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What are some high-level considerations we should keep in mind as we evaluate cloud-based contact center infrastructure vendors in our RFP process?

Question:

We are planning to include cloud-based contact center infrastructure vendors in our RFP process for
the first time. What are some high-level considerations we should keep in mind as we evaluate these
solutions?

Answer:

For most companies, putting contact center systems and applications in the cloud, whether public or private, is the way to go. The benefits of cloud-based solutions are clear – small up-front investments, ease of provisioning, ability to scale up and down and paying only for what you use, easy access to contact center experts to help with the implementation and ongoing operations, continuous access to all updates at no or low cost, and increasingly “one throat to choke.”   

Here’s the thing – while the solution runs in the cloud and the end-user organization should not have to deal with hardware or software upgrades, companies of all sizes must pay attention to the contact center solution’s underlying platform, environment, design, security, and functional and integration capabilities to ensure the vendor can deliver on the generic and specific benefits and promises they’ve made. The following are some steps that can help achieve successful results with a cloud-based contact center infrastructure initiative:

  • Carefully review their operating environment – is the solution running in a geographically and fully redundant mode, and will the vendor commit in writing to keep you operating 99.999% of the time, without exception?
  • Assess the solution’s security features and regulatory compliance capabilities to ensure the vendor’s protocols align with your organization’s standards and requirements.
  • Ensure the solution comes out-of-the-box with the ability to support all of your voice and digital channels, supports channel-hopping, and has a desktop application for this purpose.
  • Make sure the vendor is investing in AI-based intelligent virtual agent (IVA) and robotic process automation (RPA) capabilities for self-service and agent-assisted service.
  • The contact center infrastructure solution must be an open platform that makes it easy for you or the vendor to integrate with third-party applications, as this will be required at some point in your relationship.
  • It’s essential for the vendor to be a good partner by meeting their commitments and delivering on their promises on an ongoing and consistent basis. Conduct your own satisfaction analysis by contacting at least 5 customers of your preferred vendor before making an investment.