Cloud-Based Contact Center Infrastructure Solutions Deliver on Their Promises
Cloud-based contact center infrastructure (CBCCI) vendors have hit their stride by giving enterprises what they want – the agility to meet the dynamic omni-channel needs of their customers on an inbound and outbound basis. The vendors are investing in and competing to come up with the most successful approach, be it an out-of-the-box solution, a programmable platform, or a combination of the best of both approaches. Enterprises and other users of these solutions are the winners in the CBCCI vendor differentiation battle, as these vendors are making multi-million-dollar research and development (R&D) investments to enable their clients to deliver an outstanding and differentiated customer experience, cost effectively.
What Is Required in a CBCCI Solution?
A CBCCI solution can come with various types of applications and modules and must include at least the two core components: an omni-channel routing engine and a dialer. This means that all other functionality is optional, and many of the features are differentiators for CBCCI vendors and the market. For example, if a CBCCI solution comes with native workforce optimization (WFO) or workforce engagement management (WEM) capabilities, this is a plus, as it’s something that many enterprise clients expect. If the CBCCI solution has its own unified communication-as-a-service (UCaaS) and video capabilities, it is even more compelling, as it is likely to address enterprises’ expanding needs for a communications platform. But this is just the beginning, as DMG Consulting expects CBCCI functionality to become a standard productivity tool, like Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint already are, in many companies in the next 10 years. When this happens, CBCCI functionality will be consumed by the majority of knowledge workers in organizations, greatly expanding the total addressable market for contact center functionality.
Under the Hood
There are substantial and growing differences in the technology and architecture of CBCCI solutions that were built (or rebuilt) from the ground up in the last 3 – 4 years, compared to the majority of offerings that came to market 5 – 15 years ago. The solutions introduced to the market in the last few years leverage the newest technology and design principles. They are likely to include: microservices, Solr (and other highly scalable databases built for the cloud), containers, orchestration, mobility, etc. The new contact center solutions can run in private and public cloud facilities and move easily from one to another. They can also be deployed on-premise or in a hybrid mode, which is important, as it allows vendors to invest their R&D dollars in one platform. Although many of the mature CBCCI solutions have been retrofitted to operate in public clouds, the older architectures are generally slower and clunkier than current-generation cloud-based solutions. In some cases, the differences are transparent to system users, but when adding new functionality or changing the user interface of a CBCCI solution built on an older technology stack, they are impactful, as development and processing can take longer.
CBCCI Market has a Very Bright Future
The dynamics of the contact center infrastructure market have been altered by the CBCCI vendors. DMG predicts that within 9 years, there will be intelligent, modularized cloud platforms that provide contact center infrastructure (automatic call distributor (ACD), dialers, etc.), analytics, WFO/WEM and customer relationship management (CRM) functionality, a prediction that is well on its way to becoming a reality. Furthermore, we expect the CBCCI market to continue to pick up momentum during the next five years, and likely for at least the following 10, as there are many premise-based seats to replace and even more new opportunities opening up. (New and fast-growing organizations will tend to adopt digital-first, cloud-based customer service models for their efficiency and flexibility.) It’s not a question of whether or not the CBCCI market grows rapidly, only what the growth rate will be, as this is a highly opportunistic segment with a massive addressable market. For a detailed analysis of the CBCCI market and leading and contending vendors, see DMG’s recently released Cloud-Based Contact Center Infrastructure Product and Market Report.