In the race to automate telemarketing efforts companies evaluate lots of software based on their needs and what they can afford. Some are tempted to use open source telemarketing software believing them to be the most wallet-friendly option. Bigger companies and companies without IT savvy members in their staff often choose commercially available software. But what is it about open source telemarketing software that makes them appealing? And what is it about them that should give us pause? The answers to these questions would be of interest to members of professional organizations such as the Canada Contact Center Association.
Let us list the pros and cons starting with the advantages of open source telemarketing software, which are:
- Cost: Most of the open-source software designed for telemarketing are share ware. Thus initial acquisition cost is often zero dollars. You can download, install and use them for free.
- Stability: Most open source telemarketing software are more stable. This primarily because there is a whole community of developers working on it at any given time. Any bugs discovered are fixed and the fixes shared for free. There is also the fact that non-commercial software are not as attractive to people who develop malware.
- Flexibility: Because the source code is available, there is virtually no limit to the level of customization you can do. The presumption, of course, is that you or someone in your company has the IT skills to program whatever features and functions you wish to add.
- Multi-platform compatibility: While commercial software are usually tied to particular operating systems, open source software, including those designed for telemarketing, are free to use on any platform.
- Scalability: As with almost all types of open source software, you can choose what features to add or use. The availability of the source code allows great latitude in adding or removing functions. So long as you have programming skills, you can end up with a lean program that only contains what you really need, with the flexibility of adding more features as the need arises.
Where there are advantages, there would also be a list of disadvantages. Here are some of them:
- Skills requirement: You really need someone with programming skills to handle open source telemarketing software. First to customize the system and second for dealing with not always friendly back-end engineers for product support.
- Not user friendly: Most open source software are designed to be functional. You cannot expect the user-friendliness to be at the same level as that of software from companies like Microsoft.
- Other costs: Installation will not be as easy as that of commercially available software, and users’ learning curve will be steep.
- No technical support team: Support will come from other developers. They are not bound to be available 24/7 and their only motivation for making sure everything works is maintaining their reputation.
Having enumerated the pros and cons of open source telemarketing software, choose what best meets your needs; whether it is open source or commercial should not really matter that much.