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Is Your Head in the Clouds? – Part 2

In Part 1 of this article, I looked at decision factors for moving to a cloud contact center solution and delineated several decision criteria for evaluating potential solution providers. Now I’ll address some of the major pitfalls to avoid and best practices to adopt as your enterprise migrates to the selected cloud solution. While this isn’t a comprehensive, point-by-point implementation guide, following these guidelines should increase your chances for a successful implementation.
 
A 2012, but still relevant, Ovum study, “Lead Analysis, Customer Experience and Interaction,” states: 
 
“An open mind is important when deploying a cloud-based contact center. Start with a clean slate and think ‘outside the box’ when it comes to extending the capabilities of the cloud-based contact center to business practices. You should not replicate any business processes that were dictated by the technology constraints of legacy equipment.”
An example of this is the ability for cloud-based solutions to facilitate the expansion of your agent pool to off-site resources. However, when doing this, you must carefully review current processes, workflows, agent training mechanisms, quality assurance (QA) methods, etc., in order to be effective in this area.
 
The remainder of this article deals with other areas to carefully address during your implementation.
 
1. Change Management Processes – Particularly in the public cloud arena, solution providers are constantly introducing new features and functionality to all users simultaneously. Particularly if your environment has significant integrations with third-party or outside applications and/or systems, you must have the following change management processes in place:
  • A means for the solution provider to provide early indication of the new functionality, so that your IT team can assess the impact on the current environment
  • A “sandbox” environment to enable testing of the new functionality prior to its launch into your production environment
  • A communications channel that extends to the contact center to notify staff of the changes and their go-live dates
  • When issues occur from a release, a means for the contact center to report directly to IT, which must be prepared to deal with the solution provider for quick resolution
2. Strategic Plan Based on the Cloud Provider’s Technology Roadmap – With the continual addition and modification of features and functions, it’s important for the business’ contact center and IT staff to be fully engaged with the timing of those releases. This is important for these reasons:
  • The contact center staff should be building the necessary workflows, processes, procedures, and knowledge base to align with the technology roadmap timeline.
  • The initial design of the contact center features and functions, discussed in the next section, should incorporate the planning for these capabilities, so that the transition to them doesn’t dramatically impact customers and agents.
  • Training module modifications for agents and supervisors should align with the technology roadmap timeline.
Click below to continue to Page 2: Three additional recommendation areas