Momentum and excitement builds around new contact center technology as you make a vendor and product selection and set forth on your journey with exciting possibilities ahead. Unfortunately, a variety of implementation challenges can arise that knock the wind out of your sails. To optimize results, invest the time up front to plan and prepare.
Take the time to develop a good Statement of Work (SOW) with your vendor(s). Clarify all assumptions and define who is responsible for what.
Make sure the project has a reasonable timeline. Speed often leads to cutting corners and may compromise performance.
Secure resources (internal and external) to make it happen. Make sure someone will be dedicated to oversee the entire project from beginning to end and provide continuity in key areas.
Get everyone to design for business value instead of duplicating the current state. If you don’t get it right during implementation, it is highly unlikely that you’ll make the necessary changes later.
Manage hardware and software implementation by assigning responsibilities, defining lead times, and making sure resources and time tables align.
Provision network services (e.g., MPLS, SIP). Make sure you get firm installation dates from suppliers up front as managing the carriers can be a BIG issue.
Get adequate onsite vendor time. Consider your culture, the extent of the anticipated change, and the extra value you might reap at key points in the process – e.g., design, training, cutover.
Define requirements for testing and who is responsible for doing it. Areas to consider (as appropriate): system testing, system integration testing, network testing, load testing, failure/recovery (BC/DR) testing.
Define criteria for acceptance. Some options include: X days of issue-free operation; all tickets from cutover closed (or all tickets of a certain level); Y% of licenses in production.
Plan for technology optimization once you’ve gotten to know the system in production. Consider follow up training, knowledge transfer, or general consulting services from people who know the system, your environment, and your staff.
As the famous Polar Explorer Roald Amundsen noted: “Victory awaits him who has everything in order — luck, people call it. Defeat is certain for him who has neglected to take the necessary precautions in time; this is called bad luck.”