The Increase of Contact Center as a Service and How the Right Design Can Help Organizations Succeed

Cloud-based contact center solutions, also known as contact center-as-a-service (CCaaS), have grown in importance to provide high-quality customer experiences while reducing overall cost, increasing scalability, and enhancing security.  The adoption of voice over IP (VoIP) into traditional telephone networks has also provided a cost-effective enhancement to long-established contact center technologies.

The Session Initiation Protocol(SIP) is the VoIP technology that connects the contact center to the public switch telephone network(PSTN) through SIP trunks. With the move to cloud, there has also been an increased focus on SIP trunking into CCaaS. SIP trunking enables contact centers to make and receive phone calls and other digital communication over a public internet connection, ensuring the use of the right voice technology.

A recent survey found that during the COVID-19 pandemic VoIP technology, SIP, and video conferencing grew by more than 200 percent due to increased remote work. With increased reliability and flexibility of IP communications, the integration of voice, video, messaging, and other collaboration tools is on the rise. SIP trunking into CCaaS provides businesses more options for remote workers and better visibility and control over their network traffic and reduces the operational overhead of security.

Although CCaaS and SIP trunking offers a great deal of technical benefits for businesses, there are integration challenges through which the industry must work to achieve the highest level of customer satisfaction and engagement. Integrating SIP trunking into CCaaS might lead to some unexpected complexities, disparate technologies, a lack of network intelligence, and unforeseen security issues.

For one, contact centers migrating to the cloud might render some solutions incompatible with each other, creating significant concerns. Contact center vendors are moving their solutions to the cloud to help businesses cut IT costs, streamline processes, improve security, and boost performance. Integrating voice infrastructure often requires network upgrades and application maintenance that can be costly and time-consuming.

According to a survey by Omdia, 33 percent of contact centers recognize they lack network resources and plan to add management tools to improve voice, video, and network performance.

Disjointed, on-premises, multi-vendor contact center solutions are inherently costly and complex to manage. Each contact center vendor has its own feature set and administrative interfaces. Introducing new contact center enhancements requires integrating different systems, implementing common policies, and troubleshooting problems—all fraught with challenges.

There is an increased focus by hackers on contact centers, where voice networks are a popular path of least resistance for bad actors. Without a clear view into the contact center network, businesses can fall prey to social engineering tactics such as vishing, phishing, theft of service, denial-of-service attacks, harassment calls, and account takeovers. Every security incident can cost businesses impaired productivity, inflict reputational damage, and for small to medium businesses, cause financial ruin.

Voice technology is still a critical and fundamental method of customer communication. However, fostering good customer engagement, even with voice, is intentional and doesn't happen by accident. It must be included as a core cloud strategy and have a well-defined design. A good design for contact centers reduces the complexity through cloud architecture, provides intelligent insight into contact center operations and protects the voice network from interactive intrusions. A well-designed contact center also provides intelligent resources for greater insight through analytics. The integration of CCaaS with SIP trunking should provide policies over the calls, improve the customer experience, while debugging and reducing network faults.

To ensure that organizations are getting the best CCaaS solution, it's best to partner with a SIP technology provider that offers viable solutions to solve the challenges facing the modern contact center. Partnering with a Voice technology provider can help facilitate optimal customer engagement with secure, intelligent, hybrid cloud solutions. It can also help organizations ultimately reach their business goals and stay ahead of the curve in their respective industries.

Douglas Tait is director of product marketing at Oracle Communications.