What is it about cloud communications that has gotten everyone so excited, not just within industry segments, but in some cases mainstream media as well?
One very simple answer to that is: cost and complexity, or more aptly not so much cost and complexity.
One company that has done a good job of explaining this issue is Contactual, a company whose entire business focus is on virtual contact centers and whose technology solution, Contactual (News - Alert) OnDemand Contact Center, it poetically says, “decouples the call center from the physical constraints of on-premise hosting.” Contactual believes that because this concept “empowers companies to deploy agents anywhere there is Internet and phone service,” it “offers tremendous benefits for today’s business environment, where cost-cutting is central to business survival.”
So how does cloud communications make cost-cutting possible? It’s all about the architecture. In a recent blog post, Contactual took a look at the traditional on-premise technology-laden contact center model and compared it to the modern on-demand or cloud-based contact center model. In the on-premise model a host of complex technologies are necessary to operate the contact center. Components such as IVR, ACD, call routing, CTI (News - Alert), call monitoring, etc., are all critical to call center productivity, but their complexity becomes a big burden on the contact center in terms of deployment and scalability, training managers in their operation and use ,and maintenance and the IT staff that goes with it, among other things.
With the cloud-based or on-demand model all of those complex technologies are still necessary, but they are removed from the confines of the physical call center and with them go their inherent complexity which becomes the responsibility of the service provider. The blog post provided a visual of what the call center architecture looks like when the call center follows the on-demand model. The drawing is not intricate at all; in fact, it’s basically just contact center agents with PCs and high-speed Internet connections. Everything else is at the host facility.
What the contact center that has chosen the cloud-based model gains, however, is what has people talking. For one, instead of the months it would have taken that center to buy, configure and integrate all of the necessary technologies, it has taken only a few days to deploy the cloud-based contact center which represents not only a huge gain in time but a large resource savings as well. Two, if its contact center managers are like 90 percent of other managers that deploy an on-demand contact center solution, they will be up and running and self-sufficient within six hours because they will not need the protracted training necessary for understanding the complexities of contact center technologies. Contactual estimates that cloud-based contact centers save as much as 60 percent in training costs. Another gain for the cloud-based contact center is peace of mind when it comes to maintaining and upgrading its technologies because all of that is handled by the host company and is usually a part of a subscription agreement. Similarly, expanding operations or shrinking them, if demand necessitates, is no longer a headache or huge expense: it basically means just a few mouse clicks and the operation is scaled to optimum size. Not too complicated.
Over the years many contact center trends have caused a stir, some of which resulted in grand transformations while others were just a flash in the pan. This time, the buzz surrounding the cloud-based contact center model appears to be based on the kind of logic that will result in a grand transformation, even if it is based on simplicity.
In other news, TMCnet reported “Since the days of Walt Disney (News - Alert) (News - Alert), the Disney company has been a force in the evolving field of entertainment. So it comes as little surprise that The Wall Street Journal Digits blog reported that Walt Disney CEO Bob Iger is predicting ‘a future for entertainment in the cloud.’”Linda Dobel is a TMCnet Contributor. She has been an editor in the contact center space for more than 25 years, and has the distinction of being the founding editor of Customer Inter@ction Solutions (CIS) magazine. To read more of her articles, please visit her columnist page.
Edited by Chris DiMarco