No two organizations are the same, meaning their contact center choices around technology need to reflect their specific needs. This is particularly true when it comes to the cloud, with many contact centers deploying Contact Centre as a Service (CCaaS) solutions. However, the cloud isn’t necessarily right for everyone. Some organizations have strong reasons to retain their systems on-premise. Alternatively, they may want to adopt a hybrid approach incorporating a blend of cloud and on-premise solutions. To achieve this, it’s essential to work with a partner that has the flexibility to support contact center choice.
There are a range of reasons for keeping customer service solutions on-premise, including:
In some heavily regulated sectors such as defense and healthcare, organizations must meet specific, additional rules around data confidentiality and security. That means the safest approach is to keep their data protected in a closed data center, with no access to the internet. This insulates their information from being hacked or stolen. In these situations, on-premise delivers the security protection that organizations require.
Contact center solutions integrate closely with internal PBX telecoms systems. Therefore, if the legacy PBX is on-premise, it may be easier and simpler to keep the contact center technology on-premise as well. When integrated and co-located in the same location, the two systems can work closely together taking and routing calls and providing a seamless experience internally and externally.
Organizations have built their technology stacks up over time, with many components, like CRM, case management or logistic solutions, potentially on-premise. Contact centers may depend on data from these systems to help customers with their enquiries. This can restrict what you can do on the cloud. Again, maintaining contact center solutions on-premise can often simplify integration to other platforms.
Organizations may have invested heavily in their own physical or virtualized server infrastructure. They therefore need to maximize ROI from these assets and ensure they are being used at full capacity. That means it may make better business sense to use them to run contact center solutions, rather than switching to the cloud.
While businesses often decide to embrace the cloud, they prefer to migrate gradually to minimize risk. This can lead to adopting a hybrid approach, keeping some contact center systems on-premise while migrating others, such as new solutions, to the cloud. This enables them to move to CCaaS at a pace they are comfortable with.
In some cases, the contact center’s choice of whether to go cloud or on-premise may be part of a wider technology or infrastructure strategy. For instance, an organization may simply be committed to investing in its own internal IT skills. Part of this strategy involves keeping their systems on-premise. They might mandate that there are no cloud implementations of any systems as part of their vision of how they want to manage their IT infrastructure.
All of these are valid reasons for keeping all (or part of) your contact center solutions on-premise. However, needs can change. Organizations should therefore partner with a vendor that can support their requirements and approach, now and into the future. Here are the key things to look for in a partner:
You need a vendor that supports both CCaaS and on-premise solutions across its entire product portfolio. If required, it should be able to provide hybrid options or enable the business to run its contact center technology in a private cloud. Flexibility should extend to pricing. While everyone understands that CCaaS operates on a “pay per use” subscription basis, some vendors now offer a similar, rental OPEX model for on-premise solutions too. This is a good choice if you need to run on-premise but want to smooth your cash flow.
While some vendors do offer both cloud and on-premise options, they may not provide the same features across both. It’s important to check that your partner’s solutions have the same high levels of functionality across the board. Do they provide the same agent user experience? Are the same integrations with third-party solutions available? Do you get identical levels of support?
If your strategy is to stay on-premise for the long term, you need to be sure that this isn’t going to disadvantage you in the future. So, your chosen vendor should be able to demonstrate a clear product roadmap for both its cloud and on-premise solutions. It needs to be investing and innovating into the future to ensure you do not miss out on whichever direction you take.
While your strategy may be to stay on-premise, priorities can change. This shouldn’t mean you need to rip out your existing solution and start again in the cloud. Ensure your partner provides the ability to migrate seamlessly between on-premise and cloud should you decide change is in your organization’s best interests.
With shared cloud platforms (public clouds), it is common for providers to communicate about when platform updates and maintenance periods will happen with customers ahead of time. However, your organization’s operating hours might not align with scheduled change windows. An on-premise or private cloud contact center allows complete control over what changes are made and when they happen.
While the momentum in the contact center industry is currently with CCaaS, it may not be exactly what every organization requires. Some businesses may need to keep some or all of their solutions on-premise over the short or longer term. If you are in this position, ensure you pick a partner that gives you this contact center choice, with the same levels of support and functionality going forward.
In a fast-moving market, you don’t want to become locked into a CCaaS provider that falls short of your expectations. To reap the full benefits, you therefore need to choose the best CCaaS vendor to capitalize on the advantages offered.
How you treat the agents matters! Use the following six essential people skills steps to engage agents and make their daily work experience full of meaning and importance to the business.