Recently, one of our clients just completed their new contact center. Low-walled cubicles coupled with sound dampening acoustics of the room created a new efficient space for the customer experience. Forty agents can conduct their conversations simultaneously without all the cross talk and distraction that would normally provide. The entire company was excited about their new space and working conditions until an unexpected problem arose. The contact center was still using Cisco Agent Desktop, an end-of-life contact center user interface due to reach end of support July 2018. In a matter of eight months, their window to their contact center platform would no longer be supported by Cisco. Should it break after that point, there would be little we could do and nothing Cisco would do to help the company.
Right when our client thought their new contact center was ready for business, their attention was drawn to this new problem. The client must upgrade from Cisco Agent Desktop to Finesse Agent Desktop before July 2018 or risk serious disruptions to their contact center.
The Right Timing
It’s no coincidence that the client was made aware of this problem now. There is still eight months until the cut-off date, and there is time to roll out the new Finesse desktop. To do so, Mindsight is organizing at least three different training courses to deliver to the contact center agents in shifts. The goal is to minimize disruption, so an incremental approach is best.
Moving from Fire to Fire
No business wants to be blindsided by a deadline like this, and if our client could have avoided it on their own, they would have. The problem is that there isn’t enough time in the day for many IT directors to think in both immediate and long terms. They move from fire to fire solving problems and maintaining connectivity. In that environment of immediacy, it is extremely difficult to also maintain a long term vision for the direction and needs of the IT department.
In this specific example, the client had the monumental task of deploying a new contact center in a new location. There are a hundred factors and complications in projects of that scale. Everyone was so busy with the work in front of them that a looming problem was only caught by our managed services team.
What Can Be Done? Roadmapping and Managed Services
There are few things that can be done to combat a problem like this. An obvious solution would be to hire more personnel and free up the IT director’s time for a more strategic role, but budget can easily stand in the way. For companies in this predicament, we have two recommendations:
- Managed Services: For less than the cost of a full-time employee, the client can leverage the experience of the Mindsight consultants to either assist in that long-term strategic role or take on the daily tasks occupying the IT director.
- IT Roadmapping: Leading up to the new year, develop an IT roadmap that details the goals and plan for the upcoming year. It requires that IT dedicate a significant amount of time to planning, but it will give the rest of the year a clear direction and strategy. An IT roadmap would have accounted for the Finesse Agent Desktop rollout and ensured the client was prepared.