Businesses wishing to upgrade their IVR systems have a choice between onsite IVR and hosted IVR. Each setup has its benefits and drawbacks, according to Plum Voice CEO Andy Kuan.
“The toughest part of any migration is coming up with a plan that minimizes impact for your users,” says Kuan. “In other words, the change should be as transparent as possible to the sales/business organization.”
All of this means that the software company and the company’s IT staff should develop solutions that hinder both user experiences and business functions as little as possible. An onsite development is built, tested and deployed at the user’s location, while a SaaS (News - Alert) system is constructed, deployed and maintained at state-of-the art data centers.
Onsite IVR does have certain advantages; it integrates fully with the customer’s PSTN, VoIP, PBX (News - Alert) or ACD connectivity. Also, because the system is located physically closer to databases and servers, network latency is reduced.
Since the onsite IVR system will reside behind the company’s firewall, the onsite solution could be more secure. Additionally, having IVR onsite could prove more cost-effective for the company over the long term.
At the same time, many companies prefer hosted solutions, particularly if they have little cash on hand to invest in equipment up-front. No line management and no purchase of a VoiceXML (News - Alert) gateway, hardware or speech recognition license is required for a hosted system. Hosted IVR providers can also utilize network redundancies and fallbacks to ensure that infrastructure remains fault-tolerant.
Hosted IVR comes in two different varieties: gateway-only hosting and full hosting. With gateway-only hosting, the customer services the IVR application and just depends on the provider for the gateway. With full hosting, the provider hosts both the gateway and the application for the client.
Companies that choose hosted IVR manage their system through a Web-based browser.
Kuan points out that most companies have some services related to their business that are running off of cloud-based components. “Nearly every company has some portion of their business running off a cloud-based service at this point--migrating from in-house e-mail to an outsourced e-mail provider or switching from an on-premise CRM solution to a SaaS service like Salesforce.com (News - Alert) or ditching an old phone system and paying for a hosted phone service for IVR, call routing and centrex,” Kuan explains.
Whether building a new on-premise system or going with a hosted solution, businesses should work with a company that has the knowledge and experience to make the migration as complete and painless as possible.
To check out some reliable and industry-leading providers, click here.
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Edited by Allison Boccamazzo