April 24, 2014

Innovative Speech-to-Text Technology Integration Delivers ROI for State Unemployment Agency

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You’ve probably noticed that we’ve been talking a lot lately about the idea of driving return on investment (ROI) from your contact centers, and if you haven’t you should check out our new white paper on the topic. But after a recent conversation with with Rich Quattrocchi, VP of Marketing for Mutare, we had to touch on it again.

Mutare is a Carousel partner focused on making information access easier. They have a variety of software products that help businesses enhance communications, including unified messaging, smart notification, emergency notification and speech-to-text technology. Mutare’s technology is not just for call centers, however; its products can extend to virtually any corner of the enterprise where the business need demands it.

Speech-to-Text Technology Leads to Reduction in Fraudulent Claims for State Unemployment System

In the recent discussion with Rich, he shared one case study that illustrates the value Mutare’s technology can deliver. A large Midwestern state (not quite ready to be named) has been using an interactive voice response (IVR) system for several years to enable unemployed citizens to remotely file claims and conduct periodic check-ins with its unemployment agency. If any of you have ever been laid off, you know that when residents are on unemployment insurance, they are supposed to be actively looking for work. To ensure they are, recipients are required to check in with the agency every couple of weeks to answer questions, report where they applied, what the result were, etc.

Using the IVR systems for such transactions was supposed to streamline the process for residents and cut costs for the agency.  What the agency quickly realized is that they didn’t have the manpower to actually go back and listen to each recorded phone call, and cross-reference data with various databases to ensure recipients were reporting accurately and still eligible for unemployment insurance.

It didn’t take long for the state to determine that people were gaming the system, calling in to collect benefits when they were no longer entitled to them. The result: An estimated $30 million in fraudulent claims in 2011 alone.

Rapid ROI from Speech to Text Technology Integration

The state received a federal grant to help it reduce fraud and started looking at solutions. Mutare gave them a demo of their giSTT (pronounced: gist) speech to text software, which acts as a plugin to virtually every IVR systems, and soon had it up and running.  The giSST server sits between the audio source server and the customer database, either on-site on in the cloud, takes the audio files, translates them to text in the giSST engine and then delivers them to the appropriate application(s) to be leveraged.

By converting speech to text with giSTT, Mutare was able to help the state utilize the data and cross-reference it against various other databases to make sure claims were valid. It’s a job that is simply not feasible for humans to do alone.

The results were impressive. “The system caught its first instance of fraud within 5 minutes,” Quattrocchi says, “and approximately $10 million worth in the first year.”  Having paid about $1 million for the system, the state generated a 10-times ROI in the first year.

To learn more about how speech-to-text technology can make your unified communications, contact center and database applications work better, improving business processes and driving ROI, contact Carousel.  And don’t forget to check out our white paper, 4 Ways to Increase ROI from Contact Centers, for more valuable ROI tips.


Workforce Management Software Helps Increase ROI for Contact Centers

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One of the keys to getting the most out of your contact center is making effective use of its most expensive assets: the agents. Whereas once that meant just having supervisors try to keep a close eye on things, today workforce management software can help you do everything from getting staffing levels right to actually monitoring agent activity.Contact Center

Workforce management software is one of the areas covered in the new Carousel Industries white paper, “4 Ways to Increase ROI from Contact Centers.” In this post we’ll give a flavor of what you’ll learn by downloading the full white paper.

Workforce Management Tools Help Ensure Appropriate Contact Center Staffing Levels

Workforce management software provides historical trending, based on feeds from your contact center reporting engine, that show how busy a contact center is at any given time. Using the tools to look at historical trends, companies can more accurately predict future call center activity and build staffing schedules accordingly. Some also have tools that show how accurate the predictions were.

