Workforce Optimization in the Cloud

Follow the latest trends on cloud-based contact center software and workforce optimization

Call Center Software Hints, Tips & Best Practices

CIO Review Magazine selects Monet as 20 Most Promising Contact Center Software Solution

Posted: January 27 2015 by: Chuck Ciarlo

Every year, the experts at CIO Review choose the top 20 contact center technology solution providers – those the publication believes are making a difference in this volatile market. 

Monet Software’s cloud-based workforce optimization solution appears on this year’s list. 

“Monet Software has been on our radar for some time for stirring a revolution in the Contact Center technology space, and we are happy to showcase them this year due to their continuing excellence in delivering top-notch technology-driven solutions,” said Harvi Sachar, CIO Review’s founder and publisher.

At Monet we appreciate the recognition from such a prestigious source as CIO Review. The press release announcing Monet’s selection can be found here

Of course, our customers have known about the benefits of our unified WFO solution for some time. They have experienced how it has optimized the utilization of contact center resources, how it improves service levels and productivity, and how it can boost revenues with an investment much lower than what is required for an on-premise solution. 

You can read the article on the top 20 solution providers on the CIO Review website.


Learn More

The Search for Truth in Cloud Providers: An Information and Resource Guide

Posted: January 20 2015 by: Chuck Ciarlo

If business patterns from the previous few years continue, 2015 will see more companies than ever making the choice to break away from the high cost and maintenance responsibilities of supporting their IT infrastructure in house. 


The alternative – moving to the cloud – offers a number of significant benefits for contact centers in technology, efficiency and cost. 


So far, so good. The challenge now for contact centers is choosing a provider that delivers an authentic cloud solution, rather than one attempting to exploit the benefits of the “cloud” name, while offering a product that is no different (and in some cases, worse) than a traditional hardware/software system. 


Buyer Beware

If all hosted software offerings labeled as “cloud” are anything but, how can you tell the difference? It’s not enough to review the marketing collateral provided by vendors – do your homework first so you are already familiar with how a genuine cloud solution works, and which questions to ask to make sure you are getting the right product. 


A true cloud solution is built from the ground up with software coded to perform better as a fully hosted solution. Applications can be customized in a way that will not cause complications as new product enhancements are introduced. And since all updates and upgrades are automatic, and do not require additional cost, your contact center is always assured of operating with the most up-to-date functionality. 


If such product upgrades are delayed, it may mean you have been stuck with a fake cloud solution. 


Result? A system with all of the problems and costs associated with an on-premise solution. It won’t be as scalable as the cloud, or as efficient. In addition to delayed and difficult product upgrades, a fake cloud solution will entail other drawbacks that will have a negative impact on your business. Don’t be surprised if downtime increases as a result of the limited resources of the hosting set up. Security could also be an issue, as the provider may not have the most important industry certifications, such as PCI-DSS security compliance, EU Safe Harbor certification, and SSAE 16 (SOC1) Type II audit completions.


Finally, any company that would misrepresent the most basic features of its product is one that will likely not be in business for the long haul. Imagine that worst case scenario – your service provider goes out of business, and you are forced to quickly find another vendor and make the switch, risking loss of data or data access. Or you can start over building an in-house solution, which will not be cheap. 


The Qualities (and Quality) of a True Cloud Provider

True cloud solutions are typically more scalable and more reliable than hosting of traditional software, while offering the advantages that companies expect from a cloud delivery system, including:  


Automatic upgrades to new software versions

Fast and secure system access from anywhere with web access

close to 100% guaranteed uptime

Advanced data privacy protection

Easy integration with other applications

No significant upfront investment


Additional Resources

For more information on the differences between fake clouds and true clouds, there are a number of third-party resources available online which specify industry standards, while highlighting additional benefits of the cloud computing model. Here are just some of the most popular: 


The Cloud Standards Consumer Council (cloudstandardsconsumercouncil.org)

The CSCC is an end-user advocacy group established to address the lack of a customer driven prioritization and focus within the cloud standards development process. The Council separates the hype from the reality on how to leverage what customers have today,  and has established a core set of client-driven requirements to ensure cloud users have the same freedom of choice, flexibility, and openness they have with traditional IT environments. 


