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What Cloud Model Fits Your Customer Service Needs?

Paul Korzeniowski's picture
B2B Content producer Self-employed

Paul is a seasoned (basically old) freelance B2B content producer. Through the years, he has written more than 10,000 items (blogs, news stories, white papers, case studies, press releases and...

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Utilities have large complex billing and customer care, and customer service systems. The cloud offers them the opportunity to lower costs and improve service, but the technology has splintered as it evolved. Consequently, energy companies now have a handful of deployment choices, and different criteria to consider to find the one that suits them best.

Public cloud services, where suppliers like Salesforce maintain the infrastructure, are usually what executives think of when talking about the cloud.  A major advantage of these CRM solutions is that it is easy to get started. Vendors offers various incentives, and the programming is relatively straightforward and often frictionless. Data integration is relatively easy, and security is usually stronger than what a company can do on its own.

Legacy systems are private cloud solutions where the company maintains all of computing resources. Energy companies can lock this system down, so it seems more secure than even the most state-of-the-art public solution. In certain cases, private cloud is chosen for compliance reasons.

Hybrid cloud mixes the two. Utilities can take then advantage of the inexpensive, easy to manage data storage that the public cloud offers while also having the compliance benefits that come with keeping information on site.

Variations on the Main Themes

Hosted cloud is an emerging variation on the customer service theme. In this case, the energy company selects the hardware and software, but a third party installs and maintains it in their data centers.

Managed services are becoming quite popular. Here, a third party packages services from cloud CRM vendors to create a service with select features, like strong security or fast response times. They operate and monitor the system for the customer.

Cloud has proven to be a popular technology option. New ways to deliver these services have emerged, so utilities have lots of choices as they move their customer service applications to the cloud.

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