The Anatomy of Unified Communications – Building Better Homes for Contact Centers.


SOFTEL have been building homes for the contact centers of our clients for many years. Every time we embark on a new project, we know that it will be unique – never the same as any other. This is because we understand the essence of Unified Communications; it is not only to understand how the technical components interact and operate with each other – but also to understand their purpose. Having a box full of tools is a great start; Applications, Platforms, Technologies, Managed Services, Peripherals, Middleware, Software, Networks, Cloud Services – and so much more. But, unless their purpose is well defined – none of those tools will amount to very much, much less build an outhouse! Fortunately, this is where SOFTEL excel; building Unified Communications Integrated Solutions, by drawing very clear defined plans between what is – and what will be – and that is the essence of a good Service Integrator. Building the right home for a client means they can spend more time on the decor and the furniture – as we put a full workforce into action, building brick by brick. And we understand that taking each business requirement and honing it into a set of clear deliverables and outlining the jobs to be completed means taking a responsible approach on behalf of everyone involved. Building Contact Centers with Unified Communications is the life-blood of SOFTEL – and very much like building a home…

Business Requirements – The Plan Everything has to start somewhere – and the business needs are the first stop. Taking detailed requirements, defining wants and needs, scoring, investigating, measuring, compromising, planning and documenting those needs is paramount to ensuring a successful integration takes place. Without the right foundations, the right materials and the right orientation, there can be no house.

Software – The Bricks At a basic level, the functions and operations of individual software will be proposed and verified, based on the defined business needs. Software usually refers to the development, design and testing tools that are available, with which to build Applications – the bricks. Many software packages already exist for this purpose – it is the job of the Systems Integrator to make sure the “tools” in the box are the right ones for the job. Examples of software could be; Java (Enterprise Edition), C++, Software Development Kits (SDK), custom Platform Kits or Designer Tools.

Applications – The Walls Using the proposed software tools, levels of functionality, configuration, integration, development and design are actioned, to create or hone Applications. On most Platforms, Applications already exist and, for the most part, it is a case of configuring them to work in an enterprise environment – the walls. Once completed they will be tested in isolation, then together, before being considered for inclusion in a Solution. Examples of applications could be; A Softphone (SIP), a CRM Interface, a CTI Interface, a custom-built application or an off-the-shelf configuration

Solutions – The Rooms In wider terms, a Solution is a gathering of Applications which either work in unison or sequentially, providing a larger series of functions – the rooms. Each component must be developed and designed, then tested to ensure they all work together – and that they are fit for the business purposes. At this stage, the Solution is usually functional, stand-alone, but there is no over-arching infrastructure or architecture. Examples of solutions could be; SIP, Inbound Voice, Outbound Campaigns, Social Media, Multimedia, Workforce Management or Interaction Management.

Platforms – The House The majority of Solutions will reside together on a Platform, provided by a Technology Integrator, such as CISCO, Avaya or Genesys – the house. The Platform not only brings together each aspect of the Applications and Solutions – it also provides the tools to be able to operate them. This usually includes aspects such as administration, operations, support and fail safes (such as Disaster Recovery or Business Continuity).

Service/Platform Integrations – The Complex Where necessary, different technology platforms may need to be integrated, sometimes taking a variety of functions and operations into the Cloud. Keeping this all together and ensuring that each part provides support and operations to the other is the essence of Service and Platform Integrations – and the building of the complex.

Managed Services – The Maintenance Staff Once everything is in place, deployed and operational, it’s time to make sure it stays that way. The upkeep, maintenance, repairs and staffing are all managed centrally, with no need for you to call the plumber – ever!

Building a Better Home for your Contact Center Whether you’re thinking about renovations – or building a small, semi-detached Call Center, a mansion-house Contact Center, an International Service Center – or a penthouse Operations Center. Whether it’s a wall, a single room, a house or a complex – SOFTEL have the materials, knowledge, experience and resources to help you build and maintain your Contact Center.

All you have to do is move in and hang the drapes!