Enterprise Apps

Witness Systems Upgrades Workforce Management App

Witness Systems has upgraded the workforce management module of its Impact 360 Workforce Optimization application — just a month after adding new functionality to its e-learning and performance management modules.

Changes to workforce management include tighter integration into the workforce optimization engine. Impact 360, released last September, combines Witness Systems’ software with technology it acquired from Blue Pumpkin.

Increase in Outsourcing

Many of the new changes reflect the fact that more of the company’s customers are using outsourcers and want the system to better integrate with those operations, Bill Durr, principal and solutions consultant with Witness Systems, told CRM Buyer.

New features “extend capabilities so a user can take a forecast and carve it into portions,” he explained, “sending to outsourcers the pieces they will be working with. This helps the company refine their staffing schedules and provide a holistic view of what is going on.”

Swapping Schedules

Another change — one the firm’s installed base requested, Durr said — was better functionality around shift swapping, the practice of employees changing shifts to better suit their own schedules. The upgraded application offers a shift swap board so employees can easily trade shifts when a need arises.

It also supports partial day shift swaps, thus allowing multiple agents to pick up one employee’s hours. “This was a major enhancement,” he noted, “because we had to incorporate logic-checking and rule-checking to make sure the skills were properly aligned with the shift in question.”

This functionality is a boon to companies that use home agents to manage or supplement their call volume, added Durr.

Consistent Reporting

Other changes make the workforce management module’s reporting system more consistent with the workforce optimization application as a whole. Though previously based on Crystal Reports, workforce management now uses Cognos, for example.

“Cognos has unparalleled drag and drop query capabilities, Durr said. “The user has … a list of all the necessary elements and can literally click and drag these elements to create a report that is consistent.”

Additional enhancements:

  • Tighter integration between Impact 360’s long-term planning and day-to-day forecasting through weekly scenarios and skill priorities;
  • Simplified agent password management with enhanced self registration and a password reset function; and
  • One time login to gain access to all components within the Impact 360 Workforce Optimization application.

According to Dimension Data’s recently released 2005 Global Contact Center Benchmarking Report, 48 percent of respondents have implemented workforce management, with another 14 percent planning to do so in the coming year. The report surveyed 363 participants in 38 countries.

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