Hello and welcome back to our ongoing blog series on “How do I Manage all Those Cans and Strings”? The feedback and comments have been great as we explore a non-technical approach to technology. Specifically we focus on moving from managing multiple disparate networks to one converged network with MPLS. Our last edition was in video version for this blog series. Click here if you didn’t see it for another fun look at technology.
I don’t know about you, but I really don’t like calling for customer service. You remember me chatting about my Dad’s house in the country in Alabama? That house has gone from a Party Line to having a regular line, cell phone, satellite TV, and Wi-Fi which he doesn’t use. But the volume on the remote control for the satellite receiver didn’t work. I went down to visit him last weekend (actually to buy a used go kart for my kids). Since I work for the phone company, it was up to me to fix this dastardly problem. We’re all technical, right?
Reluctantly I sprung into action. How many prompts was I about to traverse? What will be the hold time? How many times would I have to say “Representative” before my IVR request was to be satisfied? And last but not least, would I be able hear the representative over all the chatter from hundreds of other call center reps helping poor souls like me? Finally it happened… “Good afternoon, this is Ethel. How may I help you?” I heard her clearly. Where was all the background chatter?
Traditionally call center representatives were all placed in a big room with two lines hardwired for them from a large PBX and computer from which to handle customer calls. These representatives would have to commute each day to perform their duties at work. Tirelessly taking the next call, the next call, and the next call with constant buzzing from the other worker bees. But I could hear Ethel and no other noises. What has changed?
IP Based MPLS Networks have changed the way we work. This series has covered how this network solution frees us from the traditional office environment. We can access this network from any Internet enabled device. Your workers can now perform their duties from the corporate office, satellite office, home office, or while traveling. Ethel had the IP “hook up” and could perform her duties from home. In no time was she able to review my father’s account, billing, subscriptions, loyalty offerings, and the necessary codes to make the remote control compatible with the manufacturer of this new television. I thought I could faintly hear a soap opera in the background, but who cares! Ethel enabled me to be the technical hero to overcome this huge technical challenge.
I was able to meet the seller of the used go kart at the local city hall where my Dad lives. The super center isn’t close so that was the best landmark for him coming from two counties away.
(Here’s a picture of the Town Square)
Unfortunately this is a massive go kart and my three kids are all under 10 years old. I felt sorry the guy came from so far away so I bought his teenager’s machine anyway. Now I have to find a way to get a governor to slow this thing down and larger petals. I hope the next Ethel will be as effective……
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