November 09, 2012
Why Service Level Agreements are Critical to Hosted IVR
By Tracey E. Schelmetic
Nowadays, many contact centers purchase their critical technology solutions not as physical software, but in a software-as-a-service (SaaS (News - Alert)) format. This essentially means that another company hosts the solution while you access it via the Internet. One notable fear of using SaaS in the contact center revolves around the thought that uptime will not be robust enough, and although the SaaS model has proven itself to be more reliable than circulating rumors, this doesn’t mean contact centers should embark on using solutions without pre-defined service level agreements (SLAs) with technology providers.
This is especially important with critical hosted front-end solutions such as interactive voice response (IVR). Simply put, if your IVR doesn’t work, you might as well be putting all of your calls into one bucket and waiting to sort out the mess later. In light of this, it’s vital that when looking to invest in a hosted IVR service level agreement, you compare SLAs between different providers to know which will suit you best.
Furthermore, here are some questions to consider on the matter:
Private or public cloud? When choosing to host with a company, there are several variables companies should account for, and this is one of the major ones. Many applications and services are hosted and deployed via the cloud with the help of cloud computing. Companies typically choose between hosting with a private cloud or a public cloud (like that offered by GoogleApp). This recent related blog notes that while public clouds often have a lower price point, there are still no 100 percent uptime guarantees, therefore users may experience less uptime in the long run.
Are you good with 99 percent uptime? Does it need to be 100 percent, or is 98 percent suitable? SLAs with 100 percent uptime may not be so important to those who are using a solution in a tactical manner and are less concerned with uptime than price. Additionally, those who are seeking a short-term solution may be willing to assume more risk when it comes to uptime to find a solution that is most reasonable in terms of the price point, the blog adds adds.
If it has to be 100 percent uptime, go large. Companies seeking a long-term, strategic solution (i.e., companies that need an IVR or information system) that will be implemented at an enterprise level and will be mission-critical should seek out comprehensive SLAs that guarantee uptime for service and support, the blog insists.
Edited by Allison Boccamazzo