10 Reasons why contact centres are embracing the cloud - Cognia - ContactCenterWorld.com Blog
Cloud technology is not a novelty in contact centres anymore. It’s the new normal. Ten reasons why contact centre managers are embracing the cloud like never before.
Nearly half (48 percent) of the call centre managers surveyed in ContactBabel’s latest Inner Circle Guide to Cloud-Based Contact Centre Solutions were already hosting some functionality in the cloud and the number is growing. They’re using cloud-hosted software like CRM and helpdesk applications, cloud infrastructure for telephony, CTI and IVR as well as cloud payment processing solutions. From our experience at Cognia, we see ten main reasons why cloud technology is taking centre stage:
Flexibility of OPEX over CAPEX. The shift from upfront capital costs to ongoing pay-as-you-go operational costs means that cloud-based solutions offer contact centre managers a way to deploy new technology and scale up or down in a cost-effective way. One of the report findings states; ‘For outsourcers and telemarketers who may have call volumes that vary dramatically depending on campaign levels, solutions with a flexible pay per usage pricing structure are particularly important.’
Cloud technology helps to cut costs. While cloud technology is often cheaper to
acquire and run than competing on-premise systems, greater savings come from flexibility and improved efficiency. As one contributor to the report says: ‘The biggest cost savings come from the flexibility that a cloud solution provides, allowing you to scale your operations to meet your changing needs. From adding seasonal employees, to handling volume spikes, to growing your permanent workforce, a cloud solution makes it easy to add or remove agents based on your business requirements.’
3. Security of the Cloud. The majority of respondents (73 percent) did not rate cloud security risks as a great concern. Indeed, good providers generally have better security than most of their customers. As the report explains ‘serious cloud-based solution providers have invested very heavily in physical and logical security- which many organisations have not done themselves – as it is in the solution providers’ own best interests to do so’.
4. Cloud technology integrates with existing infrastructure. Although everyone appreciates the value of cloud solutions, inserting them into multi-faceted legacy systems environments has always been a barrier to cloud adoption. For this reason, cloud providers have to work hard to integrate with legacy systems and have sophisticated ways to do so. For example, Cognia integrates its DTMF tone masking technology upstream of the call centre so that it protects all calls coming into a client’s phone system and its payment processing software can be integrated into different agent applications, whether it’s a simple iframe on a website or a direct integration into a CRM application.
5. cloud solutions cure compliance headaches. Contact centres face a host of regulations and compliance requirements. For example, if they process payment card information, they must comply with PCI DSS and this imposes a 904-item checklist and, with it, higher operational costs. Cloud solutions can remove the problem by moving whole processes out of the contact centre altogether.
6. The cloud supports flexible working. The flexibility benefits introduced by PAYG cloud services can extend well beyond systems capacity: Cloud technology makes it easier for staff to work from home or different regional offices. They can access VoIP phone systems, connect to cloud CRM apps and take payment securely with payment card processing done upstream in the cloud. As a result, companies can be more flexible in rostering, hire staff in multiple locations, allow people to work at home and so on.
7. Recruitment is easier with the cloud. The flexibility offered by cloud-hosted technology means that recruitment (accounting for 2.7 percent of operating costs) becomes easier because companies can draw on a larger talent pool in more locations. In addition, the ability to work from home or work flexible hours is good for employee morale which in turn improves staff retention.
8 The cloud simplifies scalability. In traditional call centres, adding more users requires additional hardware and software licences. This can be a slow and expensive process. Likewise, changing processes, such as IVR workflows, to respond to evolving business requirements could become a complex process with expensive consultants required to reprogram onsite equipment. With the cloud, adding extra capacity – more lines, new workflows, extra licences or more users, for example – takes minutes. As the report says, ‘Scalability is key’
9 Infinite storage on demand. We’ve all heard it: ‘your call may be recorded’. But where do those recordings go? If they’re stored on premise, they require an ever-expanding stack of hardware and all the security and compliance issues that go with it. Move the storage to the cloud, however, and contact centres get virtually unlimited storage but only pay for what they actually use.
10 Improved performance and reliability. The majority of small and medium-sized businesses can’t afford the levels of duplication, redundancy and IT management required to deliver consistently high levels of performance and availability. On the other hand, global firms like Microsoft, Google and Amazon can invest heavily and offer 99.9 percent availability or higher with service level agreements as a guarantee. In addition, the very nature of cloud services means that, as the report says, ‘they can be accessed from anywhere by anyone with a browser, with little or no client-side software needed – means that problems at the client’s premises can be circumvented by physically moving staff elsewhere.’
With the right approach and the right suppliers, respondents are seeing real benefits from the cloud: 82 percent agree that the overall cost of ownership is cheaper. Perhaps more importantly, in the long run, they report that the cloud is making it easier to make changes, add new functionality and operate more flexibly
Publish Date: July 10, 2015 5:00 AM
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