Cicero - ContactCenterWorld.com Blog
by Paul Stockford, Saddletree Research. Teleopti AB. of Stockholm, Sweden has introduced the addition of desktop analytics to their workforce management (WFM) suite, Teleopti WFM. Underlying this new addition, dubbed Teleopti WFM Desktop Analytics, is a partnership between Teleopti and Cicero, Inc. of Cary, NC. The growth in support of non-voice customer communications channels coupled with emerging opportunities in the back office combined to provide the impetus behind Teleopti’s decision to seek a desktop analytics solution for their WFM suite. The Cicero partnership will allow Teleopti to take advantage of this rapidly growing market shift.
In this initial release Teleopti is using Cicero’s desktop analytics technology to focus on real-time and historical adherence, deviations in agent scheduling, and average handle time of key processes. The Cicero technology captures agent activity at the desktop, including how applications are used and how processes are followed. This data includes specific, targeted activities and items such as when a window changes focus, events, and/or URLs. Once the data is collected it is pushed to Teleopti WFM where a rules engine monitors for compliance. Deviations in compliance, such as spending too much time on an unauthorized web page, triggers alerts to the appropriate supervisor.
With the addition of Cicero desktop analytics capabilities, Teleopti can now offer its customers the ability to monitor and manage the desktop in the same way they monitor and manage telephony. With the ability to capture and analyze desktop events, Teleopti customers will gain a 360 degree perspective of agent activities in the contact center and the back office.
Teleopti WFM Desktop Analytics is highly configurable and is designed to comply with the legal and union agreements of Teleopti’s global customer base. Its modular design allows desktop analytics to be introduced to the agent and back office workforce gradually, minimizing the perception of micromanagement, and offering Teleopti customers ease of upgrades and updates.
Teleopti WFM Desktop Analytics is available for immediate delivery.
The View from The Saddle
It has taken the contact center industry several years to discover the power and value of desktop analytics, but today’s widespread understanding of the productivity advantages provided by a comprehensive desktop analytics solutions is driving unprecedented demand for this solution. Recent research conducted by Saddletree Research in conjunction with the not-for-profit National Association of Call Centers (NACC) reveals that desktop analytics placed in the top five contact center solutions purchased in 2015. Saddletree Research estimates that over 20,000 contact centers in the U.S. invested in desktop analytics solutions this year. We expect this demand momentum to carry forward into 2016.
Teleopti is entering the desktop analytics market at an ideal time and with a well-positioned partner. In April of 2015, Cicero introduced Discovery Automation, a leading-edge desktop analytics solution that takes an innovative approach to solving the problem of slowdowns at the agent desktop (see Saddletree Research Update entitled, “Isolate and Automate: Cicero Introduces Discovery Automation” of April 7, 2015). The partnership with Cicero will allow Teleopti to leapfrog the capabilities of many existing desktop analytics solutions and offer a product that directly addresses process and productivity issues at the desktop while providing Teleopti its desired entrée to the back office.
Teleopti is well-versed in partnership arrangements as their workforce management solution is used by many contact center solutions vendors as their own via private label agreements. In the case of the Cicero partnership, Teleopti is taking on a partner that has demonstrated a high level of expertise in the agent desktop, an often overlooked aspect of overall agent and contact center productivity.
Saddletree Research believes Teleopti’s partnership with Cicero will greatly benefit both companies. Cicero will gain access to Teleopti’s global contact center presence while Teleopti will have the opportunity to immediately offer a state-of-the-art desktop analytics solution as market interest in analytics solutions continues to grow in the years ahead. This partnership is an excellent example of a win/win situation, not only for both companies but for the global contact center industry as a whole.
Learn more about Teleopti.
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Publish Date: January 6, 2016 5:00 AM
by Paul Stockford, Saddletree Research
On August 10, 2015 Nexidia of Atlanta, GA, and Cicero, Inc. of Cary, NC, issued a joint release announcing the creation of a partnership between the two companies that will deliver an original approach to speech and desktop analytics that addresses the challenges of regulatory compliance while providing deeper insight into customer interactions.
