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Looking back on the cloud

Years after predicting the future of cloud-based workforce management, Teleopti’s Product Manager Jeremy Hamill-Keays reveals the real state of affairs in contact centres today.

Contact centers are leading the way as the cloud becomes an accepted platform for a range of services.  This is supported by network infrastructure service provider West Corporation, in its new ‘State of the Customer Experience 2017' report, which surveyed 200 managers and decision makers in contact centres, across various industries[i] . West Corporation found that 39 per cent of UK contact centres have already moved to the cloud, and 57 per cent are planning or considering a move within the next three years. The good news is, of those centres that have already moved to the cloud, 53 per cent of respondents said that new features were easier to deploy, and 47 per cent said that they had saved money with flexible licensing models.

This backs up what Teleopti predicted several years ago.  When we published our ebook  “What’s keeping you from Workforce Management in the Cloud?”, we set out to demystify the often confusing world of cloud migration by addressing the 10 typical cloud headaches including functionality and cost.  We also outlined other key areas of potential concern such as ease of use, flexibility, scalability, security, reliability, the legal aspects of geographically dispersed data centres and regulatory compliance.

Since that time, many organisations have enjoyed the benefits associated with cloud technology, in particular; no more major investments in a premise-based infrastructure, easily accessible workforce management (WFM) data in real time 24/7, the ability to scale up and down the number of users instantly, new features added automatically and free of charge, allowing more time and resource to spend on delivering outstanding customer experience.

Gazing back into the crystal ball – what came true

Still not convinced?  For those still deliberating over whether or not to take a cloud-based approach to WFM here are three very good reasons to make the switch:

Flexibility and Scalability – the flexibility of cloud technology means that contact centres can now work the way they want, not as technology dictates.  Many contact centres need to seamlessly grow (or shrink) to cost-effectively react to market changes.  Cloud WFM solutions can be easily right-sized depending on requirements, for example this is perfect for seasonal businesses.  Simply pay the low, flat, monthly fee per user with no more costly software licenses for extra staff.

Advanced functionality – cloud solutions are upgraded on a continuous basis, rather than according to the availability of internal IT resources.  New functionality is often aimed at improving efficiency and the benefits can be realized immediately.  As cloud applications are designed to be available from anywhere, this means that home workers do not require special setup and advanced functionality can be quickly and easily deployed across multiple sites.

Cost – WFM in the cloud means zero investment in server hardware and software licenses, zero investment in operating, supporting and upgrading server hardware and software.  Many adopters achieve return on investment (ROI) within the first month and lower overall total cost of ownership (TCO).  New functionality, maintenance, innovation and 24/7 support are typically included in the user fee, with payment simply for as many agents as needed.  If the cost of making the move to the cloud is your biggest worry – think again it could be well worth the switch.

A welcome new revelation

What Teleopti hadn’t predicted was the ability of cloud-based WFM to make life easier – and happier – for contact centre agents. Happier agents lead to reduced employee churn and therefore large cost savings which further contribute to return-on-investment (ROI).   We all know happier staff equal happier customers therefore another benefit has emerged as a result of cloud and provides an additional incentive to take the cloud-based route.

By leveraging cloud-based applications for WFM, unparalleled flexibility, scalability and significant cost savings are gained, as well as the richest features and the latest functionality.  So what’s keeping you from making the switch?  To find out more download the latest second edition of Teleopti’s ebook “What’s keeping you from Workforce Management in the Cloud?”.

Jeremy Hamill-Keays  is Product Manager at Teleopti

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