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How to Make Sense of the Many Cloud-Based Contact Center Offerings
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How to Make Sense of the Many Cloud-Based Contact Center Offerings

January 08, 2015

By Mae Kowalke,
TMCnet Contributor

The cloud is the future—and the contact center solutions market understands this fact.

There are no less than 150 vendors worldwide that are now offering cloud-based contact center infrastructure solutions, according to DMG Consulting. That’s a lot.

It also makes it perilous for contact centers looking to make the move to cloud-based solutions. Not all of those 150 vendors are offering solutions as full-featured as their on-premise counterparts, and many won’t be around in the next five years as there obviously is a shakeup coming due to the volume of offerings currently in the market.

Contact centers surveyed by DMG Consulting said that they were interested in cloud-based solutions for better return on investment, lower total cost of ownership, and ease of use. But replacing on-premise solutions with worthy cloud alternatives can be a trick with so many offerings.

Contact center managers looking to make the change should pay attention, first and foremost, to how these cloud solutions stack up compared with existing on-premise solutions. Many cloud-based offerings claim to be full-featured suites, but are often only slivers of what on-premise incumbents currently deliver.

Contact centers also should consider reputation, and be very weary of the slick marketing messages of many cloud-based contact center solutions. Dig deeper.

Hybrid solutions also can be a good starting place for moving to the cloud. Many of the top cloud-based contact center infrastructure solutions support integration to on-premise and cloud-based third-party applications. The most common of these integrations is between cloud-based ACDs and on-premise-based private business exchange or a cloud-based CRM applications.

The ability to mix on-premise with cloud solutions is both an important feature and a sign that the cloud provider is serious about the contact center market.

The more mature solutions come with prebuilt integrations to more common third-party applications, and also offer published application programming interfaces to facilitate additional integrations, according to DMG.

While the choice in cloud-based contact center software is highly individual, two things are obvious: The cloud is here to stay in the contact center, and there’s going to be a slimming down of the many offerings currently out there to serve the market.

Edited by Stefania Viscusi
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