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Cloud Contact Center Software Seeks to Shake Up Industry with Pay-Per-Interaction Price Model

December 26, 2013

A contact center software developer is touting a new price model where businesses pay per direct contact with customers, via voice, e-mail or chat. The Fenero Contact Center software takes the monthly subscription per user model and refines it further so customers pay only based on actual use, instead of number of users.

“We are saying, here’s free software to run your contact center,” said Marlon Williams, founder and CEO of Fenero. “Just pay us for the telecom usage that goes through it, as you would have to pay this anyway, and a couple cents for each email or chat interaction handled by your agents. Then you will gain unlimited access to every current and future feature of our software at no additional cost.”

The company clearly intends to shake up the current software licensing model, and the company’s leadership isn’t afraid to challenge the status quo in the industry.

“We’re in 2013 – the era of Google (News - Alert), Facebook, and Apple – where software companies need to find new business models to survive. Creativity and innovation in the form of application services is the new norm, not software licenses,” Williams said.

Fenero Contact Center software is based on open source platforms, including the Linux operating system as well as the Asterisk (News - Alert) open source telephony engine and Asterisk Gateway Interface (AGI) scripts, which powers IP PBX systems, VoIP gateways and conference servers.

Williams launched the company in April 2013 after working as director of information services for a large Miami-based contact center that offered call and online customer communication services. After looking for a new contact center system and receiving quotes of $900,000 or higher for software licenses alone, Williams decide the time was right for a new model.

“That’s when I decided the industry needed a change,” said Williams. “I thought these guys were nuts to think they could continue charging these exorbitant prices for contact center platforms in 2013.”

The business model has attracted support from industry investors, including $450,000 in angel funding from investor Nizar Lavji of Win Win Solutions.

“Fenero’s business model is poised for disruption with the pay-as-you-go approach rather than the existing licensing model most companies use,” said Lavji. “And Fenero has proven the ability to execute. Pay as you go is difficult — to me that is their secret sauce.”

Edited by Ryan Sartor

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