Although most people have heard of hosted call centres, it is fair to say that few people know exactly what they do or how they work. In essence, a hosted call or contact center is a facility which enables companies and enterprises benefit from call center capabilities without needing to construct an in-house call center of their own. A hosted call center uses software which allows voice communications to terminate at a centralized data center that handles inbound calls for any number of different companies. This technology ensures that even very small companies (or indeed home-based businesses) can create the illusion of being larger and grander than they actually are.

Call center technology has evolved and improved greatly over the last decade or so. Indeed, it was not that ago that contact centers were using standard inbound phone trunks to provide their services. These days however, Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) is very much the order of the day as it makes it possible for hosted call centers to use high speed Internet capabilities to make and receive calls.

With the right software and some basic equipment, VoIP makes it possible to convert data streams carrying phone signals back into digital signals which will terminate on standard office telephones. In circumstances where a hosted contact center uses Internet phone services rather than wired services, the data stream does not need to undergo conversion and therefore it will terminate directly with the next available agent in the queue.

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