The global pandemic has accelerated digital transformation and ushered in a Cloud-Smart Era. Tom Goodmanson, CEO at Calabrio, reveals recent research results and shares ideas on how to harness the next level of strategic potential for new and existing cloud-based contact centres.
The COVID-19 health crisis has accelerated digital transformation like never before. Contact centres too have reached an important turning point as organisations rely on them to nurture customer relationships and support an evolving work-from-home environment. Agility is the name of the game and has prompted a widespread move to the cloud.
When Calabrio surveyed 273 contact centre managers from the USA, UK and the DACH region (Austria, Germany and Switzerland) the report results highlighted the importance of becoming cloud-proficient. More than three-in-four contact centres have made full or partial moves to the Cloud, with an astounding 68% of those migrations happening over the past year at the height of the pandemic. Meanwhile, one in four contact centres are now fully cloud-based, a substantial jump from less than a year ago when just one in ten operations had moved to the cloud.
Seeing is believing
The modern multi-channel contact centre has entered what we at Calabrio call a Cloud-Smart Era, one where the cloud is set to drive strategic business value rather than merely support tactical cost-optimisation. Our recent research shows that ‘seeing is believing’ when it comes to really appreciating the true value of the cloud.
The survey results highlighted that the next phase of cloud transformation enables companies to be more strategic and the most commonly cited benefits include:
- Value of cloud-powered decision-making: contact centres say the cloud is helping them be more strategic and make smarter business decisions and become more nimble to functional needs.
- Value of cloud-powered analytics: half of survey respondents believe that moving to the cloud has improved their ability to use intelligent analytics to manage the business including insights to support agents and customers. Cloud solutions make it easier to unlock the value within Voice of the Customer (VOC) and employee data. Ultimately helping contact centres to gain visibility and impact across the business as a whole.
- Value of cloud-powered collaboration: contact centres see how cloud solutions have empowered their remote, decentralised workforces, giving employees flexibility while enhancing communication and collaboration.
- Value of employee engagement: cloud-based contact centres are more likely to achieve value from employee engagement and empowerment initiatives, as the cloud enables more flexible work arrangements, offers more transparent performance feedback and helps deliver better information about agents to improve the employee experience and thus the customer experience (CX).
- Value of cloud security: contact centres are less fearful when it comes to data security concerns than they were five years ago, and are more likely to see how security as a must-have consideration rather than a point of resistance.
- Value of cloud agility: contact centre managers who have fully adopted cloud platforms feel their infrastructure is more open to trying new tools as they navigate their digital transformation and add new communication channels such as social channels and chatbots to meet future demand.
Take it step by step
The key to achieving cloud-proficiency and becoming a member of the new Cloud-Smart Era is for organisations to fully immerse themselves in the cloud experience, but do not rush in. Experience means that Calabrio advocates a pragmatic and phased approach to migration, working with a vendor who has expertise in enabling and supporting the two main cloud options:
- Full cloud – where all systems (WEM, CCaaS and CRM) are deployed within a public, private or hybrid cloud
- Partial cloud – where some systems are within a public, private or hybrid cloud while others are still on-premise
Whichever option organisations choose, they should rely on experienced vendors to address the main concern highlighted in the research i.e. that of the perceived potential for losing data during the critical migration phase. Cloud adopters should also consider the benefits of a true Software as a Service (SaaS) approach where solutions are written for the cloud as opposed to traditional server-based applications hosted in the cloud. Committed cloud vendors dedicate sufficient time, energy and resources to educating their customers on how to combine technology and best practices to ensure a smooth and seamless migration to the cloud. Hard-earned expertise combined with pre-built connectors drive successful integrations and help to realise the full potential of cloud-driven contact centres.
Time to explore
So what’s next for the cloud? Many contact centres have yet to release the full potential of their cloud infrastructures, from AI- and ML-driven analytics to Workforce Engagement Management (WEM) and other future-proof strategies. Just as on-premise contact centres often struggle to see the value of the cloud because they have not experienced it, those already in the cloud will not recognise their complete cloud potential until they begin exploring it and now is the time to start.
For more information, ideas and inspiration, sign up to a demonstration of Calabrio ONE or download the results of Calabrio’s latest survey “State of the Contact Centre 2021: Cloud is here. What’s next?”
About the Author
Tom Goodmanson is President and CEO at Calabrio
Calabrio is the customer experience intelligence company that empowers organisations to enrich human interactions. The scalability of our cloud platform allows for quick deployment of remote work models—and it gives our customers precise control over both operating costs and customer satisfaction levels. Our AI-driven analytics tools make it easy for contact centres to uncover customer sentiment and share compelling insights with other parts of the organisation. Customers choose Calabrio because we understand their needs and provide a best-in-class experience, from implementation to ongoing support. Find more at calabrio.com and follow @Calabrio on Twitter.