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Moving to the Cloud: A Glimpse Inside the Board Room

I have a brother who works in human resources at a major, global financial services firm. He’s recently become the business executive working with IT to upgrade a dated PeopleSoft, premises-based application. The release they are on right now was first released ten years ago. The options they are investigating are an incremental, dot-release upgrade to an Oracle-delivered version, a move to the cloud with Oracle or a new cloud-first solution. Did I have any thoughts?

 

My first reaction was to say I don't follow that part of the software market. As we continued to talk, however, it became apparent that the the issues my brother is grappling with are very similar to those faced by global businesses I speak with on a regular basis.

 

      • Are companies as big as mine moving to the cloud? This is a question that every company should ask a prospective vendor. My brother shared that that one potential application provider said that X company was using their software. When they checked with people inside X company, it turned out it was a trial, not a production deployment. Tip: Check references.    

 

      • Are people moving business-critical solutions to the cloud? A human resources application is more than just a directory of employees, my brother explains. The compensation, health care and retirement planning of thousands of people are involved. “This can’t go wrong,” my brother says. Indeed, the criticality he describes is matched from a corporate standpoint with a contact center that manages not just order processing and returns, but the very relationships with customers that a company depends on to thrive. Answer: Yes, critical apps are moving to the cloud.  

 

      • We have done a lot of customization – can the cloud do that? Here, I felt like a sales person trying to explain to a prospect that the customizations of the past are not necessarily required with the API-rich, cloud-based applications of today. As in the contact center, his business users are concerned that they can’t replicate every personalized widget on the custom-built desktop. I explain two things: cloud applications can typically be more easily customized than traditional CPE solutions, and maybe, just maybe, users don't need every bell and whistle they had in the past. One of the benefits of moving to the cloud is more configuration, less customization.  

 

Join Five9's Darryl Addington and me for our webinar How to Re-Imagine Your Contact Center to Attract the Modern Global Consumer. In the webinar we will be discussing key questions like these - questions that are being discussed in board rooms around the world. 

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