Wouldn't Better Scheduling Be NICE?
IEX made version 3.11 of its TotalView Workforce Management system available today, targeting the scheduling needs of today's contact centers. TotalView 3.11 introduces new features that include team scheduling, seat limit scheduling, and schedule trading enhancements.
"The latest version is focused on increasing feature [sets] of TotalView 3.11 and aligns the system with workforce management market trends toward globalization and agent empowerment," says Seema Lall, an analyst at Frost and Sullivan. One example, according to Lall, is team scheduling, which lets contact centers schedule teams of agents to work at the same time, a big plus for a country like India, where contact centers are required to supply mass transportation for their agents. Schedule trading enables agents to swap shifts with more control over the trading process.
The release marks the first product release by IEX since the company was acquired by NICE Systems in April. That acquisition marked NICE's entry into the field of workforce optimization, the crossroads of workforce management, QM performance management, and e-learning, which is where many analysts feel this segment is going. "With the large number of acquisitions in this space the last several months, it's a recognition on the part of the market in the value of workforce optimization strategy and product offerings," says Paul Stockford, chief analyst at Saddletree Research.
Other product improvements include seat limit scheduling, which allows the contact center to set minimum and maximum seating parameters for a given site, preventing the center from scheduling more agents than there are seats available. Holiday and day-of-week fairness functionality prevents agents from working the same holidays or back-to-back weekends by taking agent work history into account.
According to NICE, it will fully integrate IEX's products into its own to create a fully integrated contact center offering. The integration will allow NICE to go beyond its current market position in quality monitoring to providing workforce management and performance management.
IEX President Debbie May, in a written statement, said: "The features in this release show our commitment to the global marketplace, while maintaining our focus on the people most impacted by our technology--the agents."
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