Not all clouds are the same.

When you were young, a cloud was a cloud. Then you learned that cumulus meant fair weather, while nimbus meant rain, and funnel cloud meant run for cover. Cloud computing has a simple appeal, but it also has layers of complexity that can make the difference between a nice day and a flood of problems.

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Sticking to the core issues

We’re not going to get into the practical or semantic differences between cloud computing and SaaS (as well as PaaS , IaaS, and HaaS). Others have done better at that than we have. There’s a pretty readable one at VentureBeat. For our discussion, we are going to assume that you are interested in a cloud-based contact center and want to know how to differentiate good from bad cloud offerings.

Why a cloud solution?

The reasons for moving to cloud computing solutions are also much better covered elsewhere, but here’s a quick summary:

  • Lower costs: you get to eliminate heavy investments in stand-alone software and servers. You can easily save on overhead costs such as data storage, software updates, and management.
  • Scalability and agility: you don’t need to install hardware or software and you can easily scale the services up or down as needed.
  • Innovation: As applications and the supporting hardware are improved, you do not need to manage any transitions or migrations.
  • Flexible work locations: Because most cloud applications are delivered through a web browser, all you need is a computer and internet connection.
  • Device flexibility: Cloud computing services can be accessed from thin clients, tablets, smartphones, etc.

A generation worth skipping

Bright Pattern has established the fifth wave of contact center technology.

  • The first wave was based entirely on hardware (such as from Rockwell), so it was as inflexible as you could imagine.
  • The second wave threw software on top of the hardware (Nortel, Avaya), a good interim improvement while waiting for the next wave.
  • Pure software solutions (Genesys—built mostly by the same engineers who are now behind Bright Pattern) were a big leap forward , but as demand for multi-channel communications and applications grew, so too did the complexity and costs of integration projects.
  • The next generation is the one to skip—again an interim generation, this time throwing software into the cloud.

Sure, it was the only game in town for a while, but now that the first true cloud contact solution—Service Pattern– is available, why settle for a partial solution?

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What a real cloud solution looks like

The Bright Pattern team has been in this business for a long time. In fact, the core engineering team is that same one that built the contact center application that you are probably using today. When our co-founders discussed the idea of creating the next generation of contact center, they knew it would be cloud-based. But more importantly, they knew that migrating or integrating existing code would not work and that they would have to start over to do it right. And because none of the established vendors were willing to abandon their technology and customer bases, they knew that they’d have to start a new company. That gave them the freedom to develop this cloud solution as it should be—from the ground up.

The advantages of multitenancy

Multitenancy is an important element of effective and efficient cloud computing. Among the advantages of a multitenant architecture are:

  • Cost savings: Because every application instance incurs memory and processing overhead costs (which add up when you have many agents and many customers), multitenancy provides costs savings beyond the obvious ones from consolidating resources under one roof by spreading it across many customers.
  • Release management: Multitenancy makes it easier for vendors to roll out the latest versions of application. This not only keeps you on the latest codebase faster, it also helps us keep costs down by streamlining our processes.

But is it real multitenancy?

Many of our competitors stretch the definition of multitenancy. And the reason is obvious, they migrated their old on-premise installation-based code into a pseudo-cloud. They had no choice. They are multitenant at the datacenter level, but not at the process level. In other words, they are still provisioning a single real or virtual server to each client, which is really the same old less efficient and more costly model. They are inherently less scalable and less cost-effective, and it is harder for them to roll out updates. Really, all they have done is to change management responsibility, not how it works.

Public clouds, private clouds, on-premises, and hybrids

The ServicePattern solution supports freedom of choice in deployments.

  • Choose public cloud for the easiest and most efficient classic cloud solution.
  • Choose private cloud if you need dedicated resources (for security or other reasons) or if your IT department wants hands-on access to and control of the hardware and system software layers.
  • Choose on-premise for maximum local control of the resources.

Or choose a hybrid solution when a combination of architectures makes sense. For example, if you have a solid relationship and contract with a carrier for voice, you might want your RTP and SIP on site, wile the rest of the solution is accessed by your agents through the public cloud.

The bottom line

If you want a true cloud contact solution, you won’t get it anywhere else. Other vendors’ multitenancy strategy is to set up another box. A number of vendors simply can’t do private instances (possibly a security or regulatory concern). And while the cloud vendors can’t get on-premise, and the on-premise vendors can’t do cloud, we offer both and hybrid to boot.

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