Afraid of the cloud transition? These three steps can help.

Spoken | August 9, 2016

Afraid of the cloud transition? These three steps can help.

Three steps for a smooth call center transition to the cloud

Today, many contact centers employ a remote workforce, as virtual desktops and cloud-based infrastructure make working from home just as efficient as toiling away at the office. In fact, research from IDC indicates that the U.S. mobile worker population will grow at a steady rate over the next five years, increasing from 96.2 million in 2015 to 105.4 million in 2020. As such, contact centers that haven’t yet gotten on board with this workforce upgrade might be feeling pressured to migrate to the cloud and enable a more flexible workforce.

Many contact center leaders, however, worry about implementing remote work-enabling technologies due to concerns regarding system connectivity, reliability and security. What’s more, managers and IT staff might fret about maintaining a cost-efficient facility and shudder at the thought of a complex, nightmarish migration to the cloud.

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Step #1: One step at a time

So, if you’re a contact center manager who wants to keep pace with your competitors but you’re just not ready to migrate to an entirely cloud-based infrastructure, try investigating solutions that allow you to make the transition at your own pace.

For instance, look for cloud-based contact center vendors that allow you to build your way up to the cloud, and only if you want to go all the way. That is, partner with a vendor that enables you to test a virtual work environment with the number of agents you choose, rather than mandating the size of the test group.

Dip a toe into the remote workforce pool by starting out slow. For example, get your team used to the idea of working from home by rewarding your top performing agents with a trial run of the virtual desktop technology. If the experiment is deemed successful, then slowly begin transitioning other worthy candidates to the virtual environment at a pace that feels comfortable to you.

Step #2: Consider a hybrid cloud model

Once you become more at ease with the transition, you might begin to realize the advantages of employing a hybrid workforce—that is, using both on-site and remote staff. For instance, in the event of inclement weather, more employees can stay at home, rather than hazard their own safety on dangerous roadways.

What’s more, you’ll come to realize that slowly transitioning to a cloud-based environment that takes advantage of virtual desktops for remote workers is simpler than you initially imagined. Employees gain access to a full range of outbound and inbound call center capabilities straight from their desktops or laptops. All they need to get started is a phone, an Internet connection and a Web browser. It’s truly that easy! And with a solution that is PCI-compliant and uniquely encrypted, you’ll never lose sleep worrying about a security breach caused by moving data to and from your on-premises location.

Step #3: Ramp up

man_on_cliff_forward-1.jpgAs you and your staff become more comfortable with a cloud contact center, gradually increase the volume on the cloud platform and decrease the volume on your on-premise platform. Determine the pace at which you want this to happen to allow time to shift IT focus to core projects, train remote and in-house staff and prepare the accounting team for cost savings.

Why? Business continuity

At this point, the advantages of a cloud solution are all but given: scalability, business agiligy and cost efficiency. What isn’t given is the ease of the transition to a new platform of any kind. It’s imperative to select the right vendor to meet your needs and who will work with your schedule. A vendor that allows you to gradually transition to the cloud ensures that you’ll maintain full business continuity throughout the migration process so that no outages nor rollbacks occur. Conversely, a vendor that only allows you a switch from legacy to cloud cold turkey will likely also require network downtime—a costly implementation strategy.

Most of our customers prefer this strategy, which allows time to both adapt to the new system and to tweak any elements that could stand improvement. What about you? How did your cloud transition go?