Cloud-Based or Premises-Based Contact Center: Which Makes Sense for Your Company?

Ken Landoline
Ken Landoline

Summary Bullets:

  • Performing total cost of ownership (TCO) and return on investment (ROI) calculations is usually essential to assessing whether or not a cloud contact center is right for your company.  However, there are a couple of basic questions to be answered beforehand that may make the decision a lot simpler.
  • Many cloud-based contact center offerings have reached technical and reliability parity with premises-based offerings, removing major factors that were initially delaying the growth of the cloud-based customer service market.  Therefore, I am optimistic that cloud-based contact center offerings have a strong future and will be applicable in many, if not most, environments.

It is a new year with new budgets, and like many customer service professionals, you may be evaluating the pros and cons of investing in new equipment and technology for your contact center operation.  Perhaps you are even considering the economic and practical tradeoffs of a cloud-based versus premises-based contact center operation.  While it is very valuable to do detailed total cost of ownership (TCO) and return on investment (ROI) analyses before making such a major decision, there are some facts you should consider about your customer service environment beforehand that may get you going in the right direction very quickly, based on your company’s particular characteristics and circumstances.  While there is little doubt that a cloud solution can improve operational flexibility and scalability, as well as get a system up and running more quickly, premises-based solutions may make more sense for companies with IT staffs already in place that are planning to stay with the considered technology for more than four or five years. Continue reading “Cloud-Based or Premises-Based Contact Center: Which Makes Sense for Your Company?”

Novel Business Models Built Upon an All-Internet Philosophy Threaten to Disrupt Traditional Telecom

Joel Stradling

Summary Bullets:

  • Aryaka launched Network-as-a-Service (NaaS) for IPSec-secured access over existing Internet links onto Aryaka’s POPs to create global data WANs.
  • Kunnect provides an early-mover cloud-based hosted call center solution with a free-of-charge version.

The rapid expansion of companies that have based their products and strategies entirely in the cloud from the outset is disrupting traditional market models. This is hardly new: After VoIP providers first disrupted traditional telephone calling rates, Skype pioneered P2P technology that largely abolished per-minute billing for voice. However the change is ongoing. Two companies are recent examples that break traditions with aggressive sales for all-cloud products and services targeting the enterprise: Aryaka and Kunnect. Usually free trials are a consumer play, and that’s because they are low-cost, best effort, over the unsecure public Internet, and shared infrastructure are not really the routes that the cautious business IT buyer would choose to go down. On the other hand, the cost to deploy a fully managed and dedicated circuit with security appliances and the backing of professional service teams is very high. Continue reading “Novel Business Models Built Upon an All-Internet Philosophy Threaten to Disrupt Traditional Telecom”

Carriers Make Their Moves in Cloud-based Contact Centers

C. Whelan
C. Whelan

Summary Bullets:

  • Hosted contact center features are gaining a more prominent role in carriers’ business-class telephony solutions.
  • Hosted contact center solutions fit well with carriers’ hosted voice solutions from the enterprise to the mid-market.

As business IP telephony services continue to evolve, hosted contact center features are playing an important role in carriers’ cloud-based voice solutions.  Business is increasingly conducted online, and the contact center function is a critical element in business communications with customers.  Hosted solutions being marketed by contact center specialists today include fundamentals such as automatic call distribution (ACD), intelligent call routing (ICR), and interactive voice response (IVR).  However, these services can also include integration with customer relationship management (CRM) tools, chat, click to call, reporting and call analytics, and mobile customer engagement.  Social media such as Twitter and Facebook also play an important role: Businesses need to be able to monitor and respond to customer complaints that may be posted in the social media universe.  Some of these hosted contact center specialists have teamed up with carriers, letting carriers sell services that include these new features.  For example, in late 2011, Verizon announced that it was partnering with inContact for its new Virtual Contact Center offer; the partnership lets Verizon offer a more sophisticated, comprehensive suite of services to its customers.  Similarly, AT&T’s Hosted Integrated Contact Services, based on the Genesys platform, include multichannel capabilities for e-mail, chat, and social networking.  Continue reading “Carriers Make Their Moves in Cloud-based Contact Centers”