Contivio Remote Workforce Readiness

Whether you have a workforce of 10 or 10,000 that now needs to work from home or elsewhere, we have the solution and planning tools to make the transition seamless.

COVID-19 Readiness

Contivio Remote Workforce Readiness

Whether you have a workforce of 10 or 10,000 that now needs to work from home or elsewhere, we have the solution and planning tools to make the transition seamless.

COVID-19 Readiness

While everyone across the world continues to navigate the uncertainty of COVID-19, Contivio is committed to supporting your business throughout the course of this pandemic and to provide continuity of service at all times

Contivio already has thousands of agents working at home or remote from the office. As a cloud app, one of our key advantages is the flexibility of movement we offer our users. That being said, COVID-19 is challenging companies to rapidly redeploy significant swathes of the workforce. As such, we have noted below various options to ensure a smooth transition, wherever your agents may be on the globe, with the view to maintaining call quality, performance reporting and continuity with the rest of your organization’s operating environment.

Contivio uses Voice over IP (VoIP) technology to initiate and deliver phone calls over the internet network. When working from home and/or remote sites, many home routers may struggle to deliver VoIP correctly, resulting in no audio, one-way audio or poor audio quality. While some routers can be reconfigured to handle VoIP correctly, this may require a laborious assessment of the router’s capability, existing configuration and other internet service provider factors.

Some proprietary voice products such as Skype attempt to get around router limitations by tunnelling all voice traffic back to Skype servers, essentially locking the customer into Skype voice PSTN termination costs. Contivio on the other hand offers customers great flexibility in selecting the voice providers (carrier) of their choice. To achieve this, in standard deployments, Contivio uses sophisticated mechanisms to control and deliver the voice directly from the user phone/PC to their preferred carrier directly to ensure best possible voice quality and cost of service – whether it be a local or international call.

While some home routers may work out of the box (or with some effort), it is strongly recommended given the unprecedented scale of workforce redeployments, customers utilize virtual private network technology to secure and traverse the home user network safely. VPNs essentially negate any exposure to differing home user router behaviours, presenting one common secure connectivity mode and in the majority of cases irrespective of the router type/model or configuration.

The table below explains three VPN connectivity mechanisms that can be used to manage home users’ connectivity successfully. We also present a fourth “fail safe” mechanism to re-route calls to the user’s legacy PSTN phone and cell phones in the event that a VPN solution is not suitable and/or you need an immediate alternative whilst implementing a VPN. Calls that are not attended to by the user will still route to the next available agent as per normal Contivio contact center use. With vast numbers of works moving to ‘at-home’ environments, we are bound to see localized internet contention issues. This mode ensures ongoing business continuity should your VPN or cloud environments experience interruption.

Connectivity Method

Corporate VPN

Corporate IT uses a hardware-based VPN enabling home users to connect to corporate LAN.

Best for…

Customers with business grade routers, sufficient internet bandwidth and IT network skills.

Pros

Contivio application usage is identical to office use.

Users are able to access other corporate resources.

Security policy can be tailored to individual usage if required.

Cons

You may not wish to give user access to corporate LAN from homes.

Requires IT department with knowledge of VPNs.

Requires suited router and sufficient internet bandwidth. Voice Traffic is double that when the user is in the office.

Connectivity Method

In-cloud Fully Managed VPN Service

Users can subscribe directly or via corporate account to commercial VPN service such as Express VPN See Contivio Express VPN Set-up Guide below

Best for…

Customers that do not have own IT department and want simple/quick VPN service.

Pros

Contivio application usage is identical to office use.

Can be activated within minutes, not requiring IT skills. Where a customer does not wish to take accountability of home user’s internet traffic, they can request that each user signs up directly.

Uses own client software, mitigating the need to configure the user PC.

Provides direct support, reducing the need for customer IT department involvement.

Cons

Does not provide fine level tuning capabilities as in customer managed VPN server.
It is unknown if these providers have sufficient capacity to deal with such a sudden increase in product demand.

Connectivity Method

Cloud-based Self-managed VPN Server

While customers can use any VPN server/cloud provider of their choice. To simplify the customer task, Contivio has configured and made available a suitable Amazon AWS server image with full setup instructions on how to setup/use your own. ​See Contivio AWS Set-up Guide below

Best for…

Customers that do not want to grant home users access to corporate LAN or do not have suitable router or sufficient internet bandwidth but still wish to have “full” control over the user access policy and VPN detailed configuration.

Pros

Contivio application usage is identical to office use.

Fast in-cloud setup, does not require on premise hardware or software.

Customers can spin off servers in different locations.

Customer can beef up the VPN server capacity as required.

Customers can add shared resources (files) on the VPN server if required.

Cons

There are some costs associated with the server hire and traffic usage. Please see ​https://aws.amazon.com/ec2/pricing/

Connectivity Method

Contivio PSTN Mode: Route to legacy and Cell phones

Users can select to sign in to Contivio as a PSTN user providing their cell or home phone number. See Contivio PSTN Mode Set-up Guide below

Best for…

Non regular, ad hoc usage or when the user has insufficient or poor internet connectivity.

Pros

Will operate with poor internet connectivity.

Does not require VPN. Calls can be recorded if desired.

Allows up to 5 parties in call conference. Allows internal dialling using standard extensions. Allows for multiline and call transfers as per normal operation.

Allows for screen PoPs, call dispositioning and notes attachment as per normal operation.

Cons

Call costs are higher as each call will require two lines.

