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Recently, Forrester released a report exploring the current rise in cloud contact center adoption and how businesses are benefiting from the move to this model  (Increase Customer Service Agility with Cloud Contact Centers). We had the opportunity to speak with Kate Leggett, a principal analyst at Forrester, about key insights from this research, and what businesses should keep in mind when planning their own move to the cloud.

What are some of the main reasons that contact center software has been slow to move to the cloud?

One reason for the slow pace of change is that the life cycle for proprietary hardware-based automatic call distribution software spanned 10 to 15 years between major architectural changes. The result has been that both the supplier and buyer sides of these markets remained locked into longer time frames.

Additionally, businesses have often had concerns that cloud contact center vendors will not be able to meet availability service levels, or real-time voice quality and reliability metrics.

Another concern has been that cloud contact center vendors will not support integrations to other applications used by the contact center (e.g., automatic call distributor, computer telephony integration software, interactive voice response [IVR], workforce management and quality monitoring, CRM etc.).

What are some trends driving the recent increase in cloud adoption?

Organizations are attracted by the agility and flexibility afforded by cloud deployment models and the ability to gain access to the latest innovations without large upfront capital expenditures of on-premise software. Access to continued innovation allows organizations to keep better aligned with changing customer expectations.

What are the advantages of a pure SaaS model compared to hybrid?

Pure SaaS allows organizations to wholly rely on the vendor to manage and maintain the application and infrastructure upon which it runs. It means that organizations will be able to access new functionality as soon as the vendor releases it; the organization will be increasingly agile and able to quickly adapt to changing customer requirements. It also means that the vendor will provide access to a single, integrated customer contact platform, and will allow organizations to pay for capabilities currently used.

How can application development and delivery professionals begin to overcome their organizations’ resistance to the pure SaaS model? 

AD&D pros must put a business case in place to show the value (ROI) gained from making the switch to a pure SaaS model. This business case must highlight the reduction on operational costs as well as top-line revenue increases from being able to deliver better customer experiences as measured by decreased customer churn, increased customer lifetime value and advocacy.

One of the tips for cloud deployment stressed in Forrester’s report is to transform the customer experience, not just lift and switch. How can companies truly begin to transform their customer experience by moving their contact center to the cloud?

This switch should be viewed as an opportunity to re-imagine the customer experience from the ground up, from the customer’s point of view. This switch should not just be a port of old processes to a new deployment modality.

For more on this topic, check out our whitepaper,

Cloud Contact Centers: What to look for and how to choose.

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