Companies are looking for cloud solutions that satisfy the requirements of the IT manager in terms of reliability, security and rapid access to data, while still receiving everything they need such as service, flexibility and user-friendliness. By consolidating resources into secure, redundant and hardened data centres, providers of cloud solutions can offer a considerably higher degree of reliability and increased network security than before. Yet many companies are still sceptical about these claims and doubt whether a cloud-based communication solution can be successfully implemented within their organisation.
However, these reservations are unjustified. The advantages of cloud-based solutions for contact centres are significant, and many companies globally are showing greater interest and adoption. So, what are the main advantages of cloud computing?
Lower capital expenditure and lower costs
Cloud-based services save companies the high capital expenditure normally required for a communication platform and its associated applications. Companies no longer have to worry about configuration modifications, system maintenance, security and disaster recovery or software upgrades and updates.
Communication services are transformed into single, predictable cost items summarised on a monthly invoice where only the resources that are actually used are paid for (pay-as-you-go). Large server farms can be reduced or removed, significantly lowering not only cost but also energy consumption.
Rapid adaptation to growth and change
The contact centre infrastructure must quickly adapt to meet business requirements. Additional cloud services can be requested and provided at any time. New users, new sites and new functions are easily added or removed without having to invest in a new on-site system. Cloud services give companies the ability to combine new or additional services with existing on-site solutions for agents.
Keeps up-to-date with innovative technology
Given the rapid pace of technological advance, setting up a contact centre solution is not a one-off exercise. The requirements of customers and agents call for further investments and upgrades in order to keep pace with developments. Cloud-based services allow companies to keep up to date effortlessly with the latest developments. New applications or versions can be used as soon as they are released. Software is automatically updated at no additional cost and the system itself does not require any updates or overhauls.
Cloud computing provides the highest levels of security
Security is a sensitive topic and is still the key factor for many companies in the decision for or against a hosted solution. In-built software security measures and compliance with current international security standards must undoubtedly form the basis of any such solution. Risk audits must be able to be carried out at any time so the location of the data centre becomes an important factor. In general, both providers and users of cloud services should treat data security as a sensitive subject.
Availability to customers
The contact centre is important for the success of a business and the subject of availability should be given high priority. Customers want to be able to talk to someone at any time. Poor or limited accessibility is not only bad for business, it usually results in dissatisfied customers. The technology employed by cloud service providers, such as distributed or grid computing, guarantees an extremely high degree of availability.
Self-administration and management
The ability to intervene and make important changes yourself is vital, even for hosted solutions. As there are no devices or software to physically or virtually install or configure, all interactions with the contact centre solution take place in real-time via a web browser, whether it be for agents, supervisors or managers. This enables specialists to carry out and adapt critical and required tasks, such as routing changes or generation of reports and evaluations, as and when required.
Author: Kathryn Penn