The Rise of Contact Center as a Service (CCaaS)

Since its inception almost 20 years ago, Contact Center as a Service (CCaaS) was primarily tailored for Small-to-Medium Businesses (SMBs), offering scaled-down features in exchange for convenience and low cost-of-entry. For years, analyst firm Frost & Sullivan defined the cloud or hosted contact center as a “network-based service in which a service provider owns and operates a contact center technology platform” (The Hosted Model: Why It’s Revolutionizing the Contact Center Industry).

Over time, new advantages to hosted services became clear: disaster recovery, integration of at-home or remote agents, future-proofing through automatic upgrades, and more. Today, a new breed of enterprise-class CCaaS offerings have redefined the value proposition and changed the game.

What is CCaaS?

CCaaS offers a cloud-based customer contact solution that allows companies to utilize contact center software from a provider, without installing hardware on-premise. The software is accessed on-demand, as a “service,” and the provider hosts and maintains the equipment in its own location (often called the data center).

CCaaS is appealing for call centers for a number of reasons. The call center software as a service model enables businesses to purchase only the technology they need, reducing internal IT support requirements. It also offers more flexibility and scalability as operational needs change. With Contact Center as a Service, the initial investment is low, and users typically pay a monthly licensing and usage fee, as well as telecom costs.

What are the benefits of CCaaS?

Once primarily the realm of deployments of 75 agents or fewer, cloud-based solutions are increasingly gaining adoption in environments with up to several thousand agents. According to an Aberdeen trend analysis, the adoption of cloud technologies rose each year between 2013 and 2018. One reason why is that a cloud contact center offers scalability so that capacity can be easily increased as demands change. Five advantages of moving to the cloud include financial flexibility, reduced reliance on IT, enhanced security, redundancy, and better agent access to applications. CCaaS environments also make it easier to deploy remote and work from home agents.

What does it take to be an Enterprise-level Contact Center as a Service Solution?

The CCaaS solution and cloud contact centers were once only suitable for small-to-medium businesses, delivering convenience and a low cost of entry alongside scaled-down features. Advances in cloud technology brought the cloud contact center closer in feasibility for the enterprise market. But limited functionality, long-term viability, difficulty of migration to a premise-based solution, and total cost of ownership persist as limitations for some cloud solutions.

A true enterprise-level cloud contact center solution offers the complete collection of feature functionality of a premise-based system, data loss prevention, and security features to ensure business continuity, scalability to keep up with business requirements, and a quick/easy hosted-to-premise migration process.

Ultimately, your unique business needs will determine what is included in your cloud contact center software. However, there are some technologies and capabilities that are must-haves for all enterprise-level cloud contact center deployments – here are the ten most essential:

    1.  Enhanced Voice Response & Routing
    2.  Roles and Web-based Dashboards
    3.  Omnichannel Capabilities
    4.  Advanced Analytics
    5.  Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML)
    6.  Workforce Engagement (WEM)
    7.  Historical and Real-time Reporting
    8.  Comprehensive Inbound and Proactive Outbound Management
    9.  IVR and Self-service Options
    10.  Robust APIs for integration