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IVR - Cloud IVR Just Makes Sense
October 23, 2012

Cloud IVR Just Makes Sense

By Mae Kowalke, TMCnet Contributor

When designing an interactive voice response system (IVR), one decision that must be made early on is whether to deploy an in-house IVR system or go with a hosted solution.

In an article posted last week, it was suggested that choosing a cloud-based IVR system makes sense for many companies, as server capacity is not an issue when leveraging hosted IVR solutions. With hosted solutions, they just work—capacity is never an issue

This same logic extends to setting up and administering an IVR solution, not just server capacity.

“An onsite IVR system is designed and built in-house, and then deployed and maintained at the company’s location. This requires high-level expertise, advanced knowledge of application functionality, and enough space onsite to establish a working setup for the system,” noted Plum Voice in a blog post last week.

While on-site IVR surely makes sense for some businesses, the blog noted, in most cases it makes more sense to outsource the setup and management to a hosted IVR provider.

“For those that don’t have all the above requirements, a hosted IVR system is the way to go,” the blog added. “From several ports to thousands, scalability is never an issue with hosted IVR applications, and these systems are also equipped with features like fault tolerance and disaster recovery.”

But that still leaves the question of whether to go with an incumbent hosted IVR provider or a start-up, Plum noted. Incumbent providers are those that predate cloud services and have added cloud options as part of a wider basket of solutions. Startups are those that focus exclusively on cloud-based IVR.

“There are pros and cons to both types of companies,” added the Plum Voice blog.

Companies may want to choose a hosted IVR solution from an incumbent because they are pleased with other products and services the provider has supplied. It also makes sense to go with an incumbent if planning to sign up for additional services offered by the provider, since there may be discounts.

The main advantage of going with a startup is its singular focus on the solution it offers.

“They build their service offerings around one niche product and have honed their expertise based around it,” wrote Plum. “They have the technology and capabilities to perfect cloud computing, since it is all that they do. They cater to businesses of all sizes and types and have a versatile client base that they serve. Because they do not have to develop other products, their cloud computing offerings are typically top notch.”

Another benefit of using a startup is that they suffer less from lock-in. With incumbents, which offer a range of products, there’s more likelihood of service lock-in to encourage retention and using the company’s other products instead of shopping around.

Whichever type a company chooses, however, the case for hosted IVR is strong and getting stronger as cloud solution providers hone their offerings.

Edited by Allison Boccamazzo

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