Cloud Call Center Software Providers

With over one hundred call center software providers in the market, choosing the best call center software provider for your company can be a difficult and time-consuming process. Cloud call center software features vary greatly and understanding vendor differences is critical to your customer service success.

Contact center as a service solutions are becoming the preferred deployment model for many contact centers, replacing older, on-premise contact center infrastructure. Gartner predicts that by 2022, contact center as a service will be the preferred adoption model in 50% of contact centers, up from 10% in 2019. Gartner also forecasts that CCaaS spending will grow at a 27.3% compound annual growth rate from 2018 to 2023, as on-premise spending continues to decrease year-to-year.

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What is cloud call center software or contact center as a service (CCaaS)?

Cloud call center software is a suite of features that help a business with a high quantity of calls to route, oversee, and track incoming calls and customer interactions. In recent years, call centers have added additional customer communication channels to their voice channel including email, SMS (SMS text), social media, web chat, live chat, voicemail, and mobile apps.

With the increase in channels supported in a call center, companies have evolved their customer support to become more customer-centric across all channels. There are also benefits to acquiring a call center technology that supports voice and nonvoice channels as a complete all-in-one solution often referred to as omnichannel solutions. With these shifts, companies look to cloud vendors to provide the most innovative and customer-centric call center software.

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Why Cloud for Your Call Center?

There are premise-based call center solutions and cloud-based call center solutions that can help your company manage customer interactions. Premise contact center solutions are more traditional and require on-site hardware and an internal IT team to manage. Cloud call center solutions are hosted by the cloud vendor and provide companies with a variety of feature and functionality benefits. With a cloud solution, all you need is an internet connection and a softphone to connect and start interacting with customers or prospective customers.

Gartner Identified CCaaS Market Drivers

  • Move from CAPEX to OPEX
  • IT department’s focus on core business instead of call center software and hardware
  • Scalability in seat count for growth and seasonality
  • Rapid deployment
  • Ability to trial new features and functionality

Gartner Identified CCaaS Market Inhibitors

  • Total cost of ownership
  • Customization
  • Enterprise Scalability
  • Security
  • Operational disruption

Cloud 1.0 vs. Cloud 2.0

The cloud was born from premise-based systems migrating to data centers where they “hosted” the servers for clients charged in an OPEX model. Hosted systems then gave way to computing-based systems referred to as the “cloud”. Many of the early cloud players were still running pieces of their infrastructure on premise-based technology, and because of technology debt in platforms, many of the early implementers didn’t truly move to cloud-based deployments until their re-writes were completed. Cloud 1.0 was already fully deployed by many of the newer vendors, but the early to market vendors had already established a foothold in the market.

Technology is constantly evolving and the cloud is no different. Although many consumers are just now becoming accustomed to the cloud, cloud providers have already begun to evolve and improve their cloud services. The cloud has moved from its original version into a 2.0 version with improved stability, flexibility, and automation. Cloud 2.0 is an intelligence-driven infrastructure that has improved security and data analysis with microservice architecture and machine learning.

Companies have made a push towards more stable and modular infrastructure with microservice architectures. Cloud 1.0 services were typically a one size fits all infrastructure where apps were designed in a single package. Currently, Cloud 2.0 services are built on microservice platforms which are much more stable and allow more flexibility and scalability.

With the growth of big data, Cloud 2.0 solutions analyze data more proficient with the use of AI and machine learning. Companies are finding new ways to utilize their own data for business intelligence with the use of machine learning.

Cloud 1.0 provided a great infrastructure for companies to begin using cloud services, but the cloud evolution is quick and some even say we are on our way to a Cloud 3.0, which takes digital transformation to the next level by becoming a strategic enabler rather than just a technology.

Gartner Leaders and Mid-Market Call Center Software Providers

Cloud call center providers are NOT created equal, and it is important to research the different vendors’ technology, as well as the organization itself to determine if the vendor will be a good partner long term. Gartner and other industry analysts have identified Five9, Talkdesk, AirCall, NICE inContact and Genesys as some of the leading contact center products but there are dozens of excellent cloud contact center solutions available with diverse feature sets.

Gartner Magic Quadrant Inclusion Criteria

Gartner has a strict set of inclusion criteria a vendor has to meet to be included in their annual report and magic quadrant. Many mid-market vendors do not meet all criteria, specifically meeting $24 million in annual subscription license revenue in North America. Due to this rule, many competent providers are not listed in the magic quadrant. Mid-market call center vendors can be evaluated through additional reports like the Gartner FrontRunner’s Quadrant, online review sites, and with the help of call center consulting companies like Cloud Call Center Search. Gartner magic quadrant inclusion criteria include the following:

  • Minimum install base of 24,000 named or 18,000 concurrent enterprise agents in North America
  • Minimum $24 million in annual subscription license revenue in North America
  • Must provide Gartner with 10 enterprise reference customers with 300+ agents
  • Offer services on multitenant platforms
  • Offer elasticity of usage enabling customers to easily scale agent seats
  • Have at least 50% of subscription revenue as inbound voice agent licenses

Gartner evaluates vendors that meet the inclusion criteria based on their ability to execute and completeness of vision to create the magic quadrant where vendors fall into one of the following categories:

Leaders which Gartner describes as “…suppliers with a strong multichannel product and service capability that have already amassed a large installed base of large and small customers. Leaders also benefit from being able to support varying levels of deployment complexity, including multichannel deployments and integration with a variety of third-party systems.”

