Thin clients handle call centre


Australian IT service provider, Datacom, has introduced thin clients to its call centre operations to make its business more agile with the ability to respond to ‘on-the-fly’ campaigns of 100 seats or more.

With over 2000 staff in three countries, Datacom needs to be able to provision urgent upswings in headcount without little prior planning.

The company boasts a blue chip client base including Microsoft, IBM, Hewlett-Packard and General Electric.

Datacom Connect systems manager, Tim Leehy said the company began trialing thin client technology late last year with 25 units. “We needed a solution that solved a very important business need for us; urgent headcount upswings caused by new call centre business coming on board at a moment’s notice,” Leehy said.

Datacom Connect incorporates an Aspect telephony system using agents running on PCs preconfigured for each client running with Microsoft Terminal Server.

The programs are run on Dell 1850 servers driving the PCs as clients in a kiosk style environment for the operators.

While Datacom used desktops for existing business needs, they were faced with a challenge when new business requirements were added, as it took too long to set up the new PCs. As a result, the company selected the Wyse S30 due to its support for the Aspect dialer via RDP 5.5.

“These stateless, very small units are ideal for the desktop or mounted to the back of the monitor,” Leehy said.

The S30 runs the Microsoft Windows CE operating system with a traditional Windows GUI, and supports selective serial devices.

“It also features an embedded Web browser in which the Aspect application is run. The Aspect application also runs via terminal services sessions,” he said. “The trial showed us that thin clients were ideal instead of PCs as we were able to set up a new account for 100 seats within a few days.

“The fact that operationally, the Wyse S30 looks like a PC to the user, but is diskless and stateless means set up and deployment is a breeze.

“The small Flash based memory means quick start up, and all units can be quickly and centrally managed. More importantly, thin clients give us a standard operating environment across all terminals.

“With PCs, no two units are the same for very long, and security is an issue. This means reduced operating cost as they have no moving parts.” Datacom now has an emergency set of 25 S30s at any one time in storage ready to go online when a new client pops up.

The company is also looking closely at replacing existing PCs used for existing clients as a future initiative.

Wyse Technology’s northern region sales manager, Ward Nash, said the company is also looking at replacing existing PCs used for existing clients as part of a future IT initiative. “Datacom now has an emergency standby to quickly meet new business needs; it gives them a commercial advantage over other call centres that are weighed down by PCs,” Nash said. Attending the DEMO 07 conference in the US earlier this year, Wyse Technology showcased a new concept in thin-client architecture known as N10.

Although the N10 thin-client hardware uses fewer chips than any previous device from Wyse, what really makes it different is its intelligent software that legislates where software is processed.

The hybrid processing architecture, which uses a multicore system on a chip technology, has the ability to encode and decode any file type including VOIP, but it is the software that determines whether to process that type of data on the server or on the system on a chip.


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