Head Out of the Clouds – When a Premises-Based Contact Center Makes Sense

Businessman standing and hiding his head behind an empty cloud

Mark Minorik, Director

Cloud-based contact centers offer a variety of potential benefits, including cost savings, flexibility to align with business needs, improved customer experience and opportunities to increase revenue.

In certain situations, however, traditional premises-based contact centers might be a better fit than a SaaS or cloud solution.   For example, an enterprise that requires uninterrupted and continuous availability – such as mission-critical emergency services or air-to-ground communication – may want to eliminate possible failure points within an IP network.  In this case, a premise-based solution might be a better choice than cloud.

Another possible scenario favoring a premises-based solution is where an enterprise has recently made large capital investments in upgrading their internal contact center applications (e.g. call/work distribution) and may not be able to reap financial and/or other benefits by migrating to cloud-based services. Similarly, early adopters and users of beta or emerging product (multi-modal applications) may find that cloud providers can’t adopt and/or deploy new software or services in a timely or cost-effective manner.

Companies that require highly custom or unique feature functions (e.g. unlimited skills) to run their business may not be viable candidates for the cloud, as some of these feature may not be available. Understanding the solution and roadmaps from both premise and cloud providers is critical when evaluating service models and options.

Non-US markets where regulations dictate local use, or where data and IP voice and transport are limited or have poor track record of availability, may be a poor choice for cloud-based services. Knowledge of the market and the geolocation of the contact centers is imperative when charting the roadmap and making decisions.

Finally, while enterprises rarely require end-to-end control of their environment, those that do find that cloud and outsourced solutions will generally fall short.  Assessing the reasons for control and conducting due diligence on management and operating models can help determine the choice between premise and cloud solutions.

As with any technology investment, analyses of service levels, capabilities, operations, functionality, cost, and other critical services and components, such as disaster recovery and continuity, are essential when comparing cloud-based to premise-based contact center solutions.

Mark Minorik is an Alsbridge Director, Transformation Services.

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