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Cloud as a change catalyst

Nothing is as constant as change. Is that true? It’s an old adage, but probably not strictly accurate. Change might be ever present, but the pace of change is fluctuating all the time. So change itself isn’t constant – it speeds up and slows down, sometimes erratically, but it’s always apparent.

There’s no doubt cloud computing, including cloud telephony and contact centres, has changed how IT is consumed. Hosted and managed services providers have become providers of cloud services. Some of them are doing the same things in the same way, but under a new label. New entrants are doing some of the same things, and lots of new and innovative things, under the cloud label. Either way, cloud is the change catalyst.

Instead of upgrading their own infrastructure, and certainly instead of green field, data centre expansion, enterprises are increasingly moving to Something-as-a-Service (SaaS) from a cloud provider. Whether that is infrastructure, platform or software and applications – or all of the above – cloud is the way to go.

Contact centre solution providers operate in a horizontal market that serves many verticals. Whatever the vertical specialisation, those providers make fundamental use of the entire cloud stack. Products from companies such as Enghouse Interactive, NewVoiceMedia, Intelecom, HTK, Synety, MPL Systems, and Netcall offer excellent examples of customer engagement and interaction solutions delivered – bottom to top – from within the cloud.

However, enterprises taking business services from cloud-based, third party vendors may be aware only of the end product. It’s the service that’s important, not the inner workings of the delivery. It’s the outcome, not the methodology, which gives rise to the benefits. And a significant part of the outcome is not having to deal with the methods.

Not having to replace legacy, on-premises systems, not having to source hardware and software, and not having to deal with maintenance and support issues are significant benefits for smarter enterprises. Procuring secure, high-availability services at low cost is the key. Trusting a third party with that responsibility is not a risk; it’s more of an advantage.

Agility is synonymous with being able to take advantage of constant change. And third party solutions from the cloud are far more agile than monolithic, hardware and software platforms. Undoubtedly, that is of benefit as it helps enterprises more readily meet their business goals in today’s ever changing, competitive environment.

The advantages being sought from the cloud can be summarised as: availability; responsiveness; inexpensive; scale to demand; aiding business growth; enabling better service; guarding against support and upgrade costs’ and security.

It’s not every enterprise that can become an expert on data centre security. That kind of specialisation is another advantage of a cloud solution. At least in terms of contact centre operations, even the financial sector has realised that is the case. Many verticals, including pharmaceutical and healthcare, have turned to cloud service providers.

If you are a contact centre service provider concerned with outcomes for your enterprise customers, make sure you’re sitting above the cloud. And when it comes to your telephony stack, change to a voice platform that’s in the cloud. Don’t lag behind.