Contact Center Pipeline September 2022 September 2022 - Page 30

Whereas legacy , premises-based solutions – like contact center – are hardware-based , capitalized assets , SaaS offerings – like CCaaS – are primarily software-based and reside in the cloud .
There are several flavors of “ cloud ” ( private , public , hybrid ), but all work on a common business model where the applications are provided on a subscription basis . So , with CCaaS , the contact center does not “ own ” the platform , and instead accesses the applications on an on-demand basis .
Not only is cloud migration critical for contact centers to modernize their operations , but also to be part of the broader imperative for the organization to provide great CX .
Given today ’ s customer expectations , this requires more than having a high-performing contact center . As with the PBX , the island mentality must give way to the contact center being just one driver of CX .
Agents rarely have all the answers at their fingertips , and often need to draw from subject matter experts across the organization . Not only must they be able to find these people on the fly , but also to interact with them in real time while dealing with customers .
This requires a high level of integration between the contact center and the rest of the organization and can only be supported with a cloud-based infrastructure .
Premises-based systems are too difficult to integrate this way , and without cloud migration , contact centers will remain islands , unable to connect with the very resources needed for today ’ s CX .
Cloud-first vendors have recognized this , and many now offer integrated UCaaS and CCaaS solutions . These platforms continue to be widely-deployed as standalone solutions , but for businesses committed to next-level , digital CX , the rationale for an integrated solution is clear .
Technology is constantly changing , and with today ’ s pace of business , it ’ s a major challenge for IT leaders to keep pace .
This is another reason why the appeal for cloud migration is so strong – as with outsourcing , IT can shift the burden of managing all this complexity to a cloud provider .
For contact centers operating with deep legacy roots , these newer technologies come with risk and uncertainty . When faced with pressure to reduce operating costs , inertia can set in , making it difficult to change the status quo from within .
This response is understandable , but at some point , the customer service gap will become too big to continue this way .
External factors will dictate a different response , such as when the top line declines , the customer base shrinks , agent turnover rises , CSAT scores drop , brand equity erodes , etc .
Now top management will mandate change , in which case contact center leaders will have a new sense of urgency . When the problem set becomes more than just a contact center issue , a bigger response is needed , and that ’ s where a holistic re-think about customer service becomes so important .
If cloud migration was so easy , you would have adopted CCaaS by now . When you have a mature contact center deployment and lots of complex integrations , cloud migration will in fact , not be easy .
These legacy systems have usually taken years to implement and fine tune , and IT often maintains a delicate balance to keep everything performing at a high level .
Most of these elements are purpose-built , requiring specific expertise to deploy as well as manage , so it ’ s
easy to see how the prospect of moving away from that with a possible forklift upgrade would be daunting .
However , this isn ’ t a reason to rule out CCaaS , even if you feel confident about adding new pieces to the current system as you go .
Just remember , it ’ s much easier for individual customers to adopt the latest digital technologies than for your contact center to do the same .
Digital CX will always be evolving , and new customer engagement tools will keep coming , so unless you get on a level playing field technology-wise , you will constantly be behind , and the customer service gap will only grow .
The first step for closing that gap will be getting cloud migration on your contact center roadmap . There will be complexity involved , but the good news is that all CCaaS vendors offer migration paths that can go at your pace , not theirs .
The main idea is getting on the right road , and from there the challenge will be finding the right cloud migration partner to work with .
Cloud migration will not happen overnight , but the benefits should materialize quickly .
When agents start telling you they can finally provide the kind of service customers have been asking for , and when customer sentiment on social media starts trending positive , the only question you should be asking is “ why didn ’ t I start our cloud migration sooner ?”
Jon Arnold is Principal of J Arnold & Associates , an independent analyst practice providing thought leadership about the business-level impact of digital transformation on the future of work . Core areas of expertise include unified communications , collaboration , cloud platforms ( UCaaS , CCaaS and CPaaS ), contact centers , and customer experience .