Outsourcing Glossary: E-K


Escalation Plan
A plan that specifies the actions to be taken when the queue begins to build beyond acceptable levels.

Facilities Management (FM)
Facilities Management is an outsourcing solution in which the customer entrusts to an external services provider the responsibility for operations and maintenance of one or more facilities.


A server that is dedicated to providing access to a network.

Grade of Service
The probability that a call will not be connected to a system because all trunks are busy. This is often expressed as “p.01” which means 1% of calls will not be answered.


Handled Calls
The number of calls received and actually handled by agents or peripheral equipment

Handling Time
The time an agent spends in Talk Time and After-Call Work, handling a transaction. This may also refer to the time it takes for a machine to process a transaction.

Help Desk
Generally refers to a Service Center set up to handle queries about product installation, usage or problems. Usually for IT customers.

Historical Reports
Reports that track Service Center and agent performance over a period of time. The amount of history that a system can store varies by system e.g. ACD, third party ACD packages and peripherals (VRU’s etc)


Documents are scanned into a system and sorted electronically.

Incoming Service Center Management
Having the right number of skilled people and resources in place at the right times to handle an accurately forecasted workload service level.

Incremental Revenue (Value) Analysis
A methodology used as a multiplier to adjust another number.

Index Factor 
In forecasting, a proportion used as a multiplier to adjust another number.

Insourcing is the transfer of an outsourced function to an internal department of a company, to be managed entirely by employees. The term has also been used to describe foreign companies locating facilities in the United States and employing U.S. workers.

Integrated Services Digital Network (ISDN)
A set of international standards for telephone transmission. ISDN provides an end-to-end digital network, out-of-band signaling, and greater bandwidth than older telephone services. The two standard levels of ISDN are Basic Rate Interface (BRI) and Primary Rate Interface (PRI).

Inter Exchange Carrier (IXC) 
A long-distance telephone company.

Interactive Voice Response (IVR)
See Voice Response Unit.

Internal Help Desk
A group that supports other internal agent groups, e.g. for complex calls. Usually for IT customers.

Internal Response Time
The time it takes an agent group that supports other internal groups (e.g.: for complex tasks) to respond to transactions that do not have to be handled when they arrive (e.g.: correspondence, email). See Response Time and Service Level.

Internet Call Me Transaction
A transaction that allows a user to request callback from the Service Center, while exploring a Web page. Requires interconnection of the ACD system and the Internet by means of an Internet Gateway.

Internet Call Through Transaction
The ability for callers to click a button on a Web site and be directly connected to an agent while viewing the site. Standards and technologies that provide this capability are in development.

Internet Chat
Allow the agent and caller to communicate via a typed conversation from their computers across the Internet.

Internet Phone 
Technology that enables users of the Internet’s World Wide Web to place voice telephone call through the Internet, thus by-passing the long distance network.

A private company network that operates exactly like the World Wide Web.



Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s)
Serve as benchmarks for the assessment of the performance of a Service Center. KPIs act as barometers in assessing the performance of Service Centers on an individual, team and overall performance basis.

Kiosk or Video Kiosk
Self service computer terminal, often touch screen, located in a public area (e.g. railway stations) for supply of information (e.g. timetables)

Knowledge Management
Knowledge management is a work in progress. The idea is to run a database where all the information contained in employees’ brains is pooled in a database that is easily accessible to other staff.