In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, the subject of business continuity in the face of major natural challenges is an obvious one. Call centers must provide essential services in case of, and sometimes because of, an emergency situation. Read how Cosmocom guarantees location-independent, all-IP technology with survivability built-in,as tested and proven recently in the typhoons of Taiwan.
Trade-Van operates a 24/7 call center powered by CosmoComs Contact Center On-Demand technology in typhoon-prone Taiwan. Since typhoons tend to be more vigorous and more numerous than hurricanes, Trade-Van needed a solid action plan for the times when they occur. Closing the call center was not an option. But the center facility can become completely inaccessible during the worst storms, by any means of transportation.
Instead of suspending operations, Trade-Van uses the built-in virtual call center capability of CosmoCall Universe, and agents work from home when they cant get to the office. This is not a theoretical plan that sits on a shelf or in a drawer. Trade-Van has invoked this plan 4 times in the past year alone.
What about Katrina?
In the case of Katrina, the whole city of New Orleans was evacuated. If agents cant stay at home either, the Trade-Van approach requires some adjustments. CosmoCom business continuity experts recommend the following:
1.All system servers must be hosted in a high ground, weatherproof facility.
2.Evacuated agents can take calls from a standby location, such as PC-equipped, satellite-connected trailers. Companies like Agility Recovery Solutions and Globecomm Systems focus on providing such facilities.
3.Alternatively, evacuated agents can work from any location with a laptop and headset, and a high speed Internet connection. These days even budget motels offer free high-speed Internet. CosmoCom recommends that companies contract in advance for such rooms for their call center employees, making sure that the total bandwidth available is adequate for the number of concurrent users. This approach can provide cost-effective business continuity as well as a valuable benefit to employees and their families.
Trade-Vans Virtual Call Center
By far the greatest challenge facing Trade-Vans support team was the need to ensure nonstop, 24/7 operation to its customers in a region where employees often cannot travel to work during typhoon emergencies.
In addition to non-stop operation during typhoons, Trade-Van also needed additional functionality such as multiple contact channels (chat, E-mail, voice mail), management reports, etc. CosmoCall Universe was selected by Trade-Van as the advanced solution that met their needs. Agents can be anywhere, working with any channel, as long as an IP connection is available. The management, administration, and real-time monitoring tools are all web-based, allowing supervisors, also working at home, to function as if they and the agents were in the office.
To prepare for typhoons, Trade-Van took several steps:
1. Equipping the agents homes with ADSL IP links
2. Dividing the workforce into two teams to take duty turns during an emergency
3. Performing several dry runs
This did not end with drills. Trade-Van activated the ‘home office’ plan four times in the year 2004 because of typhoons. The longest continuous period during which the contingency plan was running was 48 hours. This occurred when the strong, slow-moving Typhoon Aere lashed Taiwan on August 24, 2004. Howling winds and torrential rain battered Taipei and forced the closing of financial markets, offices, and schools for two days. The most recent invocation of the plan was for Typhoon Matsa, which forced the closure of schools and government offices on August 5, 2005.
Despite all this wind and rain, Trade-Van remained open for business.
Em Foco – Produto