The debate over the merits of moving an enterprise’s contact center operations to the cloud has long been addressed and settled. If you are in need of greater market adaptability, can benefit from a flexible workforce, need to simplify your infrastructure, operate a seasonal business, need to reduce company costs…and so on, the concept easily sells itself. In fact, with 70% of companies using on-premise solutions planning to make the move in the next 1-3 years, you would be in good company.
However, the logistics of successfully migrating to a cloud contact center solution are contingent on your ability to properly prepare for the change. It doesn’t have to be difficult (and it usually isn’t), but here are a few things to consider:
Bandwidth Constraints – The cloud is an Internet-based environment – meaning all transactions and data transfers occur over the worldwide net. While a cloud-based contact center solution does mitigate the need for expensive infrastructure and IT staffing, the act of outsourcing data retrieval requires that your business have access to enough bandwidth to “carry” all the information and media files you need to go about your day. Without the proper Internet “highway” linking your business to your hosted contact center, the benefits of placing your contact center in the cloud quickly become pointless. If you plan to move your call center to the cloud, make sure you have the proper infrastructure (including the proper “type” of Internet, such as Fiber or EOS) to adjust and support your new setup, which likely means a very cheap monthly upgrade with your current Internet Service Provider—a small price to pay in exchange for smooth sailing with all the advantages a cloud solution brings to the table.
Proper Migration Plan – Any significant change in service providers (if you’re leaving a current cloud solution) or operational setup necessitates a proper migration plan to allow for a seamless transition. In many instances, failing to completely address why you are moving/switching and how, can easily lead to a misalignment of expectations and deliverables. In addition, it is absolutely crucial any potential service provider takes the time to understand your business and processes in order to properly assist with the transition—you need a partner, not just a vendor to complement your efforts. After all, every business is different so the likelihood of your needs fitting perfectly into a pre-packaged solution is slim unless you are willing to adjust your processes to fit theirs. So take the time to assess your business requirements, how moving to a cloud solution can deliver on those needs, and execute in accordance to a pre-approved plan with the full support of your service provider.
Vendor Experience with Integrations – One of the primary benefits of moving to the cloud is the ability to subscribe to software and services uniquely catered to addressing specific needs and company initiatives. If you need a CRM system, a ticketing solution, workforce management software, an accounting platform, etc., cloud makes it possible without having to purchase more than you need. However, the act of integrating solutions into your business (such as an advanced contact center solution) can quickly undermine the intent if done improperly. In fact, a bad integration can easily be worse than none at all given the extent to which software integrations can embed themselves into your daily operations. In short, it helps to research the level of expertise your potential service provider has regarding the integrations you need. Quite simply, do your homework.
Architecture – You’ve undoubtedly heard arguments for and against private and public cloud. The fact of the matter is that each maintains its own respective advantages. And although the underlying cloud concept is the same (you are outsourcing hosting responsibilities to a third party rather than onsite) how and by what means it’s delivered can vary drastically. While to some degree it is a matter of need and preference, the fact remains that public cloud generally offers greater scalability, reliability, and flexibility by virtue of its sheer size (think Amazon Web Services) versus private cloud, which tends to be smaller but can arguably offer greater control (which can be relevant for those who have strict security and privacy requirements). Whatever avenue you choose, keep in mind the differences.
In the end, moving to the cloud can be a fantastic decision and a game-changer. It’s just a matter of taking the time to make the transition properly, which in the world of business shouldn’t be a new concept.