Case Study: Contact Center Securely Enables Work-at-Home Agents With Cloud Desktops

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**Editor's Note: This article is an excerpt from the Digital Issue, " Virtualizing Desktops in the Cloud ," which is available for download from Channel Partners Cloud Insights .**

The Challenge

A large contact center, which provides a variety of consumer product/technical support services, had been exploring virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) options for its work-at-home agents. The fluctuating number of employees, their ability to work remotely and customized home-built corporate applications challenged the IT staff to provide a secure, compliant and consistent desktop to its employees. These remote workers needed access to applications and data in a speedy fashion in order to handle customer calls.

For the company’s IT staff that meant provisioning, managing, updating and protecting a desktop environment spread across multiple access devices and platforms, including smartphones, tablets, laptops and desktop PCs. When considering the sheer volume of endpoint devices in use, these tasks seemed overwhelming. The “bring your own device" (BYOD) to work trend made matters even more challenging as employee-owned devices accessing corporate resources posed increased security risks.

The Solution

The company presented these challenges to an AT&T team, which worked with the client to show that substantial savings and efficiency could be achieved by using a desktops-as-a-service (DaaS) solution. AT&T Virtual Desktop Service (AT&T VDS) moves the traditional device-based desktop environment into the AT&T cloud. Rather than storing programs, applications and data locally on a PC hard drive, these reside and run on a remote centralized platform within an AT&T Internet Data Center.

AT&T designed an HVD infrastructure specific to the contact center’s requirements by building a private cloud for the customer’s hosted virtual desktop users, giving them a highly secure private environment that is physically separate from other customer environments. The solution is a fully managed Citrix Xenapp and Xendesktop platform with Wyse Thin Client hardware supporting 2,000 agents in the Americas.

To access their desktops, AT&T VDS users download a client application that works on a range of endpoint devices, operating systems and platforms. A common interface delivers a consistent desktop experience as users switch between eligible fixed and mobile devices — from a desktop PC to a smartphone, laptop or tablet — throughout the workday. With the added flexibility to use their own devices as they work nearly anywhere, contact center employees can transition to a hosted desktop solution, which increases employee efficiency and ultimately customer satisfaction.

While the service can be accessed over the Internet or VPN, using the desktop via the AT&T network delivers the high-speed, low-latency performance that users expect from a traditional desktop environment whether it is over the Internet or a mobile connection.

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