| Contact Center/CRM Views and Analysis

Workforce Management

Dictaphone: An Old Dog With Very New Tricks

February 1, 2005

If I put 1,000 business people into a room together, and asked them all what the most significant cost of doing business is, my guess is 999 of them would answer "labor." (Perhaps the one lone dissenter works in the Underworld, where "firing employees" literally involves the use of a flamethrower.)

Why is labor so expensive? It's not just the salaries, of course, though those are a large part...it's the turnover. From the moment an employee departs, the process of hiring a replacement involves a cash and resource outlay every step of the way. First, you've lost company human capital in that trained employee who has just departed.

IEX Adds Another SITEL Division To List

April 26, 2005

IEX Corporation, a provider of workforce management and optimization technology for contact centers, today announced news that the Netherlands division of SITEL Corporation has chosen IEX’s TotalView Workforce Management system. SITEL is a global provider of outsourced customer support services.


This Netherlands contact center further expands SITEL’s global relationship with IEX, as its but another added to the growing list of SITEL centers using TotalView. Most recently, IEX announced a workforce management contract with SITEL Germany in late February, and TotalView is installed in a number of SITEL’s other contact centers worldwide.


SITEL Netherlands has a diverse client environment: the company provides multilingual technical support for one on the world's largest manufactures of printer and computer products; multichannel support for clients in the publishing, utilities and automotive sectors; and outbound acquisition for one of the world's largest credit card companies.


How the TotalView Workforce Management system helps:

The system is designed to improve scheduling and agent management processes in both single and multiple-site environments.

InVision Software Launches U.S. HQ in Chicago

July 12, 2005

InVision Software, a Germany-based provider of workforce management (WFM) software, announces today its launch of a U.S. subsidiary in Chicago, IL.


The new headquarters of InVision Software, Inc. will service both the U.S. and Canadian territories, with further bases "planned for the West and South to be nearer to those specific markets."


InVision currently has 12 international subsidiaries. The customer base currently includes global brands such as ABN AMRO, Vodafone, Deutsche Telekom and IKEA.


“We are confident that the North American market, across all industries, holds great potential for our company,” Peter Bollenbeck, CEO of the InVision Software Group, said in a statement.

IEX Releases v3.9 TotalView WFM

August 2, 2005

IEX Corporation, a provider of contact center workforce management and optimization tools, today announces the general availability of version 3.9 of the company’s TotalView Workforce Management system. Version 3.9 offers skill block scheduling features that are designed to make easier management of multichannel contact types and other back-office work. The new version of TotalView Workforce Management also offers new time-off management and schedule preference capabilities. To sum up the enhancements and additions:


Skill Block Scheduling automatically designates optimal time slots for agents to devote to a particular skill (e.g., outbound calling, e-mail, Web chat, etc.).

Programmer Bait

September 7, 2005

And we have a winner!!! A blog posting last month referred to an Internet contest wherein the winner would be the person who was fired from his or her job for the most outrageous or ridiculous reason, judged by a panel from Silicon Valley. Employment-related Internet start-up Simply Hired, through its affiliated Web site SimplyFired.com, solicited the stories of absurd firings; the reward would be a Caribbean cruise.


Well, the grand-prize winner, chosen from more than 1,000 entries, is a computer engineer who lost his job for eating pizza (pepperoni, two slices).


Jim Garrison, who lives in Highlands Ranch, Colorado, ate two of the six pieces of pepperoni pizza left over from a meeting involving a different group within the company.

Attention Outsourcers and Clients: It's The Service, S*****

October 9, 2008

When I saw the press release from the American Teleservices Association and DialAmerica reporting that most major teleservices clients would leave their outsourcer vendors because they were dissatisfied with them i.e. the service they were getting, I didn't know whether to laugh, cry, or curse or all three at the same time. Naturally I turned this into an article that I put on our site.

After all, what are teleservices firms in the business for, except to deliver services?

Why Treat Contact Center (and Other Service) Employees Well In Tough Times

November 3, 2009

Ask anyone who works in the service sector: contact centers, hospitality, retail, and transportation especially, the one thing besides lousy supervisors and managers that drives them up the wall and that is wild scheduling--days, times, even locations worked changed on a moment's notice--resulting in fewer hours and less income.

Too often employees apply for and are hired for jobs that employers tell them will pay X for a given number of hours: 20-30-40/week. What happens though is that many of these 'hours' become 'on call' i.e. they have to be 'Janey or Jimmy on the spot' but they don't get paid.

My Top Trends For 2010

December 31, 2009

This is the time of year for predictions and trends forecasting in the coming year, so before the famous lit bill drops in New York City's Times Square I'll offer a few of mine for 2010 and beyond:

1. The arrival of web/videoconferencing

Videoconferencing especially has long been regarded even by me as a 'tomorrow technology' ranking somewhere up there with jetpacks and hovercars i.e. cool to have, but horrendously expensive and complicated to implement.

No more.

Letter Responding to Jan. CIS Logout "To Improve Quality and Profits Get Rid of "HR"

February 25, 2011

Here is a letter written in response to my Logout column “To Improve Quality and Profits Get Rid of "HR" that appeared in the January 2011 Customer Interaction Solutions.

In the piece I decried the too-often poor contact center agent and supervisor hiring and screening practices, such as job descriptions having little to do with the reality of the work, as a result of the human resource "HR" mentality--treating people like raw materials rather than as individuals.


Brendan –

I read your article (Customer Interactions Solutions, Jan 2011 issue) and couldn’t agree more. 

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