The COVID-19 health crisis has accelerated digital transformation like never before. Call centers have also reached a major inflection point, as organizations rely on them to foster customer relationships and support an ever-evolving work-from-home environment. Agility plays an important role here and has led to a widespread move to the cloud.
According to one study, more than three out of four contact centers have fully or partially moved to the cloud, and 68% of those migrations occurred during the past year at the height of the pandemic. Meanwhile, one in four call centers is now completely cloud-based, a substantial jump from less than a year ago, when only one in ten operations had moved to the cloud.
What Is the Next Phase of Cloud Transformation?
The modern multichannel contact center has entered an era of smart cloud, in which it is configured to drive strategic business value rather than simply support tactical cost optimization.
The survey results highlighted that the next phase of cloud transformation enables companies to be more strategic.
What Are the Most Prominent Benefits?
1) Value of Cloud-driven Decision-making
The cloud is helping call centers be more strategic, make smarter business decisions, and be more agile for functional needs.
2) Value of Cloud-driven Analytics
Half of those surveyed believe that migrating to the cloud has improved their ability to use intelligent analytics and manage the business, including information to help agents and customers. Cloud solutions make it easy to realize value within Voice of the Customer (VoC) and employee data. Ultimately, it helps call centers gain visibility and impact across the business.
3) Value of Cloud-powered Collaboration
Contact centers see how cloud solutions have empowered their decentralized and remote workforces, offering flexibility to employees while improving communication and collaboration between them.
4) Value of Employee Engagement
Cloud-based call centers are more likely to derive value from agent engagement and empowerment initiatives, as the cloud enables improved flexibility, performance, and provides more comprehensive customer insights by enhancing CX.
5) Value of Cloud Security
Contact centers rely on the security of data hosted in the cloud, viewing it as an imperative consideration rather than a point of resistance.
6) Value of Cloud Agility
Call center managers who have embraced cloud platforms feel that their infrastructure is more ready to test new tools as they navigate their digital transformation and add new communication channels such as social media and chatbots to meet future demand.
Steps to Migrate to the Cloud
The key to achieving cloud mastery and becoming a member of the new intelligent cloud era is for organizations to fully immerse themselves in the cloud experience, but don’t rush. Experience means advocating for a pragmatic, phased approach to migration, working with a provider that has experience in enabling and supporting the two main cloud options:
- Full Cloud: where all systems (WEM, CCaaS and CRM) are implemented within a public, private or hybrid cloud.
- Partial Cloud: some systems are within a public, private, or hybrid cloud, while others are still on premises.
Whichever option organizations choose, they must rely on experienced vendors to address the main concern highlighted in the investigation – the perceived potential for data loss during the critical migration phase. Cloud adopters should also consider the benefits of a true Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) approach in which solutions are written for the cloud rather than traditional server-based applications hosted in the cloud.
Committed cloud providers spend enough time, energy, and resources educating call centers on how to combine technology and best practices to ensure a smooth and seamless migration to the cloud. Hard-earned experience combined with pre-engineered connectors drives successful integrations and helps unleash the full potential of cloud-based contact centers.
The Near Future of the Cloud
So what is the future for the cloud? Many call centers have yet to unleash the full potential of their cloud infrastructures, from analytics powered by AI (Artificial Intelligence) and ML (Machine Learning) to Workforce Management (WEM) and other strategies prepared for the future.