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5 Steps for A Seamless Contact Center Cloud Migration

To maximize flexibility and agility, most IT leaders have concluded that moving contact center systems to the cloud is the best long-term strategy. A 2019 study by Dimension Data highlights the prevailing calculus: while 53% of businesses surveyed reported that their system is currently hosted on-prem, that number plummets to 16% in 2020. Where will their contact center be hosted a year from now? Most businesses (36%) said they are planning a hybrid approach, 22% are planning to move to a private cloud, and 14% are considering a shared public cloud for their contact center system.
Beyond cost and reliability, there are external factors that shape the decision. Transitioning key customer-interaction systems to a modern cloud infrastructure is often part of an enterprise-wide digital transformation strategy. Customer experience (CX) leaders point to the appealing benefits that a cloud-based platform delivers, such as access to new functionality, faster time to market with new features, a future-proof platform, and the ability to create new, personalized customer journeys.
Get IT and Business Teams Involved
Migrating your contact center to the cloud is much more than a “lift and shift” exercise and requires both technical and business expertise. The transition will go more smoothly if the IT and CX teams can align expectations on these key areas:
  • Replicate or innovate? It’s tempting to select a cloud provider whose capabilities check the important feature boxes of your current implementation. But, unless you have a very basic environment, it’s best to avoid this because you don’t want to clone current problems and limitations. Instead, this is the time to assess your current CX and reimagine what it should look like tomorrow, next year, and even five years out. Don’t forget the true power of the cloud is that it’ll enable you to better integrate your contact center with other digital systems – infusing it with other customer data – so you can better shape CX. My advice is to think big because, after all, this is your chance to deploy a CX that will surpass that of your competitors.
  • Letting go of the reins. It’s natural to be concerned about the potential loss of control as your core customer engagement systems move outside the corporate firewall to a nebulous location. But with this transition comes opportunity: now you can offload security, system availability, hardware provisioning and maintenance, and various other IT tasks to a vendor whose core skill is to excel in these areas. Potentially, this means that some of your staff’s roles will change – allowing their skills to be used in more strategic projects, perhaps.
  • Ensure your new digital platforms measure up. With the move to a fully digital platform, WebRTC will become your primary voice transport mechanism for IVR applications, omnichannel contact center desktops, and mobile applications. Any degradation of voice quality between customer and agent is a huge CX concern and can mean higher costs to resolve customer issues, so make sure your IT and business teams are clear on the service delivery levels and metrics you’ll implement to continually ensure excellent CX.
5 Steps to Risk-Proof Your Migration
Through our work with end-customer brands and systems integrators, we’ve noticed specific patterns that define a successful contact center cloud migration. As you embark on yours, factor these steps into planning:
  1. Know where you are today. Before you begin, establish the current baseline and document all customer journeys and channels. Quite possibly, many of your current customer journeys have evolved organically over time and are supported by undocumented legacy systems. This is particularly true of IVRs that have been consolidated and updated over many years. To determine the baseline for an IVR, use a discovery-mapping solution to crawl through the call flows and automatically document what the IVR does today.
  2. Update and optimize customer journeys. One of the important benefits of moving to the cloud is the flexibility to update and optimize customer journeys. Assemble cross-functional teams to re-design journeys from the customer’s perspective. Today, many customer journeys start in self-service and end in assisted service. Design these omnichannel journeys based on customer feedback and experience, and don’t forget to include your top contact-center agents in this process.
  3. Create functional tests while journeys are being designed. Modern software development methodologies intertwine the design phase with testing. This ensures that you are testing directly against design specifications and not some other source of the truth. From a CX perspective, this means that journey design and functional and regression testing are two sides of the same coin. To ensure repeatability, use a design-driven testing solution that automatically creates and updates tests as design is being done.
  4. Verify the new functionality performs at scale. Another key step in assuring migration success is performing load tests to ensure your new contact center platform, the applications you’ve built on it, and your network, perform at scale when under pressure. A one-and-done load test isn’t enough. As part of your ongoing quality assurance practices, perform load tests regularly to test ongoing system and network performance, as well as any changes that were made since the last test.
  5. Continuously monitor for CX degradation in production. It’s imperative to know if there are problems with the CX before the customer encounters the issues. Set up production monitoring during migration and continue to run it after migration. With many moving parts in a complex system, there are many points of failure. Make sure this monitoring covers all key customer journeys, channels, connections to backend systems, business rules, agent routing, and other components. Assess availability, transaction completion, performance, and other important attributes that are key to CX.
Think Business Outcomes, Not Technical Improvements
The cloud offers organizations flexibility, agility, and scalability in an increasingly connected world. Indeed, more and more of Cyara’s customers around the world are moving their contact centers to the cloud to improve their flexibility and reliability, accelerate innovation, and reduce costs. Let’s not forget that there’s another really important benefit: cloud technology enables customer success managers to think beyond customer interactions and journeys and instead about creating meaningful personalization that maximizes the lifetime value of their customers.