Multitenancy vs. Individual Virtual Machines: Do Customers Care?

Please re-read the title.  Multitenancy vs. Individual Virtual Machines: Do Customers Care? The short answer is yes, but not for the reasons some vendors tell you.

To be sure we are on the same page, multitenancy is a cloud environment where multiple customers are partitioned on a platform utilizing the same hardware and software resources. The alternative, a single customer multi-instance environment running on individual virtual machines, operate as the name suggests and segregate each customer onto its own virtual machine using something like VMware or Microsoft Hyper-V.

It makes me laugh when the multitenant contact center vendors run around saying, “don’t buy from them, they’re not multitenant!” If they are asked why that is important, they say that in a multitenant world, “the cost to maintain and enhance the solution is shared among all of the users” (yes I took that straight from one of their blog posts). While that is true, it would say that the only potential benefit is cost savings. Then why aren’t their prices less than other vendors? The answer is simple…multitenant offerings benefit the vendor, not the customer. Unless the customer sees the cost reduction, multitenancy gives them no added value.

On the other hand, segregated virtual machines offer added levels of security and an ability to upgrade at your own pace – both benefits to the customer!

Instead of letting a vendor swirl you into the multitenant conversation that they want to have, look for best practices for the cloud around functionality, supported media channels, ease of administration, user interface, the support of remote agents, the fault tolerance of the solution, security and compliance, integration with back-office systems, service track-record, speed of deployment, and overall total cost of ownership. These are the items that will ensure you get the solution that will help you succeed in delivering great experiences for your customers.

Joe Staples — evangelist of paying attention to what matters