Hosted Call Center: Altitude & TelCentris Partnership

Altitude Software and TelCentris Inc. yesterday announced a partnership to offer Altitude’s contact center solution as a hosted service via TelCentris’ Unified Communications Service Delivery Platform. The new offering is designed to provide customers with a complete, integrated solution for both inbound and outbound contact centers.

TelCentris, perhaps best known for its VoxOx software, is comprised of three separate divisions—consumer (primarily focused on VoxOx); business, offering hosted IP PBX and the new contact center solution; and wholesale.

Perry King, TelCentris’ senior product manager of business services, says the flexibility of the company’s Service Delivery Platform was key to enabling the new partnership with Altitude. “It allowed us to quickly and easily bolt this contact center application onto our hosted platform to provide a fully hosted solution,” he says.

TelCentris CTO and co-founder Kevin Hertz says his company evaluated a variety of contact center software providers before settling on Altitude. “Altitude was the one that we found we interoperated with most easily and also provided the widest breadth of features—everything from outbound predictive dialing… to very advanced inbound ACD/IVR menus and even things like advanced reporting,” he says.

The result, King says, is a more user-friendly experience for customers. “We’ve taken the Altitude on-site, on-premise application… and integrated it into our hosted IP PBX product, so we’re able to provide this single solution for contact centers, while you typically would have to go out and purchase multiple components in order to get this type of solution,” he says.

One of the key benefits of a fully hosted solution, King says, is the fact that the service can scale to meet the needs of just about any business. “It could be a small, five-person customer service department—we can provide that type of basic ACD functionality—all the way up to an enterprise-class contact center in different geographical locations, all tied together through our hosted environment,” he says.

And nothing’s set in stone. “[Instead of] buying the licensing fees for 500 agents in order to ramp up for Christmas, for example, when during the rest of the year you don’t need to have 500 agents… with our licensing and our structure, we can actually make the adjustment based upon seasonal activity,” King says. “That’s a big advantage for call centers.”

What’s more, Hertz notes, any needed adjustments to the service can be handled instantly. “Because our system is completely cloud-based, it allows us to make changes rapidly without deploying any additional hardware to a customer’s site,” he says. “So for example, if a customer wanted to go from 5 to 500 agents, that’s something that we could do remotely, and it could happen with the flip of a switch.”

The service can work with desk phones or softphones (or both), and can support inbound agents, outbound agents, and blended agents simultaneously. “If you have somebody that needs to make outbound predictive dialing types of calls as well as receiving inbound calls, you have that type of flexibility with our platform,” King says.

Pricing for the call center solution varies depending on a variety of factors, King says, including the need for desk phones versus softphones, as well as the choice of various supervisory modules and reporting options. “We’re going to be aggressive on pricing in order to expand our market share and clearly introduce this product and our fully hosted solution to the market,” he says.

Ultimately, King says, the key differentiator for the solution is the fact that TelCentris is now able to serve as a one-stop shop for all of a customer’s needs. “You can get your call center application, your IP PBX platform, even broadband services… so you can meet with the TelCentris reps and walk away feeling very comfortable that you have everything that’s needed,” he says.

And while the new solution is available immediately, King says the company has more integration, more functionality and additional branding of the offering planned for early 2010—the announcement this week, he says, was just the first step. “But we do have multiple customers running it in call centers, and in some geographically dispersed call centers… so it is active and available now,” he says.

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