Contact Centers' Cloud Choices Proliferate: Craft a Strategy for Choosing
When the cloud first came to the contact center, it came in bits and pieces. In fact, most companies’ first experience of a cloud-based solution came in the form of customer relationship management (CRM), one of the first enterprise functions to “go large” in the cloud.
It was a great way to expose contact centers and the organizations they supported to the benefits of the cloud: little to no upfront capital and monthly subscription costs (which allows the solutions to be accounted for out of operating expenses instead of capital expenses), no in-house IT maintenance, automatic updates and upgrades, high availability, scalability, faster deployment and feature sets for smaller companies that were formerly only available to larger companies.
While the cloud may have started for most call centers in CRM, today, nearly every contact center function is available via the cloud, according to a recent blog post by workforce optimization solutions provider Monet Software’s CEO Chuck Ciarlo.
“It’s never been easier, since all of the software necessary to deliver outstanding customer service is now available as cloud solution,” he writes. “From PBX (News - Alert), IVR and ACD to call recording, from workforce management and performance management to CRM and speech analytics, if it’s on a call center manager’s ‘want’ list it is available via a cloud delivery system.”
This of course, means that the market has become rather confusing for many contact centers that may not have the IT expertise to know what it is they need, or may not have a relationship with a vendor who can help them. Some companies find what they’re looking for by trying solutions before they buy, says Ciarlo.
“If all of this sounds good, but you haven’t yet investigated the many advantages of a cloud solution, it might be time to take one out for a test drive,” he writes. “One of the best things about the cloud is that there’s always room for one more.”
Certain solutions will fit some companies better than others. In all cases, it’s important that companies put together a cloud strategy that lays out what the company’s goals are and how a cloud solution can help meet those goals.
Ciarlo writes, “If you are already using cloud solutions in your contact center, why not bring together your best employees and think about an overall cloud strategy, and how to make the most of this service? Don’t be surprised if one of the most frequent responses involves expanding the company’s cloud commitment, so it’s handling even more of the call center’s functionality.”
There is a cloud solution out there that is the best fit for your company. Finding it takes a little work, but the effort is well worth it when the rewards are considered.
Edited by Maurice Nagle