Friday, November 27, 2009

A Hosted IVR System: For Low-Cost and Fast Implementation

Small and medium-size businesses may initially lack the resources to invest in an updated IVR system. The initial deployment and operational costs can be high, certainly, and that’s why I always emphasize the importance of ROI analysis—to ensure that the investment pays off. A good way to reduce costs and the headache of operational start-ups is to use hosted IVR applications. This practice of IVR hosting is increasingly growing in the IVR system industry.

What are the benefits of hosted IVR?

1) Reasonable Initial Investment - IVR hosting is a good option to minimize initial deployment costs for business.

2) Quicker Implementation - Hosted IVR has a quicker deployment time than traditional on-premise call center IVR.

3) Increased Scalability and Flexibility - With hosted IVR, a company can accommodate changing call volume, with the ability to easily accommodate peak call volume periods while paying for only as much as is being used.

4) No-Fuss Equipment – First-class equipment is available and maintained by the hosting provider, including: servers, software licenses, power, communication lines and bandwidth.

As a business grows, the cost of IVR hosting grows with it. While an on-premise IVR system will have a high initial deployment cost and a fixed billing rate that should accommodate the peak call volume to be supported, the charges on a hosted IVR system are directly proportional to the call volume. Should the call volume render the cost of IVR hosting more expensive than an on-premise IVR system, the solution can be repatriated, or moved from the on-demand costing model to dedicated managed servers.

A recent SpeechTech article on IVR hosting points to the surge in hosted call center IVR systems. Ultimately, whether a company invests in hosted IVR or an on-premise solution depends on their unique priorities and long-term goals. Before considering a hosted IVR system solution, companies must assess a multitude of factors, including:

Technology, platform, scalability, integration capability, contingency/backup capabilities, development environment and resources, reporting and analytics, functional capabilities, management tools, ongoing service and maintenance, optimization capabilities, customer references, vendor responsiveness, financial strength, and planned research and development investments by the vendors they are considering.

If flexibility and low deployment costs are important in developing your company’s IVR system, it may be worth checking into IVR hosting. There is no doubt that the trend in the call center IVR industry is increasingly moving towards IVR hosting. If you would like to know whether you should invest in hosted IVR system, contact Crimsonet