Until now the idea of shifting a contact centre’s IT function offsite and locating it in the Cloud has been an exciting one, but one that remain somewhat, well, up in the air. However, according to a new report from Gartner this has changed and the Cloud Contact Centre has finally come of age.
For several years now, Cloud evangelists have been telling us that it will allow us to embrace the brave new world of multichannel, improve service availability and even lower costs. There are few of us who, when presented with a list of potential benefits like that, have not been eager to find out more.
Yet the reality has always been a little disappointing. It has always been a technology that is “just about to come of age”.
Well, according to a major report, published on 8th November 2012 and written by analysts Steve Blood and Drew Kraus at globally respected research firm Gartner, the Cloud has finally come of age.
After extensive evaluation of the market for Cloud services aimed at contact centres Gartner declared: “Cloud-based contact center services are maturing rapidly in Europe. IT leaders, planners and buyers can start to consider selective providers’ offerings as alternatives to traditional on-premises-based infrastructure deployments.”
Gartner suggests that it is the application specialists – rather than communication service providers, systems integrators and infrastructure technology providers – that are best placed to provide organisations with the strongest set of multi-channel CCaaS capabilities. The analyst firm also suggested that those considering a cloud contact platform should look for vendors that deliver the broadest range of multi-channel applications as a service, making sure not to restrict options going forward.
Gartner listed mplsystems as one of just five European application specialists providing contact centre services in the cloud. As well a uniquely broad range of multi-channel cloud applications, mplsystems look beyond the contact centre to integrate additional key CRM and customer service functionality that can be delivered through a single cloud-based desktop solution.
For hardened sceptics who need more proof of the Cloud’s maturity, it arrived in the late October announcement by the UK Government that it has put in place a framework agreement with mplsystems to provide contact centre technology as ‘Software as a Service’ through the Government Procurement Service’s G-Cloud programme.
Marie-Helene Durif, Head of Sourcing & Category Management – ICT, at the Government Procurement Service said: “Our priority is to provide procurement savings for organisations across the UK public sector. The inclusion of mplsystems to the Software as a Service framework will strengthen our offering and provide public sector buyers with a tried and tested route to achieve value for money.”
It’s rare that the Government is an early adopter of new technology, and this is no exception.
For those who remain sceptical about the Cloud, early 2013 is surely the time to take a fresh look.