When the cloud first showed up in the contact center, adoption lagged behind other enterprise applications due to concerns… about security, reliability, control, provider viability, you name it. The initial reluctance of business leaders, IT directors, and contact center management was understandable given the lack of exposure they had to cloud applications and the mission critical nature of customer care operations.
Now, however, businesses can’t move their contact centers to the cloud fast enough. What’s ironic is that decision makers tell us these very same areas (of previous concern) are now considered top selling points for the cloud.
The cloud offers a higher level of security
How hard is it to gain access to the room(s) your company runs its on-premises applications? Are your facilities manned 24 hours a day, seven days a week? Is two-factor authentication (biometric/card) required for access? Are video surveillance cameras in place to monitor the facility and perimeter at all times? Cloud providers that follow SSAE 16 best practices answer yes to these questions and often provide a higher level of physical security than companies do internally.
An additional level of security and isolation is offered by cloud providers with single-customer, multi-instance virtualized environments – each customer runs their contact center operation on their own virtual instance of the application, leveraging common hardware and services for economies of scale. As well, highly regulated organizations can now have voice traffic and other sensitive customer data (e.g., recordings) remain on their premises should they prefer.
The cloud provides a more reliable infrastructure
Does your IT team have the resources and time to keep your entire contact center infrastructure up-to-date and, better yet, keep a constant (24/7), proactive eye on the environment to ensure business isn’t interrupted? Does your current environment provide geographic high availability? Does your IT team adhere to strict, well-documented SLAs that have penalties tied to them? Cloud providers do, and their business is centered around making sure your systems are up-to-date and remain operational, even when disaster strikes.
The cloud offers the business greater control over their operations
Can your contact center turn on a dime to address rapidly changing business requirements without a huge drain on IT? Better yet, are they empowered to make changes themselves? Cloud providers offer the ability to do so and have highly skilled resources – from the same company that wrote the underlying application code – waiting in the wings to help you turn customer care into a competitive weapon.
Ironic, isn’t it? In its infancy, the cloud was only an afterthought in the minds of most contact centers. Today, it’s proving to be one of their most beneficial assets now that reputable, market leading providers (such as Interactive Intelligence) are offering cloud solutions that are more secure and reliable, and that offer greater control than what companies are used to internally.
Jason Alley is solutions marketing manager at Interactive Intelligence.