Traditional contact centers have a higher potential to be hit hard by a health crisis or natural disaster.

Edward Gately, Senior News Editor

March 23, 2020

6 Min Read

As the World Health Organization (WHO) says the coronavirus pandemic continues to accelerate, more companies in the channel are coming forward with solutions to help businesses accommodate remote workers.

Talkdesk has unveiled new offers aimed at enabling a “swift, seamless and secure transition” to its cloud contact center solutions. The Talkdesk Business Continuity program consists of three solutions designed to address new and changing business needs as a result of the outbreak.

Talkdesk Now allows agents to work from home with cloud contact center solutions within 24 hours. Talkdesk Boost, which moves contact centers to the cloud within 15 days, and Talkdesk Mobile Agent, which converts any mobile device into a complete customer support tool, are free for three months when companies sign up before May 1.

Jon Heaps, Talkdesk‘s vice president of channel, tells Channel Partners the business continuity program will create new opportunities for partners to help their customers cope with evolving needs brought on by the pandemic.


Talkdesk’s Jon Heaps

“Companies are scrambling to shift employees to working from home,” he said. “Contact centers are no different; in fact, with the close-quarters nature of contact centers (agents sharing desks, headsets, etc.), traditional contact centers have a higher potential to be hit hard by the spread of a health crisis or other natural disasters. Talkdesk cloud contact center solutions offer the flexibility companies need to quickly transition agents into a work-from-home environment.”

Due to shelter-in-place orders and social distancing requirements, contact centers suddenly face something that was a luxury less than two weeks ago, with allowing agents working from home becoming a necessity, Heaps said. Fortunately, Talkdesk has the “solutions needed for this brand new and evolving situation,” he said.

Helpshift, which provides a digital customer satisfaction platform, will offer its technology at no cost to community, government and health care organizations on the front lines of the COVID-19 response. Helpshift said its technology can assist in rapidly scaling contact centers to provide virtual assistance to communities, particularly as the WHO continues to recommend social distancing.

Implementing digital tools also can allow call-center agents to work remotely and to ensure appropriate preventative measures are taken for their own health and safety, according to the company.

Helpshift‘s technology features a messaging model that works with automation to connect customers to the critical information and care they need. Customers can self-resolve their inquiries before being transferred to a contact center agent — freeing up human agents to work on only the most critical cases, the company said.

Jeff Saenger, Helpshift’s vice president of customer success, tells Channel Partners that online gaming, e-commerce and hybrid retailers, in particular, are seeing a “tremendous uptick” in demand and are having issues keeping up with new business. Insurance companies also are getting swamped by clients inquiring about COVID-19 coverage, he said.


Helpshift’s Jeff Saenger

“Most contact centers rely upon armies of outsourced agents to staff their operations,” he said. “These business process outsourcers employ thousands of people based in centralized contact centers throughout the world. All of these centers have been shut down and agents have been asked to work from home for the first time ever. Most agents lack fast internet access, equipment and software to deliver these services remotely. We expect that companies will lose at least 25% of their agent capacity over the next one to two months as they transition to remote support.”

Align Technologies is making its Huddle Tools available for free to any SMB looking to improve organizational communication and manage remote employees during the pandemic. At this time of unprecedented disruption, consistent team communication is more critical than ever, it said.

Align’s tools manage team member updates and associated tasks. The tools include …

… a portal for a written record of huddle content and task performance, which assists with virtual meetings or huddles when some employees are unable to attend, it said.


Align’s Doug Walner

“We have partnerships with various consultants, business coaches and affiliate marketing partners,” said Doug Walner, Align’s CEO. “Many of these folks are essential professional service providers (sometimes resellers, VARs, MSPs acting as consultants or affiliates) to SMBs during this time to provide guidance and assistance to companies who are navigating through this disruption. Consultants, coaches and affiliates have the ability to share our free huddle tool access as a resource to their clients and contacts. The free Align huddle tools give companies the ability to get on top of the most important things in their business. We can track resellers, VARs, MSPs on all upgrades from this free huddle tool and share commissions back through our affiliate program.”

In order to help companies cope with the current situation and allow their employees to work remotely, Orange Business Services has increased its network capacity and upgraded its service platforms. The number of users connecting to the company’s network remotely has already increased by 700% among its customers.

To enable everyone to work from home, Orange Business has doubled the capacity for simultaneous connections on its platforms. The use of remote collaboration solutions such as video conferencing also has risen massively with usage increasing by 20% to 100% depending on the solution.

The need for more remote workers is driving an already hot global video conferencing market, which is expected to increase from $6.1 billion last year to nearly $11.6 billion by the end of 2027, according to Transparency Market Research. The cloud-based video conferencing segment is expected to dominate the software category in the market through 2027.

Managing outsourced businesses is a major factor that is expected fuel the growth of the video conferencing market globally. Due to increasing globalization, companies from various verticals seek to operate from multiple offices in different regions of the world to leverage benefits of local infrastructure, availability of expertise and reduction in material procurement costs. In order to ensure smooth functioning of numerous offices across the world, organizations need to constantly maintain communication between headquarters and other offices located remotely.

Furthermore, business outsourcing has experienced a high growth in the past decades. At present, many business owners are willing to adopt video conferencing solutions in order to enhance their business productivity as well as to foster real-time, face-to-face interaction anytime anywhere globally, according to the report.

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About the Author(s)

Edward Gately

Senior News Editor, Channel Futures

As news editor, Edward Gately covers cybersecurity, new channel programs and program changes, M&A and other IT channel trends. Prior to Informa, he spent 26 years as a newspaper journalist in Texas, Louisiana and Arizona.

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