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Considering the Service Provider for the Hosted Call Center

December 12, 2011
By Susan J. Campbell, TMCnet Contributing Editor

The promise of lowered cost and improved efficiency has garnered much attention for the hosted call center platform, but how does a company select the right avenue for delivery? There does appear to be an evolving shift from premise-based, legacy services to fully hosted offerings, driven by executives seeking to cut costs and improve service delivery. The real challenge in a migration, however, is wading through the countless providers to determine the best route.

This complexity was explored in a recent Destination CRM piece, as the writer highlighted that enterprises that have yet to explore the potential of the hosted call center are likely relying on a premise-based solution that also uses their private branch exchange (PBX (News - Alert)) for specific call center capabilities. They may also leverage a bolt-on automatic call distribution platform to provide more sophisticated routing features and call distribution.

These organizations want full value out of their current investments and a call center manager seeking the hosted call center environment may not be able to justify the move as the lower cost of the hosted environment doesn’t present a solid ROI argument against current investments, without the right research.

In exploring the many benefits of the hosted call center platform, the CIO is more concerned with the bottom line. Yes, the hosted call center does dramatically reduce costs – but does this occur at the expense of performance? Consider the hosted call center reduces costs by 40 percent over a five-year period, while also improving the efficiency of call queuing and call handling. Suddenly, the hosted call center has an even greater impact on the bottom line.

If the company is on a growth path or anticipates other changes in call volume in the near future, the on-premise environment presents challenges to scalability without significant added cost. The hosted call center offers a platform that can easily scale up or down without the expense of adding hardware. This scalability is easy whether the call center supports 10 or 10,000 agents.

Once the company has made the commitment to the hosted call center approach, cloud providers must then be evaluated. Such offerings are available from pure-play call center providers, as well as service providers. The former may be a given, but consider the benefits of the latter. Perhaps the most obvious advantage is the service provider is already positioned to deliver a certain level of simplicity, control and cost savings by bundling call center services with telephony and broadband.

All of these elements can be easily integrated into a single bill with a single point of contact, ensuring that all issues can be easily and quickly addressed. A complete offering approach to the hosted call center eliminates the need to integrate disparate platforms and the enterprise can benefit from the integration of best-of-breed solutions without assembling them internally.

Service providers also deliver the hosted call center that is scalable, mobile ready and seamlessly integrated with unified communications services. The complete package is designed to deliver the efficiency, functionality and flexibility of the optimal hosted call center environment – one worth close consideration.

Susan J. Campbell is a contributing editor for TMCnet and has also written for To read more of Susan’s articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Chris DiMarco

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