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Guide to multicloud contact centers: Key considerations & 3 steps for success

Explore this article to learn more about multicloud & access a collection of infrastructure and governance options (and their benefits) so you can build the strongest contact center environment for your business’s needs.

Guide to multicloud contact centers: Key considerations & 3 steps for success

Content Summary

Unlock the power of choice with multicloud
Step 1: Determine which infrastructure model you want
Step 2: Decide how to operate your environment
Step 3: Build your own contact centre ecosystem
Find the path to the cloud that’s right for you
What to consider when choosing a multicloud vendor

Unlock the power of choice with multicloud

Charting your path to a cloud contact centre

Choice. It’s a powerful word. But when it comes to your enterprise contact centre, it’s easy to feel locked in.

Your technology ecosystem is highly customised and serves business units worldwide. Perhaps you’ve taken a best-of-breed approach over the years: selecting one vendor for ACD, another for IVR and a third for call recording. Now you’re struggling with a patchwork of old and new technologies as you strive to enhance customer experience (CX), reduce operating costs and enable digital engagement.

You’re not alone in this. Contact centres around the globe are hurtling toward digital transformation at breakneck speeds. IDC predicts that, by 2021, 65% of organisations will have shifted to a digital-first approach through automated operations and contactless experiences.

The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated this transformation. Social distancing mandates have contributed to unprecedented volumes of interactions across non-voice channels like web chat and messaging.

Workforces are shifting, too. There has been a dramatic shift from office-based work to working from home 24/7 — and this has stressed IT teams as they strive to support remote employees without compromising quality, security or performance.

Despite these challenges, there’s hope on the horizon. Many of the world’s largest enterprises are moving to the cloud to transform their customer experience and enable digital business. Gartner predicts that over 75% of mid-size and large organisations will have adopted a multicloud or hybrid IT strategy by 2021.

The cloud has many benefits — and there are numerous ways to get there. As you map your path to the cloud, it might feel like every option requires a “rip-and-replace.” That’s not ideal — or even possible — considering your organisation’s size, geographic reach and overall complexity. You sense your future lies in the cloud, so it’s important that you get there the right way.

Start by acknowledging you’re already a multicloud company.

Think of multicloud as an ecosystem of vendor and partner technologies that gives you tremendous flexibility. Whether you realise it or not, you’re already using many of these providers in different parts of your technology stack.

Think about your CRM solution. It might be Microsoft Dynamics, Salesforce or HubSpot.

And your storage solution could use Amazon S3, Google Cloud Storage or Azure Blob Storage.

Then there’s your video solution of Zoom, Microsoft Teams or Google Meet.

You get the idea. So how is your contact centre any different? Here’s the thing: It’s not.

By leveraging an open platform, multicloud lets you choose the right path — at the right pace — for your business. You can easily customise your system by buying and plugging in the technologies you want: Microsoft, Amazon, Google, you name it. And, as system and service providers change, you can plug and play — quickly and without disruption — with simple integration methods and a robust marketplace. No more relying on the vendors of yesteryear.

Because you’re likely concerned about potential risks, consider your current and future needs. Genesys is here to guide you every step of the way. And it all starts with answering some key questions.

Step 1: Determine which infrastructure model you want

Finding your path to the cloud starts with selecting an infrastructure model. Here are the questions you need to ask:

  1. Where should your solution be hosted? (Tip: Ensure the vendor(s) you select are certified for that model.)
  2. Do you have business requirements for a private cloud?
  3. Does your cloud need to be hosted on-premises?
  4. Would you prefer to leverage a trusted partner’s data centre to host your solution?
  5. How do compliance and industry regulations affect your decision? Think about the following:

Industry:

  • Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (Dodd-Frank)
  • Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA)
  • Federal Risk and Authorisation Management Program (FedRAMP)
  • Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH)
  • Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA)
  • Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS)
  • Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)
  • Service Organisation Controls (SOC)

Country:

  • AUSTRALIA
    • The Privacy Act 1988
  • BRAZIL
    • Lei Geral de Proteção de Dados (LGPD)
  • CANADA
    • Consumer Privacy Protection Act (CCPA)
  • EUROPEAN UNION
    • General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)
    • MiFID II
  • UNITED STATES
    • California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA)

Option 1: Public infrastructure

Public clouds are the most common type of cloud computing deployment. A third-party vendor owns and operates the cloud resources; you share the same hardware, storage and network devices with other tenants. With this public model, you can hyperscale with technologies such as self-service, IVR and voicebots to meet higher traffic volumes.

