Why Moving to the Cloud Gives you an Advantage in a Time of Crisis

Business continuity is a challenge we are all currently facing, as most of us are unable to step into our offices. During this time of social distancing, we’re relying on software applications to help us remotely collaborate with our teams, interact with clients, and go about our work. Software applications can be broadly categorized into two categories:  ‘on-premise’ and ‘cloud’. Both have their advantages and disadvantages, but in the current context of remote work, cloud has a significant edge over on-premise technology. And if you haven’t moved to the cloud yet – now is the perfect time to consider it. 

So what advantages should you expect when moving to the cloud over on-premise software? Is it possible to implement it and still ensure minimal disruption during these times of uncertainty? We caught up with VC Harish, a Customer Support Lead at Freshworks, to understand why now is the right time to move to the cloud.

Hi, Harish. How’s it going? How is the work-from-home situation?

It’s interesting. I have a seven-month-old, so I’m occupied in a good way.

Since going into office is not really an option, a majority of companies have switched to remote work. In your opinion, why should organizations consider moving to the cloud right now, especially ones that run contact centers or call centers?

Well, the answer is already there – it’s the cloud. When you think about the cloud, all you need is a desktop or a laptop, and a proper internet connection. It’s a one-time setup, and you’re ready to go. But an on-premise system needs continuous deployment and implementation. For any updates to happen, you need someone to come over to your location and deploy it on your computers – which takes a lot of time, effort, and cost.

With cloud applications on the other hand, after implementation, all the updates just run through the cloud, so you don’t need someone physically present there to update the application. So that’s one of the major reasons why companies out there should consider moving to the cloud, and especially in the current situation.

What do you think makes something like cloud telephony easier to manage remotely, aside from the fact that it’s not a physical product? From a manager’s angle, how does it make it easier to manage your team remotely?

The first thing is setting up the workflows or the call flows, right? In an enterprise system or an on-premise enterprise system, if you need to make changes to the call flow, it’s a huge process. If you need someone to make changes at the code-level or make multiple updates, you will need to deploy the changes each time, which is a lot of effort. So if there is a crisis and you need to update something immediately, it will take a few hours for you to make the changes on an on-premise system. 

But on the cloud, if you need to make changes, all it takes is a few clicks of a button. Using the UI, you can go to the call flow, make the changes, save the call flows, and then it’s updated. For example, in certain situations, you can play different messages like ‘The call load is currently high’, ‘Agents are currently not available’, leave a callback message, or ask the customers to leave a voicemail – there are numerous options that can be used!

Convenience is the main reason cloud telephony is essential for customers, especially during these times. If there is an emergency and they want to change something on the go, all they will need is a laptop and an internet connection — just log into the application and make the changes. They don’t have to be present physically.

As a company, Freshworks uses a lot of our own products, and we’ve been on the cloud since day one. How do you think being on the cloud has helped Freshworks, especially during a time like this when going to the office is not possible?

To be very honest, from the support teams’ standpoint, across all the products that we have, the major challenge that we had is making sure that people are safe and that they have a proper internet connection. In terms of the applications and processes, or the day-to-day work that goes in, there isn’t much change, because every product we use is on the cloud and we have been using this from day one. It was just a regular day for us. We use the same applications, and we didn’t have to make changes to the workflows that we already had.

We were only concerned about people’s safety and making sure everyone has everything necessary with them. 

Key Takeaways

  1. Cloud applications have several advantages over on-premise applications when it comes to setup time, implementing updates as well as usability and change management
  2. In the current situation, when rapid adaptability is vital for companies and customer support teams, using cloud telephony to manage call flows, agent availability, and setting up auto-responses makes working remotely for managers a lot easier.
  3. Cloud applications make transitioning your work from the office to your home simple and easy to do.