There’s a lot of architecture and hardware involved with Contact Centers operations. Especially those which have evolved over time and maintain legacy CRM and CTI elements such as DEC VAX, AS400/iSeries and PBX/Switches deployed at each site. Just the thought of creating a plan to transition all of those elements to the Cloud is enough to make some CTO’s and CIO’s shudder! But it doesn’t have to be that way, if you have a process which gets the balance right.
A good approach to transitions steers away from the “big bang” strategy – which is always high risk – and follows a general path of assessment, positioning and carefully staging moves to cloud-based services, minimizing risk. Taking things from a “ground-up” view helps to identify pinch points, too. As with any strategy, there always needs to be a “fall back” position because, even with the best laid plans, something always has the potential to go wrong!
Here’s a few steps that you might want to consider when planning a transition of your contact center operations to cloud services;
- Audit: You’d be surprised at the number of hidden or broken processes that surface in a technical audit. But it is much more preferable to find that out early in the migration process, than somewhere down the line. A technical audit really does quantify exactly what you should be looking at – and it will give you an idea of the scope of migrations, too.
- Review: With a technical audit available, it is easier to review your architecture, hardware, systems, equipment, data structures, networks and legacy systems. At this point, you can also consider replacement technologies and processes which can bring some of your legacy elements to a level which can be migrated.
- Plan: A typical migration plan includes People, Processes and Technologies. But planning a migration doesn’t only mean preparing stages for the next step. It will also contain a plan of pre-work, to bring your (legacy) systems and processes to a point which makes them viable for migration.
- Stage: An integral part of the planning is to stage each system and process element. In general, staging means to move small portions of the overall migration, then test and adjust before moving to the next stage. Staging also contains a learning curve which is built upon to streamline similar elements for migration, creating a standard process
- Migrate: A staged migration plan includes an integral launch plan, very much like the introduction of a new service or system. With fall-back and back-out plans, milestones and touch points, regular updates and a staffing structure for each element. Nothing should be left to chance!
- Assess: Incrementally, assessments should be taking place within each stage of a migration. Either side of those assessments, the “grander scheme of things” requires assessment and update – as do the granular aspects of sub-systems and back-end processes.
Finally, a “Top Tip” for migrations; Start with your Network and Data layer, because those become fundamental to your Cloud operations. The transition of systems to Cloud operations which already contain these sub-structures is a much simpler task!