November 06, 2012
Understanding Service Level Agreements for Hosted IVR
Nowadays, many contact centers purchase their critical technology solutions not as physical software, but in a software-as-a-service (SaaS (News - Alert)) format, meaning another company hosts the solution and you access it via the Internet. One of the earlier fears of using SaaS solutions in the contact center was that uptime would not be robust enough. While that has generally not proven to be true – in many cases, such as during disaster recovery, the SaaS model has proven itself to be more reliable – this doesn’t mean contact centers should embark on using solutions without pre-defined service level agreements (SLAs) with technology providers.
This is extra-important with critical hosted front-end solutions such as interactive voice response (IVR). 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. So what should you look for in a hosted IVR service level agreement, and how you can compare SLAs between two different providers to know which will suit you best?
In light of this, hosted contact center solutions provider Plum Voice recently offered some advice on the topic in a blog.
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 (like the type of subscription-based option Plum Voice offers) or a public cloud (like that offered by GoogleApp and AmazonEC2). Plum Voice 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, Plum 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, Plum insists.
To learn more about Plum Voice’s renowned IVR offerings, visit www.plumvoice.com.
Edited by Allison Boccamazzo