Today’s faster broadband speeds have enabled more and more employers to offer work from home as an option for a variety of reasons. If your organization is on a full contact center cloud solution, you’re likely already WFH-enabled. For everyone else, having a WFH strategy in place is a must, but many companies don’t know where to begin — especially in the realm of the contact center.

With a few simple steps, CDW can help deploy a solid WFH strategy to make sure your agents can still service customers and keep your business on track.

Learn how CDW can meet your contact center needs.

Contact Center Basics

First things first, employees will need a remote device — preferably a company laptop — to help keep your organization’s network secure. All WFH employees will need a fast-speed internet connection at their remote location. Anything below 10Mbps should be scrutinized. If the home network has quality of service capabilities to prioritize traffic, even better. A quality headset for the WFH phone is also advised.

Next up, make sure your own corporate network has the bandwidth to handle the increased traffic. Finally, there’s the big question: How do I get my employees connected?

Enabling WFH Agents

At a high level, there are four different options to enable remote work for a contact center: desk phones that support Mobile and Remote Access (MRA), Jabber/IP Communicator, Virtual Desktops and Mobile Agent. Let’s explore each:

  • Desk Phones with Cisco MRA: When MRA is enabled, an employee can plug the supported desk phone into any location and log in with their network ID.
    • Caveats:
      • These phones may require direct network connection via an RJ-45 cable, depending on the phone model.
      • This requires a power brick to supply power to the phone.
    • Advantages:
      • Employees using headsets with their desk phone can also take the headset home to use there.
    • Note: This approach requires VPN login for Cisco Finesse and other required applications. IP phone agent login (IPPA) for agent login may be used.

 

  • Jabber/IP Communicator: Softphones are being deployed in more enterprise networks as the standard solution but are often used for remote work as well.
    • Caveats:
      • If employees are currently using a desk phone at the office, a separate USB headset may be required.
    • Advantages:
      • This is a very common and fast solution to deploy.
      • This approach does not require direct network connection.
    • Note: This approach also requires VPN login for Cisco Finesse and other required applications. IPPA for agent login may be used.

 

  • Virtual Desktop Interface (VDI): Rather than using a VPN, a virtual desktop can be used for logging employees into your network, keeping it that much more secure.
    • Caveats:
      • Sufficient sizing for employee usage is critical for any softphone deployed within a virtual desktop environment to work correctly.
      • Quality may not be optimal unless configured correctly for capacity and latency.
      • As of CCE version 12.0, Jabber client must be installed on VDI for optimal audio transmission.
      • If employees are currently using a desk phone at the office, a separate USB headset may be required.
    • Advantages:
      • This approach does not require VPN or direct network connection.

 

  • Mobile Agent: For Contact Center Enterprise agents, a feature called Mobile Agent can be enabled to allow agents to login to any phone.
    • Caveats:
      • Significant strain on the Agent Peripheral Gateway means reduced agent capacity.
      • Recording with Mobile Agent may require additional configuration depending upon current environment setup.

Testing Options for Your Contact Center Environment

Other important considerations for contact centers include identifying which other options are enabled. Outbound dialer campaigns? Recording agent calls? Omnichannel? CDW engineers have successfully tested each of these options in many client environments. However, as with anything new, testing within your particular environment is highly recommended to protect your company from any unhappy surprises.

With the right considerations to find the right solution for your company’s situation, a valid and productive WFH strategy is easily within reach.

Learn how CDW can help empower your workforce with a smart and secure work-from-home strategy.