A seasonal business, for example, can use the tools to determine when contact center activity starts to ramp up, when it begins to fall off again, and all activity in between. That’s a crucial capability for some businesses, many of which do the majority of their business in just a few months. Ensuring they have adequate staff during their busy periods helps deliver maximum revenue. Conversely, ensuring centers aren’t over-staffed during the slower months also helps contribute to the ROI picture.

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Dig Deeper:  Download the free whitepaper, “4 Ways to Increase ROI from Contact Centers.”

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But it’s not just seasonal businesses that can take advantage of workforce management software. Any business can use it to determine its busiest and slowest days as well as the busiest times of day, so they can staff accordingly at all times. Some tools also have effective “what-if” engines that help contact center managers predict the level of staff they’ll need to coincide with a major new marketing campaign, for example.

How to Reduce Reliance on Call Center Outsourcers

Such capabilities help companies maximize use of their in-house staff and minimize use of outsourced contact center help. Based on historical predictions, perhaps they can see that if they stagger schedules of in-house staff to accommodate different time zones, they can cover the vast majority of calls without resorting to third-party help.

When companies consider the true cost of outsourcing, they see the value in maximizing use of in-house staff. It’s not just that you have to pay so much per call or per hour to the outsourcer, it’s also the performance you get. It stands to reason that internal employees who know the business well will perform better than third parties who only help out part-time. If your internal employees have a 10%, 20% or 30% better close rate than the outsourcer, that can provide a rapid return on the cost of workforce management software.

A Better Way to Monitor Call Center Agents

Workforce management software also tracks agent activity, so supervisors can tell when agents arrive, when they go on break and when they return. Agents log in and out of the system when they arrive at or leave their station, so managers have an accurate record of when each agent was on duty.

That relieves a tremendous burden from contact center supervisors who traditionally spent an inordinate amount of time policing such activity manually – and probably nowhere near as effectively.

For more tips on how to drive ROI from your contact center, download the free white paper, “4 Ways to Increase ROI from Contact Centers.”  

Bring Multimedia Into Your Contact Center – and Drive ROI

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The term “call center” is going the way of the Dodo, giving way instead to “contact center” to reflect the additional modes of communication companies now deal with. With the change also comes opportunity, as forward thinking companies are taking advantage of technologies that deliver real return on investment from their contact centers.

In addition to phone calls, today’s contact center also needs to also be able to handle customers who prefer to communicate via email, Web chat sessions and social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook. Customer expectations vary depending on the medium – they understand the response time to an email is far different than that for chat – but in general customers are increasingly less patient with slow response times, no matter how they contact a company.

But companies that create effective strategies for dealing with multimedia contacts will find they can actually drive return on investment from their contact centers, as detailed in the new Carousel Industries white paper, “4 Ways to Increase ROI from Contact Centers.

Aggregate Contacts for Effective Contact Center Response

With contacts coming in from various sources, companies need a way to ensure they are dealing with each effectively. Fortunately, tools are available to enable contact centers to aggregate all forms of communication and put them into a single, universal queue. They can then apply business rules to distribute the contacts to the most appropriate agent.

Perhaps one group of agents is dedicated to phone calls but also handles emails during slower calling periods. Others may be adept at dealing with chat sessions and can likewise handle emails when they have time.

Companies can also build rules based on the content of the email or chat, using tools that can “read” the messages, determine what the subject is, and send it to an agent with expertise in that area. Or, companies may opt to employ software that auto-responds to certain queries with a pre-determined message when appropriate, thus lessening the burden on agents.

Driving ROI From a Multimedia Contact Center

Aggregating contacts helps drive ROI in several ways. For one, you can get rid of the silos of applications that many contact centers have – one for phone calls, another for email, a third for chat and another for social media. Instead, you have a single, all-encompassing call center tool, one that’s not only easier to manage but more effective.

Secondly, you’ll be able to respond in a more timely fashion to customer queries, while ensuring that contacts don’t fall through the cracks and never garner a response. That will mean improved customer service and enhanced customer loyalty, all of which drives sales.

