The Contact Center’s Path to the Cloud
‘One-size-fits-all’ may be good for a wristwatch or 3D glasses at the movies, but it simply doesn’t work for a contact center. In an age where customer experience has become a key business differentiator, organizations need flexible options for how they provide customer service.
But before focusing on specific features, you should consider contact center deployment options. Conventional wisdom tells us that everything is moving to the cloud, and indeed there are many benefits to cloud-based contact centers. But each organization is migrating at its own pace. In some cases an on-premise or hybrid solution might still make sense. This requires a closer look at business goals and requirements to understand which deployment option is best for your organization.
So what are the options? Let’s start with on-premise contact centers where organizations purchase hardware and software licenses to deploy and then manage them on-site. This has been the traditional model for decades. While many are moving to cloud-based systems, there are still some distinct advantages to the on-premise model—most notably, full in-house control over your resources and data.
Cloud contact centers, on the other hand, can offer significant cost savings as your organization can virtually eliminate upfront capital investments in favor of the pay-per-use model. As a software subscription, cloud services can typically scale up and down with business variability. Because the entire system is software-based and delivered through the cloud, maintenance and upgrades are easier too.
But not all cloud contact centers are created equal—and there are several important considerations. A private cloud, for example, maintains infrastructure and services over a private network. Think intranet versus Internet. This enables software delivery within the confines of your organization’s own network resources. A public cloud solution leverages the Internet and can potentially deliver the most cost savings. This also enables the software-as-a-service (SaaS) model for contact centers as a service option, where a third-party delivers contact center solutions on a per-user basis.
On-premise vs. cloud. Private cloud vs. public cloud. As if the options so far weren’t enough, there is one more. Some organizations are adopting a hybrid model to take advantage of the benefits of multiple delivery options. In fact, the hybrid model is an attractive option for organizations that want to migrate to the cloud or to a public cloud without taking the immediate plunge.
Even within the hybrid model, you have options. You can have a hybrid contact center that includes on-premise and cloud elements. This is especially attractive to organizations seeking to migrate to the cloud over time. For organizations that have a private cloud solution and seek to migrate to the public cloud, there’s a hybrid solution that bridges both.