Open Source for Business: Think Again

Approach open source solutions with caution as they increase maintenance costs in the long term.

A couple of months ago I went and bought myself a new Android phone. From the outside, the phone seemed to have it all. Everything that I needed was there: a dual core processor, QWERTY keyboard, full touch, and an in-built fully-automatic washing machine. OK, the last bit is not true.

When I downloaded a few apps on the phone, some worked while some only kept crashing and became a big nuisance. On the flipside, my brother had a Windows 7 phone and my pretty female friend owned an iPhone. I used to make fun of them for not having an Android. Why spend more right? Android gave me the freedom to customize my phone while they could not. So I won, right?

On the contrary, I did not really want to customize my phone. It was OK the way it was. If I modified it, there would be a lot of bugs that I would need to fix. The applications are all open source and they may or may not work on my version of Android OS, or on my specific handset (weird why that happens).

Now imagine using this phone, with its crashing apps and multiple bugs, to have hundreds, thousands, or even million of interactions daily?

We know that contact centers interact with customers of all kinds, and each interaction must be handled with care. The right agent must talk to the customer using the right information. One slip and this could prove disastrous to the quality of customer experience.

With stress on words like customer satisfaction, delight, experience, it may seem cheaper to buy open source solutions so that expenses are minimum. But what if the solution hangs? Is the customerâ€s time not considered money? Do you want to really lose that precious revenue?

In a Contact Center, open source solutions will siphon away a big chunk of the revenue if not managed properly. Open source solutions need to be expertly managed because if they crash they lead to downtime and lost opportunities due to lack of unique features, customizations, or even scalability.

A start-up Contact Center may feel that this is fine because they are just starting in the industry, but they need to change this mindset. Contact centers should view technology as the multiplier of Contact Center operations and growth. But if technology is ill-equipped to reduce costs and does not lead to any real growth over time, it will lead to stagnation and stunt the contact center from reaching its full potential. However, there are robust and flexible solutions that can perform all the requisite functionalities, and some more, with the single click of a button.

Technology is meant to make things easier, not difficult. Hopefully, the technology you choose makes things easy for you.

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