Cloud and the contact centre: Key considerations

The contact centre is one of the primary touchpoints for building client connections, and cloud is a powerful ally in the war for customers.
Read time 2min 40sec

One of the overarching messages to come out of the 2019 Deloitte Global Contact Centre Survey was that new technologies play an important role in building customer relationships, improving access to services, and personalising and simplifying interactions.

Although cloud-based solutions have been around for a while, there is a massive opportunity to leverage the technology to help achieve these objectives – providing enormous benefits to businesses and customers alike.

Yes, South Africa is lagging behind other countries when it comes to cloud-based contact centre adoption, but many companies have invested a significant amount of money in legacy on-premises implementations and need to wait until they are in a position to realise the full value of moving to the cloud.

Some organisations, on the other hand, may also be employing a hybrid strategy – keeping some legacy systems on-premises for a period of time (until they are depreciated or reach their end of life), while opting to selectively move to cloud-based solutions in other areas of the business.

Irrespective of the reason for the slight delay, adoption rates are changing as companies begin to recognise how these solutions can influence costs, feature sets and capabilities – particularly in the contact centre.

From a financial perspective alone, contact centres typically save between 15% and 22% by moving from on-premises to the cloud. This is in addition to offering benefits beyond saving money, such as more cost predictability, flexibility, scalability and functionality.

From a financial perspective alone, contact centres typically save between 15% and 22% by moving from on-premises to the cloud.

The reality is that contact centres relying exclusively on on-premises solutions do have some limitations. They are only able to have as many seats as the technology investment allows, and they can’t easily scale up or down to meet the organisation’s needs and customer requirements. It is not always possible to introduce new functionality quickly either.

With cloud, you could potentially add new channels on demand. An exclusively voice-based contact centre, for example, could set up e-mail interactions as an additional channel within hours or days. Compare this to the months needed to implement a new channel with legacy technology and you can see why the agility of cloud offers enormous value.

Organisations need to keep asking how they can use this technology to make their business processes work better and how they can deliver better customer service.

Investing in cloud-based contact centres could be instrumental in shifting the focus towards customer outcomes and understanding customer engagement, sales and processes, rather than spending too much time on just getting the technology to work.

It’s getting harder and harder for organisations to differentiate based on ideas and product, so the new battleground has become customer experience. Whether the CX solution for your business is enabled by cloud as a delivery mechanism, or specific tools such as artificial intelligence or analytics, there is enormous potential for differentiation.

The unlimited capabilities of cloud, therefore, make it one of the very powerful allies in the war for the customer.

Wynand Smit


With over 10 years of operational and strategic experience in the South African contact centre industry, Wynand Smit's understanding of technology and its application to business has benefited multiple organisations across a variety of industries. As CEO of contact centre solutions provider INOVO, he is passionate about using the contact centre as a platform to drive positive change in a business.

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