Cloud contact center solutions are one of the hottest topics of the year. And with the cloud on everyone’s mind, contact center managers and technical leads might be asking themselves – Are we missing out by not moving to the cloud?
Find out if an on-premise or cloud solution is best for your contact center. Let’s take a deep dive into each to determine if you should stay or make the switch to the cloud.
What is an on-premise contact center?
Before we examine each solution, let’s start with what an on-premise contact center solution is. On-premise is a contact center that owns all the hardware and software needed. From agent headsets to servers and software licenses and sometimes even IT support, on-premise contact centers have it all. But is owning and managing most, if not all, the needed parts of a contact center the best choice for you?
How on-premise fares today
Historically, opting for on-premise was a great choice for contact centers. All the infrastructure and experience stayed in the house, and with that came a sense of control. Contact center managers felt at ease knowing the quality and experience customers received every time they called.
But with technological advancements in the cloud, preferences are changing. Contact center managers now exchange their need for control with flexibility and lower costs. And with it, the key selling points for on-premise systems disappear. Brought to the forefront instead are its deal breakers: Required (and costly) specialized support, high upfront and maintenance costs, and possible service interruptions.
With on-premise contact centers losing their appeal, contact center managers began looking at the cloud, specifically the public cloud.
What is a public cloud contact center?
Public cloud contact center solutions are hosted on a shared server with companies and managed in a location other than the contact center or company’s building. The public cloud is a lightweight solution that allows contact center agents to interact with customers through various channels from any location. The flexibility of the cloud, coupled with its low cost, wins over many contact center managers and executives. But is the public cloud right for you?
What are the benefits of a cloud contact center?
Low/no upfront costs
One of the cloud solution’s strongest points is no upfront costs. By removing all those costs, the cloud allows businesses to easily add and scale a contact center without a hefty price tag.
No need to hire specialized IT support
By moving to the cloud and paying a monthly or annual fee, contact center managers feel relieved knowing they have a dedicated and knowledgeable team available to alert and support outages, upgrades, and implementations.
Upgrades and licenses are included
On average, contact centers need to upgrade their software every three years. That means managers must forecast for three years to determine which software and how many licenses will fit the company’s three-year plan. However, with the cloud, if the number of seats or the type of software needed changes at any time, the cloud can easily support that change and only costs the number of licenses needed at any given time. The flexibility of the cloud to your businesses’ needs and growth easily wins over managers with uncompromising on-premise systems.
With data breaches and security making news headlines recently, compliance remains a sensitive but necessary topic for contact centers. From banking to healthcare, all customer data needs to be secure. And while some may believe that having this personal data in the cloud is risky, think again. Solutions like Genesys’ PureCloud provide compliance, including HIPAA compliance, in the cloud.
What are the pitfalls of a public cloud contact center?
Not fully cloud
One of the common misconceptions about the cloud is that everything at the contact center is cloud-based. Every cloud solution has nuances and often doesn’t measure up to the hyped-up version that contact center decision-makers have in mind. For example, the cloud solution may not provide a best-in-class speech analytics package that the contact center analysts use. At that point, decision-makers have the difficult choice of implementing a hybrid cloud solution where parts of the system are on-premise.
Additionally, many contact centers run into implementation issues with the cloud, specifically when integrating with legacy systems.
The cloud’s major benefit over on-premise appears to be its cost savings. Without the hardware, in-house or contracted technical support team(s), and more, it seems like a no-brainer that the cloud is cheaper than on-premise. However, one of the largest costs with the cloud is bandwidth. This includes server capacity as well as actual communication bandwidth. What seemed like a no-brainer at low call volumes could be prohibitively expensive at higher volumes. Bandwidth expenses could double if data needs to travel between on-premise systems and cloud components. For example, consider the case of a call recording software sitting on-premise and the call center software implemented in a cloud. In such cases, the call audio will need to travel back and forth twice before being recorded, doubling the bandwidth required.
Perceived security risk
The lack of control and ability to modify the setup of the public cloud seems alarming to some contact center managers. Despite each contact center’s data remaining separate, the fact that multiple companies’ data is hosted on the same server is difficult to ease concerns of security breaches.
Is the public cloud my only alternative to on-premise?
The public cloud is only one alternative to on-premise contact centers. Another option to pursue is a private cloud solution.
What is a private cloud contact center?
A private cloud contact center solution features all the benefits of on-premise and public cloud solutions without any risks. That means that with the private cloud, contact centers get to enjoy
- Full or almost complete control over software, features, etc.
- Server(s) dedicated only to their business
- Low latency calls
- Compliance in any industry
- Access to specialized IT support
- Low or no upfront costs
- Upgrades and licenses included in the monthly fee
- No service outages
- Minimal security risk
The private cloud, with its dedicated servers, provides contact center managers with more customization and control with a cloud-powered infrastructure that has an on-premise feel. This hybrid model can be the happy medium for contact center executives who were hesitant to switch to the cloud due to the premise’s security and customization but understood the cost-benefit of using the latest cloud technology and infrastructure. With this, the private cloud does away with the one-size-fits-most cloud model and replaces one that fits perfectly for your business.
That means that not only can managers buy what is wanted and needed on-premise at any given time, but they can also pick and choose what contact center software(s) they want to use on a server that is dedicated to them rather than shared with other companies. Now contact centers can easily scale up or down without the worry of changing, adding, or removing licenses, software, etc. This pay-per-use model is the recommended choice for any contact center due to its cost savings, IT support, customization, and low risk.
Want to learn more about the private cloud? Explore Voxai’s private cloud solution – vInteract.