I’ve been working out of Sabio’s Singapore office for the past few weeks, and it struck me that there’s an increasing disconnect between today’s predominantly networked ICT/hosted architectures and most of the infrastructures that exist to support them.

Traditionally, IT support demanded ‘feet on the street’ in serious numbers - particularly for those established international networks of PBXs, PCs, ATMs or retail tills. This was particularly the case for geographically diverse regions such as Asia Pacific, where the distances involved generally meant it was always necessary to have break-fix maintenance and operational skills available. Given this logistical complexity, it’s hardly surprising that organisations relied on extended engineering teams to maintain extended infrastructures.

Today, things are very different. The majority of organisations have successfully evolved operations to a more distributed architecture with less physical dependence on complex hardware at satellite sites. This centralisation and rationalisation has helped to dramatically reshape support requirements.

With smaller hardware footprints and less critical geographic diversity, it’s now possible to build out a contact centre tech infrastructure that requires as little as 5% of support resource focused on remote locations. At Sabio, for example, we’re already seeing a remote incident resolution rate of over 97% - clearly suggesting that those organisations still relying on a legacy support offering are paying out for a service that’s massively over-resourced for their actual requirements.

In our experience, organisations looking to adopt a more centralised region-wide support approach can sometimes face opposition from colleagues still favouring a more local support strategy. While there may still be a few cases where this is applicable, they really are the exception.

To help overcome any residual opposition you may face, here are seven key factors that Sabio believes are driving the shift towards a more intelligent support strategy:

  1. Build resilience into the WAN infrastructure rather than localized hardware – use an architecture that ensures any local in-country hardware failure rarely impacts service
  2. Focus network intelligence on the datacentre – leverage contact centre expertise to hold intelligence centrally -removing the need for more frequent edge site visits to swap out hardware. Supplement this with local coverage at a more appropriate level
  3. Recognise that local support resources are usually technical not operational – add value to your business with high impact operational consultancy rather than retaining legacy break-fix engineering skills at a local level.
  4. Unlock potential datacentre investments through network savings – the shift away from deploying complex hardware at the edge of the network can release ICT spend to invest in ongoing datacentre development
  5. Take full advantage of next generation remote monitoring – the latest ‘as-a-service’ monitoring approaches dramatically reduce the need for local support resources, helping to resolve issues in real-time rather than just fixing incidents within an SLA
  6. Insist on multi-discipline technology support capabilities – today’s omni-channel contact centres depend on a mix of inter-dependent technologies. Ensure your support partner has accredited engineers in the same room who can collaborate on multiple technologies. Similarly make sure your support partner has deep technical expertise from the mid-market to the enterprise
  7. Look beyond the technology – Effective remote support inevitably depends on skilled staff with the capability, experience and technical ability to handle incidents remotely. Your support partner will need to demonstrate that they are adequately resourced to meet your needs