Don't Believe Everything You Hear about WFO: Suites Embrace Analytics, Debunk Idea Core Components Are Commodities

By Fluss, Donna | CRM Magazine, May 2011 | Go to article overview

Don't Believe Everything You Hear about WFO: Suites Embrace Analytics, Debunk Idea Core Components Are Commodities


Fluss, Donna, CRM Magazine


THE OUTLOOK for contact center workforce optimization (WFO) is outstanding, with the quality and variety of solutions ever-improving (see the figure on facing page for a functional view of WFO suites). Contact centers of all sizes have many options and price points from which to choose. And, for the first time ever, a growing number of vendors offers WFO through software-as-a-service (SaaS), though the market in general has a long way to go in that area.

Last year was a strong one for the WFO market, and 2011 is looking even better. Contact center WFO revenue increased by 10.5 percent, growing from $472.7 million in the first half of 2009 to $522.1 million in the same period in 2010. The contact center segment of the market is now larger than it was during the first six months of 2008 ($507.7 million), which had marked its previous first-half peak. Revenue for the first half of 2010 and vendor discussions that revealed an even stronger second half of the year demonstrate that the WFO market has recovered quickly from the recession. This is due in part to the vendors' significant and continual investment in research and development, even during the worst of the economic downturn. As a result, innovation is now coming to market, along with a greater quality and variety of solutions.

ARE WFO SUITES COMMODITIES?

The biggest challenge for WFO vendors is the perception that the core components of their suites--recording and quality assurance (QA)/quality management (QM) applications--are commodities. Since those applications have been around for more than 30 years, they are expected to be commoditized. The surprising fact is that while time division multiplexing (TDM) and passive Internet Protocol (IP) recording are similar, regardless of the provider, other aspects of recording, such as active and software-based recording, are not.

The situation for QA applications is quite different. All known QA applications come with standard features; end users can create QA forms, use them to assess agent performance, and produce a variety of reports. Although the tasks are the same, how they are delivered differs by application. While one vendor is delivering a totally new user experience, one of the leaders still does not offer a Web-based application for QA form development. So even where functionality appears to be the same, it really is not.

Beyond the fundamental capabilities, substantial differences remain among the applications, even when there should not be. For example, the calibration process--in which a number of quality assurance specialists or supervisors evaluate the same interaction (call) to ensure that they are assessing it similarly--is handled differently in most of the applications. This is one of the most important tasks in the QA process, yet many vendors do not deliver adequate functionality to support it.

THE ROLE OF ANALYTICS

Analytics was a major theme in the WFO market throughout 2010, and it is expected to play an even bigger role this year. End users seek product enhancements to increase the payback from new WFO investments. They are also looking to better understand customer needs and wants and, increasingly, would like some of this information in real time. The vendors are responding to those needs with a series of analytics-oriented applications.

Speech analytics, introduced to contact centers in 2004, quickly captured the attention of the market, and by 2010 it was at the top of many companies' "wish list." It is not considered a "must have" application, but rather a solution that can deliver a differentiated customer experience. Surveying solutions are being requested more frequently, especially when the results can be combined with internally oriented QA scores to give managers an inside and customer view of agent performance.

Desktop analytics, one of the newer entrants into the WFO product stack, is quickly capturing customer interest, particularly as it is being used to facilitate adherence to payment card industry (PCI) standards and to improve the validity of speech analytics findings. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Don't Believe Everything You Hear about WFO: Suites Embrace Analytics, Debunk Idea Core Components Are Commodities
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.