For our 'Find a cloud with a platinum lining' events, Sabio sought out two of the country's most prestigious, high-rise venues where our attendees could get even closer to the clouds!
That's why we found ourselves on March 19th at Searcys at the top of The Gherkin in the heart of London's financial district, and a week later in the SkyLounge at the DoubleTree Hilton in Leeds with its panoramic views of the city and the Yorkshire countryside.
Our goal was that these venues and the launch of our innovative Sabio OnDemand hosted contact centre offerings would provide attendees with a different perspective on how cloud solutions could help transform their customer contact performance – and that certainly proved the case.
With support from two key Sabio technology partners – Avaya and Verint – a packed agenda ensured that attendees gained real insight into the shift towards hosted contact centre applications, and learned how with Sabio OnDemand there's now a distinctive new alternative available. Sabio speakers at the briefings included Adam Faulkner, Mike Andrews and Dan Stimpson, and we were joined by Ioan MacRae and Barry Tuffs from Avaya, and Mike Pryke-Smith and Martin Avery from Verint.
Cloud acceptance reaches a tipping point
In setting the scene, Mike Andrews explained how cloud acceptance had now reached a tipping point, with Silicon Angle research showing how this year cloud computer processes had now overtaken traditional on premise IT activities. He explained how 61% of organisations now use cloud-based applications, but that to date this volume wasn't reflected in the contact centre where just 15% of seats were currently delivered via the hosted model. Among the reasons for this initial reluctance were uncertainties around data security as well as issues around the functional compromises offered by first generation cloud contact centre applications.
Mike went on to suggest, however, that momentum is now clearly shifting towards a more cloud-based approach, commenting that the proportion of hosted contact centre seats are set to increase by 42% over the next five years. According to Mike, the key drivers underpinning this steady shift towards hosted contact centres include greater agility and flexibility in terms of scale, the benefits of a PAYG payment plan, no more worries about technology obsolescence, a reduced requirement for contact centre specific IT skills, as well as the sheer practicality of not having to operate a physical contact centre IT infrastructure.
In discussing why Sabio has now chosen to enter the hosted contact centre sector, Mike Andrews suggested that despite the fact that there were around 150 different cloud contact centre applications out there, none were really hitting the sweet spot. Specifically, Mike pointed out that winning cloud solutions would need to combine the real value of the proven enterprise contact centre platform with both best-of-breed technology and cost-effective delivery.
Delivering best-of-breed contact centre technologies via the cloud
With this background, Mike explained that it was now time for a new approach to hosted cloud delivery in the contact centre. Directly addressing the requirement for much greater functionality, he set out how Sabio OnDemand filled this need, bringing together the company's extensive hosted expertise with best-of-breed technologies (from the top right hand corner of the Gartner Magic Quadrant) from vendors such as Avaya, Verint, Nuance, Semafone and Gamma.
With Sabio OnDemand 'powered by Avaya' and 'powered by Verint', Mike was convinced that Sabio was hitting the cloud sweet spot. "Of course you need world class technologies, but you also need proven operational expertise, accessible PAYG pricing, the agility to expand in terms of both scale and requirement, and the peace of mind that comes from a rich service package," he said. "Sabio OnDemand is the first hosted contact centre solution to deliver against all these criteria."
Sabio OnDemand 'powered by Avaya'
Speaking at our Leeds event, Avaya's UKI Channel Director Barry Tuffs talked about the importance of having best-of-breed technology in the cloud, and described Sabio not just as a proven Avaya Platinum Partner, but also as the company's go-to partner for the Avaya contact centre portfolio. Barry went on to detail the growing importance of cloud delivery for Avaya, and the importance of solutions such as Sabio OnDemand in delivering Avaya's deep contact centre functionality within a hosted environment.
Sabio Solution Architect Dan Stimpson then provided event attendees with an overview of just how much functionality could be delivered through Sabio OnDemand 'powered by Avaya'. Accessible via a PC as well as smartphone and tablet devices, capabilities include Voice Controls, Digital Engagement for email, webchat and social media channels, an easy-to-use single user interface, real-time historical reports, out-of-the-box call recording, homeworker support, powerful UC capabilities including audio, video and web-conferencing, as well as comprehensive voicemail support. He also explained how Sabio OnDemand can be used to support both single or multiple contact centre operations.
Sabio OnDemand 'powered by Verint'
Verint then detailed how the Sabio OnDemand proposition was an ideal vehicle for bringing Verint's comprehensive Workforce Optimisation capabilities to a broader audience. Explaining how the company's Impact 360 WFO suite made good sense for cloud delivery, Martin explained how more than 26,000 agents worldwide were already taking advantage of hosted Verint solutions. Verint also referenced Frost & Sullivan research that suggested that more and more organisations were now choosing to host all or part of their contact centre infrastructure within the cloud, predicting 11-12% growth for cloud contact centre solutions over the next few years.
Dan Stimpson then explained the different components within the Sabio OnDemand 'powered by Verint' proposition in more detail, highlighting the flexibility of the solution, with customers able to adopt the entire Verint WFO suite or begin with a single module and grow their workforce optimisation capabilities gradually. He also discussed the solution's flexibility, with some organisations perhaps wanting to host the entire solution within OnDemand while others might prefer to retain contact centre recordings within their own on premise environment.
Ranging across call recording, quality monitoring, WFM forecasting and optimisation, speech analytics, customer feedback, performance management and balanced scorecards, it's clear that Sabio OnDemand 'powered by Verint' brings new levels of functionality to the hosted contact centre world. Explaining this, Dan gave the example of OnDemand WFM, which goes beyond basic forecasting and optimisation to also include in-depth features such as intraday management, adherence management, comprehensive employee empowerment as well full WFO interoperability.
Active panel participation
Sabio events always feature an open panel session where event attendees can directly address their own particular concerns. Questions covered the value of Sabio's enterprise contact centre expertise, the speed of Sabio OnDemand deployment, when organisations should consider cloud or on premise deployment, the values of OPEX vs. CAPEX funding, the role of cloud for more sensitive applications such as emergency services, the benefits of dedicated hosted instance vs. operating on a shared cloud platform, as well as more detailed discussions around Sabio OnDemand's Gold Level annual upgrades.
In addressing the benefits of Sabio's enterprise expertise, Mike Andrews detailed how Sabio OnDemand took advantage of the common best practice elements identified through the company's 18-year history. Applying this through in-depth templates meant that OnDemand customers could take advantage of 70-80% of bespoke value at a fraction of the cost of traditional enterprise solutions.
Similarly when it comes to deployment, Mike estimated that the time needed to rollout a Sabio OnDemand hosted contact centre solution was around 1/3 that of traditional on premise delivery. Often the physical provisioning of a high quality data connection was the key factor here.
Adam Faulkner and Dan Stimpson also emphasised just how easy it could be for organisations to broaden out their Sabio OnDemand solutions. Adding extra channels such webchat or social media was particularly straightforward, while workforce optimisation users could easily trial a more advanced solution such as Speech Analytics without the complexities often experience in traditional deployments. Verint's Mark Avery stressed that it was now really easy for organisations to just do a three-month trial, identify the benefits and if the value is realised then it makes good sense for businesses to keep on with the additional solution.