Why contact centers are reaching for the cloud

Cloud-based contact center solutions deliver flexibility, security, and cost savings

by Ed Plaskon, Contact Center Product Manager, AT&T

If you look back five, 10, even 20 years, most customer contact centers purchased their solutions from a set of prominent industry vendors.

These solutions were always on premises  – that is, always with the hardware and software onsite at the contact center. This meant whenever a software update was required or it was time to scale a solution up or down, a manual onsite action was required.

This approach presented certain challenges.

For example. if the one person responsible for making the software updates was on vacation, the updates were delayed or never got made. What’s more, updates or scaling up of the solution – not to mention any problem-solving  – usually required systems be shut down and rebooted. This is never an optimum business scenario, and one more prone to delays, errors, and unexpected costs.

Moving to cloud-based contact center solutions enables automatic, timely updates, ready scalability, and a whole lot more.

6 reasons to head to the cloud

It’s a whole different world for contact centers who move to cloud-based solutions. Here are some key reasons for making the move.   

  1. Cost: According to Frost & Sullivan, chief among the drivers behind hosted and cloud growth are financial advantages. The cloud enables a “pay-by-the-drink” financial model that allows business of all sizes to move away from high front-end expenditures in favor of a more manageable operational expenditure approach. With this OPEX model, you pay only for the services you subscribe to and can adjust services based on business growth and fluctuating season demand.   
  2. Flexibility: Cloud-based solutions move away from traditional contact center models while allowing the same control with diverse locations for agent monitoring, performance, scheduling, and customer interaction.   
  3. Virtualization: The cloud approach brings with it the look and feel of a traditional contact center model with central queueing and skills-based routing of agents across multiple locations.   
  4. Security: The cloud environment typically has a much stronger security environment that many companies can support within their budget.   
  5. Innovative technology: With cloud services, contact centers can deploy the latest technical functionality without the worry of major operating costs.   
  6. Staying on course: The hosted-cloud model allows business operations to reside on a solid framework by enabling agents to stay connected, wherever they are located.

Use case for cloud benefits

Today, many businesses contract out their call center operations to a service provider.

One such service provider had an on-premises solution that was end of life. The existing solution did not provide the needed flexibility, and moving to an upgraded or new on-premises solution would be costly. At the same time, the service provider greatly needed increased flexibility to meet requirements from its clients to scale quickly to accommodate seasonal demand and to grow quickly as they sought to bring on new clients.

The service provider chose to transition to a cloud-based AT&T contact center solution. As a result, it could adjust seats up and down as necessary to meet seasonal fluctuations. The company liked the affordability and flexibility of this OPEX model.

Once up and running via the cloud, the service provider was able to move quickly and get new customers up in 30 days.

What to look for

When choosing a new cloud-based contact center solution, look for a partner who can efficiently connect people with the service and support they need. Reducing costs is always a factor. And so is the network powering the cloud-based solution.

You want to make sure you are contracting with a proven, world-class network provider. Also consider the advantages of contracting with one company for the cloud-based solution and the networking services (which also means one stop to problem resolutions).

Smooth path to the cloud

To guide your transition to a cloud-based solution, contact center technology and consulting services can help efficiently connect your customers with service and support, reduce costs, and help your agents deliver an exceptional experience. AT&T contact-center architects, data scientists, and customer-experience analysts draw upon industry-leading expertise to help you:   

  • Assess your overall contact center strategy   
  • Get valuable insight into when, why and how often your agents initiate sessions from each channel   
  • Save money by identifying technology and process problems and inefficiencies   
  • Identify issues that might affect the quality of customer interactions

AT&T consulting services leverage the company’s extensive experience in contact-center solutions, including:   

  • More than 30 years offering 800/toll free and advanced feature services   
  • More than 20 years providing contact center premises- and cloud-based solutions   
  • More than 15 years supplying managed interactive voice response (IVR) services   
  • Partnerships with other leading solution providers   
  • More than a decade of experience as a technology leader in developing IoT solutions.

Find out more about contact center solutions and services that can help transform your business and improve your customer’s journey.