Publications available on the website include The CSCC Practical Guide to Cloud Computing and The CSCC Practical Guide to Cloud Service Level Agreements


The Cloud Computing Use Cases Group (cloudusecases.org)

While this site has not been recently updated, it offers two solid white papers on common use cases for cloud computing. It is also a helpful source for cloud information in Chinese, Japanese and Korean. 


The Open Group (opengroup.org)

The Open Group is a consortium comprised of IT experts around the world who have developed several IT standards, while providing a number of assets related to cloud computing. These include The Open Group Cloud Computing for Businesses, a publication that can be downloaded for free, as well as several white papers including Building Return on Investment from Cloud Computing


Conclusion

Cloud computing will continue to gain a larger percentage of the contact center industry because it offers benefits for businesses of every size and type. 


However, with cloud computing growing so rapidly, many vendors are trying to position themselves as cloud providers by re-labeling and re-branding traditional on-premise software applications. This can lead to problems with upgrades, process integration and business viability. 


Customers need to be able to recognize a true cloud solution as one that was designed from a web-based, multi-tenant, self-service perspective, and provides secure and easy access over the Internet, so contact center agents can work from anywhere at any time. 


A few simple questions about cloud-computing and some time spent on researching the background and reputation of the provider should quickly clear up any uncertainty about the type of product being offered, and whether it qualifies as genuine. 



Learn More

Monet Workforce Optimization Honored Twice in 2014

Posted: December 19 2014 by: Chuck Ciarlo

Monet Software picked up a little hardware during 2014, with two contact center awards from TMC.

Back in March, Monet WFO Live: Workforce Optimization in the Cloud was selected as a 2014 Product of the Year for exceptional innovation, by TMC’s CUSTOMER magazine.


And last month, WFO Live was designated as a finalist for the 2014 Customer Experience Innovation Award, presented by the same publication.

In this season of good will, we would like to express our appreciation to all of those that helped make this happen. Thank you to our customers that trusted in Monet, and thank you to all of the managers, supervisors and agents that use Monet software on a daily basis.

We would also like to thank all of our employees for their hard work and dedication. As we look back on the achievements of 2014, they inspire us to work even harder in 2015 and beyond to continue providing the best contact center solutions to meet the needs of our clients.



Learn More

Monet WFO Live Receives Customer Experience Innovation Honor

Posted: November 11 2014 by: Chuck Ciarlo

Monet WFO Live - Workforce Optimization in the Cloud has been named a finalist for the 2014 Customer Experience Innovation Award presented by TMC’s CUSTOMER magazine. The award recognizes best-in-class companies setting the standard in delivering exceptional customer experiences.

It’s always rewarding to be recognized, especially when it comes from such a prestigious source. The TMC website is read by more than 1.5 million business and contact center professionals every month, and their publications, such as CUSTOMER, are as close to an official publication as this industry has.

CUSTOMER has been around since 1982. The contact center industry was much different back then and, today more than at any other time, it is technology that drives efficiency and customer service. So it’s especially gratifying to have our technology singled out for the contribution it makes at contact centers of all sizes and types.

Monet WFO Live  is a complete suite for call centers to automate workforce management, call recording, quality assurance and agent analytics. Call centers can quickly and easily optimize all aspects of their workforce with one affordable solution, resulting in better utilization of resources, better cost management and improved service levels.

Awards are great, but it’s the feedback from our customers that means the most. We know the difference that WFO Live is making in contact center efficiency because you have told us with your calls and emails.

If you haven’t discovered the benefits of WFO Live, find out more here.



Learn More

Questions to Ask Before Selecting a Contact Center Cloud Software Vendor

Posted: August 11 2014 by: Chuck Ciarlo

Contact centers across the country, of all sizes and types, have discovered the economic and technological benefits of converting from an on-premises software solution to a cloud system. If your business is considering a similar transition, here are 10 questions to ask prospective vendors, so you will be assured of receiving a true cloud solution.

