Cloud contact centers provide a tremendous amount of flexibility, allow you to scale up quickly when needed and locate your agents anywhere, all without the pain of maintaining the hardware and software that goes with a traditional on-premise contact center.
The major factors that determine a cloud contact center’s cost are:
- IVR Ports
- PSTN costs
In this post, we’ll describe each of these and give you a real-world pricing model based on a 40-agent call center.
Licensing is pretty straight forward. This cost is per agent, per month.
Where it gets a little tricky is in determining the number of agents and whether they will be named or concurrent users. The choice between named and concurrent users depends on how your contact center is organized.
Named users is generally the most cost effective route. Every named user created in the system has a unique identity and counts as one license.
With concurrent users, multiple people will share the same identity at the same station during a 24-hour period. Reporting doesn’t work well with this option.
Figuring out how many agents you will need for a new contact center is more art than science at the beginning. To start, you estimate how many calls might come in per hour and how long each call will last, then use that information to determine how many agents will need to be answering calls to keep wait times in an acceptable range.
Once your new contact center has been operational for several days, you can start getting an idea of how many agents you need based on actual call volume and wait times.
An IVR port is a virtual port that the caller is parked on while waiting in the queue for an available agent.
If you run out of IVR ports or they are all filled up with callers, the next caller will get a busy signal. Without an IVR port available, the caller can’t get into the system to listen to any options or sit in queue.
Determining the number of IVR ports you need can be a bit complicated.
It used to be that the total number of call paths available to the organization would be the limiting factor. But with Webex Contact Center, you can terminate calls directly to the cloud and bypass any capacity issues you might normally find on-premise. (Or you can continue to use your on-premise carrier… more on that in the next section.)
One way to determine the number of IVR ports is to use a multiplier of the number of agents that will be logged in. If you have 10 agents taking calls, use 30 IVR ports. That means there will be 3 people waiting for every one agent answering calls. When a call is transferred to an agent, the IVR port is then released and made available for another caller.
There are two ways for the Webex Contact Center to receive calls.
Calls can either go directly to the cloud, or they can come inbound on an existing voice circuit and hairpin back out to the Cloud. Either option works great.
If you are doing a new contact center, we would encourage you to consider the cloud PSTN option as it provides the greatest flexibility as your system grows.
If you have an existing contact center, it can be easier to stick with the service you already have, or do a hybrid approach that allows you to move to the cloud over time as carrier services come up for renewal.
Either way, you are paying for dial-tone whether it be an existing on-premise service or new in the cloud. Usually cloud services are a little less expensive and don’t require dedicated circuits and hardware.
As with any implementation of new software, there is the cost of installation. Since Webex Contact Center is cloud-based, there isn’t much money to be spent on new hardware, but there is the cost of design, initial provisioning, creating scripts, testing, and training.
For a successful implementation you will want to make sure you have this installed by experienced contact center engineers.
Finally, there is the cost of support. This is determined by the number of agents, and there are two support costs to consider.
Software support enables direct contact-to-tech support with guaranteed response time.
Vendor support provides day-to-day operational and emergency support with the integration of the system.
Both are important components.
Usually a contact center is a primary contact point for your customers. As a result, it’s imperative that it be operational and given high priority. When it’s down, you may lose money – or customers. Having a good backstop on support is critical.
Pricing will vary, but this table should provide a general idea of what an implementation may cost for a new 40-agent contact center:
Licensing: $150/month (per agent)
IVR Port License: $150/month (per port)
PSTN Cost: $12/month (per agent)
Installation & Onboarding: $75,000
If you'd like to know what a cloud contact center would cost in your specific environment, we'd be happy to help you figure it out. Just pick a time that's convenient for you.