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Network Considerations

The decision of whether or not to use a network, and which one to use if a network is chosen, is the single most important and overlooked decision when investigating a predictive dialer. If a network is required, it is crucial that a stable platform is chosen to avoid network crashes that can result in costly downtime and lost data. Therefore, it is important to avoid a network if one is not necessary because even the most stable networks require skill to set up and administer.

NETWORK ADVANTAGES NETWORK DISADVANTAGES
More information shown about each connect. Can display unneeded info. (Confusing)
Caller input is detailed for all connects. (Good for surveys) Callers waste time typing instead of selling.
Call scripting capable. (Good for 10 page scripts) Callers must be adept in using a computer and selling.
Less reliable.
  Costly downtime.
  Need network administrator Ongoing expense.
  Higher equipment cost and repair cost.

Many companies make the mistake of purchasing a computer network with their predictive dialer when it is unnecessary. The result can be costly downtime, complex computer problems, and less time spent selling.

Examples of companies that may require a networked predictive dialer are banks, collection agencies, and survey companies. Networks are required where it is imperative to have information displayed on a computer screen, such as detailed credit history.

Examples of companies that do not require a networked predictive dialer are charity fundraising, home improvement, security and home alarm sales, or any type of lead generation. These companies do not require a network because when they are cold calling they only require basic prospect information that can be supplied with a small screen instead of a full computer screen.

If a network is required, a stable network must be chosen. An unstable network will crash. A crash will result in downtime that could mean hours or even days of lost productivity. Although no networks are completely stable, some are better than others. Novell NetWare, Banyan, WinNT, and UnixWare are the more stable network environments available. Although they are relatively stable, they may be cost prohibitive and they require network administration to operate with any degree of reliability. This means that your agency will require a network administrator to be available to you during operations. Networks to avoid are Windows 3.X, Windows 95, and uncommonly used networks.

With most networks, even stable ones, some downtime due to network problems is unavoidable. The result will be lost sales revenue and payroll costs while callers sit idle waiting for repairs. Further, repairing computer equipment is expensive. A repair budget is also needed along with the cost of your network administrator's fee. It is obviously important to avoid a computer network if at all possible.

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