To Cloud, or Not to Cloud? Hard Questions for Contact Center

By Cynthia Meinke, Senior Account Executive - 14 Sep, 2020

Within the past six months, there has been a common concern amongst CIO’s. This concern includes posing the question, “Do we move the Contact Center to the Cloud?” There are clear benefits of moving applications, infrastructure, and platforms to the cloud. However, with the Contact Center — it’s not that simple. Below are common concerns identified by CIO’s across various markets, ordered by the rank of concern:

  1. Customer Experience (CX) disruption from a hard cutover
  2. Consideration of the complexity of the technology stack
  3. Leveraging the investments of the current premise Contact Center
  4. Choosing a vendor amongst all the new players in the crowded cloud space
  5. Cost

Due to the common consensus — let’s take a deeper dive into these conversations and core topics.

Concern #1: Customer Experience Disruption from a Hard Cutover

A top concern amongst CIO’s is the Customer Experience and the potential for any lapse in service due to a hard cutover. A mistake in execution in this realm is extremely detrimental to an organization’s business, not to mention potentially career-ending. Customer Experience is integral to revenue, brand loyalty, and growth of the company. Any change to how customers interact with a business should be thoroughly thought-out.

Concern #2: Consideration of the Complexity of the Technology Stack

The analysis of the network and current technology stack is commonly known as an area in which the most time is spent. A few main variables to be considered include:

  • Current calling network: SIP or PRI
  • Users: Phone users vs. Agents
  • Network: MPLS vs. Internet
  • Coverage: National vs. Global
  • Contact Center Features to carry over: WorkForce Management, Quality Management, Call Recording, Screen Recording, OmniChannel, CoBrowse, NL, Biometrics, Chat

Unlike Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS), in which you can perform a “Lift and Shift” and optimize later, these hardwired premise variables are not easily maneuvered and have to be carefully investigated. A minor, but crucial example is 911 services. During the process of changing voice getaways or call-plans, it is imperative to understand the impact of 911 serviceability.

Concern #3: Leveraging Current Premise Contact Center Investments

Leveraging current premise contact center investments goes hand-in-hand with Concern #2. New Era Technology analyzes the following when working with a customer:

  • Hardware: Where is the customer in the lifecycle for voice gateways and servers?
  • Software: What is the current version of the operating systems and applications currently in production?
  • Call Plan: Contract end dates

Concern #4: Choosing a Vendor Amongst New Players in Crowded Cloud Space

The landscape is full of players in the emerging cloud-only Contact Center space, all vying for market share. New Era Technology has the experience and knowledge to put your needs first.

Concern #5: Cost

While reviewing a cloud analysis with a client, New Era takes a holistic approach. New Era recognizes the importance of considering the cost ranges of status-quo, a complete cloud overhaul, and an optimized hybrid strategy. An optimized solution will generate a positive ROI — it simply comes down to time for the ROI to appear. Soft costs are also taken into consideration.

“Soft costs” can serve as a substantial benefit to clients via IT staff engagement. If a customer moves to a cloud solution and removes the backlog maintenance requests from their task-list, IT staff become available to contribute to the business in different ways more strategically. Below is a real-world example that showcases the importance of “soft costs.”

Example:

After removing the maintenance backlog, IT staff could analyze the daily, weekly, and monthly reports that are generated by the contact center platform. The extra time available to IT staff allowed teams to recognize trends in their organization’s contact center compared to industry-standard metrics for dropped calls. Allowing IT staff to look at reports that were always available (but had limited time to review), provided more clarity on the impact of business, bringing additional value and strategy to the company overall.

The IT staff recognized behavior trends that negatively impacted their business, and were able to make changes that directly affected the bottom-line, while positively affecting the Customer Experience.

Conclusion

If you find yourself asking, “To cloud, or not to cloud?” — enlist the help of a tenured and strategic Contact Center partner. The right partner aims to enhance the IT organization’s capability to improve the Customer Experience by proven tools and techniques in a rapidly-changing engagement model. New Era Technology can help you map out an optimized path and take all concerns listed above into consideration. To learn more about this solution, please email solutions@neweratech.com.

Author: Cynthia Meinke, Senior Account Executive

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