Hosted vs. CCaaS: Baby Step or Waste of Time?

By Sheila McGee-Smith | March 12, 2019

Earlier this year, I had the pleasure of speaking to several Serenova customers about the different paths each had taken to a contact center-as-a-service (CCaaS) solution. The story of one company, a global food manufacturer we will refer to here as GFood, I found particularly informative.

For about ten years, GFood had operated a premises-based unified communications system from one leading vendor and a contact center platform, also premises-based, from a similarly leading provider. As the need to update customer care technology surfaced in 2016, GFood made the decision that a cloud solution was the correct path to take. The existing contact center vendor offered, and GFood installed, a single-tenant “cloud” solution.

GFood discovered, as have many companies before and since, that there are many definitions of cloud. For premises solution providers, the initial forays into cloud meant dedicated hardware and software deployed in the customer’s data center, or the vendor’s data center or a center of one of their partners. While these solutions were labeled “cloud,” the approach is better categorized as a hosted or managed services deployment.

Complicating matters for GFood was the fact that this hosted contact center was deployed in conjunction with premises-based telephony infrastructure, in a hybrid model. GFood discovered that this complex deployment was not bringing the advantages it believed they would gain by operating in the cloud. The cloud solution they deployed did not bring with it the ease of administration and geographic flexibility they required.

GFood also found that any time there were service issues, the contact center vendor would point a finger at the telephony vendor, saying the integration was the problem. In addition, GFood found it was not only costly but took a significant amount of time to make changes necessary for the everyday operation of their centers.

After three years, GFood decided to re-examine their contact center choice. The decision was made to move to Serenova. When asked about the difference in the contact center operation since the implementation of the Serenova software-as-a-service (SaaS) contact center solution, GFood’s IS Manager says, “Life is good,” especially compared to the vendor finger-pointing of the past.

The lesson learned from GFood’s path to the cloud is not all cloud contact center solutions are created equal. Because cloud has become the technology of choice, some companies are putting what might be thought of as “lipstick on the pig,” dressing-up traditional premises solutions as cloud. With the Serenova deployment, GFood is finally benefiting from the location-independence and self-administration that true CCaaS delivers.

The subject of hosted versus SaaS is one of the topics that will be discussed in an upcoming session at Enterprise Connect Orlando next week, Cloud Contact Center Faceoff.  Serenova CMO Michelle Burrows will join leaders from other leading contact center vendors to discuss this as well as several additional CCaaS-related topics in what promises to be a lively session.

If you want to learn more about GFood, as well as the stories of additional Serenova customers’ path to the true CCaaS, watch the on-demand webinar Migrating to a Cloud Contact Center: Tales from the Far Side.

 

 

 


Sheila McGee-Smith, founder of McGee-Smith Analytics, is a leading communications industry analyst and strategic consultant focused on the contact center and enterprise communications markets. She works with companies ranging in size from the Fortune 100 to start-ups, examining the competitive environment for communications products and services.