Call Centers

Calabrio Targets Server Efficiency With Workforce Optimization Upgrades

Calabrio has upgraded its workforce optimization products, which go to market through several channel partners, including as an OEM (original equipment manufacturer) to Cisco’s Unified Contact Center product line.

The company upgraded Workforce Management to version 8.1 and Quality Management to version 2.4. The latter in particular offers a significant change to users of Cisco’s Unified Contact Center Enterprise offering, which targets deployments for 300-plus agents. Specifically, now voice and screen recording can be hosted on a single server, making the upgrades more of a hardware play than software enhancement.

Hardware Play

This is a noteworthy development, though, as it should save users, which tend to be small and medium-sized businesses, a significant chunk of change, said Ken Landoline, an analyst with the Yankee Group.

“Depending on the servers a company buys — which can range from a couple of thousand dollars to (US)$10,000 per server — that can add up, especially for companies that maintain server farms,” he told CRM Buyer.

One of the chief drivers behind the two applications’ upgrade was the desire to reduce end users’ operational expenses, Calabrio’s Chief Technical Officer Jon Silverman told CRM Buyer.

Instead of maintaining multiple servers to support voice and screen recordings, customers can deploy a single server for every 300 agents simultaneously logged into the automatic call distributor (ACD). Quality Management 2.4 also supports use of an external SQL (Structured Query Language) database, which saves customers with an existing enterprise SQL license the necessity of buying a separate license, Silverman noted.

Also, Calabrio customers that have Calabrio Workforce Management can share the database license.

The upgrade includes support for Windows Vista client support and new outbound recording.

New Territory

Calabrio Workforce Management 8.1 ventures into new territory for the firm, as it is entirely Web-based. Features include tools that allow contact center managers to generate forecasts and schedules and contact center key performance indicators (KPIs) provided in a single view to supervisors.

Tracking tools allow managers to monitor actual customer service levels and call volumes to optimize staffing. Agents are able to view schedules, request vacations and trade shifts. They can also monitor their own productivity indicators.

A Restructuring, Then Spin-Off

Calabrio’s internal organization and product development MO has undergone significant change over the last year or so. It was acquired by Spanlink, which then restructured the firm with its software division under its roof.

Other CTI (computer telephony integration) operations stayed with Spanlink. Then, the company announced it would spin off Calabrio, sending it back into the market as an entirely remade company, Landoline said.

“These moves made sense since the companies are now going after two separate sets of customers,” he added.

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