What is the difference between a cloud and a hosted model?
We see so many disillusioned customers coming to us thinking that the “cloud” is unreliable and expensive because of poor experiences with our competitors. What they don’t know is that they haven’t been using a cloud. In the context of the contact centre industry, there is still a lot of confusion in the market about the term “cloud”.
Hosted contact centre services are provisioned whereby the contact centre infrastructure is owned and managed by a third party on servers in third-party data centres yet is dedicated to an individual client’s use. This differs from contact centre as a service (CCaaS), in that CCaaS solutions will have multiple tenants being supported on a shared infrastructure. With a hosted solution, you have more points of failure than with a premise solution, so to provide resiliency, the supplier will offer a failover data centre to manage any incidents. In the event of a primary data centre incurring any problems, the supplier can migrate your services to the second data centre. The problem with this approach is, for many reasons, it doesn’t work. How long will your contact centre be down, while your supplier moves you? The technical term that describes the service level for this process is Recovery Time Objective (RTO). The fastest we’ve seen available in the marketplace (other than our own), is around 15 minutes. Average is 1-4 hours. That’s 15 minutes best case and 1-4 hours average downtime built into a hosted solution.
The second challenge presented by the hosted solution takes place after moving services from the primary data centre to a secondary centre. The moment the move is completed, services will more than likely roll back to a previous version that was backed up from the first data centre to the second data centre. The trouble with a second data centre is that, other than at Cirrus, backups typically don’t happen in real time. So, when your services are moved from the first to the second data centre, how old is the version going to be? Will the changes you made this morning, yesterday or in extreme cases this week or even month be there when you fail over? The technical term to measure this is called the Recovery Point Objective (RPO). Most suppliers will typically quote the Recovery Point Objective (RPO) in hours, ranging from 4 – 8 hours.
No other “Cloud” contact centre supplier offers triple live datacentre infrastructure. Cirrus is live for every customer across three data centres. Calls are load-balanced across the three data centres, based on their origin. There is no single point of failure and data is synchronised across all three data centres every 100ms. Although system availability service level (i.e. 99.999%) is a critical measurement, we believe that RTO and RPO are far more important metrics, as this will determine how quickly your contact centre will be back up and running after any issues and ultimately the level of impact your customers would experience.
Cirrus guarantees a Recovery Time Objective (RTO) of 60 seconds and a Recovery Point Objective (RPO) of 60 seconds.