I’m going to lay it to you straight. The competitive landscape has never been tougher. Your company must be able to compete. It is the reason you invested in the call center and communications systems you did. Your competitors are out there evaluating new and innovative software that allows them to communicate, service and market more effectively to your customers. Your call center is at a big disadvantage if it is on any version of software which is more than a couple years old. Not upgrading will eventually cause you negative incremental returns as it will be easier for your competitors to find better ways to communicate and service your customers.
In tough economic times your budget is pinched and your ability to justify a new purchase may be limited. This is when all that research you did on the product you purchased three or four years ago can really shine for you. Many times there are additional features in the latest version that are of little or no cost to you . You’ve been faithfully paying your maintenance, why wouldn’t you spend a few cycles on an upgrade? Researching and finding these value added features is pretty simple and companies are usually more than willing to help you understand what they are and how they may help you.
I suppose you are probably thinking about how complicated your system has become and how difficult an upgrade might be. For many, upgrading is not straight forward, there is risk, and you probably have customization or integrations which will complicate things. Consider, however, that software companies often go to great lengths to make upgrading easier. It might not be as bad as you think. If necessary, you might even be able to get a good deal on professional services right now. Taking steps to continually innovate with the solutions you already have will allow you to compete even on a shoe string budget. Competing is never easy and this upgrade you’ve been avoiding isn’t going to be any easier next year. In fact, it’s likely that the longer you wait the harder it will be.
While I’m being a bit direct, let me tell you something else: Software companies would much rather support you on the latest version of their product. Why? Because it is very expensive for them to make changes to older versions. Maintaining the environments of older software releases and doing the code merges between versions is time consuming and expensive for a software company. Sure your current version may be supported and you’ve been paying your maintenance, but that nagging issue you’re dealing with probably isn’t going to get prompt attention on a release two versions back unless it has some very critical, revenue impacting, side affect on your company. I live in this world every day and can tell you with absolute certainty that it is easier to get issues addressed on the latest version of a product. The bar is simply much lower on the sorts of things that will get addressed in newer versions.
In summary, upgrading to the latest version of your current call center communications solution is one way to compete better on a smaller budget and also provide you with some other positive side effects such as improved support and maintenance. Why wait?