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Hosted Workforce Management Solutions are Nothing to Be Scared of

April 07, 2011

Everyone in a call center management position understands that even though there is a lot of technology involved in running a successful communication operation, it all comes down to staff. By association then, this makes workforce management software the most important piece of software in your call center operation.

A WFM can take into consideration factors that would be difficult to determine by hand, offering insight into the best ways to staff your communications operation. Predictive faculties can give estimated call volumes weeks in advance, allowing you to plan for all your seasonal peaks and valleys. WFM software can also automatically handle scheduling based on the skill set of an agent and more importantly through gathering historical data, allowing it to plan more efficiently for future scheduling needs.

However, as with many of the technologies essential to call centers, premise based versions of a Workforce Management systems can be prohibitively expensive. Though there are stigmas attached to the use of a cloud solutions (including loss of control and an inability to obtain full ownership), these are largely unfounded and are outweighed heavily by the benefits.

As TMC’s (News - Alert) Pat Barnard pointed out, “One of the biggest reasons business decision makers shy away from cloud-based or managed services is that they fear they will end up costing more in the long run, compared to investing in a premises- or “hardware-based” system. The comparison is not too unlike leasing a car versus buying one: If you lease a car you will always have a monthly payment, forever. But if you buy a car, and but the right one the first time, one that will last for the next ten years (five years past when you’re done paying off the loan), and it will serve your needs perfectly during those entire ten years, then you can extend the lifetime of your investment.”

But when you think about it—leasing has its advantages too. A new car every three years, more effective maintenance and the promise that you won’t be stuck driving the same car 10 years from now when so many newer options have emerged. Hosted solutions have the advantage of constant upgrades, minimal maintenance and utilities that can be added as the needs of the customer grow.

With WFM as essential a need as anything else in the call center space, the fact that hosted options are constantly upgraded should be enough to entice customers. Any operation looking to improve the effectiveness of its call center operation would do well to at least consider it in their strategy.

Chris DiMarco is a Web Editor for TMCnet. He holds a master's degree in journalism from Quinnipiac University. Prior to joining TMC Chris worked with e-commerce provider Suresource as a contact center representative and development analyst. To read more of his articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Janice McDuffee

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