CCaaS: contact centre as a service explained

CCaaS – or contact centre as a service – refers to a flexible, cloud-based software deployment strategy across the contact centre tech stack.

Rather than a one-size-fits-all approach to solutions, CCaaS allows contact centres to take a more agile, modular approach in picking out and purchasing technology.

Specifically, in using only the cloud technology they need. (Made possible by bolting on relevant services to a customisable package.)

In turn, contact centres can then embrace new channels, switch on new features, and add, change or remove functions quickly and easily. They can scale up or down as needed.

And all without relying on internal resources, and without complex infrastructure changes.

The rise of XaaS

To understand CCaaS, it’s first important to understand the rise of XaaS more broadly. CCaaS is another branch of the XaaS family. (X = ‘anything’ as a service.)

In offices around the globe, the days of buying digital solutions outright have fallen into decline – contact centres included. Instead, subscription-based software delivery models have risen.

With a cloud solution paid for via a rolling subscription, customers can then consume the services they need on a per-seat, per-month, per-module basis. And, conveniently, the cloud vendor delivers those services over a network. (Meaning minimal configuration efforts from the customer.)

The cloud customer doesn’t have to worry about infrastructure or maintenance or product innovation and fixes, for example. Their vendor offers it all as part of the service.

And, should the customer wish to adjust their service at any point, they can do so smoothly. So, they can opt-in for a new add-on feature, for example. Or they can adjust their account without incurring any internal IT headaches.

This flexible XaaS model offers clear value for the busy, technologically complex contact centre. (And particularly as they transition from the legacy call centres of old into the modern omnichannel help desk.)

So, as contact centres have become increasingly reliant on cloud technologies, the CCaaS model has emerged as a growing trend.

The emergence of contact centre as a service

Today, more and more CCaaS platforms are enjoying commercial success. These platforms offer an array of contact centre services – all of which can be bundled in/out as preferred.

For example, just a single contact centre as a service offering might include:

  • – Cloud VOIP
  • – Call routing / intelligent IVR
  • – Call recording and analytics systems
  • – A ticketing / help desk system
  • – Virtual assistants and AI chatbots
  • – Omnichannel contact options such as messaging and SMS
  • – Integrations into CRM systems and other key services
  • — Customer feedback / CX tracking

This list could continue, but the point is that CCaaS is designed to offer all the essential tools that a contact centre might need under one umbrella.

And, in so doing, the contact centre as a service vendor enables the customer to build their optimal environment at a lower total cost of ownership.

In short, CCaaS makes it easy for contact centre leaders to scale, to future-proof, and to manage costs. Even better, they can do so without taking on additional worries about investing extra time to manage and maintain their new software.

CCaaS risks

For all the benefits of the contact centre as a service model, there are also a few drawbacks to consider.

First, it’s worth noting that cloud deployment routes aren’t for everyone. In highly regulated industries, for instance, many contact centres prefer to host their data on-premises. (I.e. on their own company servers, behind their own company firewalls.)

Beyond the potential data privacy contentions, it’s also worth noting that CCaaS platforms tend to be a ‘master of none’ in terms of the multifarious channels and functions they offer. They generalise, rather than specialise. So, you won’t be getting the most advanced technologies across every service offered.

Say, for example, you’re a contact centre looking to deflect calls into a large-scale live chat channel with hundreds of user seats.

For that, you need a sophisticated chat solution. And you’re always going to get a more feature-rich, sophisticated service from a dedicated chat specialist than you are from an add-on bundled in with a CCaaS platform.

A shifting marketplace

CCaaS – or contact centre as a service – is an agility boon for the digitally transforming contact centre. In a shifting marketplace, CCaaS enables rapid adaptation, coupled with low maintenance and manageable costs.

But, as with any technology, it also has associated risks and issues. Our advice is to embrace transformation – but not at the cost of needed specialisation.  

Further reading