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From hosted contact centres to solutions as a service

by david.nunes

From hosted contact centres to solutions as a service

Press Release: From hosted contact centres to solutions as a service

11 April 2011

Any CIO worth their salt is investigating software as a service (SaaS). In the contact centre industry, the opex spend model which a hosted solution offers is appealing, especially given that contact centre owners are faced with a future where interactions will increasingly take place via multiple channels and customers’ expectations in terms of service quality and speed are becoming more sophisticated and demanding. But is it as simple as buying your contact centre seats at the end of a network point, with your service provider harbouring the technology platform? That, after all, is what is being sold.

The challenge, suggests Paul Fick of Spescom DataFusion, is that ‘hosted’
today means something very different from the outsourced data centre offering of the past. “Accessed from within the cloud, hosted services are today not just hosted applications residing on the vendor’s hardware and accessed by the organisation via the Web or via a dedicated pipe hardwired into the business. Instead, businesses expect an integrated, tailored service. This may comprise a myriad of applications linked together and accessed seamlessly whenever necessary.”

“Thus, it’s not just the equipment they want; it’s the service on top of it
– the intelligent, value-adding business solution. a ‘solution as a service’
if you will.  Organisations are questioning whether solution providers in South Africa, given network and other constraints, are capable of offering that kind of hosted service.”

An example of such a service in the contact centre arena would be a full
front- and back office solution remotely provisioned to the call centre operation in a pay-as-you-go model. The solution would of course be flexible and scalable. However, it would also offer a catalogue or bouquet of additional value add services that the company can select from, including connectivity consulting, last mile provisioning, data custom reporting, Business Intelligence and Management Information Systems (MIS) input.
Leveraging the knowledge and expertise on offer by a specialist solutions as a service provider, far beyond just the technology platform, is what businesses require – especially those looking for competitive differentiation.

“And to take it that one step further, if the hosted service provider has sufficient insight into the industry and into your business – for example, the 30-year insight Spescom DataFusion has into the contact centre and enterprise telephony arena – it can tailor the service to your unique needs, which would be adding immense value.”

Of course, the hosted contact centre and telephony model is not suited to all organisations, for example given high levels of current investment in infrastructure. But there are very few CIO’s that would venture a strategy that excludes solutions as a service from their future roadmap. It is happening now on all levels in the organisational hierarchy. “Many businesses don’t want to own enterprise hardware and software because they consider it non-core to their business. They would be quite happy with iron-clad SLAs and large data pipes into their operations – if they could find a hosted offering with the right value proposition,” says Fick.

“Hosted solutions are in the process of becoming mainstream, especially in the lower end of the contact centre market where factors like flexibility and off-balance sheet operational costs are attractive. The uptake of these services will grow exponentially in the coming months, and this will not be limited to smaller organisations.

Contact centres and other organisations will have to be very selective in terms of whom they choose as a hosted provider. The leader will emerge as a solution as a service provider that understands the importance of holistic service differentiation, capable of delivering value added business services on an ongoing basis. That is, more than just a hosted platform.

About Spescom DataFusion

Spescom DataFusion is a Jasco group company, in its ICT portfolio of solutions. The portfolio’s core focus is to deliver integrated business communication solutions that enhance the way businesses communicate with their customers,  and leverages voice, video and data technologies through its four companies – Spescom DataFusion, Spescom DataVoice, Spescom Media IT and NewTelco South Africa – a carrier-neutral co-location service provider creating a telecoms interconnection hub for sub-Saharan Africa.  The deep technical expertise and considerable industry know-how housed in these four divisions combine to deliver world-class solutions including integrated contact centre platforms and applications, a range of voice application technologies, as well as telecommunications and broadcast solutions.

‘Smart People. Clever Solutions’ reflects who we are and why we are positioned to leverage current and future technology trends and developments to meet the dynamically shifting requirements of our customers and ensure their continued competitiveness.

For more information visit Spescom at www.spescom.com and Jasco at www.jasco.co.za

For further information contact:

Stuart Vey
Group Executive: Marketing and Communications Spescom Limited
Tel: 011 266 1701
Or: 011 266 1754
Fax: 011 266 1553
Email: svey@za.spescom.com

Issued by:

Evolution PR
Sarah van Staden
Tel: 011 462 0679
Mobile: 0843276007
Email: sarah@evolutionpr.co.za

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