As the recession continues to find comfortable accommodations in the global market, companies are taking a closer look at their approach to customer retention as finding new customers is more difficult than ever before. With the on-going recession, companies have also had to endure tighter budgets, putting a limit on the technologies they are able to deploy.
With these ongoing challenges, the Software as a Service model has gained rapid acceptance and adoption throughout the world in nearly every industry, except in contact centers. The limited uptake in this area, according to Datamonitor, is mainly due to the emergence of hosted solutions that basically took a product designed as an on-premise and put it in a data center to create an instant, on-demand offering.
The problem with this approach is that SaaS (News - Alert) models demand a solution that is specifically designed for hosting. As more vendors are taking this approach, Datamonitor, in its 2009 Trends to Watch: Contact Center Markets and Technologies report, anticipates that 2009 will be the year that the hosted contact center gains a significant foothold in the contact center space.
With the right platform in place, those organizations with distributed and virtualized environments will have access to the right tools to simplify the management of a distributed workforce and customer interaction organizations. The hosted model simplifies the centralization task to allow enterprises to realize efficiencies in costs and personnel, while also improving the customer experience.
The change in the economy is also pushing for an increase in work-at-home agents. With a hosted model governing the management of the contact center, home-based agents can be used to expand the quality of the available workforce beyond traditional geographic barriers. In addition, it allows for the hiring of agents who live and work in the same area as customers, eliminating the stigma of outsourcing and offshoring.
Datamonitor has also highlighted the technological benefits of the on-demand model. Contact centers do not always have access to the latest on-premise technologies as they can often be outside of allowed purchases. Or, budget restraints only allow for purchases every few years. With an on-demand platform, contact centers can constantly update, gaining access to the latest technologies as soon as they are available.
Five9 is one company that taps into the opportunities that can be created for the contact center market, offering hosted call center software that meets the needs of today, while anticipating the demands of tomorrow. By offering the latest contact center technologies in an on-demand model, Five9 can bring its contact center customers up-to-date without breaking their budgets. In doing so, the company helps clients of all sizes compete on equal footing in an intensely competitive global market.
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Susan J. Campbell is a contributing editor for TMCnet and has also written for eastbiz.com. To read more of Susan’s articles, please visit her columnist page.
Edited by Stefania Viscusi