You may also be able to reduce the number of call center staff you need by taking advantage of capabilities such as auto-response to emails and by handling queues more effectively.

A Contact Center Solution for Social Media

Leading companies are also now wrapping social media into their contact centers. In many organizations, the marketing department launched initial social media efforts and have maintained control ever since. That means as customers interact with the company, the marketing department is responsible for responding.

That creates a disconnect between customers and the people who are trained to interact with them – the contact center agents. What’s more, marketing groups are often not equipped with the personnel to respond to service-based social media interactions.

Bringing social media into the contact center means companies can apply the same business rules to those contacts as to phone calls and emails, as well as measurements to ensure agents with an appropriate skill set deal with issues in a timely fashion. It can also help you react more quickly and effectively if a customer posts on Facebook or Twitter about some issue he’s having with one of your products. Instead of the issue taking on a life of its own and reflecting badly on your brand, you end up getting points for being responsive – which has significant ROI potential.

To learn more about how to drive ROI from your contact center, download the free white paper, “4 Ways to Increase ROI from Contact Centers.

At-home Call Center Agents: A Trend Picking Up Steam – for Good Reasons

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The concept of call center agents working from remote offices or from home isn’t exactly new, but it is picking up steam – so much so that it comes up in pretty much every customer conversation, says Zach Shankle, Director of Contact Center Services for Carousel Industries.

“The idea of remote call center agents is a fast growing trend. Five years ago it’d come up in every fifth conversation,” he says. “Now, if the customer doesn’t bring it up, I do. If they don’t have anyone doing it today, they definitely have thoughts about it.”

The Drivers Behind Remote Call Center Agents

Two main reasons are driving interest in remote call center agents: real estate and recruiting.

“It’s a lot more cost-effective to have people work from home than a space the company is paying for,” Shankle says. As companies grow and face the prospect of having to add more real estate, they tend to look at the option closely.

When they do, they find the idea of work-at-home agents dramatically broadens the pool from which companies can recruit employees. “They can spread out across the globe, the country, the region, whatever,” he says. And the ability to hire people in different time zones makes it simpler to cover even expanded business hours without having to ask employees to work at odd times. “One of our customers has agents in Hawaii who handle calls after 5 p.m. Pacific time,” he says. Given the time difference, the call center can stay open until 7 p.m. Pacific or later and the Hawaiian agents only have to work till 5 p.m. local time.

Benefits of Remote and At-Home Call Center Agents

In addition to the benefits like more hiring flexibility, remote call center agents also enable companies to more quickly staff up. Another Carousel customer has a seasonal business, taking reservations for campgrounds, including many state and national parks. Most campgrounds take reservations months in advance, so the company’s busy time is in the winter. As a result they recruit workers who have warm-weather jobs in states such as Maine but are looking for other work in cold-weather months.

“They ramp from 100 to 600 agents during the peak season and they get people who come back year after year,” Shankle says. What’s more, some of the state parks require that agents work in the same state as the park, a requirement that is easily met when agents can work from home.

Another benefit is that work at home agents tend to be more productive than those in a call center. “People find that surprising,” Shankle says. “But they don’t have distractions from other employees, no employee in the next cube to talk to. So they’re more focused on the work at hand.”

Challenges to Implementing Remote Call Center Agents

The main impediment to remote call center agents, he says, is mindset.

“It’s a cultural shift and some people – managers, supervisors and executives – can’t get their head around the idea that the person is not sitting where they can go see them,” Shankle says. “I talk to customers almost every day who say, ‘Our CEO wants to see people in the office when he comes in.’ He also wants to see a big bill to pay for that space, apparently.”

Others are afraid that they won’t be able to adequately supervise agents who they can’t see, but Shankle notes that plenty of tools exist to do the job remotely, including call recording and screen monitoring software. “You can virtually look over their shoulder even if you can’t do it physically,” he says.

