DCN July 2017 - Page 19

virtualisation & cloud computing (CRM) applications and 57 per cent for their customer contact centre. 83 per cent of cloud users have successfully improved the reliability of their IT through their use of cloud based services, 85 per cent have increased the speed of access to technology and 17 per cent have seen an improvement in their customer engagement. Confidence in the cloud they can support these requests with a more contemporary infrastructure. According to the Cloud Industry Forum’s (CIF) latest research paper, ‘Cloud: Driving Business Transformation’, the overall cloud adoption rate in the UK now stands at 88 per cent, with 67 per cent of users expecting to increase their adoption of cloud services over the coming year. CIF predicts that by 2019, 93 per cent of organisations will use at least one cloud service. The research paper also revealed that by 2020, 70 per cent of organisations expect to have adopted cloud for their Customer Relationship Management As the advantages of cloud mature and make themselves clear, businesses are losing their initial fears of security and costs. The technology is well established in many customer service environments, with cloud computing becoming imperative to elevating contact centres into fully fledged, omni-channel customer engagement centres. However, crucially, this is achievable for any size business looking to establish a modern customer service that meets modern expectations for exceptional experiences. Respondents to CIF’s latest research stated that cloud services are successful in furnishing them with a competitive advantage. Almost half (48 per cent) state that using cloud has given their organisation a competitive advantage, and a further 21 per cent expect to see one in the future. Operational benefits of cloud in the contact centre include lower upfront costs, streamlined maintenance and upgrades and support for integrations between CRM, self-service and contact centres, which drives personalised interactions. To embrace an omni- channel strategy in the customer engagement centre successfully, integration and erasure of silos (such as channels or analytics) is vital for delivering the right response at the right time through the right channel. Going forwards, the only computing method that can provide the necessary scalability ‘As the advantages of cloud mature and make themselves clear, businesses are losing their initial fears of security and costs.’ is the cloud, which will not restrict customer interaction and can store the growing data that the increasing number of channels provides. Cloud computing is the key to delivering the agility, elasticity, and efficiency required to maintain contact with the customer, brands can increase and decrease the usage of certain channels as necessary, fulfil the needs of the customer on their terms and learn enough about the customer to provide a proactive customer experience. The cloud allows brands to aggregate huge amounts of data to give instant insights and predictive analysis. If used correctly, brands can separate customers into micro- groups as opposed to the traditional gender/age brackets and truly provide a personalised experience. As technology will continue to improve and transform the customer engagement centre, the cloud will enable the flexibility and agility to embrace and adopt new technologies. Similarly, cloud enables organisations to meet the expectations of today’s mobile, connected and highly demanding consumers. Cloud computing is driving innovation, reducing costs, and improving the customer experience so we are seeing a continued increase in adoption rates as businesses are leaving legacy architecture of old call centres behind. July 2017 | 19