If you adopt a private or on-premises model that lets you respond to customers during peak hours, it will require higher upfront investments than a public cloud. However, the private approach could deliver a better ROI if your volumes are high and follow a constant pattern or are easy to forecast.

BENEFITS:

  • Focus on your business while someone else handles the infrastructure.
  • Eliminate capital expenditures.
  • Innovate and explore new technologies.
  • Affordably scale to meet varying traffic volumes.

Option 2: Private infrastructure

A private cloud infrastructure appeals to organisations in regulated industries. This model gives you strong control of your applications and data, while making sure sensitive data — customer identification, Social Security numbers, credit card numbers and electronic health records — are secure. The downside is that on-premises contact centre technology limits your options for improving contact centre operations, supporting remote agents and improving your customer journey. And it can be complicated and expensive to integrate more advanced technologies like artificial intelligence (AI) into a private model.

BENEFITS:

  • Maximise control over software upgrades.
  • Maintain specific standards for hardware and networking.
  • Keep total control over security and data control processes.
  • Demonstrate compliance with industry and geographic regulations.
  • Protect highly sensitive data.

Option 3: Hybrid infrastructure

A hybrid cloud infrastructure enables your on-premises contact centre to combine with or extend to one or more public Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) providers like Microsoft Azure, Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google Cloud, IBM Cloud, Oracle Cloud Infrastructure or OpenShift Online. You can access specific technologies from these vendors while preserving your onpremises investments. With a well-designed hybrid architecture, you can move applications and data seamlessly among environments, control infrastructure and cloud costs, and limit exposure of your sensitive data.

BENEFITS:

  • Maximise investments in your existing on-premises solution.
  • Achieve a slower or gradual transition to the cloud.
  • Integrate with a highly customised environment.
  • Maintain huge workloads while gaining access to external resources.
  • Take advantage of a lower-risk approach.

Option 4: Do nothing

You can always choose to stick with what you have, but that could be an expensive decision in the long run.

RISKS:

  • Technology will reach end of life.
  • It’ll be difficult to support incompatible systems.
  • There’s a higher long-term TCO because of obsolete tech and lost opportunities.
  • It will be challenging — or impossible — to meet long-term business needs.
  • You won’t be able to innovate.
  • Your customers will suffer

Step 2: Decide how to operate your environment

Once you’ve determined which infrastructure model you want, you need to decide how you want to operate it. Here are the questions to ask.

  1. Who will operate and administer the solution?
    • Your IT teams
    • A partner
    • Responsibility will be split between you and the partner
  2. Do you have the IT skill set to handle it yourself, or will you hire or train people?
  3. Do you have product-specific knowledge?
  4. Do you need to maintain complete control from end to end, or are you willing to outsource some or all IT?
  5. Do you need or prefer specific IaaS or Software as a Service (SaaS) solutions?

Model 1: Public SaaS

If you want to focus on running your business rather than IT, you’ll want to consider this public cloud model.

Consider this if:

  • You don’t have the IT skill set and resources and want to rely on a vendor like Microsoft, Amazon or Google
  • You don’t have product-specific knowledge
  • You don’t want to deal with implementing IT processes or change management

Model 2: Partner or systems integrator

If you have a trusted technology partner, such as a systems integrator, you’ll want to consider Model 2.

Consider this if:

  • Your partner can handle DevOps functions, such as orchestrating with Kubernetes and managing containers
  • Your partner can serve as product experts while operating the model
  • You want to focus on your business while maintaining control through a close relationship with your partner

Model 3: Do it yourself

The do-it-yourself model appeals to organisations that want to maximise control while relying on their internal IT expertise.

