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WFMSG Blog

Engaged Employees = Happy Customers

Oct 19, 2017
Increasing Employee Engagement with WFM Software

by: Roger Woolley, Director of Marketing at WFMSG
Article Featured in Contact Center Pipeline / October 2017

Employee engagement is more than just a buzzword. Successful customer service organizations create a culture that encourages it. Engaged employees are more enthusiastic about their contribution to the business and, ultimately, increase the level and consistency of service provided to their clients. Senior executives, as a result, are increasingly targeting employee engagement as a significant contributor to the quality and impact of the customer experience.

Sounds simple enough, right? But actually, creating a dynamic culture that encourages employee engagement means addressing what’s important to contact center employees:

  • Work-life balance
  • Recognition of accomplishments
  • A voice in decision-making
  • Clear and attainable goals
  • Tools needed to be successful
  • Transparent communication

Community workforce management (WFM) keeps employees engaged as it was built from the ground up with agent empowerment at the forefront of its design.

COMMUNICATION FRAMEWORK

The Community WFM framework natively connects agents, supervisors and analysts through tightly integrated desktop portals and multiple notification channels without the need for a third party plug-in. It provides the tools for contact centers to have the right number of agents with the right skills, at the right time, across all channels throughout the day. But, the difference is the agents are involved in the process every step along the way, giving them input into critical scheduling decisions.

While traditional workforce management applications are good at accurately forecast- ing customer demand, optimizing the agent’s schedules, and have increased productivity, Community WFM expands these capabilities by engaging employees with a built-in communications network that gives agents a voice in the decision-making process. Through this framework, analysts are able to update forecasts and schedules in seconds to adapt to intraday changes in call volumes and customer demand. With more control over their work schedules, agents enjoy a better work-life balance to deal with unexpected challenges in everyday life.

MULTICHANNEL

Agents, supervisors and analysts can interact across five different channels including: desktop pop-ups, internal memos, email notifications, SMS/text messaging and an agent mobile application. Through any of these options, supervisors and schedulers can:

  • Send ad-hoc information and notifications to a specific group or individual.
  • Send reminders about upcoming schedule events.
  • Solicit agents for opt-in shift adjustments.
  • Notify agents of schedule changes and processed requests.

MOBILE EVERYWHERE

Community’s mobile application, Community EverywhereTM, empowers agents on-the-go by providing unmatched visibility and transparency. Whether employees are in the office, working at home or on the road, they can:

  • View their schedules.
  • “Call in” sick.
  • Receive notifications and accept or decline offers for schedule over- and under-time.
  • View adherence to KPIs.
  • Notify analysts and supervisors of an unplanned late arrival.
  • Request time off.

COLLABORATION

Agents and supervisors can engage in traditional intraday activity such as shift-bidding as well as swapping shifts with other co-workers all from the communications network.

As an enterprise workforce management provider of omnichannel forecasting and scheduling optimization, Community WFM is the first truly collaborative workforce management system that revolutionizes the way WFM analysts collaborate with agents and supervisors to quickly adjust schedules with precision and agility. Imagine having the ability to refine work schedules and immediately engage employees about the new schedule with just a few clicks.

YES, IT IS THAT SIMPLE

With Community WFM you have the ability to engage employees by offering them the framework to connect with each other, the ability to engage through the channel of their choice, and on-the-go visibility and transparency. This engagement will help your employees make happy customers.

Increasing Employee Engagement with WFM Software

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Welcome to the Next Evolution in Workforce Management

Jun 14, 2017
Community Release 4.2

by: Dick Bucci, Founder & Principal of Pelorus Associates

If you have worked in the customer service industry, then you know workforce management software is a proven technology that’s been around for over three decades. As the technology has matured, the majority of legacy providers have proven they can adequately forecast, schedule, track adherence, and offer intraday management. However, with the newest release of Community WFM, the Workforce Management Software Group (WFMSG) has taken a leap forward and introduced a set of features that will create new standards for WFM technologies going forward.

Designed by industry experts, Community WFM enables organizations to maximize resource productivity, deliver consistent customer service, and control payroll related expenses. Below are some of the capabilities featured in the latest software release. Community WFM eclipses many of today’s legacy WFM technologies by automating communications and processes that are not currently tapped by the legacy providers.

