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Thought Leaders In Cloud Computing: Mandy Edwards, CIO Of Sitel (Part 4)

Posted on Monday, May 30th 2011

By Sramana Mitra and guest author Siddharth Garg

Sramana Mitra: Right. What is the procedure of updating the knowledge base? Let’s say your agents come up with a scenario that is not addressed in the knowledge base, and somehow or the other you have to figure out how to answer that question. How does that path, the integration path, between you and the customer’s knowledge base happen in that updating process or enhancement process?

Mandy: Most of the knowledge bases that I am familiar with have a self-learning capability. If something is identified that hasn’t been identified before, there is usually an built-in workflow capability that will allow a knowledge base expert to be able to publish that use case or knowledge, whatever you might call it, to the knowledge content, to the knowledge base.  But that is all automated, and most of these systems allow you to do that. It is just part of how they work.

Sramana Mitra: Basically, as long as you have the integration between your system and theirs, you are plugged into a self-learning system. That is how you are managing the content side of it. What about the telephony and the contact management side of it?

Mandy: That is absolutely all integrated, too.

Sramana Mitra: Is that yours or theirs or the customer’s?

Mandy: It could be either or both.

Sramana Mitra: Now what is happening with the advent? I know the contact center industry was actively trying to move to the cloud, as was the entire management technology industry. From a telephony point of view and from a software point of view, they were trying to move [to] cloud architecture. Since you are heavy-duty users of that particular workflow, if you could give us your view of what that situation is, that would be great.

Mandy: Yes, absolutely. The way I think it will materialize is today, as I explained in the beginning, we have very large telephony hubs that we leverage to provide that interconnectivity between our customers’ enterprises and the use of our agents anywhere in the world. So, what is the future going to look like? Well, those hard assets, those big switches, are going to become virtualized and will reside in the cloud and allow pervasive interconnectivity through the cloud.

It is going to take a while to get there, because the investment still has to be made in terms of point-to-point connections as we know them today and in the case of circuit and things like that. But what we do with Voice over IP, to me that is the foundational step that will drive us more to be able to leverage telephony in the sky.

Sramana Mitra: Is that where the maximum cost savings comes from for your business, cloud computing?

Mandy: That is probably true of a normal enterprise, but in our case, we have a lot of scale, and the way that you get the most out of hard assets is to scale and leverage those assets. For any company that has that level of scale, it is probably not going to yield humongous savings, but where it does become valuable is for people who haven’t made the investment or need to do a massive upgrade of their current environment, and rather than investing in hard assets, they can leverage a cloud computing or cloud infrastructure model that will actually offset the need for that capital investment. In other words, it becomes an operating expense rather than a capital expense.

This segment is part 4 in the series : Thought Leaders In Cloud Computing: Mandy Edwards, CIO Of Sitel
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