Consider this if:

  • You have the IT skill set and resources to operate and administer the solution
  • You want to maintain complete control from end to end
  • You understand the product itself and how to operate the complex system — monitoring, deploying, testing and more

Step 3: Build your own contact centre ecosystem

You’ve determined which infrastructure model you need and who you want to operate and administer it. Now you can ask some additional questions to help you determine your path forward.

  1. What’s the size and complexity of your environment?
  2. What are your must-have capabilities or mission-critical features?
  3. Which systems and applications will you need to integrate?
  4. What’s your budget?
  5. What’s your timeline?
  6. Does an all-in-one product meet all your business requirements?
  7. Do you want to go with the best vendor for each product?
  8. Do you have the technical capabilities to handle some or all of the operation and administration yourself?

Kubernetes

Kubernetes (K8s) automates the deployment, scaling and management of containerised applications. This open-source system is an industry standard and a core piece of the Genesys Engage multicloud architecture.

Benefits:

  • Continuously checks container health
  • Performs load balancing
  • Handles varied storage types for container data
  • Manages passwords and other sensitive information

Docker

Another core piece of the Genesys multicloud strategy is Docker, a container engine that packages an application and its dependencies in a virtual container that can run on any computing environment. This gives you the flexibility to run application in various locations — whether on-premises, or on a public cloud or private cloud.

Benefits:

  • Simplify and accelerate workflows
  • Empower developers of all skill levels
  • Ensure consistency between development and production
  • Enhance team collaboration

Approach 1: All in one

An all-in-one solution lets you combine capabilities such as inbound and outbound voice, email, chat, social media, messaging, screen share, selfservice options, workforce optimisation and analytics into a single product. Because applications are pre-integrated or built from the ground up to work together, you benefit in time to value and the ability to successfully run your business. Start with channels such as inbound and outbound voice. And then when you’re ready to add a new digital channel, it’s as simple as enabling the functionality, building the workflow and assigning agents.

  • Easy to maintain
  • Quick time to market
  • Self-paced for adding new channels

Approach 2: Best of breed

The best-of-breed approach lets you select the best-in-class vendor for each capability. Select one vendor for workforce scheduling software, another vendor for their outbound dialler and a third vendor for the remainder of their contact centre functionality. This approach benefits from the openness of a multicloud architecture. For instance, if you’re using the Microsoft 365 suite of applications and want to expand the collaboration capabilities of Microsoft Teams into your contact centre, it’s simple.

  • Best depth of functionality
  • Highly customisable
  • Quick time to market

Approach 3: Do it yourself

If you have the talent, the resources — and the ambition — your third option is to craft a custom solution by doing everything yourself.

  • Extremely customisable but requires significant company resources and IT expertise
  • Longer time to market
  • More difficult to maintain as you try to keep up with evolving technologies

Find the path to the cloud that’s right for you

Vendor serviced and managed

Featuring a broad and deep set of contact centre capabilities, this archetype represents a bestof-suite approach. Your vendor manages and services the entire solution, giving you freedom to focus on your business. But this gives you less control over aspects like architecture design and system upgrades. The vendor provides and manages integrations with third-party systems and is primarily responsible for security and compliance. You control the day-to-day moves, additions and changes (MAC).

Vendor serviced and managed

Appeals to: Organisations that want to consolidate their existing infrastructure into an all-in-one fully managed cloud solution

BENEFITS:

  • Better business outcomes: Focus on your customers and leave technology management to the vendor.
  • Speed of deployment: The vendor is responsible for procurement, setting up infrastructure and configuring the hardware and software.
  • Global availability: Extend your geographic reach.
  • Continuous innovation delivery: Choose when to adopt the innovations your vendor releases.
  • SLA confidence: The vendor is responsible for meeting your SLAs on scalability, high availability and disaster recovery.

Vendor serviced and systems integrator managed

In this archetype, the vendor operates the service, while the systems integrator manages the solution on a day-to-day basis. The vendor and systems integrator are jointly responsible for security and compliance. The systems integrator provides and manages integrations with thirdparty systems and controls MAC.

