Robert Poe at VoIP News has written a detailed report on how OnState Communications Call Center works, making a couple of points we had overlooked in our coverage:
Fully a software solution with no servers:
Onstate Communications’ CallCenter service bundles Skype’s business offering with its own software-based ACD (automatic call distribution) capabilities. Unlike with either on-premise or hosted solutions, no calls go through OnState Communications’ facilities or equipment — all the CallCenter software does is tell Skype where to send the calls. “It’s true software as a service,” said OnState Communications co-founder and CEO Pat Kelly. “It’s without parallel given the marketplace we’re going after.”
CallCenter’s software-based architecture is the key to OnState Communications’ low price. “We have to some degree an unfair advantage, because we don’t have to buy massive racks of equipment like [hosted call-center providers] do because all their calls have to run through them,” Kelly stated. The cost of toll-free or local phone numbers, and of SkypeIn and SkypeOut calls, are in addition to the service’s basic fee. Adding the ability to record 100 percent of agent calls runs a mere $10 extra per month.
A truly international solution:
The Call Center service originally worked only with Skype calls and callers, according to Kelly. OnState Communications soon added SkypeIn and SkypeOut capabilities, which made it possible to call or receive calls from anyone, anywhere. And an upgrade announced on Jan. 9, 2008 expanded the “anywhere” part to international locations. U.S. companies can now get inbound numbers in a variety of overseas markets and have the calls come to their offices via Skype.
Similarly, non-U.S. companies can get toll-free U.S. numbers and send their incoming calls to agents anywhere in the world that Skype goes, for the same flat rate of around 3 cents per minute. “For people providing international support, that’s a big thing,” said Kelly. “If you’re a European provider and want to give your U.S. customers support, you pay big bucks to get a U.S. 800 number to ring in Denmark.”
Another case of Skype and a partner’s offering disrupting business: Fifteen years ago my employer was paying over $10,000 per month to have support calls routed to Europe (Ireland) via a T1 line during hours when the Los Angeles based headquarters was closed. And that’s another saving besides dropping the need for a six figure PBX to run a call center.
Tags: Skype, OnState Communications, OnState Call Center, Robert Poe, VoIP News