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The Role of Multi-Tenancy for Cloud-Based Solutions
Multi-tenancy allows a single instance of a software application to support multiple clients (tenants). With a multi-tenant architecture, an application is partitioned virtually, which allows each tenant access only to their own data and configuration parameters. However, tenants share CPU processing, computer memory, network infrastructure, telephony resources and data storage. Multi-tenancy provides the following key benefits for cloud-based vendors:
- Lower operating costs – efficiencies and economies of scale are gained by utilizing shared resources for servers, databases, network infrastructure and telephony resources.
- Reduced cost and ease of on-boarding – vendors use the established framework, configurations and rules to quickly provision new tenants. Additionally, vendors can reduce on-boarding costs by granting self-service privileges to tenants so that they can handle administration of the solution themselves, without impacting other clients.
- Simplified system updates and roll-out of new functionality – code fixes, updates and new features/functionalities can be applied to the entire environment at one time. (This streamlines and reduces operating costs for vendors.) In this case, each tenant can elect to adopt and use the new features or to stay with what they have until they are ready for the new capabilities, which is an industry best practice for cloud-based contact center infrastructure vendors.
- System reliability and redundancy – vendors can cost-effectively build and maintain resilient, fault-tolerant “n+1” environments. They typically use virtualization technologies to give tenants access to redundant instances of applications and resources (servers, storage, networks and operating systems), so if a server or application fails, a service can be quickly moved to another virtual instance with limited downtime or data loss.
Proving the point, practical realities have caught up with the technology; vendors who tried to use hardware to support multiple tenants have found it too complex and costly, and have moved to multi-tenant environments.
Multi-Tenancy Makes a Difference
Multi-tenancy is a key differentiator in cloud-based contact center infrastructure solutions. It is essential for enabling vendors to build and deliver solutions that are cost effective to provision, operate, maintain, update and secure. A multi-tenant architecture allows vendors to isolate and protect each client’s applications and data from those of other tenants (users). It also makes it relatively easy for the vendor to scale their platform and give each user access to self-manage and administer their own environment. Additionally, multi-tenancy allows vendors to distribute the cost of research and development (R&D), operation and maintenance across their client base. This reduces the on-boarding costs associated with adding new tenants, which, in turn, lowers the total cost of ownership of new applications for end users.
Benefits of Multi-Tenancy for End User Organizations
For years, cloud-based contact center infrastructure vendors told end users that they shouldn’t pay attention to the underlying architecture of their solutions. But this isn’t true. End users need to examine and understand their cloud-based solutions provider’s underlying architecture and infrastructure because it impacts what they can do, the speed at which it can be done, system costs and overall reliability. A true multi-tenant architecture delivers the following benefits to end users:
- Full administrative control – each tenant has full control over their own environment, allowing them to manage, configure and change it without vendor involvement or assistance. This allows tenants to operate independently, at their own pace, and within their own schedules.
- Data flexibility – each tenant retains full ownership of their data without concerns of the data being exposed, accessed or compromised by other clients. Because individual database instances are used, data can be easily imported and exported.
- Dynamic and timely scalability – due to the use of shared resources, tenants can easily scale their environments up and down without having to deal with hardware requirements.
- Speed of innovation and upgrades – end users can take advantage of new features without changing their operating environment; however, they still need to train their staff to use the new capabilities.
End users want operating environments that are flexible, scalable, secure, reliable, resilient and cost effective. They want platforms that are dependable, and a vendor who meets and exceeds their platform service level. While maintaining full autonomy over their operating environment, they also want a vendor with strong contact center and vertical expertise who is willing to share best practices. For cloud-based contact centers, a multi-tenant architecture is foundational for providing a platform and framework that can flexibly and rapidly change to meet the dynamic needs of the businesses that they support.
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What is Speech Analytics?
Ask the Experts
How is analytics-enabled QA different than traditional QA?
All contact centers, regardless of size, number of sites, number of agents or channels used, should perform quality assurance. At its most basic, quality assurance is a process designed to measure how well contact center agents adhere to internal policies and procedures. When done properly and on a timely basis, it also functions as an early warning system to identify trends, issues and opportunities for all areas of the company.
Today, there are two primary methods of conducting quality assurance, traditional and analytics-enabled. Traditional QA is a labor-intensive function. Supervisors and quality reviewers search through hours and hours of recordings to select a subset of recordings for evaluation. In some cases, QA applications can qualify calls or email/chat interactions for quality evaluation based on pre-defined criteria such as call direction, call duration, interaction type (based on wrap-up, disposition or other interaction classification mechanism), product type, program, etc. Others may use business rules to identify interactions that require attention. However in both of these cases, while the QA process is facilitated and supported by technology, it is never truly automated. And, because much of the process is manual, only a small, statistically insignificant percentage of interactions are reviewed and evaluated. (Many contact centers receive millions of calls each week, but only have the staff to evaluate 1 to 10 interactions per agent or 1% to 3% of all interactions, if they are lucky.) Although traditional QA is not ideal, for the past 30 years, it was the only way to provide some form of oversight, let agents know that they were being monitored, identify a small portion of performance issues, and surface operational, procedural and system trends for the company.
Analytics-enabled QA is the antithesis of traditional QA. Analytics-enabled QA solutions leverage the capabilities of speech, text and desktop analytics to automate and improve the QA process by making it more targeted and precise. First, analytics-enabled QA solutions use speech analytics to review (and in some cases, score) as much as 100% of calls in order to identify interactions that require attention. Speech analytics can be used to identify calls that require attention based on other KPIs such as being out-of-compliance with an established script, calls that include high emotion, talk-over and/or positive or negative sentiment, or calls that contain/do not contain specific key words, phrases or concepts. Speech and text analytics can also be used to identify broader enterprise trends, such as whether customer attrition is an issue, if a competitor has a new deal, or if there is a system or process that is causing high levels of customer dissatisfaction. Desktop analytics adds another dimension to the QA process; by providing visibility into what agents do at their desktops, including the fulfillment process, it can “watch” to see if agents are delivering on their promises to customers, such as by accurately processing monetary and non-monetary transactions.
DMG Consulting LLC is a leading independent research, advisory and consulting firm specializing in unified communications, contact centers, back-office and real-time analytics. Learn more at www.dmgconsult.com.