Call Center Software Free Downloads – Are They Worth Considering?

call center software free

When a small to medium sized company thinks about having their own contact center, they almost always consider call center software free downloads. If they find they are interested in stand-alone software they can get for nothing they can choose one of many call center software free downloads available through the internet.

The first thing to do though is to define your requirements. How many agents are going to use the software? What type of special skills, knowledge and education are required of agents? What features are important? Is the call center meant to handle incoming calls only, outgoing calls only, or both? By making a list of the particulars of your operation and what features your call center would benefit from, you are already pre-qualifying the software you would need.

With most free call center software you can’t download a complete suite containing all features in one go. You have to download each feature in separate modules. If you cannot find one source that has all the features you need, you cannot just go look for particular features from a different source – otherwise software modules from different sources may suffer from compatibility issues.

There are also free call center software offered, but when you read the features, they are little more than answering machines. These types of software are inadequate especially in light of legal requirements such as that of the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunication Commission’s Do Not Call List.

Otherwise some companies offer what they claim are full featured versions of their call center software for free – but with a condition specifying the maximum number of call center agents who can use them. The max number different companies set range from only 10 to 12 call center agents – that essentially means it can only be used for very small companies running their own in-house contact centers.

To further assess their usefulness, let us examine the advantages and disadvantages of free call center software.

Pros:

You don’t pay for the software.

You can search for and download only modules containing the features that will benefit your company. If you manage to find a free software suite that fits your needs, it will almost be custom made to fit.

There are no service contracts to worry about.

Cons:

Tech support is almost non-existent. I tried clicking the ‘show more information’ button the download site of one and nothing happened. Because these things are free, many times the supplier is under no obligation to make sure the product works. Use it at your own peril seems to be the guiding principle in some cases, although they don’t say that right out.

Company supplying really free software may not issue any updates at all. If you choose a free version of commercial call center software, it is not clear if you will be eligible to download updates.

You would need to hire IT personnel to look after both hardware and software maintenance.

Scalability is a problem.

With all the disadvantages of free call center software, it would be better to purchase a professionally made one or, better yet, use cloud-based software solutions.

Multi Touch Overlay – Comparing Projected Capacitance With Infrared

multi touch overlay

When people who already have passive displays decide to acquire touch screen technology, using a multi touch overlay may be their most cost effective option. That way they don’t need a brand new touch screen and they can breathe new life onto their passive screens. A multi touch overlay makes it possible for touch technology to be within reach of most companies. This Global Sources site contains links to 18 different overlay manufacturers.

However, multi touch overlays are not all the same; these screens have different capabilities and features that depend largely on the type of touch technology it uses. There are quite a few different touch technologies used for overlays, but two of the most common are infrared and projected capacitance.

How does each one work?

Infrared touch screens and overlays use a combination of lights, sensors and a software program that converts the readings first into locations, and from there into commands and data input. These overlays have a bezel which contains pairs of infrared light emitters and sensors in its perimeters. The pairs are arranged to provide horizontal and vertical infrared lights in a sort of grid. Whenever a finger, stylus or other object interrupts the light beam from hitting the paired sensor, the internal program uses the data to provide data input or instruction.

Projected capacity overlays and have a sheet of glass with transparent electrode films and an electronic chip which projects a 3D electrostatic field. These touch screens sense the change in electromagnetic field and capacitance at points of contact with fingers and other objects to determine touch location. The locations are used to provide input of commands or data to the computer.

What are the pros and cons of each?

Infrared touch overlays are significantly more affordable than most types of overlays. They don’t even need to have a glass sheet ‘screen’ so the parts that are assembled as the bezels are easy to ship. It is easy to make large format screens and overlays using infrared technology and they use very little power. They feature fast response time, recognition of dozens of simultaneous touches, and high image clarity. However the bezel thickens the touch screen, bright light can cause interference and solid objects placed on top of the screen creates an occlusion.

On projected capacity touch overlays, the benefits include a flush bezel-less surface, its performance is not affected by bright lights, and its touch response is fast and accurate – this may be why the technology is widely used in tablets and smart phones. Only touches by fingers and styluses are recognized so you can place solid objects on the screen without causing problems. It is also capable of responding to dozens of multiple touches, and image clarity is better than that of infrared touch overlays. However, projected capacity overlays are more expensive than infrared and they are not widely available in large sizes.

So if you are looking for a less expensive overlay, the infrared type may be your best bet. However, if you are going to use the overlay on a touch table where you are likely to place an object atop it, you may be better off relying on a screen using projected capacity technology.