Technology to Enable Remote Call Center Agents

The technology required to set up a remote call agent is minimal. Depending on how the company opts to deploy, it may mean nothing more than a softphone on a laptop or desktop – sometimes even the employee’s own computer. Agents use a headset plugged into the computer to answer calls.

That approach does require a high-quality Internet connection, so customers who go that route may require agents to have a service like Verizon FIOS, which has an option for a guaranteed quality of service.

Alternatively, companies can use a traditional TDM phone but shift call control to the computer. The agent sees on the screen that a call is coming in, then picks up the phone when it rings. A central call center switch makes the call to the agent’s phone, but the agent still has complete control from the computer, right down to the ability to transfer to another agent.

Another Carousel customer uses a device that enables agents to connect a headset to a standard telephone jack. That eliminates the need for the phone altogether, with calls once again controlled from the computer.

If you want to explore options for at-home or remote call center agents, contact Carousel.

Offering Hospitals a Better Alternative to the Beeper (Finally!)

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If you know a doctor or nurse who works in a hospital, there’s a decent chance you’ve seen them carrying around, and perhaps cursing, a device that is rarely seen outside the medical profession any more: a beeper.

In an age of smart phones, the pager seems somewhat antiquated. At least, that’s what the folks at Mutare believe and they’re out to do something about it. The company, a Carousel Industries partner, has recently expanded their portfolio with a solution called Vital Link that not only replaces the beeper, but goes a couple of giant steps beyond it in terms of functionality.

Why the Beeper Still Exists: Security

The reason people continue to use beepers in the medical profession and a few others, such as government and some businesses, is security. Health care professionals, for example, must comply with HIPAA regulations, so they have to be careful about how they communicate private patient data. A pager addresses that – because it doesn’t allow you to send any data at all other than a phone number.

But therein also lies its shortcoming: it’s not a very effective way to communicate. A doctor who gets beeped typically has no idea what the issue is until he makes a phone call to find out. Maybe it’s a legitimate issue that requires his attention, but often it’s something a colleague could’ve handled faster and better, or that could’ve been resolved with a simple text message.

The Business and Patient Benefits of Eliminating Pagers

With Vital Link, the folks at Mutare, who have a background in call center notification products, offer a far richer communications experience. Vital Link is a hosted service that can integrate with an existing user directory and other communications systems or databases on the customer premise. End users simply download an app for their device, whether an Android, Blackberry, iPhone or iPad and they can start communicating more robustly in a HIPPA compliant manner.

The benefits are many, including:

  • Making Doctors and Nurses lives’ easier.  Eliminating the need to carry an extra device, the beeper. Instead, users simply use the phone or tablet they likely already have, a welcome development in the bring your own device era.
  • Improved patient outcomes and lowered risk. An age-old problem with pagers is you never know when the recipient will respond and there’s no way to know whether the beep was received. Vital Link, on the other hand, sends a secure message – ensuring HIPAA compliance – and allows an immediate acknowledgement with a single click. Vital Link also allows two-way communication, which means many issues can be resolved via text messages rather than phone calls.
  • Improved productivity and efficiency. The system provides a complete audit trail of when each message was sent and how long it took the recipient to respond. Analytics capabilities enable companies to use that information to refine workflows and improve efficiency, such as to improve turnaround times in testing laboratories and even patient bed turnover.
  • Lower expenses. Paging can get expensive. Customers pay a monthly rate and can get hit with charges for overages. Often they need nationwide coverage for personnel who travel, thus further increasing expenses. And there’s infrastructure to maintain on the premise, including servers and radios. With Vital Link, employees use their own phones and it works over existing cellular and Wi-Fi networks.

Because it’s a hosted service and uses employee-owned client devices, Vital Link is simple to install. In fact, Mutare guarantees you’ll be up and running in less than 2 days after agreeing to use the system. And of course partners like Carousel help make good on that promise.

To learn more about how Mutare Vital Link can help your organization get rid of beepers once and for all, contact Carousel.

