Cover Story

Making Workforce Optimization Easy and Affordable

By Paula Bernier, Executive Editor, TMC  |  March 01, 2012

 Monet Brings Cloud-Based Call Recording, Quality Management into the Picture

This article originally appeared in the March issue of Customer Interaction Solutions

Workforce management has always been considered a bit of an art, says Chuck Ciarlo. That’s why the CEO named his company Monet Software and trademarked the phrase “The Art of Workforce Management”.

Monet Software has been a pioneering force in the area of  workforce management for about a decade, providing call center customers with software that is at once sophisticated, uncomplicated and affordable. And, like the French impressionist painter after which the company is named, Monet Software continues to evolve and expand its portfolio, having recently introduced call recording, and quality management and metrics solutions.

“Over the years we have continued to get requests from our customer for a cloud-based call recording solution that is easy to use and affordable,” Ciarlo tells CIS magazine. “Monet has spent nearly 9 years perfecting a best-of-breed WFM solution, and call recording has been in our sights for a while. Now we are able to offer it, along with a robust quality management module. Both are fully integrated into a unified cloud-based workforce optimization solution. We are very excited about this offering, and we think our customers and the market will be as well.”

The solution suite is called Monet WFO Live. As Ciarlo notes, it enables call centers to automate workforce management, call recording, quality assurance and agent analytics.

“Call centers can now quickly and easily optimize all aspects of their workforce with one affordable solution, resulting in better utilization of resources, better cost management and improved service levels,” Ciarlo explains. “Monet WFO Live unifies workforce optimization across multiple processes to better meet customer needs and deliver more effective customer service. Customers can create accurate forecasts, efficient schedules for  work volumes, track key metrics in accordance to their business goals, record and monitor calls for quality, training and compliance purpose, all in one integrated cloud-based platform.”

Ciarlo added that “Monet is leading the call center workforce technology cloud by addressing some major industry trends”:

  • "Customers are looking for one stop shopping and for a fully integrated WFO solution to take advantage of synergies across multiple functions.
  • The adoption of cloud-based software is further accelerating due to proven value: scalable, security, low cost, ease of use, and fast implementation
  • Call centers want to move from a reactive to proactive mode of operation with goal settings, dashboards, triggers, and alerts to further optimize resources”.

Monet WFO Live consists of a handful of software modules, including Monet WFM, Monet Record, Monet Quality, and Monet Metrics.

 Monet WFM

Monet WFM is a call center workforce management solution that enables organizations to create more accurate forecasts, develop more effective call center schedules, and increase agent adherence.

According to Ciarlo, Monet WFM sets a new standard for ease of use and affordability of workforce management software.

“Monet's solution delivers value to the entire call center business and operation, helping to improve service levels and reduce costs while improving employee morale through more predictable, flexible and efficient scheduling and staffing,” Ciarlo says.

Monet WFM also features Monet Anywhere, a supervisor collaboration solution, and Monet Integrations Service, a solution that enables customers to integrate their ACD systems more easily with all of the above.

Monet Record

Monet Record, meanwhile, is a call recording solution the company unveiled this year. It records, archives and retrieves customer interactions.

Call recording is, of course, seeing growing demand as organizations continue and expand their efforts to increase productivity, provide better customer service, and address transaction disputes and other service-related issues. The Monet Record solution is also noteworthy in its ability to enable organizations to comply with legal requirements such as HIPPA, PCI (News - Alert) and Sarbanes-Oxley.

Monet Quality

The above is complemented by Monet Quality, a quality management solution that monitors customer interactions. It enables organizations to deliver a consistently high level of service and improve customer satisfaction.

“Monet Quality provides a flexible platform to evaluate the performance of contact center agents,” Ciarlo says. “It gives managers and supervisors more time and resources to strategically focus on improving call quality, customer interaction and productivity.”

Monet Metrics

Monet Metrics, a call center and agent performance management solution, was designed to allow organizations to manage key performance indicators, set up real-time alerts, access dashboards and reports for agent analytics, and generally look at agent performance at a more granular level.

“Monet Metrics sets a new standard in actionable intelligence by transforming call center performance management from a reactive to a proactive approach,” explains Ciarlo. “Call centers get easy access to a unified view of key performance metrics and can quickly adjust center operations resulting in better decision making, better utilization of resources, better cost management, and improved service levels.”

All modules of the Monet WFO Live suite are affordable, subscription-based services. That, Ciarlo notes, makes it easy, fast and affordable for call centers to get started without the usual risk of software investments and implementations.

“What our customer tell us is that they like us because our solution is very easy to learn; quick to deploy – usually in less than 30 days; and, more importantly, they typically realize cost savings and improved productivity within 60 days,” says Ciarlo. “That is almost unheard of in the software industry.

“Customers are extremely excited about that, as you can imagine,” he adds. “They also appreciate the simplified integrations with their existing premises-based or hosted call center technologies and the fact they get it all with a low monthly subscription fee with no hidden costs.”

That’s especially important for small to mid-sized organizations, a traditional customer target for Monet Software. However, over the last few years Monet Software has seen tremendous interest and traction from larger contact centers with as many as 5,000 agents. These larger centers are looking for the same ease of use and flexibility and are interested in getting it all delivered from the cloud.

Given the majority of Monet Software’s employees have past work experience in the call center industry, and Ciarlo has owned and operated call centers himself over the years, the company has a unique perspective on the requirements and challenges of its call center customers.

“Having spent many years owning and operating call centers, some of the biggest challenges we faced were the inability to accurately forecast call volumes and properly schedule agents to meet the various service levels and other business demands,” he says. “Call center software was too expensive, difficult to implement and very complex to use. Only the largest call centers could afford it, most often they spent years implementing it, and never realized the full potential. I thought there had to be a better way. So I started Monet Software.”

A few years later, with the rise of web-based technologies, Monet Software moved its solution to the cloud. Of course, there are a lot of vendors that are introducing hosted solutions these days, Ciarlo says, but often this is just web-hosting of old legacy client-server systems. However, this approach doesn’t deliver the benefits of true cloud solutions to customers: Low infrastructure costs, ease of use, simple upgrades, and scalability. By comparison, Monet Software’s solution is based on a single set of code and a single back end – all on the cloud.

“We actually took the time to rewrite our entire solution to be used and delivered from the cloud,” he says. “This was a huge undertaking. But now, looking back, it was the right move.”

That move has enabled Monet Software – which has grown its business 100 percent in the last two years – to provide customers with quick service turn up, significant savings, and gains in productivity and customer service.

Edited by Stefania Viscusi