SDN Journal Authors: Yeshim Deniz, Liz McMillan, Elizabeth White, Pat Romanski, TJ Randall

Related Topics: @CloudExpo, Microservices Expo, Containers Expo Blog, Agile Computing, @DXWorldExpo, SDN Journal

@CloudExpo: Article

Hybrid Contact Centers – The New Normal

Reinventing the customer experience inside contact centers

The prevalence of social media and the power of mobile have quickly turned the business world into a customer-centric one. Sure, there have always been companies devoted to excellent customer service. However, today's engaged consumer expects all businesses to master customer experience management in addition to their core business.

It's clear that cutting-edge technology enables companies to more easily deliver on this expectation. The evolution from on-premise contact center architectures to cloud-based technologies as the key customer communications vehicle is a key driver of advances in customer engagement today.

The cloud-based contact center invigorates all areas of the business. Its access to instant updates versus manually installed updates provides a more swift execution of day-to-day activities that traditional on-premise contact centers cannot promise to waiting customers. As multi-channel customer demands continue to mount for contact center staff, the need to deliver technology that is faster to implement is required, along with an improved version of that technology.

The arguments in favor of moving to the cloud are pervasive in almost every industry: quicker deployment, more flexibility, easier upgrades, accessible support, innovation, and more. The contact center industry is moving - perhaps more slowly than other industries - to the cloud, though legacy infrastructure vendors still work hard to convince decision makers to upgrade to the latest on-premise solution. Of course, contact centers need stability and predictability - but on-premise isn't the only option for that now. The belief that an on-premise offering is the best or only solution doesn't - or shouldn't - hold water for contact centers anymore.

Today's contact center looks quite different than it did even 18 months ago. Locking into a proprietary environment may make sense for some companies. Transitioning the contact center into the cloud, though, has quickly become the new normal.

Contact center customers expect instant access to information and almost immediate problem resolution via a growing number of channels: text, web, phone, chat, and whatever new communications tool is sure to emerge. Contact center leaders need an efficient way to attain technology updates and ensure the best service is given. These dynamic businesses are the backbone of the world's customer-centric companies.

However, since legacy on-premise technologies are deeply embedded in call centers, evolving the business' technology backbone can seem daunting. Delivering a positive customer experience, for example, performing well in an NPS survey, requires great customer experiences and high agent productivity.

Contact centers have been rapidly moving to the cloud with recent research showing the cloud-based contact center infrastructure market to grow between 35 percent and 45 percent each year between 2012 and 2015. Why? For a number of reasons:

  • Immediate access to cutting-edge technology: Moving a contact center to the cloud enables customer satisfaction by creating a nimble underlying technology platform. Contact centers can easily add new channels and strategies, satiating the instant gratification customers crave from their experiences at the drop of a hat.
  • Reducing time and cost while increasing speed to deploy new innovations: Besides eliminating ongoing maintenance fees and large support staffs, a cloud contact center allows for better resource distribution, for example, maximizing agent time or the types of queries agents manage.
  • Flexible, scalable programs: A cloud-based contact center can handle bursts of activity during peak times, ensuring a positive experience for customers, continuously optimizing as your volumes and needs fluctuate throughout the day, week, month, and year.

Welcome to the hybrid contact center where best practice solutions are easily deployed through the cloud without the need for significant capital investment. By doing this, investments are protected and vendor lock-in is avoided. Capacity is provided on-demand - scaling up or down at will.

Customers rule. Contact centers that ignore the benefits of cloud technology may not.

More Stories By Matt Edmunds

Matt Edmunds is VP and CRO Contact Center, Collections, Payments at Genesys | SoundBite. He brings 20 years of hands-on industry and operational experience to his role at SoundBite Communications. He leads sales, marketing, services, and product development efforts tailored for these industries. Prior to joining SoundBite, Edmunds was senior vice president of bankcard operations for Outsourcing Solutions, Inc, where he managed all facility, personnel, strategy and operations decisions for four call center sites with 600 full-time employees. In this role, he was a frequent user of SoundBite’s solution. Prior to joining OSI, Edmunds spent almost nine years at Capital One Financial Corporation leading various customer care and collections strategies.

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.

CloudEXPO Stories
In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Mike Johnston, an infrastructure engineer at Supergiant.io, discussed how to use Kubernetes to set up a SaaS infrastructure for your business. Mike Johnston is an infrastructure engineer at Supergiant.io with over 12 years of experience designing, deploying, and maintaining server and workstation infrastructure at all scales. He has experience with brick and mortar data centers as well as cloud providers like Digital Ocean, Amazon Web Services, and Rackspace. His expertise is in automating deployment, management, and problem resolution in these environments, allowing his teams to run large transactional applications with high availability and the speed the consumer demands.
The technologies behind big data and cloud computing are converging quickly, offering businesses new capabilities for fast, easy, wide-ranging access to data. However, to capitalize on the cost-efficiencies and time-to-value opportunities of analytics in the cloud, big data and cloud technologies must be integrated and managed properly. Pythian's Director of Big Data and Data Science, Danil Zburivsky will explore: The main technology components and best practices being deployed to take advantage of data and analytics in the cloud, Architecture, integration, governance and security scenarios and Key challenges and success factors of moving data and analytics to the cloud
SYS-CON Events announced today that DatacenterDynamics has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7–9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. DatacenterDynamics is a brand of DCD Group, a global B2B media and publishing company that develops products to help senior professionals in the world's most ICT dependent organizations make risk-based infrastructure and capacity decisions.
Most DevOps journeys involve several phases of maturity. Research shows that the inflection point where organizations begin to see maximum value is when they implement tight integration deploying their code to their infrastructure. Success at this level is the last barrier to at-will deployment. Storage, for instance, is more capable than where we read and write data. In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 20th Cloud Expo, Josh Atwell, a Developer Advocate for NetApp, will discuss the role and value extensible storage infrastructure has in accelerating software development activities, improve code quality, reveal multiple deployment options through automated testing, and support continuous integration efforts. All this will be described using tools common in DevOps organizations.
"When you think about the data center today, there's constant evolution, The evolution of the data center and the needs of the consumer of technology change, and they change constantly," stated Matt Kalmenson, VP of Sales, Service and Cloud Providers at Veeam Software, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.