cloud experience

Throughout my workday I use chat and video to communicate with colleagues around the world. We use PureCloud to easily share files, our desktops, and ideas as naturally as if we were in the same room. When I am not working, I pop onto another type of cloud to check my various social media for the latest news and technology trends as well as updates from my friends. In my professional and personal life like almost everyone else, I’m plugged into the cloud.

My journey to the cloud didn’t start with these collaboration tools, though. It began in the late ‘90s when I decided to pursue a graduate degree in networking and communications. It was an exciting and terrifying decision having just wrapped up an undergraduate degree in business management. But the professors assured me that the degree didn’t require any prior technical experience. However, during the first class of my first core technical core, we were informed how many people statistically would fail the first test. I was terrified by those statistics. My journey to the cloud was off to a rough start!

Little did I know then that I’d obtain the first important takeaway during my first trip to cloud that would remain relevant years later.

1.    Learn to Embrace Information Overload

After graduation, I went to work for a telecommunications company just months before the dotcom recession was in full swing. Because of the economic turbulence, I held various positions in the telecommunications industry over the course of six years. I learned how to operate high-speed optical equipment, engineer building power requirements, develop Point of Presence (POP) systems, and work on digital cross-connect systems. I learned first-hand how a phone jack in a home connected to the Internet. I didn’t know it at the time, but I was a definitely cloud engineer.

2.    Take Advantage of Every Learning Opportunity – Even If Everything You Learn Gets Replaced  

It’s always important to stay sharp and agile so you can learn new things. In 2006, I started working at Interactive Intelligence, which Genesys acquired in December 2016. Switching to the software industry felt like jumping into the technology fast lane. In the contact center software industry, we create “features,” which is why we call teams who write code developers—not programmers. When developing new features, ideas are evaluated based on criteria like “the right way”, “a hack” or the “efficient way” of doing something.  Software geeks love to solve problems and argue along the way!

3.    Be Ready to Explain Yourself

In 2011, I became a solutions manager in then PureConnect cloud division of Interactive Intelligence was tasked to take on-premises software and turn it into a cloud-based contact center service. A cloud service consists of the following three things:

  • A business solution that’s a collection of features
  • Service deliverables, such as usage-based pricing, an SLA, and uptime guarantees
  • A cloud-based delivery mechanism that offers high availability, business continuity, disaster recovery, data security, and operational excellence

As a mature contact center software company, our product already offered a great business solution. But turning it into a cloud solution was not simple. We learned that offering consistency, repeatable processes, and well-defined solutions prosper in the cloud.

4.    Custom Solutions Don’t Scale; Configuration Solutions Do

This past year I took on a new challenge in the cloud division, overseeing the development of capabilities to improve the PureCloud platform for our partner community. The term “platform” used to refer to the underlying components that run software applications. But in today’s cloud-based world, contact center platforms are considered anything you can build upon to create features and services that weren’t envisioned during the initial design stage.

My objective is to provide features for partners that allow them to acquire and set up customers while creating value-add applications seamlessly. To reap the full benefits of the platform, we implement new features within our public API first. Developing features this way creates opportunities for our partner community to implement capabilities within their existing tools in a predictable manner, such as enabling partners to add our product catalog to their ordering systems. The next step is user interface development, which will allow partners to implement these features into daily use.

We’ll measure success by eliminating friction points between our partner community and the customers they provide with value-add services. We aim to achieve “The Network Effect,” a phenomenon in which a good or service becomes more valuable as more people use it. Focusing on tools and features for everyone makes the network effect possible.

5.    The Cloud Provides Features and Tools to Make Creative Ideas a Reality 

The best way to understand this fifth lesson is to use a platform that was truly built on the promise of the cloud to deliver unlimited scale; unmatched resiliency; broad functionality; and rapid, continuous innovation—PureCloud.

Start your journey to a cloud-based contact center. Get your PureCloud trial today.

Zach Hinkle

Zach Hinkle

Zach Hinkle is a Genesys Solutions Product Manager in the Product Management organization in PureCloud. He is a 12-year veteran with Interactive Intelligence with roles in the Support organization, Strategic Initiatives Group, and most recently in the Solutions group for...