This can be described with the help of an example that has become somewhat cliché, but is nonetheless a fairly good one - especially when it comes to explaining to a newbie the concept of Cloud computing.
In Cloud computing, software, information, shared resources, etc., are provided to end users in a manner similar to that utilized by utility companies to provide a utility (e.g., electricity) to their consumers. A network (usually the internet) is used for this purpose in a fashion resembling an electricity grid.
Applications are made available for access by the Cloud computing providers through internet. It should be noted that the software and data is stored at, and is retrievable from, a remote location. Therefore, these applications can be accessed through desktop PCs, mobile devices, etc.
Now - the million dollar question: Why are companies (of all sizes), businesses and other organizations switching from traditional computing to Cloud computing?
And why should others follow their lead? Let’s discuss. . .
What are the advantages of switching from traditional computing to Cloud computing?
The primary advantage of Cloud computing is that it enables companies, businesses and other organizations to reduce spending and save money by minimizing inherent IT and support costs.
This might not be the biggest advantage offered by Cloud computing, but it is undoubtedly the most sought after advantage, especially in the case of relatively smaller enterprises.
Other advantages of Cloud computing include its ability to meet business demand for speed, better security, scalability, ease of access, and better disaster recovery.
What is the difference between SaaS, PaaS and IaaS?
What exactly is SaaS and in what manner does it differ from PaaS and IaaS? One is bound to encounter these terms while reading about Cloud computing, and the seemingly slight difference between the three can make it tough to tell one from the other.
As we briefly discussed earlier, a Cloud computing system generally offers three kinds of capabilities to its users: namely, computing, storage and management:
Computing: A Cloud computing system has a lot of computing power at its disposal, thanks to the costly high-end hardware (processors, etc.) procured and installed by the Cloud computing provider.
Storage: A Cloud computing system also allows users to store their data onto its hardware.
Management: A Cloud computing system provides various Application Programming Interfaces and other management capabilities to enable users to specify, organize and queue various tasks for processing.
Now let’s see what IaaS, PaaS and SaaS really are.
IaaS, or Infrastructure as a Service: In IaaS, the Cloud computing provider only supplies the necessary infrastructure or hardware (servers, storage disks, etc.) and the users are responsible for installing the necessary platform.
PaaS, or Platform as a Service: In PaaS, the Cloud computing provider supplies the necessary infrastructure, as well as the necessary platform(s) to the users.
SaaS, or Software as a Service: In SaaS, the Cloud computing provider not only supplies the necessary hardware and platform, but also provides various sorts of software.
Call Center SaaS or Cloud-based Call Center Systems
Nowadays, numerous companies, businesses and other organizations are switching from on-premises call center systems—commonly referred to as “brick and mortar call centers”— and other traditional systems to cloud-based call center systems.
The primary motive behind such migrations is a financial one. Cloud-based call center solutions are not only relatively cheaper but also much more cost-effective and cost-efficient. Nevertheless, call center SaaS has numerous other advantages too.
Advantages of Cloud-based Call Center Systems
Call centers are multifaceted, with multiple technology layers, multiple communication channels, multiple business processes and functions, different agent skill sets… we are again, complicated. And sometimes, what we think of as a simple change in one call center process or system has a “ripple” effect across all of these existing layers. So we are sometimes cumbersome. We therefore are often unable to either adapt or expand quickly enough to support our always-evolving customer experience journeys – especially with the innovations in the mobile market.
Many cloud-based call center systems provide all-in-one call center solutions that include essential software such as IVR, IP-PBX, ACD, call recording and monitoring, workforce management, performance management, outbound messaging and delivery of reporting to management in a highly integrated fashion.
Scalability and flexibility are two inherent advantages of cloud-based call center systems. These include the ability to add or remove agent seats and the ability to enable or disable certain applications or certain features of an application within seconds. Many companies are moving to cloud applications to help them respond to the rapid advances in today’s market environment while simultaneously removing many of the high costs and hassles of maintaining complex internal systems.
Cloud-based call center solutions are often not only comprehensive, but they also are state-of-the-art and can support new and leading-edge processes and best practices. Many come with pre-built API interfaces to common CRM and other software solutions. Naturally, the benefit of minimal hardware and software costs is a plus for companies, as well. Along with no up-front capital investment, it is clear why many executives are looking to cloud solutions.
As Richard Bach said, “A cloud does not know why it moves in just such a direction and at such a speed... It feels an impulsion... this is the place to go now. But the sky knows the reasons and the patterns behind all clouds, and you will know, too, when you lift yourself high enough to see beyond horizons.” So don’t be afraid to reach for the skies in your operations and land on a cloud.