SHARE



ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Jon Arnold
Jon Arnold is Principal of J Arnold & Associates, an independent analyst providing thought leadership and go-to-market counsel with a...
Read Full Bio >>
SHARE



Jon Arnold | July 10, 2018 |

 
   

Contact Center 2.0: More Than Just Going to the Cloud

Contact Center 2.0: More Than Just Going to the Cloud In building a next-generation contact center, enterprises must tie their buying decisions into bigger corporate goals.

In building a next-generation contact center, enterprises must tie their buying decisions into bigger corporate goals.

Contact centers are facing unprecedented change, and decision-making has never been more challenging. The new technologies can be daunting and disruptive, but in many ways, they offer great opportunities to modernize in a hurry. None of this is really news for No Jitter readers, but when new research comes along to validate the state of things, it's worth looking at the data.

One such study has crossed my path recently, and the findings illustrate how complex decision-making is becoming in the current environment. RingCentral commissioned CITE Research to conduct the study, titled "Contact Center Digital Transformation," drawing insights from 500 contact center respondents in managerial and supervisor roles or higher at a wide range of enterprises by size, ranging from 50 to 10,000+ employees, in the U.S. and U.K.

Aside from being timely, the data lines up with what I've been hearing at all the various industry events in recent months. In short, as contact centers look to the cloud to address their challenges, they have more to consider than updating phones or IVR systems, and they must tie their buying decisions into bigger things.

RingCentral's take is to position all of this as a re-boot opportunity -- what it calls "Contact Center 2.0." I'd like to take this one step further, and in this post, will show how building a next-generation contact center means more than migrating from on-premises systems to the cloud. To do that, I'm going to tie together data points across four separate but related themes -- digital transformation, a focus on customer experience (CX), cloud migration, and integration of contact center with UC.

Theme #1: Digital Transformation
These days, enterprises can't not be thinking about this, but like "UC," digital transformation can be a vague term. This is good for anyone selling to enterprises, since they're all free to fashion a solution that addresses such a broad need. Of course, this makes your life harder as IT decision-makers, not just for evaluating offerings, but also in knowing when you're done. This "transformation" may never be complete in our lifetimes, so you need to think about this differently from clearly defined point solutions that have lifecycles of just a few years.

That said, the research found that 70% of respondents have some form of a digital transformation strategy. Only 15% said they don't, so overall, this validates the trend's strategic importance. Things get more interesting when considering the focus of that strategy, as summarized below:

Table 1 – Focus of Digital Transformation Strategy % of Respondents*
Digital technology integration 71%
Customer experience 71%
Operational agility 50%
Workforce enablement 46%
*Multiple responses allowed (Source: Contact Center Digital Transformation)

As one might expect, the focus is largely on adapting to digital technology as a means of improving operations across the organization. However, CX rated just as importantly, and of all the attributes surveyed, it's the only one with an external focus -- and that brings us to the next two themes.

Theme #2: Focusing on CX
Anecdotally, we know how important CX has become, and that's certainly validated in the research. The table below summarizes the top challenges contact centers face, and from a longer list of 17 challenges, CX ranked highest. The ordering in the table below reflects the percentage of respondents who gave each of the listed challenge a one, two, or three (out of five) ranking.

Table 2 – Top Contact Center Challenges % of Respondents
Improved CX 32%
Cost savings 30%
Improved customer satisfaction ratings 26%
Integrating new technologies 24%
Improved agent performance 21%
Better meeting the needs of today's customers 19%

The first and third challenges above are highly related -- CX and CSAT -- so on this level, the tie between digital transformation and the contact center is evident. However, while the data in Table 1 shows that CX is a key driver for digital transformation, the data above doesn't support the opposite.

In other words, when thinking about contact center challenges, it's all about the customers and agents -- and not so much about supporting a broader digital transformation strategy. This view is more tactical, so there's a danger of leaving decision-making here solely in the hands of contact center personnel. There's a bigger picture to consider, namely that contact center planning needs to be aligned with organizational imperatives, and that leads my analysis to the next theme.

Before going there, however, it's worth noting how cost savings is viewed as being just as much of a challenge as improving CX and CSAT. This brings to light a fundamental challenge all contact centers struggle with, namely the impossibility of reducing costs and improving CX and CSAT.

Essentially, these are conflicting priorities that an organization can't address at the same time. The survey didn't explore that dilemma, and doing so here would take the analysis off track and in another direction entirely. I'm citing it here as a sidebar, but let's stick to the four themes for now.

Continue to next page for a look at cloud migration and UC integration





COMMENTS




September 26, 2018

Join Kevin Kieller, Microsoft UC&C expert, along with Ribbon Communications and Polycom, for an update on Microsoft Ignite, and a focus on critical things you need to know about your voice deployme

August 29, 2018

Moving your voice services to the cloud introduces new challenges for 9-1-1 services. These include the need to serve multiple locations, and the increased mobility that comes with having a phone t

August 8, 2018

Artificial intelligence (AI) is becoming a reality for your contact center. But to turn the promise of AI into practical reality, there are a couple of prerequisites: Moving to the cloud and integr

