Bracknell, 12th December 2012: A recent report from Gartner entitled, “Cloud Providers of Contact Centre Services in Europe Offer New Options for IT Leaders” (November 8th 2012), discovers that, “Cloud-based contact centre services are maturing rapidly in Europe.” According to the world’s leading information technology research and advisory company, “IT leaders, planners and buyers can start to consider selective providers' offerings as alternatives to traditional on-premises-based infrastructure deployments.”
A key driver highlighted by the analysts is the potential for cost savings which can be realised through the cloud model: “Contact centre as a service (CCaaS) can lower total cost of ownership (TCO) for organisations that have variable resource requirements through the year.”
The analysts also explain that the high reliability of mature cloud platforms solves a lot of the most expensive problems faced by many organisations: “Service providers are demonstrating impressive service availability targets that IT leaders will struggle to match for a lower TCO.” This means that, where mission-critical communications need to be supported, customers can avoid building the required hardware redundancy within their own networks.
Gartner also highlights a trend towards international deployments, which are opening up opportunities for large customers to maximise the economies of scale and streamlined management associated with the cloud model: “CCaaS maturity enables pan-European organizations to consolidate technology and operations for multiple countries.”
The report recommends that customers take care to discern true cloud solutions from “hosted” offerings. Many providers badge their hosted solutions as “cloud” and provide commercial models which initially appear similar to customers. However, according to Gartner, “A repackaged hosted solution could be labeled cloud but lacks flexibility, because of a fixed relationship between the volume of users and the contract duration.”
Sean Taylor the Director of Content Guru, Redwood's sister company and one of the selective providers named in the report, comments, “Many organisations have delayed refreshing their technology for as long as possible, hoping that the economy would recover and that more capital would become available for reinvestment. But now we’re at the point where it’s clear that economic resurgence is not going to happen quickly, and those organisations are being forced to change, whether for technical reasons, contractual reasons or because of rising end-customer demand.”
Taylor further states that, “There is now no longer such uncertainty around whether cloud can deliver, and discussions focus on functionality, security and cost rather than whether the solution will work or not. This means that the risk of not changing now increasingly outweighs the risk of making the change, as organisations are in danger of losing customers due to the inadequacy and narrowness of the service they’re providing. And because of hybrid possibilities and the low cost of entry for CCaaS, they can do their technology refresh in phases, adding new channels or new sites as existing equipment and associated contracts expire, and as regional end-customer demand evolves.”