Is Cloud Migration the Future of Call Centers?
Cloud computing has allowed a wide array of services to be offered with the promise of anytime connectivity. Traditionally, CPE has been the most common method of deploying resources, with the company's IT department implementing and maintaining the same. But today, a clear majority of this equipment, along with all supporting resources and functionality is available in a cloud environment hosted by a third-party. Currently more than half of the world's top 100 companies store their information on the cloud and leverage cloud infrastructure to cut costs.
One area which has seen a substantial amount of growth in the transition from on-premise infrastructure to a cloud-based contact center is the call center industry. Research suggests that by 2020, call center cloud migration will reach almost $14.7 billion. While many services such as analytics and critical data storage have seen rapid adoption by call centers, many others such as line-of-business services and payment portals are now also coming under the fold. Contact center cloud migration offers the promise of better and faster delivery, improved efficiency, reduced costs, and better security.
How Call Center Cloud Migration is Changing the Game
Today, the modern call center consists of a multitude of supporting applications, including hardware, networking equipment, software, and other relevant middleware. A vast majority of this equipment is supported by cloud service providers thereby requiring very little infrastructure expense. Call center migration to cloud guarantees that the following technologies are always available when required -
- Desktop Apps - This includes a wide variety of CRMs helpdesk applications, customer management systems, knowledge repositories, web chat and scripting applications, etc.
- Core Contact Center Functionality - IVR (both self-service and routing), outbound call dialing, PBX/ACD-type functionality, CTI, etc.
- Critical Technology - This includes some of the more essential requirements such as data security, middleware, IP networks, essential architecture, databases, etc.
- Management Apps - A combination of QA/QC technology, workforce management, reporting, business intelligence, workforce optimization, etc. comes under this
While cost saving is the biggest driving force behind businesses rapidly taking their call centers to the cloud, many industry leaders are also waking up to the other benefits of cloud migration. Customer experience today is a chief priority, and the cloud solutions available today are essential in winning long-term customer loyalty. Along with this, many other benefits such as increased agent efficiency, better self-service options, in-depth analytics and report generation can be achieved with the help of cloud solutions.
The Different Faces of a Modern Cloud Contact Center
Before you decide to hand away from your business to a cloud-hosted service provider, you need to know your exact requirements and the cloud model which suit them best. Some of the more popular cloud models include -
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Benefits of Call Center Cloud Migration
A recently concluded study found that more than 70% of the existing call centers in various parts of the world are looking to migrate to the cloud while letting go of expensive in-house equipment. A cloud-hosted call center works in almost the same way a traditional one works, except that businesses do not have to take care of large servers and other important hardware themselves. Some of the benefits of call center cloud migration include -
Call center businesses, especially SMBs tend to have seasonal trends and only receive high call volumes for a few particular months. Before the cloud took center stage, such businesses were often forced to add additional hardware or bandwidth during these periods at exorbitant costs. But with cloud migration, businesses can scale up or down as per their requirement. Most hosted call center options allow businesses to pay as they go, based on their exact usage without tacking up unnecessary costs. Along with this,
- Hosted platforms also help unite multiple call center platforms and work-from-home agents under one roof seamlessly, thereby saving you considerable overhead. Since such cloud-based solutions are connectivity-agnostic, your agents can log in through a multitude of different options such as PSTN, VoIP, IP phones, cell phones, etc.
- Managers can follow-up and view their agent's activity in real-time from any browser, thereby making it easy to monitor call, coach trainees, etc.
Reliability and Business Continuity
In this age of cutthroat competition, businesses cannot afford their systems to go down in cases of a human or natural disaster and need a solid backup plan. In the month of December 2016, multiple contact centers in the North-eastern United States had to shut down operations because of adverse weather conditions. Using cloud-managed solutions ensure your business never has to face such a situation, as there always is a backup ready to pick up the slack or heavy demand in case one location is not working as expected. Hosted platforms allow your employees to work remotely out of the comfort of their homes, ensuring better productivity.
Hosted platforms offer the exceptional platform and carrier redundancy, ensuring there never is a single point of failure.
Without doubt one of the most important factors behind the growing popularity of hosted cloud center solutions are the cost savings associated with them. No longer do call center companies need to depend on expensive equipment, but, instead rely on their cloud-partners to pick up the heavy workload. Furthermore, very less upfront costs are required and one can get started in a short time as possible by paying a per-user license fee while receiving access to a fully-featured online service. Since there is no expensive equipment to be managed, you can run a call center business with a handful of individuals actually on-site, without having to own equipment which would soon become redundant and be phased out in favor of better solutions.
One of the biggest benefits of partnering with a hosted call center platform is the frequency and speed with which updates are delivered to improve the platform. Best of all, as a client, you do not have to pay anything extra to enjoy this benefit. Long gone are the days when companies had to take major decisions when it came to upgrading their technology, most of which ended up costing them a lot of money. Companies like AWS spend millions annually to hire top developers to work on their cloud hosting platform, ensuring that your company is always working at the cutting-edge of technology and creating better experiences for your customers.
A small, but important and possibly game-changing feature of cloud contact centers is called Cloud Routing. Simply put, cloud routing is nothing but a call queue in the cloud and leverages the power of the internet to make sure your inbound calls are redirected properly to one or more call centers. Cloud routing is extremely helpful in extending the overall capacity of your call center, while flexibly allowing you to scale the call volume. Since the whole process is destination-agnostic, you can easily monitor agent calls, see the telephony details in real-time, and ensure calls are distributed properly and evenly across multiple call centers using a sequential approach. A new technology called "Geo Routing" can now even direct calls of your customers to a location nearest them, for enhanced support experience.
Since your call center will be supported by an experienced cloud-hosting provider, your business will be absolved of most hardware maintenance and troubleshooting requirements. System updates and other improvements will be delivered with the help of updates which would automatically install in the backend without any downtimes at your end, thereby ensuring call quality and overall customer experience never takes a hit.
Cloud-connected Call Centers - The Future
The future of contact centers lies in the cloud, and there is absolutely no doubt about that. The anytime, anywhere nature of the cloud is already being supplemented with ISaaS (Infrastructure security as a service) applications so that cloud vendors can handle customer authentication and data security better. This, in turn, would result in increased business from corporations waiting on the side lines for better security measures to be implemented.
Furthermore, with rapid advancements being made in setting up unified omnichannel communications and machine-to-machine communications powered by IoT, call center companies will increasingly look towards transforming their overall digital strategy and bring them in line with their cloud processes for better experiences all around.
Finally, the cloud platform will also help companies gain better real-time date and analytics into their performance and tweak them accordingly. Such real-time data can also be projected on an agent's screen to present them with a customer's data to provide them with better service.
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Are you ready to transition your contact center to the cloud and start saving? Contact us right now to learn how your call center can benefit from effortlessly moving to the cloud with the help of our bespoke solutions.
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