What Does the Underwater Data Center Have to do with Solving Your Customer Experience Challenges?
You may recently have heard rumblings that a certain tech giant is exploring moving its data centers to unchartered territory: under the sea. All the buzz is not for naught; those weighing in generally see positive potential for the venture. According to Forbes, “If it works, it could dramatically cut energy and real estate cost.”
If you’re not the lucky individual on the hook for your company’s data center costs, you may not realize that underwater data centers pose a very interesting question to any business about how it keeps its competitors at bay and customers satisfied. What’s the connection between subsea servers and your customer experience? Even if you’re keeping your data on dry land (or up in the cloud), there’s a significant tie between the two.
Finding the pieces of the customer experience
Let’s start with the basics. How is your company delivering a superior customer experience and building loyalty? Generally speaking, the customer experience starts with your call or contact center. If you look across your entire organization, you might have multiple teams responsible for customer contact, like eCommerce, order entry, product support, inside sales, telesales, customer care, help desk, etc.
Each of these teams have a specific area of responsibility and report up through individual departments, all with potentially different solutions that were handpicked by each team based on their specific requirements. Each team has limited visibility into what the other teams are doing or what technology they are using. Generally speaking, this approach has worked in the past as long as each team met their objectives.
Numerous customer experiences operating independently
The connection between customer experience and Microsoft’s nautical novelty comes into play when you examine the foundation of your contact centers (that’s right—each of the teams we listed above that involve any form of customer interaction can be considered a contact center). Each of these contact centers runs on a dedicated infrastructure with its own hardware and software, and likely has its own team to manage it. Each infrastructure has been designed to ensure that it can scale to support the required traffic volumes and agents, and is up, running and available when customers need it, even during peak periods. To build such an infrastructure requires a significant hardware, software and administrative investment, including components like:
- Development environments: often built at 25% of production capacity to ensure it works like we need it to
- Test environments: often built at 50% of production capacity to ensure it will be able to handle the load
- Production environment: built to support the maximum traffic load possible, regardless as to how often that volume is hit
So, how does this tie back to the underwater data center?
Creating all these separate infrastructures for multiple teams in a single organization requires servers—and a lot of them. This sprawling setup and its associated energy costs are the reasons we’re turning to the last place on earth where we currently aren’t storing data. Under the sea.
Putting the pieces together
Is there an easier, less aquatic solution? While we recognize that each of these contact centers has specific requirements, it does not mean that the underlying infrastructure needs to be built and managed separately. By consolidating these disparate systems, you will enjoy the benefits associated with economies of scale, knowledge sharing and reduced administrative overhead, to name a few.