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What Is It With This Industry?

by Fred Stacey, VP of Sales and Marketing, Connect First - January 2, 2017

What is it with this industry?

By Fred Stacey, VP of Sales and Marketing, Connect First 

I have been in the contact center space since I was 19 and I have to say that I have never been in a more frustrating industry that has so much impact on every business.  Coming from the technology provider space, with a history in contact center operations, I believe I have some credibility to speak to the technology and call center space.
I say this with the utmost respect…what the heck is going on people?  Why is it that in a time where the industry is finally getting the funding to do right by the customer that we are still lagging so far behind in technology?
Fear of Cloud
I know of a major Fortune 500 company who still uses a green screen system to make their contacts, and there is more than 60% of the market still using premise based solutions.  I am still a contact center advocate at heart so at a certain scale I can understand a company coming close to justifying a hybrid approach or building out their own cloud infrastructure, but in today’s world there is no reason to have physical punch down blocks or traditional ISDN lines for your contact center technology.  None.
Not only that, but companies are still putting their center’s life in the hands of outdated infrastructure and hosted solutions that claim to be cloud providers.  Just because they say they are cloud, doesn’t mean that they are…
Lack of Expertise
Also, when did the contact center owners or IT staff forget to use common sense and discovery when evaluating systems?  I cannot tell you how many times I hear “but I can’t get the redundancy or security from a cloud provider that I can do in house.”  Your true cloud providers offer better security than you can find on your own and don’t get me started on the redundancies. 
I recently spoke with an owner of a BPO. The team’s cost justified the move back to premise only to have a local T1 provider go down. Of course, they did not have the redundancy for even 1 extra carrier. They were down for most of a day.  They also couldn’t justify the cost of redundant hardware for one instance let alone a second. So owners…make sure you demand your staff to show you their plans for disaster recovery while they are trying to cost justify a premise based platform.
Embracing Cloud
Let’s get past the fear of change.  Let’s accept and adapt to the industry changes because the focus of business is on us right now. There is no better time to take advantage of it. 
The modern-day cloud providers run multiple active/active models with fail overs on all parts of their infrastructure.  All you need to provide is the redundancy on your own network and internal infrastructure.  This means, get a secondary ISP that will allow your business to continue to run.
Work Changes
If you are in the process of evaluating your move to the cloud then do not be afraid to ask for integration work.  My IT friends…I know your staff of server experts are not as necessary but not all hope is lost for that staff member.  There has got to be someone in that group that can work in the modern-day APIs.  The economy of the cloud has forced us forward thinking technology companies to build our technology from the ground up using APIs.  The modern contact center must be integrated with the best in breed technologies for your business and by having the staff to integrate the technologies for your business practice you can deliver a solution that allows the user experience to be seamless which in turn makes you the hero again.  
Take Steps Forward
We are in a unique time where we are at the center of a business revolution where the owners have finally accepted and in some cases embraced our industry for the value we bring.  Please Please…I implore you…take this time to get your center at least close to the modern age. 





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