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Contact center and IT leaders have been searching for better and more cost-effective ways to help customers without forsaking efficiency and productivity. The answer for many lies in the cloud. While it took contact centers close to 15 years to get comfortable with cloud-based solutions, many have been won over by the flexibility and benefits, and the freedom from having to implement and maintain hardware and platforms.

The numbers tell this remarkable story. Back in 2008, adoption of cloud-based contact center infrastructure solutions was only 2.2%. In just three years, adoption nearly tripled to 5.9% in 2011. As of September 2013, DMG estimates that more than 62% of organizations were using some type of cloud-based contact center solution as part of their operation.

Based on a growth rate of 42.4% in 2010, 80.2% on 2011, and 32.5% in 2012, it’s clear that end users in contact centers of all sizes are rapidly moving from simply being interested in cloud-based contact center infrastructure solutions to making investments. Of course, businesses need outstanding solutions.  There are currently more than 80 competitors in the cloud-based contact center infrastructure market, but not all solutions are created or operated equally.

Fundamentally, the cloud is simply an alternative acquisition or delivery model for contact center or customer service systems and applications. However, in the world of contact center and customer service technologies, the cloud is a game-changer. It has helped to transform and enhance the competitive landscape for contact center and customer service applications by making it easier for new vendors to enter the market. All types of contact center and customer service applications are now available in the cloud.

Today there are more vendors, solutions and options for end users than ever before.  The market is on fire, and the winners are both end users and vendors.  Cloud-based solutions are freeing prospects from the limitations of their capital budgets, giving them acquisition options that they may never have considered before; the challenge is that there are dozens of companies in many IT sectors vying for their business. Users of cloud-based contact center systems and applications have high expectations. Prospects and customers want solid, dependable and reliable solutions that are secure, easy to implement and integrate, and supported by highly skilled resources and ongoing innovation.

Few contact centers are completely cloud-based today, and DMG does not expect this to change much in the next five years. However, within two years, almost no center will be cloud-less, as the benefits of these solutions are becoming increasingly evident. The cloud-based contact center infrastructure market is expected to continue to grow rapidly, although more slowly than it has in the recent past. DMG expects this market to grow by 30% in 2013, 27% in 2014, 25% in 2015, and 22% in 2015. When it’s time to replace an existing application or purchase an initial contact center solution, take a look at the cloud-based market and see why so many companies have moved in this direction.

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About Donna Fluss

Donna Fluss is President of DMG Consulting LLC

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