NICE yesterday released Evolve WFM, a continuous delivery workforce management solution with advanced capabilities like analytics-based forecasting and user-defined scheduling in an elastic cloud-based deployment model.
Evolve WFM brings NICE's workforce management technologies to the small to midsized contact center market, which NICE defines as those facilities with roughly 50 to 200 agents. Those aren't firm numbers, though, according to Paul Chance, senior solutions marketing manager at NICE, because variables like the complexity of the interactions and agent availability need to be considered.
Evolve WFM offers tools for automated scheduling and real-time adherence. The continuous delivery model ensures immediate availability and instant software updates "so that users do not have to deal with software downloads and the downtime that they create," Chance says.
The solution is also entirely cloud-based, hosted over Amazon Web Services. "There is nothing on our end that needs to be connected on premises," Chance says.
A web-based workforce management interface offers drag-and-drop simplicity.
Evolve WFM also includes advanced forecasting based on an analytical assessment of the contact center's history of interactions. Though two years of contact center volume data is a fairly reliable starting point, Chance says the solution gets better with even more information. "The history can go back for many years," he states.
That is important, Chance says, because systems "need to be accurate when they predict future interaction volumes so you know how many agents you will need to meet your [service-level agreements."
Other elements of the Evolve WFM product include the following:
- Efficient scheduling using detailed user-defined work-rule parameters;
- Proactive optimization tools for intraday scheduling, including real-time adherence monitoring; and
- Agent workstations for self-managed schedule availability and coordination.
"This is brand new technology built from the ground up," Chance says. "We will be bringing additional solutions and capabilities into the platform as time goes on."
"For the SMB contact center market, the SaaS model is the key to delivering high-quality solutions that meet customers' expectations for availability, performance, and cost-effectiveness," said Miki Migdal, president of the NICE Enterprise Product Group, in a statement. "Evolve WFM addresses all of these needs, offering new feature and functionality upgrades in real time in a simple package. Leveraging NICE's global experience and leadership in workforce optimization, this solution enables businesses to maintain the right staffing levels at the right times in order to deliver a perfect customer experience."
Chance also emphasizes that the solution is specifically crafted around the needs of the SMB segment.
"It's time for contact centers to move beyond spreadsheet-based workforce management. While this can be particularly challenging for small to midsized companies, it also offers them tremendous return on investment," said Nancy Jamison, principal analyst at Frost & Sullivan, in a statement. "NICE's Evolve WFM is a perfect fit for this underserved market and will provide a viable option for thousands of companies that are looking for advanced WFM functionality in an affordable package."
Chance points out that in the United States alone there are roughly 100,000 small contact centers that could benefit from solutions like Evolve WFM. The market potential, he adds, is huge.