Multi-tenant Architecture
Does the application use multi-tenant architecture? Follow the link if you would like to learn more. If the answer is ‘no,’ it’s not a true cloud.

Upgrades
With a cloud solution, all future upgrades should work, and be accessible without extra cost, regardless of how your system is configured and/or customized.In addition, upgrades should be automatically managed and provisioned by the vendor.

Integration
Does the vendor provide a managed integration platform? This is important, as such a platform is built from the ground up, and is easier to execute than a full manual integration.

Security and Compliance
Make sure the provider offers world-class security and data privacy, as well as full back-up and disaster recovery (SSAE-16 compliance)

Availability
Anything less than 99.5% uptime, with full transparency, is an indication that you may not be dealing with a true cloud solution.

Time and Cost of Implementation
If you recall how long it took to install and configure your on-premises software, the ETA on the cloud solution for installation and configuration to your specific business needs should be much faster, typically 30 to 60 days.


Ongoing Costs
None-cloud solution often have unexpected or hidden costs that emerge later. You should receive a firm quote on total cost of ownership (TCO), including implementation/installation fees, training, subscription, upgrades, maintenance and other components.

ROI
With a cloud solution, a contact center should achieve tangible business value much more quickly than with an on-premise or fake cloud solution. Ask for reference customers to better understand expected ROI.

If you have questions, please contact us and we are happy to explain the benefits and features of a true cloud solution.


Learn More

The 2014 Call Center Software Advice Report

Posted: June 23 2014 by: Chuck Ciarlo

Every year, the Software Advice website conducts a survey among call center software buyers, to find out what’s on their minds. This year’s results are typically revealing.

Perhaps the most surprising stat from Software Advice concerns “software advice” – or the ignoring of it. Turns out that nearly half of all participants surveyed – 46% – are just now getting around to a software purchase. This may be related to company size, as more than 60% of participants have 10 or few users.

The most requested feature among these buyers is call recording (42%), specifically to boost quality assurance and employee training.

What are the most important goals at call centers in 2014? Improving efficiency ranked at the top, mentioned by 67% of respondents, followed by organization (61%).

Cloud-based call center systems were the preferred deployment model, as more companies begin to realize the cost and convenience advantages of software as a service.

However, 40% of buyers expressed no preference between the cloud and an on-premises solution. Perhaps once they realize the differences in scalability, the costs attached to software updates and upgrades, and how technical issues are resolved, it will make this decision easier.

Price will also become a factor here, especially given the large number of responses from smaller call centers. A cloud system puts the capabilities of quality assurance and workforce management within the financial means of small businesses – the kind that traditionally get by with spreadsheets (or worse, pencil and paper).

And since this technology can boost the efficiency of smaller call centers, these companies are now less likely to export their call center functionality to India. Keeping call center services close to home, and making them cost-effective, is not only great for the company, it adds jobs to the national economy. That’s the kind of benefit everyone can get behind.



Learn More

Monet WFO Live Receives Product of the Year Award 2014

Posted: April 18 2014 by: Chuck Ciarlo

When people in the communications and technology industries need to know what’s happening, they turn to TMC.net, a reliable source of news and information with a readership in the millions. So when these experts name their Product of the Year, it’s an opinion that carries a lot of weight.
For 2014, TMC’s Product of the Year is ours. Monet WFO Live, our cloud-based call center workforce optimization solution, was chosen for this distinction by TMC’s flagship publication, Customer magazine. 

"On behalf of both TMC and Customer magazine, it is my pleasure to honor Monet Software with a 2014 Product of the Year Award," said the company’s CEO, Rich Tehrani. "Its workforce optimization solution Monet WFO Live has proven deserving of this elite status and I look forward to continued innovation from Monet Software in 2014 and beyond."

