How To Choose The Best IVR Service Model For Your Business

Written by Barnard Crespi on October 26th, 2009
by Barnard Crespi

The best model for any business, regardless of size, industry, budget, or application, is the model that will get the closest to guaranteeing a successful execution. Let’s face it most IT projects, seldom are on time, and exceed budget. However it doesn’t need to be that way.

You do have some decisions to make: Do you do-it-yourself, or outsource it

* If you feel confident, that you have the expertise and resources to plan, develop, maintain, manage, support and refine an IVR strategy, on your own, you may want to look at Self-Service models.

* If you want to focus on your business and leave the IVR to the experts, people who have done it time after time, 100′s of times if not 1000′s, and where your applications are hosted, monitored, maintained, and supported to ensure the best performance, then you want to look at a Full Service Managed model.

IVR Outsourcing can take many different shapes, which one is right for your business? Which model you choose depends on the level of expertise and support responsibilities you would like to shift to your IVR service provider. Here are the three most common models you will encounter:

* Hosted Self-Service * Full Service Managed * Application Service Provider

1) Do-it-yourself: This is the do-it-yourself model of the IVR space, where the service provider offers you a reliable IVR platform and development tools, and you are accountable for the rest. You will have complete responsibility over planning, managing, developing and maintaining the IVR application and simply use the hosting provider to provide you with the development tools, IVR infrastructure and manage the communication lines. This approach will require you to have in-house expertise to develop and support the Application at all times – 24/7/365. In this model your service provider does not have an understanding of your application, so it is up to you to make the right strategy decisions to support and manage the process.

2)Full Service Managed: From this model you will gain the most amount of value if you do not wish to worry about developing and maintaining your own IVR applications. These are the functions you can expect from a Full Service Managed Hosting provider:

* To manage all aspects of the IVR project including planning, development, testing, and deployment of the application.

* To work with your business and IT team, to achieve the desired data integration objectives.

* To take care of vendor relationships, maintain and update telecom infrastructure, plus software and hardware as required.

* To act as a single point of contact for IVR implementation and maintenance, that can bring the necessary resources and experts to you in time to meet your objectives.

* To provide you with dedicated support, and have an in-depth understanding of your application.

3) Application Service Provider: Another business model, which you may consider, is the Application Service Provider model, also known as “software as a service.” You will find Full Service Hosted Managed providers that can offer you off-the-shelf solutions to meet specific business/operational needs. This is quite common for applications such as Sales Lead Generation, Credit Card Payment, and Surveys.

In today’s IVR marketplace you have options, choices that can best fit your business objectives. What option best fits your business depends on how much energy, effort and time, you can afford to divert from your core business to your IVR project. The good news is that there is a model out there for almost everyone.

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