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

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There’s no denying the vital role contact centers play in brands’ ability to meet customer needs quickly and efficiently. When done well, centers 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 center” 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 centers, 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 centers, 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 center debate is flexibility. The cloud option simply lets companies do more. Whereas on-premise centers can get bogged down by long deployment times, cloud centers can quickly scale up or down depending on customer traffic, eliminating this bottleneck and delivering a better customer experience.

Cloud centers also bring the capability to implement CX solutions, like workforce optimization tools. This means shorter ramp times and faster scaling. Cloud-based centers 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 centers.

First, taking centers to the cloud lowers the overhead and maintenance costs associated with on-premise systems. Also, cloud centers 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 centers, 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 center.

3. More Resources

It’s not often that additional resources accompany cost savings but, with cloud centers, 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 center 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 center, 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 center, which is to provide great customer experiences. With cloud centers, 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 centers:

Contact Center of the Future: Digital Transformation Best Practices – Customer service is not the same as it once was. To keep up with customers’ growing expectations, it’s important for brands to re-imagine their service organizations – from their customers’ points of view.

Cloud Contact Centers: A Competitive Differentiator – Cloud contact centers provide many benefits, such as increased flexibility, cost savings, and the ability to support customers from virtually anywhere.

Five Questions to Find the Right Cloud Center Partner – There are a lot of factors to consider when migrating to the cloud, starting with finding the right partner to help your contact center implement, deploy, and manage the transition correctly.

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