The two primary applications that are essential for call center agents to do their job are an automatic call distributor (ACD), used to route and queue calls, and a servicing application, which agents use to address customer inquiries. This servicing solution may be called a CRM application or a customer service tracking system. For sales-oriented centers, it may be called a telesales system or a sales system.
I recently published a white paper on At-home Agent Business Case and Best Practices that addresses both the technical and business challenges of setting up home-based agents.
It is relatively easy to set up home-based or remote agents today, thanks to the maturity of Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) technology and the emergence of hosted applications that are available from dedicated hosting vendors and network carriers. I suggest that you look at another recent white paper, Hosted Contact Center Solutions Vendor Guide. It discusses the call center technology required to support a call center and describes what is available on a hosted basis. It also includes a directory that lists the technology available by vendor.
This was first published in July 2007