You are probably already familiar with Software as a Service (SaaS). Organizations of all types love the ability to treat software much as they do electricity – a service that they plug into and pay for monthly. In recent years, the SaaS model has been applied to all sorts of software – CRM, HR applications, sales force automation, etc. The advantages of SaaS are obvious and include,
- Little or no capital expenditure
- Predictable monthly costs instead of a large up-front payment
- Less information technology overhead
With the advent of voice over IP, this same delivery model can be applied to various communication services including contact center automation. This utility-like model for communications is often referred to as Communications as a Service (CaaS). (Download - A New Approach to Communications as a Service (CaaS) Whitepaper)
CaaS can offer the enterprise user features such as desktop call control, presence, unified messaging, and desktop faxing. In addition to the enterprise features, CaaS also has a set of services for contact center automation that includes IVR, ACD, call recording, multimedia routing (e-mail and text chat), and screen pop integration.
One of the main advantages organizations have in deciding to use CaaS is the ability to choose from several different deployment models. Allowing organizations to decide for themselves, the level of involvement they want to have in the day to day administration of their communications infrastructure. In some cases, the need for outsourced services may be seasonal, where an organization will keep their current infrastructure in place, and use CaaS to augment their operations in peak or even emergency situations. For others, the need to streamline the manpower and costs of supporting their own premise based equipment will see them choosing to use CaaS for all their communication needs.
Deployment options aside, the flexibility of a pay-as-you-go pricing model resonates loud and clear in today’s enterprise, where budgets are tight but the need to operate with the latest in communications technology is still a competitive advantage.