Magic Quadrant for Contact Center Workforce Optimization
Increased customer demand has fueled the introduction of new vendors into the contact center WFO marketplace, providing greater choice in what was a somewhat restricted landscape.
WFO solutions contain complementary functions designed to improve contact center performance through the optimized deployment of appropriately trained and motivated agents. Functions range from recruitment and scheduling to evaluation and training. By adding intelligence to each of these functions, the ability to further optimize this cycle is achievable. Key functional domains include:
- Workforce management (WFM) and strategic planning
- Call recording and quality management (QM)
- Coaching and e-learning
- Performance management (PM)
- Surveying — focused on capturing operational and agent performance information
- Interaction analytics — audio and text analytics, combined with screen analytics, emotion detection and associated operational call data
In addition, there are still vendors active within each of these siloed markets (see "The Gartner CRM Vendor Guide, 2012").
Source: Gartner (November 2012)
Aspect is a large global contact center communications software provider. It has 1,900 employees distributed across 42 offices, and it generated $516 million in total revenue in 2011, of which $104 million came from WFO. Aspect has a potentially leading WFO solution, which is offered as part of a broader integrated contact center suite, but some functional improvements are needed. The new executive team is committed to returning Aspect to a period of growth, but needs time and is currently unproven. Aspect is positioned as a Challenger in this Magic Quadrant.
- Contact center suite: Like other contact center infrastructure (CCI) vendors, Aspect's value proposition expands beyond WFO to an integrated WFO-CCI suite with which stand-alone WFO vendors cannot compete.
- Core platform: Aspect is an established vendor and has a mature platform. The WFM, QM and PM offerings are all proven products. The data-oriented solution provides good access to all the relevant information an agent, supervisor or manager would need to perform his or her duties, although it is a little cumbersome in its current guise.
- Microsoft relationship: Aspect has a long-standing relationship with Microsoft. In addition to embracing Microsoft technology for its own architecture, Aspect is able to use key Microsoft technologies to enhance the solution's overall appeal for Microsoft-centric organizations (for example, the use of SharePoint to unify the agent desktop workspace, Lync for better corporate communications and Dynamics CRM for tight CRM integration).
- Partnerships: Aspect relies on too many vendors for otherwise missing functionality. Examples include OpenSpan for desktop analytics, Nexidia for speech analytics and Knowlagent for e-learning content.
- UI: The UI is somewhat antiquated across all roles and limits the solution's desirability. However, a new front end is being developed, but is not expected until 2013.
- Company leadership: Aspect has a new executive team in place, and an effort is under way to chart both short-term and long-term strategies to return Aspect to a growth path. However, these plans have yet to be finalized and executed on, and the team needs more time to establish itself.
Calabrio is a small, U.S.-based WFO software vendor, with 116 employees and offices located in the U.S., the Netherlands and Thailand. The vendor has more than 3,000 customers, of which approximately 240 have deployed both QM and WFM as part of an integrated WFO suite. Gartner estimates that Calabrio generated approximately $24 million from WFO-related sales and services in 2011. The vendor is gradually coming of age within the WFO market as its modern platform begins to be fleshed out with much-needed functionality. More needs to be done to be able to fully execute, from both a product and company perspective, but Calabrio is moving in the right direction and has progressed from being a Niche Player to a Visionary vendor in this year's Magic Quadrant.
- Single solution: The modern architecture ensures a rapid deployment and high adoption. The unified offering spans both QM and WFM, and has integrated analytics and workflow.
- Ease of use: The widget-based user interface (UI) displays role-based functionality spanning all WFO functions. It is clear and simple to navigate. Integrated analytics and workflow enhance decision making and improve employee effectiveness. The modern architecture allows third-party widgets to be incorporated or the Calabrio widgets to be embedded in other relevant systems, such as CRM.
- Cisco relationship: Calabrio has an established relationship with Cisco and its reseller network for Cisco's Enterprise. It has OEM status within Cisco's Express product line.
