In the world of Fast IT, the “Cloud” is a hot topic and standard conversation in roadmap meetings across all IT domains. Unless you have been away on a spiritual retreat with monks in a cave for the past year, it has been a subject that you could not have avoided. “When will it be available”? “How fast can our system be migrated”? “What are the features and functionality the cloud contact center offers”?

These are often the questions that are asked at the executive level. All of them are great questions and should be researched and addressed by your IT Experts. Contact Center IT teams looking to get a head start will need to get a big picture view of the fast changing technology landscape from their vendors and independent research. With the above questions in mind I’ll attempt to provide some answers and food for thought.

When will the Cloud be available for Contact Center?

It all depends who you ask. While your IT team may be able to find a niche vendor that provides a cloud based contact center, most of the big players have not transitioned to that model yet. Security issues, scalability, and stability are all big concerns for enterprise cloud contact center that are lacking and have not been addressed. Imagine if your customer data was stolen because the cloud vendor was not secure or hadn’t partitioned your environment from other customers. One security breach would cause havoc and the floodgates would open as your customers rushed to the exits.

How fast can the Contact Center be migrated to Cloud Technology?

Your company may have already invested millions of dollars and thousands of man-hours into your existing on-premise contact center and that means it will take some time to migrate. As mentioned above scalability and stability are still major concerns for enterprise contact centers and should take heavy weight toward the final decisions made for migration.

Speak with your vendor and find out when they are with developing a cloud solution. Ask them what the roadmap is for the cloud and how they plan to help you get there. There is no magic solution or one push button that will migrate all of your agents, complex configurations, and integrated applications. If they have a solution, it will take months of upfront planning, a large budget, and a detailed plan that may take multiple years involving a mix of hybrid “on-premise” and “cloud” environments to get you to your end state goal.

What are the features and functionality that “Cloud Contact Centers” offer?

Don’t be surprised when your vendor states that there will not be an “apples to apples” match with the features and functionality when you decide to migrate. Cloud contact centers will initially be basic and not as feature rich as the on-premise systems that exist today. The technology will take time to meet and exceed the existing platform. It may be possible that a vendor offers specific services in the cloud that will jumpstart your migration plan. Moving certain components could be a start to of a long term phased in approach. As mentioned above, security of your customer data should be a major item that is taken into consideration and should be at the top of your list for every phase.

The “Cloud” is a fast moving force and may eventually be what your entire IT environment is based on. Security, scalability, migration approach, and stability are important questions you should be asking yourself when researching the topic. Do you have thoughts or questions around migrating your contact center to the cloud? All applicable comments or feedback are welcome.