June 09, 2022
Avoid Cloud Contact Center Pitfalls
Organizations that move to the Contact Center as a Service model often overlook some key considerations.
The writing is on the wall and has been for some time: Organizations of all sizes, in nearly every industry, are pushing their contact centers into the cloud. The benefits — instant updates, agile development, out-of-the-box integrations, improved uptime and an operating expense (OPEX) financing model — often makes the move something of a no-brainer. While the decision to embrace a cloud contact center is often simple, the actual move to Contact Center as a Service (CCaaS) can be quite complex.
At CDW, we frequently find ourselves stepping in to help customers who have attempted to implement a cloud contact center on their own, but then find they need the help of a trusted partner. Here are some of the key factors that organizations often overlook.
The Importance of Integration with Other Customer-Facing Tools
A contact center is more than just a contact center. To serve companies and their customers effectively, a system needs to integrate seamlessly with other applications and platforms. These include payment processing systems, phone systems and other collaboration platforms.
Vendor sales representatives will, of course, put their best foot forward during the sales process, and they may gloss over their product’s weak points. For instance, only a handful of cloud contact centers are certified to support Microsoft Teams, but a sales rep might vaguely note that their solution “works with” the collaboration platform. This is where unbiased advice from a partner can be invaluable.
Know Whether Your Contact Center Requires Additional Development
Some companies think they’re getting a low-code or no-code solution, only to find that their cloud contact center is essentially a bare skeleton that requires significant internal development resources. We’ve seen some organizations move away from such systems only a few months after adopting them once they realize the level of effort involved in development and support.
Beware of Complicated Cost Models
Some cloud contact centers include essentially all features in one bundle. Others price their products a la carte. Some charge for licenses on a per-agent basis, while others bill by consumption. The upshot is, monthly bills may look drastically different from one organization to the next, and a cost model that works for one company may be entirely wrong for another.
Business and IT leaders need an objective third party to analyze what their long-term costs will look like with different solutions.
Contact Centers Are Subject to Regulatory Compliance
When looking at a new contact center provider, IT and business leaders must consider any relevant data protection laws and regulations, including HIPAA, the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS), the Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program (FedRAMP) and the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), among others.
Prepare for the IT Burden of Lifecycle Management
Adopting a cloud contact center approach certainly decreases the management burden for internal IT shops. However, CCaaS doesn’t completely eliminate the oversight associated with running a contact center.
Organizations need staff and processes dedicated to tasks such as adding agents to the system or setting up queues. If organizations lack the internal capacity to manage their cloud contact centers, they can partner with a managed services provider like CDW to keep things running seamlessly and ensure they are taking advantage of new functionality as it is released.
If customer interaction is the lifeblood of any company, then the contact center is the heart. It feels almost inevitable that most organizations will eventually move to the cloud, but if they manage the move poorly, they can set themselves back in terms of time, finances or even customer satisfaction. In short, it’s a process that’s worth doing right the first time. Whether it’s through our routine pre-sales conversations or our more robust Contact Center Business Analysis engagement, CDW can help.
Story by Scott Merritt, who has been with CDW for four years and has 25 years of experience in the collaboration space. He has done everything from building and designing central office equipment to consulting with customers on hybrid workspaces. He has an extensive background in contact center technologies as well as other collaboration tools, such as video and file sharing.