- Ease of ownership: Calabrio's focus on having a low total cost of ownership (TCO), simplified upgrades and excellent customer support enhance its overall appeal.
- Functional prowess: Some core functions lack advanced capabilities, particularly in the area of multichannel support, and some functions (such as surveying and e-learning) are only achieved through integration to third-party offerings.
- Workflow: Although good progress has been make during the past 12 months, further cross-functional workflow development is needed across the various widgets.
- Immature analytics: Calabrio relies on an OEM agreement with Aurix for speech analytics, and some advanced functions are road map items, such as desktop analytics and text mining.
CallCopy is a new entrant to the contact center WFO Magic Quadrant, due to the recent addition of an in-house-developed WFM solution that complements the vendor's established QM solution. CallCopy has a direct presence in the U.S. only, where it has 129 employees. It relies on its reseller network for international sales. CallCopy generated an estimated $16 million in total revenue in 2011. Although currently positioned as a Niche Player in this Magic Quadrant, it is growing rapidly, has an established customer base of more than 700 QM customers to cross-sell into and has an accelerating R&D road map, fueled by recent venture capital funding and support.
- Company culture: CallCopy is passionate about its employees and customers. It was voted one of the "best places to work" in a recent independent U.S. workplace satisfaction survey. The vendor has an online customer community, runs free monthly online refresher training courses and has received high praise from references.
- Modern approach: As a new entrant to WFO, CallCopy has been able to build on its established QM platform with functions that are in keeping with organizational and societal requirements. A focus on ease of use, "good enough" functionality and low costs are entwined with a strong social emphasis to align with modern communications preferences.
- Solution breadth: The vendor's solution supports all the main WFO functions except recruitment. These functions are seamlessly integrated, including the speech analytics available via an OEM agreement with Aurix.
- Global reach: Although CallCopy has partners in most regions, its own offices are currently restricted to the U.S., making direct international relationships unfeasible.
- Functional sophistication: Although good progress has been made and the R&D road map is accelerating, further development is needed in areas such as multichannel support, workflow and interaction analytics.
- Software as a service (SaaS) viability: Some parts of the solution are not yet multitenant, and the local hosting partner currently hosts fewer than 10 customers.
- Overall WFO maturity CallCopy is new to the WFO market and, as such, has limited traction outside of the established QM domain. The vendor has just 10 WFM customers, 18 PM customers and 24 postcall survey customers.
The extraction of Genesys from Alcatel-Lucent has created a company with renewed energy and potential. Genesys generated $550 million in 2011 and is on target to achieve $600 million in 2012. It has more than 500 WFM customers into which to cross-sell its broader WFO value proposition. It is a large, global company with offices around the world supporting over 2,000 employees and a large, complementary global partner network. WFO customers are currently limited in number (fewer than 20), but are large and broadly dispersed geographically. The early signs are good, but much more needs to be done to create a leading WFO solution. With time and ongoing execution, this could become a reality — especially if Genesys can provide the desirable combination of a solution spanning WFO and CCI.
- Global reach: Although currently low in volume, Genesys' WFO customers are evenly distributed across the U.S., the Asia/Pacific region and EMEA, highlighting its global viability. The vendor has a mix of local offices and an established partner network across the globe.
- Enterprise viability: Genesys' average deal size for WFO deployments is 1,500 seats, highlighting the scalability of the solution. As a company, it is performing better as an independent organization. It has reported double-digit growth since its rebirth, and has access to increased funding for R&D, marketing and recruitment under the new owner.
- Improving portfolio: Genesys offers an established WFM solution, as well as a QM system offered via an OEM agreement with Zoom International. Genesys also provides complementary skill assessor and training manager capabilities. This functionality is integrated within the vendor's broader customer interaction management platform, which provides a centralized administrative environment and couples its WFO solution with enterprisewide, cross-channel routing capabilities to further optimize contact center performance.
- Functional breath: The ability to survey customers requires professional services input, because the solution is not out of the box, there is no coaching module for content creation and the interaction analytics (speech, text, desktop) capability is not due until 2Q13. The OEM agreement with Zoom, although well-established, is not an ideal situation for a potential leading WFO vendor.
