An unquestionable component concerning the success of any business is the relationship you have with your customers. Whether you’re a billion dollar enterprise or a start-up on its way to success, your relationship with your customers has to extend beyond your services and products.
Here is where contact centers come into play. As a business you will need a cost-effective call center for sales and marketing, customer service, and even making collections. Regardless of what industry you may belong to – whether you are in education, healthcare, travel, hospitality, government or e-commerce, – a contact center is a must when it comes to communicating with your clients.
Based on your need, projected growth of business, and budgets, you would consider making a choice between setting up an on-premise vs. a cloud-based contact center.
Contact centers are typically of two kinds: on-premise and cloud-based. The former is a more traditional solution, consisting of a whole lot of hardware, software and infrastructure that needs to be installed within your office premises. Such technologies would require an upgrade every few years and an IT team for maintenance, and this can work out to be a costly affair!
A cloud-based contact center, on the other hand, is hosted on the cloud. The server is accessible through an app installed on the computer or mobile. Communication channels of email, voice, social media, catering to both inbound and outbound contact systems, are accessible from anywhere. Besides monthly payments to the third-party provider, the only other investment required is a stable and fast internet connection.
Cloud-based does not require hardware or licenses, only strong internet connection.
On-premise requires spending on hardware, licenses, space & engineers to manage it.
Cloud-based allows easy scalability with no additional investment required as your business grows.
On-premise requires more hardware installations and costs to meet growing business needs.
On cloud-based solutions data is always accessible from anywhere.
With on-premise solutions data can only be accessed while at the same location.
Cloud-based solutions require monthly payments and are lower in cost.
On-premise solutions require large investments in systems, and recurring upgrades.
Cloud-based contact centers are gaining popularity as more customers are looking towards digital channels to communicate with businesses. This is because of the scalability and flexibility advantages that a cloud-based solution has over an on-premise one.
As your business grows, a cloud-based system is well able to match your requirements at any point to add new seats without incurring large costs.
For instance, if you are faced with a greater volume of calls during a holiday season, it’s possible to scale up your systems to meet the needs of the additional customers. You can easily scale back again once the influx of calls has returned to normal.
Evolving digital technologies has changed the ways in which we communicate with one another. The telephone is no longer the sole means by which customers can talk to a business. In fact, research has shown that most users nowadays prefer to text or use social media.
With a cloud-based system, you are not restricted by the means that you started with, instead you can add new communication channels as you go along to suit your requirements.
No matter what the size of the organisation might be, cost is always an influencing factor when it comes to making technology purchases. The most obvious advantage that a cloud-based solution provides over an on-premise one is the cost of investment in hardware. With cloud solutions you don’t need your own infrastructure.
Recurring costs associated with on-premise solutions are application licenses, vendor support and maintenance, implementation, IT infrastructure maintenance and support, and application administration. Cloud based solutions do not demand these costs.
Fig: Cost comparison on-premise vs. cloud / hosted for a 100 seat contact center
Frost and Sullivan conducted a study in a 100-seat contact center with full functionality, which includes ACD (automatic call distributor), IVR (Interactive Voice Response), chat, outbound dialler, quality monitoring, workforce management, customer feedback, agent hiring and e-learning. They found that over a five-year period over $300,000 was saved when a cloud-based system was used. This is a significant enough sum for it to be considered during decision-making.
Essentially, cloud-based contact centers, with their flexibility, are able to provide easy-to-implement, cost-effective solutions to address the wide range of changing needs that every business is faced with. If your business needs a contact center, or is already running one, look at a cloud-based option in which all you have to do is pay is a monthly subscription to get great services and a better bottom-line.
Sources: Frost and Sullivan report https://neccf.org/whitepapers/TCO_of_Premise_vs_Hosted_Contact_Centers.pdf