Blog 07 August 2020

How many silver-linings does the cloud need to have?

by Martin Rose

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Cloud application platform

Much has been promised on the benefits of moving your contact centre to the cloud… Reduced costs of managing and maintaining IT, scalability, business continuity, flexibility of work practices and access to automatic updates.

So, is this all 100% true for all types of organisation? If the answer was yes, surely everyone would be moving to the cloud, immediately.

So, does it depend on what legacy hardware you already have, what agreements you have in place and the way your organisation and contact centre is structured and operates? We asked Martin Rose, one of our Solution Architects, to explain the real benefits and potential drawbacks of moving to a cloud application platform, with a particular focus on our contact centre solution, Liberty Converse.

The drive towards future-proofing and reducing costs

There can be many benefits to moving your contact centre to the cloud. Top of the list, after the events of 2020, is flexible business continuity to protect your data and systems. It is likely to be high on the agenda to ensure that your organisation is ready to face the next natural disaster / power failure / crisis. Having your data stored in the cloud ensures it is backed up and protected in a secure and safe location. Ensuring that your team is able to access your data again quickly allows you to conduct business as usual. And team downtime and loss of productivity is minimised.

Reducing costs is always high on any agenda. Cloud systems are a service, so it’s pay monthly. This eliminates the need for expensive systems and equipment capital purchase. Plus, system upgrades and software are often included in the cloud contract. It may also reduce energy consumption, space and time delays, which bring their own cost savings.

Scale and flex

Usually, next on the wish list, is the ability for the business to scale their operation and storage up or scale down. You want to be able to react quickly to meet the needs of each particular situation. The cloud is meant for this. It isn’t constrained by physical equipment so it offers scalability, fast.

Managing and administering software upgrades and patches can consume your IT Team’s time. With a cloud-based system, these are part of the management and done on your behalf by the provider. So, your team is released from admin and maintenance and can move on to their project ‘to-do’ list.

Everyone is looking for flexibility. Working in the cloud can open up possibilities to offer employees to be more flexible in their work practices. The ability to securely access data from home, on the commute to work – anywhere that they have an internet connection means that your staff can operate from a virtual office, quickly and easily. And, flexibility breeds collaboration – when your teams can access, edit and share documents anytime, from anywhere, they will be able to do more together (and do it better).

Tick the governance check box

Managing and mitigating IT security and governance risks are high on every IT team’s agenda. So, of course, you can’t go for any of these advantages without ensuring that everything remains secure and resilient. I asked our IT security team about the risks that they manage on behalf of our customers within our cloud solutions. 

The physical security of our data centres, operational resilience, information security, patch and update management, vulnerability assessment and management, cyber security and threat management, business continuity and the risks associated with data privacy, are all on our team’s agenda. Typically, as your IT teams manage your on-prem equipment, they’d have similar items on their agenda too.

While all of these are important, we thought considering the benefit of resilience is helpful. Cloud offers great resilience, meaning that it can rebuild or “bounce back” depending on the events which affect it. Cloud resilience applies to both the infrastructure and your data. The infrastructure, which is comprised of virtual servers, is designed to accommodate significant fluctuations in processing power and data volume, while enabling ubiquitous use of various devices, such as tablets, smartphones, PCs, etc. Your data is secure and is always available, so, your team is up and working in every situation.

Perhaps our cloud solution check list, below, can assist you with discussions with your IT Team.

So, is there anyone that a cloud application platform wouldn’t work for?

From this perspective, everything is great in the world of the cloud, right? Not necessarily. You must evaluate the risks.

The objections on moving to the cloud are usually around security and location of data Others worry about the security and location of data. It is important to be clear on how and where your data will be held. You must investigate with the provider whether the data will be stored in the UK, any security risks and which privacy and security laws apply and then ensure that these elements are covered within your written agreement.

We’ve talked a lot about hosting in the cloud. So, does the our cloud solution deliver?

In short, yes. Our cloud-hosted solution provides an efficient delivery of contact centre services over the cloud. Converse in the cloud offers:

  • A more flexible cost profile and the opportunity to avoid future capital expenditure
  • Flexibility to add agents and change functionality
  • Automatic updates to ensure your software is always up-to-date
  • Support for the need for geographical access or homeworking
  • A robust secure architecture
  • Both multi-server and multi-site resilience, ensuring continuation of service even with the loss of a single data centre
  • Two data centres which are UK based (featuring multiple carrier connections to ensure data and voice transfer)
  • Independent backup components, including air conditioning, connectivity, very early smoke detection alarms and perimeter security
  • Sufficient power resources, uninterruptible power supplies and back-up generators to ensure the continuous operation of all servers and other critical equipment
  • ISO27001:2013 accreditation, covering the full scope of our business and our data centres
  • All system data is encrypted in transit

Have it one of three ways.

If you have already invested in an on-premise environment, you may simply wish to retain on premise equipment. Converse can be deployed either way – its flexibility allows customers to make the choice. You can even choose to set up in a Hybrid mode, where you retain on-premise telephony but move the contact centre to the cloud.

Liberty Converse can integrate with both on-premise telephony or cloud telephony. Let’s talk about how we can support your future journey to a cloud application platform, whenever your organisation is ready.

Learn more – Liberty Converse

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