March 12, 2018
An effective E-911 implementation doesn't just happen; it takes a solid strategy. Tune in for tips from IT expert Irwin Lazar, of Nemertes Research.
March 9, 2018
IT consultant Steve Leaden lays out the whys and how-tos of getting the green light for your convergence strategy.
March 7, 2018
In advance of his speech tech tutorial at EC18, communications analyst Jon Arnold explores what voice means in a post-PBX world.
February 28, 2018
Voice engagement isn't about a simple phone call any longer, but rather a conversational experience that crosses from one channel to the next, as Daniel Hong, a VP and research director with Forrester....
February 16, 2018
What trends and technologies should you be up on for your contact center? Sheila McGee-Smith, Contact Center & Customer Experience track chair for Enterprise Connect 2018, gives us the lowdown.
February 9, 2018
Melanie Turek, VP of connected work research at Frost & Sullivan, walks us through key components -- and sticking points -- of customer-oriented digital transformation projects.
February 2, 2018
UC consultant Marty Parker has crunched lots of numbers evaluating UC options; tune in for what he's learned and tips for your own analysis.
January 26, 2018
Don't miss out on the fun! Organizer Alan Quayle shares details of his pre-Enterprise Connect hackathon, TADHack-mini '18, showcasing programmable communications.
December 20, 2017
Kevin Kieller, partner with enableUC, provides advice on how to move forward with your Skype for Business and Teams deployments.
December 20, 2017
Zeus Kerravala, principal analyst with ZK Research, shares his perspective on artificial intelligence and the future of team collaboration.
December 20, 2017
Delanda Coleman, Microsoft senior marketing manager, explains the Teams vision and shares use case examples.
November 30, 2017
With a ruling on the FCC's proposed order to dismantle the Open Internet Order expected this month, communications technology attorney Martha Buyer walks us through what's at stake.
October 23, 2017
Wondering which Office 365 collaboration tool to use when? Get quick pointers from CBT Nuggets instructor Simona Millham.
September 22, 2017
In this podcast, we explore the future of work with Robert Brown, AVP of the Cognizant Center for the Future of Work, who helps us answer the question, "What do we do when machines do everything?"
September 8, 2017
Greg Collins, a technology analyst and strategist with Exact Ventures, delivers a status report on 5G implementation plans and tells enterprises why they shouldn't wait to move ahead on potential use ....
August 25, 2017
Find out what business considerations are driving the SIP trunking market today, and learn a bit about how satisfied enterprises are with their providers. We talk with John Malone, president of The Ea....
August 16, 2017
World Vision U.S. is finding lots of goodness in RingCentral's cloud communications service, but as Randy Boyd, infrastructure architect at the global humanitarian nonprofit, tells us, he and his team....
August 11, 2017
Alicia Gee, director of unified communications at Sutter Physician Services, oversees the technical team supporting a 1,000-agent contact center running on Genesys PureConnect. She catches us up on th....
August 4, 2017
Andrew Prokop, communications evangelist with Arrow Systems Integration, has lately been working on integrating enterprise communications into Internet of Things ecosystems. He shares examples and off....
July 27, 2017
Industry watcher Elka Popova, a Frost & Sullivan program director, shares her perspective on this acquisition, discussing Mitel's market positioning, why the move makes sense, and more.
July 14, 2017
Lantre Barr, founder and CEO of Blacc Spot Media, urges any enterprise that's been on the fence about integrating real-time communications into business workflows to jump off and get started. Tune and....
June 28, 2017
Communications expert Tsahi Levent-Levi, author of the popular BlogGeek.me blog, keeps a running tally and comprehensive overview of communications platform-as-a-service offerings in his "Choosing a W....
June 9, 2017
If you think telecom expense management applies to nothing more than business phone lines, think again. Hyoun Park, founder and principal investigator with technology advisory Amalgam Insights, tells ....
June 2, 2017
Enterprises strategizing on mobility today, including for internal collaboration, don't have the luxury of learning as they go. Tony Rizzo, enterprise mobility specialist with Blue Hill Research, expl....
May 24, 2017
Mark Winther, head of IDC's global telecom consulting practice, gives us his take on how CPaaS providers evolve beyond the basic building blocks and address maturing enterprise needs.
May 18, 2017
Diane Myers, senior research director at IHS Markit, walks us through her 2017 UC-as-a-service report... and shares what might be to come in 2018.
April 28, 2017
Change isn't easy, but it is necessary. Tune in for advice and perspective from Zeus Kerravala, co-author of a "Digital Transformation for Dummies" special edition.
April 20, 2017
Robin Gareiss, president of Nemertes Research, shares insight gleaned from the firm's 12th annual UCC Total Cost of Operations study.
March 23, 2017
Tim Banting, of Current Analysis, gives us a peek into what the next three years will bring in advance of his Enterprise Connect session exploring the question: Will there be a new model for enterpris....
March 15, 2017
Andrew Prokop, communications evangelist with Arrow Systems Integration, discusses the evolving role of the all-important session border controller.
March 9, 2017
Organizer Alan Quayle gives us the lowdown on programmable communications and all you need to know about participating in this pre-Enterprise Connect hackathon.
March 3, 2017
From protecting against new vulnerabilities to keeping security assessments up to date, security consultant Mark Collier shares tips on how best to protect your UC systems.
February 24, 2017
UC analyst Blair Pleasant sorts through the myriad cloud architectural models underlying UCaaS and CCaaS offerings, and explains why knowing the differences matter.
February 17, 2017
From the most basics of basics to the hidden gotchas, UC consultant Melissa Swartz helps demystify the complex world of SIP trunking.
February 7, 2017
UC&C consultant Kevin Kieller, a partner at enableUC, shares pointers for making the right architectural choices for your Skype for Business deployment.
February 1, 2017
Elka Popova, a Frost & Sullivan program director, shares a status report on the UCaaS market today and offers her perspective on what large enterprises need before committing to UC in the cloud.
January 26, 2017
Andrew Davis, co-founder of Wainhouse Research and chair of the Video track at Enterprise Connect 2017, sorts through the myriad cloud video service options and shares how to tell if your choice is en....
January 23, 2017
Sheila McGee-Smith, Contact Center/Customer Experience track chair for Enterprise Connect 2017, tells us what we need to know about the role cloud software is playing in contact centers today.