Oftentimes customers researching interactive voice response systems assume that onsite systems are a more cost-effective solution. Sure, there is a large upfront investment associated with an onsite system, but after the initial construction costs have been paid, spending is minimized almost completely, right?
This is actually not the case as there many soft costs associated with managing and maintaining an onsite IVR system. Hardware and software need to be updated. A system could potentially need to be expanded due to the need for more extensive port capacity and server capability. Hardware becomes outdated and requires replacement to keep up with the technological demands of the data it is processing.
In addition to the potentially frequent updates required in order to successfully maintain a high-functioning IVR system, you would have to have an experienced professional either contracted or a full-time employee available with enough knowledge to successfully modify and maintain the system.
Those who operate an onsite IVR also have to deal with phone carriers in order to keep their system functioning on a designated network. Establishing a good carrier relationship, getting the best possible rates, and navigating the contract process are a lot of work. Plum employs a full-time staff member whose job it is to interface with carriers in this capacity.
For companies operating IVR systems, especially those who have enterprise-level, business-critical applications, redundancy is a must. However, the cost to establish and maintain redundancy onsite can be very high, requiring multiple hardware and software purchases for backup systems as well as front-facing systems.
In addition, companies have to be concerned with the costs of SIP termination. The price of transferring calls can be an unanticipated expense that adds to the cost of an onsite system.
Hosted IVR is actually one of the most cost-effective solutions for businesses interested in integrating an IVR into their operations process or upgrading their current system. Hosted IVR is actually more cost-effective for customers because, while there is a monthly hosting fee and they pay for the minutes used, Plum does all of the heavy lifting for them.
Plum negotiates rates with carriers, deals with initial system set up and ongoing maintenance, handles SIP termination, and oftentimes gets cheaper rates because of the bulk amounts of minutes the company is using. Prices can simply be cheaper just because more of them are being purchased for myriad clients.
The bottom line is that, because Plum only operates IVR systems, we have a huge amount of expertise in the matter. Hosting with Plum not only guarantees safety and security, but also gives businesses, regardless of size, access to an IVR system at nearly any price point.