Seven Things to Consider Before Selecting a Private Cloud Vendor
Is an Avaya private cloud right for you?
The cloud is probably the most cost-saving innovation in call center infrastructure since the invention of the IVR. Many vendors will offer private cloud options, especially to owners of Avaya infrastructure who want to stay in the Avaya system. With a dizzying array of options ranging from homegrown public clouds to Avaya public clouds to Avaya private clouds to hybrid offerings, it can be difficult to know which cloud configuration will deliver the most benefits to your organization.
Benefits of a private cloud
A private cloud, also known as the “internal” or “corporate” cloud, differs from a public cloud in that the physical servers reside within the company’s environment or colocation. Unlike a public cloud, which may house tenants from multiple companies, access to a private cloud is restricted exclusively to the company employees or business partners. There are five key attributes the private cloud offers:
- Offering resources (infrastructure & applications) as a service
- Flexibility and scale that meet client demands
- Resource sharing among large number of users
- Measurement and payment according to use of the service
- Use of Internet protocols and technologies to access cloud resources
Drawbacks of a private cloud
Wherever there are benefits, there are drawbacks. Depending on the vendor selected, a private cloud solution can carry with it some of the drawbacks of a premise-based solution, including a lack of redundancy and a lack of security. While these can be implemented, the cost might increase in order to accommodate the additional servers required for full redundancy or to become PCI level one compliant. Additionally, some of the anticipated cloud cost benefits can be lost, since a large capital expenditure is still required.
How to select a private cloud vendor
When selecting a vendor to provide a private cloud solution, consider the following:
- Do you have a name brand system of preference, such as Avaya or Cisco?
- Is the vendor partnered with those brands?
- If the cloud is homegrown, what references can the vendor provide?
- If reliability is a concern, is geographic redundancy included in the private cloud offering?
- If security is a concern, will the data centers be certified PCI Level One compliant?
- How does the vendor guarantee a smooth cloud transition?
- What Service Level Agreements (SLA’s) does the vendor provide in terms of maintenance and upgrades?Can the vendor integrate with any existing systems (CRM, IVR, etc.) seamlessly, or will those need to be replaced?
What about a hybrid cloud?
As you can see, a private cloud can offer great advantages for those who are more comfortable with servers being hosted on site as opposed to publicly. And just to throw a wrench in the debate, there is yet another option: a hybrid cloud.
As with hybrid gas/electric cars, a hybrid cloud can offer the best of both worlds. Companies can keep the systems at highest risk of hacking, such as CRM systems hosting private customer data, on site, while leveraging a cloud-based ACD, call recording and reporting capabilities.