On-Site vs Cloud Contact Centers: Should You Make the Transition?

If you’re ready to make the switch from an on-premises contact center to a cloud contact center or a CCaaS solution there’s one thing that’s likely on your mind; what is the cost? 

Calculating the true cost of a particular call center system isn’t easy as many costs won’t surface for many years while other costs are upfront expenses and easier to measure. Here, we walk you through the pricing differences of both an on-site solution and a CCaaS solution and how to find a system at the price point you can afford and the features you need.

Call center worker accompanied by her team. Smiling customer support operator at work. Young employee working with a headse.

Cloud-Based vs On-Premise Contact Center: Understanding The Differentiating Factors

On-premise contact centers require businesses to make a significant upfront investment in hardware, software, and infrastructure. They also bear the cost of maintaining and upgrading these systems over time. In contrast, cloud contact centers offer a pay-as-you-go model that can be more cost-effective in the long run.

Benefits of a Cloud-Based Call Center:

  • No equipment cost
  • Easy installation
  • Low maintenance
  • Minimal risk of failures either due to hardware or software
  • System upgrades happen in real-time
  • Real-time scaling

Compared to the potential drawbacks of an On-Premise Call Center:

  • High upfront costs
  • Complicated integration
  • High maintenance
  • High scope of failures
  • Technology and hardware upgrades take a long time
  • Time intensive to scale

The cloud solution help businesses move with relative ease in the direction of an omnichannel customer care center which links all the touch-points of a customer, giving them the opportunity and ease of moving from one channel to the other, while on the other hand, the agents to receive contextually relevant information at all times. Let us delve into the list of benefits a little further.

1. Fast Deployment – Since there is no infrastructure required for the deployment of the cloud contact centers, the complete setup process can happen at a much faster speed. 

2. Flexibility and Scalability – Unlike the on-premise contact center system which has to be upgraded and downgraded manually as and when the business requirement changes, the case of scalability and flexibility is a lot easier with a cloud system, which only takes a couple of clicks to scale up or get down. 

3. Focus on the Agent’s Performance – Through the incorporation of cloud-based contact centers, companies can keep their focus on their sales agents’ performance instead of focusing on the system or hardware maintenance, which eventually leads to greater productivity.

4. Enhanced Speed to Market – Because of the complete lack of hardware installation, businesses can get their contact center up and operational in a very small time frame. Therefore, the complete contact center can get operational in a very short span of time. This, in turn, helps organizations in achieving their goals by taking advantage of the cloud infrastructure and cloud computing systems.

5. Competitive Cost – The cloud-based contact centers offer a pay-as-you-use option, meaning you only get billed for what you use. Also, if you consider the digital aspect of the mechanism, businesses will be able to save a high amount in the name of installation costs. 

Average cost: Cloud contact centers can range anywhere from $89/month per user up to $300/month per user depending on the features you want to take advantage of. Meaning, for an SMB with 50 users the annual costs would likely range from $53,400-$180,000.

Given the cons of an On-Premise Contact Center, is there still merit in exploring implementing one?

The answer is yes.

To understand the benefits, let us consider some advantages of an On-Premise center:

1. Call Charges – This is a recurring cost that is not significant for low call volumes but starts spiraling out with higher call volumes. For on-premise contact centers with SIP trunk termination, telcos provide unlimited calls for a monthly rental, which is a huge saving over a 3-year period. However, if the business opts for a cloud contact center every call is charged by the service provider.

2. Customization – The workflow of businesses differs even if they are from the same sector. What it means is that there is always a need for custom workflow. Mostly in a multi-tenant cloud contact center, the room for customization is limited. This is where an on-premise or a private cloud contact center has a big advantage.

3. Data protection – This is debatable as data is equally secured in an on-premise contact center as well as a cloud contact center. But, organizations do feel more comfortable if it is on their premises or their own data center.

However, the main drawback will continue to be the high upfront costs and ongoing maintenance of the system.

Average cost: On-premise contact centers still base their pricing on the number of users using the system and costs can range from $2,900-$4,100 per user, plus additional charges for maintenance making the upfront costs of this system for 50 users $145,000-$205,000 with even more expenses to be seen down the road.

So, an on-premise contact center has some advantages which have to be weighed against the advantages provided by a cloud contact center to make the right decision for your business.

Choosing the Best Contact Center Software

Well, now that you have seen the different benefits both types of contact center solutions has to offer, it is now time to make a decision. If you are having a contact center either on-premise or on the cloud, you should be able to quantify the advantage of either solution.

If you do have questions about which provider might be the best fit for your business needs our skilled Technology Advisors are here to help. We will assess the current solutions you have in place to determine the best provider to help you improve your customer outcomes, save money on hardware costs, and better enable your contact center agent’s to give truly unparalleled customer service. 

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