The equipment is crucial for any call center, especially if you’re going to run an in-house one. It ensures its functionality and scalability in the future and guarantees quick disaster recovery. Read our tips on what tools you need to achieve that.
The first thing you should do is to describe detailed requirements for your call center equipment. It will allow you to buy hardware and other tools with the characteristics you need as well as the optimal price.
Here are the main categories of equipment you may need for your call center.
Tools for Agent’s Workplace
This list is simple as all that your agents need is a computer (desktop or laptop), headset, and phone.
What computer to choose? It depends on the requirements of the software you use for call center operations. We recommend choosing low-power computers that don’t affect your software performance. Also, they emit less heat that is important for microclimate in the office.
A good option is to choose a thin client. It has a low heat emission and its units are easier to replace. For example, you can easily replace a keyboard that was conked by spilled tea or coffee. Also, a thin client makes less noise than a desktop computer.
We think that the best option for call center agents is a noise-canceling headset with two headphones. Do not try to cut down on this tool: more expensive items will give you better sound quality and live much longer than something cheap. Also, they are more comfortable that really matters for people who have to spend hours wearing headsets.
There are two options: IP phone and softphone. IP phones are more expensive but they are more reliable and give you better communication quality. Also, they can work autonomously, without being tied to a computer.
Softphones are software applications that can be installed on the agent’s computer mostly for free. Their disadvantages are the same as with every software solution. They may not load, show an error or “hang up” during calls. Other applications on your computer can affect softphones as well.
The server room is designed for servers, telecommunication equipment, and other additional hardware your call center needs to function. When planning it, you must follow requirements for such premises (area, the height of the room, temperature regime, air humidity). Also, access to the server room must be limited due to security reasons.
Here are some of the main requirements for a server room:
- Uninterruptible power supply. Usually, these are two separate inputs with ATS and a generator for emergencies
- Air temperature from 18°C to 20°C (64.4°F to 68°F)
- Air humidity from 40 to 60 percent
- Fire-protection system
- Air conditioning.
Do not forget to organize a backup server to store backup copies of information. As a rule, this solution includes two identical servers and a storage array.
Another important component of equipment is a structured cabling system (SCS) that transmits different types of signals from network equipment.
Properly selected call center equipment will ensure the stable operation of your call center at critical loads as well as provide sufficient fault tolerance and functionality.
Call Center Network
The data transmission network is an integral part of any in-house call center. To create a local area network (LAN) in our projects we use Cisco equipment. Namely, routers that link several networks for the transmission of Layer 3 (L3) packets and hubs, for the possibility of combining computers into a single network (L2).
Since the main function of a call center is to take and make calls, proper telephony is critical for quality communication. Moreover, it will save you money.
SIP-telephony is becoming a leader as the best solution for call centers. With it, you can have multichannel, high-quality communication, and easy scaling. Also, it can be used in any place with an Internet connection so you can make calls from one phone number without almost any geographical restrictions.
Analogous telephony has become a thing of the past as it has only one communication channel and complex scaling that affects call center’s capabilities. Digital telephony (e.g. E1), if properly implemented, can meet the needs of an in-house call center but it’s a more expensive option than SIP-telephony.
Microclimate in the office
Microclimate inevitably affects your employees’ productivity. So you should provide your call center office with a good ventilation system, air conditioning, and air handlers. It will help you to maintain fresh air and proper air temperature.
Another important component of equipment is a fire detection and warning system. It should be checked regularly at least once a month.
These are requirements for on-premise call center equipment. This list may be much shorter if you migrate to cloud-based contact center solutions. In this case, you may forget about servers and get rid of hardware headaches as well as save significant sums of money on hardware and software. Contact us to learn more about the migration.
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