By Tom Noda
The call center, sometimes called ?contact center?, is known as an operator of outsourced services, usually customer service functions, for another company. But, what if the call center itself is outsourced from another company?
That?s what dominant carrier PLDT appears to be offering with its Contact-center-as-a-Service (CcaaS) solution, which it unveiled on Wednesday, Oct. 23, at the New World Hotel in Makati City.
PLDT, through its Alpha Enterprise group, said it launched the cloud-based service to provide call center operators a ?cost-effective solution for software licensing and managed ICT.”
The telco giant said CcaaS is designed to enable enterprises to easily manage application and software consumption by offering application licensing charges on a per-minute or per-use, per-application scheme, thus reducing operational and IT costs of businesses through the “PLDT Cloud” or Vitro data centers.
PLDT operates three Vitro Data Centers located in the cities of Pasig, Makati, and Olongapo.
?With the PLDT Cloud, organizations avoid the long, painful steps of infrastructure purchasing and installation,? said Jovi Hernandez, PLDT FVP and head of PLDT Alpha Enterprise.
Among the main applications that CcaaS offers in aiding contact center operations include conversational and Payment Card Industry (PCI)-compliant interactive voice response (IVR), Automatic Call Distribution (ACD), and Reporting and Call recording.
Also available are remote office, agent performance, and professional services for a seamless integration of back-office applications from multiple platforms.
According to PLDT EVP Eric Alberto, CcaaS is a flexible solution that evolves to match the changing contact center needs of enterprises, and eventually fit into existing infrastructure.
Alberto said companies can also benefit from virtualizing contact centers as it allows the rapid scaling of applications and software based on the demands of their business due to seasonal rise and fall in call volume and usage.
?This allows organizations to purchase new technology on-demand without the need for costly operational expenditures,? he said.
Virtualized contact centers have seen a boom in the US, prompting enterprises, particularly small seat deployment companies, to rely on the cloud in their operations.
Based on a study by market research firm Frost & Sullivan, contact centers in the US have identified cost reduction as the top challenge in contact center initiatives prompting companies to rely on low upfront investment hosted contact centers.
In 2012, the local outsourcing industry, through the IT-BPO sector, grew by 22 percent from 2011, contributing almost 20 percent of the total employment in 2012.
The local BPO industry is projected to grow by 49 percent in 2016 with revenues expecting to reach $16 billion by end-2013.