- Cross-functional experience: The solution lacks a centralized look and feel, with each function under the Customer Interaction Management Platform having a different look and feel. Although core administrative tasks are centrally controlled, all employees need to log in to each module individually for domain-specific functionality. In addition, the solution lacks an advanced cross-functional workflow, which would enhance the value proposition associated with WFO.
- WFO momentum: It is still early days under the new ownership. After years of stagnation and talk, rather than action, good progress is now being made, but much more needs to be done to market and sell the solution and become a recognized name within the WFO space. Only 17 WFO customers signed with Genesys in the past 12 months.
Interactive Intelligence is growing rapidly through the sale of its all-in-one, Internet Protocol (IP)-based contact center solution. The vendor has 26 offices worldwide and a broad global partner network. Revenue was up by 26% in 2011 to $209 million, but WFO accounted for only approximately 15% of it, and this area of the portfolio has not achieved the same level of momentum due to various limitations and a protracted development road map, which still has two years to run. Interactive Intelligence currently has over 1,250 QM customers, but only 20% of them also deploy the WFM functionality to create a WFO suite. The vendor is positioned as a Niche Player in this Magic Quadrant.
- Contact center suite: Interactive Intelligence provides an all-in-one IP communications software suite that encompasses CCI, WFO and process automation components. The entire solution is based on a single code base, with a unified look and feel across all functions. Recent enhancements to WFO include the launch of a real-time speech analytics solution and better archive, search and evaluation processes within the QM function.
- Company growth: The vendor generated $209 million in 2011, an increase of 26% from 2010. It has increased its employee head count from 640 to more than 1,300 during the past two years.
- Commitment to WFO: Interactive Intelligence has a long-term strategy for WFO, which will take an additional two years to execute on. However, the recent acquisition of Bay Bridge Decision Technologies for strategic planning and the recruitment of additional WFO-focused consultants, developers and product managers highlight the company's intent. Further plans include the addition of a dedicated area for WFO within its website and a partner training program for WFO.
- Support for SaaS: Interactive Intelligence's entire contact center solution, including all functional domains within the WFO solution, is available on-premises, hosted or as a SaaS-based implementation. This deployment flexibility provides a unique value proposition in the industry.
- Cross-functional workflow: Although a process automation engine is available as part of the suite, cross-functional workflow templates in such areas as coaching, evaluation/reviews and onboarding are not currently available, and, therefore, manual configuration is required. However, by year-end 2012, this issue will hopefully diminish through the launch of reusable and configurable automated processes spanning WFO and beyond, including a customer follow-up process and an employee review process.
- Functional sophistication: The core WFM, QM and survey functions require further development to become industry-leading products. Coaching, PM and multichannel interaction analytics are all road map areas, and a dedicated WFO portal for managers, supervisors and agents is still in development.
- Stand-alone WFO capability: Interactive Intelligence offers WFO as a complementary add-on to its core contact center solution. It is not available as a stand-alone solution, suitable for integration into competitive infrastructure environments.
Nice Systems is positioned as a Leader in this Magic Quadrant. It is a large, viable company with a strong technology platform and global customer base that provides extensive opportunities for upselling its evolving vision. The vendor generated $793 million in 2011, of which the company claims $477 million came from the sale of WFO functions. Nice Systems has 30 offices worldwide and is supported by a growing global partner network. Gartner estimates that the vendor has more than 2,000 QM and WFM customers, but that fewer than 10% of them are using the vendor for both in an integrated manner. Nice Systems is increasingly focusing on the high end of the market, where its story resonates, and on customers with which it wants to be positioned as a strategic partner, not just a software provider.
- Interaction optimization: Nice Systems' vision allows customers to plan for, improve and understand each and every customer interaction. This value proposition combines its leading WFO, voice of the customer (VoC) and increasingly CRM-oriented technologies, such as real-time guidance and process optimization. It is an appealing proposition for large, complex organizations struggling to differentiate themselves.
