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We are seriously thinking about buying a cloud-based ACD. If we do, how can we mitigate risks and ensure that we maintain our operating standards?

We are seriously thinking about buying a cloud-based ACD. If we do, how can we mitigate risks and ensure that we maintain our operating standards?

10/15/2012

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Question
We are seriously thinking about buying a cloud-based ACD. If we do, how can we mitigate risks and ensure that we maintain our operating standards?

Answer

Once you select a vendor, it’s necessary to establish a vendor management program to position your organization to hold the vendor to pre-established and agreed-upon goals. A solid, well-defined vendor management program allows you to develop a positive and strong working relationship with your cloud-based contact center infrastructure provider. It lays out the services that the vendor has agreed to deliver for the price you have agreed to pay, and also documents the length of the agreement and any other relevant terms. A well-defined vendor management program also helps to ensure that the service provider is aware of the quality and dependability of service that they need to deliver. It should also set forth any penalties that the vendor would be required to pay if they fail to meet their service level agreements (SLAs) and any other documented requirements.

Vendor management for cloud-based contact center infrastructure contracts should address the following issues: technology, performance, prices, responsibilities, communication, and service levels. The vendor management program should include mechanisms for monitoring and measuring adherence to goals, and a process for communicating this information on a timely basis. It should also document a process for both parties (the end user and vendor) to follow when there is a performance issue.

Here are a few vendor management best practices that can help build a solid working relationship with your cloud-based service provider:

  1. When making your vendor selection, price should not be the primary decision criteria. Select a solution provider who can meet all of your required technical and functional requirements and has a good reputation for support.
  2. Once the vendor is selected, share your contact center strategy with them and ask them to come up with suggestions on how to best use their solution to help achieve strategic goals.
  3. Don’t take short-cuts when negotiating the contract, this is particularly important if it’s the first time you are working with a cloud-based vendor.
  4. Include detailed performance goals in the contract, and specify exactly what is required from the vendor and the business.
  5. Include reporting and communications requirements in the contract so that everyone knows what is expected and when.
  6. In the contract, include an exception handling process that is designed to de-escalate issues when they arise.

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