When a lot of customers look for a contact center solution, many of them are looking to have that contact center solution hosted rather than it being on-premises. They are looking for a contact center solution in the cloud or contact center as a service. That’s how people are starting to look to deploy contact center solutions, and there’s a couple of pieces you need to think about.
Hosted Contact Centers: ACD vs. PBX
The ACD (Automated Call Distribution Solution) and the PBX (Private Branch Exchange) are the two main pieces of a hosted contact center solution. What happens in a contact center as a service solution or hosted solution, is all of this ends up being in the cloud, all hosted by somebody like West Unified Communications Services.
The incoming calls are managed by a hosting company so the calls from a toll-free number come in and are acted upon by the ACD. The ACD does different things with it the call. In West's case, we have something called an “Action Group” that says, “Okay, the call is coming in. It’s coming in for this time of day. What do I do with it?”
Managing Calls from the Cloud to Your Organization
After the Action Group, we typically hand things off to an auto-attendant. An auto-attendant is something that gives a caller options to chose where they want the call to go. Based on the option chosen, the caller ends up in a queue. That queue manages the call routing down to the PBX. So, the queue’s going to send the information, send the calls to the PBX when that agent is ready outside the cloud, back in your organization.