Unless you’ve been living under the proverbial rock, you have probably heard the term cloud contact centre (or cloud call centre) already.
But what is it?
Do you want one?
What are the pros and cons of having a cloud contact centre solution?
Cloud Contact Centre Definition
A cloud contact centre solution can be best defined as a flexible, scalable and shared environment that enables businesses to access powerful contact centre functions over the internet.
Of course, that’s really simplifying it.
There are actually multiple types or variations of cloud contact centre solutions and depending on the model, it can deliver different benefits and outcomes to your business.
To help you understand further I’ve outlined the key differences below.
Types of cloud contact centres models
The solution is hosted in the cloud by a contact centre software vendor and the applications and resources are shared between multiple customers.
You get the benefit of the vendor managing the hardware and storage and all you need (typically) is to install some software on your local network/end users computer to enable access.
Rather than sharing the cloud solution with other customers, you can have a cloud contact centre solution hosted in your own secure environment enabling you to scale up and down without the need for vendor support.
You then, however, are responsible for maintaining the hardware and network which is typically more catered to larger businesses with established IT teams.
Internet-Based delivery/Public Cloud
Time to introduce another acronym known as SaaS – Software as a Service.
This enables end users (e.g. call centre agents) to access the solution using a web browser or app with no requirements to install software on the end users computer.
This model also provides lots of Business Continuity benefits as agents can access the solution from anywhere there is an internet connection.
Pros and Cons of a cloud solution
Each of the models mentioned above offers various benefits and ultimately what the best model is for your business can be influenced by a range of different factors.
As a general rule, I’ve listed some of the core benefits of a cloud contact centre solution:
There are savings to be made however this can be largely influenced by the type of cloud contact centre model you deploy and the size of your call centre.
Our experience suggests that the cost savings are more prevalent in the smaller contact centres with the larger centres (e.g. over 100 seats)
There is no expensive equipment to purchase upfront, you won’t need an IT department to administer it and there is typically a low cost per month per agent.
Some models also do away with the monthly fee and just charge a consumption model rate.
With hosted and cloud contact centre technology you have access to all the ‘standard’ call centre functions like an IVR (press one for this, two for that), call recording, Skilled Based Routing and so on.
Outside of the core features, many of the enhancements can simply be added on for an additional fee per month without you needing to worry about the technical components.
Most commercial models work on a per agent per month model that can be scaled up and down to align with your business.
You can literally add a new user in a minute and during the quieter times for your business, simply ‘turn off’ agent licences to avoid unnecessary costs.
With the Internet-based delivery model you can also quickly add new agents in the event there is a large unexpected spike in your call centre demand.
As all you need is an internet connection you can essentially be connected to your call centre from anywhere in the world.
The Australian contact centre cloud market
A Frost & Sullivan report identified Australia as one of the most established cloud contact centre markets in the Asia Pacific region with estimates the market was worth US$22 million in 2017 growing to US$67.1 million by 2022.
Australia is often the first country for the deployment of new technology in the APAC region and many of the existing and emerging vendors establish their operations in Australia prior to rolling out into the rest of the region.
In fact, the majority of the cloud contact centre vendors now have offices in either Melbourne, Sydney or Brisbane.
As at 2019, spend on cloud contact centre solutions has now overtaken traditional contact centre solutions and according to IDC forecasts, the growth of the cloud contact centre market is expected to grow 22.3% with the overall market growing at 5.7%.
A 2019 Smaart Recruitment survey of over 100 Australian call centres confirmed that over 65% are investigating cloud contact centre solutions now.
So with all the growth comes opportunities and the competition to establish dominance in the cloud market has certainly never been hotter!
All the traditional vendors either already have, or are moving towards deploying cloud solutions however there is also lots of competition from smaller, more agile businesses with each providing their own benefits.
Who are all the cloud contact centre vendors?
It’s a fast-moving space with mergers, acquisitions, new players etc seemingly being announced on a weekly basis.
You can find a list of all the cloud contact centre vendors servicing Australia in our free Business Directory.
If you still need some help selecting the right vendor or solution for your business, or you need a health check conducted on your call centre we also offer a range of consulting services.