Selecting the right contact centre platform approach

June 8, 2021
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We live in an increasingly polarised world- whether it’s red versus blue, IOS versus Android or waterfall versus agile project management. The same can be said about contact centre platforms.

This isn’t about pitting contact centre vendors against each other – while there is no shortage of passionate product evangelists, I’m referring to on-premise versus cloud.

The pros and cons of on-premise versus cloud

There are many advantages and disadvantages to both options. However, an organisation’s circumstances will mean one option is likely to be a clear winner.

For example, if an organisation has heavily invested in an on-premise contact centre solution, with years of business logic and corporate IP baked in, it may be favourable to retain it and optimise existing services. In doing so, the organisation will extract as much value from the asset as possible. Some might say this is “sweating the asset”, but others might opine about dead horses and missed opportunities for innovation.

I find it difficult to understand why an organisation would opt to build a new on-premise contact centre service if presented with the opportunity to transition to a cloud-based option.

There are few major events that organisations should consider as the right opportunity to evaluate and potentially consider migrating from on-premises to a cloud-based contact centre platform approach.

These include:

  • Facing end of life or end of service for infrastructure, software and telephony
  • Unsustainable and unstable environment, leading to service failures
  • Technical constraints that inhibit innovation
  • Any corporate structure change, such as mergers, demergers and acquisitions
  • Organisational transformation aspirations
  • Incubator spin-off

It is rare to get the opportunity to start fresh and build a contact centre service from the ground up. More often than not, enterprises have already made heavy investments in IT infrastructure and software to provide contact centre services. Some may have started to dabble in cloud-based services for some functions – but they will at some point need to make a key decision – to sweat their assets further or commit to cloud migration services.

Once the decision to migrate has been made – then it’s a matter of “how?”.

This is where expert advice and experience is needed.

What to consider in a cloud migration

To prepare for moving from on-premise to the cloud, the first consideration will be the pathway and duration of the migration.

Organisations can opt for the following approaches:

  1. Greenfield (short term) – build an entirely new contact centre and execute a hard cut-over.
  2. Hybrid – maintain core service and move adjunct or peripheral services to cloud over an extended period.
  3. Migration – build services by business unit or team and migrate over time.

Greenfield Approach

This is the easiest of the options – build everything new directly into the cloud environment.

This approach involves following standard principles of understanding the business needs and desired customer experience and build natively into the new cloud environment. The speed to market, compared to traditional on-premises installations, will be considerably faster.

Hybrid Approach

If a business is adopting CX cloud services over a lengthy period of time, it is likely that a hybrid of the two approaches (on-premise and cloud) will need to co-exist for potentially a few years.

For this reason, careful planning is required, so the customer experience is not compromised; typically, this comes from disconnected systems which in turn, will lead to a disjointed customer journey. A clear platform strategy is also important, so design and investment decisions are made in alignment with the end goal.

For this reason, in a hybrid approach, it is worth making an effort to integrate the environments. Then, an organisation will need to decide if the move to cloud services will be migrated by services or by business units.

Migrating services allows the organisation to move certain capabilities, for example, quality and compliance, to the cloud and have these available to all business units. This migration can continue progressively with other capabilities, such as workforce management, digital services (AI/Chatbots) etc until all services have eventually migrated to cloud-based services, thus allowing the decommission of legacy on-premise equipment.

Taking a business unit approach is like taking a greenfield approach, where all the CX capabilities need to be configured on the cloud platform. The hybrid aspect comes as some teams and business units gradually move onto the new cloud platform, while others remain on the legacy on-premise platform. The intervening time could be months or years, while the two environments operate together and allow for connected customer experiences.

Migration Approach

The migration approach is essentially a complete design and build of a new environment parallel to the existing on-premise services. Once built and deemed ready, the business can migrate teams and business units across to the new platforms – typically bound by a schedule to limit the duplication of running parallel environments.

Conclusion

Whichever option an organisation chooses, the importance of a clear platform strategy cannot be overstated. The strategy will guide decisions, set timeframe objectives and help to determine the best approach for the organisations to move to cloud based CX services. This is a major undertaking for any organisation size, and getting the right advice and assistance is a key determinant for success. Byte has experts and years of industry experience who can help, so get in touch today!

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