By Wayne Scaggs
What if the foreseeable few years down the road is a map for your business strategy? Look at what the communication world is doing, and understand why. The driving force is economics, and the vehicle is technology. Communicating with anyone, anywhere, anytime is the ultimate goal of communication, and who is sitting right in the middle of this communication path? You are – if you want to. People today are extremely busy; they have a greater need than ever to effectively communicate. We must step in and fill the void.
Let’s talk about the economics and the technology. When I started in this industry, if I went into any equipment room, the first thing I saw was thousands of wires and hundreds of blocks on the walls. Everyone had their own personal talk path, not only to the telephone answering service, but to their home or office, too.
The economics of such luxury were too much for the phone company to support, and DID numbers rose to the forefront as a viable alternative. This did away with most of the wires and blocks in the call centers’ back rooms. Also, it was much easier for the phone company to maintain, and the economics reflected the change. We lost the dedicated lines and gained the flexibility of control and mobility for our clients. This technology still relied on a fixed termination destination, however.
The teleservices industry was right there and made the changes. Think about it now–how did we ever get along without DID numbers or, even better, how would we conduct business today without DID numbers? Well, we can’t. I have not told you anything you did not already know (unless you are under, say, forty). So let’s look at both today and tomorrow. The DID technology as we know it is becoming too expensive; economics are again forcing a change. The technology we are currently using still requires a fixed termination destination: the call center equipment in your back room.
What if you were the phone company and looked into the future because your competition is delivering the same product with less cost. What else can you do? The answer is to get rid of the anchor of a fixed termination destination.
What if I have a number that allows me to go anywhere and call anyone without knowing where either of us will be? Sounds like your cell phone, doesn’t it? Let’s take the next step and commercialize this thought. I want to empower my business to be anywhere and receive my customer’s local calls from anywhere. How is that possible? Well, it can be done with today’s technology, and although today’s economics hasn’t provided enough force to make this happen for the teleservices industry yet, it is coming. “It” is VoIP. VoIP is here to stay, and the sooner you accept this, the sooner you will be ready for the economic force to follow.
Wayne Scaggs is president of Alston Tascom, Inc., which offers an end-to-end contact center solution using digital telephony. For further information, contact Alston Tascom at 909-548-7300 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
[From Connection Magazine – January 2008]