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Cloud Contact Center for Online Shopping

7/17/2013 6:03:35 PM

Background

Taobao is a Chinese website for online shopping, similar to eBay and Amazon. Taobao facilitates Business-to-Customer (B2C) and Consumer-to-Consumer (C2C) retail by providing a platform for businesses and individual entrepreneurs to open online retail stores. By the end of 2011, Taobao had 3.7 million registered users and 8 million different commodities available online. About 60 million users visit Taobao each day and 48,000 commodities are sold each minute. The rapid development of eCommerce and stiff competition between B2C websites, such as Amazon and 360buy, forced Taobao to design a new operational platform.

Taobao built a ubiquitous shopping access platform, integrating online, TV, mobile phone, and toll-free shopping which will continue to enhance service capability by building a better communication bridge between sellers and buyers and retaining buyers with repeat-purchase loyalty.

Challenges

The construction of the Taobao Cloud Contact Center marks several firsts in the online shopping industry. For example, it is the first multi-party, co-operative operation platform, is integrated with Taobao Mall (Tmall) services, and the industry’s largest contact center. The following major challenges had to be considered during the planning phase for the Taobao project:

  • Seamless integration with Tmall system: Taobao Cloud Contact Center had to be seamlessly integrated with the existing Tmall system to allow Tmall sellers to use a unified voice access code to communicate with buyers
  • Large-capacity and high-reliability: Tmall had about 40,000 sellers and planned to increase them to 80,000 agents, which required a large-scale contact center platform featuring high reliability and centralized management
  • Multi-party co-operative operation: An open Taobao Cloud Contact Center was required to allow easy integration with multiple Taobao Partners (TPs) and pipe providers  

Solution

This solution provided the following Internet communication services for Taobao sellers:

  • Toll-free “400” telephone numbers for each seller (similar to “800” numbers used in the U.S.)
  • SMS-based sale models
  • Integration with an order system to provide telephone ordering service

Taobao’s data center and service platform designs were based on industry-leading cloud technologies. By adopting the most advanced cloud computing and web technologies, Huawei provided Taobao with an SaaS cloud contact center solution, that offers ERP and CRM systems to meet Tmall sellers’ on-demand self-service requirements.

Fully developed and field-proven products

To construct a large-capacity contact center platform, a series of Huawei Universal Access Platform (UAP) products were chosen. UAP products (UAP2100/3300/8100) enabled unified hardware, software, and service platforms. This provided consistent services for customers with different capacity requirements, maximized resource usage, and ensured long-term and stable operation.

Highly compatible platform

The Huawei-provided cloud contact center is equipped with an open service gateway that allows the cloud contact center to connect to third-party contact centers’ specialized components, third-party service systems such as Office Automation (OA) and CRM, and third-party contact center platforms.

Innovative co-operative operation mode

China Telecom provided device hosting and basic voice services, Huawei offered contact center services, and TPs provided Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) and Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems. Profits are distributed based on the number of sold agents and sellers’ call traffic, which achieves win-win co-operation for Huawei, China Telecom, Taobao, and TPs.

Benefits

The construction of the Taobao Cloud Contact Center brings the following benefits:

  • Multiple shopping scenarios: When the Taobao Cloud Contact Center is constructed, each seller will be provided with a “400” voice access number. Buyers can dial the number to order commodities in areas without Internet services
  • Dynamic scalability and elasticity: The hardware platform capacity can be smoothly expanded by inserting service and interface boards into the general service slots. In addition, the Taobao Cloud Contact Center provides massive agent resources and allows Taobao sellers to register and use contact center services at any time and manage these services independently
  • Cost-effectiveness: The multi-party, co-operative operation model minimizes hardware investment, which cuts construction and maintenance costs. This model achieves a win-win scenario for Huawei, China Telecom, Taobao, and TPs

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