  • Multiple levels of Two-Way Communications – Employees can communicate with each other through a multi-channel communication framework, including an agent mobile app, SMS text messages, email, desktop pop up messages, and secure memos.
  • Automated Schedule Attendance Monitor (ASAM) - ASAM provides an automated and streamlined approach to track agent arrival and attendance. From the dashboard supervisors can determine agent attendance status including expected arrival time.
  • Automated Schedule Adjustment Plans (ASAP) - With this toolkit analysts can create and save strategies for dealing with unexpected increases or decreases in contact volume.
  • Data Targeting – Flexible data export capabilities allows users to readily integrate with external databases such as common payroll systems to quickly and economically create custom reports and devise new applications.

Workforce management systems have a well-deserved reputation for complexity. Consequently, even in the very large contact centers only a handful of highly trained personnel can manage the software. Community’s software is easy to learn and easy-to-use. Lastly, Community’s Data Targeting module coupled with industry-standard SQL database software and intuitive dashboard commands makes it possible for contact center personnel to build third-party integrations and custom reports using only its internal staff.

Since its inception, the Community WFM solution has excelled in making workforce management easy and even fun. This latest generation continues to simplify scheduling and forecasting in highly dynamic contact center environments and adds even more value by automating response strategies and, through its open design, substantially reducing the time and cost of integrating with related enterprise applications such as human resources and payroll. So, if you’re looking to improve workforce agility and deliver accurate schedules with precision, check out WFMSG latest software!

About Pelorus Associates

Dick Bucci is Founder and Principal of Pelorus Associates where he specializes in contact center technologies. Dick has authored fourteen in-depth market research reports on workforce optimization applications and numerous articles and white papers. Prior to founding Pelorus Associates he was a senior sales and marketing executive with leading telecommunications vendors and value added resellers. Dick has over 30 years of experience in telecommunications and is one of the most widely published and widely quoted analysts in the contact center industry.

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Analyst Perspective: The WorkForce Management Software Group, Inc. (WFMSG)

Sep 23, 2016
“Analyst

by: Dick Bucci, Founder & Principal of Pelorus Associates

If you have not yet heard of the Workforce Management Software Group, Inc. (WFMSG) it is likely you will come across their Community workforce management solution in the very near future. And you may not even know it when you do! After spending nearly a decade largely under the radar, this now well established provider has emerged as an innovative and significant player that is reshaping the definition of workforce management and the workforce optimization landscape.

Company Profile

Founded: 2006, Privately Held
Corporate Offices: Plano, TX
Product: Community Workforce Management
Industries Served: Financial, Insurance, Utilities, Technology, Retail, BPO’s, Healthcare, Federal, District & Local Government Agencies
Number of Installed Customers: 100
Compatible ACD’s: Approximately 20 different manufacturers including: AVAYA, CISCO, EICC, Interactive Intelligence, Mitel, ShoreTel etc.
Markets Served: North America, Near Shore, EU
Target Market: 25 - 5000 Agents
Product Licensing Model: Buy or Subscribe

Company Background & Strategy

The primary reason for WFMSG’s explosive growth, 140 % year over year, is modern product design featuring true ease of use coupled with a unique distribution strategy. Their product is bundled with eight well established technology providers within the contact center space. These include quality monitoring and recording companies, as well as, a global ACD provider. Community is often white labeled, one reason you may not have been previously aware of the company. All of the Community resellers are well established and have a substantial installed base in need of WFM technology. In every case, each of the Community resellers supports their own distribution network which further extends WFMSG’s reach into the broader market.

Another reason for the Company’s consistent growth and success is their deep understanding of workforce management systems and practices going back nearly 25 years. WFMSG began as a consultancy focused exclusively on workforce management systems and practices. Their personnel average nearly 20 years of workforce management experience across all product lines. This perspective on the needs of contact centers and thorough knowledge of legacy technologies has led to some true innovation within their Community product and a unique deployment methodology which they call the “Steps-to-Success” deployment model. Highly consultative in nature, this approach accelerates adoption and takes clients into production using a best practices model. Steps-to-Success wizards and multi-media training videos are embedded within the Community software. The end results are highly effective deployments and satisfied customers.