Contact Center Call Analytics: Driving Opportunity and ROI

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“This call may be monitored and recorded for training and quality purposes.”  That is a familiar refrain for all of us that have called into a contact center in the last 15 years.  Traditionally, these recordings were used for exactly what the recording stated – companies’ supervisors would listen to the recordings to perform employee evaluations.  Recently however, leading businesses are driving a change from this traditional, tactical approach to a more strategic focus, by mining the mostly untapped goldmine of data coming from the voice of their customers.

In this information packed interview, Oscar Alban, the principal marketing consultant for Carousel partner Verint, discusses how companies are changing their focus and identifying vast untapped opportunity in the recordings of their customer interactions.

Identifying Trends in Contact Center Interactions with Call Analytics

According to Alban, the contact center is a place that more people may interact with on a daily basis than see the average company’s advertisements.  It is also where real customers and prospects provide invaluable feedback on the products and services (and customer service) that the company offers.  The continued reduction in the cost of computing power and storage, in conjunction with voice-to-text translation and voice inflection identification software now allows businesses (with help from solutions like Verint’s Voice of the Customer), to identify important trends, opportunities and risks in the conversations they have with their most important constituents.

“More and more companies are now recording 100% of their calls,” Alban explains, “By using call analytics, they are able to identify issues before they impact the company.”  In one example, he cites a Verint customer that was able to identify a trending problem and take steps to address it before it resulted in a catastrophic issue.  They believe call analytics helped proactively save them thousands of customers.

Eliminating the Contact Center Silo

As the new insights from “voice of the customer” interactions become available, the traditional walls between the contact center and other departments in the enterprise are coming down.  The untapped data that is mined from call centers can be used as crucial building blocks to inform multiple aspect of the business.  “We encourage our customers to eliminate the information silos and share data,” says Alban.  “It has resulted in tremendous new opportunities.”

From the marketing department gaining real-world customer feedback and fine tuning what and whom to target, to the research and development team using the insights that the program gathers to build more useful and popular products, using this “big data” can transform how a company works from the inside out.

Driving ROI With Contact Center Call Analytics

The number one thing that management teams want to see from any new technology purchase is a return on investment.  Contact center recording and analytics, according to Alban, is providing a measurable ROI to businesses.  Between cost savings, improved efficiency, customer retention and new opportunities identified by the marketing and product management departments, companies are able to see return-on-investment timelines measured in the month, not years.

To learn more about how businesses are taking advantage of their customer interactions to drive efficiencies and returns, listen to the whole interview.  For more information on how Carousel can help you take advantage of contact center analytics and implement Verint’s Voice of the Customer product, contact Carousel today.

How Call Recording Helps Increase Contact Center ROI

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As contact center technology improves, companies are continually finding new ways to generate additional return on their contact center investments. One area in particular that is ripe for generating more ROI is call center recording.

Contact Center Best Practices

Contact Center ROI, Call Recording

To learn more about how this plays out in practice, we talked with Renee Gut, who is Content Center Practice Lead, West for Carousel Industries, based in the Los Angeles area. “Almost every client either already has call center recording, wants to improve it or is looking to acquire it,” Gut says. “And around call recording, there are lots of ROI drivers.”

Recording Calls for Compliance – and Cost Avoidance

Compliance is one big area that’s a strong driver for call recording, she says. Recording calls helps companies prove they are staying in compliance with various regulations. In that respect, it’s more of a cost avoidance strategy than a revenue generating play – helping companies avoid the penalties, liabilities and risk that come with running afoul of regulations.

PCI, the regulations that dictate how companies must handle credit card data, is a prime example. “Credit card information is very sensitive, so call recording solutions have to be able to accommodate that,” Gut says. That may mean having the ability to pause so as not to record credit card data and also to encrypt sensitive data.

