There are many things in this world that might look the same at the first glance but are totally different once you get into the depth of it. Cloud and hosted call centers too are often confused with one another, especially to the untrained eye.
However, they are not same at all. They are two different things which do the same job albeit working in different ways. It is important to understand the difference between them to make an informed decision when choosing a third party vendor for call center solutions.
What is Cloud Call Center?
The Wikipedia description of cloud computing clearly lays out what constitutes a cloud-based service. The following are the chief characteristics:
- Multi- Tenancy: The sharing of resources as well as the costs incurred for the same among a number of users. This, in turn, permits:
- A centralized infrastructure
- Increased utilization and efficiency of underutilized resources
- Increase in peak load capacity
- Reliability: A reliable infrastructure because of multiple redundant sites which help in business continuity and disaster recovery.
- Scalability and Elasticity: An on-demand provisioning of resources in real time without any stress for the users.
A call center that can boast of all of the above three characteristics is a cloud call center. Cloud-based architecture uses a multi- tenant model that is designed for an efficient and secure delivery of web-based applications. The collaboration and inter-connectivity features are built in from the outset.
Cloud call centers are able to be set up quickly and have low operating costs through shared services. The high security, high performance, and scalability mean that customers can increase capacity and scale up or down whenever the need arises.
Another key feature of cloud-based call centers is that upgrades can be rolled out to all the shared devices without much hassle. This brings a huge impact as contact centers always need to be updated.
A Hosted Call Center – How is it Different?
A hosted technology is one which is offered by a third party vendor that hosts the physical servers running the service you need. Access to these services is provided through a direct network connection that may or may not run via the Internet. Hosted solutions have become really popular with call centers in today’s world.
These hosted service providers manage the data center employed by the call center. Thus, they are able to significantly reduce the operational costs of the call center. All the time and resources that were once employed in managing servers, maintenance and upgrades can now be spent on more important fields.
However, while it might seem that hosted call centers work quite like the cloud call centers, it is not so at all. As mentioned earlier, 3 key factors define a cloud call center: multi-tenancy, reliability and scalability. While hosted solutions are able to provide reliability and scalability, they do not employ a multi-tenant model.
Hosted call centers utilized service provided by a third party vendor who are running the software they want on a server placed elsewhere. Most of the software were never designed to be hosted. They have to be tweaked and modified so that they can fit in the SaaS model, thus require separate servers and installations for each customer.
In a Nutshell
Connecting software to the web and calling it cloud is not right. There are fixed rules and protocols that define what cloud-based software is and what is not. The contact center environment is a rapidly evolving one where the demands of the customers change frequently.
This is why it is important that a business understands the client base it is targeting, the financial capital it is ready to invest and the type of service its need to choose what best for it: A cloud call center or a hosted one.