Microsoft has chosen Sydney as one of two implementation test beds for a massive call centre partnership with Nortel. Using Nortel's Symposium Call Centre server, Microsoft is planning to build what it calls "virtual call centres", in which geographically dispersed centres are networked to appear as one call centre.
Sydney was chosen initially along with Munich to kick-start the worldwide call centre roll-out, which is also expected to include Japan, Korea, UK, Canada, Sweden, Italy and France over the next 18 months. According to Microsoft, each server will support an average of 200 partners in each country.
By September this year, the Call Centre server in Munich will support call centre agents at the Microsoft site and at two outsourced partner sites.
According to Steve McCourt, Microsoft's man-ager of voice technology and services: "Nortel's Symposium server should make us more efficient in dealing with customer calls.
"The skills-based routing functionality embedded in the server enables us to deliver calls to the most appropriate agents, rather than having callers transferred several times," he added.
"We also like the friendliness of the user interface, the extensive reports that enable us to make better business decisions and the fact that the open platform enables us to integrate our own products or third-party products with the server."