The other day I was on the phone with a colleague, discussing market trends of cloud computing. With me in the room was my 55-year old uncle, who heard bits of our conversation. After the call he asked me why we spent so much time talking about clouds when the weather forecast was for a sun-filled day.
Cloud computing is a great technology, allowing organizations, big (or small) to enjoy flexible footprint, ability to use shared resources and ensure the latest updates capabilities and regulations updates.
My perspective is that cloud encompasses:
- Hosted perpetual licenses. You own the software, and have a third party manage and maintain it in their facility.
- SaaS subscription licenses. You rent the software, and have a third party manage and maintain it in their facility.
Cloud isn’t new. Companies have been touting the benefits for a decade, but only now has it hit the contact center and business operations sectors full force.
According to Gartner, a leading information technology research and advisory company (Cloud Computing Changes the Vendor Landscape) , as more applications are built on a cloud-based model, SaaS will emerge as a critical selection factor at all levels of the customer service contact center. Gartner projects that the SaaS market will grow at 19.5% annually through 2016 and that global SaaS spending will grow to $32.8 billion in 2016.
That’s all well and good. But How?
I believe that cloud migration is a journey, and like every journey, the most challenging part is always taking the first few steps.
This is the perfect place to clear up a misconception—cloud isn’t all or nothing. For example, many customer service leaders when considering cloud, make the assumption that they will need to move all the component applications of their Workforce Optimization suite (WFO) to the cloud at once.
Show me the sweet spot!
This is why I think that Workforce Management WFM section of the WFO Suite is an ideal pioneer test case.
When you move your WFM solution to the cloud, you can easily expand your footprint to cover BOTH the contact center and business operations, giving a shared solution across the entire service organization. This makes it easier to schedule operations work with greater efficiency, and to address looming backlogs. Since the solution is shared, workload can be shared; during slow periods, the business operation can help take calls (and vice versa, the contact center can process claims, loans, etc.)
Is WFM the ONLY solution suitable for a cloud deployment?
Your Workforce Management isn’t the only solution in your contact center or business operation that’s potentially a little bloated. You likely have recording and quality management, and perhaps also performance management, analytics and other applications. You can start a trend with your WFM solution—it can be the first to move.
So, taking WFM to the cloud can be done as a hybrid, maintaining other solutions on premise, but laying the groundwork for them to eventually follow. It’s a great way to get comfortable with the migration path.