With scenes of earthquakes, floods and tsunamis in different regions of the world, still fresh in our memory, companies are more aware than ever that are planning and doing preparation, especially with regard to critical business systems, such as contact centers, are fundamental.
Legislative initiatives, now require that companies analyze how they can support their contact center in a disaster situation. There are several factors that companies should consider when planning a full program of disaster recovery. We must consider all possibilities, but especially, to recognize that the term disaster encompasses a number of unpleasant situations and the contact center may face specific problems such as the building being damaged or downtime, power failure, equipment destroyed or disabled, network and data corrupted, lost or disabled, security systems affected, among others.
Disaster recovery can have different meanings for people, but regardless of whether the setting is focused on high availability, recovery, and system redundancy, it is important to be sensitive to the technology that the company has as to the processes around this technology. Before the organization can develop a disaster recovery plan efficiently, we need to answer questions about contact center technology, such as: The system is redundant for yourself? Does the inner workings have redundancy? You can run two systems, one primary and the other as backup in different locations? Each system can be configured to support all transactions if one of the systems fails? Is it possible to start the system remotely without manual intervention?
Preparation of People and Processes in the Disaster Recovery Plan
It is not enough to have backup technology. The company must also have procedures for each type of disaster in every possible location. For example, does the contact center employees know what to do if business continuity is interrupted? Do they know where to continue the work, or if they have access to hosted applications that allow them to remotely access contact center applications from damaged facilities? There will be agents in other geographic areas they can access the system and services of the affected areas? New applications are required for self-service to free agent capabilities to critical questions necessary? The solutions in the locality allow customer service uniformly, if agents have no familiarity to take positions, and the agents were informed about this possibility? Is there someone who takes responsibility for ensuring that the voice options self-service update automatically? CRM solutions premises will enable uniform access to customer information, and the agents were trained to use the applications?
Also, if the company is outsourcing any part of contact center initiatives, one should make sure that the vendor has their own recovery plans in place.
Finally, the best disaster recovery plan is useless if it is not updated continuously and if not regularly tested. Often, the call centers invest much time, money and other resources for the development of a plan, but make the mistake of ignoring the maintenance required to keep the plan work effectively and efficiently. The financial impact of relying on an untested or outdated plan can be devastating.
The natural and technological disasters can be disastrous for business too, but not necessarily. Companies that proactively select and implement appropriate technologies and disaster recovery processes can minimize interruptions in customer service and keep receipts arising despite unexpected events.
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