Five questions to ask when choosing a cloud-based contact center
Jeremy King, EVP of Technology and Products Jeremy King, EVP of Technology and Products

“Truly tested” is a phrase I don’t throw around lightly. But LiveOps’ decade of experience in managing a cloud-based workforce amounts to a virtual lifetime in our increasingly digital world, making LiveOps’ platform one of the only “truly tested” cloud-based contact centers in the industry.

Sifting through the moving parts of a contact center can be daunting but we’ve weathered enough storms at LiveOps to know what to look for.  In an industry where needs change quickly, experience matters.

Here are five key questions to ask when deciding to migrate to a cloud contact center provider.

1. Why should I migrate to the cloud if I’ve already invested in a call center infrastructure?
Many companies have already invested in call center hardware or software, but the problem is actually that the upgrade costs can be enormous. Even small upgrades for compliance or security fixes can be a dramatic cost to the business, as well as a burden to the IT teams and businesses that support them. As some companies skip these upgrades, hardware and/or software continues to age, and before you know it, five years may have passed since your last major upgrade. Not only did you miss out on key new features, your compliance may be outdated and you face a very costly decision to make with a vendor.

With a cloud-based contact center, your processes will never be obsolete. Powerful features are seamlessly added with no downtime so they can be absorbed by companies at an appropriate pace.

2. What are the advantages to managing a partial cloud solution? Can your company subscribe to just a portion of a cloud product while retaining your own agents and management?
In an outsourced world, a cloud solution has real advantages. Here’s why: many companies typically work with more than one outsource partner and use an internal team as well. That means business owners may be juggling three sets of metrics, reports and processes – making it very difficult to measure performances apples to apples. A cloud-based contact center can integrate all these approaches, regardless of phone technology. So, not only can companies route calls more seamlessly, there is a single view of reporting to simplify decision making.

3. Can the solution handle peaks in demand and adapt quickly to changes in your customer needs?
This is where a properly architected cloud based solution really shines and where LiveOps’ experience and innovation is key. Over the last 10 years, we’ve noted a common theme: everyone’s business has peaks and valleys. Example: During 401k renewal time for a financial services firm, a major snowstorm could cause expanded call volume for services companies, or even a major marketing program can increase load on many contact centers. To prepare, a company may buy a non-cloud solution that results in hardware and product licenses for a peak that is used once per year. Worse, many companies have disaster recovery equipment in place that may double this peak cost.

A cloud-based contact center offers on-demand pricing so companies pay only for what is used and only when services are needed. A properly configured system offers Tier-4 data centers, has redundancy built in locally and geographically, and uses diverse carriers for Internet and telephony needs. This redundancy and burst capacity is of vital importance and a cornerstone reason for using cloud-based contact services.

4. What should I look for to make sure the call center software has features I need?
LiveOps has dealt with customers in every industry from insurance to personal fitness and we understand that every enterprise contact center customer has unique needs, particularly for reporting. So make sure a cloud-based contact center offers a comprehensive set of reporting data export features and real-time monitoring data feeds that can integrate with in-house reporting systems. Look for:

  • Flexible scheduling for uploads that fit your time frame. That could be every 15 minutes, twice daily or once a week;
  • Data transformation features to meet the needs of any reporting format, from database schema to CSV file;
  • Extensible connector framework for development of custom bulk upload facilities for SOAP, REST, FTP, and other connection types;
  • Out-of-the-box reporting data integration with other key stakeholders, such as

5. How do I know a cloud-based call center is safe?
Certainly you need to conduct due diligence on a company’s practices regarding data handling, risk management, redundancy and service assurance, as well as their ability to maintain compliance (PCI, HIPAA, SOX, etc.) with your industry’s required standards.

Make sure that the company you evaluate can scale to thousands of agents, have hot-hot redundancy, and availability SLAs that are industry leading and not filled with exceptions. You also need to ensure the on-demand solution addresses security in all the layers of the stack, including the physical, network, application, and data levels.

One other approach is to evaluate the cloud provider’s Enterprise security program, as an Enterprise-grade cloud provider should and must exceed the security requirements of Enterprise clients. Moving to the cloud should result in a higher level of security – not less security.