Those who have tried Monet WFO Live already know how it earned this reputation for excellence. It delivers a unified workforce optimization suite that transforms call center management from a reactive to a pro-active approach. Customers can create accurate forecasts, efficient schedules, record and monitor calls for quality, training and compliance purpose, and track cross-functional performance metrics, all with one integrated cloud-based platform.

Read more about TMC’s Product of the Year winners in the January/February issue of Customer magazine, or read the press release for more details.


Learn More

What is a Workforce Optimization Platform?

Posted: November 24 2013 by: Chuck Ciarlo

A Workforce Optimization (WFO) platform is not just one method for improving contact center performance – it is a multitude of efficiency-boosting capabilities in one unified, automated package.

The “optimization” part of workforce optimization is achieved by integrating different components so they are working together instead of at cross-purposes.

Let’s use Monet’s WFO Live as an example. How does it help with scheduling, one of the most critical tasks of call center management?

Workforce management software delivers the metrics that makes it easier and more efficient to forecast, schedule, intra-day management, exception handling and to real-time adherence tracking.

But part of optimum scheduling is making sure the right agents are handling the right calls. That’s where Monet Record comes in – by having a record of how different agents handle different calls, a manager now has a way to determine which of his team members are best suited for different customer engagements. Monet Quality can also help here, by making it easier to retrieve calls by specific type, and providing additional reporting and analytics to further assess each agent’s skills.

Unfortunately, the status quo rarely remains the same in any call center, so all these calculations must be regularly updated and re-examined. Monet Metrics delivers agent analytics, real-time alerts, scorecards and customizable reports, as well as data on key performance indicators such as agent adherence and service levels. This information can then be used in conjunction with workforce management to begin the process all over again.

With one unified suite of workforce optimization services, every aspect of a call center can be monitored, analyzed and improved. When you get your agents working together as efficiently as the solutions incorporated in Monet’s WFO Live, you will be on the way to consistent, reliable customer service and support.

To see these capabilities in action, please watch the latest videos in our workforce optimization demo center.

Learn More

Monet WFO Live Honored for Exceptional Innovation

Posted: October 29 2013 by: Chuck Ciarlo

“The cloud delivery model has fueled a competitive spirit within the vendor, developer, and provider communities that has resulted in a wave of new products, services and applications being introduced at an unprecedented rate. ' said Erik Linask, the Group Editorial Director for TMC.

One of those products is Monet’s WFO Live, which has received a 2013 Cloud Computing Excellence Award by TMC, in the page of the company’s Cloud Computing Magazine.

The award was created to recognize the companies that most effectively leveraged cloud computing in efforts to bring new and differentiated offerings to market.

“Awards were granted to the companies which demonstrated innovation as well as the ability to improve the cloud,” said the CEO of TMC, Rich Tehrani.

WFO Live incorporates workforce management tools to improve scheduling and service levels, call recording capabilities for compliance, and quality assurance to help managers better evaluate the performance of their agents and the call center as a whole. From forecasting and exception planning to call tagging, reporting and analytics, WFO is a one-stop source for call center efficiency, accessed through the cloud for better convenience and lower upfront cost.

Find out more about the 2013 Cloud Computing Excellence Awards here.



Learn More

It's Time to Watch this Video and Answer the Call

Posted: September 16 2013 by: Chuck Ciarlo

When customers receive great customer service from a call center, they won’t stop to ask how it happened. Instead, they’ll just remain customers, and respond positively if asked about their experience.

As our new video shows, one way to bring about this positive outcome is with workforce optimization (WFO) in the cloud. Whatever challenges a call center faces, from forecasting and scheduling to training both new and experienced agents, WFO makes it easier and improves the effectiveness of most day-to-day necessities.





Quality management? Call Recording? Performance management? WFO addresses these as well, regardless of the size of the call center or the number of agents employed. The benefits of unified workforce optimization are illustrated in the video below, as well as the advantages of having those benefits delivered from the cloud. Why invest in costly hardware or software, that many not be able to grow and adapt with your business?

