Research carried out on behalf of Interactive Intelligence suggests the majority of UK contact centres could be operating their businesses in the cloud in 2013. The survey, conducted by OnePoll, reveals almost three quarters (73%) of UK contact centres already have cloud-based operations, are actively looking or would like to move their operations to the cloud in the New Year.

The survey, carried out in early December, questioned 500 directors and senior managers from businesses with contact centres across the UK. A quarter of the respondents said they already have cloud operations, while an additional 48% stated they are actively looking or would like to move to the cloud during 2013.

The results reinforce the findings of another Interactive Intelligence survey conducted in 2010, which revealed a growing number of c-level executives from enterprise companies (64%) were planning to migrate their communications to the cloud (with the retail, distribution and transport sector most actively looking to migrate (68%) and financial services (40%) not planning to invest). This was the same figure reported in ContactBabel’s recent report, which showed 64% of UK organisations are more interested in using cloud solutions than 12 months prior.

The results were published in October in the ContactBabel UK Contact Centre Decision Makers’ Guide, the industry bible on facts, trends and opinion about the contact centre industry. Steve Morrell, Principal Consultant, ContactBabel, said: “Cloud contact centre technology solutions have become realistic options for centres of all sizes due to their high value proposition and flexibility.”

Business managers taking part in this latest OnePoll survey cited the main reason for moving to the cloud is to reduce capital expenditure (45%). More than a third (37%) felt a cloud-based solution would aid the growth of their company, while 28% stated it would allow faster deployment in their contact centres.

Despite the promising results, more than 50% of those UK contact centres surveyed still do not fully operate in the cloud. The greatest barrier to cloud adoption is the continued perceived concerns around data security (43%). Interestingly, 23% said they are concerned about lack of onsite support, and 24% cited that customer perceptions of ‘outsourced’ call centres was another key reason for keeping their call centre operations offline.

Dave Paulding, Regional Sales Director UK, Middle East & Africa, Interactive Intelligence, said: “The results demonstrate how perceptions have changed since cloud solutions were first introduced to the industry. There are still some perceived concerns around security, but as the findings show, an increasing number of contact centres are looking to deploy cloud-based models and we are seeing this growth in most industry sectors. Interestingly, since the 2010 research findings, there is now a greater demand and uptake for cloud-based contact centres in the financial services sector, closely followed by the retail sector.

“More and more companies are realising the benefits of the cloud, which includes minimal up-front costs, faster deployment and the improved flexibility it brings to contact centre operations. We have worked hard to address any concerns and dispel any fears that businesses may have around security. In our experience, a one size fits all approach to cloud computing will not work for most businesses and our CaaS (Communications as a Service) model offers more flexible options. The unique local control model gives companies all the advantages of a hosted solution while providing the control, security and flexibility of a premise-based solution,” said Paulding.

Interactive Intelligence was recently recognised with a Cloud Computing Excellence Award for its business communications cloud offering. The accolade was presented in November by Cloud Computing Magazine for its “trusted cloud solution that provides enhanced security and reliability, maximum flexibility, and broad functionality."

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