Previously restricted to the complex and prehistoric switchboard, modern call center companies have a multitude of options available to them. Most of which can be lumped into three distinct categories: premise-based systems, hosted contact solutions, and services providers by cloud call center solutions providers. Generally speaking, each service category delivers the same end result – connecting contact centers to their client base – however, there are a number of variables to that distinguish one service from the other, variables that every business in the call center niche should be aware of prior to investing in call center services.
What you ought to know about contact center solutions
Premise-based systems: Prior to the introduction of cloud computing, and long before anyone ever associated the word cloud with anything even remotely technology related, the majority of call centers in America leveraged premise-based hardware to manage their contact needs. This type of system was considered by many to be the best option for security and ultimate control, the reasoning for this being that the servers were managed and monitored in-house. Premise-based solutions continue to be the majority choice amongst contact centers today. Despite premise-based systems offering tangible benefits to business, there are a number of challenges that have resulted in a high number of call centers opting to consider alternative solutions.
Given that data and servers are most commonly stored in a single, central location, resulting in a single point of failure, premise-based solutions are much more susceptible to service issues, quality issues and system downtime.
Hosted systems: Once called ‘cloud solutions’, chiefly due to the fact that utilized by a number of subscribers and housed off-site, hosted call center solutions have grown in popularity. Assuming the burden of data center management, and significantly reducing operational costs for their clients, hosted solutions providers have become a leading option for a record number of call centers across the nation. This type of scenario allows business to focus less on server management and system maintenance and prioritize more important business tasks.
Not unlike premise-based solutions, hosted (or managed) systems house their servers in a single centralized location, which again creates a single point of failure, leaving the system vulnerable to outages, downtime, and other service disruptions, although at a much lower scale.
Cloud–based systems: Cloud solutions have received great commendations for superiority, flexibility, reliability and cost savings. Call centers appreciate a cloud-based approach because it removes the need for costly, upfront infrastructure and allows for optimized business continuity. As an added advantage, this type of scenario provides access to almost limitless IT resources. And, in contract to hosted or premise-based solutions, true cloud platforms disperse the workload across a series of data centers, resulting in a more resilient and redundant system. One that is more fault-resistant and offers greater uptime guarantees.
Which service is the best? Various contact centers and providers champion one model over the other, for a multitude of reasons. The most likely compromise – a hybrid system that capitalizes on the best of all.