I am generally tasked with the Web DEMO of Indosoft call center software Q-Suite for Asterisk. A Web DEMO is usually very interactive where the viewer has full control of my laptop and we can do almost everything (not run the predictive dialer, of course). All the Inbound IVR, Queue, Agent nail-up and an incredible amount of contact center functionality, all are with a few clicks of the button. At the end of the demo we will invariably enter the topic of cost of setting up a call center platform.
The costs of setting up contact centers depend on the infrastructure and the technology platform. The configuration of your contact center will impact the capacity and overall cost. There are the costs for telephony and LAMP servers as well as the recording storage server (should you look at long term storage). The cost of any licenses like G729 Codec and Skype to Asterisk. It is important to remember that the most important and valuable components like Asterisk PBX, MySQL database, Apache Web Server, Ubuntu Linux all come without any price thanks to the incredible world of Open Source Software. The cost of the call center software, setup, installation and support have to be added to the cost of hardware and infrastructure. For a 100 seat installation (excluding the cost of agent machines), the cost per seat can run around 400 to 500 USD per seat. Compare this to what I can recall from the year 2000 when was in excess of 5000 USD per seat. To be honest, those contact centers were no where near as sophisticated as the present day call centers. Truly, I am amazed at the cost reduction.