Workforce optimization solutions are considered essential, ResearchandMarkets says in a 2014 report, which notes there’s a lengthy list of competitors in this space. WFO suites, according to DMG Consulting, come with recording and quality assurance/quality management applications and at least three of the following eight modules: coaching, elearning, performance management, surveying, speech analytics, workforce management, desktop analytics and text analytics. Gamification, DMG notes, is also an emerging WFO application.
“The WFO market has reached a turning point as technology and customer care continue to evolve at breakneck speed,” says DMG. “Having performed well in both strong and weak economic environments for decades, the time has come for a new generation of WFO solutions to emerge. Megatrends like omnichannel customer interaction, utilizing big data to improve the customer journey, and gamification are driving much of the evolution of this sector, while tech trends like mobility and the cloud are forcing vendors to invest to meet the needs of a changing workforce and consumer base.”
It will be to the advantage of the WFO suppliers to expand their solutions given the quality assurance and recording segments of the market, which are the two main segments, are highly penetrated, according to ResearchandMarkets.
“Total company GAAP revenue for the 45 WFO competitors increased by $200.9 million, from $1,512.7 million in the first half of 2013 to $1,713.6 million in the first half of 2014,” ResearchandMarkets says. “Contact center WFO revenue increased by 12.8 percent, from $638.4 million in the first half of 2013 to $720.3 million in the first half of 2014. This is an increase of $81.9 million, of which 50.2 percent ($41.1 million) is attributed to Verint, whose acquisition of KANA is credited with some of the growth. The non-acquisition-related growth in contact center WFO revenue was small.”
Verint and NICE continue to dominate the WFO space, with a combined 58.5 percent market share, ResearchandMarkets says. Aspect moved into the third place position early last year, but that spot is highly sought after by the wide array of WFO players. This space also includes ASC, Avaya, Cacti (News - Alert), Calabrio, ComputerTel, Coordinated Systems, CTI Group, dvsAnalytics, Enghouse Systems, Envision, Genesys, Hewlett-Packard, HigherGround, inContact (which acquired Uptivity last spring), Interactive Intelligence, KnoahSoft, Magnetic North, Mitel (which acquired OAISYS in 2014), OnviSource, TantaComm, TelStrat, VirtualLogger, VPI, Xarios, and ZOOM International (News - Alert).
Here are more details on what some of these companies offer on the WFO front.
Honored by Frost & Sullivan with the WFM Product Differentiation Excellence Award in 2012, ac2 Solutions delivers next-gen WFM technologies. Its solutions eliminate the inefficiencies of other WFM tools by incorporating advanced time series forecasting, concurrent optimal scheduling, multi-skill/multimedia/multisite, integrated strategic planning, advanced performance optimization, skills and routing planning, RTA/dashboards/Sscorecards, and agent workstation. The ac2 AWO Portal is a 100 percent web-based, mobile WFM system accessible by Wi-Fi devices such as smartphones, tables, and laptops, and is available hosted, on-premises, or via BPO. The AWO Portal offers modules as add-ons to supercharge existing WFM software or a complete WFM package.
Workforce optimization can help organizations operate more efficiently while delivering their customers with an exceptional service experience. Avaya (News - Alert) Aura Workforce Optimization 12.0 is an integrated suite of applications that includes contact recording, quality monitoring, elearning and coaching, workforce management, performance scorecards, voice analytics, desktop and process analytics, and customer feedback under one platform with centralized administration, management, sign-on, workflows, reporting, dashboard, and navigation. These applications provide extensive capabilities to capture, share, and act on information from across the enterprise – both in the contact center and the back office —and use this information to make informed decisions faster. Avaya Aura Workforce Optimization can help organizations identify processes that are cumbersome and cause dissatisfaction, so that they can be modified and addressed. It can help identify poor performing agents, who lack the proper training or capability to assist customers appropriately, and quickly facilitate effective coaching and training to get them back on track. Most importantly, it can help identify and resolve customer problems and issues, helping organizations achieve their corporate objectives and deliver a superior customer experience.
The Carina Range of call recording and workforce optimization solutions can be used to help understand what customers want from your company, and whether your staff are conducting their job functions properly to meet the results you want. It also can highlight any training and coaching needs impartially and quickly.