- Interaction Analytics: The vendor's Interaction Analytics offering combines voice, text, screen, social, Web and other operational data to provide a holistic understanding of past and current customer experiences. The addition of a real-time dimension allows insights to be uncovered and actions to be presented during agent-customer interactions, not just afterward.
- WFO viability: The acquisition of Merced Systems provided Nice Systems with a leading PM platform that will become the front-end UI. It will also provide the workflow needed to align the various underpinning functional domains. Further phases of integration are still required; however, when complete, they will provide a highly viable WFO hub, suitable for the vendor's intended market — the Fortune 1000. Nice Systems' reference customers were by far the largest of any vendor in the Magic Quadrant.
- WFO adoption: A high percentage of Nice Systems' customers has yet to embrace an integrated cross-functional WFO solution. Most are only deploying either WFM or QM, and, for those that have both, the majority have not yet aligned these offerings.
- CRM vision: Although the vendor continues to drive innovation within the core WFO product line in areas such as analytics, mobile, social and SaaS, the company is also expanding its vision beyond WFO to embrace a more CRM-centric value proposition. This positioning does not necessarily resonate with all segments of their traditional WFM and QM customer base.
- Customer support: Customers and references still cite the customer support they receive as below expectations, although that is somewhat to be expected due to Nice Systems' high-end focus and, therefore, increased associated levels of complexity.
The multivendor offering provided by Teleopti and Zoom International is the first of its type to be included in the Magic Quadrant for Contact Center WFO. Both are small, established vendors in their own markets (Zoom for QM; Teleopti for WFM), and their combined offering, which allowed for centralized administration across the two domains, positions the two vendors as Niche Players in this Magic Quadrant. Teleopti and Zoom have offices across the world that support 120 and 70 employees, respectively. Both vendors also have established partner networks, and the two generated approximately $28 million in combined revenue in 2011, with Teleopti accounting for the majority of it. Zoom and Teleopti each have more than 500 customers using their software, but there are currently only 10 customers using the combined WFO offering. To progress in this Magic Quadrant, more commitment is needed to a unified WFO offering.
- Customer experience: Both vendors pride themselves on the service they provide to their customers. They both view it as a key differentiator and this engrained common culture was a core enabler for the partnership.
- Global reach: Teleopti and Zoom have a broad global footprint, with offices across the U.S., Europe, Russia, the Middle East and the Asia/Pacific region, also complemented by local partners. Combined, they have offices in 20 countries and over 1,250 customers spanning 70 countries. This provides important local knowledge and a respectable global opportunity beyond that of most similarly sized companies.
- Established functions: Combined, this multivendor integrated ecosystem provides all the core functions within a WFO suite, from QM and WFM to coaching and speech analytics. The Teleopti PM application provides the WFO "umbrella" that users access to initiate their activities.
- Momentum: The relationship is relatively immature, and so far, the partnership has only 10 integrated WFO customers.
- Unification: Despite the underling integration that has been achieved, the stand-alone heritage within this offering is still very clear. When users swap from QM to WFM, they are presented with a separately branded offering with a different look and feel. The creation of a new UI that spans all domains is a logical next step, but requires further commitment to the WFO market from both vendors.
- Workflow: The combined solution lacks cross-domain workflow, beyond core administrative tasks. However, the combined product road map is more promising, with features such as being able to drill down from a schedule to a recording, use adherence data with the QM evaluation and launch e-learning courses from within the scheduling tool, all due within the next 18 months.
Verint is committed to providing a unified WFO solution suitable for deployment across the entire enterprise. It is a large, global company with more than 3,000 employees distributed across 30-plus offices worldwide and supported by a strong global partner network. Verint has several thousand QM and WFM customers, and Gartner estimates that nearly 800 have both functions deployed as a single unified solution. In 2011, Verint generated $796 million in revenue, of which more than $444 million came from WFO-related activities. It has best-of-breed capabilities across most subdomains and more WFO customers than any other vendor. The solution is complemented by a viable VoC offering. Verint is positioned as a Leader in this Magic Quadrant.
