Information Technology

Gartner Glossary

Contact Center System

A contact center system is a computer-based system that provides call and contact routing for high-volume telephony transactions, with specialist answering “agent” stations and a sophisticated real-time contact management system. The definition includes all contact center systems that provide inbound contact handling capabilities and automatic contact distribution, combined with a high degree of sophistication in terms of dynamic contact traffic management.

Contact center systems are defined as follows:

  • They are software applications typically residing on an adjunct server or switch-based processor system, located either at a customer’s premises or at a third-party site. For routing phone calls, the system providing the call control may be an application-specific resource or may support a dual-function PBX/automatic call distributor installation. Newer architectures will support contact center call routing business rules on an “application server” which can direct and monitor calls through a telephony gateway using SIP or other softswitch protocols. The infrastructure may also be provided as an on-site “managed service;” as an off-site, dedicated “hosted service” solution; or as an off-site shared resource “software as a service” (SaaS) solution.
  • They provide intelligent routing of an incoming communication (that is, a call, e-mail, text chat, Web collaboration or facsimile) to the appropriate resource (that is, agent-assisted or self-service) through an algorithm more sophisticated than simple hunt groups.
  • They provide the ability to generate historical activity reports (covering at least 30 days) as well as supervisory capabilities including, but not limited to, real-time monitoring and reporting of a system’s workload, agent status lookups, viewing the number of contacts in the queue, and the ability to change agent status.

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