Until recently, contact centers have had to choose between two types of deployment models, on-premise or cloud-based. But that’s quickly changing.
According to Sheila McGee-Smith, President of McGee-Smith Analytics, the decision is no longer an either/or proposition, but rather a question of whether to embrace hybridization or not. She said, “there’s growing acknowledgment that we can mix and match the best elements of public and private clouds.”
Most on-premise contact center operators cite security concerns as the main reason for not choosing the cloud-based model, since they want to keep sensitive data and infrastructure private. But the hybrid model addresses this issue.
A hybrid deployment model serves as a bridge between the existing infrastructure and the cloud. Contact centers can then take advantage of cloud-based applications while retaining some telephony infrastructure of choice within the premises.
McGee explains, “Today I think the growing notion of hybrid means I can have a mixed environment within an application. I can have a contact center application where 80% of that is premises-based, but there are elements that I choose to deploy in the cloud.”
There are two types of hybrid models to watch out for: one is the local call control model, and the other is a mix of private and public cloud services from various suppliers.
The first hybrid type, the local call control model, is one where a company utilizes a public cloud for certain applications used for the delivery of the contact center applications services, reporting, analytics, and storage, while all the call processing takes place on-site.
Brian Spraetz, Solutions Marketing Manager at Interactive, said that “you could set this model up so that if there are recordings they never leave the site. You can set it up so the actual voice traffic itself never goes into the cloud.” This is why it’s preferred by most companies because of the extra layer of control over the customer interaction. It’s also cheaper. “If you’re not sending voice traffic back and forth between [your premises and] the cloud, then you don’t need quite as big a pipe.”
The second hybrid model is a mix of private and public cloud services from various suppliers. Said Spraetz, “this is fairly new, but there are companies that are coming out with public services that can be integrated with existing on-premises and other cloud solutions… so, from a hybrid point of view, now there’s a mixing of all these different models into a single cloud ecosystem, if you will.”
With hybridization comes the concern of too much complexity, which Spraetz acknowledges, saying that “it is something that we’re seeing start to evolve today — particularly the ability to mix premises equipment and cloud equipment, even if not from the same provider, into a more cohesive solution.” He adds that there’s a silver lining to this scenario, saying that, “the pro I think of most on hybrid is the ability to continue to use premises-based solutions that may not be at end of life – to be able to sweat those out but at the same time get some value from new innovation.”
Moving forward, the hybridization of call center outsourcing deployment models is something to watch out for. Soon, it will no longer be a question of choosing one over the other, but rather, to pick the best parts to create one unique, hybrid whole that answers a company’s specific needs.