An End to Information Chaos

ORLANDO, FLA.—Contact centers—and entire companies, for that matter—collect diverse information from customers in order to gain as much insight as possible. While most are successful in accumulating key metrics, many times that’s where the story ends. There is a pile of data that no one knows how to distill and utilize properly. In a keynote address kicking off Verint’s user conference here this week, Driving Innovation ’08, Chief Executive Officer and President Dan Bodner made his case for workforce optimization (WFO).

Explaining that his company has found that more than 85 percent of data on an average company’s corporate and public networks is unstructured, Bodner said companies are doing themselves a disservice. "We’re relying on only 15 percent of our information," he said. "We need tools to utilize not only that 15 percent, but also the 85 percent that is still unstructured. We’re in a state of information chaos." He argued that many corporations are already doing a fine job of collecting information—but WFO tools are necessary to really reap the benefits. "We can provide [solutions] that are valuable in the sense that they can make data more actionable," he said. "That way, companies can make better decisions and gain more successful results."

While Bodner admitted this market is "still in its early stages," he insisted that the WFO industry is poised for further growth, citing a recent study from DMG Consulting on the topic. As such, Verint is in pole position (as far as Bodner is concerned) and will continue to lead the industry and add value with new solutions and services.

Bodner was quick to insist, however, that Verint is not solely dedicated to pumping out new solution after new solution. Instead, he sees his company enabling businesses to unify all their data from throughout the enterprise, streamline operations, and make more-informed business decisions. "We’re not just looking to create cool technology," he said. "We want to apply new technology for customers across many vertical markets. The only way you can truly benefit [from WFO tools] is if you have a fully integrated approach."

This fully integrated approach Bodner spoke of is reflected by Verint’s move to bring together its workforce management, call recording, performance management, quality monitoring, speech analytics, and e-learning tools under one suite, Impact 360. Noting many companies’ potential hesitancy to undertake this overhaul immediately, Bodner said companies can start with a point solution and then add more functionality incrementally. "You can start small and then integrate more as you go along," Bodner said. "Our commitment for the future is to continue to add more modules in order to further deliver actionable intelligence for those buying the foundation today."

Besides a growing emphasis on WFO suite solutions, Bodner also told attendees that Verint will remain focused equally on its enterprise WFO and security-intelligence markets—although the two will likely start to come together. "We’re seeing a synergy among all customers," Bodner said, highlighting this observation with one of its security customers, Wal-Mart.

According to Bodner, Wal-Mart utilizes Verint for video security, but is also looking to solve key business issues with the video data accumulated. Having the ability to track the direction in which people are walking and how long they linger at displays in the store, executives at Wal-Mart can analyze not only shoplifters, but genuine shopper behavior, adjusting its corporate marketing strategies accordingly. Being able to take all that data and convert it into actionable intelligence is what WFO is all about, Bodner said.

At the same time, Bodner said this could also finally give companies clarity in the midst of rampant information chaos. "Sometimes you can’t see the trees in the forest," he said.

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