Breaking Through Cloud Contact Center Migration Barriers

A few years ago, internal barriers to a cloud migration were as much about stakeholders’ fear of the unknown as they were about apprehension of a new technology. But as businesses move more of their operations to the cloud, those barriers are disintegrating.

The “why” of the cloud is apparent; modernizing your contact center is inevitable. What’s still unknown is how to smoothly make the move without breaking or disrupting processes and services that have been working well enough for many years — even decades.

Where to begin might be the most daunting question of all.

Your focus should be based on your unique requirements, determining which concerns are warranted and how to resolve them. Let’s look at two main concerns for contact centers.

Balancing Quality with the Flexibility of a Remote Workforce

The COVID-19 pandemic forced about 90% of global contact center agents to work virtually from home. And businesses gave them the essential tools and equipment to do so. Now, it’s likely that many, if not all, will continue working remotely.

Because the traditional supervisor-agent role is no longer in-person, companies are left with the long-term challenge of managing performance and productivity. How do you balance the shift to a flexible work environment that supports your retention goals while maintaining high quality performance that supports business outcomes?

The answer lies in having more visibility and engagement so you can monitor and measure performance, while also keeping employees engaged. Quality in customer service doesn’t just depend on knowing how to solve an issue; it’s about having a positive experience with a customer. When an agent is unengaged in their job, it’s evident during the interaction.

Don’t Let On-Premises Telephony Hold You Back

Many contact centers were built for telephony first. So, it’s more intertwined with on-premises systems. Yet, your other channel offerings are likely cloud-native.

Bringing everything to the cloud, including telephony, will deliver better mobility and quality for your customers and agents. Yet, concerns about the consistency of voice quality and its reliability tend to slow its migration to the cloud. And because voice has been hardwired into support centers for decades, running telephony over the cloud represents a big shift.

But it’s critical. Here’s why.

If your voice systems are still on-premises, but another group in your company uses a bot or other digital channel on the cloud, there’s a disconnect between channels of customer engagement. These silos prevent a seamless exchange of data in real time.

It’s a disjointed strategy that creates a disjointed customer experience.

With a traditional phone system, managing growth and unpredictable volumes can be time-consuming and expensive. Cloud-based phone systems are fast, flexible and scalable. That gives you the expansion needed during seasonal fluctuations, for example. But it doesn’t force you to pay for capacity you don’t need during slower periods.

The cloud keeps all your business communications running — no matter how quickly company dynamics change. With the right omnichannel tools, it’s also easier to manage interactions and collect data for insights into each agent’s performance and productivity – regardless of location.

Once you understand system interdependencies, such as your telephony provider, computers, headsets and third-party systems connected via APIs, you can move voice to the cloud. Bringing together all customer touchpoints in the cloud with a single system that unifies your interactions and quality management is the foundation of effective and efficient employee and customer experiences.

The True Cost of a Delay

Often, the longer you wait to move to the cloud, the more upgrades you’ll need. That means you’ll dedicate more resources to outdated systems. This problem is compounded by the fact that – for many reasons – vendors are adding fewer innovations to on-premises systems in favor of the cloud.

How much time and money cloud saves your business depends on your starting point and how well you manage and optimize cloud consumption. But some easy calculations show there are direct financial savings, such as eliminating large capital expenditures and not paying service providers for CPU you might never fully use.

There are also costs associated with a lack of agility to shift easily with market changes, including the recent economic downturn, or internal shifts in strategy. Either way, you’ll pay for delaying migration with the same outcome: Higher costs, a less competitive business and an impact to your brand.

Uncertainty stagnates a cloud contact center migration strategy. And that can be a costly mistake.

No matter what causes the delay, the result is the same. Not migrating has financial implications and it halts your ability to innovate.

Your journey to the cloud begins with a few simple steps. Read this cloud migration guide to learn more.