Managing a Multi-OEM Contact Center: The Challenges & Solutions

How HCLTech can help you maximize the benefits of a multi-OEM contact center

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Published: April 10, 2024

Rhys Fisher Fisher

Multi-OEM contact centers leverage the technologies of various contact center providers in different locations around the globe.

There are upsides to having such a multi-OEM environment. For instance, one contact center  provider may offer more robust support services in North America while another may be better in Europe.

Yet, in the age of connected global contact center operations, the magnitude of dealing with numerous platforms across different countries can be intimidating. That’s where HCLTech comes in.

But first, let’s take a deeper look at what exactly constitutes a multi-OEM, and why some companies have them.

A Global Contact Center Environment

Globalization, you might have heard of it.

In 2024, the world is a far more connected and interdependent place —whether it be the ability to get into banal arguments online with a stranger living on the other side of the planet or the fact that you can now pick up a Big Mac in over 100 countries worldwide.

But it isn’t just McDonald’s operating on a multinational level – global enterprises are routinely deploying contact centers to provide support across multiple countries.

In a discussion with CXToday, Gurpreet Kohli, Senior Vice President and Global Head of Telecom & Networks at HCLTech, explained how this situation can arise for a variety of reasons, from mergers and acquisitions in different geographical locations to global expansions.

The requirement for different platforms to be used from country-to-country can stem from complex issues like the need for specialized requirements in some territories, as well as more basic scenarios like leaders from different domains having preferred vendors.

The multi-OEM houses all of these separate systems, as Kohli explains:

“When we consider a multi-OEM environment, there could be various vendors offering recording devices, databases, data lakes, data warehouses, your analytics platforms, your marketing platforms, and your core contact center.

“All those put together create that entire customer support and service portfolio.”

The Challenges of Managing a Multi-OEM Contact Center

With such a varied and vast portfolio, it is unsurprising that multi-OEM contact centers encounter their fair share of difficulties.

For starters, they must manage multiple partners and their subsequent billings. Such a process presents complications, which wastes time and resources.

Moreover, working in an ecosystem that may contain three or four different versions of the same tool – such as a contact center or recording device – can lead to considerable issues with interoperability.

“There could be transfers or movements of interactions from one platform to another. That’s where interoperability becomes a little difficult,” explains Kohli.

“And then, when you have multiple technologies in your ecosystem and you’re trying to leverage that to do your own core business, it will lead to having more overhead, right? There will be more people required, more skills required.”

Another issue linked to interoperability is data fragmentation.

The number of platforms makes it more challenging to read and analyze data across the entirety of the OEM, and often requires the implementation of another system to help “make sense of the entire big journey from one platform to another,” as Kohli puts it.

But how can leaders prevent these challenges from dragging down their multi-OEMs, without sacrificing the benefits that they provide?

The Solutions Available to Global Enterprises

When dealing with such a complicated mixture of sophisticated technological components, it can be very easy to overthink and embrace complex, patchwork solutions.

Leaders should instead take the Occam’s razor approach of looking to the simplest and most apparent explanation to the problem. If the high number of partners/systems is causing difficulties with management, interoperability, and data fragmentation – cut down the number of partners/systems.

Clearly, this is a lot easier said than done. By definition, a multi-OEM will contain several elements.

However, Kohli still emphasizes the need for stability and advocates for removing any unnecessary moving parts – stating that the aim should be to “standardize things across the enterprise.”

Part of this standardization is comprehensive integration: ensuring that all systems are well connected and there is no loss of information between platforms.

One of the ways that enterprises can achieve this is by working with a global systems integrator (GSI) like HCLTech.

Kohli explains how HCLTech uses its extensive network to manage multiple vendor relationships – describing the process as “bread and butter for managed service partners in the industry.”

By taking responsibility for the management of these multi-OEM partners, HCLTech can remove the stress and allow organizations to focus their time and resources elsewhere.

Indeed, the GSI has expertise in building and integrating across different platforms – promising continuous innovation for its customers through its global resources and training program. As Kohli explains:

“When we talk about resources or skills, there’s a huge global resource pool that we (HCLTech) can enable for our customers and we do that as part of our partnership, right? There’s a continuous evolution in skill sets that we keep within our Training Academy.”

To find out more about HCLTech’s multi-OEM solutions and their full suite of products and software offerings, visit the website today.

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