Hybrid Spaces

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Last week, Talkdesk announced something called Hybrid Spaces.

The associated launch video is fully buzz-word compliant: “digital transformation,” getting past “legacy,” and of course “cloud,” but the big reveal is “on-premises, private cloud, or public cloud each have their merits; and it can be hard to choose.”  

What they are saying, and it’s not easy for a public cloud services provider, is that public cloud services indeed have some limitations. This is why most contact center agents are not connected to cloud-delivered services (yet). Talkdesk attempts to present a balanced story showing three strengths for both public cloud and private cloud solutions.

The benefits they list for private cloud were: customization, control, and IT compliance. Really, these are all variations on the same theme, but do represent why many customers cannot move to public cloud services. The benefits of public cloud were: innovation, agility, and cost-efficiency (note cost efficiency – not cost or price).

Supposedly, Hybrid spaces offers the best of both worlds’.  But can it?

Despite the video, associated PDF, and press release, Talkdesk doesn’t really define what a Hybrid Space is. Here’s some clues from the press release:

  • “enables contact centers to combine the best of both benefits of private and public clouds.”
  • “Talkdesk Hybrid Spaces ensures an always up-to-date platform”
  • “Talkdesk Hybrid Spaces easily integrates with specific internal security and IT requirements”

The second point usually conflicts with the third point. It’s common for example, for enterprises to delay updates to ensure a stable production system. For example, if IT says no updates this quarter, then the software is no longer up to date should a new release become available.

Evidently, this isn’t a place to park your Prius. As far as I can tell, Hybrid Spaces is a private implementation of Talkdesk. In other words, Talkdesk has ingeniously discovered single-tenant, private cloud. It is not clear if to me if Hybrid Spaces is a full implementation of Talkdesk or if it’s just storage. Either way, Talkdesk will be able to compete more effectively with most of its competitors should the customer require reasonable control over its data.

Typically, “hybrid” is ‘the term that cannot be said’ by pure cloud providers. It’s often used by premises-based and private cloud vendors (are those all the same vendors now?). Talkdesk isn’t expanding into premises-based systems (yet), but it has realized public cloud CCaaS isn’t for everyone.

Hybrid Spaces may be new to Talkdesk, but it’s not new. I’m not even sure if it’s new to Talkdesk. The day of the announcement Talkdesk listed 20 logos (mostly unknowns) of customers already using it. It appears to be one of those announcements that is more about closing a gap than demonstrating innovation or leadership.

That’s ok, every vendor has gaps that need to be filled. Talkdesk is going through significant changes and channel expansion as it transitions from a startup to a CCaaS leader. And with that change, quiet and innovative becomes louder and more incremental.

Dave Michels