Professional services are essential for implementing new systems - HR Future helps people prepare for the Future of Work and is South Africa's leading print, digital and online Human Resources magazine.

Professional services are essential for implementing new systems

There is a shift in the way companies interact with their customers as people seek new ways of communicating with business. Many organisations are implementing new technology solutions to answer this call, ensuring their contact centres are equipped to handle multiple communication channels.
However, integrating new systems is a complex endeavour, one which could fail entirely if not managed properly, resulting in disastrous and expensive consequences. Professional services, can ensure that existing technology and new solutions maximise business value derived from technology, whilst having a minimum negative impact on a company’s productivity and bottom line.

Implementing new technology is a process fraught with challenges. Companies seeking to upgrade their systems need to take several factors into account when doing so. They need to consider the expense and where they can save costs, such as by using optimising existing infrastructure and not just replacing it. They need to ensure their people buy into new systems and will be willing and able to use them, avoiding wastage. And they need to make sure their systems are legally compliant while meeting their exact requirements.

But many companies are not considering these things before implementing a new contact centre solution. They are simply adding new technology into the mix, often replacing whole systems at great expense, only to find that they are failing and not meeting expectations. They may implement a new technology and end up only using half of the functionality, not needing several components which look good on paper, but don’t actually address their specific needs. Professional services seek to ensure that this does not happen and that companies receive the best from new systems.

Businesses that engage professional services when implementing any new contact centre solution, have a far higher success rate than those who don’t. Professional services comprise business analysis and systems analysis, and will effectively analyse a company’s structure, processes, infrastructure and needs. Based on results, they provide advice on which new technology will work best and how to successfully implement it. Professional services will ensure that a new solution will completely address a business’s needs, eliminating potential wasted expenditure on unnecessary items, superfluous new systems and lack of integration.

Businesses seeking to digitally transform need to change their approach. They need to shake traditional thinking and embrace change. Applying old processes and ways of thinking to new technology is a sure fire way to a failed implementation. For example, an agent continuing to ask their usual questions of a customer after a new interactive voice recording system has already done so, results in unnecessary repetition and frustrated customers. It is imperative that processes be examined so that they can be adapted to fit a new system, ensuring that it is effective and productive.

Similarly, a workforce that is resistant to change will lead to failure of a new system. It doesn’t matter how effective a new solution is, if the people do not buy into it and are unwilling or unable to use it, it will fail. Taking advantage of the guidance offered by professional services, following an investigation into a business’s processes and skill levels, will ensure that new systems and the related processes are not just implemented, but welcomed.

Some solutions will work for one company but may not necessarily work for another. Often, a company will invest in a solution as they heard that it worked for another business, but they do not take into account that their needs may be different. An interactive voice recording system may be efficient in a company that deals with hundreds of the same type of queries on a daily basis, but may be completely wrong for a business that handles individual requests, where such a system will hinder the customer interaction process. If a business first analyses their specific needs before matching them to a solution, they are more likely to find a solution that works for them.

A service provider needs to fully understand a business before being able to offer an effective solution. Professional service enables this, taking a service provider from merely being a supplier, to becoming a useful business partner. When a service provider understands the impact of a new solution on a business, it can be implemented to maximum effect and minimum impact.

Jacques Malan is the Executive: Operations as Jasco Enterprise.


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