Cicero Discovery is Cicero’s desktop analytics solution that collects targeted data and events from applications running on an agent’s desktop without modifying those systems or having to create application program interfaces (APIs). Nexidia Capture is Nexidia’s recording platform that captures 100 percent of customer conversations. Working together, Cicero Discovery augments Nexidia Capture in order to provide a “Desktop Trigger,” which automatically triggers the call muting and screen masking features of Nexidia Capture during the portions of the call where sensitive information is discussed.
The two solutions working in tandem also simplify the often challenging task of acquiring application and meta data from other enterprise solutions. Rather than having to rely on other solutions to send customer and other relevant transaction data to Nexidia Capture, Cicero Discovery captures that data at the desktop so that no information about the customer journey is lost during the transaction. The net result is improved customer service and agent experience.
The View from The Saddle
This multi-dimensional partnership between two best-of-breed solutions providers offers the contact center industry a means of resolving ongoing customer service and regulatory issues via the innovative application of unique capabilities that each company brings to the table.
Since the passage of Dodd-Frank legislation in 2010, regulatory compliance in the contact center has become an issue that continues to grow in importance. In accordance with Dodd-Frank, any potential compliance violations must be thoroughly investigated within a tightly enforced period of time. The partnership of Nexidia’s recording and speech analytics capabilities combined with Cicero’s ability to capture desktop activity provides a powerful method of capturing virtually every piece of data associated with any given customer communication and/or transaction, including potential regulatory violations.
Prior to this announcement, data capture methods typically relied on the ability to access a number of different systems in the contact center in order to paint a complete picture of any agent transaction. Often, data in other systems is lost during a routine call transfer process or is unavailable due to system shortcomings. With the Nexidia/Cicero partnership, both solutions capture complete data from the Cicero desktop screen. All customer information and transaction data is captured from a single source, effectively eliminating the possibility of points of failure that put the data at risk as the call is passed from one system to another.
Those familiar with Cicero Discovery know that it does not rely on traditional approaches to acquiring data from the desktop. Rather than having to create new APIs and modify existing applications in order to obtain data, Cicero Discovery works from the desktop sidelines. Desktop applications are not modified or affected in any way. The result is the realization of significant time savings as well as substantial cost savings when compared to previous desktop data acquisition practices.
Nexidia has built triggers that, in conjunction with Cicero, identify specific activities on the desktop that flow into the monitoring process, identifying and preventing potential compliance and business violations. Paired with Nexidia’s audio analytics capabilities, enterprise compliance officers and quality assurance managers always have a complete picture of agent activities.
An additional benefit of this partnership comes in its ability to provide customer identification and other meta data, which results in the availability of customer history analysis on every call. Cicero Discover captures the identity of each customer on the desktop, then passes that information to Nexidia to determine such information as the number of times the customer has called, the nature of the call, the name of the product being discussed, etc. The net result is the ability to identify each individual event during a customer’s journey and provide a timeline of desktop events that can be aligned with audio events. In other words, the contact center automatically gets a complete picture of any given customer interaction rather than having to piece together fragments of a customer interaction in the hope of obtaining a complete picture.
Given today’s regulatory environment and the drive to understand and optimize the customer journey, the partnership between Nexidia and Cicero represents a timely solution. Both companies understand and focus on the challenges of contact center compliance and the ever-changing regulatory requirements. Both companies also have a deep understanding of the operational complexities faced by the contemporary contact center, and continue to work to improve the customer and the agent experience. This new relationship is truly a case of the whole being greater than the sum of the parts.
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Publish Date: August 17, 2015 5:00 AM
Today’s CRM is Not a Cure-all for Productivity and Customer Service Challenges.
You Cannot CRM Your Problems Away
Today, CRM has taken a less frenzied and decidedly more dignified position in the contact center industry. The popularity of cloud-based CRM, however, has spurned to the CRM of 15 years ago, it still doesn’t solve all of a contact center’s problems. There are productivity gaps that you just can’t CRM away.
