DMG Consulting's eighth annual ‘Contact Center Workforce Management Product and Market Report’ provides the most accurate, comprehensive coverage of this technology sector. The Report's 374 pages contain all of the vendor, product, trend and market data that contact center, backoffice and IT leaders need to find the right WFM solution for their environment, and to implement it successfully.
For more than three decades, workforce management (WFM) has been an indispensable tool for contact centers. WFM solutions have a long history and proven track record of delivering productivity improvements, but there has been little in the way of innovation in these products for many years. It looks like 2015 is going to be a turning point for the WFM sector, however. The market is finally waking up, due to new opportunities in back-office operating areas and branches and the ability to more easily deliver the solution to smaller companies via the cloud.
Although early adoption of WFM in the back office and branches has been slow, these parts of the collective enterprise employ millions of workers, and there is significant opportunity for users to leverage the benefits WFM delivers. In addition, the cloud is helping to make WFM functionality accessible to contact centers and operating areas of all sizes, which is expanding the addressable market for these valuable solutions. These factors are combining to initiate an overdue wave of vendor investments and research and development (R&D), which is attracting the attention of enterprises that are eager for improvements to mission-critical WFM applications.
2014 was a strong year for the WFM market, given its maturity, albeit not quite as good as 2013. The WFM sector grew by 11.2%, an increase of 900,556 seats. NICE, Verint and Aspect continue to lead the WFM market with a combined 60% share, but many smaller and emerging competitors are gaining traction - notably some hailing from outside of the United States.
WFM solutions are intended to reduce servicing, sales and processing costs through better agent/employee utilization, since agents are the most expensive resource in most enterprises. These solutions provide forecasting capabilities - some are now using new simulation modeling in addition to the traditional algorithms - so organizations can best anticipate the number of agents they need. They also offer scheduling tools, the best of which empower employees to make and change their own schedules (to the extent permitted by management). And now, vendors are innovating and retrofitting their front-office WFM solutions to take advantage of what DMG estimates to be a back-office WFM opportunity that is 2.6 times larger than the contact center sector.
Solutions from larger competitors continue to be the most advanced, but emerging players are seeing growing adoption due to their flexibility, newer functionality and ease of use. Users are clamoring for better, more accurate WFM solutions, and no longer feel tied to their incumbent vendors, since there are so many options available. The entire vendor community - especially the newer competitors - is striving to make WFM solutions more appealing by investing in R&D features to meet back-office and branch needs, as well as improving user interfaces and enhancing omni-channel capabilities.
As has been the case for a few years, prospects can purchase a WFM solution in a variety of ways: as a stand-alone product, as part of a workforce optimization (WFO) suite, or from their automatic call distributor (ACD) vendor. The functionality, price, ease of use and benefits vary greatly. DMG advises buyers to conduct thorough due diligence before choosing a WFM technology provider, specifically studying the detailed differences between solutions designed for the front and back office.
DMG expects WFM revenue to grow by 13% in 2015 and 2016, and 12% in 2017 and 2018. The primary drivers of this growth will be further development of the back-office and branch opportunity, increasing adoption of cloud-based solutions by small and mid-sized businesses, and the replacement cycle of outdated WFM solutions with newer, easier-to-use applications.
The ‘2015 - 2016 edition of the Contact Center Workforce Management Product and Market Report’ provides a detailed review of nine leading and contending WFM vendors. The vendors covered in-depth in this Report are: Calabrio, Interactive Intelligence, NICE/IEX, Noble Systems, Teleopti and Verint. Three solutions - inContact, Intradiem and WorkFlex - are covered at a high level.
WFM Functional Building Blocks
Source: DMG Consulting LLC, March 2015.
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