Customers Are Keenly Watching The Gains From IP

Updated: May 28 2003, 05:30am hrs
The booming business process outsourcing (BPO) segment has emerged as a lucrative market for the network infrastructure providers. Alcatel, Cambridge Technology Partners, Siemens Information Systems Ltd, Tata Telecom, Enterasys, D-Link are some of the companies targeting this segment, apart from Nortel Networks. Nortel Networks vice president (India and Saarc) for enterprise solutions Ravi Chauhan speaks to Kavitha Vivek about the companys plans in this sector. Excerpts:

What drives the demands for contact centres and what are their requirements
The explosion of voice and data convergence brings tremendous opportunities to enterprise contact centres. As a result dramatic changes are occurring in the market and customer expectations are evolving rapidly. Companies want to be able to improve service, reduce operating costs and simplify management and administration by leveraging Internet protocol (IP) in their contact centres. In fact, the demand for IP is so strong that Phillips Infotech, a market research firm, estimates that 46 per cent of call centre agent seats will be based on IP platform technology by 2004.

Ravi ChauhanCustomers are closely watching the potential that IP brings to their business. Most decision-makers today are not questioning whether they will leverage Internet telephony within their contact centre, rather when and how they will make it happen.

For these customers, maintaining voice quality, reliability, rich features, and scalability are essential requirements when they consider the deployment of IP within their contact centre environment. With the mission being critical applications, such as those at contact centres, companies cannot afford to sacrifice quality or reliability. They must be able to extend their reach and connect with their customers anywhere and anytimewhile still providing the highest level of service.

How does Nortels value proposition (in terms of offerings) look like for the BPO market Which key tech platforms do you offer in India
Our company has solutions that address all the areas of call centre networking. Some of the key technology areas are: CTI (Computer Telephony Integration), VoIP (Voice Over Internet protocol), IVR (Integrated Voice Response systems)/ Speech Recognition Systems, Meridian* PBX portfolio, Symposium Contact Centre suite of applications and CallPilotUnified messaging solutions.

This is specific to the new Nortel platform deployed by ICICI OneSource. Could you elaborate on the term adaptive infrastructure and also provide some technical details regarding the platform
ICICI OneSources innovative adaptive network uses a network management layer to dynamically select the most optimal route for an incoming call based on an instant assessment of network topology and associated costs. Our switching technology, intelligently routing traffic through the best available paths to ensure rapid response times and reduced costs, is focused on reducing call drop to an absolute minimum. These solutions are based on contact centre, routing and switching technology solutions from Nortel Networks.

An adaptive network is all about meeting changing customer needs, unifying the services people need today, and will demand in the future, on a secure, flexible network. An adaptive architecture helps design service velocity, makes evolutionary processes easier and adapts to individual needs.

ICICI OneSource is Indias first BPO player to implement this platform. What is the scope of other players adopting this infrastructure Also, what is the current client base for this platform globally and which are the industry segments that it is popular in
Looking ahead, we are very positive about the prospects of the BPO segment in India.

It is primarily because the BPO sector in India has found global acceptance, and more and more global corporations are outsourcing their back-office operations to India.

Thus, more and more organisations from the BPO segment shall choose to implement the adaptive network architecture that Nortel Networks provides. Apart from BPO services organisations, we find acceptance of our networking solutions across almost all the verticals, including the service provider segment in India. At Nortel Networks, we place special emphasis on the enterprise business segment and it contributes to roughly about 25 per cent of our total corporate business globally. India is strategically important for Nortel networks, both in the enterprise and the service providers segments, especially since the communications sector in India is fast-growing and the market is moving towards an era wherein voice, data and multimedia services along with delivery devices shall find universal acceptance.