Featured Image for the blog: Is it Too Painful to Migrate to a Cloud Contact Center? Truth's Out: It's Not

Think about the last time you moved. To a new house, condo, apartment, or wherever feels like home to you.

You likely decided to leave because the space no longer suited you. To fit your changing needs, you sought out a new place. One that would bring ease to your life and could grow with you.

And though you were thrilled to move on to better things, the move itself was painful. Packing your life into boxes only to unpack it again days later is miserable.

Now, think about all that fear and stress you associate with moving. You know there’s something better at the end, but the process of moving brews anxiety. This is the truth for many leaders looking to move their contact center to the cloud, too.

Leaving your legacy technology behind and switching to a cloud contact center platform brings ease and growth opportunities to your company. But the thought of making the move – yikes. It hurts to think about.

Often, the process of moving all your data, processes, and operations to the cloud is what halts important projects and keeps your contact center from progressing.

But looking back on your past moves, what sticks with you more? The short-term pains of trekking your boxed-up life across town or the lasting pains that pushed you to leave in the first place?

For me, the pains I experienced in my first rundown apartment stick in my mind like glue. I remember the sink that didn’t work. The laundry closet with the broken door that blocked me from getting into my dryer. The neighbor across the hall who made my floor feel like a smoke-friendly Applebee’s with only half a partition to separate us from the fumes.

I don’t, however, think as negatively about that move. It got me away from that place and into a much better one.

Deciding to transform your business operations is hard.

And making the switch from legacy tech to a cloud system is even harder.

But the gains that follow matter much more than the process of getting there. And truthfully, the frustrations of working with a partner who doesn’t solve your business needs, or with tech that can’t scale with your business top any frustrations that come with a migration.

We’re walking through why it isn’t too painful to move to the cloud, and 3 steps you can take to ease the process.

The pains of your legacy tech are worse than the effort to migrate to the cloud.

Legacy technology ties you to old processes, painful upgrades, tons of maintenance (and overtime for IT), and costly add-ons. Your customers are always in flux, as we all are, but outdated technology makes it difficult to keep up.

Contact center platforms that aren’t built in the cloud aren’t built to solve the problems of modern customers (and employees). Your vendors have to shut down platforms to push simple updates, and they have to charge you more to maintain these costly systems.

Not to mention, as you get new technology in other parts of your company, it becomes hard to integrate fresh tech with old systems confined to servers.

All these pains stack up and cause chaos in your contact center.

Your agents get frustrated that they have to bounce between so many platforms to find information. Your customers get frustrated that it takes so long to get help. And, you get frustrated when you report sinking metrics back to your VPs.

The next time you fear the process of moving your contact center to the cloud, think about the issues bogging you down and how much relief you’ll feel, instead.

As you pick up the pace to migrate to the cloud, here are three ways to make the process easier.

Get executive buy-in and start decisions at the top.

It takes executive buy-in to change your processes, technology, and the way you work. Without sponsorship from the top, your projects will never get off the ground. Or worse, you’ll devote time and resources to moving to the cloud, only for your efforts to get shut down at the finish line.

When investments don’t start at the top, decisions get siloed. Silos cause piecemeal-ed systems and disjointed processes, toppling transformation efforts.

Poor project coordination and communication is behind 80% of project failures.

Kick off any migration project by bringing it to your leaders and getting the support you need to move forward, first.

Then, act as a bridge for word to travel from frontline employees to executives. You have a critical role to play in transformation efforts because you carry the intimate knowledge of what happens on the contact center ground every day. Your execs aren’t privy to that detailed view. Your role is crucial to make successful changes in your contact center and your company. In fact, only 3% of transformations succeed without input from frontline managers and employees. Use your knowledge, combined with executive sponsorship, to make the transition to the cloud a smooth one.

Create a dedicated project team to help you migrate to the cloud.

Moving to the cloud adds work to your team’s plate.

And, without key objectives and initiatives set, it’s easy for important pieces to get missed.

In a 2018 survey of IT pros, 85% of respondents had no recovery plan or were less than 100% confident in their plan to move data safely. Another 35% lost a few minutes to an hour of data, 28% lost a few hours and 31% lost a day or more.

Maintaining your data and operational integrity is crucial to your project’s success. Yet, so many companies still miss this piece. Likely because company leaders often toss these projects onto their employees’ plates, in addition to all their other daily tasks. Leaving such a big project to employees who are already overloaded heightens your risk of mistakes.

Work with your other company leaders to designate a project team to run your migration. This team will be responsible for mapping out all details, goals, and timelines for your move to the cloud. And, setting aside a dedicated team who uses time on the clock for your migration avoids adding overtime and extra staff hours to your budget.

Establish SLAs and implementation timelines with your vendors to limit downtime.

Some 60% of companies cite the inability to go live in the required timeframe as one of the biggest pains of moving to the cloud. And, another, 39% say lack of testing and late discovery of issues is a huge pain, too.

Choose vendors with established SLAs and timelines that guarantee you’ll launch on time. And, lay out an agreement up front to address any possibilities of downtime, so you can keep your customers informed ahead of time.

Work with your partner vendor to discuss obstacles as they come up and readjust as you go. Those on your project team, and your chosen tech vendor(s), need to communicate closely throughout the entire process to ensure success.

The pains of old tech are lasting and detrimental to your business.

With the right vendor, and the right steps, there’s plenty you can do to ease your move to the cloud. Kind of like hiring a moving company to box up all your stuff and transport it safely to your new home.

Need more tips on how to migrate to the cloud? Check out these 6 questions to ask your tech vendors. 

We originally published this post on December 20, 2016, and we updated for fresh insight on September 5, 2019.