Moving Your Contact Centre to the Cloud: Six Things You Need To Consider Part 1

Martin Taylor, Director and co-founder of Content Guru, looks at the 6 key things that you should consider when moving from on-premise to Cloud

1. What are your goals?

According to a recent DMG survey approximately 80% of contact centre organisations have already made the decision to move services to cloud or plan to do so within 18 months but the benefits should be clear to your business.

There are basic compelling reasons to make the transition, including:

    • Cost: Cloud services typically involve little or no up-front investment, with the total cost of ownership generally lower than that for an on-premise system providing similar capabilities over the service/product lifetime
    • Seasonal requirements: Cloud services can be acquired for specific time periods, making advanced technology affordable for short and medium term project requirements
    • Availability: Cloud services can be available 24/7 and with 99.999% availability. On-premise solutions, by contrast, often go offline during weekends, holidays and during system upgrades
    • Scalability: Cloud services can easily scale up and down dependent on client needs without the requirement for new hardware/software

You need to clearly quantify the benefits that making the transition will bring and measure success against those criteria over time.

2. What applications are you going to migrate?

Consider switching any software application where there is a strong business case for doing so.

In the contact centre space, many companies have chosen to migrate their CRM applications to the cloud first. This has not only given contact centre agents access to essential customer details via any web browser but allowed sales people to easily access information on any device, regardless of location or time of day, greatly enhancing the flexibility with which they can facilitate customer engagement and carry out key business interactions. Encouraged by this success, other systems and applications – such as ACD and call recording – have typically followed shortly after.

Today, companies are increasingly moving ALL of their contact centre technology services to the cloud – i.e. everything from contact handling (via voice, email, SMS and web chat) through to multichannel contact recording, IVR, workforce optimisation and analytics.

3. Are your partners the right fit?

In the cloud world, finding the right technology partners is extremely important. And it’s not just a question of finding ones whose technology is a good fit.

Because of the nature of cloud services, the bond between provider and client is often extremely close. Clients are not only reliant on their cloud partners for technology uptime, they are also reliant on them for maintenance, help desk support, ‘proactive’ performance management support, and more.

So it’s vital that you feel you can work successfully with the individuals in those businesses and that you are comfortable with the Service Level Agreements, certifications and security provided.

It’s also important to consider the size of your cloud service provider. Too small and it may struggle to make the on-going investment required to scale with its clients’ growth and deliver the range of services required. Too big and it may not give you enough attention.