The agent desktop or workstation is a center of customer service activity that has been garnering increased interest by the industry over the past year or two. According to the results of the most recent survey of end-users conducted by Saddletree Research in conjunction with the National Association of Call Centers (NACC) at The University of Southern Mississippi, 19 percent of respondents intend to replace their existing agent desktop software or evaluate desktop software for initial purchase during 2015. Another four percent of respondents have already funded desktop software for purchase in 2015. In terms of real numbers, that’s over 16,000 U.S. contact centers that have decided to invest in the agent desktop this year. This is what we CRM analysts, past and present, call a trend.
“No one has three years to wait for a productivity lift based on hoped for APIs or enhancements to the CRM or knowledge base applications sitting on the agent desktop,” Mike Garner added. “If you can truly collect empirical data about how work happens, you can make the right choices about your agent desktops such as improving training, changing technologies, and automating processes.”
Read the article>
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Publish Date: June 17, 2015 5:00 AM
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“When reviewing this product announcement, Saddletree Research was immediately struck by the
pragmatic approach Cicero is taking to solving a problem that does not get the headlines of the more
trendy of today’s contact center solutions, but is a challenge that we believe is universally understood
and likely universally experienced in the industry. Productivity slowdowns at the agent desktop, which
Cicero refers to the agent end-point, not only hamper the delivery of an optimal customer experience,
they are frustrating to the agent who must deal with these productivity inhibitors that are out of his or
her control but have a direct impact on output factors that lead to such desirable outcomes as positive
reviews, raises, promotions, etc.
Drawing upon the principles of classic desktop analytics, Cicero takes the process to the next level.
Discovery Automation identifies how employees are using technology, finds processes where there is
room for improvement, isolates where the problem lies, then offers automation solutions that address the
isolated problem. It is important to note that Cicero’s is an iterative approach to automation. Users are
not required to automate entire processes or systems. Only the elements that are selected for automation
by the user are actually addressed by Discovery Automation.
By gaining visibility into what is happening at the agent end-point, Discovery Automation can eliminate
the customer service domino effect that invariably leads to a less-than-optimal customer experience.
One Cicero customer realized a reduction in average handle time (AHT) of ten percent simply by
implementing single sign-on to agent end-point applications. Saddletree Research expects Discovery
Automation’s ability to remove barriers to agent productivity and customer service will also have an
immediate and positive impact on such emerging productivity performance indicators as first call
resolution (FCR) and customer effort score (CES).
Cicero Discovery Automation is non-invasive, which means it does not have to get “under the skin” of
other software applications in order to isolate and automate agent end-point activities. As a result, the
performance of the system software itself is not impaired in any way while productivity and efficiency at
the agent end-point is significantly improved. This characteristic is true of all Cicero software.
Research conducted at the end of 2014 by Saddletree Research in conjunction with the National
Association of Call Centers (NACC) at The University of Southern Mississippi indicates that analytics
solutions, and particularly desktop analytics solutions, remain in high demand by end-users. 30 percent
of survey respondents indicated that they intend to evaluate desktop analytics for purchase in 2015. An
additional three percent of respondents reported that desktop analytics has already been funded for
purchase in 2015. This puts desktop analytics firmly on the list of the top five contact center solutions
that will be purchased in 2015. In terms of real numbers, we estimate that about 23,000 contact centers
in the U.S. will be evaluating for purchase or purchasing desktop analytics this year.
Cicero is clearly on the leading edge of an emerging trend with the introduction of Discovery
Automation. To provide a practical, manageable solution for an industry shortcoming that is universally
understood and close to universally experienced is, in Saddletree Research’s opinion, destined to raise
Cicero’s visibility in the contact center industry. Cicero Discovery Automation clearly demonstrates the
company’s level of expertise in the agent desktop, or end-point, market segment that should be of
interest to the industry as a whole. The time has come to start paying closer attention to Cicero’s ability
to potentially influence the direction of the contact center market in the future.”
Read more from Saddletree Research – Isolate Automate
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Publish Date: April 7, 2015 5:00 AM