Visionaries which Gartner describes as suppliers who “…have strong multichannel product and service capabilities and a clear strategy for sales, marketing and business development. They differentiate themselves by adding unique functionality and/or delivery capabilities.”

Challengers which Gartner describes as suppliers who “…may also have large installed bases of customers, although typically not as large as those of Leaders. They may have more recognized strength in serving customers in particular size segments or some other customer classification. They generally lack the CCaaS brand awareness of Leaders.”

Niche Players which Gartner describes as suppliers who “…may be quite large but have decided to focus on a particular market opportunity, a set of solutions or certain vertical markets. Their products and services may still be undergoing product development, or they may rely heavily on partners to complete their service proposition. Niche Players are likely to be either new or relatively recent market entrants, or suppliers that have yet to build a large customer base.”

Contact Center Solution Features

When selecting a cloud call center software provider you will want to determine the necessary features as well as features that would be nice to have. Because of the size and complexity of the vendor landscape, features can vary greatly even among the same types of CCaaS solutions. Not all CCaaS solutions are created equal, and just because a solution falls in the CCaaS category, does not mean that it contains all the standard features.

Certain features may provide better business outcomes but at a cost, therefore understanding the difference between your wants and needs will be key when evaluating different platforms. By understanding and documenting the features you need, you will have more informed conversations with service providers. Consider outbound contact center features, inbound call center features, reporting and metric tracking, omnichannel features, artificial intelligence, workforce optimization, quality assurance, and CRM integrations. Below is a checklist of call center features you should consider.

  • Automatic Call Distributor (ACD)
  • Interactive Voice Response (IVR)
  • Conversational IVR
  • Skills-based Routing
  • Omnichannel Routing
  • Automation
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Scripting
  • Call Queues
  • Screen Pop
  • Call Control
  • Disposition Codes
  • Call Recording
  • Call Monitoring
  • Call Barging
  • Whisper Coaching
  • Conference Calling
  • Admin-to-Agent Chat
  • Voicemail
  • Call Back Reminders
  • Call Back Scheduler
  • Hold Music
  • Predictive Dialer
  • Preview Dialer
  • Power Dialer
  • Click-to-Call
  • Real-time Reporting
  • Real-time Statistics
  • Historical Reporting
  • Custom Reporting
  • Real-time Dashboards
  • Wallboards
  • Sentiment Analysis
  • Speech Analytics
  • Gamification
  • Workforce Management
  • CRM
  • Compliance
  • Customer Journey Workflow
  • Case Management

Benefits of Cloud Call Center Software Vendors

Cloud call center vendor’s software has matured greatly over the years and many cloud contact center vendors offer more benefits than premise-based technology. By the end of 2025, more than 65% of contact center agent seats will be in the cloud. What is causing the shift? Benefits are abundant when using cloud software. Benefits include uptime, disaster recovery, scalability, customization, lower cost, quick ROI payback, pre-built integrations, instant updates, and improved customer satisfaction.

No Downtime

Cloud-based call center vendors offer companies greater reliability with little to no downtime. It is common for cloud-based call center software providers to include SLAs with an uptime of 99.99% or greater.

Support Growth

Cloud based call center providers can support growth better than on-premise contact center software because companies can easily add additional agent licenses on the fly month-to-month.

Cost-Effective

Cloud solutions are often more cost-effective for companies because unlike on-premise solutions, there are no hardware costs upfront. Cloud contact center vendors offer a pay-as-you-go model where you only pay for what you use in a month-to-month subscription model. This model also brings powerful call center software to small businesses that are unable to pay the large capital expenditure involved in premise-based call center software solutions.

Pre-Built Integrations

Although on-premise integrations are possible, they require a skilled internal IT team which can be expensive and out of the question for many companies. Cloud contact center providers offer pre-built integrations to popular workforce management (WFM), Quality Assurance (QA), and Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software like Salesforce, Zendesk, and Microsoft Dynamics. Cloud call center solutions allow companies to easily integrate CRM systems with screen pop functionality to improve customer support and agent productivity.

Disaster Recovery

Cloud call center providers also have greater availability and reliability with microservice architecture and active-active disaster recovery across multiple geo redundant locations.

Customization

Due to the ease-of-use of cloud solutions, call center managers can easily create customized reports, wallboards, and customer journeys without needing support from the vendor’s professional services team.

Quick ROI Payback

Because cloud contact center software providers offer monthly subscription payments, many companies realize a return on their investment much sooner than with premise contact centers. The quick deployment time of cloud solutions further helps companies realize a quick ROI payback.

Instant Updates

The speed of innovation with a cloud vendor is much quicker than an on-premise vendor because cloud based contact center providers give customers instant access to new features as soon they are released. For premise technology to be updated you need an internal IT team to manage the upgrade which includes updating hardware and software.

Customer Satisfaction

The restraints legacy technology places on contact centers make it impossible to keep up with changing customer expectations. Cloud solutions continue to provide innovation for exceptional customer experiences and agent performance.

Are you ready to simplify your cloud contact center software selection process? Get started with a free technology vendor feature and price comparison.

Get a Free Technology Vendor Price Comparison