Legacy Contact Center Migration: Does End Justify The Means?
Updated: Dec 30, 2021
Following the O'Reilly survey, 28% of companies had been using business benefits of microservices for 3 years and 61% - for 1 year. As of today, the microservice boom only increases its scale. We suggest discovering: is worth it to migrate the contact center to microservices; and what to be ready for in the сase of an affirmative answer.
Monolith Contact Center Migration To Microservices: Tips And Benefits
Ten years ago, the contact center was associated with an open space filled with always busy agents in headphones. Nothing has changed. Except now, it covers all communication channels and can be situated everywhere: at the office, at an employee's place, or in the mountains, in the case of flawless coverage.
Migration to microservices is what allows contact center software to meet new realities. It is impossible to present a versatile migration scenario because each case is individual. But, speaking of migrating a contact center to microservices, there are several features and tips that a business should consider.
1. Follow the parallel-run path.
The contact center is the link between an enterprise and its customers. Long-term freezing of communication channels (as it is in a one-shot migration usage case) will be detrimental to the business. In turn, the parallel run approach will evenly distribute risks, maintain audience loyalty and allow a company to move step by step towards the ultimate goal of migration.
2. Ensure a variety of integrations.
Following the Omnisend Omnichannel Statistics Report, "the purchase rate of omnichannel campaigns is 287% higher than single-channel ones." To engage an audience with rapid response, an enterprise should create strong ties between the contact center channels, other back-office, and third services (like delivery ones). Depending on the situation, you may need about 10+ points of integration with ERP, CRM, analytics, marketing, warehouse, logistics, product catalog, order management systems, etc.
3. Get ready to develop.
Typically, the contact center benefits are used by the retail, telecom, and financial sectors. None of these domains are simple. On the contrary, one of the main challenges of migrating to microservices here is complex business processes. Just try to find a ready-made product that would cover all business needs in migration conditions. Even if you manage to purchase a suitable solution, be ready to design some functionality from scratch.
All about general concepts as well as pros and cons of microservice architecture you can find here.
Following IBM research, 78% of current microservices users are ready to invest in their development for the next few years. Management believes unconditional advantages of microservices justify the investment. Online resources will tell you about scaling, technology freedom, and the entire system's flexibility. It's true. But let's consider the benefits of microservice architecture in terms of contact center migration. What does it give a client?
1) Reducing the load on legacy systems.
If you divide contact center processes from the monolith, a new microservices layer will process data and change business logic without direct monolith engagement. Legacy systems will receive the approved information and perform their limited process accurately on a tight schedule. A shining example would be the order management module functioning. The service is capable of changing order details before final approval. It makes services flexible and customer-oriented. After the data approval, the module transfers them to legacy ERP for further financial documents generation.
2) Expanding access to legacy systems.
For example, before the migration, contact center employees interacted with the ERP only through laptops since the system has a desktop interface. Moving from a monolith to a hybrid architecture provides staff with the ability to use different devices to access outdated software. Following Gartner, in 2019, only 27% of employees worked remotely. By the end of 2021, their number will reach up to 51%. In post-coronavirus conditions, flawless access to legacy systems supports employee agility and preferences.
3) Interface convenience.
A monolith often has issues with an interface understandable for an experienced user but difficult for a beginner. Most companies who use contact center software rule by seasonality in this process. It depends on customer behavior and requires the presence of more operators at certain times of the year. It means a company periodically faces a complex onboarding process. A division of functionality requires creating a more understandable interface for contact center employees. Due to dozens of integration points with legacy systems and third services, the intelligent contact center interface can prompt an agent with the data for client request resolution.
4) Formation of robust integrations and omnichannel.
If you separate the contact center software into a microservice-based middleware, you can make it an integration center, indirectly connecting the internal and external systems. It will ensure a high level of data security and high exchange speed. The entire system will respond to thousands of simultaneous requests from clients; its operation will be focused on each specific issue. Due to it, the enterprise can provide customers with an omnichannel approach.
Is it possible to switch to microservices on fixed-price conditions? Click here to discover.
Core Challenges Of Legacy System Modernization
Migration to microservices is never easy and fast. Developers have to solve many issues within the process to achieve the desired result. Among the main challenges engineers can face are the following:
The complexity of the domain area and business processes. The closely intertwined monolith's functionality complicates functions' allocation into separate services. Moreover, retail, telecom, or financial areas operate with non-linear procedures. To duplicate the legacy app logic properly, an engineer needs to dig deeper into the client's business processes. The last ones contain a large number of attributes used in a particular company with an individual vision. It often takes a long time to understand them.
Hidden functionality. It is arduous to evaluate the full scope of migration work at the outset of a project. Usually, legacy monolith contains lots of hidden functions engineers should transit. These pitfalls lead to periodical roadmap updates and schedule changes.
Lack of information. It's arduous to find all project documentation concerning legacy systems. Due to their age and employee turnover, it can get lost. Within a migration process, a vendor should hold conferences and se ssions with in-house developers. They can help to identify each legacy system's functionality, capabilities, and shortcomings.
Migration within the live traffic. Any engineer's mistake can cost the company an audience, as the contact center transition is carried out simultaneously with clients' requests processing. The IT team's task is to ensure that end clients don't feel any inconvenience associated with the migration. Sometimes it's hard to ensure it.
Retail Contact Center Migration Case Study.
Migrating a contact center to microservices requires investment, patience, and effort. But it will provide your enterprise with benefits like increased sales, digital infrastructure performance, employee efficiency, and customer loyalty.
Contact us to share your migration idea and get tips on how to perform it efficiently.