What is Multi-cloud and Why Does it Matter?

Sep 22, 2020 11:00:28 AM

Playwright George Bernard Shaw said, “The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.”

Ironically, sometimes communication problems are caused by communication technology vendors. One company does something innovative or noteworthy, and the chorus of “Me, too!” or “Me first!” begins. It’s then left to our customers to try to sort out what’s real. To figure out whether they need to pay attention. And to understand why it matters.

Over the past several years, one of the most often misused terminologies in the world of contact centers is omnichannel, which means the ability to move between multiple modes of communication--web chat, SMS, voice, email--in a single interaction. Everyone says they provide it. Very few actually do. 

It seems a new terminology misunderstanding is emerging: multi-cloud. I’m seeing a lot of confusion about multi-cloud - what it is, and why it matters. Let’s talk about that.

What the Heck is Multi-cloud?

Multi-cloud is the use of multiple cloud computing and storage services in a single network architecture. In a contact center or unified communications world, it means these solutions reside in more than one cloud environment.

Some vendors offer customers the option to choose which cloud vendor (Amazon, Google, Azure) will host their software. They label it “multi-cloud.” It’s not. It’s simply offering customers a choice. 

You’ll also see vendors offering customers the option to choose applications (such as workforce management or IVR) from one of multiple cloud-based vendors. That’s not multi-cloud either--it’s multi-vendor choice.

True multi-cloud means the solution is architected to operate on multiple public clouds--AWS, Google, etc.--across multiple global data regions at the same time.

Tell Me Why I Should Care?

You should care because true multi-cloud gives your contact center the highest possible level of reliability. A multi-cloud architecture eliminates the reliance on any single cloud provider or instance. That means you minimize the risk of downtime for your mission-critical contact center.

For example, with Edify Huddle ML, your contact center solution is running in an active-active environment on multiple cloud providers simultaneously. If AWS (Amazon Web Services) has an outage, your customers don’t suffer the consequences--the contact center is mirrored on Google, and all those interactions continue without a hitch. That means you get real-time redundancy. 

How Do I Know if a Solution is Truly Multi-cloud?  

The following questions will help cut through the noise when you talk with communications solution vendors:

  • How do you define multi-cloud?
  • Does your solution run on multiple cloud providers simultaneously? Which ones?
  • Can you tell me more about your solution’s multi-cloud architecture?

Listen carefully to their responses, and don’t hesitate to ask follow-up questions if their answers are ambiguous. Know that:

  • Having a choice of which cloud provider is not the same as multi-cloud. 
  • Having a choice of private or public cloud (or both) is not the same as multi-cloud.
  • Being able to select solution components from multiple cloud-based vendors is not the same as multi-cloud. 

To learn more about a true multi-cloud communications solution that offers the highest reliability in the industry, reach out to us at info@edify.cx. We’d love to have that conversation with you. No illusions.

Kay Phelps

Written by Kay Phelps

Kay Phelps is Director of Product Marketing at Edify. As a 20+ year veteran in Contact Centers, Kay’s experience spans product development, systems engineering, product management, and product marketing. As a frequent blogger, author, and presenter, Kay uses her expertise in all facets of product development and marketing to help companies deliver excellence in customer experiences. When not in the office, you can find Kay hiking or skiing a mountain, dancing, reading, or traveling.