Computer monitor showing Dialpad's hosted contact centre platform analysing sentiment of a call in real time

Hosted contact centres

Your contact centre is one of the main touchpoints between you and your customers, and it’s vital for customer satisfaction. Whatever channels your customer interactions happen on, a good contact centre platform will let you agents handle all those conversations in one place. Learn more about how to use hosted contact centre services to provide a better experience. Or, get a demo of Dialpad Ai Contact Centre to see how it works!


What is a hosted contact centre?

Unlike a traditional contact centre, a hosted contact centre is located (“hosted”) away from a company’s premises. They provide all the feature-rich, omnichannel benefits of a traditional contact centre with the ease and affordability of a hosted service.

They’re quick and easy to set up, as the infrastructure is already in place. All you have to do is connect your business network to the remote server. A hosted contact centre system is a flexible and (somewhat) more affordable solution for startups or for older businesses looking to modernise legacy systems.

However, in recent years, a new solution has emerged that promises to be even better than hosted contact centres—a “virtual call centre”. Located in the cloud, this solution is a step up from even the best hosted contact centre software.

Both inbound and outbound contact centres can get an agile, flexible, scalable and synchronised service by turning to the cloud.

Let’s take a look at why hosted contact centres are giving way to cloud contact centres.

Are hosted contact centres still a good option in the digital era?

Hosted contact centres do have some things going for them. They’re more affordable, easy to use and a lot more efficient to run than on-premises call centres. However, that’s not really saying much when you consider the expense and complexity of those legacy setups.

The communications sector continues to evolve fast. As we speed into the future, hosted contact centres are falling behind in some areas:

They aren't easily scalable

Hosted contact centres often don’t have the agility or the integration capacity to upscale at speed.

The speed factor is important because, as we said, communications evolve fast. For example, just a few short years ago, you didn’t need to integrate social media, your CRM or Interactive Voice Response (IVR) functions into your contact centre. Now, those kinds of things are both commonplace and increasingly expected by customers.

Modern businesses need a contact centre solution that can scale with them. What’s more, they may need a centre that can scale in both directions. For example, seasonal businesses may need to scale up quickly during peak months and then scale down again at quiet times.

Hosted contact centres struggle to provide this kind of scalability.

They tend to be more costly

Hosted contact centres are more cost-effective than on-premises solutions, but they can’t compete with cloud contact centres on pricing.

With a cloud contact centre, you don’t have to worry about data management or security. It’s all taken care of by the service provider, which saves you money in the long run.

They need more maintenance

A hosted contact centre is easier to maintain than an on-premises contact centre, but it’s a lot more work than a cloud contact centre.

Think of it like the difference between a self-catering cottage and a luxury hotel. Each makes for a good holiday, but you have to work harder at the self-catering place. You have to do your own cooking and cleaning, whereas the hotel would take care of all of that for you.

Each has its advantages and you may prefer the control and independence that the “self-catering cottage” (hosted contact centre) gives you. But the more complete, higher-quality, lower-maintenance “hotel” (cloud contact centre) option gives you way more time to focus on things like call centre workforce management.

A better alternative to hosted contact centre solutions: Cloud-based contact centres

If you want to upgrade from a hosted contact centre, a cloud contact centre platform is the next big step up.

A cloud contact centre platform moves everything, from data processing to call handling logic, online. This makes it extremely flexible, fast, agile, accessible and scalable. Plus, all you need to get started is an internet connection.

Because everything is online, your cloud contact centre can be accessed from anywhere, which is very useful in the age of remote working. Your customer service team can quickly and easily use your phone system using VoIP technology, access visual voicemail from anywhere, and provide great omnichannel service no matter where they're located.

A good cloud contact centre platform should also be customisable and scalable. For example, Dialpad Ai Contact Centre scales up and down easily depending on how quickly you need to hire or adapt to seasonality. Add phone numbers or new users with just a few clicks from your online dashboard (much harder to do with a hosted or on-premises call centre):

Screenshot of adding and managing phone numbers from Dialpad's online dashboard.

What’s more, cloud contact centres 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.

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 centre solutions?

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

The benefits of moving from hosted to cloud contact centres

More integrated communications

Today, there are many providers claiming to be "Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS) and Contact Centre as a Service (CCaaS) together." Traditionally, contact centre platforms were for high-volume external communications with customers, and businesses need to purchase other software for their teams' internal communications.

That's no longer the case. For example, Dialpad’s communications platform lets both customer experience teams and also other internal teams talk to internal and external folks through video conferencing, phone calls, team messaging, SMS/MMS messaging, and more.

That's along with other essential business communication features call routing, IVR (Interactive Voice Response), ACD (Automatic Call Distribution) and more!

Real-time insights during the call

Contact centre agents need to solve problems for customers—in real time. With limited time, urgent questions and irritated customers can add even more stress to what may already be a complicated issue or question. A good contact centre platform can highlight calls that are going south for supervisors so they can jump in to help the agent, and some platforms can even automate live coaching for agents.

For example, Dialpad can analyse sentiment in real time, and its artificial intelligence can automatically search different data sources and knowledge bases to find helpful information for agents while they're on a call with a customer:

Screenshot of Dialpad’s Ai Agent Assist feature automatically searching for information to help an agent or rep in real time

Supervisors can then use this data to optimise operations and give customers an even better contact centre experience, while empowering their agents.

More integrations with other popular tools

A huge advantage of a cloud-based solution is that it can integrate with other business software on a level that hosted and on-premises solutions often can’t.

As well as making it easy to integrate the tools you already use, you can also use this capability to add new features and scale your contact centre.

For example, Dialpad's contact centre solution integrates with a variety of CRM apps (like HubSpot, Salesforce and Zoho CRM) and also other tools like Zendesk, Google Workspace, and more:

Screenshot of Dialpad's Salesforce integration automatically populating a call's details.

Bonus: 100% uptime

This isn't a typical benefit, but one unique thing about Dialpad is its 100% uptime service level agreement (SLA) for Enterprise plan customers. Not 99.99%, not 99.999% (which is generally considered the industry gold standard).

This means that your customers can contact you 24/7 if they need to, without any performance issues.

Looking for a contact centre solution?

See how Dialpad Ai Contact Centre is fully integrated with its unified communications product! Check it out in action with a demo, or take a self-guided interactive tour of the app on your own!

Hosted contact centre FAQs

What is a hosted contact centre?

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

A hosted contact centre has a lot of advantages over an on-premises contact centre. 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 centre isn’t as scalable or as cost-efficient as the next step up—a cloud or virtual contact centre.

How does a hosted contact centre work?