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Hosted contact center

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A modern contact center is designed to be agile and efficient. But what is the best call center software architecture to achieve this?

That’s exactly what we’re going to be talking about today. Hosted contact center solutions have proven popular in recent years thanks to their relative affordability and ease of deployment when compared to traditional on-premises contact center solutions.

But what if we told you there could be something even better?

We’re catapulting all of that tedious contact center hardware into the ether. Because up in the skies there’s a browser-accessible communication platform that’s changing the way our contact centers work, for good.

Both outbound and inbound contact centers are today accessing synchronicity via the cloud.

Cloud service providers like Dialpad are now offering AI-powered, very flexible contact center solutions with reduced operational costs and instant scalability that can be implemented in minutes.

Ready to find out more?

What is a hosted contact center, exactly?

In a hosted contact center, your contact center software isn’t installed on-premises. Instead, it’s installed and hosted on a remote off-site server provided by an industry solution provider.

Typically hosted contact centers are referred to as “single-tenant,” while cloud contact centers are “multi-tenant.” We’ll get more into this later.

As a user, all you have to do to manage the contact center is connect to the remote server over a network connection. In recent years, this was a popular option for startups and businesses looking to update their legacy hardware.

But, contact center technology has come a long way since then, and hosted call center software still lacks agility and flexibility in a few ways. (More on that in just a bit.)

If you’ve come across the termCCaaS,” or Contact Center as a Service, that typically refers to cloud contact centers—not hosted contact centers—so make sure not to confuse the two! (Most contact center vendors today are cloud-based.)

Why hosted contact centers aren’t the best option for businesses today

Even though hosted contact center software is a step up from maintaining traditional on-premises solutions, it’s still not quite as good as cloud contact centers.

Quick note: Hosted contact centers do require less maintenance than a traditional on-premises server because that’s handled by your service provider. It’s more affordable. But to be honest, that’s a pretty low bar considering how exorbitant the prices of on-premises contact centers can be.

What’s more, cloud contact centers are easy to set up and very cost-effective. The initial capital outlay is relatively low and most operational costs are absorbed by the provider. With Dialpad's contact center solution, for example, you can easily set up new agents and add phone numbers with just a few clicks:

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Ultimately, this means that you can focus on things like providing great customer service, managing your team and generally running your business.

✒️ Vetting different contact center solutions?

This RFP checklist covers the essentials to be aware of and why they may be important for your contact center.

Things to consider if you’re thinking of a hosted contact center

1. Hosted contact centers aren’t easily scalable

Although hosted contact centers are a step up from on-premises solutions, they’re still not super scaleable compared to true cloud-based alternatives. This is important because contact centers, especially those in industries with lots of seasonal fluctuations, may need to quickly scale up—or down—their capabilities, call capacity, and number of agents.

2. Hosted contact centers cost more (than cloud solutions)

Again, if you’re comparing hosted contact centers to on-premises options, you’d be saving, because the service provider is maintaining their data center, equipment and connections, so you don’t have to.

But you’re not saving as much as you would with cloud contact center software. One of the biggest benefits of going with the cloud is that it eliminates any aspect of the data center management—including the people and expenses required.

3. Hosted contact centers give you maximum control

As we mentioned earlier, a hosted approach can give you maximum control over your implementation of the software and isolate your data, allowing you to do things like implement special behavior or code customizations of your own design (although this does make it harder to maintain and upgrade a system over time because it differs from a standard implementation).

A better alternative: Digging deeper into cloud contact centers

Cloud contact centers are a step up from their hosted counterparts and offer the best alternative to traditional on-premises hardware and phone systems.

So why exactly is a cloud contact center better?

A cloud contact center is a solution that facilitates processing, data, and all of the call handling logic online. Because of that, cloud contact centers are incredibly flexible and scalable.

A cloud contact center can be accessed from anywhere, on any desktop or mobile device connected to the Internet. In the office, at home, on the road—you name it. As long as you have an internet connection, you can interact with your contact center as an agent or as a manager, wherever you go.

Because of this, businesses with cloud-based contact center solutions are able to cut back on their physical office space, computing and telephony infrastructure, saving time and money on everything from equipment to utility bills.

After all, with agents able to work remotely, there’s no need for so large of a footprint on the ground. Plus, since most cloud services work on a subscription-based pricing model, there’s zero upfront capital investment required.

The big benefit of the cloud is that it offers instant flexibility. You can scale up—or down—much more quickly with a cloud contact center compared to a hosted or on-premises contact center.

Other benefits of going with a cloud contact center:

  • You can deploy new call queues and groups of agents in just minutes or days (not months):
Single Item Card Adding New Agents to CC Team v2
  • You have access from anywhere—great for establishing a virtual call center in another location or to meet sudden demand.

  • No expensive setup costs for facilities or hosting technology.

  • Lower operational costs (and total cost of ownership) since everything happens faster, and managers have visibility into contact center operations and people around the world.

  • Easier scalability to add phone lines, people, and support queues anywhere in the world.

  • Zero maintenance, with automatic upgrades provided by the software vendor and applied instantly to all users of the contact center software.

  • System, data, and network security provided as part of the service.

  • Reduced downtime, with automatic failover and low latency connections.

All of this allows you and your agents to focus on the valuable work: facilitating customer interactions and boosting the customer experience—not the administration and maintenance of your tools.

When you’re choosing a cloud contact center platform, look for features that can help you improve customer satisfaction and also your agents’ workflows.

For example: real-time support for your agents and managers, configurable IVR (interactive voice response) and other customer self-service options, ACD (automatic call distribution), agent skills-based and intelligent call routing, customer callback capabilities (when no agent is available), an automated outbound dialer, and both screen and voice call recording.

Looking for a hosted contact center solution?

See how Dialpad's AI-powered customer engagement platform lets agents talk to customers on any channel, in one place! Check it out in action with a demo, or take a self-guided interactive tour of the app on your own first!

Hosted contact center FAQs

What is a hosted contact center?

A hosted contact center is a contact center hosted by a third-party provider. It differs from an on-premises contact center as the hardware is owned by the provider and maintained at their location.

A hosted contact center has a lot of advantages over an on-premises contact center. It removes a lot of pressure and cost in terms of maintenance and upgrades. It also provides more opportunities to invest in things like top-notch security and software licences.

However, a hosted contact center isn’t as scalable or as cost-efficient as the next step up—a cloud or virtual contact center.

How does a hosted contact center work?