Mining Call Recordings for ROI Nuggets

Another area ripe for increasing revenue is speech analytics. “There’s a tremendous gold mind of information resident in call recordings,” Gut says, if only companies can figure out how to use it effectively.

Speech analytics helps them do just that, by mining thousands of hours of recordings for the bits that may prove truly useful. For example, a company may want to search on the word “stupid” to find all the calls in which a caller expresses frustration. “It might be a very good thing to listen to those recordings and try to figure out if a business process or something is annoying customers,” she says.

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Dig Deeper: Download the Free Whitepaper: Moving to an SIP-Enabled Architecture
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A company that has a special offer in place may search on relevant terms to ensure agents are plugging the offer. Say the offer was some kind of auto-renewal. If you search on “auto-renewal” you can find out when agents are using the term. “That makes it simple to target agents who are forgetting to offer. If I’m not offering it, I’m not going to sell it,” Gut says. “Speech analytics is a terrific play to really understand what’s happening with your brand without forcing managers to listen to thousands of hours of phone calls.”

Using Call Recording to Improve Customer Service

Another way companies can improve the ROI of their call center investments is by using call recording to improve customer service. Improving quality has always been one of the goals of call recording, with quality assessment teams reviewing calls and working with agents to improve.

But the biggest trend now, Gut says, is using the recordings in a peer review process. Companies present agents with their own recordings as well as some from their peers and let them critique each other – often a gentler way to encourage improvement than having superiors do the job. The end result is improved customer service – and tangible ROI, she says.

If you’d like to learn how to increase the ROI from your contact center technology, contact Carousel.

Capex vs. Opex Expenditures: How Technology Financing is Evolving

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Traditionally, when purchasing a major technology system or performing a software upgrade to an existing system, it is common to for businesses to spend $100,000 or more up front to purchase necessary hardware, software licenses and all the implementation and training costs that come with such a costly enterprise investment.  A number of factors – financial, technological and service based – are causing this approach to technology procurement to be reexamined.

Let’s use the purchase of a new Communication Manager  phone system as an example to give us a way to examine the differences between capex (capital expenditure) and opex (operating expenditure). Capex is used by companies to purchase or upgrade assets such as property and equipment. Using capex is typically a major financial decision for a company because it is a significant, one time investment that must be maintained for a period of time using opex.  Opex, on the other hand, is an ongoing cost used for running or maintaining a fixed asset including products and systems.  Costs are spread out over a period of time and financial decision makers are able to justify using money from their monthly operating budget more easily than using capex.

We can apply these principles to our phone system example, which has traditionally been a capital expenditure.

Business Drivers

With an economy struggling to maintain forward momentum, many businesses are holding onto their cash with an expectation to wait for the economy to improve before releasing their cash flow for things like capex expenditures in improving phone systems (or other major technology investments).  However, with GDP growth expected to hover around 2% for the next several years, conservative businesses are looking to find ways to finance investments that will allow them to move forward with important technology solutions without the risk of substantial capex expenditures in the face of an uncertain economy.  Luckily, a combination of technology advancements,  “as a Service” cloud solutions for software and hardware requirements, and even  managed services contracts for professional services has positioned businesses to look to the opex budget first when making many critical technology investments.

More with Less

Today, businesses can replace their phone system software without jeopardizing the company’s future on such a large capital expenditure by considering moving business applications to the Cloud. By using opex to budget software expenses monthly, you never have to worry about updating hardware, upgrading software licenses or yearly maintenance. CFO’s clearly recognize this as a much more effective approach in moving business forward without the intense pressure that comes with using capex to upgrade business applications.  It becomes a win-win as businesses focus on streamlining operations, driving growth and moving forward without breaking the bank in an uncertain economy.

For more information on how Carousel Finance is helping businesses define financial solutions that work within their budgetary parameters, contact Carousel today.