Contivio application usage is slightly different where user initiated outbound calls will dial the user phone first and when answered it will dial the desired destination.

Please reach out to Contivio Customer Service or your Contivio account manager with any additional questions and concerns. We will maintain this page and update it regularly as conditions change.

Contivio AWS Set-up Guide

1. If necessary, provision an​ ​AWS Amazon Account
2. Select Customer VPN Image (Contivio has AMIs in several regions as below)

a. Sydney ami-002cf8000b37359c2
b. N. Virginia
c. N. California

*It is recommended that you setup the VPN in the region where the majority of your users reside.

3. Create Machine from Image

a. Click Launch Instance.
b. Choose AMI. Create the machine from image as below in the specific AWS region of interest.
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c. Choose Instance Type. It recommended that machine is created from the C5 family of AWS machines (geared for compute performance). Please consult with IT for your company as to the most appropriate machine for use.

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d. Configure Instance. Make changes as appropriate for your specific AWS setup. VPN machine will work with defaults below.

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e. Add Storage. VPN server will work with default options.

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f. Add Tags. VPN Server will work with default options.

g. Configure Security Group.
i. Add Custom TCP and UDP port rules from anywhere for 1701,1702,1723,47,500, 4500.
ii. Add Custom RDP rule for administration.

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h. Review and Launch. Please ensure that you are using a key pair for which AWS private key is known. Otherwise AWS will create a new key pair file pem that needs to be stored in a secure location.

i. Note the IP address of the machine in AWS. If using VPN server as a long-term solution it is recommended that an Elastic IP4 address is allocated to the machine. IP addresses allocated by AWS are changed on restart if not using an Elastic address.

4. Login to VPN Machine

*In order to initialize the VPN machine, the administrator must login to the machine and activate their profile.
a. Retrieve the AWS password for Administrator account as below.

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b. Referencing the key that was used in machine creation. Open the key in a text editor and copy into the retrieve password screen to retrieve password.

c. All setup for VPN is already administered. The VPN user is set to reset password as below in Step 4. This step should be done on a Windows PC. Alternatively, the password for the vpn user can be overridden via standard windows administration from Control Panel -> Administrative Tools -> Computer Management -> Users as below

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d. VPN server usage can be monitored under Control Panel -> Administrative Tools -> Routing and Remote Access as below.

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5. Setup VPN user – Access VPN via Windows.

*This step must be done on a windows PC initially to reset the VPN credentials if this has not been done above.

a. Create a VPN connection

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b. Add connection with following credentials and selections as below
​i. IP address as noted from AWS above
ii. VPN Type: PPTP

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c. Connect to VPN using username and password below. Change the password for future use on Windows and MAC machines
i. Username: vpnuser
ii. Password: VPNUs3r

d. Verify that you are now behind a VPN. In a browser search “What is my IP address and verify that is the same as the IP address allocated in AWS”

e. In future connect to VPN from Windows taskbar as below

6. Access VPN via MAC.

a. Create VPN connection. Under System Preferences -> Network

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b. Fill in IP address and user

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c. Under Authentication Settings. Fill in password of the vpnuser.
Set shared secret as VPNUs3r

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d. Under Advanced Settings, set “Send all traffic over VPN connection”.

Contivio Express VPN Set-up Guide

1. Provision an Express VPN account

*Each account will allow up to 5 users by default (that can be used by 5 agents),
but volume licensing may be available (see image below) to companies that wish
to pursue this. You should receive an activation code in your inbox.

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2. Click on the welcome link your email.

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3. In the setup page, select your OS for specific setup instructions, Download the application and take note of the Activation Code.

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4. In the application enter the Activation Code.

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5. Application will prompt you whether or not to start up with Windows. Click “No Thanks” if you would like to prevent the VPN from automatically establishing after PC is restarted.

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6. Select the most appropriate VPN server location, choose the server location that is closest to you from the recommended list.
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7. Press the On/Off button to establish a VPN connection.

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8. Launch your Contivio application/chrome extension and sign in as normal.

Contivio Express VPN Set-up Guide

1. Access the Contivio admin portal and ensure each remote user(s) is allowed to modify their offline phone number.

*This will enable users to manually assign either a cell phone or land line to handle inbound/outbound calls from within their Contivio application. If you keep this setting at “No” an offline phone number must be added for PSTN mode to work. You also have the option of adding a # symbol after the offline phone number to ensure the originating customer CLI displays on PSTN calls. Just keep in mind If you leave this blank the inbound call that rings either the cell phone or land line will display either the main Call Center or Direct Queue Number.

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2. Login to the Contivio application using land or cell phone. You also need to login to your Chrome extension to activate screen pops.

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3. After you sign in select Settings > Call Handling from your agent sidebar. You will see a text box to enter your desired Offline Phone Number – just make sure to hit Update. You will now see the phone number added at the top of your app adjacent to XFER signifying PSTN mode is properly configured. As noted above, If the pound (#) symbol is added after the number, the original caller’s ID will display on the agent’s cell phone or land line. If not, the number to the call center or queue will display depending on your setup.

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4. When an incoming call comes in, there is no “Accept” option since the call is being re-routed to a cell phone vs. ringing your computer headset. Just note, agents can either decline the call from the Contivio softphone or accept the call via their cell or land line. Outbound calls will function in a similar manner regardless of a number manually dialled from the client app or actioned by click-to-dial. Your cell phone or land line will start ringing, and when you answer the call it will dial the customer thereafter.

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