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Counting on the Cloud During an Emergency (Part 2)

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Part one examined how the cloud prepares contact centers for emergency situations and how this is different from on-premise solutions. This article will look at how scalability, flexibility and cost-effectiveness provides a better solution for these conditions.

Most cloud solutions are built from the ground up with ability to scale. Changes are designed to be fast, in contrast to on-premise software where it can take hours or days. During an emergency this is particularly relevant. For example, when facing a crisis situation a center may need to add staff to handle a surge of incoming phone calls, update recordings in an IVR system to deliver up-to-the-minute information, or rewrite agent scripts.

According to a recent blog by contact center industry expert Sheila Mcgee-Smith, in order for a company that is building and implementing applications in their own data center to get more availability they need to make heavy monetary investments. They need more reliable (expensive) equipment, deploying, housing and operating multiple sets in geographically-diverse and secure locations. Then they need experienced people to manage the systems., and all of these elements are costly.

A cloud software provider has already built all elements required to deliver industry-leading uptime: redundant equipment, IT professionals working 24/7 and certified facilities. Using the cloud software can be delivered at affordable prices because it is a shared resource across many customers.

NJ 2-1-1 had an experience during Super Storm Sandy that illustrates how a cloud solution can prove more reliable and scalable. After deploying a cloud contact center software solution, they decided to keep their older premise-based system running as a backup. When the storm hit they were able to handle nearly 90,000 incoming calls. However, the old system went down due to flooding and damaged phone lines.

No organization knows the exact moment a disaster or emergency will occur. But they can put solutions in place that can consistently deliver the right information to those in need, no matter when or how. During an emergency every customer interaction is critical, and organizations must strive to never lose that connection.

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