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Is a hosted contact center a viable option for companies of all sizes?

In your opinion, is contact center hosting a viable and cost-effective option for companies of all sizes, or is it purely for small and mid-size companies that do not have the resources or knowledge to build and manage a premise-based solution?

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That is a hard question to answer without knowing a lot more about the company asking the question, but in general I would say, it depends. If you are a company that is just starting out and you are in need of service support, it may be a great option. The ability to get up and running fairly quickly with little capital investment is definitely a plus. In the beginning, you can learn as you go and minimize the costly mistakes that could be made with an on-premises solution.

There are three basic hosting solutions offered by a wide range of companies.

Hosted network services contact center model
The vendor provides both voice and data network services such as IVR, ACD/queuing and routing of calls to your location. You provide your own CRM application (or you outsource it).

Managed service provider contact center model
The vendor provisions and operates your telecom and/or IT infrastructure for you on your behalf.

Software as a Service (SaaS) contact center model
The vendor delivers a browser-based integrated CRM (telephony, e-mail, fax, chat) application via the Internet. Typically paid on a per-rep, per-month basis.

This was first published in July 2006

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