- Scaling — As a BPO we need to be flexible for our clients. In the cloud, we can scale from 100 to 500 seats and then drop back down to only 50 seats if needed. Everything is controlled in one place and turns off and on instantly. Growth is also practically limitless within the cloud.
- Fewer points of failure — You are no longer at the mercy of the hardware. There are no servers, no cards, no PBX, and no CTI that can crash. You only have to worry about your work stations and internet connection. It is also great for disaster recovery. No worries about the server going down. If in individual station crashes, you simply replace, or repair, one computer; everyone else can keep working!
- New technology can be added instantly — If a client or board member comes in and wants speech analytics, a WFO solution, or call recording QA, you can instantly add that techology with the flip of the proverbial switch! You don’t have to wait for a technician to come. There is no need to add servers or equipment to do so.
- API culture is the future — Cloud centers are already embracing API culture. Premise-based centers are not there yet. APIs can be used for different reports and to show our clients pertinent information. This API culture allows the integration of any processes and CRMS that you want or need. It’s an easy process and does not require and heavy programmers to do it.
- Remote agents and global access — With the cloud being accessed through the internet, it is allowing for remote agents and global access to seats in your center. It is possible to have a fully remote workforce for a fully remote call center. In fact, there are several BPO contact centers that are set up this way.
- Reduced telephony costs — You no longer have to worry about when a software company needs, or wants, a big $150,000 upgrade to your systems before they can update software or systems that you have. Instead, your upgrades are already built into your budget.
- Forecast actual costs per year — Budgeting is so much easier. You know exactly how much your center is going to cost. Upgrades are essentially free, really they are kind built into your per-seat costs. This makes your overall out of pocket expense much less than premise-based centers. The knowledge that you can tell an investor, “No, we don’t need to budget extra cash to replace servers or other equipment, because it is all virtual,” makes investing in your center look much more appealing.
- Reduced IT costs — In the past, a call center with 750 seats had up to 30 IT staffers: programmers, database workers, telephony engineers. It was very costly. Today, we have 500 seats at Expivia with two programmers: an InContact specialist and a database person, both of whom share other non-specialized tasks. There is also one junior programmer from the help desk that checks logs and PCI compliance, but that position isn’t as intensive as the other two specialists. The programmers say our system super easy. If you know the basics of programming, you could totally figure it out.
- Worldwide supervision — If you have access to the internet and the proper security profiles, you, and your clients, can oversee your call center and even individual agents from absolutely anywhere. Through each client’s dashboard, they have the ability to set things up to remotely monitor calls from anywhere. From their dashboards, they can also monitor current stats and historical data, without having to call in to request that information–which can be wonderful for all involved.
- No equipment — No server room. All that is needed is the work stations. Not having to purchase and maintain all of the equipment is great for flexibility. It is also super cost-efficient.
- Expensive Internet — You really need to mega-size your internet. Obviously, you will need fiber for its speed. There are currently two 500Mg lines coming into Expivia. They are fully redundant and we are level-loading them at all times. Your cloud-based center can only ever be as good as your internet.
- Must spend money on a GREAT service package — This can easily run you $1,500-2,000 per month. But, when you calculate the cost–that is basically the same as one super cheap IT person’s salary, which you no longer need. When setting up your service, don’t just go through regular customer service. Instead, get a TAM (technical account manager) that is dedicated to your account. This guarantees that you can build a 1:1 relationship with that one person when it comes to your account’s needs.
- Research your partner — We use NICE InContact. Our experiences with them have been stellar. If you pick the wrong partner, whose technology could be woefully lacking, you may get hung out to dry by not being able to accommodate your client’s wishes. If your partner can not do something, neither can you.
- When the cloud is down –You are totally helpless. You may go down for 15-20 minutes. You could go down for a couple of hours. In the last few years, we haven’t had huge outages. But, they can and do happen. NICE InContact is proactive; we usually even get an email saying there will be an outage before it actually hits. They also have a bridge line to stay in contact with their clients as repairs are being done. Now, outages are actually more prevalent in premise-based centers due to so many possible points of failure.
- Security — Our partner has full PCI compliant clusters. These clusters are where your account or business is held. They also have FedRAMP clusters to be able to work within the constraints of the federal government. There are lots of different security overlays used such as encryption of recordings and masking inbound calls with highly sensitive, private information. Really, security is no longer an issue whatsoever for cloud-based centers. In fact, they may be more secure because no information is actually housed on-site.
Moving your call center to the cloud can be a great opportunity for growth. Expivia was actually
born in the cloud, due to the cost differential. We partnered with NICE InContact when we only
had four call center agents and have been with them through our growth to the
current 500 seat center. Yes, there are other cloud companies out there,
but NICE InContact has been the perfect fit for us. No, there is no monetary benefit for telling
you that–they are simply that good.
If you would like more information on this topic or any other call center operations topics, check out our Call Center Operations Podcast, “Advice from a Call Center Geek” at: