Hosted IP contact centers
As hosted IP contact centers are increasingly utilized, so to is there a need to bridge issues that span traditional telecom (quality of service, backup & recovery) and IT (application performance & integration) disciplines. Who in the industry is addressing this today? What are they doing to facilitate the "plug-and-play" promise of hosted IP contact centers?
I'm not sure hosted IP contact centers are getting traction yet. There is certainly much promotion from the vendors, but it remains to be seen if call centers are ready to move to this type of model. It's still early in the game, and it's not clear if this ASP model by another name will be more successful this time around. (Other than the dot.coms, few adopted ASP models - non IP - in the late 90s. IP doesn't necessarily change some of the challenges of delivery and price points.) You're correct in noting that quality, backup and recovery, performance and integration will all be required disciplines. That is part of the challenge - whether doing IP contact centers in house or via a hosted model. And, the companies promoting hosted models need to make sure
they can deliver all of that at a price point that is attractive to buyers. Most of the major vendors of IP contact center solutions, including Avaya and Cisco, are talking about hosted solutions. The details are not part of the marketing hype. If you're considering a hosted approach, I would suggest extensive due diligence in your selection and contract arrangements, as you will be an early adopter of this model.
This was first published in October 2003