Why the Enterprise Took So Long to Embrace the Hosted Call Center
January 28, 2013
The arrival of the hosted call center introduced a new concept to customer care. Companies of all sizes finally had access to a broad range of solutions and features that no longer required the support of a robust network infrastructure. The challenge in the enterprise sector, however, was that large companies didn’t view the hosted offering as an alternative to their on-premise call centers. Instead, they were classified as merely low cost, minimal feature versions of the onsite call center; something unable to meet the needs of the enterprise environment.
Edited by Carlos Olivera
According to this CFO World report, some of the obvious benefits of the hosted call center when it first entered the market were the very things that kept larger companies at bay. With a robust call center environment already in place, there was little perceived benefit to adopting a solution that required agents to have nothing more than a phone, a personal computer and an Internet connection to get the job done.
Large companies had already made significant investments in legacy systems and robust infrastructure to manage the customer experience. The idea that a hosted environment could improve upon the current investment was far-fetched at best. These organizations were not interested in moving their information or processes outside of their firewalls and believed they had the competitive advantage in proven processes and technologies that smaller competitors couldn’t touch.
With this perception securely in place, the hosted call center was only readily adopted by small and mid-sized businesses. The hosted platform gave these companies a competitive edge in a marketplace dominated by the larger players, which eventually caught the attention of the giants that once pushed aside the idea of any type of cloud-based technology as a benefit for their operations.
As cloud computing became more pervasive, however, the very real benefits were something the enterprise could no longer ignore. Legacy systems were starting to show their age, Internet speeds increased, available bandwidths expanded and customers were demanding access to more interaction channels. At the same time, VoIP was gaining market share as businesses recognized the cost benefits of migrating the phone and data lines. The move to the hosted call center was the next logical step.
Today, the hosted customer service portal is in large demand with revenue forecasts topping $795 million by 2017. Not only has cloud computing proven its worth to the largest of enterprises, it has also demonstrated the benefits of eliminating unnecessary hardware, software and even IT staff. This significant reduction in costs, as well as the availability of quality service, has enabled companies of all sizes to embrace the benefits of the hosted call center to optimize the customer experience.
As a result, the enterprise is slowly embracing the hosted call center. The migration will still be slow, as the organizational culture has to change to embrace a new way of handling customer care. With the anticipated benefits for the bottom line, however, the hosted approach to customer interactions has found its place in the market.