ADVANTAGES OF CLOUD ULTRA AN ULTRA COMMUNICATIONS WHITEPAPER CLOUD CONTACT CENTRE SOLUTIONS COMMUNICATIONS (0)

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1 ADVANTAGES OF CLOUD AN ULTRA COMMUNICATIONS WHITEPAPER ULTRA COMMUNICATIONS CLOUD CONTACT CENTRE SOLUTIONS (0)

2 WHAT IS A CLOUD CONTACT CENTRE? Ever since the world s first call centres launched in the 1970s, organisations have demanded ever more advanced technology solutions to improve efficiency and effectiveness. This technology has mainly taken the form of Customer Premise Equipment (CPE), with organisations responsible not only for the capital costs of their purchases but also for equipment management and maintenance. Over the last few years, however, Cloud contact centre services (also referred to as network services) have presented organisations with a viable alternative. Cloud contact centre services are technology, business process and other applications supplied to organisations on a software-as-a-service basis and charged for on a monthly basis. The Cloud model has proven extremely popular amongst contact centres because of its strong value proposition, low cost of ownership, resilience and other benefits. Indeed, according to one leading Cloud analyst, the annual Cloud contact centre services market grew by over 40% in 2010 with similar impressive growth in By contrast, the consensus view amongst industry analysts is that CPE contact centre sales grew by just single digit figures during the last five years. What is the difference between a hosted and a Cloud or network-based solution? Hosted solutions are generally built using CPE systems that have been modified to offer functionality to clients at multiple locations. These systems are rarely designed to be partitioned, and a fault with any single piece of equipment can often cause issues for clients. Access to hosted solutions is generally provided by dedicated fixed access links or by connecting to existing private WANs. Cloud or network-based solutions are not based on a single piece of equipment or at a single site. Inbound contact centre or outbound dialling equipment is physically held in multiple locations, with users able to access various services via a simple internet connection and phone line. Network-based solutions are designed from the outset for multiple users and are not restricted by fixed bandwidth. This makes them inherently fault tolerant, highly scaleable and able to support true geographical independence (including offshore operations) (0)

3 ADVANTAGES OF CLOUD SERVICES Here are some of the reasons why a growing number of the world s leading companies are turning to the Cloud for their contact centre technology. No capital investment Cloud solutions take away the need for organisations to make large capital investments to acquire leadingedge technology solutions. Unlike traditional CPE solutions, Cloud technology platforms such as the Ultra Call Management System (UCMS) are housed in the public network with services charged for on a payas-you use operational expenditure model for flexible financial control. Less infrastructure, less equipment, less integration To use most Cloud contact centre services, all advisors need is an internet connection and a phone line. This, combined with the fact that the equipment required to operate Cloud services is located in the network, means that organisations require very little on-site equipment and therefore can enjoy massive savings on valuable office space. Open, standards-based Cloud platforms can also be easily integrated with existing in-house solutions, reducing the need for expensive and time-consuming customisation work and ensuring truly optimised unified communications. Greater technology resilience Virtual contact centre working Cloud services can be deployed on a locationindependent basis, meaning that it s as easy to serve employees in a fixed location contact centre as it is to serve multiple sites or home workers. Regardless of the location of advisors, supervisors and managers are still able to view and manage all customer contact activities from a central location. Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery In the unlikely event of a system outage or site closure, the distributed nature of Cloud contact centre technology means that service providers should be able to instantly re-route calls to alternate client offices, contact centres or remote workers, ensuring business continuity without any disruption. Enhanced scalability and flexibility Cloud solutions sometimes deliver complete flexibility and scalability, both up and down, in line with monthly service demand unlike the commitment associated with CPE solutions. Highly resilient and scalable technology platforms such as the UCMS connect to multiple Telcos and Internet Service Providers with servers replicated in multiple telecom buildings for secure, risk-free operation (0)

4 ADVANTAGES OF CLOUD SERVICES Feature-rich and future-proof services Experienced Cloud service providers continuously develop and update their software to ensure the latest applications and technologies are available as part of their ongoing service invariably at no extra cost. They also take care of operating system upgrades and server enhancements, ensuring clients can spend more time on their core business and less on day-to-day maintenance. Expert external support With Cloud contact centre solutions, there is no need to employ in-house software support specialists to maintain equipment and fix problems. Fixing operational and technical issues is, again, part of your Cloud partner s on-going commitment, with response times covered by contractual Service Level Agreements. Proactive Performance Monitoring Better Customer Experiences, Improved Productivity Through the use of advanced features and flexible service delivery, Cloud solutions can improve service quality, enhance first call resolution, improve advisor productivity and boost customer satisfaction. Rapid time-to-market Because clients don t have to deal with complex integration, deployment and configuration issues with Cloud services, campaigns can be launched quickly and effectively. New business strategies can also be trialled at lower cost. Shared services The distributed nature of Cloud technology makes it easier to deploy shared services, especially across larger contact centre sites. This gives access to more functions for less cost and improved productivity. As well as providing service reactively, some Cloud providers deliver a more proactive performance monitoring service within their offering. Ultra s real-time Performance Monitoring service provides operational and technical experts who work proactively to monitor performance, traffic fluctuations, advisor availability and client network problems liaising with client representatives to suggest improvements on an ongoing basis (0)

