What are Cloud Platform Solutions?
A cloud solution typically resides in a managed Amazon, Google or Azure data cluster which offers superior redundancy and resiliency as well as great flexibility. Answering Services no longer house racks of hardware servers to run their sites.
Why is it important?
Cloud deployments offer many additional security and redundancy levels compared to premise solutions. It allows sites to set up remote workers much more quickly and easily, with minimal effort needed from in-house or managed IT resources.
More about Cloud Platform Solutions
Premise-based solutions are housed at the answering service site, typically requiring racks of hardware servers, enhanced electricity, backup power and climate-controlled rooms. Servers need to be upgraded every 3-5 years. Premise solutions are vulnerable to power spikes and their sites can suffer from local power outages, internet outages and environmental (weather) events. Deploying remote agents requires additional Remote Desktop servers (RDS) and licenses, and VPN software.
Hosted solutions migrate these hardware servers to “Virtual” Servers in a local data center and offer a significant increase in resiliency, as these data centers are designed to withstand internet and power outages. They can be managed remotely by your own IT team or a third-party IT company. They still require sites to deploy remote agents via RDS servers and VPN software.
Cloud solutions are fully managed by the vendor within a cloud service provider (Amazon, Google, Azure, etc.) and your applications are placed on multiple virtual servers in a vast server array. You can choose to have your servers exist in one “region” or in multiple regions, to guard against a local (regional) outage. Most Contact Center providers will offer a multi-region architecture to ensure you have the very best uptime. Typically, no remote desktop or VPN software is required to deploy remote agents, making you much less dependent on in-house or third-party IT resources. A cloud solution is the most resilient architecture to withstand local and/or regional internet and power outages and weather events such as flooding, hurricanes, and snowstorms. Agents can move to “high ground” and answer anywhere safe, even from hotels with a good internet connection.
Cloud - Financial Considerations
Cloud solutions for TAS typically bill monthly, with priced at around $200/concurrent seat (Non-TAS seats without the extensive TAS requirements are much less expensive) and charge a modest install and training up fee, as opposed to a large capital expense for premise-based installs or upgrades that include server hardware, software (Microsoft server 20xx, MS SQL, etc.) and installation costs. It is important also to factor in the power, power backup, real estate and A/C costs associated with maintaining premise equipment. Some businesses have significantly reduced their office footprint and migrated to smaller, less expensive office spaces when they switched to cloud solutions.