BT and Avaya today launched a new 'pay-as-you-go' service for contact centre operations allowing businesses to avoid costly capital investments.
BT Avaya OnNet means organisations can optimize their contact centre resources, responding immediately to peaks and troughs in customer demand.
The hosted service also means capacity and eographic location can be flexed in a cost-efficient manner, with the necessary technology accessible as demand shifts.
BT Global Services president of IP networking, Tom Craig, said the hosted service will be of particular benefit to financial services, retailers and utility companies, who experience significant seasonal demand.
"Outsourcers, as well, need to be flexible depending on the volume of contracts being managed at any one time. Organisations will be able to provide more resources at specific times, without the need for up-front capital expenditure," Craig said.
"Historically, this has been a considerable problem for businesses struggling to find a balance between having the right amount of contact centre resources and keeping the business cost-effective.
"You can bring in additional workers on contract when demand rises - but sourcing additional equipment is another matter entirely."
As contact centre strategies evolve from a model based on capital expenditure to one based on operational expenditure, Craig said flexibility is crucial.
OnNet will play a key role in the 'virtual' future of contact centre strategies where employees anywhere in the business can be tasked to help manage customer contact.
Avaya EMEA marketing VP, Morag Lucey, said it doesn't matter whether staff work within the contact centre, the branch or, at home, consistent levels of operation and service will be possible.
"This offering moves us one significant step further away from the view of contact centres being big buildings in isolated locations and towards one of networked, 'virtual' contact centres across smaller sites or even at home," Lucey said.
"Combined with the rise of presence-based technology, intelligent routing is also possible ensuring the person with the right expertise and language capabilities answers the call.
"This enables organisations to think more laterally about how they manage their customer service and helps them enhance it."
The new solution is targeted at customers who have multiple sites or a distributed estate. The customer will typically have more than 750 seats across their operation and may have sites in different countries or regions.
Only last month, United Customer Management Solutions (UCMS) launched a new service that provides a network of skilled, home based agents.
Dubbed UCMSremote, the company said it is an alternative to offshoring with first users of the service already live in Melbourne.