Overall Satisfaction with Aspect Workforce Management
I work with a company that provides cloud computing services for multiple telephony/call center applications including Aspect Workforce Management. Aspect Workforce Management addresses many business problems such as administration, scheduling, forecasting, reporting, and adherence. It really is a one stop solution to managing the workforce of a company's call center. Not only does Aspect Workforce Management improve service level in a call center environment, it also increases efficiency of not only agents but also back office professionals.
- Scheduling: The software not only provides ways to perform bulk scheduling and quick changes to hundreds (or thousands) of individuals at a time, it also provides optimizers for breaks, meetings, and projects; as well as shift and request bids, and a request management feature that allows automatic scheduling of vacation like segments without any user intervention after the initial setup.
- Forecasting: The software provides many different ways to forecast. You can use user-supplied data or historical patterns. In addition, you can perform as many 'what-if' scenarios are you like to see how changes will affect your forecast and see how real-time schedule changes will impact the intra-day forecast before proceeding.
- Adherence: The software provides several different adherence views. You can utilize RTA (Real-Time Adherence) to see what states your agents are in on the phone, as well as if they are adhering to their schedules. In addition, you can also access reports and a real-time comparison of schedules to ACD states in the core software. Agents are also able to see their historical adherence reports within a web based client, Empower.
- Reporting: The software has a multitude of reports which can be set up with a feature called autorun to be automatically e-mailed or exported to a directory however often you need them to be. The filtering capabilities are vast, and if you have crystal reports you can create your own custom reports as well.
- Security: The security features in the software are very detailed and advanced. Almost everything can be locked down, even the smallest of features. For example, if you do not want an agent to see bereavement in a schedule you can lock that. As many profiles can be created as are necessary.
- Empower: The Empower module is a web-based application that provides wonderful functionality for agents and supervisors alike. Agents can view their schedules and make requests for schedule changes. They can also see their adherence, and even their personal account balances.
- Some of the features can be difficult for a new user to learn. Once they have them down, the software functions wonderfully; however, the learning curve can be high.
- While RTA is a great tool to utilize, the look has not changed in a long time. It has an 'old-school' software appearance that does not match the core system.
- When dealing with huge sets of data (for example, changing schedules for an entire year for many agents), the software can hang for quite a while. While this is not a frequent occurence and can happen with any application, it can be frustrating for some users.
- Improved service level: By utilizing the forecasting features and scheduling optimizers in the software, service level objections can be increased greatly- especially in a multi-skill environment.
- Reduced workload for back-office employees: Being able to quickly schedule in bulk, quickly create forecasts, automate reports, and have agents' schedule requests automatically approved or denied can save massive amounts of time.
- Agent efficency: By providing multiple tools to gauge agents' adherence, you can see massive improvements in the way your call center agents adhere to their schedule; which in turn, improves service level.
While I am aware of several competitors, I have not used their software. IEX, Verint, and Cisco are other options among many.
While I support other customers who utilize the software, the response from our customers is over-whelmingly positive. Many customers who have not had any type of workforce management software in the past use spreadsheets to schedule and forecast agents. This can be extremely complicated and a nightmare to control. The time saved by having a product that can quickly complete these functions for you is worth the investment. Also, we have several customers who had no way to track what their agents are doing and have found many problems in their call-center with the software. After rolling out a program where their adherence was tracked and actually 'mattered', they were able to see increased efficency from their agents.
While I think this software could provide value to any company, the value would be less for very small companies. If you have a call center with 50 agents or less, for example, the value just may not be worth the time and investment. Though this software can be utilized for off-phone employees, it is designed for the call center in mind. Therefore, if you just want software to manage back-office employees you would not need or benefit as greatly from having the entire Aspect Workforce Management suite.
Using Aspect Workforce Management
Once the initial set up of the software is complete and/or you are familiar with the software, it is easy to use and runs like a dream. However, if you are unfamiliar with the software or have used a competitor's product, some features can seem difficult to learn or get used to.
Like to use
Feel confident using
Lots to learn
- Official Scheduling via Official Segment Worksheet or Official Schedule Editor
- Submitting schedule requests via Empower
- Running Reports
- Monitoring agents in RTA
- Adding new employees
- Forecasting (the initial setup if you are not familar with the software)
- Scheduling via preference-based or a staffing forecast (the initial setup if you are not familar with the software)
- Schedule Trades (This feature was enhanced in this version of the software. The value add is great, however it is a learning curve)