Contact Center as a Service: A Layered Approach to Delivering the Contact Center

ACE Global has been providing business process outsourcing services for over 26 years. Like everyone in the business we started with a traditional, facility based outlook. Over the years we have established contact center facilities in Phoenix, AZ, Costa Rica and the Philippines. Our client list includes large fortune 500 companies like Sprint, Chase, and CitiFinancial. We provide our clients with customer care, help desk, technical support and collections services.

We  see the contact center business in a different light today then we did 26 years ago. The facilities based model is not always the best model for our customers. Today customers demand a more flexible, higher quality, multi-channel approach. They want quicker deployment, the ability to turn services up and down when needed, better hiring pools, better agents and more sophisticated delivery.

Moving from a facilities based approach, ACE now delivers a Contact Center as a Service solution. This is a layered approach to the business that recognizes we must be able to deliver the contact center to the customer when, where they want it and how they want it. It’s a scalable solution that allows ACE to deliver as many as 20,000 seats, and gives the customer the ability to ramp up or down based on need.

Here’s how we do it:

Our layered model of network, cloud, hiring, training, and culture recognizes that all aspects of the service must be nailed down to enable the delivery of CCaaS to the customer.  CCaaS takes the right network topography, a commitment to cloud technology, a hiring plan that allows for multi market scalability and ongoing analysis of the hires, a commitment to a virtual training plan,  and the establishment of a work culture that can be replicated at multiple sites.  So let’s dive a little deeper into the layers.

Layered Model II

Network Layer

Click to see larger image
Click to see larger image

ACE has an on net requirement for all deployments whether the agent is in a facility or working at home our goal is to stay on net. Our network core is a fully redundant, self-healing MPLS that connects our two data centers in Los Angeles and Phoenix as well as our three facilities in Phoenix, Costa Rica and the Philippines.

All traffic flows from our contact center facilities and our work at home hubs through the MPLS to the data centers. It’s from the data centers that connectivity to the internet, our customers cloud and the PSTN’s are achieved. This is a highly secure solution giving us full control over the exit and entry points into and out of our network.

Click to see larger image
Click to see larger image

This is a typical, best practice for a wide area network. Where we significantly differ is our network standards for our work at home agents. We have an on net policy there as well.

ACE extends the edge of our MPLS all the way to the market the agents reside in and by landing a local hub in every market we hire out of. This mean all voice and data traffic from the agents home avoids distant peering points, stays local and travels directly to that hub. This significantly reduces latency and jitter on the network and dramatically improves voice quality.

The added benefit to this outlook is that the hubs also include a nesting space and meeting room. The nesting space provides agents a place to land for additional hands on training or a place to work if the home network is down. The meeting spaces are available for group meetings and trainings. More importantly a place for a team to meet face to face helps the remote agents engage in and embrace our culture.

Cloud Layer

A commitment to the cloud is essential. It’s the engine that drives the when, where and how part of the CCaaS solution. ACE has invested heavily in Cisco’s Unified Contact Center Enterprise platform (UCCE). UCCE is a best of breed, mufti-channel platform that allows us to deliver Contact Center capabilities to any agent, from anywhere, to anywhere via multiple methods. It is a cloud solution that ACE hosts on our network and allows us to scale to 20,000 seats. Functionalities and capabilities include:

  • Monitoring of resource availability
  • Delivery of each contact to the most appropriate resource
  • Comprehensive customer profiles using contact-related data
  • Routing to the most appropriate resource to meet customer needs based on real-time conditions (such as agent skills, availability, and queue lengths)
  • Delivery of agent desktop
  • Live Chat
  • Web collaboration
  • Email integration
  • Voice Activated Self Service
  • IM
  • Video
  • Click to Call
  • Phone Control

ACE has made the same kind of commitment for our Help Desk and Collections lines of our business. For help desk and technical support ACE utilizes ConnectWise. A cloud based, case management software. For collections we use CollectOne. Also a cloud based software. Both solutions deliver fully robust and best in class capabilities.

Hiring and Training Layers

Our hiring and training methods are what insure our ability to scale. They are repeatable and can be replicated for any project in any market.

All hiring starts with our application tracking system (ATS). The hiring process starts from our branded portal. Our process is a rigorous one that includes personality trait and skills based screenings, quantifiable and score based interviews, multiple interviews with HR and second interviews with operations. Statistically, in order to hire the best of the best, we only hire 6% of the total pool that apply with us. The key to constant improvement is that our ATS allows us to track CSAT, Net Promoter and other KPI data back to each hire. We use this data to constantly analyze performance and against hiring demographics. Our goal is to predict who the best candidates are for each project by applying a laser focus on the data.

Training and ongoing training are connected to our constant analysis of the candidates. We are committed to virtual training where possible. For interim training virtual methods allow us to keep agents on the floor and productive. Also, statistics show that virtually trained agents score better and ramp up faster. However, when needed training takes place in one of our facilities or a temporary site when agents are placed in a work at home market.

Culture Layer

DreamManagerCulture is our secret sauce. With agents in three countries and multiple markets we must be able to deliver a relevant culture to each agent despite their location. ACE adheres to the Dream Manager program. At it’s core the Dream Manager program, originally conceived by Matthew Kelly, recognizes that people work to achieve personal goals as well career goals. It formalizes a process for our agents to achieve their dreams with the help of ACE Global. We have a full-time Dream Manager on board and continue to increase the number of dreams our employees are realizing. Dream Manager is a program proven to reduce attrition, increase productivity and dramatically improve ESAT scores.

Contact Center as a Service

So there you have it. CCaaS is a layered approach that allows us to deliver our service any where, scale and deploy quickly, provide greater efficiencies and more productivity.

Free Best Practices Session

If you’d like to learn more, ACE is offering best practice sessions on CCaaS and work at home. A best practice session includes:

  • Dive deeper into Contact Center as a Service Model
  • Introduce you to ACE Global’s Spoke & Hub Work at Home model.
  • Bring industry experts to the table to discuss strategies and best practices.
  • Examine case studies – strategies, processes and results of successful programs.

Areas covered during a best practices meeting are:

  • Management/Leadership
  • Training
  • Hiring
  • Monitoring/Quality
  • Reporting/ Statistics/CSAT
  • Technical requirements
  • Cultural change
  • Change management

Please contact me if you’re interested in booking a session and diving deeper.

Ian Bellais
Vice President Sales & Marketing
Linked In Profile

One thought on “Contact Center as a Service: A Layered Approach to Delivering the Contact Center

  1. We are advising ANZ on a revamp of their Melbourne and Sydney Contact Centres and would be interested in talking to you about how you could help build a proper strategy for the future.

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