North American Customer Service Management Association

Support for Contact Center Professionals

Phase 5 Strategy - Step 2 Infrastructure Design

Too Many Potholes

You want a smoother ride to work. The potholes, bumps, jolts and rattles just wear you out before you even get to the office.

So, over the weekend you go out and buy the biggest Mercedes you can find. You are excited about your Monday morning commute expecting a smoother ride. You get out there on the main road but it feels the same, sounds the same and it IS the same! The road hasn’t changed! Those potholes, bumps and cracks in the road are still there. If those roads were newly paved, to cover up the holes, you’d have a smooth ride!
It is no different regarding contact center infrastructure. The call handling is only as good as the infrastructure the calls “ride on”. Using current and advanced technology results in streamlined call handling which reduces hold times, call times, and improves the customer’s experience. The quality of the calls is determined by the quality of the infrastructure.
Carrier Connection: Fiber

There is no substitute for fiber optics. You must have the most reliable, fastest connection available.

Fiber is preferable due to its speed and symmetrical bandwidth, which allows for much longer transmission distances and security. Fiber is completely dedicated to your business, making it private. Not sharing lines makes for a higher level of security. Fiber is made of glass; you’d have to literally break it to breach the connection. Copper can be compromised and hacked much more easily. While fiber is more expensive up front, the benefits make it less expensive over time. Before any sites are considered, require your site selector to see the fiber maps to identify prospective buildings with existing fiber connections. This is not an option. For your operation to be successful, fiber is necessary. You must ensure fiber is available and up and running when you move in. Don’t accept any promises about when it will be installed. You want your center up and running successfully from the very first day.
Ethernet Switching Equipment: Is It Time for a Gigabit Switch?

A gigabit switch used in tandem with a gigabit router will allow you to use your local network at speeds up to ten times greater than the previous generation, 10/100 Mbps Fast Ethernet. Yes, it is time for a Gigabit switch.
PC OS (Operation System): Are You Still Running XP?

Every business wants to get the most life out of its equipment.

Use it up; depreciate it until it has no value. It’s like paying off your car and you still get to drive it for a couple of years for free. But is it free, really? The repairs are usually more than car payments. It’s amazing how many contact centers are still running XP and Windows 7. Companies run PC’s into the ground installing work-arounds and patches to keep things going. Is it cheaper running that old OS instead of upgrading to an OS that is still supported? PC’s should be using a supported OS within the last two years. How old is your OS?
Infrastructure Cabling: Ethernet Cables

What makes Cat 6 cables so great?

Cat 6 cables are a standardized twisted pair cable for Gigabit Ethernet and is backward compatible with Cat 5/5e standards. Cat 6 has more stringent specifications for crosstalk and system noise. Out of the box it provides up to 250 MHz and provides symmetrical bandwidth that allows for much longer transmission distances and security. Cat 6 is a major improvement over Cat 5e. It’s fast and reduces crosstalk while keeping your center current for a longer period. Standing up a new contact center? It makes sense to put up the most current technology of the time – get Cat 6 cables.


1. Home Run! The Ethernet connection from the PC to the data switch should be straight through. No routers, no hops of any kind. This is called a Home Run.
2. The best of the best: Fiber, Cat 6 cable, 1.6 Gigabit switch and a primary LEC carrier is the best in class standard. Don’t settle for less.

Take the Next Step!

The road to contact center success requires the smoothest possible ride you can get and that means a best-in-class infrastructure. When it comes to contact centers, that is a fiber optic cable. You want the fastest and most reliable connection on the planet. Eliminate the potential risk of security issues and outages and enjoy less stress and restful nights.
Provide your agents with current tools so they can do the job they were hired to do. Clunky, cumbersome outdated computers are not fun to work on all day. Slowness, reboots, frozen pages etc. slow up service levels and frustrate agents, which then gets taken out on customers and many times results in turnover. Agents will find centers that are using more current technology. Keep OS upgrades current.
The quality of the ride is dependent on the quality of the road. Building out a new contact center gives you the opportunity to install current infrastructure and build a world-class environment that everyone will want to work in.

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The North American Customer Service Management Association (NACSMA) assists Service Center professionals with improving the delivery of Customer Care to their clients by providing a collaborative networking approach to operational issues.