On-premise vs cloud contact center: How to make the right choice?

Need for an agile inbound call center software

Any comparison on benefit metrices between an on-premise contact center and a cloud contact center needs an enterprise to have absolute clarity about the functioning of both.

Defining a cloud and an on-premise contact center

Hosted in the cloud by a business server, a cloud contact center is the hub of an enterprise that handles all customer communications. This center makes interacting with customers, including all inbound and outbound communication via voice, email, social media, and the internet, accessible from anywhere.

Cloud-based contact centers require users to have Internet access with enough bandwidth to accommodate them. Organizations are looking to choose to modernize their contact centers by choosing those in the cloud because customers increasingly use digital channels to contact businesses.

On-premise contact centers, on the other hand, are more traditional and hardware-based. With an on-premise contact center, the communication hardware, software, and infrastructure remain onsite at the organization with dedicated communication servers. The IT team of the organization is responsible for installation, maintenance, and upkeep of everything from servers to headsets to integration support. On-premise contact centers often require upgrades every few years, which becomes an expensive proposition.  

Analysing Benefits of a cloud and on-premise contact center

After a proper understanding of the functioning of both on-premise and cloud contact centers, it makes sense to look at the benefits each offers for organizations. This could help organizations make the right choice depending on their precise requirements.

Organizations have started preferring cloud contact centers because they can be deployed easily and require none or minimal capital investment up front.

Top benefits of a cloud contact center would include:

  • Reduced costs and improved ROI
  • Creating a full-featured, state-of-the-art multichannel contact center
  • Deliver better customer experiences
  • Ease od deployment
  • Reduced ongoing costs
  • Optimization of agent efficacy and efficiency
  • Contact center management, maintenance, and upgrades handled by a third-party service provider
  • Improving scalability and flexibility

While most organizations assume that cloud contact centers are the less expensive option, it is still possible to invest in a quality on-premise solution with an upfront cost, pay it off, and use it reliably for the long-term without the ongoing cost of a cloud solution. Some organizations  also opt for on-premise contact centers because they can be more customized to specific needs than cloud contact centers.

Benefits of an on-premise contact center would include

  • Purchase only the equipments and systems needed
  • Up-front costs that are paid off instead of ongoing payments
  • Peace of mind knowing organizational confidential data is stored in-house safely and securely
  • Maximum control over functions
  • Fewer concerns about reliability and safekeeping

Criteria-based Comparison Metrices

Depending upon the specific business requirements of an organization, the management should assess these benefits of each option before making their choice. What could help organizations in making a more cultured choice is by comparing a cloud and an on-premise contact center using a few criteria.

Set Up: Implementing an on-premise contact center can take up to several months because companies must purchase hardware and licenses, set up the infrastructure, and find compatible software. On the other hand, setting up cloud-based contact centers involves installing an app on a computer that functions out of the box.

Cost: Companies must determine whether they want capital expenditures or operating expenditures when choosing between an on-premise contact center and a cloud contact center.

On-premise contact centers require upfront costs for hardware, licenses, and housing servers onsite. They also require onsite installations once every 5-10 years as hardware ages and technology evolves. Conversely, cloud contact centers do not need a large upfront hardware or infrastructure cost as long as the organization has a strong Internet connection with sufficient bandwidth. Ongoing costs include only a monthly subscription.

Features: On-premise contact centers have traditional features including transfers, hold, wait music, conferences, and call logging. While cloud contact centers too have the same traditional features, they build upon them with the help of advancing technologies to feature live call monitoring, smart IVR, click-to-call, and more.

Integrations: On-premise contact centers can be technically integrated with other services, but it is often difficult to do so mainly because of licensing and installation. Only organizations with a large and highly skilled IT workforce can make the integrations and implementations run more smoothly.

Conversely, cloud contact center providers intentionally create their products to integrate with your CRM system, call script generators, helpdesk tickets, and more.

Reliability: On-premise contact centers may have more stable technology to help eliminate call lag or lower call quality. However, the call quality of an on-premise contact center is only as good as its technology and hardware. On the other hand, cloud contact centers have high call quality when organizations have strong, reliable Internet connections.

In a nutshell, as an organization depending on your requirements and the business situations, you can choose either an on-premise contact center or a cloud contact center. Or you may go for a blended omnichannel engagement platform, in which case VAANI could become your ideal solution. To learn more about VAANI.