“With CCaaS, the financial services firm gains speed and agility, with the ability to update the customer experience as expectations change and as new capabilities are introduced.”

In the first blog in this series, we discussed the rapid evolution of the contact center and some of the new strategies, methodologies and capabilities that financial services firms are using to transform their contact centers.

One of the most interesting new approaches is what we call Contact Center as a Service (CCaaS). Essentially, this is contact center infrastructure – including inbound/outbound telephony, interactive voice response (IVR), call recording, call routing and reporting – delivered as cloud-based service in place of traditional on-premise implementation.

The CCaaS approach addresses the key pain points associated with on-premise implementation, including the significant up-front costs reflecting the purchase of software licenses and hardware. In addition, CCaaS solutions are usually “plug and play”, eliminating the long implementation timeline.

Other problems seen in on-premise implementations are difficulties with support and maintenance, the inability to make quick updates, the need for specialized skills and rapid outdating or technical debt.

With CCaaS, the financial services firm gains speed and agility, with the ability to update the customer experience as expectations change and as new capabilities are introduced. CCaaS is immediately scalable and is easier to run, with no operating system, software or hardware maintenance and fewer on-site support personnel. And, CCaaS delivers meaningful cost savings, reducing the total cost of ownership by 15 to 35 percent.

Implementation of CCaaS is much less complicated than an on-premise implementation. Once a solution is chosen, the contact center application is built in the cloud with selected call routing, IVR and reporting features. A voice path from the CCaaS solution to the contact centers is created using MPLS or via the Internet, using encryption technology.

As needed, the CCaaS solution can also be integrated with customer resource management (CRM) systems for CTI screen pop-ups, or with a web services layer for data access, artificial intelligence and/or machine learning. Other integration options include workforce management (WFM), quality management (QM) solutions and customer analytics.

The process is straightforward, involving testing the solution and integration paths, training the appropriate customer service representatives and repointing the existing 800 number to the new CCaaS solution. The solution is then ready for cutover.

In the next blog in this series, we will take a closer look at the players in the CCaaS market, including offerings from the top vendors.

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