You can do a lot these days with your laptop, an Internet connection, and an idea. When that idea involves customer service, inbound sales or even an information line, there's no reason it has to wait. Ten years ago, you'd have to buy expensive hardware and wire it into a rack somewhere. Or you could go full DIY and install a free PBX system like Asterisk onto a Linux server, buy a card for it to connect to your telco, and spend your time adjusting config files and re-encoding audio prompts. That's a steep learning curve and a lot of effort just to take a call.
Today, there is no need for any of that.
Hosted contact center software can be your secret weapon. You can sign up to a hosted contact center provider and have access to a full contact center ACD (Automated Call Distribution) system very quickly. You and your agents only need a softphone, web browser and Internet connection. Whether you're starting out with just yourself or you already have 200 agents, there's an option for your business.
Want to make an extension out of the softphone on your laptop? Done. Want to create a skills-based queue that routes calls to the right agents? Done. Want to monitor the progress of your agents? Done. Want to do all this without leaving the coffee shop? Easy.
A hundred years of progress has moved the means of production from giant expensive factories to your laptop. The same progress has been made in the call center. Don't tie yourself down with big costs until they make sense to your company. Your agents can work anywhere.