For businesses to stay relevant and competitive, moving their communications into the cloud is the only option.

Business sense

Tim Passios, Vice President, Solutions Marketing at Interactive Intelligence, says that moving communications into the cloud gives an organization increased flexibility, allowing them to add or remove licenses, application and services as and when they need. Passios also points out that a move into the cloud reduces IT requirements because “the cloud vendor handles the maintenance, upgrades, breaks and fixes, and, if you want, general administration. IT can focus on their core business and less on those areas where they aren’t experts.”

So what does this mean for the modern customer; the customer who is no longer happy to make a phone call to a company and then sit on hold for five minutes? This modern customer wants to communicate using instantaneous mobile apps on their smart phone, rather than the traditional channels of interaction, such as voice and email.

“Anyone with any app can build globe spanning, multi-national communications infrastructures overnight,” Cohen says. “That’s new and surprising.”

Passios believes that we live in an age where the customer has more power than the business. “With the advent of Social Media, customers now have the power they’ve needed for years to let others know how bad their experience has been with the companies they do business with,” he says. “By moving the contact centre to the cloud, companies can adopt newer technology and innovate fast in order to improve the customer experience.”

Cloud economics

Facebook’s $19 billion purchase of Whatsapp was the sixth biggest technology acquisition of all time. Yes, that’s a huge amount of money, but now consider this: Whatsapp makes hardly any profit. Why would a company that makes no money be valued at $19 billion?

“The economics of the Internet are changing and the value proposition for companies, in terms of communications, is now access to people,” says Reuven Cohen, Chief Technology Advocate at Citrix. “Going from zero to 500,000,000 users in a couple of years, Whatsapp is one of the fastest growing communications apps of all time.”

It’s a perfect example of how communication in the cloud gives you access to people all over the world, and of how valuable that access is. The traditional telecoms company has always been limited to doing business in a singular country, but that’s changing. The cloud is creating democratization within the communications industry. “Anyone with any app can build globe spanning, multi-national communications infrastructures overnight,” Cohen says. “That’s new and surprising.”