Moving from the Closet to the Cloud
These days, on-premise technology feels like a ball-and-chain, anchoring your workforce to a location and preventing your business from scaling to meet your market’s demand. On-premise data centers and telephony systems require costly maintenance, consume excessive energy, and warrant additional infrastructure for business continuity and disaster recovery. For the added time and expense, the results are lackluster, with businesses limited to stale solutions for new problems, and user interfaces that may be feature-rich, but are clunky to navigate and slow down the interactions, rather than speed them up. The migration from the closet to the cloud can solve these problems, and, depending on the platform you select, the right CCaaS (Contact Center as a Service) platform can enable seasonal and monthly bursting to better align your true needs with your budget.
Not All Cloud Services are the Same
Just like the clouds in the sky, there are different varieties of cloud services available to the contact center. Some differences are very distinct, such as a CCaaS provider compared to a VDI (Virtual Desktop Infrastructure) platform. But in some cases, the differences are less obvious, but just as critical, such as the licensing terms for temporary “bursts” of users. It’s important to understand these differences and how they may impact your costs and the long-term benefits of the platform you select. MotionCX allows monthly bursting for our licensing and does not require term commitments, but that is a unique value-added offering that is not common in the CCaaS market.
A primary benefit of the cloud is the scalability it offers. Rather than invest in hardware, AC, generators, and everything else needed to grow an on-site server farm, selecting a cloud-based service shifts these costly capital expenses to an operating expense, and the up-front investment greatly diminishes or is absorbed by the cloud service provider.
One key difference in cloud services is how quickly you can scale back down. MotionCX enables its customers to flex up and down monthly, which is very budget-friendly for our retail contact center clients, and for other businesses with peaks that are centered around events such as Black Friday and Cyber Monday. The ability to burst up for only the months needed, without having to lock into an inflated licensing model for a longer term leads to significant savings for MotionCX CCaaS users.
Preparing a data center for large-scale commercial operations is daunting. You need to consider Federal, state and industry regulations; encryption standards for data at rest and in transit; basic user authentication & MFA (multi-factor authentication); DDoS and other external attacks threaten the environment. Large-scale commercial cloud service providers such as Microsoft Azure and Amazon Web Services (AWS) have mitigated many of these risks, either directly within their platform architecture or through the partnerships made available in their respective environments. While the platforms hosted in these cloud environments still must maintain their own security protocols (the cloud environment is not an impenetrable shield!), the architecture and development within the cloud framework provides features and tools that may otherwise be unavailable or unaffordable in the smaller scale.
Business Continuity / Disaster Recovery
Cloud providers offer points of presence in numerous geolocations, and cloud platforms may take advantage of multiple points that are in different regions to insulate them from regional events like storms / weather or power outages. Additionally, these facilities are constructed to withstand extended loss of power, and are “bunkerized” to maintain operations in extreme weather conditions. There’s less need at the business location to invest in UPS battery backup, generators and other common BC/DRP technologies. It’s not that these demands are removed from the on-site operations entirely, but with the data center in the cloud, the local BC/DRP investments are greatly reduced.
It’s Time to Take Advantage of the Cloud
There’s more to consider in the move from closet to cloud than a new licensing cost. The migration is oftentimes much simpler than it was to stand up your on-premise system, thanks to web-based administration; don’t let fear of change prevent you from improving.
Companies benefit from licensing consolidation as omnichannel solutions are implemented, forklift upgrades and six-figure annual maintenance contracts are a thing of the past, and moves/adds/and changes can be administered quickly with point-and-click efficiency that frees up your high-value IT resources to focus on solving business problems, not wrestling with software administration.
The cloud is secure, resilient, and cost effective. As you explore solutions, keep a focus on the cost to burst, and know that there are options like the MotionCX CCaaS platform that will flex with your needs, so you can avoid costly term licensing.