- Unified solution: Verint is committed to the provision of a unified and workflow-driven WFO suite spanning all core functions. Version 11, for which there are now several hundred customers, allows additional functionality to be turned on and off through license keys, with no further integration required. A 250-agent contact center can run the entire WFO stack (including speech analytics) from a single server, reducing TCO. Verint is currently working on a new UI as part of a major release planned for 1H13 that includes enhanced mobile and analytical functions.
- Extended value proposition: Verint has an established and viable enterprise WFO offering that spans front-office, back-office and branch/store environments. The vendor has good momentum in the retail financial services market, boosted by the acquisition of GMT, and back-office operations, such as insurance claims processing. In addition, Verint is active within the VoC market, through a combination of its own technologies and the acquisition of Vovici for a leading enterprise feedback management solution. This VoC suite is applied to the contact center to drive operational performance and/or as part of a stand-alone customer experience initiative.
- Strong partnerships: Verint has unique OEM partnerships with Avaya and inContact, which are providing an increasingly important percentage of Verint's revenue stream as organizations begin to turn to their preferred CCI vendors for integrated CCI-WFO solutions. Verint also has reseller agreements with most leading CCI vendors, such as Cisco.
- Viability: Verint's planned buyout of Comverse Technology, its parent company, removes the long-standing financial cloud that has hovered over it. This could make Verint a more desirable acquisition target, yet it must be noted that Verint is not the only WFO vendor in this situation; interest from CCI and CRM vendors steadily increases.
- Technical challenges: Some technical issues have impacted customers, despite the improvements made in version 11. Deployment of its latest solution can sometimes be a complex undertaking. As a result, some reference customers scored Verint lower in this area. Day-to-day usage may also require a higher level of technical competency — especially when purchasing the reporting and analytical components of the suite.
- Support responsiveness: Verint has invested heavily to improve the level of support provided to customers during recent years, and overall customer satisfaction has improved noticeably. However, there is still room for improvement (as cited by references), and Gartner still hears from some customers regarding this topic.
We review and adjust our inclusion criteria for Magic Quadrants and MarketScopes as markets change. As a result of these adjustments, the mix of vendors in any Magic Quadrant or MarketScope may change over time. A vendor appearing in a Magic Quadrant or MarketScope one year and not the next does not necessarily indicate that we have changed our opinion of that vendor. This may be a reflection of a change in the market and, therefore, changed evaluation criteria, or a change of focus by a vendor.
- Teleopti-Zoom International
No vendors were removed from this Magic Quadrant.
To be included in this Magic Quadrant, vendors are required to have:
- Financial viability — that is, sufficient cash to continue operating at the current burn rate for 12 months
- A solution that spans QM and WFM, ideally from a single vendor; however, multivendor integrated ecosystems are permitted
- A solution that provides one or more of the following functions: coaching/e-learning, PM, surveying and interaction analytics
- A degree of integration among these core functional elements, such as a single administration environment and prebuilt workflows
- At least $5 million in total revenue during the past four quarters
- Five references that have deployed WFM and QM in an integrated environment during the past 12 months
As the market matures, greater emphasis is being placed on solution integration/unification and WFO customers/references using the entire suite. Embedded analytics is of greater importance, as is a clear strategy for mobile and social alignment and SaaS-based deployment.
The WFO market is still evolving. Some vendors have in-house-developed solutions built on an established core competence, while others have acquired or use an OEM for the necessary complementary technologies. This creates significant variations in product capabilities, which are reflected in the elevated weighting for the product/service criterion. In addition, the diversity and complexity of a WFO suite place increased strain on implementation and support resources, which often lack domain expertise across each functional area, as well as integration and best-practice workflow knowledge. Consequently, this aspect also has increased in importance.
