Virtualization a challenge for IP contact centers

The needs of real-time applications must be respected

TLC supports specific business applications for each of its customers, Iglehart says, and virtualizing the desktops reduces maintenance of these applications. Each customer wants a unique set of scripts, reports and order-entry systems, he says. "We end up supporting a lot of different applications for our clients, so there's a lot of change that happens a lot more than in other industries," he says.

Changes can be implemented on a virtual desktop to see whether they are compatible, then rolled out centrally where they are accessed by the remote machines, he says.

"Virtualization makes it almost a nonissue to add more seats and new locations because all you need is a network connection," he says. "The applications are already where you need them."

The overriding factor in virtualizing contact centers is having thorough knowledge, either in-house or via consultants, of virtualization platforms, experts say.

"I wouldn't suggest somebody trying to cut their teeth on virtualization with their call-center deployment," Wolf says. "If they don't have the expertise, they should get it. There's more than one way to skin a cat in virtualization, and if you start out wrong it's going to cost you more in the long run than it will if you get some help up front."

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