For large enterprise with complex call center systems, transitioning to the cloud can seem like a nightmare
A vast majority of today’s call center IT professionals are either currently transitioning their on-premise infrastructure to cloud solutions or realizing that cloud integration will soon be a necessary element to remain on the cutting edge in the contact center space.
In fact, the cloud-based contact center market is maturing at a steady pace, according to DMG’s “2014-2015 Cloud-Based Contact Center Infrastructure Market Report.” The number of cloud-based seats is expected to grow by 20% this year, another 18% in both 2016 and 2017, and by 16% in 2018. And while those percentages decrease slightly year by year, DMG reports that the actual number of cloud contact center seats is expected to grow yearly.
Barriers to cloud integration for the complex call center
However, many organizations with call centers considering the transition to cloud are often faced with considerable barriers to success. For instance:
- Quantity Numerous data centers throughout the country/world
- Diversity Disparate systems in each data center
- Incompatibility Incompatibilities known and unknown among the disparate systems
- Licenses Need to address existing on-premise licenses still under contract
- Consolidation/dispersal An initiative for either consolidation or dispersal of data centers
With such complex systems, the cloud provider must develop a minutely detailed methodical plan to account for hundreds of moving parts to ensure continuity of service. Without a provider that can guarantee a minutely orchestrated plan accounting for thousands of moving parts and 100% uptime during the transition, organizations stand to jeopardize their business continuity and potentially lose control over important internal data.
Indeed, a recent survey administered by CDW revealed that 59 percent of respondents (all of whom directly participate in IT decision making for their organizations) would make more use of the cloud if the complexity of migration and integration weren’t holding them back. What’s more, the same respondents also reported that, though inexpensive to buy, cloud infrastructure often proves expensive and difficult to implement and integrate with other resources.
Selecting the right cloud vendor for your complex integration
So, how can you sidestep the pitfalls other organizations have experienced due to complex cloud integrations? Here are three tips for finding the right cloud vendor for your complex integration:
Demand a consultative approach Some cloud vendors only offer take-it-or-leave-it solutions that are easier to sell rather than taking the time to work to develop a customized plan with you and your legacy infrastructure. Accordingly, if the potential cloud providers you’ve researched only offer plans that restrict your decision making, move your search along. For example, if you want to dip your toe in the cloud pool before becoming fully submerge, why not try integrating one cloud-based feature at a time? A best-in-class cloud-based contact center provider will be able to provide features à la carte and integrate with your legacy systems along the way. This way you can make the transition gradual and seamless and not stymie business productivity. Be sure to specify your needs in terms of:
- Immediate needs to be addressed in a short time frame
- Legacy infrastructure to be retained
- Legacy licenses to be recycled
- Data center consolidation
- Telephony connectivity
- Timeline and training
Ask for a business continuity plan One of the greatest barriers to successful cloud integration for contact centers is preserving business continuity, as a loss of call volume or poor customer experience can be detrimental. As such, it’s important that contact centers find a cloud provider that is willing to gradually transition call volume. Specifically, cloud providers with this capability will begin by adopting a small portion of your organization’s call volume to detect any glitches within the new system. Once this pilot stage is completed, contact centers regain full control over call volume, enabling them to set their own pace for the move to the cloud.
Many of Spoken's clients desire a cloud transition but have incredibly complex systems that no other vendor can accommodate. It's common for clients to begin by addressing an immediate need with a single application.
For example, one client began with cloud call recording, since the previous on-premise solution was aging out. The other legacy systems remained in place, and the cloud call recording solution served as a proof of concept for the remainder of the cloud transition. After that integration, plans for a gradual transition incorporating legacy infrastructure and licenses was developed and implemented.
Ask about future-proofing A cloud-based contact center provider should position organizations to accommodate future growth, productivity and reliability. In this regard, contact center IT professionals should ensure their cloud provider is able to consistently update products and services in keeping with the nearly continuous advancements in the telecom and cloud markets. Contact centers must choose a provider that can guarantee end-to-end security so that safety concerns can never limit their companies’ productivity. Additionally, advanced technologies such as call recording, call reporting and remote working software enable contact centers to work at their highest efficiencies. Quality security measures as well as best-in-class technology mean that contact centers won’t need to replace their technology so they can focus on improving the future of their businesses—rather than shelling out money on repairs and updates.
All clouds are not created equal. Finding a consultative cloud vendor to tackle and tame a complex call center integration is essential to a smooth and friction-free cloud transition. Choose a vendor that has an experienced management team that act as consultants for your complex integration so you can integrate at the pace that is best for your organization.
Spoken Communications eats complex integrations for breakfast. To find out how we can tame your complex integration, contact us.