Hello world, I’m the new guy and I like big words, walks on the beach, getting caught in the rain, clever catchphrases, movie quotes and (as you will see) I dig a good and properly placed pun from time to time. I joined inContact in May of 2014 and my head is still spinning – you might even say my head is in the clouds – with all there is to learn about cloud solutions. At least once a day I turn the wrong direction when walking out of the elevator. I have not yet decided on where I want to regularly park my car when I arrive in the morning. My route to and from the office is still a work-in-progress and I have a plethora of new lunch decisions to make each day.
However, these logistical matters pale in comparison to a bigger question, “What is this ‘cloud’ you speak of and what’s with all of the buzzwords floating around?” This is Part One of a series in which I will attempt to answer these questions and hopefully shed some light on what it means to support customer service from “The Cloud”.
I arrived my first day with a rudimentary understanding of cloud technology and its benefits. Access to my G-mail account from anywhere by simply logging into my email account, as opposed to my e-mail being tied to an individual computer at a specific location, is a simple example of cloud technology. Over the past four weeks I have gained a much larger understanding of cloud-based operations and its benefits to the contact center industry.
Before the emergence of cloud-based contact center solutions a company needed to start with a capital investment that could range from tens of thousands to well into the millions of dollars. Multiple servers were needed to support the traffic, significant square footage was needed to house the equipment and a human capital investment was necessary to maintain both the hardware and the software. Unfortunately, this was only the beginning.
The massive servers put a corresponding strain on the facility’s power consumption to both run and keep cool. According to Teena Hammond in her article on ZDNet, one average server can cost over $700 to power per year. That is just the powering of the server – not the cost of cooling and maintaining. Clearly the practical and total cost of ownership issues lean heavily in favor of a cloud solution. The cloud-is-better-and-why debate has been won and I am morally opposed to beating dead horses. Let’s move forward and talk about cloud innovation…
Now, that is a fine buzzword right there, “innovation”. It meets all of the impressive buzzword criteria – it looks good in print, it sounds good and feels good to say, it has at least three syllables and ends in “tion”. Most importantly, it conveys a positive message while being applicable with broad and general brush strokes. “Innovation” is tossed around a lot, but what does it really mean? How does cloud “innovation” translate into these inferred positive results?
Cloud is a flexible solution that enables contact centers to adjust to changing traffic and scale up or down depending on demand. Case in point: a large provider of Halloween supplies naturally experiences drastic spikes in their online ordering traffic between the beginning of September and the end of October. During these spikes they need to run at full capacity which costs $XYZ per month. However, with a premise system they still pay the $XYZ rate when the demand for Halloween paraphernalia drops significantly as of November 1st. With a cloud solution they could scale down their need to match customer service demand and cut their $XYZ bill down to just $X. The innovation of cloud solutions results in an agile, efficient and profitable contact center… scary profitable.
More behind-the-curtain peeking:
Check in on Part 2 of this “New to the Cloud” series when I take on another popular buzzword: Customization
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