The Virtual Observer is an enterprise-class workforce optimization suite for contact centers. The suite offers integrated workforce management, speech analytics, PCI (News - Alert) compliance options, and a core component of included features such as call recording, call scoring, elearning, agent portal, real-time live screen monitoring for agent assistance, real-time drill down dashboards, performance and trending reports, as well as what the company calls the industry's first webcam recording and monitoring feature. Webcam recording and monitoring offers contact centers added protection against fraud, smartphone abuse, body language/signs of indifference, providing a unique approach for security, performance and compliance benefits that are otherwise unattainable.
This solution is aimed at SMBs, mid-market, and enterprise contact centers that are looking for the best value to price and long-term lowest cost of ownership. Virtual Observer is available for most popular telephony platforms such as Avaya, Cisco (News - Alert), Lync, etc., as well as cloud platforms such as Five9, 3CLogic, and more.
Genesys enables organizations to continuously improve employee performance and work distribution through the automation of workforce optimization processes driven by speech and text analytics. Genesys boasts a robust WFO portfolio that includes capabilities such as interaction recording, quality management, and workforce management, which provides multichannel forecasting capabilities and real-time schedule adherence. These capabilities combined with others create the Genesys Continuous Workforce Optimization, a complete solution that continuously analyzes and improves the customer experience while driving operational efficiency. Built on the Genesys Customer Experience Platform, Genesys offers high levels of automation through the use of shared application services for front and back office tasks. For instance, the platform’s skills management solution assesses employee knowledge and automates the process of training employees, while its agent and manager dashboards provide business managers with key performance indicators for real-time and intraday management. Lastly, Genesys’ real time and historical reporting tool collects key performance indicators to generate reports in real time or to analyze past performance trends. Ultimately,the portfolio delivers highly engaged agents, quality customer interactions, and unified customer experiences – all at a lower operating cost.
HP's Workforce Optimization solution includes fully integrated tools for strategic planning, workforce management, call recording, coaching and elearning, interaction analytics, surveying, and more. When combined with HP Explore, HP's advanced voice of customer analytics offering, users gain a comprehensive solution that optimizes agent performance while automatically delivering customer insight expressed through opinions, perceptions, and sentiments. Backed by world-class customer service and support, HP's WFO solution helps drive more customer interactions to successful outcomes on the first contact.
inContact Workforce Optimization is a complete workforce optimization suite fully delivered in the cloud with solutions for contact centers of all sizes. inContact WFO powered by Verint is ideal for the enterprise-level operation while Uptivity WFO is designed for the small to midsize contact center looking for process optimization. Individual WFO products within these suites include audio and screen recording, quality management, performance management scorecards, desktop analytics, workforce management, in addition to inView customer dashboards, customer survey functions, and integrated elearning and training tools. inContact provides a mature and unified WFO solution with intelligent automated connections to routing and contact center workflow, all in the cloud. From back office operations to direct customer interactions, inContact WFO enables organizations to achieve higher return on investment, greater visibility, and the agility to compete in today’s business world. inContact offers unique integrations that drive automated routing and business actions to increase efficiency. inContact WFO extracts critical information from customer interactions to optimize workforce performance and provide insight into the customer experience. The extracted and analyzed business intelligence empowers companies to make informed decisions quickly and transition from a reactive to a proactive operations model.
The Interactive Intelligence workforce optimization solution helps contact centers monitor, direct, and improve employee performance based on long- and short-term organizational goals. Its sophisticated customization capabilities also uniquely enable organizations to forecast and adjust outcomes based on service levels and cost factors. The Interactive Intelligence WFO solution is an inherit part of the company’s single-platform, all-in-one customer engagement software suite, Customer Interaction Center. This single-platform architecture eliminates integration requirements for faster deployment time and reduced costs and complexity. A single point of configuration for all applications also simplifies administration and maintenance for lower total cost of ownership. The Interactive Intelligence WFO solution can be deployed in the cloud, on-premises, or using a hybrid model. It includes the following application options: Interaction Optimizer (workforce management), Interaction Decisions (strategic planning), Interaction Analyzer (speech analytics), Interaction Feedback (customer feedback management), Interaction Quality Manager (quality assurance), Interaction Supervisor (real-time monitoring), and Interaction Recorder (multichannel recording).
