Through our work with clients, we’ve had the opportunity to assess cloud-based contact center solutions and their applicability to environments of all shapes and sizes. We’ve captured the benefits in a couple of published articles – Contact Centers in the Clouds: Expanding Your Sourcing Options and Win! Win! Win!: The Cloud Contact Center has Something for Everybody.
We certainly understand the appeal of these solutions. [“Let the experts handle the technologies specific to routing contacts to our staff, and leave our IT specialists to focus on supporting our core business systems.”] But we wouldn’t be doing our job if we didn’t add a word of caution about some of the nasty surprises that can crop up if you don’t do your homework.
I’ve created a detailed write-up on gotchas for cloud-based contact center solutions. Here are some highlights:
Architecture: Even though you’re outsourcing the hardware and applications, you still need to know what’s “behind the curtain.” You need to assess compatibility with your in-house technology infrastructure as well as the solution’s redundancy and resiliency.
Contracts: Make sure you really understand the contract that you’re signing – term, cancellation, minimums, features/functions, license pricing, professional services, training, travel, and third party services.
Pricing: Get clear on implementation/set-up fees, toll charges, IVR fees, circuit and equipment costs, etc. Read the fine print!
Service Level Agreements (SLAs): Insist upon written SLAs that includes all vendors involved with service delivery. Your vendor should have skin in the game for network outages or other obstacles to system access and performance.
Time Line: Make sure you’ve built enough time into the implementation schedule to ensure success – especially when process improvement accompanies installation.
Support: If you need or expect on-site support, make sure you work that requirement into your negotiations.
We’ve worked with a lot of companies on hosted contact center solutions selection and implementation. We make sure our clients get what they need and protect their interests long term. Please download the full article or – better yet – contact us. Our experience with hosted solutions can help improve your experience.