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Contact Centers Can Reach True Potential In The Cloud

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It is beginning to look more like the future of communications will reside in the cloud.

As the number of personal smartphones and tablet adoptions increase and more people discover additional platforms through which to contact each other, the copper landlines of the "plain old telephone system" are beginning to be abandoned. Like many other aspects of everyday life, they are moving to the cloud. As these technologies become more commonplace in homes around the world, people are beginning to expect more from the businesses and services they frequent. They want to be able to speak to representatives on their terms - that is to say, they want to be able to choose the channel through which they connect.

To keep up with this shift, companies have sought unified communications solutions. In order to effectively manage a modern contact center, organizations must equip their employees with the tools to present a seamless experience for their customers. This can be achieved by bringing text, video, voice and even data together in a way that they can all be accessed and used effectively. As more people make their way into the increasingly-connected reality that is rapidly being realized, companies need to make sure that every last base is covered in terms of communications. The most effective way to do this is to make a move to the cloud.

The cloud is an incredibly beneficial technology, namely in the way of communications. While businesses have debated whether or not the cloud is worth investing in, the world around them is making it clear that it is indeed the direction of the future. Cloud PBX will play an essential role in the next chapter of enterprise communications, especially in the contact center.

Contact Center Market Booming Thanks To Cloud

All of these developments, however, have been discussed at length for some time now. Many companies, swayed by other successful implementations, have already made the move to cloud-based solutions like hosted phone service for their contact centers, in turn inspiring other organizations to do the same. This is evidenced by the global hosted contact center market, which is experiencing a major surge in growth.

According to the analysts at research firm Frost & Sullivan, the global hosted contact center market will experience an average annual boost of 12.1 percent. That means that by 2017, its total worth will be $3.162 billion. The market for standard contact center systems will only experience an annual growth of 5.5 percent during that same period, which will bring its value to $1.892 billion. This represents a significant decline in technologies that do not possess the same flexibility and agility as the cloud does. Beyond 2017, a continuation of this pattern can only be expected.

Leveraging The Cloud To Facilitate A Bring-Your-Own-Device Workplace

The rapid move from traditional communication channels to those existing in the digital world has not happened by accident. The benefits that services like cloud based phone systems have afforded to businesses around the globe are well-documented and frequently praised, especially in the face of the bring-your-own-device movement that has spread through offices like telecom wildfire. BYOD has created a wealth of opportunities, but in many instances it is not properly enabled. By not appropriately embracing BYOD, companies are not only passing up on its true potential, but they could be pushing their employees toward inferior solutions - many of which can inadvertently leak data into unapproved areas.

According to a study conducted by Pew Research, 56 percent of all American adults use smartphones, Top Tech News contributor John Cray reported. This means over half of the adult population owns and operates a personal device that they most likely also use at their jobs. Businesses who recognize that this development is both natural and inevitable are making it work in their favor. The attention that companies are paying to BYOD is illustrated by a study conducted by MarketsandMarkets. The firm found that the enterprise mobility market is expected to grow by 15 percent annually, bringing its worth to $181 billion by 2017. This increase is very similar to the one found in the cloud contact center market by Frost & Sullivan. This can be attributed to the fact that BYOD, the cloud and contact centers are all part of the same equation.

The Cloud And The Virtual Call Center

One of the major pillars of BYOD is mobility. This advantage can only be bolstered by a proper cloud communications deployment. The consumerization of IT has made the average cellphone owner capable of much more than they used to be. System updates and software installation - among other things - are not even given a second thought by someone who has been using their personal device for even a relatively short time.

While this has definitely made an impact on the expectations of a business's customers, it has, additionally, increased what staff members want out of their employers. The maturity that communications technologies like hosted VoIP have achieved over the last few years has made the remote workplace a viable alternative to brick-and-mortar workplaces. Even contact centers can be operated in this way, be they exclusively from offsite locations that are reserved for health and weather emergencies.

Because the systems are located in the cloud, employees participating from an alternative location can still be reached at their office numbers and have access to all of their contacts and customer data from anywhere that they can connect to the Internet. This is not only appealing to valued staff members who may desire a non-traditional work structure, but it should also be seen as essential for business continuity in the face of disaster.