What impact are cloud communications really having on the IT sector?
Customer service operations have been ditching on-premise solutions and turning to the cloud for cost-savings, compliance and cutting-edge features.
And revenues from cloud communications solutions have grown by 40% in the past year, reflecting a sharp increase in demand for cloud services across all industries in the unified communications and contact centre markets.
The finding come from research commissioned by Magnetic North, providers of call centre solutions, and confirm that customer service operations are turning to cloud providers to overcome limitations of legacy systems.
According to the research the top three drivers to the cloud are cost savings (52%), multi-channel customer service (41%) and compliance requirements (37%).
Magnetic North’s clients come from a variety of sectors, with customers of all sizes from SMEs to blue-chip organisations, including Anglian Home Improvements and Domino’s Pizza.
It seems that the limitations of legacy equipment are tipping the balance towards the cloud. According to the recent research, the cost of upgrades (cited by 40%), technical limitations (37%), long deployment times and costly integrations (both 28%) were all cited as issues with on-premise solutions. In addition, more than half of contact centre managers say legacy equipment limitations are preventing them from rolling out a multichannel infrastructure and just under 50% state that their technology is preventing their contact centre from meeting its KPIs
David Ford, MD, Magnetic North, said: "There is a seismic shift in the way senior decision makers are viewing their IT and communications infrastructure. The cloud is not just about cost-savings. It’s providing new solutions to challenges such as card data security and compliance and multi-channel customer contact as well as integration between the contact centre and enterprise systems. Many customers are moving to our platform because their legacy systems just don’t provide the speed and agility they need and are stifling innovation."
One Magnetic North customer that has doubled in size since moving its contact centre to the cloud is C.A.R.S., a provider of debt collection services for numerous blue chip clients. Based in Basingstoke, it operates a fully blended inbound and outbound contact centre.
C.A.R.S. MD Peter Copperwheat said: "We’ve relied upon Magnetic North to operate our contact centre in the cloud for several years now. With their platforms, we’ve more than doubled the size of our business and rely on them to provide service for a range of leading brands every day. With Magnetic North we successfully handle millions of calls each year."
Magnetic North has identified some clear market trends that are driving increased demand for cloud solutions:
– Sharp uptake of cloud PBX solutions with integral Unified Communications features, as well as web-chat and email functionality in the contact centre.
– Increased need for card data security and PCI-DSS compliance functionality in the financial services and retail industries.
– Demand for pre-integrated contact centre solutions for major applications such as Salesforce and Microsoft Dynamics.