). It refers to the number of calls linked to the ACD, but the caller disconnected it before the completion of the process or before the connection of the agent [10]. It is an essential metric that scales the customer dissatisfaction level with the service. A high Call Abandonment Rate leads to serious comments on the call center services operation. Fourthly, is the accessibility. The measures associated with the feature determines contact center accessibility to the client. Fifthly, is the longest wait in a queue. It is a performance metric of real-time that calculates the longest call age. Other vital metrics include Forecasting Accuracy, contact quality, Schedule Adherence and Self-service accessibility. 


Quality: measures for verifying quality level provided by the customer service relating to process quality involved and issue actual resolution. Some of the important parameters include first, customer satisfaction. It offers information on the current customer satisfaction level. It should frequently be monitored.  There are several methods to identify customer’s perceptions towards services of contact services [11]. They include through customer complaints and praise, customer surveys and observation of interaction between staffs and the customer. The surveys may be connected to issues resolved, expectations fulfilled, products, and customer experience. High customer contentment is seen when there is a successful practice of customer service and does not necessarily need to be held by high cost per customer contact or high cost of customer service.

Secondly, is the call quality. Analyzing call quality assist the contact center to learn the efficiency of its customer service practices. A contact center may establish its evaluation scale to measure the quality of the call and may range from 1-100 based on specific parameters. The criterion may consist of things such as quality of interaction, knowledge, professionalism, smoothness of the process, agent responsiveness and trait, among others [12]. Other call center performance metrics include agent performance metrics, cost metrics, and contact handling metrics. 

References

[1]A. Kinder, W. Siegel, R. Bergevin and B. Simpson, Call centers for dummies. Hoboken, N.J.: John Wiley & Sons, 2013, p. 228.

[2]T. Szigeti, End-to-end qos network design. Indianapolis, IN: Cisco Press, 2013, p. 943.

[3]L. Carvalho and O. Alves, Telecom management for call centers. Bloomington, IN: iUniverse Inc, 2011, p. 125.

[4]T. Communications, "Hardware and Software Requirements for the Call Center Client - TPx User Guides", TPx User Guides, 2016. [Online]. Available: https://www.tpx.com/support/hardware-software-requirements-call-center-client/. [Accessed: 29- Jan- 2018].

[5]N. Gautam, "Contact Center Infrastructure (CCI): What You Should Know Before Setting Up Your Contact Center", Ameyo.com, 2017. [Online]. Available: https://www.ameyo.com/blog/contact-center-infrastructure. [Accessed: 29- Jan- 2018].

[6]G. GC, "Call Center Infrastructure", Tutorial-reports.com, 2013. [Online]. Available: https://www.tutorial-reports.com/business/outsourcing/cso/infrastructure.php. [Accessed: 29- Jan- 2018].

[7]E. Perez, "Call Center Infrastructure - Network Transport & Internet - FWS", Flatworldsolutions.com, 2014. [Online]. Available: https://www.flatworldsolutions.com/call-center/our-network.php. [Accessed: 29- Jan- 2018].

[8]R. Green, Cisco unified customer voice portal. Indianapolis, IN: Cisco Press, 2012, p. 302.

[9]R. White and D. Donohue, The art of network architecture. Indianapolis: CISCO Press, 2014, p. 20.

[10]S. Geraghty, "11 Tools for Employing At-Home Call Center Agents | Talkdesk", Talkdesk, 2013. [Online]. Available: https://www.talkdesk.com/blog/11-tools-for-employing-at-home-call-center-agents. [Accessed: 29- Jan- 2018].

[11]G. Koole, Call center optimization. Amsterdam: MG Books, 2013, p. 93.

[12]J. McCabe, Network Analysis, Architecture, and Design. Amsterdam: Elsevier Science, 2010, p. 311.

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