Product/Service: This is an assessment of the depth and breadth of each WFO-related function, specifically:
- Call recording and agent evaluation
- WFM — including strategic planning
- Coaching and e-learning
- Interaction analytics and PM
- Postcall surveying
Beyond their siloed provisions, additional emphasis is placed on the degree of integration and workflow across these domains. A degree of integration is essential for inclusion in the Magic Quadrant. The architectural underpinnings and provision of aspects, such as role-based UIs, are also evaluated. Credit is given for OEM solutions, but not for reseller partnerships. Support for SaaS is given additional credit, but is not yet essential for leadership.
Overall Viability (Business Unit, Financial, Strategy, Organization): This criterion assesses the ability of the vendor to ensure the continued viability of its WFO suite through demonstration of a strong product development team to support current and future releases, and a clear product road map. The assessment also explores the vendor's financial health, looking at its size, growth and profitability, as well as aspects such as cash reserves and operational expenditures.
Sales Execution/Pricing: This is an assessment of the vendor's ability to provide global sales and distribution coverage of its WFO suite directly and/or through partnerships. Vendors must also have specific experience selling WFO to the appropriate buying center, and offer consistent and comprehensible pricing models and structures, including contingencies such as failure to perform as contracted, and mergers and acquisitions. Pricing structures that support large enterprises and small or midsize businesses (SMBs) and in-house and SaaS-based deployments are also important.
Market Responsiveness and Track Record: This is an assessment of the desire, expertise and organizational flexibility needed to perceive evolving customer requirements and articulate that insight back to the market, as well as to create future WFO products in line with this change.
Marketing Execution: This criterion assesses the ability of the vendor to consistently generate market demand and awareness of its WFO solution through marketing programs and press visibility. The clarity, quality and creativity that go into this are just as important as the revenue assigned to generate new leads and reinforce/increase brand awareness. Because some aspects of the value proposition supporting WFO adoption are subtle, additional effort is needed, compared with more traditional software markets.
Customer Experience: This is an assessment of the aspects related to ensuring that each customer has ongoing success with its WFO deployment. Aspects considered include global technical support (direct and via partners), account management, user groups/panels and customer communities. Each vendor must provide a sufficient number of recent references to prove the ongoing viability and acceptance of its product in the marketplace.
Operations: This criterion explores each vendor's ability to meet its goals and commitments. Factors include the quality of the organizational structure (such as skills, experiences, programs, systems and other vehicles) that enables the vendor to operate effectively and efficiently. This includes management experience and track record, and the depth of staff experience, specifically in the WFO market. The vendor must have sufficient professional services — in-house or through third-party business consultants and system integrators — to meet evolving customer requirements.
Source: Gartner (November 2012)
Vendors in the contact center WFO market differ significantly in background and vision. Some view WFO as part of an end-to-end contact center solution that includes other CCI components, while others view it as an enterprisewide solution for optimizing employee performance. Consequently, an increased weighting is placed on such factors as market understanding, product vision and WFO-related innovation.
Market Understanding: This criterion looks at the degree to which each vendor understands the needs and wants of contact centers, and embeds them into its WFO product and service vision. Alignment is needed between strategic contact center goals, such as efficiency or revenue growth, and the specific functions and cross-functional capabilities within a WFO solution. Ongoing organizational concerns, such as ease of use, clarity of pricing, reduced vendor footprint, a proven ROI, and the desire to develop a relationship, rather than just be a customer, are all still commonly cited.
Marketing Strategy: This is an assessment of the strategy's consistency, clarity and degree of differentiation associated with the positioning of WFO internally and externally to the enterprise, and in line with the company's overall vision and brand values. In the past, several vendors have failed to qualify for this Magic Quadrant due to their siloed functional domain heritage, and a lack of vision associated with WFO and the incremental business value a unified workflow-driven solution can provide.
Sales Strategy: This criterion assesses the go-to-market approach for selling a WFO product and service directly and through global partnership networks. A diverse range of capabilities, from strategic account management to industry expertise/targeting, is assessed. In an emerging market like WFO, an awareness of the necessity for some customer education about the theoretical role and impact WFO can have is a key part of the sales cycle.
