DATA IN THE CLOUD ?
CLOUD CONTACT CENTER
Customer data , including from call recordings , digital interactions , and files are increasingly being stored and accessed from the cloud .
Here are Laura Sikorski ’ s observations on the benefits , challenges , and recommendations about having data hosted in the cloud versus having it housed on-premise .
Laura says “ Let ’ s look at the data access and storage options .
1 . ON-PREMISE OR ‘ ON-PREM ’
“ This is when software is downloaded and self-managed to a server device the company owns and located in the data center ( s ) that provide your enterprise connectivity networks ( private or public , such as AWS , Azure , Google Cloud ).
“ Data protection is the biggest advantage as it is stored locally and assures compliance . Employees still have access to data with this solution should the network have problems or loss of internet connectivity .
“ But resource availability and storage costs are the challenges with on-prem .”
2 . CLOUD
“ This is when software is provided as software-as-a-service ( SaaS ) entirely by an external provider , does not run on the company ’ s servers , and is dependent on an internet connection ,” says Laura .
“ All maintenance , hardware , and software are managed by the provider and software updates are installed automatically with advance notice .
“ Cloud software is usually a license model and is easily scalable up or down . The subscription can be a flat fee per organization or user for a year or monthly usage . It is critical that the company manage costs efficiently to avoid overspending .
“ Data protection is passed on to the cloud provider and the company must consider / review all risks involved .”
Laura outlines the key variations of the cloud :
• Public Cloud is where often multiple companies share resources , and the third-party providers keep the data separate .
• Private Hosted Cloud is when a third-party supplier provides a company with isolated control over their server resources .
• Hybrid Cloud is when a company maintains a data center and dedicated servers . This option provides the most security and control but can be cost-prohibitive .
“ My vote is for a Private Hosted Cloud solution ,” says Laura . “ And here ’ s why . The greatest challenges for any cloud model are maintaining SLAs , QoS , internet connectivity , and making sure you are managing the number of users due to subscription pricing .
“ With the Private Hosted Cloud , you have the flexibility and also the benefits of a third party handling infrastructure , upgrades , and maintenance with all the comforts of home : namely control over the server handling your applications and data , and strong security .”
34 CONTACT CENTER PIPELINE
BR : What is the actual business case that you ’ ve seen for bringing solutions to the cloud ?
LS : The business case is financial and operational .
CCaaS is a no brainer especially for small help desk and collections departments whose operations and technology differ from larger customer service operations .
Rapid deployment enables a company to start a new contact center on short notice for a new business venture OR if a legacy telephone system is no longer supported .
BR : Conversely what is the business case for sourcing these solutions on-premise ?
LS : The business case is local data security for highly regulated industries . Again , a combination of on-premise and cloud is an option .
BR : Discuss migrating applications from on-premise to the cloud . Is it relatively straightforward or is it fraught with challenges ?
LS : I think migration to the cloud is straightforward ; however , if WFH is a required feature , operational processes are the issue . I suggest your readers review the “ Should Agents Work from Home ?” article in the June Contact Center Pipeline issue .
Brendan Read is Editor of Contact Center Pipeline . He has been covering and working in customer service and sales and for contact center companies for most of his career . Brendan has edited and written for leading industry publications and has been an industry analyst . He also has authored and co-authored books on contact center design , customer support , and working from home . Brendan can be reached at brendan @ contactcenterpipeline . com .