‘Cloud’ is a buzzword that has run its course in a lot of industries, but there is a resurgence of cloud talk in the contact center arena these days.
Contact Center as a Service (CCaaS) is a high-priority digital transformation project for many businesses around the world, and some of the biggest players in tech are jumping in with both feet. Zoom, Microsoft, Amazon Web Services, Google, and Salesforce are all touting new ideas to leverage voice, digital and technological advances like artificial intelligence (AI), natural language processing (NLP), and machine learning (ML) in the contact center. At the same time, legacy on-premises players like Genesys1, Cisco, and Avaya are making big bets on the cloud.
While midsized companies have generally found it easier to move their contact centers to the cloud (many were urged on by the push to have contact center agents working from home during the pandemic), many bigger enterprises have yet to take the plunge. The global market for CCaaS offerings is expected to grow by 26.1% annually2 from 2022 to 2027, expanding from $17.1 billion to $54.6 billion. With all the buzz about CCaaS in the industry and amid looming economic uncertainty, it is realistic to expect that this shift will happen even faster.
The real difference between cloud and on-premises
Traditional contact center technology is built purposefully. It is intended to be used as a telephony-based call center solution, and it has worked really well for a long time, which is partly why larger organizations haven’t been as quick to jump to the cloud.
The cloud is a different kettle of fish. Many CCaaS offerings include an assortment of technologies, apps, and integrations with an ecosystem of partner apps assembled to form a contact center. In addition to core contact center functionality, cloud solutions have added perks, like built-in productivity tools and AI integration, which traditional telephony solutions just can’t match.
Adding AI to your contact center is a game-changer, and moving to the cloud gives you access to the best the industry has to offer. AI comes baked into many CCaaS solutions, which opens fresh opportunities for companies to leverage natural language engines like voice bots, chatbots, or conversational IVRs to enable more self-service options for customers while freeing up human agents and driving the cost of service down.
How to get started: Lift and Shift vs Lift and Shine
Sometimes, it makes perfect sense to take what you have in your on-premises solution and just move it to the cloud. Other times, a cloud migration is a great opportunity to reassess priorities and examine how your customers are interacting with your business. Identify your customers’ true intents: What does a successful interaction with your business look like to them? How can you deliver personalization and opportunities for self-service? Then, bring that vision to life by shifting the way you think about your contact center and throwing the rule book out the window.
If a move to the cloud coincides with a foray into AI, maybe your IVR becomes conversational. Should you revamp call flows or elements of your customer journey to make them more user-friendly? How can you incorporate chatbots, voice bots, or other digital channels or real-time communication? Whatever you decide, you need to have a meticulous plan to ensure a smooth transition.
If you fail to plan, plan to fail
All too often, as a cloud migration gets rolling, the contingencies, nuances, and complexities overwhelm even the best migration teams.
When Electrolux3 set out to consolidate their European on-premises contact centers into one cloud-based solution, the team soon realized that bringing together the staff, processes, and legal requirements from different countries and languages would create a new set of challenges. With its existing fully manual testing process, there was no way for Electrolux to run tests at the new scale demanded by the cloud. Manual testing proved too slow to keep pace. They also struggled to consistently measure cloud environment stability and quickly identify issues that needed to be addressed from the customer’s perspective. Electrolux turned to Cyara for help monitoring voice quality and digital channels, improving end-to-end call routing, and accelerating their regression testing from 14-day cycles to overnight to get their migration back on track.
Assure your cloud migration with the right testing and processes
A rigorous testing regimen will make sure that you know how the system performed before, during, and after key steps in migration. Unfortunately, no team of manual testers can do this astutely without help from automation.
Even in the cloud, the technology required to run a contact center involves integrating disparate systems — such as a CRM or ERP — not delivered by the CCaaS platform. Cloud providers will test their solutions with their own technology, but they won’t test your cloud instance with your data and your integrations, which is necessary to assure performance.
This is an immense, complex task that will require many rounds of coding and testing. You need to successfully get through the entire migration process to day 0 and flip the switch with confidence and assurance. Ensuring this goes smoothly requires comprehensive testing.
The sooner you can fully migrate to the cloud, the sooner you can recognize the benefits and economies that come along with that move. Companies that use Cyara to assure their migration move to the cloud 2x faster than those that don’t. Learn more about how Cyara helps at every stage of the cloud migration journey by reading our eBook.