Transforming workforce engagement management

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Last year was a strong sales year for Workforce Optimization/Workforce Engagement Management (WFO/WEM) related systems and applications. This has allowed the vendor to invest heavily in their solution (especially in his first six months of the year) and bring a lot of innovation to the market. Investments are primarily in the categories of artificial intelligence (AI), automation, analytics, and user interface/user experience (UI/UX).

The appeal of these extensions is that the vendor considers both the need for new features and the importance of making them easy to use. Because these new features are delivered from the cloud, they get into the hands of users faster and vendors can monetize them faster. The cloud is a game changer for both enterprises and vendors as it has proven benefits for both groups.

Artificial intelligence makes a difference

Artificial intelligence has been introduced into all the applications that make up the WFO/WEM suite, greatly enhancing the capabilities of these solutions. But these enhancements only portend a major rewrite of most of the 13 applications that make up these suites (see Figure 1). AI has gone from being a system add-on to being a fundamental component of many applications in the WEM suite. Workforce management, interaction analytics, analytics-enabled quality management, research, coaching, customer journey analytics, and more are built on or rely on AI technology to deliver increasingly useful and actionable findings and insights. We provide intelligence to our users. AI today is highly effective, but its potential uses and benefits are just beginning.

partnership is key

Last year saw WFO/WEM providers take advantage of new partnership models. Some Contact Center as a Service (CCaaS) vendors sell their own WFO/WEM solutions and features, but most vendors sell these applications through partnerships. In some cases, it is an original equipment manufacturer (OEM) arrangement in which the CCaaS vendor white-labels the third-party application and brands it as its own brand. In another example, a CCaaS provider contracts with a WFO/WEM vendor to provide functionality that he doesn’t. DMG Consulting expects the partnership model to expand in calendar year 2023 as it is highly beneficial not only for CCaaS and WFO/WEM vendors, but also for end users who want to purchase contact center solutions from one provider. .

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Open up WFO/WEM applications to expand their benefits

WFO/WEM providers are investing heavily in making their solutions more open and easier to integrate. This is primarily in response to an enterprise customer who has been asking these vendors for years to open up their solutions so that they can interoperate with other systems and applications, especially his CRM solution. This trend will prove very beneficial to WFO/WEM vendors. It simplifies the implementation of the solution in contact centers and customer service organizations. It also makes it easier to apply solutions such as workforce management, interaction analytics and gamification to other enterprise functions (other than contact centers) where there is a strong need to enhance both the customer and employee experience. . The market is at a pivotal point and a new wave of enhancements and innovations will help transform these suites into his WEM platform that delivers benefits for the entire enterprise.

Increasing Enterprise Demand for WFO/WEM Capabilities

Businesses struggle to provide a satisfying service experience for their customers. Despite investing heavily in new systems and applications over the past few years, many companies seem to be lagging behind in their digital transformation. Few contact centers can dedicate adequate resources to monitoring and evaluating how agents handle digital interactions, and little insight into customer satisfaction in these vital and growing channels. Even fewer companies are applying interaction analytics to digital channels, further limiting access to highly valuable information. The growing need for customer insights across digital channels is a huge opportunity. But WFO/WEM vendors need to step up their game and find ways to convince companies to apply their solutions in these areas.

market challenges

Although the outlook for the WFO/WEM market looks bright both in the short and long term, it is not without challenges. Due to the complexity of contact centers, the applications sold by these providers are in demand more than ever. However, cloud-driven market dynamics have changed the way companies source these solutions. According to DMG Consulting research, approximately 50-60% of his WFO/WEM applications acquired by the contact center are sold through his CCaaS vendor. This sales model presents both benefits and challenges for WFO/WEM suite vendors. On the positive side, these solutions are marketed by dozens of third-party providers, expanding the market opportunity. The downside is that WFO/WEM vendors have limited direct access to corporate buyers, which can reduce sales margins.

An interesting test for established WFO/WEM suite providers is that many new competitors have entered the market over the past few years. DMG has seen at least 10 vendors bring new quality control and analysis-enabled quality control applications to market, as well as several updated versions of his other WFO/WEM modules. and medium-sized contact centers) “right-sized” option. We’re also seeing a new wave of workforce management and voice analytics vendors trying to tap into the market by offering businesses more options. While the deals these new competitors have won are still small, some of the new solutions are disruptive and companies are taking notice.

final thoughts

IT investment is facing strong headwinds as the economy appears to be slowing. While this will impact the WFO/WEM market, it is likely that many of the applications that make up these suites will increase productivity and reduce operating costs while improving both the customer and employee experience. The sector is expected to outperform most other contact center IT sectors. Driving this market will be the tailwinds that will encourage large enterprises to move from on-premises based automatic call distributors and dialers to the cloud.

Founder and President of DMG Consulting, Donna Fluss offers an unparalleled and unique understanding of the people, processes and technologies that drive the strategic direction of the dynamic and rapidly changing contact center and back office market doing. Fluss can be reached at her

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