So if a customer’s call is answered more quickly because of forecasting accuracy, and is routed to the best agent for their needs thanks to scheduling capabilities; and if agents are better prepared because of the coaching they have received with recordings of previous customer encounters, it’s a true win-win for the center, the agent and the caller. 

Check out the video and then click on the link at the end of the video to view a more detailed demo.


Learn More

It's Time to Answer the Call for Workforce Optimization

Posted: September 5 2013 by: Chuck Ciarlo

Monet invites you to answer a call that will make your call center more efficient - check out our new video.

Discover the difference that comes with workforce optimization (WFO) in the cloud. We think it’s the right technology for a new era in call center and contact center efficiency, and one that will be embraced by your agents.



Your customers will love it as well – perhaps they won’t know exactly why their business is now handled so much faster, and if you told them it was “unified workforce optimization” it may not matter to them. But your managers, supervisors and agents will recognize the difference immediately – it’s so easy to use, and eliminates so many issues that occur every day by combining different solutions into one.

WFO also features workforce management and call recording, both essential for forecasting, scheduling and training. Plus you’ll find solutions for quality management and performance measurement, all delivered from the cloud, so you won’t be making a significant investment in hardware and software.

For small contact centers with just a few dozen agents, or major contact centers with hundreds of personnel working round the clock, workforce optimization is a vital component of a successful business.

So if you haven’t answered the call yet, check out the video, then click on the link at the end of the video to view a more detailed demo.

Learn More

What is Workforce Optimization Software?

Posted: June 7 2013 by: Chuck Ciarlo

Workforce Optimization (WFO) software is not just one solution to call center service challenges – it is a full suite of automated services that can help a call center achieve its business goals and compliance requirements.
Workforce optimization software for call centers - Monet Software
When choosing a workforce optimization software product, make sure it includes each of these features:

  • Workforce Management
  • Call Recording
  • Quality Management
  • Screen Capture
  • Performance Management and Agent Analytics

Workforce Management

Forecasting, scheduling, intra-day management and exception planning are all part of workforce management. Make sure the software allows for real-time adherence, so adjustments can be made quickly before they can impact service levels.

Call Recording

A call recording solution is invaluable in agent training, coaching and troubleshooting and establishing best practices. It also helps to resolve transaction disputes and determine regulatory compliance. You’ll want to invest in a solution that archives and retrieves calls quickly for review.

Quality Management

The quality management process incorporates dashboards, scorecards, agent analytics, customized reports and key performance indicators, to improve service levels, optimize utilization of resources and enhance cost management.

Screen Capture

Screen capture adds video to the voice recording of an agent’s interactions, providing a visual record of how agents employ the technology at their disposal. This aids in agent training, and can help call center staff improve their performance in such key areas as first-call resolution.

Performance Management/Agent Analytics

By analyzing the scorecards and reports produced by workforce optimization software, call centers can become more proactive in their quest for improving customer service, rather than reacting to events that have already occurred.

Watch this video to see how a unified workforce optimization solution can help your call center improve performance by breaking down organizational silos and making it easier to share data across functions in your center.

Learn More

New call center workforce optimization demo center

Posted: February 6 2013 by: Chuck Ciarlo

We just launched a new demo center for our unified call center workforce optimization suite. The demo center makes it easier to browse through the various call center workforce solutions and watch the videos you are interested in. It is organized by the four solutions components of Monet WFO Live: Workforce Management, Call Recording, Quality Management and Performance Management. 

