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Strategy and Transformation

Highly Configurable vs Highly Customizable Contact Centers

What is best for your business? 

Contact centers and customer support platforms have historically been managed as part of an organization’s telephony department. As these organizations look to move to an omni-channel cloud-based solution it is important to understand the options available when choosing a path forward. There are three types of solutions,  

  • Commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) 
  • Highly configurable  
  • Highly customizable 

Dall·e CustomizablevsconfigurableMost customers want and need a solution that meets their exact requirements. However, the more complex the requirements, the less likely it is that a COTS solution is going to come out-of-the box meeting their business needs. To meet the customer’s objectives, the software must either be configured or customized and depending on the solution, only one option may be available to meet the requirements. This brings us to a crucial crossroads: should an organization opt for customization or configuration when implementing a contact center solution? 

The difference between configuration and customization 

  • Configuration. This refers to adjusting the settings and preferences of an existing contact center platform to meet the specific needs of an organization, without changing its core code. Configuration is simpler and less costly than customization since it relies on using the software’s inherent features and settings. A configurable system is a COTS solution but allows the owner to easily personalize certain aspects of the system themselves, without the help of experienced software developers.  
  • Customization. This involves making changes to the contact center platform code to add new features, change its behavior, or integrate it with other applications. Customization typically requires specialized development skills and an understanding of the software’s architecture. Customization is more complex due to the need for software development efforts. A customized contact center platform is developed specifically for your organization. It is tailor-made for your organization and does everything you require in the way that works best for that team. 

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Highly Configurable Contact Center Platform 

Configuration provides a way to adjust the Contact Center settings to align with specific needs, without altering the core codebase. Originations can quickly adapt functionalities based on presets and options provided by the software. This means getting your desired outcome without the intricate process of rewriting or adding new code. Some of the benefits of configuration provides include the following: 

  1. Adjusting out-of-box functionality 
  2. Adjustable only within certain parameters 
  3. Use tools in the application to meet specific requirements without the use of code 
  4. Uses software’s inherent features and settings 
  5. Can add fields, changes names, or add buttons 
  6. Cost & Time Efficiency 
  7. Ease of Upgrading 
  8. Vendor Support 
  9. Can make changes the vendor has anticipated you will want to make in the software 

When to choose a highly configurable contact center platform

  1. Your organization is flexible and can leverage supported workflows 
  2. Your contact center platform does not need a lot of integration 

Highly Customizable Contact Center Platform 

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Organizations that need technology and software solutions that meet unique business requirements and use cases that cannot be obtained out-of-the-box should opt for customization. This also implies that the business is not flexible enough to change its behavior to meet the workflows of a given solution. Some of the benefits of customization provides include the following: 

  1. Enhances the software’s capabilities 
  2. Make modifications that are unavailable though out-of-box functionality 
  3. Changing the code of the software to meet business needs 
  4. Write new code in software that meets specific requirements 
  5. Customized reports can reveal new perspectives on your data 
  6. Involves code changes 
  7. Custom to the specific needs of your organization 
  8. Software is more aligned to your processes 
  9. Can add new features, change behavior, or integration with other applications 

When to choose a highly customizable contact center platform

  1. Your organization needs a solution that meets its unique business requirements and use cases are not obtained by COTS alone. 
  2. Your contact center platform needs lots of integrations to services such as CRMs (Customer Relationship Management), WFO, outbound campaign management, Voice Mail, SMS, WhatsApp, internal databases, external services like electronic health records, and reporting systems. 
  3. Usually, large complex organizations that may be siloed or not flexible enough to change their behavior to meet the workflows of a given solution. 

How can Perficient Help

Perficient is an enterprise digital consultancy, and our Business Unit has deep experience with contact center management platforms. We can deploy COTS, Highly Configurable, and Highly Customizable contact center solutions. We can help configure and customize your contact center platform. We can also help migrate from legacy contact center platforms to any omni-channel cloud-based contact center platform.   

We have seen many originations have difficulty choosing which of these three options is best for them. This may be because COTS solutions can be demonstrated better than Highly Configurable or Highly Customizable solutions. Since COTS are off-the-self all their features are complete. In fact, Highly Configurable options may be easier to demonstrate than Highly Customizable solutions. However, for some organizations the greatest return on investment might be the customizations that lead to unique process improvements that save time across thousands of support agents. Or the custom integrations that enable a holistic digital customer experience platform.  

  • Perficient is also a gold partner with most omni-channel cloud-based contact center vendors. So, we can provide unbiased suggestions on which solution is best for your organization. 
  • Perficient has deployed, configured, and customized contact center platforms for many small, medium, and large originations.  
  • Perficient has a robust set of software accelerators for custom features, plugins, workflows, and integrations that we can use to speed up your customization development time. 

A guiding principle of Perficient’s is to rely on configuration as much as possible and only customize when requirements cannot be met with pure configuration. 

Perficient takes pride in our personal approach to the customer journey. We help enterprise clients transform and modernize their contact center and CRM with platforms like Amazon Connect, Salesforce Service Cloud Voice, and Twilio Flex. 

For more information on how to get the most out of Amazon Connect and Service Cloud Voice, please contact us here. 

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Chris Frank

Chris Frank joined Perficient in 2021 as an experienced software design architect and software development strategist.  Chris's previous roles include CTO for a startup, Agile Release Manager within DHS, and Engineering Team Manager for a payroll and tax company. These roles span industries such as real estate, oil & gas, payroll & tax, and government. Chris started his software career by co-founding a startup based on his Master's Degree research.

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