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March 11, 2014updated 22 Sep 2016 2:05pm

How to move your contact centre to the cloud

Dave Paulding, regional sales director UK, Middle East, Interactive Intelligence, shares his 6 top tips.

By Duncan Macrae

Cloud is one of the major sources of innovation which has revolutionised the contact centre industry. When this new hosting option first moved on to the horizon businesses were quick to recognise its wide ranging benefits, from the flexibility it offers, to the cost saving advantages and the speed of adding new functionality and features without disruption to the business.

However, there have been some concerns expressed by contact centres looking to migrate services to the cloud, with the biggest issue surroundinga perceived lack of data security. Many cloud providers have had to respond by offering solutions that address the barrierspreventing a wider migration to cloud services. Moving to the cloud can be great for a business, the key is for contact centres to carefully consider all the implications and select the right type of solution to suit their organisation.

Aone size fits all approach to cloud computing will not work for most businesses and contact centres need a portal that can offer the most flexible options. CBR has teamed up with Dave Paulding, regional sales director UK, Middle East, Interactive Intelligence, to explain the six main issues that contact centres should take in to account when considering a move to the cloud.

Weigh up how much IT infrastructure should be transferred to the cloud

Some might think that moving all telephony to the cloud would save money. Indeed, as there is no carrier relationship onsite, due to services being accessed through a public network or a VoIP, capitalexpenditure costs are eliminated. However, it is worth noting that if the VoIP connection is lost then so is all access data or calls.

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Private, Public or Hybrid

Businesses who have a lot of cash to spend and want a cast-iron solution might consider creating a private cloud by purchasing and installing an infrastructure on the premises. However, for the more budget-conscious the bestoption is a hosted hybrid model: infrastructure operated by the vendor is deployed on a company’s local network with voice and data kept on the premises, ensuring continued access and security, while the logic and routing is in the public cloud.


Data and the data centre

Contact Centres are producing increasing amounts of data that need to be kept, and storing this in the cloud is increasingly being seen as the most realistic solution.Considering the cost of storageis important, and also the physical location of the data centre and how that might affect the information stored there. For instance, if the data centre is outside the EU, the information kept in it could be subject to different laws and regulations, which might mean a business loses control of who has access. It is also worth checking who actually owns the information stored in the data centre: is it the customer or the vendor? Also, what happens to that information if the contract is terminated? A key piece of advice is to actually visit the data centre to check its location, security measures and ask questions of staff.

The Hardware

The type of hardware a service provider uses is an important factor to consider. Some providers offer dedicated hardware for each customer which, although very secure, is also rather expensive. The cheaper option is multi-tenant hardware. This is shared by multiple customers so costs are reduced, but these can be less secure and the provider is unable to offer strong service level agreements. Also, if something happens to the hardware, such as a virus, it affects all customers that are using it.



The newer way of offering cloud infrastructure is through the use of virtual machines. This method enables several completely separate hard drives to run virtually on the same hardware. The benefits for the customer are that they have a high level of security and integrity comparable to dedicated hardware, yet the lower costs of the multi-tenant model.

Costs and contract

Check out the pricing models,some vendors might just rent out the equipment for a monthly tariff that could be supplementary to the service charge, while others will offer the opportunity to buy the equipment for a lump sum or a payment plan spread out over a certain period. Also, before signing on the dotted line, it is important to consider the length of the contract. Some cloud providers will offer long-term contracts that on the face of it, seem to be cheaper than shorter ones, however these deals tend to be tied to location, so if an organisation moves it or has to terminate the agreement, it could involve costly cancellation fees, or mean keeping the contract going, while paying for a new one.


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