Viewpoint: Manage your workforce in the cloud

58% of contact centres that are now completely on-premises will move to the cloud by 2020.
58% of contact centres that are now completely on-premises will move to the cloud by 2020.

As we head into the last quarter of the year, it is time to take stock and see what the state of the cloud contact centre is right now, writes Ebrahim Dinat, COO of Ocular Technologies.

In a recent Webinar co-sponsored by Ocular Technologies' software partner, Aspect, key findings from a survey by chief analyst at Saddletree Research, Paul Stockford, regarding the opinions and preferences of more than 140 contact centre managers and executives, were revealed.

"Stockford is predicting that 58% of contact centres that are now completely on-premises will move to the cloud by 2020. Even more interesting is the fact that the contact centre application most likely to transition to the cloud in 2018 is workforce management (WFM)," highlights Eric Hagaman, product manager at Aspect, in the blog titled: "New survey reveals shifting cloud contact centre preferences".

He also asks: "Workforce management software is one of the fundamental building blocks of an efficiently operating contact centre, but why are contact centres focused on deploying WFM in the cloud over all the other possibilities?"

The answers are mainly due to WFM being low risk - making it not only a successful cloud candidate, but also a safe first step to dispel any fears companies may have when migrating to the cloud. Interestingly, Hagaman pinpoints the following six characteristics of WFM that make it ideal for the cloud:

1. Real-time data from connected systems such as routing platforms (ACD) from most vendors contains enough information that should minor delays due to latency occur, there is no impact on adherence or alarm calculation.
2. All communication to and from the platform is encrypted, even though data used by WFM does not contain proprietary customer information, so there's little risk of fallout from a data breach.
3. If the WFM system were to go down in the cloud, automation and procedures are in place for swift return to service even in the worst cases.
4. WFM becomes available everywhere, for all types of business users, from the workforce team to the employees, with secure access ensured by managed networking and security practices.
5. Staff members get the best tools available. Product upgrades are automated and included in subscription costs.
6. WFM software is typically purchased independently of the ACD and recording/quality management systems, and interoperates with a very wide spectrum of vendors and different types of solutions. Subscribing to a cloud SAAS solution mimics the historical pattern of an autonomous WFM purchase.

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