Contact centers appreciate cloud flexibility

    Contact centers around the world are changing. Agencies are no longer tied to a single location, which required employees to commute to the office every day. Instead, contact center decision-makers are replacing the old phone system with innovative cloud-based technologies to improve availability, accessibility and support the ongoing demand for remote working capabilities.

    A recent study of 500 contact center executives by OnePoll highlighted this occurrence, noting that roughly three-quarters of respondents have cloud-based operations in place, are looking into doing so or are planning to have these strategies in place sometime during 2013. While the private sector as a whole continues to adopt the cloud for a variety of reasons, contact centers are opting for the cloud PBX system, as this technology delivers a number of unique benefits for the help desk industry.

    "The results demonstrate how perceptions have changed since cloud solutions were first introduced to the industry," telecom expert Dave Paulding said. "There are still some perceived concerns around security but as the findings show, an increasing number of contact centers are looking to deploy cloud-based models and we are seeing this growth in most industry sectors."

    Why are contact centers migrating to the cloud?

    The hosted call center is much different than its premise-based cousin for a number of reasons. These include the ability to more effectively adopt alternative communication strategies, such as the use of social media and mobile applications. By implementing multiple collaborative platforms, contact center decision-makers can guarantee their ability to effectively interact with consumers on virtually any platform, an increasingly important consideration for today's tech-savvy customers.

    Steve Morrell, a principal analyst at ContactBabel, said the call center phone system will likely continue to migrate to the cloud as decision-makers become increasingly aware of the flexible capabilities the hosted technology promises. Furthermore, executives will appreciate the fact that cloud communications are managed off-site, meaning agencies can gain additional time that was traditionally allocated to maintenance.

    "More and more companies are realizing the benefits of the cloud, which includes minimal up-front costs, faster deployment and the improved flexibility it brings to contact center operations," Paulding asserted.

    A separate report by Frost & Sullivan also highlighted the growing potential for cloud contact centers, noting that the North American hosted call center market is forecast to generate more revenue than its premise-based counterpart by 2014. This will largely be due to the growing awareness that the cloud can eliminate maintenance costs and processes, reduce the time it takes to implement advanced tools and support remote workers without introducing connectivity or security concerns.

    As the mobile and cloud landscape continue to evolve, more contact centers will make their way to the cloud to reduce complexity and improve efficiency. This will give company representatives new opportunities to meet consumer demand at a new level, giving businesses the ability to gain a competitive advantage over rival firms.

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