Indianapolis-based research firm BenchmarkPortal Inc., a specialist in contact-center best practices, says the total annualized cost per agent for all-in-one solutions averages less than half that of multi-point solutions.
BenchmarkPortal Inc. is the custodian of the Purdue Research Foundation’s database of contact-center performance metrics, which the university says is the largest such database in the world. The data is collected in conjunction with the Center for Customer-Driven Quality at Purdue University.
The group’s newest report, “A Cost Comparison of All-in-One versus Multi-Point Solutions in the Contact Center Sector,” also shows that the total cost of installation and integration for all-in-one solutions is 15-percent lower compared to multi-point solutions. In addition, the average annualized system administration cost per agent for all-in-one solutions is 60-percent lower compared to multi-point solutions.
The survey was sponsored by global business communications solutions provider, Interactive Intelligence Inc., and was conducted via the Web by polling BenchmarkPortal’s contact-center performance database. Of those polled, BenchmarkPortal qualified 178 contact-center management respondents based on a roughly equal sampling of companies that used all-in-one and multi-point solutions.
“Our study shows that, when taking into account contact-center costs associated with selecting, installing, integrating, administering and upgrading communications technology, all-in-one solutions are measurably less expensive than multi-point solutions,” says Dr. Jon Anton, one of the report’s authors and adjunct professor at Purdue University. “Contributing to the all-in-one solution’s lower cost model was the need for fewer servers to install, integrate, administer and maintain, and the provision of a single platform for simplified management and upgrades.”
The report also “reflects serious implications for contact center managers who don’t employ best practices when evaluating technology costs,” BenchmarkPortal says.
“An important point uncovered by our study is that many contact-center managers do not have visibility into their technology costs,” adds Bruce Belfiore, senior research executive at the Center for Customer-Driven Quality at Purdue University, and co-author of the report. “Perhaps not surprisingly, those managers who had the greatest visibility into costs also showed a much lower total cost of ownership for all-in-one versus multi-point solutions. Clearly, employing multiple metrics beyond sticker price – including the cost of integrating, administering and upgrading systems – is an essential budgetary component of contact center management best practices.”
While the group’s research suggests that cost is at least one important factor responsible for the growing popularity of all-in-one solutions, it also shows that the controversy over sacrificing “best-of-breed” features may no longer be relevant in the minds of managers surveyed.
“Our in-depth phone interviews with a sub-set of survey participants showed that those adopting all-in-one solutions were generally convinced that they were not missing out on best-of-breed functionality,” Belfiore continues. “One participant explained that by the time an all-in-one solution goes through several releases, it typically includes all core best-of-breed functionality anyway.”