2020 has seen a seismic shift in the way that organisations operate. Where previously many contact centres worked in traditional, four-walled office environments they have been forced – through circumstance – to diversify and become a more digital and multichannel enterprise.
Catalyst to change
In some ways – if we are looking for the silver lining here – the pandemic has acted as a much-needed catalyst, prompting contact centres to adopt more flexible ways of working and engaging with their customers. Overnight, contact centres have had to pivot to provide the tools and equipment to enable teams to work from home during lockdown, whilst simultaneously opening up more channels to communicate with and deliver services to customers. The need for flexibility is only growing as further lockdowns and restrictions continue throughout the UK.
Central to the successful delivery of these services is the cloud. Offering the opportunity to upscale requirements as needed, and providing access to advanced technologies such as artificial intelligence, chatbots and other digital services, the cloud provides a unique flexibility that traditional on-premise systems do not possess.
In fact, cloud services were so in demand at the start of the year, that there was a 37% uplift in cloud spending – with $29 billion spent in the first quarter of 2020 alone. However, not all have been able to overhaul their entire infrastructure in response to the pandemic. Considerations such as cost of implementation, time to market and complexity have all acted as valid barriers of adoption.
Breathing new life into legacy infrastructures
For those contact centres wanting to embrace the benefits of the cloud but unable to overcome the hurdles of adoption, there is an alternative. IPI Cloud AI, sits as an additional layer on top of customers’ existing technology and provides next-generation AI capabilities, enabling any customer to implement cloud-based, self-service functionality simply and cost-effectively without migrating their core contact centre platforms to the cloud. It’s a SaaS-based portfolio of IPI’s own self-service applications that seamlessly sits in front of both legacy systems and alternative cloud solutions meaning that organisations no longer have to rip and replace their existing infrastructure to enjoy cloud enlightenment.
Launched in November 2020, initial solutions available include IPI’s premier self-service apps: Send Me, which directs customers away from the contact centre to an alternative digital channel; Q4 Me, IPI’s own patented end-to-end call-back application; Tell Me, IPI’s speech interface for relaying information back to the customers; and ID Me, IPI’s ID&V with voice biometrics solution. Alongside this are native integrations to Google Dialogflow CX, Amazon Lex and Microsoft Cognitive Services to support full NLP and intent capture – regardless of channel.
If 2020 has taught us anything, it is that we need to bake into business operations a flexibility and agility to enable change to happen quickly. Cloud-based, next-generation, self-service functionality is critical to achieving this within the contact centre and IPI Cloud AI makes this vision a reality for any contact centre – irrespective of their existing contact centre systems.
For more information about enabling a smoother transition to the cloud, please contact us.