“Buy vs Build” Or “Buy & Build”

Everyone with a contact center wants to get better insight into the true causes of any poor sales or service experience by their customers. In the first instance many will look to the reporting tools of their contact center software vendor and for some this will be enough.

However as soon as you start to scale or have a more complex business processes this analysis become increasing difficult with the vendor supplied tools as they generally cover only basic scenarios. Maybe you already have a BI tool (or a few) already available internally and you might look to these as the next viable option.

Other customers will look at building something completely custom in house.

Over the course of the last few years we had a few customers come to us initially with the desire to “build their own” solution for contact center analytics. They have said to us “well you know, we have developers in house, their costs are sunk and we can build these reports ourselves. We don’t need to buy a product.” Even when these customers have gone away to try and do this, we have in many cases had them return to us some months later as its actually much harder than they thought.

For me there have been a few lessons that have become obvious in this scenario:

  • You will be reinventing the wheel – after all we have already done this so why take your developers off other high value activities to build something that’s already been built. What’s the opportunity cost vs the cost of purchase?
  • Staying on top of the changes to the underlying software and the APIs can be a full-time job. With one of our vendor partners there are hundreds of changes to the APIs every month and each one of these can require changes to the code to ensure the solution keeps working. This will require an ONGOING investment in development resources that won’t stop at the end of the project.
  • Speed to value – again we have already built this so why wait for 6 months for your developers to deliver phase 1 of their solution when you could have had ours up and running in a matter of minutes or hours.
  • Being able to handle “real” real time. In the contact center being able to respond in actual real time to changes in queue volumes, abandoned calls and other critical metrics in very important. Many BI tools don’t handle sub second real time reporting well.
  • Lack of knowledge in contact center operations – most in house developers are not familiar with the operational aspects of an omni-channel contact center and will take a substantial amount of time to understand the data, where its coming from, what’s important, how to gather, filter and transform that data and how to visualize it for the multiple internal audiences inside your business. This audience includes agents, supervisors, manager, executives and operations). Do you want to wait while they learn? Do you have the time to teach them?
  • Documentation, well we all know that in-house developers are notorious for the quality of their documentation
  • Who is going to teach your team how to use this reporting solution? What happens when you team changes and you need new people trained. What if the developers have left?
  • We have experts on our software available around the globe and you have the guy who wrote it, but he might leave and then what do you have?

One of the key reasons why customers might want to build in house is because they have special requirements and want something much more customized. This is why, at emite, we have taken the product AND platform approach for CX Intelligence.

We offer an out of the box product to enable immediate value in your contact center, but we also have a platform that can be extended by the business to meet changing needs and more sophisticated or custom requirements.

So, you can have the best of both worlds and get to buy and build and not just buy or build. Keep your BI team and developers focused on the things they do best.