If anyone had any doubts about the fact that contact centers and contact center technology was moving to the cloud, the recent report from Chicago-based AVANT Analytics about the future of Contact Center as a Service (CCaaS) will go some of the way to demonstrating that the move is not something that will happen in the future, but something that is already happening.
The CCaaS Market
The fourth AVANT 6-12 Report focusing on Contact Center as a Service (registration required) points out by way of introduction that the CCaaS market currently accounts for more than $3 billion in global sales, with some predictions anticipating sales to reach $10.5 billion by 2027. The AVANT 6-12 Reports are designed to help IT decision makers assess whether a technology solution is a viable option for their company over the coming year.
CCaaS, the research points out, has recently emerged as a necessary adoption for organizations across several industries, with most IT decision makers planning to implement CCaaS solutions within the next 12 months.
More to the point, it shows that that technology buyers are most likely to decide on CCaaS technology when a current contract nears its expiration date (30% of respondents) or when a legacy system’s warranty expires (30%). From this, the report suggests that customers are looking to offload the management of conventional contact center solutions and pursue more advanced technological solutions like AI to improve the customer experience.
Among the figures that stand out:
- 32% of IT decision makers are looking to CCaaS to enable or expand their remote workforce.
- 51% are planning to invest in a new contact center system because their current setup lacks functionality.
- Artificial intelligence (AI) has emerged as a key factor in energizing broader adoption.
“It’s more important than ever that IT leaders examine the legacy systems they have in place and begin to modernize their operations towards a more transformative contact center platform. This is why a knowledgeable Trusted Advisor is so important to provide the guidance needed by IT leaders as they make headway into their CCaaS adoption journeys,” said Ken Presti, Vice President of Research and Analytics at AVANT. “CCaaS systems are evolving, continually receiving performance boosts to their intelligent routing engines and predictive dialing capabilities from technologies such as AI, speech/text analytics and virtual personality mapping. Modernized CCaaS systems have reaped the benefits of a sophisticated infrastructure, improving connectivity rates, CX and outreach capabilities.”
Related Article: Why Moving to the Cloud Doesn't Mean Dumping Your Legacy Technology
Why Opt For CCaaS
Namratha Dharshan is principal analyst with CT- based global technology research and advisory firm ISG. She says that ISG is seeing a significant rise in cloud contact center adoption, and that it expects to grow as the industry continues to pivot to a hybrid working model. Large contact center providers are looking to expand their delivery capabilities, both to gain access to talent and lower their brick-and-mortar costs. “The hybrid model is here to stay, as providers and their customers look to extend the cost and business continuity benefits they realized during the pandemic,” she said.
Cloud contact center solutions continue to evolve, she added. They are now embedded with the latest technologies such as automation, conversational AI and machine learning, and have built-in analytics and customer experience modules to improve both the agent and customer experience. Most offer workforce management capabilities so companies do not have to bring together disparate solutions to manage customer service, and built-in survey applications for real-time feedback.
Cloud solutions can easily scale up and down to accommodate the number of agent seats and channels needed. They also offer price transparency, with a pay-as-you-go model and the ability to add modules as required.
Built-in APIs makes integration much easier. Cloud contact center solutions can be integrated quickly with existing infrastructure and CRM systems. CCaaS providers are working with channel partners or building their own consulting teams to help customers migrate from on-premises to cloud infrastructure or integrate their solutions with the customer's existing infrastructure. “We're seeing CCaaS providers expanding their partnerships with CRM firms to integrate CRM into their solutions. The goal is to enable customers to easily deploy a solution that's fully functional from day one,” she added.
CCaaS providers are partnering with multiple hyperscalers like AWS, GCP and Azure, to allow enterprise customers to choose their preferred cloud infrastructure. This gives enterprises the ability to manage and optimize their infrastructure costs and have maximum flexibility to choose based on such factors as security and data localization.
Its still early days yet as most digital-native companies are only beginning their journey with cloud contact centers. These solutions are easy to deploy, easy to manage and easy to learn. CCaaS allows enterprises to set up their contact centers in a few hours, and the emergence of low-code/no-code allows agents to use these solutions without difficulty.
Contact center technology and its collaboration with Cloud is not new news, but it is certain that almost all contact centers will opt for the storage system in the coming years, Gideon Rubin, CEO of San Diego, Calif.-based Pandio, said. The primary reason being maintenance benefits along with the instant improvements that come with cloud updates. Furthermore, it simplifies your CCaas technology by quick implementation, it saves you money as you do not have to invest in other resources and expensive IT structures. “Customer experience will be improved immensely through the cloud computing services, with the latest artificial technology and automation services, finding more time to spend on custom needs,
Legacy technologies are bound to fade with their barrage of existing problems, their maintenance has been a long overdue issue and shows no sign of improving. They have gotten more costly with time and with better software available, it may be time for people to drop the problematic service and opt for online investments.
Contact Center in the Cloud
However, we have seen in the past the cloud technology is just that – its only a technology that does not necessarily offer the best experience. Contact centers may use cloud technology to be more flexible while saving money but migrating to the cloud is only half the battle. Understanding how to create next-generation customer and employee experiences enabled by cloud technology is the true benefit. To offer this Pranchil Murray, head of customer success at Houston-based Malwarefox recommends the following actions:
- Plan out the overall consumer experience: Customer journey analysis tools can use open APIs in the cloud to assist find chances for improvement in every engagement. You can provide more proactive and tailored experiences if you can analyze every consumer trip.
- Activate digital workers: The introduction of 'dumb bots' in many contact centers' digital self-service approach fails to significantly reduce voice encounters or causes annoyance. AI in the cloud integrates all systems that affect the customer experience and makes use of intelligent virtual assistants that can interpret and process natural language.
- Increase agent efficiency: Contact centers can use sophisticated technology to improve agent efficiency in a cloud environment. Agent desktops and processes can be automated, allowing them to focus on efficiently resolving client issues. Meanwhile, AI-powered virtual knowledge assistants listen in on client discussions and may quickly supply agents with suggested responses and knowledge articles.
Automate your back office: In the cloud, automation works smarter and harder. Back-office efficiency and productivity can be improved by using bots for data validation, transaction processing, and process optimization. RPA technologies automate back-office tasks and reduce human error in areas like case classification, inquiries, computations, and basic record and transaction maintenance.
Cloud computing provides businesses with the flexibility they need to compete in an ever-changing market. They have a huge task ahead of them: quickly adapting to new client needs, new technologies, and new ways of working. The cloud provides true flexibility and lays the groundwork for using new methods to service customers in the future. If contact centers are to be effective and meet needs of both enterprises and their customers, then they need to move to the cloud rather than reinvest in outdate technology.