Call centres behind Y2K eight-ball

One-third of Australia's call centres have no year 2000 disaster recovery plan and less than three per cent implemented one in the past year.

Those figures come from market research company Call Centre Research (CCR), which is releasing a report today [Thursday] into the state of play in the region's call centres.

CCR director Martin Conboy [Conboy] said figures from the Gartner Group showed call centres would experience a surge of enquiry in the month prior to 2000 by a factor of ten. Conboy said that increase could result in outages, either in single systems, across the whole call centre or along the supply chain.

"We're strongly advising they put a disaster recovery plan in place," he said.

"If a call centre crashes at a major, well-known brand, it'll certainly be on the news and they will get some sympathy from their customers.

"In the normal sequence of events, customers expect them to be repaired in a few days and that may not happen as efficiently as it could," Conboy said.

"Nobody knows what will happen. It could be a wimpy thing or total Armageddon. Common sense says you would take some form of insurance and put it in place," he said.

The study also revealed the Australian call centre market is growing at 20 per cent per annum, ahead of the Asian growth rate of 10 per cent. Telecommunications deregulation and Australia's commercial environment contributed to the growth, Conboy said.

CCR surveyed more than 500 call centres in 11 countries for the study.

More information on the report is available from http://www.acaresearch.com.au

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