Based on its extensive experience helping clients integrate their contact centres into their business continuity management—and of running such sites—ContinuitySA believes there are five important considerations when assessing recovery options:
Does the recovery site operate on the infrastructure-as-a-service model? If a company is taking care of its own recovery, then it risks underspending on technology and spreading its resources too thin. If a third party is being used, make sure the infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) model is used. This shifts expenses onto the operational expenses budget; more importantly, it means the technology, facilities and bandwidth are able to be scaled as needed.
Is the technology at the right level? When assessing the merits of a site’s technology infrastructure, the following four areas need detailed scrutiny: PBX, switches, routers and phone/ data lines. A related question is whether the building is serviced by multiple telecommunications providers–being restricted to one supplier is not acceptable, from the cost and redundancy points of view.
Is the building itself adequate? Here one should consider not only the question of whether the space on offer is sufficient but also security. If the contact centre is a 24/7 operation, for example, does the security accommodate shifts? Does the building have enough generators and fuel reserves, as well as uninterruptable power supply units? And is it on good transport routes for staff?
Have the seats been purchased under the right model? Seats in a recovery centre offered by a third party can be purchased either on a syndicated or dedicated basis. Syndicated seats are shared with other clients, reducing the cost considerably but are offered on a first-come-first-served basis in the event of both companies experiencing a disaster at the same time, in the same geographic location. Even when this happens, says King, if the service provider has done its capacity planning well, it should still have enough seats for both clients.
Can you test if your contact centre is ready for an incident or disaster? The contact centre recovery site has to be tested thoroughly and regularly, or it cannot be assumed to work. Companies find this virtually impossible with in-sourced sites because of the impact on current business operations.