Cloud vs. On-premise Contact Centres: 3 Critical Differences

There’s no denying the vital role contact centres play in brands’ ability to meet customer needs quickly and efficiently. When done well, centres offer seamless experiences by connecting customers with the information they need – whether it's via an agent or through automated technology – when and how they need it.

In the past, the term “contact centre” has conjured up images of servers and staff sitting in a brick-and-mortar location. But, in 2021 and beyond, do brands still need to house their servers in a physical location like a warehouse? Increasingly companies are saying: no. More and more brands are turning to cloud-based contact centres, lured by the cost savings and increased flexibility.

For some, the on-premise approach may be appealing: brands know exactly where their servers are stored, which might bring a greater sense of comfort when it comes to security; and equipment is paid for upfront rather than in an ongoing subscription-based model.

But when it comes to cloud vs. on-premise contact centres, the cloud option offers many benefits that can not only streamline operations but also bring opportunities for customer experience (CX) innovation.

1. Flexibility

A big differentiator in the cloud vs. on-premise centre debate is flexibility. The cloud option simply lets companies do more. Whereas on-premise centres can get bogged down by long deployment times, cloud centres can quickly scale up or down depending on customer traffic, eliminating this bottleneck and delivering a better customer experience.

Cloud centres also bring the capability to implement CX solutions, like workforce optimisation tools. This means shorter ramp times and faster scaling. Cloud-based centres can grow quickly when companies need it, and cut back just as easily when they don’t.

2. Cost Savings

There are several cost-related impacts to consider when it comes to cloud vs. on-premise contact centres.

First, taking centres to the cloud lowers the overhead and maintenance costs associated with on-premise systems. Also, cloud centres typically are considered an operational expense, as opposed to on-premise options that are considered capital expenses – and ones that quickly depreciate, at that.

With cloud contact centres, users only pay for the services that are used. While the subscription payment model may take a little getting used to for some, the financial benefits are clear.

Finally, companies may benefit from software applications and tools that previously were cost-prohibitive but are now included in a cloud centre.

3. More Resources

It’s not often that additional resources accompany cost savings but, with cloud centres, that’s likely. In the example mentioned above, for instance, previously out-of-reach tools become available as part of a cloud package.

In addition, with cloud-based CX solutions, a third-party provider can manage call centre applications and infrastructure, which frees up an important resource – the brand’s IT team – to focus its efforts on more strategic projects.

When contemplating a cloud vs. on-premise centre, another resource-related benefit to consider is the potential upside the cloud can bring regarding hiring. Brands will have many more hiring options. The ability to train, on-board, and deploy employees from any location gives companies a much wider recruitment pool across various countries and time zones.

The best cloud solutions also offer real-time knowledge management to give more relevant and consistent answers, automation of front- and back-office processes that can streamline operations, and valuable customer interaction analytics tools.

All of these benefits feed into the overall goal of any contact centre, which is to provide great customer experiences. With cloud centres, brands can provide a seamless customer experience within and across all channels – voice, email, chat, messaging SMS, co-browse and social – which benefits customers and agents alike.

To learn more, check out these TTEC resources about cloud-based contact centres:

5 Ways Cloud Unlocks Contact Centre Potential – Cloud technology gives contact centres the ability to maneuver flexibly while saving costs, but moving to the cloud is only half the battle.

Cloud-based Video Training Saves 90 Minutes – In this client story, a humanitarian organisation gains more time for disaster assistance.

3 Ways Contact Centres Can Create Kickstart Digital Experiences – The pandemic accelerated digital adoption of messaging, web and cloud at light speed, and in doing so contact centres have been at the front-line of large volumes of people in need for support, comfort and information.