News and Notes from the 2018 SWPP Conference Showroom Floor: A Vendor Comparison Analysis

Insights from the SWPP Workforce Management Professional of the Year Award Nominees

I hit all of the vendor booths this year, collecting swag, seeing demos, playing cornhole and meeting the people behind the software. We asked the questions: “What makes your product different from the other ones out here?” and “What do you have going on that’s new and exciting this year?” Every year, there is usually a common trend. For example, one year everyone was racing to get to the cloud; another year, there was a surge in gamification.

This year the hot new thing in workforce management software seemed to be how intra-day schedules are managed, and how automated that process can become. And I’m not talking about shift bids; this is a feature that allows agents to pick schedules they want on different days and during different times for specific dates. It’s a feature whose benefit is that we move scheduling away from workforce management and into employee engagement. Some vendors accomplish this with push notifications through a mobile device; others were more old-school in the approach.

This is a list of the vendor responses I heard, starting with my old friends in the very first booth:

ICMI: Although they are not aligned with any one vendor, ICMI can help with WFM Vendor Selection. They also have a new two-day WFM Bootcamp for the Advanced WFMer.

Teleopti: They’ve made enhancements to gamification by bringing in external KPIs to produce a larger gamification strategy.

HireIQ: This product is actually an add-on to the NICE service, and it’s a hiring tool that utilizes machine-learning against a candidate’s voice, which predicts how much they will be engaged.

NICE: NICE acquired WorkFlex Solutions, and they showed me their Intra-Day Automation product, which allows more flexibility for same-day and intra-day scheduling.

Intradiem: Their product also automates intra-day operations, and it sits on top of the other WFM software systems, using the phone system.

Loxysoft: I saw their new module, “Playbook,” which offers real-time adherence in a graphical interface with multiple levels of performance analysis.

Call Design: A boutique organization solely focused on support/consulting/training for multiple WFM software vendors.

Noble Systems: Also gamification, but something new they’ve added is a way to keep employees from logging in early in order to prevent lawsuits(!).

Genesys: They explained that they are different because they completely rebuild the back-end of their software to mimic the customer’s call center operation. They said they are also able to tell what the projected error rate will be.

Calabrio: Also has dynamic scheduling and intra-day scheduling features now, but what I liked hearing about most was their user forum where customers can put in feature requests. Yes, it’s monitored (multiple times a day) and 60% of their software updates are driven by these requests.

Pipkins: They’re different because their forecasting module does not use Erlang C; Dr. Pipkens uses a proprietary formula that accounts for abandons, skill sets and busies. Also, they have a new IntelliVIEW collaboration tool.

Monet Software: New long-term forecasting is being introduced this month which looks at FTE by month and year. They’re also rolling out another UI during midsummer.

Aspect: Another company with a new scheduling module that caters to preference-based scheduling which allows agents to check in when they’re available to work.

Verint: They now have WFM for back office.

The Call Center School: They now offer certifications in smaller, specialized categories.

WFMSG: Improvements to the Community Workforce Management Software interface include an automatic check-in for real-time adherence and quick links that make it easier for the user to navigate throughout the system from module to module.

ethosIQ: Data analytics company that pulls reports from multiple systems, including workforce management.

To read more notes from the SWPP conference, see the previous posts sharing interesting tidbits from the sessions and the Q&A with the 2018 WFM of the Year nominees where they share their best tips and worst nightmares.

Heads up! Next year’s SWPP conference starts on a Tuesday, April 23rd, and runs through Thursday, April 25th, 2019.