2016 was the Year of the Cloud for Contact Center and Service Organizations
As 2016 ebbs away, it’s clear that this was the year of the cloud for contact centers and service organizations. This was a transformational year, as many companies were finally able to start making investments in their people and infrastructure, in large part due to the availability of cloud-based options and solutions.
It’s an exciting time for many service, sales and collections executives who now have access to systems, applications, resources and best practices that were previously beyond their reach. While the cloud has changed the technology landscape for small and mid-size organizations by giving them access to leading solutions, this story is not just about them. The cloud is driving a contact center technology refresh at companies of all sizes, which, in turn, is driving a burst of innovation by the vendors that provide these solutions. In other words, the cloud has awakened the contact center industry.
The Outlook for 2017
2017 will be a buyers’ market for companies purchasing cloud-based contact center solutions. Here is why:
For vendors, it’s no longer business as usual. Providers that want to succeed are being forced to make substantial investments in their underlying architecture and platforms to position their systems to work effectively in the cloud (and with other cloud-based solutions). While it is expensive for many of the vendors to rewrite their solution(s), the benefits should be great for them as well as their customers. Outdated designs, code, databases, user interfaces (UIs), user experiences (UXs), etc. are being replaced with leading technology and capabilities that position vendors to innovate and integrate at a rapid pace not possible in the past. This is driving new sales opportunities and bringing vendors into deals that they couldn’t consider in the past. Providers that previously targeted the high end of the market can now sell “downstream,” and providers that pursued small and mid-size companies are going “upstream.” The cost of development, enhancements and integrations is dropping, as it takes less time to introduce innovations on platforms and architecture that have been designed for this new era of cloud technologies.
Companies of all sizes can finally afford the systems and applications they need to transform and update their service organizations. There are more vendors, applications and pricing options, so solutions are available to fit any budget. Enhanced UIs and UXs are dramatically reducing training time, and the vendors are making it a lot easier to integrate solutions. In many cases, vendors are providing expertise and sharing best practices to help customers learn to use their applications (and to reduce the number of calls to their help desks), as they know that they have to earn their business on a daily basis. Thanks to increased flexibility in delivering systems enhancements, vendors are inviting new ideas from users and are making it easy for companies to request the changes they need to do business more effectively.
Companies do not need to move to the cloud to realize the benefits from the new generation of systems and applications. Even as the adoption rate of cloud-based contact center solutions grows, the market is not going to see replacement of all on-premise systems in the foreseeable future. The entrance of so many new vendors (all of whom are cloud-based) has forced the on-premise vendors to either catch up or cash out. Market dynamics are changing, and 2017 is expected to be an interesting and innovative year.
From all of us at DMG, best wishes for a wonderful holiday season and a happy, healthy and productive 2017!
DMG Consulting LLC is a leading independent research, advisory and consulting firm specializing in unified communications, contact centers, back-office and real-time analytics. Learn more at www.dmgconsult.com.