Today there is a popular trend for call centers migrating towards IP – the trend of leveraging on VoIP technology. Among the main benefits of this migration is the smooth scalability of the call center solution and relatively effortless distribution of its operations to various locations, including taking advantage of low op-ex offshore services.
China has become a booming market for call centers with the demand for customer services increasing rapidly. This trend is a direct affect of an exploding population of middle-class consumers located mainly in major cities in Western China. A service orientated, high income, trendy consumer market has emerged and is demanding a variety of services and goods including stock trading (“Auto-broker”), banking services, leisure, tourism and culture, health and insurance. In addition to the variety of commercial services available, government agencies are not leaving gaps and are intensively providing service centers to the general public as part of China e-government projects, demonstrating service quality and responsiveness not yet demonstrated in the country.
AudioCodes was selected by Hundsun Electronics Co. Ltd to provide Mediant™ and MediaPack™ gateways for a high-scale government call center project. Hundsun is operating out of Hangzhou, China (listed in Shangahi Stock Exchange Sym. 600570) and is mainly engaged in the development, production and sale of application software for the financial industry.
A typical implementation of such a call center includes a few thousand seats in a central location, and a few dozen branch offices with a few hundred seats in each. The Mediant™ 2000 is located at the headquarters site and provides the trunking gateway solution for PSTN connectivity of the call center. The Mediant™ 1000 and MediaPack analog gateways are mainly used in remote small/medium branches enabling local PSTN connectivity along with immediate usage of legacy phones, instead of expensive migration to IP phone handsets.
Hundsun’s decision making process was lead by the following AudioCodes’ advantages:
AudioCodes well known voice quality provides a high level of service even in rough network conditions
AudioCodes gateways offer a variety of interfaces and capacities designed to meet each branch specific requirements (e.g. Mediant™ 1000 mix-and-match modularity)
Scalability options allowing pay as you grow policy and quick field expansions
On-site technical support and professional services which allow for a rapid and smooth deployment
The following technical attributes are beneficial for call center applications:
On-board dialing plan including DNIS-based and source-based routing, traffic load-balancing, and alternate routes, eliminating the need for a routing server
Support for DNS server lookup for integration with existing IT systems
Caller ID (ANI) presentation for preserving ACD functionality
T.38 support for enabling fax communications with the Call Center
Answering Machine Detection (AMD) and Special Intercept Tones (SIT) detection for optimal operation and effective resource management with predictive dialers
Support of RFC 2833 and SIP Info method for carrying out-of-band DTMF signaling, thus guaranteeing continued IVR operation
An overview of the call center architecture is described in the following diagram:
Looking ahead – besides the expansion of the current architecture and its duplication for future projects, AudioCodes is striving to increase the integration of its technology into this solution, in an innovative way. On closer observation, the media processing engine is based on general purpose processors (host media processing), which creates performance bottlenecks especially when dealing with CPU performance consuming functionalities of the application, such as conferencing and transcoding. AudioCodes is collaborating with HundSun to migrate the media engine part of the solution to a DSP based platform using standard control protocols such as SIP/MSCML. Using SIP based control over the media engine frees the solution provider of constrains of operating system, form factor and location. We are confident this move will improve the cost performance of the media processing section and will release various performance bottle-necks in the system.
AudioCodes Media Gateways were rapidly integrated into Hundsun advanced call center solution in a smooth and cost effective manner. Partnering with Hundsun, one of the market leaders in application software for businesses in China was proof of the unique capabilities of AudioCodes’ products and, strong implementation and support.