The Case for Virtual Business Processes
Case Study: vCustomer Corporation,
Personal interview conducted with Jeff Wasierski, vice president of
Virtualized business process: Offshore call center
vCustomer, founded in 1999 in Seattle to provide medium- and enterprise-
sized businesses in the technology and retail markets with offshore customer
contact support, found itself struggling with the same dynamic this chapter has
discussed. On the one hand, customer contact support is a business that is highly
sensitive to the cost of labor. On the other, utilizing that labor introduces some real
risk in the viability of the business. While the labor pool available is highly
capable, the geographic location ensures that the impact of network overhead and
failures can quickly degrade the quality of service to the point where such service
is no longer competitive with domestically based solutions.
If vCustomer had used a conventional business model based on conventional
technology, it would have found it very difﬁcult to conduct business, let alone do
so competitively. What was required was a radically new solution. vCustomer
management had to think outside the box. To do so, it turned to Cisco.
vCustomer has been able to achieve a signiﬁcant improvement in
performance over its conventionally built rivals. With highly trained technical,
customer care, and collections staffs, as well as a wholly redundant intelligent
networked infrastructure, vCustomer ensures 100 percent uptime and availability.
Utilizing robust call center technology, vCustomer endeavors to constantly
improve its clients’ satisfaction with the customer care business process. The
particulars of its success are enumerated in the following sections.