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David White is the National Director of Carousel Capital Finance

Upcoming Carousel Live Webinars

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There are always tons of things happening at Carousel as we work with our customers and partners to stay on the cutting edge of enterprise technology and communications, and July is no exception. Case in point, check out the upcoming live webinars this month:

How Session Border Controllers Let the Enterprise Realize the Benefits of IP Communications

Wednesday, July 18, 2012
2:00 PM EDT / 11:00 AM PDT

Enterprise Session Border Controllers (E-SBCs) play a critical role in unified communications for the enterprise. They protect enterprise networks from security threats, cure incompatibilities between UC systems and network services and ensure service quality and reliability.

In this webinar, Scott Yewell, Acme Packet’s senior product line manager for enterprise products, will provide details of the Acme Packet E-SBC features IT managers can exploit to take control and simplify their networks while lowering their costs.

During this webinar you will learn about:

    Connecting UC and legacy telephony systems without ripping and replacing
    Securing the network from malicious and inadvertent threats
    Managing quality and reliability in voice applications.

Watch Replay Video!

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Operational Efficiencies Beyond the Phone

Wednesday, July 25, 2012
2:00 pm EDT / 11:00 am PDT

You’ve leveraged technology, such as call recording, quality monitoring and workforce management, to optimize the efficiency of customer-facing phone work. But what about all the off-phone work done in your call center and back-office operations?

Off-phone work, such as call wrap up, transaction processing, and special projects can take up to 50% of an agent’s time. Can you forecast, monitor and manage this workload, and the impact it has on your service levels?

This webinar will demonstrate how workforce optimization solutions from Verint Systems have been specifically designed to help contact centers and entire enterprises manage and improve the quality and efficiency of off-phone work.

Watch Replay Video!

IT Project Readiness Assessments: Why They Matter

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As every IT executive knows, the enterprise network and application environment is getting more and more complex every day.  At the same time, the pressure to ensure that important IT projects run smoothly, cost effectively and provide an ROI has never been greater.  Effective organizations realize that they are often best served by taking a step back and executing on a best practice based project readiness assessment prior to kicking off a project that has not been thoroughly defined.

To learn about why companies take this important tactical step and how they execute on an assessment project, I recently caught up with Bill Aninno, Vice President of the Data Technologies Group at Carousel Industries.

“When a company knows they want to execute on a technology initiative, it is more important than ever that they take the time to consider all project variables and plan effectively,” says Annino.  “This effort allows the business to uncover potential issues ahead of time, forces the discussion about project value and return, and provides increased confidence of project success.”

IT Project Complexity Has Never Been Higher

With sophisticated network architecture, wireless, virtualization, physical infrastructure, security requirements, cloud solutions, BYOD endpoints and myriad applications interacting, it is no wonder that readiness assessments are so important prior to executing on a new project.  According to Aninno, “Bringing the various stakeholders together from the business units, IT, security and finance is critical, as is leveraging the engineering and project execution expertise of the professional service lead and the product manufacturers.”

This allows each stakeholder to discuss and define how various actions will impact other areas in the network environment and plan accordingly, lowering the risk of missteps.  “With close to 20 years of working with thousands of clients, Carousel has developed best practices for many types of projects from VoIP, to Contact Center deployment, to Physical infrastructure improvements to virtualization.  By bringing those and the necessary engineering expertise to bear during this phase can make the difference between the project moving forward and succeeding, and the company perceiving important projects as just too risky.”

Benefits of Readiness Assessments

Executing on these low-cost project-focused readiness assessments can have multiple benefits to an organization, including:

  • Increased technical accuracy of project deployment
  • Improved shareholder project understanding, buy in and expectations
  • Improved likelihood of meeting project implementation expectations
  • Increased likelihood of meeting project budgetary expectations
  • Increased likelihood of employees utilizing properly working and aligned applications

IT Readiness Assessment Best Practices

To learn more about readiness assessments and some of the best practices your organization should consider when preparing for an assessment, dig into these data sheets.  And as always, contact Carousel with any questions.