Richard Snow's Analyst Perspectives

Calabrio Supercharges Workforce Optimization with Analytics for Customer Engagement

Posted by Ventana Research on Sep 17, 2015 9:03:44 AM

Calabrio is a vendor of workforce optimization software whose core product is Calabrio ONE. It includes the common workforce optimization applications: call recording, quality management, workforce management and analytics. The company is rated Hot in our 2015 Workforce Optimization Value Index, VR_WFO_VI_HotVendor_2015and its product suite is the highest rated in the Usability category. Since our assessment, each of the modules has undergone upgrades, Calabrio has introduced more cloud-based services, and its analytics has undergone extensive changes to support customer experience management. The aim of these enhancements is to provide a single view of the customer that includes customer interactions across all channels, help companies streamline processes through workflow and automation, support more users and provide more deployment options. The Calabrio ONE Cloud Edition supports the full suite in a multitenant environment and is scalable to support companies of all sizes. It also enables users to store data, such as call recordings, in cloud-based services such as Amazon Web Services. I have reviewed these enhancements and note the most significant changes.

Call Recording has been redeveloped and supports a wider range of browsers, making it accessible my more users. Quality Management now speeds up the quality assessment processes by routing items that need to be assessed to the most appropriate person using configuration capabilities in workflow. Its assessment forms are more flexible, and it has enhanced capabilities for one-on-one coaching. Workforce Management has new tools for creating schedules, which allow agents to create their own schedules that take into account their personal time constraints, intraday scheduling for flexibility to schedule shorter periods of time that take into account voluntary time off, overtime and tasks that flow over one or more days, and workflow that automates many of the administrative tasks associated with creating schedules, such as individuals trading schedules. System reporting has also been enhanced so that administrators and users have a more complete picture of how the whole platform is working.

In my assessment the most dramatic changes are in Calabrio Analytics. In past versions the product focused primarily on analysis and reporting of workforce optimization activities; now it has been extended to customer engagement. Through an expanded set of integration tools, the system can ingest both structured and unstructured data from business applications such as CRM, ERP, HR management and workforce optimization, as well as from communication channels such as audio, chat, email, instant messaging and social media. To process all these forms of data Calabrio has added analytics tools such as LVCSR for speech recognition and phonetic processing of audio, as well as text and desktop analytics. There also are more visualization capabilities included in prepackaged versions that support common business processes such as predictive vr_NGCE_15_supporting_multiple_channelscall scoring, marketing effectiveness, agent performance by net promoter scores and call flow analysis. As in the other modules, users can customize these and thus see the information they need in their preferred formats when they need it.

Our benchmark research into next-generation customer engagement finds that integration is the most widespread challenge (for 49% of companies) in supporting multiple channels of communication; each channel typically uses its own system. This research also shows interactions are handled by almost every business group within an organization, and each of these typically has its own system. To support companies in providing consistent, omnichannel experiences regardless of who handles the interaction, integration is the key. Calabrio retains tight integration between its applications and has increased integration with other vendors such as Avaya and Cisco; for example, ingesting survey data now can be integrated into quality management processes. This enables the suite of applications to share data, support processes that flow across business groups and processes, automate calculation of key metrics and allow users in one application to drill down to data managed by other applications, such as being able to see interaction data that was used to produce a quality score. Calabrio doesn’t solve all integration issues, but its improved analytics and integration capabilities help companies develop integrated workforce optimization processes and provide a wider view of how they handle customer interactions.

I recently wrote that the customer experience is critical to business success in today’s digital economy, but providing consistently superior experiences is not easy. It requires giving business groups and individuals share a single view of the customer, enabling actions to be based on a single set of rules, and training and motivating employees to handle interactions in ways that satisfy customers. Companies wanting to improve the people side of interaction handling should assess how Calabrio can help those efforts, and as they do so they should examine how its analytics capabilities can broaden their view of interactions and help improve the overall customer experience.

Regards,

Richard J. Snow

VP & Research Director

Topics: Customer Feedback Management, Business Analytics, Cloud Computing, Call Center, Customer Performance Management (CPM)

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