Is CaaS Right for You?

Deployment Model Considerations

Often, details can be overlooked leading to a poor choice of CaaS vendors. Price and features aren’t the only things to consider in your evaluation criteria. In order to select an appropriate vendor, some time must be spent evaluating your business drivers and organizational needs.

While not a comprehensive list, the following questions and comments should help you start thinking in the right direction.

  • Is your network VoIP ready? It is incumbent upon the CaaS vendor to not only do an evaluation of your environment, but to help prepare it before the deployment occurs. Search for vendors who are experienced in diagnosing and troubleshooting networking issues, voice quality, and bandwidth preparedness.

    Additionally, if you aren’t ready for VoIP, but want to move forward with a CaaS provider, look for vendors who can use your existing TDM (traditional analog/digital) solution and still provide you the communications applications you need for your business.
  • Do you need to increase the capabilities of your current communication infrastructure but only for a short period of time? Seasonality spikes drive demand for more headcount, more coverage, and more applications. However, it doesn’t make sense to invest in hardware and software when you only need it for short periods of time. Make sure that the vendor you choose gives you the ability to add even a simple workgroup of call-center agents on your existing infrastructure with minimal capital expense allowing you to focus your money and energy in other areas of your business.
  • Do compliance standards require you to maintain control of customer data? At the top of your vendor selection checklist should be a listing of all of the compliance standards that your organization must adhere to. Look for those CaaS vendors who allow you to maintain your high compliancy standards and still provide flexible deployment options and applications. Do you need to maintain HIPPA or PCI compliancy? Then you need the option to have all call recordings and call records stored locally on your own network, not the CaaS vendor’s.
  • Do you have a distributed environment with corporate-based and remote agents? Don’t rule out CaaS because you think vendors can’t handle multiple sites – this is where CaaS vendors excel! No longer are you tied to a single facility to provide your employees with a robust communications suite of call center applications. The applications that CaaS vendors provide today are far superior to those of the past, and they can be extended to anyone, anywhere around the globe.

    When you create your short list of vendors, make sure that they provide the ability to have corporate-based agents as well as remote agents and supervisors with full visibility and functionality of the entire call-center, regardless of where your employees are located.
  • Are there future plans to migrate to a premises-based system? There are many reasons why you might decide that a CaaS solution is right for you today, but in the future you might go back to on-premise equipment:
    • Your decision is driven by cost-cutting measures today, but in the future you may not have that restriction
    • You want more control in the future, but today you would rather have someone else manage the solution
    • Today you only need a basic contact center application, but in the future, you will need more robust applications not available in a CaaS model
    Whatever the reason, look for vendors offering a CaaS solution that allows you to run in a hosted communications environment for as long as you need to and then easily migrate to a premise-based solution when it fits your business model – all without losing your investment in software and applications. This can be tricky, but there are vendors today, most of them communications software vendors also selling premise-based solutions, who can provide the exact same solution regardless of whether you deploy it as a hosted offering or on your premise.

  • Is your company currently under contract with an existing carrier? Remember, your decision to move to a CaaS provider should be driven by your business needs. Look for a vendor that allows you to maintain your current contracts while receiving the benefits of a cloud-based call center solution. Additionally, ensure that the vendor has established carrier relationships that you can leverage when your existing contracts expire.
  • Do you have a managed WAN in place today, seeking the options to extend your network to a cloud based telephony provider? Customers who have an existing WAN are several steps ahead of those who don’t. Implementing a WAN takes a lot of planning and possibly some additional infrastructure. If you already have these things in place, your steps toward deploying a cloud-based communications solution is easier, however you still need to be sure you’ve done your homework when it comes to ensuring your network is prepared for voice.

    In the event that you don’t have a WAN in place and don’t want to make that investment yet, search for a vendor that can work with your existing infrastructure while still allowing you to extend your communications network out to all of your locations. While cost savings are more greatly realized when voice can be routed over a WAN via VoIP versus the PSTN, you can still derive great benefit using a CaaS vendor’s centralized communications solution.

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