Offering (Product) Strategy: This is an investigation into the strategic direction the WFO product is going through and the vendor's R&D road map, and the positive impact these will have on customers and prospects. For this criterion, we assess factors such as commitment to a single code base, product usability, support for SaaS, OEM partnerships versus internal development for missing functionality, industry specifications and prebuilt workflow.
Business Model: This is an assessment of each vendor's overall business proposition and its commitment to WFO.
Vertical/Industry Strategy: This criterion assesses the vendor's ability to provide out-of-the-box and tailored solutions for specific vertical industries.
Innovation: Some technologies, such as WFM within the WFO market, are mature, and as a result, the potential for significant innovation is limited. However, innovation can still be obtained from the alignment of these agent-centric technologies, so that they act as one solution through unification and embedded workflow. Beyond this, significant scope for further innovation can be gained by extending support for communications beyond audio call recording (for example, email and chat, social dialogues, and the injection of advanced analytics).
Geographic Strategy: This criterion assesses whether the vendor understands the needs of the three largest markets — the European Union, North America and the Asia/Pacific region — and knows how to build a strategy to focus on aspects of the overall market, directly or through partners. It also looks at whether the vendor delivers products and services that are in line with the needs and capabilities of the buying centers.
Source: Gartner (November 2012)
Leaders in the WFO market provide functionally broad and deep WFO solutions that can be deployed and supported globally. Their software is suitable for all sizes and complexities of enterprises, and has broad industry coverage. Revenue is strong, and new references are readily available.
Vendors in the Challengers quadrant tend to be viable, with good global execution, but lack depth of understanding regarding the true business value of WFO beyond a check-box-type provision for each functional domain. Challengers may lack control of each functional domain, and, as a result, fully integrated workflow-driven capabilities may be more difficult to deliver.
Visionaries deliver innovative and potentially market-changing solutions, but they struggle to meet the needs of all organizations due to geographic limitations, company size constraints and/or specific product omissions.
Niche Players offer solutions that provide associated WFO functionality, but this may be part of a different overall value proposition, or they may lack specific functional domain coverage. Niche Players may offer complete portfolios, but focus on only one size of organization or primarily on one regional expert, with a limited ability or desire to extend globally.
WFO solutions should be embraced strategically within the contact center due to the associated benefits, ranging from a lower TCO to improved operational performance. It may take several years to adopt a unified solution because of existing investments, protracted procurement cycles and chosen vendor maturity, but all contact centers with more than 100 agents should be working toward this ideal scenario.
As the market continues to evolve, it is highly likely that the main providers of WFO software will be the CCI vendors, several of which already appear in this Magic Quadrant and many more of which are expected to qualify during the coming years. However, best-of-breed vendors, such as Nice Systems and Verint, will likely remain, albeit with visions that expand beyond contact center WFO to ensure their long-term survival.
Despite the increase in the number of active vendors within the market, it is far from mature. Several vendors rely on third-party technology partnerships to supplement their own functionality to create a holistic suite. The depth of in-house functionality also varies as vendors expand from their core domains into others via their own R&D. The level of sophistication of these newly created functions often falls far short of best of breed.
Similarly, the depth of integration across the suite still varies enormously and impacts everything, from the provision of the use of a single UI to the ease of upgrade. The degree of out-of-the-box cross-functional workflows available also varies significantly from solution to solution.
Multichannel interaction analytics has matured to the point where adoption should now be considered, due to the insight and business value that can be obtained. It should be viewed as an integral part of a WFO solution, and not as a stand-alone luxury item.
The era of buying stand-alone, best-of-breed, agent-centric technologies for core WFO functions (such as call recording and agent scheduling) is gradually coming to an end. The benefits of a WFO suite approach range from having a single-vendor contract and a lower TCO to removing integration problems, and the incorporation of cross-functional workflow is driving adoption. A few key market facts include:
- WFO adoption has escalated steadily during the past three years, with over 1,000 customer purchases of integrated solutions spanning call recording and WFM in use in contact centers. However, this still only accounts for less than 10% of contact centers overall.
