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Cloud Computing and the Contact Center: An Ongoing Tale

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December 08, 2011

Cloud Computing and the Contact Center: An Ongoing Tale

By Juliana Kenny, TMCnet Managing Editor

We like to make it a point of staying on top of the very latest, very hottest news from the world of technology at TMCnet, and while that undertaking can be daunting at times, with all the buzz words, acronyms, and daily developments, sometimes the market makes it quite easy.

Let’s say you’ve been living under a rock for a year. Or maybe even a month. You emerge slowly, uncrackle your spine, blink a bit at the dim December sun, and ask the first person you meet what the one thing is you should know about to sufficiently reenter the world of functioning first-world humans. That person says, “The cloud.” Boom. You’re back.

Cloud Computing is entering our everyday lives whether we like it or not, and businesses are finding it something with which to wrestle. Contact centers especially are looking at ways to save money and time by moving to the cloud, which can greatly benefit their operations, but which also comes with certain security concerns.

Frank Paterno (News - Alert), VP of marketing at Intelliverse, offered up some wisdom concerning the benefits and challenges of moving to and maintaining a cloud-based contact center in an interview recently. He noted that, with cloud-based contact centers, “Calls from all over the world can be handled all over the world without the dedicated network infrastructure previously required to support premise-based call centers.  However, with any technology, premise-based or cloud-based, security risks exist.  Organizations wonder: ‘With a cloud-based service, how will our data be stored?  How do we ensure that customer data is safeguarded?  What protections are in place to prevent outside forces from obtaining access to transactions conducted via a cloud-based service?  Does the cloud-based contact center provider meet compliance regulations?’”

All pertinent and vital questions, but Paterno made a point of noting that true security lies primarily in the “design of the infrastructure of most call centers.” He recommends that contact centers do some heavy research to explore the options out there when considering which cloud-based providers will enable different levels of service and security. 

Focusing on moving forward, contact centers will have the opportunity to explore some challenges in the coming years. Most notably, Paterno mentioned that they will be one or all of three things: communication, security, and “keeping it fresh.”

“Cloud-based” is different from “hosted voice solutions” he noted. “The challenge will be communicating the message that a hosted voice solution brings the strength of experience, removal of physical barriers and cost savings to organizations.”

As mentioned earlier, physical and data security will always be a focal point of discussion in the cloud-based arena. Compliance regulations are inescapable, amongst the other requirements to protect data corruption.

Juliana Kenny graduated from the University of Connecticut with a double degree in English and French. After managing a small company for two years, she joined TMC (News - Alert) as a Web Editor for TMCnet. Juliana currently focuses on the call center and CRM industries, but she also writes about cloud telephony and network gear including softswitches.

Edited by Rich Steeves

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