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Interfaces

One of the first steps in any integration project is to identify the interfaces required between systems, and UML can be used to achieve this first through deployment diagrams of the actual physical nodes and the networks required to connect these together.

A typical call center deployment may look like the one in Figure 1.

Figure 1

A typical call center deployment

The network connections are likely to be defined by the packages used. To ensure smooth integration, protocol converters may be required; these will be defined by the designer and must be inserted into the deployment diagram as necessary. Bandwidth requirement and switch/hub capacity will be determined by the call center volumetrics—number of agents, number of inbound/outbound calls, and so on.

Another factor that can influence the deployment design is whether the CRM package used runs in thick client two-tier client/server mode or uses a thin client Java or HTML-type connection. The latter will typically require lower bandwidth but require higher-specification servers—much higher, in the HTML case.

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