Monet WFM

  • Workforce Management Overview: This video provides a short introduction to workforce management for contact centers and an overview of Monet WFM Live.
  • Accurate Forecasting: Learn how to run simulations to calculate a precise forecast for future call volumes, agent requirements and average handle time for any time interval of the day, based on historical data from ACD systems.
  • Efficient Scheduling: See how the advanced scheduling engine incorporates all call types and other activities to generate staffing schedules that optimize a wide range of factors - agent availability, expected call volume, service level goals and center budget.
  • Effective Staffing: Learn how the solution helps call center managers and supervisors to accurately forecast call volumes and conduct 'what-if' scenarios, including seasonal call volumes and special days.
  • Intra-day Management: Watch how to track key metrics throughout the day and quickly update required and assigned agents instantly, based on surpluses and shortages for each time period of the day.
  • Exception Planning: See how an integrated exception calendar simplifies scheduling of agent exceptions such as time off and one-time or recurring training meetings for contact centers.
  • Interactive Dashboards: Watch how a graphical display lets call center managers and supervisors drag and drop breaks, lunches and other changes to make updates to schedules and staffing in real-time.

Monet Metrics

Monet Record
  • Call Recording and Monitoring: Learn how to easily capture, monitor and manage customer interactions with call recording to improve your customer service as well as ensuring regulatory compliance.

Monet Quality
  • Quality Management and Assurance: This demo video is currently being produced and we will add it to the demo center shortly.
Please take a moment and browse through the demo center and stay tuned for more videos coming soon.

Learn More

What is unified workforce optimization for call centers?

Posted: December 19 2012 by: Chuck Ciarlo

In the last few weeks, we did several webinars about unified workforce optimization in the cloud. We talked about the need for a unified WFO solution and also demonstrated our new offering Monet WFO Live. We received tremendous interest and we would like to thank all who joineDus. We are planning to do a few more webinars in January, please stay tuned. Here are some highlights from the webinar:

  • Most of the organizations have several different functions and technologies that they would ideally like to work together, so they can balance customer satisfaction and revenue, with the cost of customer service. Typically one group focuses on scheduling and deploying staff, and one focuses on recording and measuring performance. There are also people who analyze and investigate opportunities for change, closing skill gaps and establish goals to measure against.
  • As much as we may want these people to work together, today they are forced to make isolated decisions and often act independently because they have limited access to information outside of their area or function. They don’t have visibility into or it takes too long to get to key pieces of information, leaving them to make decisions too slowly and in silos.
  • We believe a large part of the problem is that they don’t have access to a unified integrated technology supporting these groups to help bring them together.  They need immediate access to information traditionally found in other areas and they need information automatically passed to them to eliminate slow, error-ridden manual processes.
  • With a unified WFO solution you get unique business integrations that can let your organization make faster, more informed decisions with a new level of visibility into workforce performance, customer service processes and customer intelligence across the enterprise.  You can quickly get to the right information to drive a new level of performance improvement.
  • Through these integrations users can drill to information traditionally found in other applications and information can be automatically passed between functions to eliminate manual processes.
  • In addition, you get a single workforce optimization framework that brings these functions together with features like a single graphical user interface and central administration. Having a single graphical user interface let’s people easily navigate in areas that they don’t spend a lot of time in. 
If you don't want to wait for the next webinar, you can read more about workforce optimization on our website or you can read an article about WFO in the Customer Interaction Magazine.                                                                                                                               



Learn More

What is call center workforce optimization software?

Posted: September 24 2012 by: Chuck Ciarlo

Many call center managers are still challenged with having the right number of agents with the right skills, ensuring that calls are handled in compliance with regulations and policies, while also delivering great customer service. Call center workforce optimization software offers a complete suite to automate workforce management, call recording, quality assurance and agent analytics. Call centers can quickly and easily optimize all aspects of their workforce with one affordable solution, resulting in better utilization of resources, better cost management and improved service levels. It unifies workforce optimization across multiple processes to better meet customer needs and deliver more effective customer service. The following are typical components of a WFO suite:

  • Workforce Management
  • Call Recording
  • Quality Management
  • Screen Capture
  • Performance Management and Agent Analytics

The integration and unification of data and functionality of WFO platforms help companies redefine the way they operate and establish a more proactive and flexible call center management. Only an integrated WFO suite allows call center managers and supervisors to “connect the dots” and get the whole picture, allowing them to positively impact productivity, quality and the bottom line. Please follow this link to watch a workforce optimization software video.


Learn More