Contact Center Total Cost of Ownership

May 1, 2014

Understanding the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) of contact center alternatives is critical for sound decision-making. Nemertes recommends considering capital, implementation, and ongoing operational costs in TCO analysis.

Nemertes recently had conversations with, or surveyed, 114 enterprises (most of which used multiple contact center vendors) and gathered 190 data points covering cost data for a number of contact center vendors. Five vendors received enough responses for us to analyze them independently: Aspect, Avaya, Cisco, Interactive Intelligence, and NEC. We then used this data to develop a TCO analysis comparing each vendor to overall aggregate costs. Nemertes analysis shows that capital, implementation, and operational costs vary between vendors, especially for rollouts of under 100 agent licenses. Costs also vary based on deployment size and type (on-premises vs. cloud) and product, meaning that no single vendor is the most cost-effective (defined as offering the lowest TCO) for every situation. For example, Interactive Intelligence generally provides the lowest first-year cost (a combination of capital, implementation, and operational metrics). But, when just evaluating subsequent-year operational costs, Avaya comes out on top.

Enterprise IT leaders should invest the necessary time and care to make sure that they understand all areas of cost and develop a complete TCO picture in support of contact center purchasing decisions.

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