Contact centers are transforming their telephony and unified communication (UC) systems into cloud-based solutions. Cloud contact center services are increasingly common as businesses market the solution ‘as-a-service’, subscribing to a cloud-based platform rather than on-site installation of hardware and software.
There are strategic and budgetary advantages driving this transformation. Strategically, businesses adopting cloud platforms benefit from uniformity across the network, scalability, and ease of technological upgrades. In terms of cost-savings, there are fewer IT personnel, lower capital expenses, and a predictable monthly subscription fee. These are attractive to large corporations that have multiple locations and employees with remote access.
Challenges have existed in transitioning toward cloud-based solutions. In its Executive Report on Cloud Contact Center Technology, Call Center IQ states that 51% of businesses have cited issues with technology integration, 46% believe that solutions were costly and 34% believe outages were problematic. In response, businesses seek out new vendors, improve integration between cloud platforms and their systems or seek out vendors to provide technical help.
Understanding the challenges, businesses continue to value cloud-based platforms as they provide many features to drive customer satisfaction and loyalty. Businesses seek out information that will make best use of cloud-based platforms to improve customer interaction as well as identifying areas within the organization that would best benefit from the implementation of this model.
Cloud-based contact center solutions are the preferred operational model to be used within call centers. According to Call Center IQ, 52% of contact centers are currently investing in a cloud-based platform. It is anticipated that 76% of contact centers will invest in this technology in 2016. Research indicates that this trend will continue to grow within the next few years.
Unified communication providers are currently offering additional services through a cloud-based platform. 8×8 has initiated enhancements to improve the experience of the customer. It has integrated its telephony/UC service and contact center service to improve audio quality across long distances. It has also acquired DXI and Quality Software Corporation, both contact center service providers with valuable features such as screen capture, live monitoring, recording, and speech analytics.
Avaya is collaborating with others to assist businesses with a transition to a public cloud delivery model. It has partnered with Google Cloud Platform, offering Customer Engagement OnAvaya, an as-a-service solution available through Google Cloud for a monthly subscription for small to mid-size businesses.
Interactive Intelligence has expanded its contact center platform, PureCloud on Amazon Web Services, providing services such as IVR, outbound campaign management, multichannel recording, and quality management. This contact center solution is for small centers up to 100 agents but will expand to support 1,000 agents in 2016 and up to 10,000 in the near future.