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All companies aspire to have a single, fully integrated platform for all their business needs — but that’s idealistic, not futuristic. Often, time is the limiting factor for companies adopting a cloud platform. Because of a lack of time, they’re forced to make short-term decisions around point solutions to address the here and now.
An important factor in the cloud adoption equation is workforce management (WFM). After a platform used to deliver the interactions to agents, WFM often ranks as a critical application in the contact center. As much as 70% of your contact center running costs are staffing-related; WFM is crucial to ensure you balance exceptional customer service with the costs of that service.
The WFM platform is often central to that, with a multitude of processes and systems feeding into and from it. So simply swapping out the WFM platform when you move to cloud isn’t as straightforward.
For new contact centers, adopting the integrated WFM platform removes the need for any form of integration as it’s an integrated suite. For customers who want to retain the services of the existing WFM system, they can build or buy that system. Following are six reasons why you shouldn’t build your own WFM data integration feed.
You want to minimize cost while maintaining control, so it seems like building it yourself is the better route. By building it yourself, you have complete ownership — but it’s not that straightforward. The unavoidable truth is that building it yourself has the potential to cost you significantly more; it’s often difficult to provide accurate costs of complex software. Often, unforeseen problems can — and will — arise, resulting in delays and spiralling costs. Then you’re faced with the tougher question: Do you abandon it or battle your way through and risk more cost?
According to Atomic Object: “New systems have a reasonable amount of complexity; the custom solution will cost more than the off-the-shelf solution. In our experience, assuming you hire an experienced external team to build your software, that difference can cost from twice to 20 times more.”
Building your own solution in-house requires you to first build a team to do it. Good software developers don’t come cheap. Often (in-house) IT projects are well-known for experiencing major problems and costing far more than the estimated amount.
Avoid failing into the trap that the lower costs of building in-house will reduce overall costs. These projects often lead to corners being cut and a solution that’s not fit-for-purpose, as opposed to a specialized vendor solution that fits your needs out of the box and takes on the burden of maintaining your interests as part of the service.
According to a recent blog by Kelly Wilson, agent salaries can account for between 60%-70% of total contact center costs; even small inaccuracies in your data feed can result in 2%-3% staffing inefficiencies. That translates to hundreds of thousands — or even millions — of dollars lost annually.
The cost of inaccurate data is never considered as part of the cost of building your own workforce management data feed. You’ll always start with the flawed assumption that the data and, more importantly, your teams’ interpretation of how it should be represented and transformed into the format the WFM vendor requires.
As Donald Rumsfeld famously stated, “There are no knowns. There are things we know that we know. There are known unknowns. That is to say, there are things that we now know we don’t know. But there are also unknown unknowns. There are things we do not know we don’t know.” As much as that seems like a tongue twister, it’s the unknown unknowns that affect build-it-yourself projects.
Assumptions are key to building in-house solutions and associated planning. We often don’t realize them until it’s too late. With over 15 years of building and developing WFM integrations and data feeds across a wide range of platforms, Aria Solutions has learned from the unknown unknowns — and built them into our thinking and design.
With a commitment to rapid innovation, Genesys releases new features and updates on a weekly basis. For Genesys AppFoundry partners like Aria Solutions, this raises the stakes in terms of our commitment to keep pace and ensure we can offer new features through our integrations.
Aria Solutions mirrors the Genesys CloudTM architecture, which was built using scalable APIs and microservices. Simply translated, we can focus much more on the features and functionality of our platform and integration — and have significant agility to keep pace with innovation.
When building the business case for a new WFNM integration in-house, consider this rapid innovation commitment in terms of your on-going technical overhead. Beyond building the initial integration, your architecture must be agile enough to adapt and change.
For most companies, building a WFM integration will never be your top priority. Most likely, it won’t even make the top 100 list. Your core business is anything but building and maintaining integrations. So, you need to decide if you have the time, resources, focus and priority to see this through to the end and beyond.
If not, then the most cost-effective solution and best use of your valuable resources is to find a partner who can do this for you.
Genesys is constantly evolving at a rapid pace; this includes its workforce management solution. If the features in the platform meet your needs, then you will have no further requirement for the workforce management integration.
This sounds like a long list of ‘known knowns’ that affect most projects. Save yourself the effort; contact Aria Solutions to get up and running in a matter of hours with an out-of-the-box solution that’s developing at a rapid pace.
Aria Solutions has been building and developing WFM data feeds for over 15 years. To learn more, visit their applisting in the AppFoundry Marketplace.
This blog post was co-authored by Gary Smith. Gary is a seasoned Product, Marketing, CX and Analytics expert with over 20 years of operational experience in contact centers. After graduating in Math’s & Statistics and then gaining an MBA in Finance, he helped to grow an Analytics & Consulting practice before moving into Product & Marketing for the last 10 years developing new and innovative products & propositions to deliver value for many of the worlds leading blue-chip companies.
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