Contact Center Solutions Featured Article

Protecting Call Centers with the Right Power

November 20, 2013

Although labels such as mission critical exist to differentiate the type of functions within an organization, all companies can say without fail everything they do is critical, because the well-being of their business depends on it. Call centers provide a direct link between a company and its customers, and this interaction is critical in ensuring the customer receives the service they request when they call. If a call center is down for any reason, it can result in the loss of customers. Having a back-up power system in the event of an outage keeps the call center operational until power resumes.

Identifying this safeguard is extremely important, because organizations are now aware the service call centers provide is mission critical. Implementing the right power backup system requires understanding the facility's load profile, which will determine the amount of energy that will be needed to support the load.

With this information the correct uninterruptible power supply (UPS) and generator capacity can be installed so the call center can continue operating in the event of a power outage. Even after the right backup system has been implemented, it is important to have personnel who are able to switch to backup power sources if and when it is needed. To avoid any conflicts, a second redundant medium-voltage (MV) substation utility feed and an automatic throw-over (ATO) switch can be integrated into the design so the facility can switch automatically without having to wait if there is a power outage.

In the event a power outage lasts longer than the battery capacity of the UPS systems is able to provide, a back-up generator can provide power. In countries where there are a large number of BPO service providers and they have regular power outages such as India and the Philippines, generators are a main stay. The systems are connected to the generator with automatic transfer switches (ATS) to make the transition almost seamless for continual service operations.

Just like call centers, the right power strategy is also critical to an organization. Determining and applying the right strategy requires:

- Evaluating the pros and cons of the different power systems

- Defining existing infrastructure and determining what needs to be replaced to modify the power systems

- Designing a  flexible power system that can grow as the business grows that is modular and scalable

- Installing energy efficient equipment throughout the organization, which in the long run saves energy and can last longer with battery operation

In a customer centric business environment, the last thing a business needs is losing touch with its customers. Whether it is using phones, emails, social media or video conferencing, the call center has to be available at all times.

Edited by Ryan Sartor