- Buying all components of a WFO suite as stand-alone purchases will result in a TCO that is at least 20% higher over five years than buying WFO as an integrated suite solution.
- The estimated revenue from the individual functional domains and from WFO suite sales is estimated to be more than $2 billion, and is projected to achieve a compound annual growth rate of over 10% through 2015.
- Support for SaaS is just beginning to emerge, with many solutions now supporting multitenant architectures. However, most vendors rely on partners to deliver this deployment mode, rather than owning their own cloud data centers.
- Mobile and social media alignment has yet to occur with any degree of sophistication, thus hindering the application of operational best practices for social and mobile customer interactions, and engaging with agents via these channels.
By year-end 2015, 30% of large organizations will adopt an integrated approach to workforce optimization (WFO), and will achieve the associated increases in operational efficiency and customer satisfaction.
Ability to Execute
Product/Service: Core goods and services offered by the vendor that compete in/serve the defined market. This includes current product/service capabilities, quality, feature sets, skills and so on, whether offered natively or through OEM agreements/partnerships as defined in the market definition and detailed in the subcriteria.
Overall Viability (Business Unit, Financial, Strategy, Organization): Viability includes an assessment of the overall organization's financial health, the financial and practical success of the business unit, and the likelihood that the individual business unit will continue investing in the product, will continue offering the product and will advance the state of the art within the organization's portfolio of products.
Sales Execution/Pricing: The vendor's capabilities in all presales activities and the structure that supports them. This includes deal management, pricing and negotiation, presales support, and the overall effectiveness of the sales channel.
Market Responsiveness and Track Record: Ability to respond, change direction, be flexible and achieve competitive success as opportunities develop, competitors act, customer needs evolve and market dynamics change. This criterion also considers the vendor's history of responsiveness.
Marketing Execution: The clarity, quality, creativity and efficacy of programs designed to deliver the organization's message to influence the market, promote the brand and business, increase awareness of the products, and establish a positive identification with the product/brand and organization in the minds of buyers. This "mind share" can be driven by a combination of publicity, promotional initiatives, thought leadership, word-of-mouth and sales activities.
Customer Experience: Relationships, products and services/programs that enable clients to be successful with the products evaluated. Specifically, this includes the ways customers receive technical support or account support. This can also include ancillary tools, customer support programs (and the quality thereof), availability of user groups, service-level agreements and so on.
Operations: The ability of the organization to meet its goals and commitments. Factors include the quality of the organizational structure, including skills, experiences, programs, systems and other vehicles that enable the organization to operate effectively and efficiently on an ongoing basis.
Completeness of Vision
Market Understanding: Ability of the vendor to understand buyers' wants and needs and to translate those into products and services. Vendors that show the highest degree of vision listen and understand buyers' wants and needs, and can shape or enhance those with their added vision.
Marketing Strategy: A clear, differentiated set of messages consistently communicated throughout the organization and externalized through the website, advertising, customer programs and positioning statements.
Sales Strategy: The strategy for selling products that uses the appropriate network of direct and indirect sales, marketing, service, and communication affiliates that extend the scope and depth of market reach, skills, expertise, technologies, services and the customer base.
Offering (Product) Strategy: The vendor's approach to product development and delivery that emphasizes differentiation, functionality, methodology and feature sets as they map to current and future requirements.
Business Model: The soundness and logic of the vendor's underlying business proposition.
Vertical/Industry Strategy: The vendor's strategy to direct resources, skills and offerings to meet the specific needs of individual market segments, including vertical markets.
Innovation: Direct, related, complementary and synergistic layouts of resources, expertise or capital for investment, consolidation, defensive or pre-emptive purposes.
Geographic Strategy: The vendor's strategy to direct resources, skills and offerings to meet the specific needs of geographies outside the "home" or native geography, either directly or through partners, channels and subsidiaries as appropriate for that geography and market.