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Taking Contact Centers To The Cloud

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There have been few technological advancements that have impacted the modern world recently in the same way that the cloud has. Thanks to growing adoption and increasing precedents being set, companies are more willing to make their information and systems available from remote locations in the world. This is allowing business to get done in new, exciting ways that do not depend on geographical conveniences to make them possible.

For all of the areas of an organization that can be enhanced by cloud capabilities, the contact center is certainly one of the most interesting. Despite being what Silicon ANGLE contributor David Coursey refers to as "an important public face of many businesses," contact centers have long felt the same restrictions that other departments have. When the office shuts down, so do they. This has, in part, led to outsourcing as far away as other countries entirely in an effort to keep them running in the face of disaster.

But the cloud is changing exactly how these jobs are defined. Virtual call centers, enabled primarily by cloud PBX and VoIP services, make it so that weather or public health considerations no longer have to stall the progress of the representatives that operate them.

"The key success factor of an extreme weather mitigation plan is its ability to provide multiple options, allowing the call center to react in real time as the weather escalates and situations change," wrote 1to1 Media contributors Belli Forman and Rob Archambault. The strategies built with this in mind need to include hosted phone service in order to circumvent potential downtime.

Businesses Realizing Advantages Of Cloud Contact Centers

If any proof is required of hosted VoIP being successfully used in call centers, one needs only to look at the growth of the market. According to research firm IDC, spending in the United States alone for "on-demand" contact center technology is expected to experience an annual growth of 17.5 percent through 2018, when it will be worth $1.6 billion. Additionally, 39 percent of respondents reported that they currently use on-demand or hosted services for the call center operations.

This is attributed partly to the rise of a need for "multi-channel customer care," IDC said. As more people begin utilizing various telecom platforms on a regular basis, they are starting to expect the businesses they frequent to be available through more than just voice. This is where unified communications come into play.

With the right call center software, representatives are not only able to be reached over video and instant messaging, but they will be able to navigate these connections in a way that begets productivity and client assistance. Switching between several applications that do not work in tandem with each other can hinder attempts to resolve caller queries. By organizing these channels into one program that enables them to be orchestrated in a meaningful way, contact center employees will be better equipped to aid customers and better represent the company.