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56 | November 30, 2013 www.dqindia.

com A CyberMedia Publication |

Cloud-based contact center technologies and their solutions were hotly
debated upon by industry professionals as they came together for the
Dataquest CIO Series 2013, in Mumbai
Smita Lala Sengupta
The Future of Customer ServiceAre Cloud-based
Contact Centers the Answer?
Gangwani from TCS asked the participants to carefully
assess their requirements before settling for a particular
cloud. While the obvious benets of cloud-hosting are
cost cutting, ranging between 28% to 40%, some of the
more serious questions that enterprises need to take a
call on include ones like need to control the infrastructure.
Then private cloud is the best option. However, if cost
reduction alongwith an easy access to resources, in a
utility based model, is the need of the business then,
public cloud might be the answer.
Neeta Bhargava, DGM, State Bank of India presented
a similar scenario where she outlined the needs of the
business. While SBI has three centres currently, in Agra,
Bangalore and Baroda, there are plans to increase footprints
in the East, mainy Kolkata and Bhuvaneshwar. Hence while
he Dataquest CIO Series 2013 onThe Future
of Customer ServiceAre cloud-based contact
centres the answer? held jointly with Tata Com-
munications on October 18 in Mumbai, saw a gamut of
industry professionals bring their heads together to dis-
cuss issues, in cloud computing technologies for contact
centres, and their solutions.
The main issues that were addressed in the meet were
cost, control and compliance, as pointed out by Ed Nair,
Editor of Dataquest and Global Services at Cybermedia.
In fact, control over the data hosted was an unanimous
concern raised by the participants. Especially, in the
context of shared cloud space. Typically, storing data
on cloud comes with three options, private, public or
hybrid, depending on the needs of the business. Ankush
(From Left to Right) Ankush Gangwani from Tata Communications Services, Ed Nair, Editor of Dataquest and Global Services, Cybermedia address the
panelists at the start of the discussion
| A CyberMedia Publication November 30, 2013 | 57
the business needs are seemingly restricted as of now,
they may grow with time. Bhargava was keen to know if
cloud offered this exibility to its clients. Another point of
concern raised by Jitendra Chivate, Head of TSG-C-Edge
Technologies, was the need for servers that not only hosted
and acted as data warehouse but also helped clients to
analyse data for call details such as peak trafc hours and so
on. Secondly, as Chivate pointed out that while on-premise
applications and single-tenant-hosted solutions are often
customized, this endeavor is costly and requires changes
to an applications code. Additionally, this customization
can make upgrades time-consuming, because an upgrade
might not be compatible with your customization. However
most multi-tenant solutions are designed in a manner that
businesses can customise an application without changing
the basic code or data structure. Since the code remains
unchanged, upgrades are easily done.
A recurring concern raised during the discussion was
if cloud computing technologies were accredited by
industry certiers like PCI or ISO. While there are no Six
Sigma-kind of certications for contact centre solutions,
TCS plans to opt for them when they venture into the
private cloud space, in which case the cost can be shared.
Accreditation was a concern in the multi-tenanted
space where particpants wanted to know exactly which
elements in the architecture would be shared. The
answer, that people and infrastructure was met with
a collective sigh of relief across the table. So while the
software may be shared between multiple clients, the
data remains secure and unique. As such the main
requirements of a contact centre solution revolve around,
data security and sanitisation (security of transferred
data), no real time vigilance on vendors/dialing at centre
location, dependence on vendors for MIS and reporting,
productivity improvement, manual operations, cost of
operations and scope of error.
Marked by a signicant turnout, the event saw the
likes of Sameer Shah-Associate VP-Respondez BPO,
Rushikant Shastri-Assistant VP-SBI, Jitendra Chivate,
Head at TSG-C-Edge, Hemant Jiwanlal Binnani. Program
Lead at Wipro, Manoj Mhatre, Director at SITEL, Nikhil
Bhatia, Associate VP at ICICI Prudential and Neeta
Bhargava, DGM at SBI.
As Gangwani narrated TCS thought of creating cloud
for contact centres almost ve years ago. At that time,
Google, Microsoft, and others were making their rst
footprints on cloud computing technology. As a telecom
player, there was an existing infrastructure of data
connectivity and MPLS. All the elements operated on
standalone basis, that is when an idea emerged to marry
all these components. The rest, however, is not history
yet. For Gangwani concludes saying that building a
cloud can never be 100%, but managing cloud happens
with learning.
Rajesh Menon, Tata Communications said cloud hosting helps control the
(From Left tor Right) Jitendra Chivate, Head of TSG-C-Edge Technologies
elaborates while Nikhil Bhatia from ICICI Prudential, Neeta Bhargava from
SBI and Hemant Binnani from Wipro Infotech look on
The welcome area