Vendor serviced and systems integrator managed

Appeals to: Organisations that want to consolidate their existing infrastructure into an all-in-one cloud solution while leaving IT and product expertise to a systems integrator

BENEFITS:

  • Better business outcomes: Focus on your customers by leaving technology to the vendor and administration to the systems integrator.
  • Gain flexibility: Work with the systems integrator of your choice.
  • Speed of deployment: The vendor is responsible for procurement, setting up infrastructure and configuring the hardware and software.
  • Global availability: Extend your geographic reach.
  • Continuous innovation delivery: Choose when to adopt the innovations your vendor releases.
  • SLA confidence: The vendor is responsible for meeting your SLAs on scalability, high availability and disaster recovery.

Customer serviced and managed

This archetype blends responsibilities between you and the vendor. You gain a rich set of capabilities and can take a phased approach to a cloud migration. You control MAC and can integrate with your homegrown or industry-specific systems.

Customer serviced and managed

Appeals to: Organisations that want to maintain control while reaping the benefits of the cloud, including choosing an IaaS provider

BENEFITS:

  • Maintain control: Keep complete control over your applications and tech stack so you can provide extremely tailored customer experiences.
  • Gain flexibility: You have control over procurement, setting up infrastructure and configuring the hardware and software.
  • Local availability: Extend availability to local geographies and business sites.
  • Innovate your way: Control the speed and adoption of new features and innovations.
  • Strongest security: Enjoy the tightest level of control over security and compliance requirements.

Customer serviced and systems integrator managed

In this archetype, you operate your system and a systems integrator manages MAC. You work with the systems integrator to integrate your homegrown or industry-specific systems.

Customer serviced and systems integrator managed

Appeals to: Organisations that want to keep control while reaping the benefits of the cloud, including choosing an IaaS provider and systems integrator

BENEFITS:

  • Maintain control: Work with a systems integrator to control your systems and technology stack so you can deliver customised experiences.
  • Gain flexibility: You work with a systems integrator on procurement, setting up your infrastructure, and configuring the hardware and software.
  • Local availability: Extend availability to local geographies and business sites.
  • Innovate your way: Work with a systems integrator to control the speed and adoption of new features and innovations.
  • Enhance security: Gain rigorous control over your security and compliance requirements.
  • Reduce costs: Leverage your existing infrastructure and network.

Systems integrator serviced and managed

This archetype allows you to focus on your business objectives. Outsource end-to-end services and administration to a systems integrator. You work with them to integrate your homegrown or industry-specific systems, and they control MAC.

Systems integrator serviced and managed

Appeals to: Organisations that want to keep control while reaping the benefits of the cloud and want to focus on business objectives — not IT

BENEFITS:

  • Better business outcomes: The systems integrator is responsible for providing the infrastructure, configuring the hardware and software, and providing appropriate locations and data centre sites.
  • Speed of deployment: The systems integrator controls the speed and deployment of new features and innovations.
  • Enhance security: Share the responsibility for your security and compliance requirements with your systems integrator.
  • Leverage the system integrators’ infrastructure and network.

The five archetypes

  1. Vendor serviced and managed
  2. Vendor serviced and systems integrator managed
  3. Customer serviced and managed
  4. Customer serviced and systems integrator managed
  5. Systems integrator serviced and managed

The five archetypes

What to consider when choosing a multicloud vendor

Most enterprises choose to work with multiple cloud providers to gain a full spectrum of benefits, including easier application migration and better disaster recovery. Their decisions for choosing a multicloud vendor usually involve three key considerations, according to Gartner.

Sourcing: Organisations want to increase agility and avoid vendor lock-in, if possible. They might consider a variety of factors, including availability, performance, data sovereignty, regulatory requirements and labor costs.

Architecture: Modern applications are usually created in a more modular style, so they can span multiple cloud providers or consume services from multiple clouds.

Governance: Enterprises want to unify IT administration and monitoring to ensure operational control. This involves standardising policies, procedures and processes, and sharing tools across multiple cloud providers, especially those that favour cost governance and optimisation.

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