Contact centre technologies – issue twelve

Hello, from Aculab call central.

In this post, the twelfth as a total, I’ll look at another aspect of contact centre technologies. You’re welcome to post any questions in the comments section below.

In the most recent posts, which you can view here and here, I looked at two areas in which the benefits of using call progress analysis (CPA) in conjunction with diallers are often judged. This post changes the emphasis to look at another function of telephony resources; the enabling technology you use in your contact centre solution.

Standards compliance

Anyone looking to develop a business application to serve the contact centre sector will be aware of the need to comply with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) and the associated Payment Application Data Security Standard (PA-DSS) standards.

As many credit card transactions are conducted via telephone, whether through the legacy PSTN or over a next generation, IP-based network, the processing, storage and transmission of payment cardholder data naturally occurs during telecommunications. The way you handle that data will have a bearing on how compliant you are.

Essential resources

An essential technology for developers of contact centre applications, in terms of handling sensitive cardholder data, is the suite of telephony resources you get from a vendor such as Aculab. Those software resources (firmware and algorithms) are packaged for various purposes. One purpose to which they can be applied is to help you to meet the requirement to ensure that PINs are neither stored nor accessible by an agent during and after the authorisation process.

Call recording

As conversations between calling (or called, in the case of an outbound dialler application) customers and call centre agents are often recorded, it is imperative that PINs are not retained in the stored, recorded file. The dual-tone, multi-frequency (DTMF) digital signature that represents a customer’s PIN is present in the audio voice signal and must be eliminated from (or suppressed in) the recording.

Integrated technology

In a telecommunications environment, which means any call centre, the answer is to implement DTMF elimination, otherwise known as DTMF clamping, in your solution. That can be achieved by integrating telephony resources software, typically by means of the vendor’s API. The result will be a seamless, built-in system option that can be readily activated by the end user organisation. If you’d rather shy away from such activity, the alternative is to employ an intermediary device, such as a gateway, as part of your solution.

The end of the series

That’s all for now in this scintillating sequence of posts, but be sure to look out for the follow-on series; coming soon. Be sure to post your questions and queries in the meantime. Auf Wiedersehen!

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  - Joeb Logger

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