As companies consider moving business communications to the cloud, what are the primary benefits they can expect?
Based on what we’ve seen from our customers, the benefits have really been focused in four areas. The first, and the one that seems to be most prevalent, is the increased flexibility it provides. This includes things like adding and contracting user counts based on usage, easier access to new functionality, the ability to trial new applications, and the ease of adding users in new locations.
We also hear a lot about the benefit of how the cloud can allow for faster deployment times. Since the entire back-end infrastructure at the data center is already in place, the planning phase is dramatically reduced and customers can be up and running in a much shorter amount of time — often in a matter of a few weeks.
A third benefit, and the one that deserves a lot of the credit for really fueling the growth in the cloud contact center space a few years ago, is the ability to deploy the most up to date technology with minimal upfront capital expense.
And finally is the benefit of reduced IT requirements. This doesn’t mean the in-house staff is necessarily abdicating responsibility for the contact center, but they are able to delegate much of the day-to-day management and administration to the service provider.
Are there various deployment models to consider when moving to the cloud?
Broadly speaking, there are private cloud, public cloud, and hybrid. A private cloud, built using the customer’s procured resources in the customer’s data center, provides added control, but also means the company continues to shoulder the system management burden. The public cloud means the company relies on a cloud provider to deliver all contact center services. This relieves the company of the management burden, but does mean they relinquish some level of control. The hybrid approach for cloud contact center services is a popular model, as it relies on the cloud provider to provide the core services and data center infrastructure, but places some hardware and software, such as gateways or media servers, at the customer’s site — relieving the management burden, but increasing remote survivability and control. Interactive Intelligence has additionally introduced its PureCloud platform, a distributed cloud architecture that uses Amazon Web Services to deliver quick and continuous access to contact center (and unified communications) technology.
In our case we also offer some added deployment model options. Customers can choose VoIP or TDM, can decide if they want telco/SIP trunks terminated at their site or at our data center, and they can decide where they want their media and data to reside, again at their site or at our data center. Situations vary, and we think providing options is in the best interest of the customer.
Author: Tim Passios is Vice President of Solutions Marketing at Interactive Intelligence, where his team is responsible for creating positioning and messaging for all products in the Interactive Intelligence portfolio. Solutions Marketing is the outward facing delivery team for webinar, seminar, analyst and media presentations, as well as for prospect and end customer demonstrations. Tim has been with Interactive Intelligence since 1998, and has more than 21 years’ experience overall in the contact center and business