Jeremy Hamill-Keays, Product Manager, Teleopti reveals the major headaches and explains how a cloud-based approach to WFM has all the answers
With the IT landscape transforming at lightning speed, contact centers must keep up to remain competitive. According to the “Dimension Data 2015 Global Contact Centre Benchmarking Report”, “workforce management is one area in which the contact center environment is clearly behind the curve…and losing efficiency.” Surprisingly, 29% of contact centers are still without any sort of workforce management (WFM) systems whatsoever. Even more worrying is that two of the major growth opportunities are sorely neglected: “86% of social media and 79.6% of web chat operations aren’t automating their planning, tracking and monitoring adherence.” That’s before the whole issue of the Cloud comes into the equation!
Many customers are reaping the benefits of deploying cloud-based contact center solutions to manage their customer interactions but what’s stopping them from applying the same approach to their agents’ schedules? Agents are the first point of call and have the power to make, or break, brand and customer loyalty.
Here are the top ten questions that customers ask along with the answers to help create the most efficient contact center ever:
- Q: Does WFM in the Cloud really simplify life?
A: Yes, because someone else implements the technology and takes care of all the hardware, software, upgrades and support saving infinite amounts of time and money. Deployment is rapid and the building block approach means functionalities can be turned on as needed to maximize further efficiencies. Automatic back-ups eliminate worries about disaster recovery and contingency planning. In short, peace of mind.
- Q: Is functionality the same for WFM in the Cloud as on premise?
A: It depends on the vendor and this is where your own investigations are important. Speak to colleagues and their satisfied customers to ‘try before you buy’. Read what industry experts say. Although they’re not in the business to recommend suppliers, they provide an objective overview of some of the top players.
- Q: Aren’t cloud solutions more expensive than premise-based ones?
A: No. The latest solutions mean zero investment in server hardware and software licences and zero investment in operating, supporting and upgrading the same equipment. The majority of users achieve return on investment (ROI) within the first month and significantly lower their total cost of ownership (TCO). What is more, all new functionality, maintenance, innovation and 24/7 support are included in a flat, monthly user fee, paying simply for the number of agents necessary.
- Q: Can I integrate a WFM cloud solution with my current premised-based, contact center infrastructure?
A: Absolutely! The latest systems link effortlessly to existing ACD/CTI solutions using web-based services for smooth, fast collection of data and real-time statistics.
- Q: Are WFM cloud solutions flexible and scalable?
A: Yes, infinitely flexible, they enable contact centers to grow or shrink to meet fluctuating market requirements; not as technology dictates. For example, if seasonal business patterns require extra staff, scalability is the most compelling argument because server capacity can be scaled up and down in a matter of minutes all within the same monthly fee.
- Q: How can I be sure that Cloud is secure from cyber attacks and data theft?
A: Today, WFM cloud providers are established, stable and trusted with sound, proven offerings and security policies in place. The reality is that cloud-based contact center solution vendors continually invest in security and typically offer a more secure IT environment than their premise-based counterparts.
- Q: How do I know if the server capacity and speed of access can handle our needs?
A: While it’s true that the more data there is, the slower the transmission, cloud vendors generally provide more than enough bandwidth for real-time applications, such as voice, and can accommodate anything from 15 to thousands of agents.
- Q: Is the Cloud reliable? If the internet is down, do we lose touch with our schedules completely?
A: If you choose a vendor with superior functionality that works with an equally strong internet provider such as Microsoft, you can’t go wrong. Microsoft runs one of the world’s largest cloud networks, providing more than 3 terabits per second capacity to over 2,000 networks with back-up stored in geographically separated data centers at least 800 kilometers apart.
- Q: What about the legal aspects if the data center is located in another country?
A: Look for a vendor that provides its services over the web to organizations around the world but stores its data in one single country. The vendor should certainly not store sensitive data on its own WFM application.
- Q: What about regulations and compliance?
A: Emerging standards are guiding customers and vendors to comply with governmental and industry regulations but assess the whole IT supply chain. Consider a WFM vendor whose cloud-based solution runs on a platform that has received approval from EU data protection authorities, has implemented internationally recognized information security controls and is certified to quality standards such as ISO-27001.
By leveraging cloud-based applications for WFM, unmatched efficiencies, unparalleled flexibility and scalability are gained, as well as the richest features and the latest functionality. What have you got to lose? To find out more download the Teleopti ebook “What’s keeping you from Workforce Management in the Cloud?”