Sheila McGee-Smith

Q & A Discussion with Renowned Contact Center Expert Sheila McGee-Smith [Part 2]

Sheila McGee-Smith presented at the Five9 2018 Sales Kickoff discussing her insights about the contact center industry and the upcoming forecast for this year. After her presentation, I had a quick conversation with McGee-Smith diving deep into the contact center.

In case you missed it, click here to read part 1 of this interview.

Q: How has digital transformation impacted contact centers and the customer service they provide?

Digital transformation is a corporate-wide initiative that involves everyone from marketing to sales to product development. Customer service has to do their part to understand what their role is and then create the backend data integration that allows them to successfully access the digital transformation happening in other parts of the business. In a digital transformation world, the customer has access to that information.

This is a work in progress, and it fact a topic we are tackling at Enterprise Connect this year in a session. Melanie Turek of Frost & Sullivan, will lead a panel on this topic as part of the Contact Center & Customer Experience track at Enterprise Connect 2018.

Q: What are top three reasons customers aren’t moving to the cloud?


  1. Tied to Legacy Applications: Some companies have been using their system for so long that it’s ingrained in their processes, they don’t think they can change and they’re not willing to tackle the change management that would be required.  
  2. Tied to Legacy Skill-Sets: There are individuals with legacy skill-sets in premise. They know how to manage premise systems, it took them a long time to learn how to manage premise systems and they think it will be just as hard to learn something new. What they don’t realize is that cloud is so much easier to learn and manage than the legacy systems with their proprietary systems, interfaces, languages and design tools that they’re using today.
  3. Believe Cloud Myths: And last, there are still some that believe the cloud myths put out there by premise companies that cloud is not secure, not reliable, and more expensive – myths that have been debunked but sales people still have to explain in almost every case.


Q: Only 10-15% of companies have moved to the cloud, what are three reasons it’s imperative for the other companies to migrate?


  1. Digital Transformation: First, it’s essential for businesses to digitally transform to be competitive in their industries. For example, look at the hotel and retail industries who have already been doing this for years. At the end of the day, it’s impossible to be competitive without moving to the cloud. Quick time/real-time access to this information is what’s helping businesses win.
  2. Agility: The second reason is that the cloud helps provide the ability to quickly meet customer expectations. We all remember what it was like 15 years ago when we wanted to change software to make it better for customers. Sometimes it was a two-year cycle to get the next release of a product that would bring that change.
  3. Strategic Use of Your IT Department: Use your IT/CIO department to help differentiate your business not just to keep lights on or to maintain servers but to “help your business do their business better”.


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