Overcoming the Last Barriers to Cloud Contact Center Adoption
Many small to medium-sized businesses (SMBs) have made the jump to cloud-based technology, particularly when it comes to their communications and their contact center solutions. They may have made the step to the cloud to save money – it means they can implement state-of-the-art technology with little to no upfront capital – or because their business is very cyclical and they’re tired of paying for software licenses they don’t need. Whatever the initial reason for the move to the cloud, these same SMBs are finding a variety of other compelling benefits to cloud-based solutions, including features they couldn’t afford before, or the ability to use home-based or remote workers.
Adoption rates for the cloud solutions model has been slower in larger enterprises, perhaps because these organizations can afford to continue using premise-based software. A study conducted last year by Right Scale of IT professionals in companies with 1,000 employees or more found that only 42 percent had adopted cloud infrastructure and related technologies. Even some SMBs remain wary of moving to the cloud, and it’s worth examining these reasons. Even if call center management is sold on the idea of the cloud, there are some issues to examine before you buy, according to a recent blog post by Mitel (News - Alert).
Can it be integrated with other systems? The core of the omnichannel customer experience that most companies are seeking to implement today is interoperability. A cloud solution won’t help you if it won’t work with your CRM, workforce management, telecom platform or other solution to retrieve needed data.
“You’ll need this data (for example, customer information from a CRM) to flow well between systems to support self-service applications, as well as the ability of your agents to address key concerns and escalate conversations to the right person when needed,” according to Mitel.
Does it offer disaster recovery and backup? Cloud solutions actually have an advantage here over premise-based solutions, so they can help contact center management ensure seamless operations even in the event of a storm or power outage.
“The best cloud contact center systems offer highly available, geo-redundant, survivable service that eliminates the need for additional investment to protect the connection between your business and your customers,” wrote Mitel. “Choose a vendor that offers the disaster recovery options that fit your needs.”
Is it secure? Security is one area in which cloud solutions have a reputation for being less reliable than premise-based solutions. The truth is that with a reputable vendor following best practices, cloud solutions are just as secure as premise-based solutions, and perhaps even more so: the solution provider is better staffed to protect sensitive customer data.
“Cloud-based contact center providers have invested a significant amount of resources to improving their security systems, often times with elaborate security protocols and best practices that on-premise contact centers may lack,” wrote Customer Think’s Veronica French in a recent article.
If you no longer wish to maintain infrastructure on-site or worry about hardware obsolescence, cloud-based contact centers eliminate the need for on-premises servers and, in addition to lowering costs, shift the burden for keeping pace with changing technologies to your service provider.
Edited by Alicia Young