Back in 2001 - Wow that seems a long time ago now that I sit here in Oct 2013, I wrote a white paper which was published back then by the International Engineering Consortium in their Annual Review of Communications, called SIP Based Call Centres - A vendor independent architecture for multimedia contact centres and thanks to the Internet can still be found out there.
In the paper I sang the virtues of open standards and SIP for building contact centres capable of meeting the needs of a modern multimedia environment (voice, video and Instant messaging and presence). Since then (IMHO) SIP has become quite frankly bloated by extension after extension, and one SIP doesn't necessary work with another SIP, so SBC now have to mediate between different flavours.
I think its time to revisit signalling and communications in modern contact centre, after all the point is to let customers reach someone who can help them in whatever way best suites the customers need, in an efficient no frills way.
On reflecting on what I wrote 12 years ago and the current surge of interests in WebRTC and all things HTML and cloud, it struck me. Now is the time to rethink the way we build multimedia contact centres both for the customer and the business that uses them. Actually it wasn't too new a thought - I'd already put some top level architecture ideas together about a year ago when looking at a new approach to telecare with some colleagues over at Inmezzo. The approach for the next generation of contact centres means a much lighter footprint - no complex clients to use for the agents, no nasty plugins in the browser for customer, integration with the PSTN, voice, video and text chat from desktop or smart phone.
What doesn't change is the basic requirements for session queueing and routing, or the ability to present information about the contact.
So what does this new architecture look like.... Well I'll leave my thoughts on that for the next blog entry.