The migration to cloud based contact centres is on the rise Australasia, as organisations look to tap the cost-savings, optimisation tools, scalability, and customer experience (CX) benefits the cloud offers.
Steve Nuttall, Head of CX Research at Fifth Quadrant and David Inglis, CX Assurance Specialist - Principal Solutions Architect, APAC and ANZ at Cyara, co-hosted a webinar earlier this month to discuss the drivers and challenges of cloud adoption, and the 5 key ways to assure a successful contact centre cloud migration.
Hybrid solutions lead the migration to cloud
Nuttall notes that the biggest growth in cloud is expected to be in hybrid solutions, which combine on-site and off-site cloud infrastructure. In Australasia, over a third of organisations (38.3%) said that they intend to move to a hybrid solution within a year, according to a 2019 report from Dimension Data. For contrast, the percentage of those looking to expand their onsite solutions was just 8.7%.
“A lot of organisations that I’m speaking to, rather than jumping in at the deep end, are using the hybrid cloud as sort of a stepping stone to going full cloud in the coming years,” Inglis says.
Interaction optimisation systems are going to cloud first
When it comes to what exactly will be moving to the cloud in a hybrid setup, recent Dimension Data research shows that interaction optimisations systems are the most popular choice (46%), followed by telephony (including IVR systems) (42%) and digital channel systems (39%).
Just under half of Australasian organisations are planning to move interaction optimisations systems, which encompass elements such the CRM, e-learning, and knowledge management, to the cloud.
The data shows that organisations are taking a careful and measured approach to cloud migration. “They really are looking at the low-hanging fruit and shifting that to the cloud [first]," he says.
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CX the main driver in cloud adoption
Another key data point is the fact that the digital transformation of organisations is being driven by customer demand for superior CX.
The Dimension Data research shows that a vast majority of Australasian organisations (80%) identified the improvement of CX as the main reason for a shift to the cloud. This was followed by customer demand for digital (64%), cost reduction (61%), and the driving of sales/business growth (45%).
“It really is customer driven,” Nuttall says. “Customers are expecting a true omnichannel experience that is seamless, individualised, more predictive and so on.”
Inglis notes that with disparate systems, one of the huge benefits of going to a cloud system is the ability to keep the context of customer interactions and to have the ability to pass that through to the agents.
“There has really been an evolution,” Inglis adds. “15 years ago, we were talking about customer interactions and now we have shifted into customer journeys.”
As a result, organisations are being increasingly compelled to consider customers’ entire lifecycles with them, instead of focusing on single interactions.
Improved functionality, reliability, and integration among key benefits
The main business benefits of the cloud are access to new market opportunities, reduced operating costs and better risk mitigation, according to the Dimension Data research.
The leading benefit identified by respondents was access to new functionality and testing new ideas (82%), following by reduced costs, improved uptime and reliability and improved integration, each of which scored 77%.
Nuttall says it ultimately boils down to two high-level commercial and business outcomes which should be the key considerations when commencing any cloud migration project: driving opportunity and reducing risk.
“Very often we start the project having to put together the business case and budget and getting less technical stakeholders onboard,” Nuttall says. “If you can talk to them in terms of business rather than presenting them with a case that is couched in very technical terms. You have more chance of getting them onboard.”
De-risking a cloud migration project
Inglis identifies six concerns that providers need to address when de-risking a cloud migration project. They are: the decision on whether to “lift and shift” or start from scratch, feature parity, multi-cloud complexity, loss of control, the quality of web Real Time Communications (RTC), and hidden costs.
Of those, Inglis says the two he is most passionate about are the decision on whether to “lift and shift” or start from scratch and the evaluation of a cloud provider via feature parity.
“[Those two] really are the foundation for everything that flows on from that,” Inglis says.
Cost/budget the top post-migration pain point
Cost/budget was the number one pain point for over half of organisations (53%) that completed a cloud migration, according to recent research from Amazon Web Services. This was followed by security issues/concerns (47%), responding to business requirements (43%) and managing legacy infrastructure (29%).
Inglis notes that those cost concerns often arise from organisations failing to properly carry out due diligence and under-budgeting for their digital transformations.
When it comes to security, Inglis and Nuttall both note that the media’s reporting of the recent high-profile security breaches fuels the so-called “fear factor” associated with digital transformation.
Meanwhile, the managing of legacy infrastructure is a direct result of the incremental moves being made to the cloud, as illustrated by the dominance of hybrid cloud in the future plans of organisations.
“I don’t see these transitions as being clean cut,” Inglis says, “What I am seeing out there is staged migration.”
5 Keys to a successful contact centre migration
Nuttall and Inglis conclude the webinar by looking at 5 keys to a successful contact centre cloud migration.
According to Inglis, they are as follows:
- Have a clear understanding of the kind of CX you would like to deliver
- Baseline your current CX, including through discovery and mapping, so you can benchmark success
- Test CX before your customers do, especially voice quality
- Monitor your cloud environment
- Speak in the language of your stakeholders and align to their commercial realities
As the world’s leading CX Assurance platform provider, Cyara accelerates the delivery of flawless customer journeys across digital and voice channels while reducing the risk of customer-facing defects. Every day, the most recognisable brands in the world trust the Cyara Platform to deliver customer smiles at scale. For more information, please visit www://cyara.com