No Pseudo in This Wire It’s the Real Thing

Jan 01, 2006 10:30 PM  By

Sophisticated technology is a key feature that differentiates the modern contact center from the traditional call center. Pseudowire technology, a breakthrough in computer networking and telecommunications, can bring considerable cost savings and improved efficiency to contact center operations.

Pseudowire enables a contact center to keep its existing telephony equipment while benefiting from a converged application such as an IP packet-switched network (PSN). The technology acts like a wire that carries the legacy service, such as a T1 or E1 circuit, through the PSN. It segments the legacy traffic into packets, then breaks those packets down and reconstructs the original traffic format on the receiving end. The legacy equipment at either end remains unaffected by the “translation” and “retranslation” process.

The technology gets a new twist from global network access supplier RAD Data Communications in Mahwah, NJ. RAD’s version of pseudowire adds significant compression capabilities, which allows more voice channels, with fewer circuits needed to carry them.

Pseudowire technology can also be used to create a backup connection for a remote call center. If there is a failure in the main network, it can switch to backup mode, maintaining all the telephony features and leveraging the compression to keep costs down during the backup phase.

TecNet, a subsidiary of Jackson, MS-based Telephone Electronics Corp. (TEC), has implemented pseudowire successfully. TecNet needed to add international voice trunking capacity to accommodate its growing remote call center applications. The company wanted to reduce its capital expenses by using more cost-effective equipment with greater capacity for voice compression. It also wanted a solution flexible enough to work over other network types, such as satellite and IP. By installing RAD equipment that enabled 16:1 compression — allowing twice as many calls per circuit as it had been getting — TecNet doubled its capacity without any additional line charges and realized an annualized cost avoidance of about $96,000 per E1 circuit.

Contact center outsourcers Teleperformance USA was looking to expand its offshore operations in Buenos Aires and Manila. Plans called for setting up contact centers that could handle hundreds of simultaneous calls serving the U.S. market while keeping costs down.

Teleperformance USA’s operations centers in Salt Lake City and Seattle host Avaya G3R and Communications Manager switches to provide centralized call processing. The company installed a RAD gateway at each end of the E1 circuits, gaining 16:1 compression in each case. And while it still uses traditional E1 circuits to transport voice traffic, it is migrating to a next-generation IP network, a seamless transition using its current pseudowire equipment.