Contact centres that opted for hosted technology solutions five years ago have saved 35% compared to those who keep everything in-house, says Jed Hewson of 1Stream.

“The most successful contact centres keep their focus on people, not technology,” says Hewson. “The point of a contact centre should be to enable and support an excellent customer experience, which means you need excellent management to bring out the best in your staff. Call centre managers should never have to spend time or energy on their technical systems: It should all just work.”

“In most cases there is no compelling reason to keep your technical systems in-house rather than contracting a specialist service provider to host your technology platform,” says Hewson. “But we still hear people worrying that by contracting out, they’re somehow losing control.”

In fact, argues Hewson, “the idea that by keeping things under your own roof you’re keeping control is an illusion. As an outsourced service provider we commit to SLAs that are far stricter than most people could provide for themselves. And when we don’t deliver, we lose money: So we have a very strong incentive to make sure our systems are the best.”

Contact centres who deliver outsourced services pay especially dearly for the illusion of control, says Hewson. “Contact centres tend to fluctuate in size – it’s the nature of the business. If you have a hosted solution, you can scale up and down easily, which means your overheads are low and you can afford to offer competitive pricing. But when you commit to a large capital investment in a system you own and maintain yourself, you sit with high fixed costs. You have to price your services to finance all the seats you’ve installed, even when they’re empty. That’s a serious disadvantage in the market.”

Hewson says the business case for hosted solutions “is now conclusively proved. Our clients are saving on average at least 35%, and their costs are more predictable and manageable. And we provide a level of security infinitely better than the average organisation can provide for itself. Anybody who still thinks keeping it in-house is better is shooting themselves in the foot.”