This month, we look at the rise of the mobile (cell) phone, and what it can tell us about software-as-a-service (SaaS) and computing in the cloud.
Why are mobile phones so phenomenally popular? Well, not because they allow you to make phone calls. That may have been the original attraction, but that is now far down the list. It is because they allow you instant access to advanced functionality (apps) with great convenience (a hand-held device) and little up front expenditure (monthly contract).
Imagine if you had to purchase all the software & services you needed up front – a browser, access to each social media services you use, a calendar, an email system, etc, etc. Only the most determined corporate users would do it.
So most of us use SaaS every hour of the day. It’s not a revolutionary idea, and if the hosted call center services model follows anything like the trajectory of the mobile/ smart phone model, we can expect large-scale take-up in increasing volume.
Why has this not happened yet? What are the objections?
SaaS for call center activities is still relatively new. Users are slow to move out of their comfort zone, even if the commercial case is overwhelming.
If I am using the same service as Company B, what is to stop them looking at my sensitive, personal data?
Software on demand with integral, well-engineered multi-tenancy will have no problems with complete brick-wall separation. And the increasing popularity of virtualisation reflects an understanding of the separation benefits it can bring.
Can my call center service provider still provide a great service when demand is high?
This problem is often repeated in the news when websites crash due to ‘unexpected demand’. Users need a service that delivers no matter what the demand – that is just as reliable, no matter what happens (e.g. a Dyson vacuum-cleaner, no loss of suction)
I want a service that is tailored to my needs, not one-size-fits-all.
The user needs the ability to customise the service they receive in whichever way suits them, and which does not affect any other user of the service.
Many hosted call center providers offer services that overcome these objections right now. The time is coming when broad understanding of that fact will spread and we will see the take up of hosted call center services in the cloud become the norm, and massive up-front investment in onsite Capex become a thing of the past.