About Community WFM

Based on familiar Microsoft Architecture the Community WFM solution is browser neutral and supports full virtualization for private cloud deployments. Depending on the ACD manufacturer a fully hosted service is also available. A true cloud offering is on the near term product roadmap. The solution is highly scalable from 25 to 5000 agents and beyond and supports high availability and secure https environments. The product is licensed by named scheduled agent and is delivered with four tightly integrated and configurable desktop portals. Community also features an Agent Mobile App, Community Everywhere, for iOS and Android operating systems.

The system is available via a traditional CAPEX purchase or on a subscription basis (OPEX). Community integrates with over 20 ACD manufacturers making it one of the most broadly compatible WFM solutions on the market. This flexibility is another reason for its appeal to WFMSG’s growing reseller network and contact center executives. Community can be readily extended to integrate with CRM, HR and payroll applications. The product is delivered all inclusively with some minor exceptions and clients may adopt single site, multi-site, virtual site and virtual agent strategies on-demand the day the product is installed – and all for no additional licensing or professional services fees. All upgrades are covered under WFMSG’s standard Software Assurance program.

Some of Community’s unique features are:

  • Five different modeling engines for staff planning
  • Use of agent photos when reporting
  • Schedule optimization wizards
  • An interactive, color coded shift bidding mechanism
  • Rich agent portal that also features a virtual agent shift swap board
  • Targeted streaming messages
  • Optional communications channel management

Delivering Innovation

While the WFMSG organization is rapidly expanding, the Company is still small enough to maintain close and ongoing relationships with their customers. Good ideas from the field quickly find their way to the product management team. From there, an assessment is made about the practicality and marketability of the new feature. If management green lights the idea, prototypes are quickly developed and field tested with actual customers. A good example of this customer driven design is the development of ASAP (Automated Schedule Adjustment Plans). Customers expressed their frustration with the difficulty of reacting to sudden and unanticipated changes in call volume or resources. ASAP serves as a two-way notification gateway that facilitates communication between all contact center personnel enabling almost instantaneous realignment of contact center resources. ASAP may even serve as a built in emergency management system. Managers and analysts can broadcast messages on any one or any combination of the channels within the ASAP framework.

For example, if a need arrives for the re-alignment of agent resources, the center can quickly add, remove or refine their staff based on current conditions using eight categories of reusable strategies. An opt-in solicitation can be presented to targeted groups of agents via desktop pop-up, carrier independent text messaging, or to agent smart phones using the Community Everywhere™ mobile app. With a simple “click” or a code entry the agent can accept or decline an offer for over or undertime. Community will then update the agents’ schedules automatically. Depending on which channel the agent responded on, those agents will receive a confirmation that they have accepted that offer and their schedule has been changed accordingly. Analysts can now execute an unlimited number of condition based strategies resulting in hundreds of schedule changes and communicate those to the agents in one single motion and in just a few minutes. It is a powerful blend of technologies that for the first time in the industry, automates the intraday change management process enabling impact resistant service level delivery, increased agent productivity and more agile opportunity cost control. We believe this particular functionality will become a new standard for all WFM and WFO systems in the future.

WFMSG is Best-of-breed

With over our 10 years of monitoring the WFM vendor space, Pelorus has observed the industry’s strong migration toward the workforce optimization concept and significant industry consolidation. There are benefits to relying on a single vendor for multiple applications but there also downsides. WFMSG is among a small group of vendors that specialize in workforce management. There are obvious advantages to maintaining domain expertise and a technology focus on one discipline, as illustrated by the success of WFMSG and the unique set of benefits available to the users of their Community solution.

About Pelorus Associates

Pelorus Associates is a consultancy that specializes in contact center technology and best practices. We have published 14 comprehensive reports on the state of the industry, co-authored two books on best practices, and published dozens of articles and blog posts. Our clients include virtually all of the major producers of interaction recording and workforce management solutions. In our opinion, WFMSG brings to the table an exceptional combination of products and services that merit the consideration of contact centers seeking to invest in workforce management for the first time or replace legacy systems that are no longer adequate to support today’s multi-skill and multichannel customer care environment.

Dick Bucci, Founder and Chief Analyst

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