Verint is an established vendor of workforce optimization products that was the top-ranked vendor in our 2015 Workforce optimization Value Index. However, like many other large vendors in this category, its product portfolio and capabilities extend beyond workforce optimization; indeed, from a glance at its home page it is not immediately obvious that workforce optimization is a main part of its portfolio. The portfolio includes actionable intelligence, customer engagement optimization, security intelligence, and fraud prevention, risk management and compliance. Workforce optimization is a key component of customer engagement optimization, as are process automation and an employee desktop system, both of which can make interaction handling and associated processes more efficient. Recently the company announced two new products that enhance these capabilities: Verint Robotic Process Automation and Verint Process Assistant.
Verint Process Assistant helps resolve an issue contact centers have struggled with for years: how to ensure that agents follow best practices and to resolve interactions as efficiently as possible while at the same time ensuring that both agent and customer are satisfied with the outcome. This issue arises because in many cases agents have to access multiple systems when trying to resolve customer interactions. Our benchmark research into the agent desktop shows that this often increases average call-handling times (said 65% of participants), degrades the customer experience (49%) and reduces agent satisfaction (31%). Over the years companies have tried several solutions: agent scripting, an agent desktop that supports point-and-click access to systems, and most recently a smart agent desktop that guides agents in what to do and presents information as needed. The major issue with these desktop systems is that they typically require a lot of integration so data can be pushed and pulled from systems and presented to the agent in a “friendly” format. Verint Process Assistant takes a different approach. In essence it is “smart” software that sits behind the desktop and advises the employee on what to do next, for example, look at this field, enter data here or say this. The software makes no changes to any system, nor does it require integration with them; through predetermined rules it merely generates short messages that pop up on the screen to guide the employee on what to do. Process Assistant has tools to build the rules, which can include following different processes depending on the data entered. This technique is less disruptive than forcing agents to learn a new system, but it directs them to navigate between fields and screens, follow prescribed processes and capture the correct data; used properly it helps provide customers with consistent information and satisfying experiences.
Robotic Process Automation, the other new product, applies a similar approach to back-office processes. Users program the smart software to follow a process and execute tasks without any manual intervention. Here also the tools enable authorized users to create processes, embed decision points based on collected data and notify employees that they need to do something when a task or process is completed or that manual intervention is required before the process can complete. Typical processes are to collect data from one system and post it to another, complete a claim form, and replicate data across multiple systems, for example, name and address changes. This automation can make processes more efficient, reduce data entry errors and labor costs for carrying out repetitive tasks and increase compliance with regulations . Its reporting tools show organizations how well processes are working and enable changes where needed.
Robotics is a hot topic at the moment, but that’s not quite the same as what Verint calls robots. There are no machines running around carrying out tasks; instead, it is all software – smart, programmable software. Both Process Assistant and Robotic Process Automation run in the background and make sure tasks are carried out when and as they should be, in some cases overcoming time-consuming issues that have existed for years. Both can make operations more efficient and help deliver desired outcomes; Process Assistant can facilitate satisfaction in both agents and customers. I therefore recommend that all companies involved in customer-related tasks assess how they could benefit from using one or both products.
Richard J. Snow
VP & Research Director, Customer