September 1, 2022
NTT Communications Corporation
transcosmos and NTT Com launch a demonstration test of a virtual contact center in metaverse
transcosmos inc. and NTT Communications Corporation announced today that in August they launched a demonstration test of a virtual contact center in the metaverse to improve working conditions for employees as well as to support communication between businesses and their customers. The test, an outgrowth of the two companies’ respective efforts to use the metaverse for new ways of communication, is aimed at realizing employee-friendly contact centers that will allow employees to work anywhere without feeling isolated from colleagues. For the test, the two companies have established a virtual contact center that consolidates both decentralized physical contact centers and agents working from home.
■Virtual contact center (illustration)
Today, the job market is at a turning point due to digitalization-induced changes such as new online communication technologies, the push towards teleworking, and worker relocations to rural areas. Such changes have also led to new challenges for businesses. To accommodate today’s diversifying workstyles, transcosmos has expanded its network of digital contact centers to 33 locations in Japan and 50 in other countries. Also, to support teleworking, it has built the industry’s largest network of home-based contact centers, amounting to about 3,000 workstations in Japan and 10,000 in other countries. Today, more than 55,000 people worldwide are working at virtual call centers operated by transcosmos.
While transcosmos offers various forms of contact center services, securing talented employees has been a challenge under the traditional model of using a metropolitan center as an operational hub connected to regional and overseas satellite centers. In particular, this model incurs an extra layer of operational cost for on-site managers. Also, restricting physical centers to set locations can limit hiring opportunities. At the same time, while work-from-home arrangements can help expand workstyle options, home-based agents tend to feel isolated due to a lack of communication with colleagues, unlike when working in physical centers. To address such issues as well as further evolve contact center services, transcosmos and NTT Com launched their virtual contact center demonstration test.
The test will reflect NTT Com’s experience with various workstyle-transformation services and solutions, which enable organizations to provide employees with more flexible workstyle arrangements that are not limited by location or time, as well as NTT Com’s involvement with new services and solutions incorporating extended reality (EX) technology.
2. Scope of Test
The demonstration test is targeted at overcoming the limits of physical contact centers and work-from-home operations. It is also aimed at establishing a standardized model for virtual contact centers in the metaverse that consolidate employees working at physical centers and at home.
- Working in the metaverse can help home-base agents to feel less isolated.
- Information sharing and escalation in the metaverse can reduce managerial needs.
- Establishment and feasibility of operational rules for virtual contact centers.
- Optimal equipment and working environments for agents.
3. Roles and Responsibilities
- Management of virtual contact center operations.
- Preparation of a virtual center package based on analysis of test operational data.
- Installation and management of phones & communication equipment (Arcstar IP Voice, toll-free numbers, etc.)
- Provision of NTT XR Coworking metaverse service (metaverse space & avatars)1
4. Comments from transcosmos/NTT Com
Kenshi Matsubara, Representative Director, Executive Vice President, transcosmos inc.:
"transcosmos is driving the shift from physical contact centers to a work-from-home model with the goal of offering 4,000 home-based workstations by the end of the current fiscal year ending in March 2023. Building on this demonstration test, we aim to establish full-scale virtual contact centers that will allow employees to feel as if they are working in the same location as their colleagues, thereby eliminating the feeling of isolation when working from home. We also aim to provide high-quality services from home environments to enable contact centers to offer more diverse ways of working."
Satoko Takahashi, Senior Vice President, Communication & Application Services, Platform Service Division, NTT Communications Corporation:
"NTT Com offers extensive services that help clients to realize workstyle innovation. In this demonstration, we are relocating hundreds of transcosmos contact center agents to a virtual contact center in the metaverse. The aim is to enable the agents to feel as if they are working at a large contact center in the real world and thereby help transcosmos solve the challenge of home agents feeling isolated from colleagues. NTT Com is committed to developing services for new workstyles that will enable businesses to build and operate next-generation contact centers."
5. Future Outlook
transcosmos will continue to drive metaverse initiatives that enable businesses to meet their employee needs as well as to drive virtual communication services2 to enhance communication between businesses and their customers. Building on the results of the demonstration, transcosmos and NTT Com hope to create a new style of customer communication powered by the metaverse as well as support ever-diversifying workstyles for a more sustainable world.
1 NTT XR Coworking (no translation available) https://group.ntt/jp/nttxr/service/service00006/
2 Virtual Communication Service: https://www.ntt.com/en/about-us/press-releases/news/article/2022/0901_2.html
About transcosmos inc.
transcosmos launched its operations in 1966. Since then, we have combined superior "people" with up-to-date "technology" to enhance the competitive strength of our clients by providing them with superior and valuable services. transcosmos currently offers services that support clients' business processes focusing on both sales expansion and cost optimization through our 171 bases across 28 countries/regions with a focus on Asia, while continuously pursuing Operational Excellence. Furthermore, following the expansion of e-commerce market on the global scale, transcosmos provides a comprehensive One-Stop Global E-Commerce Services to deliver our clients' excellent products and services to consumers in 46 countries/regions around the globe. transcosmos aims to be the "Global Digital Transformation Partner" of our clients, supporting the clients' transformation by leveraging digital technology, responding to the ever-changing business environment. Visit us here https://www.trans-cosmos.co.jp/english/
About NTT Communications
NTT Communications solves global technology challenges by helping enterprises utilize managed IT-infrastructure solutions to overcome complexity and risk in their IT environments. These solutions are backed by our worldwide infrastructure, including industry-leading, global tier-1 public and private networks reaching over 190 countries/regions, and more than 500,000m2 of the world's most advanced data-center facilities. As the core provider of the DOCOMO group's enterprise-business services and solutions, we create value by providing global-scale support for restructuring in industry and society, new workstyles and digital transformation in communities. Together with NTT Ltd., NTT Data and NTT DOCOMO, we are the NTT Group.
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