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Should the Contact Center Operate in the Cloud?

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September 26, 2014

Should the Contact Center Operate in the Cloud?

By Mae Kowalke, TMCnet Contributor

This is a question businesses of all types are asking now that Web services have made it viable to offer cloud-based software instead of the traditional model of having software installed on a customer’s computer.

It’s a question for more than just small business and consumers that are deciding how to keep their photo albums; it’s a question that businesses of all types and sizes are facing, including the contact center.

The advantage of an on-premise solution, of course, is control. A contact center has complete control over the solution, whether it is CRM or a predictive dialer. It controls when the software is updated, how it will operate, and on what hardware it runs. There are no surprises.

This actually is the reason to choose a cloud-based offering, however.

While it is true that cloud-based solutions force a contact center to lose a certain measure of control over their software solutions, the benefit of this is that they also lose the headaches.

With a cloud-based solution, there’s no hardware to fail or equipment to buy. There’s no need to handle upgrades or the headaches and down-time that can come from it.

In the case of the contact center, this especially can be a savings because each agent terminal does not need software installation or support. Any computer with a Web browser and a working Internet connection can take advantage of cloud-based software.

This can be a huge time- and money savings, which is why most contact centers are shifting away from on-premise solutions to cloud- and browser-based solutions.

The hosting industry has reached a point where reliability and security is no longer an issue, so these early concerns of cloud solutions have been resolved.

Integration with existing systems also is relatively easy now, given the rise of application programmer interfaces and a culture of making interconnectivity a high priority. A dialer such as the Spitfire Enterprise Dialer, for instance, connects to a wide variety of CRM systems so it can pull call lists easily.

So while some contact centers still use on-premise software solutions, the numbers are shifting fast as contact centers move to the cloud.

Edited by Rory J. Thompson

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