SaaS, Hosted, Cloud-based…whatever we call it, contact centers are interested. This technology option offers flexibility, speed, innovation and reliability with low demands on human and financial resources for implementation and support. Market analysts report that cloud-based seats are growing faster than the overall market.
- New capabilities quickly – customers and management have expanded and changed their service expectations; contact centers need flexibility to keep pace
- Competitive advantage – service innovation is a competitive weapon; cloud-based solutions offer competitive features/functions, especially for small to medium centers that didn’t think they could afford them
- Economic downturn – contact centers need to grow, change, and expand services but must reduce their investment risk
- Credibility – success of some hosted IVR, CRM and contact center vendors brings credibility to the whole market
- IT resource constraints – every IT department has too much on its plate; decision makers like solutions that reduce internal resource requirements
- Limited capital dollars – software and licenses are substantial capital investments; cloud-based services are operational costs (a preferred budget line item) and may confer savings
- Open solutions – premise databases and applications can be integrated readily with a cloud-based infrastructure
For some of you, the transition from premise-based to cloud-based technology may be daunting. I’d encourage you to read Contact Centers in the Clouds: Expand Your Sourcing Options in which I cover several topics that bring out the strengths of cloud-based contact center technology while serving up a dose of caution. Collectively, they’ll help you ask the right questions as you entertain possibilities and plan your approach to implementation.
Cloud-based computing may not be the panacea for your center’s challenges. But with a clear understanding of the potential benefits and risks, you can feel comfortable adding a new set of providers to the list for consideration.