Yours may be one of an increasing number of contact centers that are facing a key decision – whether to stick with your on-premise solution or switch to a cloud-based platform. With so much, sometimes conflicting, information available online, this is no easy decision. In this article, we'll look at both options and examine how to decide which is best for you.
What is an on-premise Contact Center?
These are conventional platforms in which the servers are all located in your company's physical headquarters.
And a cloud-based Contact Center?
Using the cloud, there's no hardware component at all. All your organization needs is sufficient internet bandwidth for virtual agents to comfortably manage calls, whether incoming or outgoing.
The third way – a hybrid solution
This is a mix of a cloud-based service together with elements of an on-premise solution. For example, you might choose to run your telephone PBX on-premises but use a cloud solution for functions such as call recording or reporting.
What to consider
When deciding which direction to take with your contact center operation, there are several factors to take into account. Examples include the scale and structure of the business, the financial circumstances, modes of communication catered for, in-house IT capability, as well as maintenance and upgrade factors.
Contact center digitalization
If yours is a large, single-location contact center, with your agents all operating in-house, you may think of the on-premises solution as the preferable option. The larger the number of agents you employ, the more cost-effective it is to own your own equipment to run on-site. Furthermore, you avoid the added cost and complexity of routing calls between different locations.
However, if your contact center is small, maybe growing, and is spread across several locations, or you have agents working remotely, the cloud option begins to look much more attractive. Using traditional on-premises platforms begins to look cumbersome and costly. Adding new locations or users is simply a question of updating your service provider subscription.
When it comes to upgrades, you see further benefits of a cloud system. It's unusual for a system to survive more than five years without needing an update. These can be both disruptive and expensive. On the other hand, with a cloud solution in place, your organization will enjoy the benefits of a platform that's constantly and automatically upgraded and improved, resulting in negligible, if any, downtime.
Future-ready, streamlined integration and scalability
One of the principal benefits of cloud technology is that of flexibility and connectivity. With the use of API technology, your cloud contact centre will be easy to integrate with other business systems. For example, the system will easily tap into your CRM, enabling your agents to enjoy a comprehensive, 360-degree view of a customer. You'll avoid expensive integration processes that constantly demand fixes and patches.
A further benefit of cloud solutions is the ease with which they accommodate omni-channel operations. They will easily integrate new channels, such as web chat or call recording, into your call analytics.
However,if you have recently invested heavily into premise-based systems, you may be reluctant to switch to a cloud-based at this very moment. This is where the hybrid option can come into play. Your organization might opt for partial cloud deployment to add and upgrade features as needed.
How cloud-based contact centers help your tech team
Cloud-based call center solutions will almost always ease the burden on your IT team. Be it hardware, software, or security, they will no longer need to apply software updates, tune databases, troubleshoot server issues, or detect and resist hackers.
These will all be the responsibility of the cloud service vendor, who will, of course, provide specialist expertise that might be beyond the skill-set of your in-house technicians. Released from this responsibility, this will allow your people to focus on their own areas of expertise, hence increasing productivity and job satisfaction.
Furthermore, you'll be able to use cloud services to back up not just your communications data but also your operating systems, patches and programs.
Now's the time to take the first step in migrating your contact center to the cloud
Download our guide where we'll help you to achieve your cloud migration goals by creating an effective strategy that will deliver both great results for your contact center and unbeatable customer experiences.You'll find out about:
- Successfully planning the migration project
- Choosing the right partners and technologies
- Implementing your strategy
- The long term benefits of cloud-based technology for your contact center