5 SELECTING A CLOUD CONTACT CENTRE PARTNER: 10 ESSENTIAL QUESTIONS 1. How well do you understand 6. our business? What level of support and performance monitoring is included? Has the Cloud services provider spent sufficient time with senior management to understand your business drivers, processes, challenges and KPIs and with supervisors and specialists to find out the best ways to manage campaigns and improve productivity? Have they enquired about your future contact centre needs? Does the provider give 24/7/365 monitoring and support? What training is included within their set-up? What tools are given to help maintain control, minimise business risk, and maximise service quality? What performance monitoring and campaign support is provided? 2. Can you fully meet our technical and 7. Will our data be securely held? compliance requirements? 3. Does the company provide best-in-class capabilities that will meet your performance and availability requirements? Are their services fully compliant for regulatory bodies such as OFCOM, DMA, PCI DSS, FSA and CSA? What level of support and performance monitoring is included? 8. Will you be able to securely access data outside the provided contact centre environment (e.g. sales or marketing queries and reports)? How is your data separated from other clients data? How does the provider return data to you at the end of the agreement? How do you integrate locally held data and applications with the Cloud service? What is included in Service Level Agreements? What costs lie outside the official quote - such as maintenance, customisation and integration costs, future upgrades, infrastructure costs and extra license costs? Will you need extra personnel to manage specific aspects of the system (such as a Dialler manager) or is that taken care of within the contract? Do you need to change your infrastructure/apps? Can you retain existing CRM, billing and other advisor screens? Do you have to upgrade your PBX? How complex is the service to implement? How long and complicated is a typical implementation? What are the minimum requirements for individual users (Internet connection, DDI numbers etc.)? What internal resources are required to get the service up and running - such as IT and Telephony team time? Is there additional hardware or software to install on-site? What bandwidth and reliability issues need to be addressed with your ISP? Do you need additional phone lines? How is Cloud performance measured? For example, does the Cloud services provider take into account voice quality, vendor capacity, provisioning response times etc. What disaster recovery contingencies are in place? How fault-tolerant is the provider s network infrastructure? What happens in the event of a network outage or equipment failure? Is their technology platform distributed across multiple telecom sites and connected to multiple ISPs to ensure 24/7/365 operation if disaster does strike? What happens if my site fails? Can you convince us you re a credible supplier? What is the company s history and experience working with contact centre operations? Are they selling their own services, or ones provided by a third party? Can they provide client references? How many seats are currently in use and where? What other solutions (CRM, speech analytics etc.) are used by their clients? (0)

6 WHO COULD MAKE USE OF CLOUD SERVICES? All types and sizes of customer contact operation from five person telesales teams to advanced multinational and multichannel centres with thousands of advisors can benefit from Cloud services. As well as catering for general contact centre needs, Cloud contact centre services will deliver huge advantages when centres are looking for: Advanced contact centre functionality such as speech recognition and predictive dialling but, to date, haven t been able to afford the capital cost of expensive systems (typically small and medium-sized businesses) Rapidly deployable, easy-to-use services such as enhanced call routing but without the cost and hassle of purchase and complex system integration A new contact centre (outbound, inbound or both) or to move at low risk or to increase size for a temporary/seasonal campaign Flexible contact centre business continuity and disaster recovery plans Rapid expansion to cater for seasonal traffic peaks, new campaigns etc. Advanced functionality such as network call routing, CTI, predictive outbound, call blending, call backs etc. A low risk technology trial especially in areas where they feel there maybe uncertain gains, such as call blending, call backs etc. Multi-site capabilities (or to leverage existing multi-site capabilities) The bottom line is that a Cloud contact centre solution can offer the same set of technology benefits that a CPE solution offers plus a whole lot more to businesses of all shapes and sizes. For further information, or to arrange a Cloud contact centre service trial, please contact us today: Tel: +44 (0) Website: Ultra Communications Ltd, The Granary, Cams Hall Estate, Fareham, Hampshire PO16 8UT Registered in England, No: (0)

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