On-Premises vs. Cloud-Based Contact Centres

When Contact Centres, Service Desks and Customer Support departments are installing or upgrading their systems, they must first decide whether to build or expand their infrastructure, in the cloud, or on-premises. While leveraging cloud services is often the default choice, it’s well worth the effort to assess a couple of key aspects to reveal whether the decision should be “either/or” – or if there’s also room for middle ground solutions.
We highlight the significant differences between cloud and on-premises services, the aspects to analyse to make a good decision, and the solutions Geomant provides for both scenarios.

Major differences

One often hears that “the cloud is the future”, but this is not true for every contact centre in every business scenario.

The cloud opened amazing opportunities for customers that could never have afforded to set up their Unified Communications solution before. They can select a set of readily available functions they need, purchase it as a service for the timeframe of their liking and never care about the technical and HR aspects of maintaining it.

Cloud services are also always up to date. Service providers need not care about supporting several different product versions, therefore they can focus all their energy to improve the single cloud-based version and release updates and new functionalities faster.

Having a range of competitive offerings in the cloud made it extremely easy to try-before-you-buy and choose the solution best fit for the current need, or the provider with the most flexible approach to accommodate future enhancements or custom requests.

Economical aspects always play an important role in the decision. As on-premises runs locally and privately, it has an infrastructure cost so needs a specialised workforce for maintaining hardware and software. Having the contact centre deployed in the cloud and consumed as a ‘utility’ immediately removes these burdens, saving significant additional expenses and turning the overall service cost into a well-defined, predictable financial investment. Indeed, cloud services seem to be a better choice.

Data-conscious organisations, however, might identify risks associated with passing data security control over to cloud service providers. Sometimes this overrides the economic advantages, keeping them searching for or sticking to on-premises solutions; even though there might be aspects, components, workflows in their business cases worth migrating to the cloud. To reap at least some of the benefits, for them, a hybrid solution would be the best choice.

There can also be situations where a company with a well-established mature contact centre, wouldn’t qualify their data sensitivity as prohibitive and understands the benefits of the cloud but migrating their workflow is so complex that the switch seems daunting. For these players, a staged hybrid solution could be the ideal approach.

And then there are situations where the uncertainty of network access via the public internet, the losing of control on data security and the complexity required to close the business case of the contact center – e.g. high number of customisations and/or integrations with sensitive backend systems, etc. – together will always push a corporation to maintain their own services locally, in their own data centres.

Geomant satisfies every customer demand

The on-premises contact centre market appears to be at a downturn, but here at Geomant, we believe that companies with serious investments in their mature and efficient contact centres, including numerous and deep customisations and integration points and/or working with sensitive data will always be around. For customers to whom the benefits of the cloud might not be easily accessible, Geomant is the ideal partner to help assess, design and perform this great and rewarding step into the cloud while also identifying areas that will need to stay on site.

Our Buzzeasy product is born natively in the cloud while our Contact Expert product is among the most mature and service-rich on-premises solutions for complex workflows, data-load and performance conscious situations. Our Hosted Contact Expert service provides all the functionality of our flagship heavy duty product operating from Microsoft Azure with minimal operating costs for customers, while our Desktop Connect portfolio provides contact centre services directly from cloud CRM solutions such as SalesForce and MS Dynamics O365 with customer investment in Avaya voice equipment on site still providing value.

Conclusion

We are constantly enhancing our products to suit both cloud and on-premises customers, and while we believe a lot of the existing on-premises contact centre solutions can easily be migrated, a significant portion of this segment will invest in proper analysis and might very well decide to use some form of a hybrid solution. We believe that every business is unique, so instead of deciding to go either on-premises or cloud, we strive to understand the individual needs of customers and address them with tailored but flexible solutions.