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Should You Leverage Workforce Management in the Cloud?

November 03, 2011

Workforce management is a popular implementation in the call center to help streamline forecasting and scheduling activities. Without a clear understanding of how different models can impact implementation, cost, usage and success of the workforce management solution within your specific organization, however, you might find yourself struggling to provide a rapid return on investment (ROI).

Monet Software has provided a quick tutorial on the topic, highlighting some differences between cloud-based and premise software models when it comes to workforce management. By learning these easy tips, you’ll be well on your way to selecting the best model for your environment and optimizing the true value of the platform.

Set up and implementation – the cloud offers a fast set up and implementation of the workforce management solution as the vendor creates the new account and users access it through a Web browser. For the on-premise model, it takes time to purchase, install and configure the software and the hardware.

Upfront investment – when workforce management is implemented on-premise, the software and hardware purchase demands a large upfront investment that includes fees for installation and configuration. The cloud-based approach requires no up-front investment and subscription fees generally include support, upgrades and maintenance.

Operating Costs – if you consider workforce management in the cloud, your costs for operating and maintaining servers is dramatically reduced. By contrast, on-premise deployments require you to run your own server and pay your IT to backup your information, maintain your servers, update and replace hardware and more.

Scalability and performance – within the cloud environment, maximum scalability with data-intensive scheduling scenarios is enabled with a multi-tenant architecture and ‘elastic cloud computing’ platforms. Scalability and performance is limited with purchased and installed servers within your environment with on-premise workforce management solutions.

Software upgrades – if you implement cloud-based workforce management solutions, you enjoy automated upgrades to keep your management operating on the latest version of the platform. An on-premise environment requires frequent upgrades to the software, which can easily be postponed to reduce effort or cost, which can hurt your efficiency and productivity.

Implementation success – leveraging workforce management in the cloud means that vendors have a financial incentive to make sure customers are successful, resolve issues and maintain long-term relationships. When fees are all paid upfront in the on-premise deployment, vendors may not be as motivated to keep you happy.

Usability – strong usability is generally a key focus with cloud-based workforce management solutions. Older client-server software in on-premise deployments is not always optimized for usability. This can make it more difficult for users to take advantage of innovative software features.

Investment risk – if you aren’t satisfied with the workforce management solution or the service you’re receiving with an on-premise solution, you’re often locked-in with your vendor and have little negotiating power. In a cloud situation, however, you may have the ability to cancel your agreement or switch to another vendor, making it important your current vendor meet your needs.

Susan J. Campbell is a contributing editor for TMCnet and has also written for To read more of Susan’s articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Chris DiMarco

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