With so many decisions involved in deciding what provider to use for your hosted call center PBX, it can be easy to overlook the underlying infrastructure that your prospective providers are using. Nevertheless, it is important for your call center or business to know whether or not open-source code is going to be used by your provider. Further, if the answer is “no,” it might be good to keep looking. Open-source software provides three advantages over closed systems: simplicity, relevance, and innovation.
As a business process outsourcer or a service provider, you likely need to rely on many different types of software to run your business. Every time you add a new software tool, you add complexity to your business operations and slow decision making that can be critical to keeping an advantage over competing companies. Open-source software provides a way to integrate with a known tool rather than add a new one. In the hosted PBX scenario, this can be the difference between adding a feature such as call recording to your current tool and adding a whole new piece of software (and the associated time and expense) to accomplish the same task. With open source, your hosted telephony provider is able to create the right solution for you without piling on useless features to get one simple feature. Also, keeping things simple reduces the computing power required by your staff in effect, conserving resources.
It is well known that technology changes exponentially over time. Open source software is supported by a community of diverse developers who are usually at the fore-front of feature requests. This is the case with hosted call center and VoIP telephony engines such as Asterisk. Effectively, Asterisk is able to stay current because the community develops it in sync with the available hardware and desires of the users. By employing a Telephony provider that uses Asterisk, for example, your company can reap the benefits of having an up-to-date, relevant hosted VoIP solution.
Finally, open source software projects are often pursued by a community of developers as a type of hobby. The pride of the community rests on the quality and innovation of the resulting product. When the product has a robust community and a corporate sponsor, as Asterisk does, quality and innovation become second nature to the project. The very nature of open source software allows everyone to have a hand in creating the end product and the best ideas rise to the surface quickly. If your hosted VoIP service provider is using an open-source engine, your organization can rest-assured that you will get innovative features sooner than non-open-source users.
Finding a good provider who is actively using an open-source engine to provide services will help your company conserve resources by staying simple, keep up with technological advances, and insure that you have the benefit of crowd-sourced creativity to provide new features.