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Technologies such as cloud, AI, and big data are now commonplace in contact centers’ customer-agent interactions, but what about the network infrastructure underneath? IT and business leaders are dealing with increased management complexity, lack of centralized visibility, and poor security across different clouds, networks, applications, and data. New research shows that more than 70% of enterprises still use traditional access methods like MPLS in their networks, with 60% saying they are pricey and inflexible for their business needs.  

Organizations need to consider network investments that will help them cost-effectively manage contact center change and increase their agility. The answer is Software-defined Wide Area Networking (SD-WAN). Traditional WANs based on conventional routers (like MPLS) were never designed for today’s cloud- and digital-first imperatives. Conversely, SD-WAN is a virtual WAN architecture designed to fully support applications wherever they are hosted: on-premises data centers, public, private or hybrid clouds, and SaaS services like Salesforce, Office 365 or cloud contact centers. SD-WAN allows a business to combine and manage multiple types of network connections including MPLS, allowing them to cost-effectively mix and match network links according to content type or priority. With centralized visibility and increased control, SD-WAN simplifies network administration while maximizing agility, reliability, and contact center quality of service.

Here are three reasons why SD-WAN is essential for contact center operations and the customer experience:

1. Contact centers can’t capitalize on the cloud without an efficient way of connecting to it.

Gartner predicts that Contact Center-as-a-Service (CCaaS) will be the preferred adoption model in 50% of contact centers by 2022. Organizations need a network that is equipped to keep up with the high demands of new cloud contact center deployments like robotic process automation (RPA), speech biometrics, conversational AI, and automated self-service. SD-WAN enables organizations to maximize their available bandwidth (improving quality of customer communications), prioritize critical contact center applications by choosing network paths with the least packet loss and lowest jitter, and solve cloud application performance problems with deep network visibility and real-time control.

2. Remote and hybrid work is here to stay, especially for contact center workers.

Research from CCW found that only 7% of companies anticipate returning to a “traditional” contact center model even after the pandemic is officially over. SD-WAN is crucial for enabling seamless remote work, helping contact centers effectively manage traffic spikes while increasing agent productivity by eliminating lag time and improving application accessibility. Regardless of where agents are located, they’ll have reliable, on-demand access to the bandwidth-intensive cloud-based applications they need. Built-in security is also imperative, protecting customer data and ensuring compliance as agents work from the comfort of their home. 

3. Cost-effectively scale with higher reliability and greater WAN utilization.

Contact center managers need to ensure they can seamlessly scale to the number of locations, users, and customer interactions they need to support. More locations, users, and interactions leveraging bandwidth-intensive applications like video and AI can lead to a high per bit cost of MPLS bandwidth that for many organizations is out of reach. Conversely, SD-WAN aggregates various transport media into one single solution, making it easy to add additional bandwidth as needed. Organizations get higher reliability and greater WAN utilization from existing MPLS links at a far more practical cost.

Other key benefits of SD-WAN for the contact center include:

  • Centralized management. SD-WAN solutions come with a complete view of the network, clouds and data centers, enabling administration from a single pane of glass.
  • Nonstop, unimpaired application uptime: SD-WAN virtually guarantees 100% connectivity uptime by using a mix of Internet connections. If one connection fails, bandwidth is simply transferred to another.
  • Integrated security, policy, and orchestration: unlike MPLS, SD-WAN includes end-to-end encryption across the entire network including Internet, with full authentication of devices and endpoints. SD-WAN also provides traffic partitioning so that the call center traffic is protected from internal or external threats.

Finding the Best SD-WAN Solution for Your Contact Center

Servion’s SD-WAN, powered by Cisco, is a robust, centralized cloud management offering that can meet every complex need of the modern, connected contact center. Our extensive ecosystem of best-of-breed partnerships for cloud contact centers all can benefit from SD-WAN. Our customers can rapidly and seamlessly take advantage of innovations, support heavy data consumption and bandwidth-intensive applications, and address new security threats as they arise. We help contact center organizations:

  • Increase application performance and availability to improve productivity.
  • Enhance agility and responsiveness to accelerate time-to-market and competitiveness.
  • Simplify WAN edge architecture and management to drive new operational efficiencies.
  • Improve WAN security and reduce risk.
  • And of course, lower overall WAN costs.

Give your customers the experience they desire. Learn more about Servion’s SD-WAN solutions.