LiveOps, a global leader in cloud contact center and customer service solutions, offers a modern suite of workforce optimization and management tools via the cloud – making the delivery of extraordinary customer service quick, easy, and efficient. LiveOps Insight provides managers with the critical information needed to make instant improvements and achieve desired results through reporting and analytics tools. LiveOps Authoring saves time and money by allowing managers to design end-to-end interaction flows, including call greetings, information gathering, CRM and social web lookups, queuing, intelligent routing, and post-call surveys. With this tool, managers are able to easily define, manage, and optimize the entire caller and agent experience, from beginning to end. LiveOps Recording is the industry's first cloud-enabled screen recording application that captures limitless concurrent agent screen interactions without hardware or software limitations. This tool provides managers with the ability to monitor quality; coach agents; share best practices; review performance; ensure compliance; and detect fraud. LiveOps puts managers on the frontline of all customer interactions for the real-time insight needed to proactively address any issues before business results are impacted, and optimizes their workforce to strengthen campaigns and performance – all without requiring support from IT.
NICE Workforce Optimization suite is comprised of tightly integrated solutions, enabling organizations to improve agent productivity, identify performance gaps, deliver targeted coaching, and effectively forecast workloads and schedule staff. It fosters performance-driven operations and culture, leverages the power of advanced analytics, and embeds the voice of the customer into daily operations to engage employees. The suite connects systems across an organization and can be implemented on premises, as a hosted solution, or via the software as a service model. By connecting systems, NICE Workforce Optimization Suite helps align employees around clear, individual goals based on performance data to foster heightened transparency to increase front line employee productivity and revenue generation, develop targeted agent training to address knowledge gaps, and provide accountability to accelerate performance metrics across time. Each front line employee can drill from surface metric to root cause to understand how they can improve. Speech and text analytics provide a real-time guide to ensuring each agent can provide the best experience at every interaction. In addition, clear performance data lets supervisors target their energy at the people and topics that will benefit most from training and assistance.
Verint Workforce Optimization, part of the company’s Customer Engagement Optimization suite, provides unprecedented visibility into people, processes, and work across multiple functional areas of the enterprise. Driving smarter engagement with customers, Verint WFO enhances employee productivity across front- and back-office operations, delivering real-time guidance needed to improve customer experiences and create smarter and more engaged employees with the tools needed to meet rising expectations. With this intelligence, organizations can understand what’s happening in their businesses and why – and make better, faster, and easier decisions. Verint’s WFO suite of solutions works across enterprise interaction channels that impact the customer experience, such as contact centers, branch operations, marketing and customer care, and the back office. It offers unprecedented visibility into performance and customer intelligence, helping to improve internal processes, compliance, and workforce performance, enhance the quality and security of customer interactions, uncover business trends and areas of opportunity, and develop customer-centric strategies to enhance loyalty and retention. Recent analytics, visualization, and ease-of-use enhancements enrich communications, improve business processes, and optimize the workforce.
ZOOM International designs solutions that meet the need for interaction recording and continuous improvement of business quality and performance in contact centers. These solutions are based on the belief that you can’t improve what you don’t measure. ZOOM Quality Management Suite gives contact centers the tools they need for better customer connections, to address compliance (PCI-DSS) and service challenges (FCR, AHT, agent attrition), and to create excellent customer experiences (NPS, CSAT). The ZOOM product portfolio features interaction recording (voice, multichannel and agent screens), quality management, speech analytics, workforce management and performance management, as well as integrated elearning and IVR surveying. Based on 16 years of research and development and continual customer feedback, the ZOOM Quality Management Suite offers an easy-to-use unified interface; strong integration with Cisco, Genesys, and Avaya contact centers platforms; and requires minimal effort to implement and maintain. ZOOM owns its core technologies for VoIP, quality management, and its speech analytics engine (which includes U.S. English, Russian, Czech, and Polish). ZOOM is truly international, with a global base of more than 1,300 customers in 92 countries and software localized into 21 languages, including Arabic and Cyrillic characters. ZOOM has a network of certified partners, and local offices and supporting centers in the U.S. and Czech Republic.
Edited by Dominick Sorrentino