I work with companies of all sizes across a variety of industries on their Contact Center as a Service (CCaaS) initiatives. There are almost as many different reasons for making the move to a cloud contact center as there are organizations using them. One might want to redeploy internal IT staff to more business-focused strategic projects. Another might be following internal policies to seek out cloud solutions where viable. Still another might be under the (often mistaken) impression that CCaaS will result in instant cost savings.
However, several reasons come up in our conversations time and again. Here are the top factors driving organizations’ CCaaS deployments.
1. Minimized Management Burdens
This is probably the most common incentive for migrating to a CCaaS environment, and that makes sense. The ability to reduce the demands an organization’s customer engagement center places on its data center — and to leverage in-house staff for higher-value projects — is an enormous benefit. Instead of patching, troubleshooting and working on laborious manual updates (more on those in a moment), internal IT employees can use their skills to develop new systems and applications that build value for the business.
It’s important to remember that a contact center isn’t one application. It’s an ecosystem made up of several functional applications — including customer interaction routing, call recording, workforce management, analytics, speech recognition, text-to-speech technology and customer relationship management (CRM). Even for large organizations with robust IT teams, it can be overwhelming to keep all these balls in the air at once.
This is where the “service” part of Contact Center as a Service comes in. While cloud contact centers typically carry a premium over on-premises systems, many organizations find that the additional services offered by a CCaaS provider are well worth the additional expense.
2. Reduced Data Center Footprint
Many organizations have adopted a “cloud first” strategy, looking to move away from physical data center infrastructure except in cases where it is absolutely necessary. This not only cuts down on management burdens but also reduces the need to provide power and other types of physical support to the corporate data center. For such organizations, CCaaS is an obvious fit.
3. Automated Updates
An on-premises contact center is static. Updating or upgrading the solution is a manual process, often requiring planned downtime or even the purchase of new equipment. By contrast, cloud solutions are updated automatically. This includes not only routine security patching but also access to new applications. For instance, a number of contact center vendors have begun offering customer journey applications that provide a centralized view of how any given customer has interacted with the company. Organizations with cloud contact centers receive access to such applications automatically when the vendor rolls them out, without having to make any sort of upgrade to their systems.
4. Improved Availability
Various organizations may have different experiences with regard to availability. While some companies can certainly improve reliability, availability and uptime by switching to a cloud solution, others may be wary of giving up the control that comes with maintaining an on-premises contact center. For a large company with the staffing resources to immediately respond to and solve virtually any problem, an on-premises system may actually offer superior availability, simply because the organization will not have to wait for a vendor to respond. However, for smaller businesses with smaller IT teams, CCaaS certainly may improve uptime. This goes back to my original point: When it comes to CCaaS, different businesses will find different benefits.