Migrating to the cloud is a key concern for many modern contact centers. And to do so successfully, your organization must undertake stringent planning and thoroughly understand all expectations, obstacles and how you will measure success.
In 2021, McKinsey & Company estimated that between 2021-2024, organizations would waste $100 billion on inefficient cloud migrations. As a result, something that is commonly planned to reduce your costs can end up costing far more - both financially and in terms of customer loyalty and brand reputation.
In some cases, cloud contact center migrations are done out of necessity, for example when on-premise software becomes obsolete and providers move towards the cloud. However, many are undertaken because of the numerous benefits your organization can experience, including:
- Lower costs
- Reduced resource requirements
- Improved scalability and flexibility
- Enhanced consumption management capabilities
- Simplified IT infrastructure
But the task of moving to the cloud requires careful preparation and planning. You’ll need to consider the most common pitfalls and ensure that you’ve planned and executed it according to best practices, so your contact center migration goes smoothly and ultimately supports you in delivering great CX to your customers.
Questions to consider ahead of a contact center cloud migration:
1. What are the objectives of your migration?
To achieve success with a cloud migration, it's imperative you fully understand the goals and expectations that all stakeholders to the project have. Start by thoroughly examining what your business, team, and individual objectives are. For each, determine a clear method of analyzing and benchmarking progress. Documenting these expectations allows you to better understand how to go about the migration, determine appropriate platforms and providers, design a more realistic timeline, and make key decisions, like choosing a deployment model - public, private, hybrid or even multi-cloud. At this stage, Cyara recommends completing:
- Thorough discovery for goal setting (with all stakeholders),
- Mapping exercises,
- Risk assessments.
This will empower your team to make more informed decisions that map to your goals and lead to greater buy-in and success.
2. What exactly are you migrating?
A natural next step is to complete a thorough analysis of your existing infrastructure and applications. This enables you to better navigate the migration process and determine precisely what needs to be migrated to the cloud and what does not - for example, antiquated or inaccurate customer journeys or technologies. Simultaneously, this allows you to envision the ideal makeup of your new cloud-based infrastructure and tailor it to your unique requirements.
Many contact centers are still reliant on legacy systems, so a migration may be the opportune time to move away from these outdated solutions. Whatsmore, you have the flexibility to choose whether to migrate your entire infrastructure to the cloud or selectively transition certain parts. By having a clear understanding of your objectives, you can determine the best approach for you and ensure that your cloud environment will reflect your desired outcome.
3. Are your staff trained for cloud migration?
Make sure your contact center cloud migration team has a comprehensive understanding of:
- The expected benefits,
- The planned processes,
- Any roadblocks or challenges they may encounter.
Additionally, agents and employees who interact directly with customers should receive full training on any new systems or applications which they may be required to utilize as a result of the migration. Some platforms will provide a foundational level of training for your staff following migration, but it is essential you ensure that your team feels comfortable with any new technologies and are enabled to perform at their optimal level.
4. Does the cloud contact center have all the channels you require?
Today’s consumers expect that your organization is omnichannel, allowing them to connect with your customer service representatives at a time and in a manner that is most convenient for them. To effectively adapt to changing channels and deliver exceptional customer service, consider the following:
- As communication channels continue to expand, it's vital to remain prepared for the emergence of new channels. Being adaptable, ensures the seamless integration of these into your cloud contact center operations.
- Moving your contact center to the cloud offers the advantage of greater flexibility and makes it easier to incorporate these new channels. You can also leverage the scalability and agility to promptly integrate them into your customer support ecosystem.
- Your contact centers should have the capability to share contextual information across all channels. This ensures that your agents are well-informed about any previous engagements and the context of these, enabling them to provide more efficient and personalized support. This has the dual benefit of eliminating the need for customers to repeat information and enhances their experience.
5. What is the volume limit for concurrent calls and beyond?
Before you go live with your new cloud solution, it is crucial to conduct thorough testing to ensure it has the required capacity to handle high volumes of concurrent calls and agents, along with avalanche and soak scenarios.
Testing will be required to ensure these scenarios do not have adverse effects on the voice quality experienced by your contact center agents or customers. You must also test for the highest expected volumes of traffic and even beyond, to make sure you are capable of handling a surge in communications. If not, you must make careful notes of the limit points and create contingency plans that you can enact if you were to reach such a threshold.
6. How will security be handled?
For organizations and consumers, security continues to be a major concern and a key factor in deciding which cloud provider to select. This is especially relevant in the area of data protection. You must thoroughly understand the level of security offered by your cloud service provider including:
- Access levels,
- Identity verification / multi-factor authentication,
- Data protection compliance.
7. What reports and reporting tools are available?
Interactions between your contact center agents and customers are some of the most valuable data your organization holds. Through harnessing and leveraging this data, you are much better informed and enabled to support your customers and prevent repeat issues. As such, it is imperative that you understand what reporting tools are available through your chosen cloud provider. Some will supply you with comprehensive analytical dashboards and historical reports, while with others, it will be much harder to access this data and conduct the required analysis.
While migrating to the cloud offers many benefits, you will also sacrifice a level of visibility and control that would be available with on-premise infrastructure. This is a key reason why continuous monitoring is so important... it gives you back some of this control and allows you to design reports and measurements based on your specific requirements.
The need for migration assurance
Contact center migrations have the power to transform businesses, but to ensure the smoothest transition and minimize future challenges, businesses need to engage in adequate planning and preparation. You need to create a comprehensive cloud journey management plan that will help you keep your efforts on track at all times.
In addition, you must ensure that automated monitoring and regular testing is undertaken at all stages of the migration process for a seamless transition to the cloud. It will also help to provide repeatability, consistency and most importantly reliability.
Once the migration is complete , your contact center should be enabled to become more agile than ever before, with the ability to roll out new customer experience initiatives on a more regular basis. Such frequent changes will require assuring that your platform does not suffer from any degradation. For example, real-time audio quality monitoring from the outside-in provides you with the capability to measure the audio experience from the agent and customers’ perspectives using real audio.