Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Adjuvant therapy for your Avaya platform

In the health care arena, there are drugs called adjuvants, which are just given to patients because they make other drugs more effective.

Adjuvants are used to boost the power of vaccines, make cancer treatment more effective, and to strengthen the immune system. There are even adjuvants that make pesticides and fertilizers more effective.

What does this have to do with business intelligence? Well, I know a lot of you use Avaya Call Center and CMS. Avaya has great products and they have captured leading market share throughout the industry.

But one of the common challenges we hear from customers on the Avaya platform is that there are limitations with it when it comes to operational analytics.

For example, have you tried to extract data from the Avaya platform to do a deeper dive into the factors that drive your business? Or for that matter tried to combine it with data from other operational platforms in the call center such as financial, HR, and forecast data? It's here where the Avaya platform -- as good as it is -- needs an adjuvant.

And this is one of the reasons our customers love HardMetrics. The fact sheet we put together describes how we make it easy for call center-centric companies to get the most from their Avaya investment. Take a look at it below, or read the fancy two-page PDF version.

With HardMetrics, you can quickly and easily gather data from Avaya, combine it with other data sources, and transform it into operational analytics that will identify best practices -- so those best practices can be adopted across your organization -- as well as issues that need to be triaged and managed for improvement.

Without further adieu, here's our pitch to those of you on the Avaya platform.

Avaya Call Center and Avaya CMS Come to Life with HardMetrics

Call centers worldwide depend on Avaya Call Center and Avaya CMS to keep things running smoothly. With these powerful tools, Avaya has earned a reputation as the leading platform in call handling and call management.

Now, with HardMetrics, call center-driven companies can get even more value from their Avaya investment. HardMetrics makes it possible to dig deeper into CMS data, letting decision makers view easy-to-understand dashboard and scorecard-based reports and analyze all facets of the CMS deployment. HardMetrics enables you to view and navigate CMS data from the perspectives that are most valuable to you.

We deliver greater insights into the information that CMS is producing, and easily integrate CMS data with other ACD data as well as operational platform data. The result? Deeper insight into your call center operations, increased operational efficiencies, and an improved bottom line.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Top call center trends from the American Teleservices Association Convention and Expo

I'm back from the American Teleservices Association (ATA) Convention and Expo, and I want to tell you about the top two trends I saw taking shape after talking with so many people at the hub of our industry.

The first trend I saw was call center agents being recognized as the face of a business. A customer's interaction with your call center can make or break their perception of your company.

And in the era of Twitter, it only takes 140 characters and a few seconds for that customer to tell the world how well they were treated or how badly.

Therefore, companies should not only provide superior training to their agents, but measure their performance. Performance measurement can collect critical data that can increase customer satisfaction, and in some cases, discover data that can be profitable for the company.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

At the American Teleservices Association Convention and Expo, solving contact center challenges one enterprise at a time

I traded in the chilly weather up North for the warm sun of Phoenix this week to be at the American Teleservices Association (ATA) Convention and Expo. HardMetrics just joined the ATA, and we're excited to be exhibiting for the first time at their Convention.

In fact, we even got a brand new backdrop for our booth. Take a look at the picture I snapped on my BlackBerry at the end of this post. The Convention wraps up tomorrow, so if you're here, stop by booth #305 to say hello.

I'd love to meet you and talk about the challenges your contact center is facing, what you see as the big trends in the industry this year, and how you're optimizing operations to stay ahead.

Being surrounded by the people of our industry and discussing the common challenges we all face is always eye opening. No matter how long you've been in the business, there's always something new to learn when you get together with hundreds of your colleagues.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Delivering on the promise of business intelligence and operational analytics

There is a revolution taking place in the world of business intelligence and operational analytics. Status quo is no longer acceptable. Companies need greater visibility into what is actually going on in the business.

They need depth. They need flexibility. They need it quicker. And they need it to be financially possible (cost effective).

To remain competitive in today's real-time, on-demand business environment, enterprises simply must tap into the data they generate to gain more visibility into business metrics -- such as revenues, expenses, and operational efficiency -- while comparing business segments in real time to identify best practices and/or areas for improvement.

But to date, business intelligence solutions that promised this much-needed visibility just haven't delivered. Projects are measured in months and years, and require vast amounts of specialized resources and budget.

Applications that do make it to end users don't often meet their needs. Reliance on Excel is rampant. Low-level tool vendors are promising that they can deliver on the complexity and scale requirements of enterprise-scale analytics, but they can't. The result? Frustration. Lack of capability. Lost opportunity.

Data remains locked in siloed enterprise systems, and hard-charging decision makers still pine for a future when ground-level changes in the business are visible in real time so that positive trends can be leveraged, or negative trends that impact the health of the business can be quickly triaged, diagnosed, and reversed.

With all of the strides that have been made in the technology and IT arena, it is perplexing that advanced reporting, operational analytics, and business intelligence haven't reached the point where mass deployment, intuitive interfaces and features, and dynamic data access are practical and possible.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

How streamlining 21 million data elements improves business performance

How do you go from manual data preparation and reporting to complete automation and sophisticated performance and operational analytics?

How do you go from the risk and cost of mountains of spreadsheets, manual processes, and inconsistent data to clear business insights at the push of a button? That's a good question to ask TCIM Services, Inc.

The leading provider of outsourced call center services was struggling to keep pace with globally produced data from over 20 unique data sources that contained over 21 million raw data elements. After working with us, all of that information is now seamlessly processed and neatly packed inside and managed by HardMetrics Performance Manager.

Now they have on-demand access to financial, operational, and payroll data that's able to be sliced and diced any way to ensure that they are internally operating at peak efficiency and delivering top-notch service to their Fortune 100 client base.

It's the kind of transformative process we thrive on. For the deep dive on how we got them from there to here, read the case study below or download the dressed-up PDF.

TCIM Services, Inc. needed enhanced visibility into the key performance metrics that drive the success of its business so that it could continue to provide top-notch service to its Fortune 100 client base.

The TCIM challenge:
  • Eliminate manual and error-prone processes.
  • Improve timeliness and accuracy of data.
  • Define consistent metrics across nine call centers.
  • Provide ability to analyze data comparing and contrasting various metrics across the global organization.

Monday, March 7, 2011

What to expect from HardMetrics in 2011

Wow! It's been a whirlwind few weeks since I joined HardMetrics, but as I've gotten to know my HardMetrics teammates and many of our clients, my instincts have been 100 percent confirmed: This is a great opportunity for me.

When I entered "free agency," I had a number of potential career moves put in front of me, but I was looking for a company that had a great solution, a great product, and a great team.

I know how to build a successful sales and marketing organization. That's my core skill set and area of expertise, but the best sales organization in the world can't sell a product that doesn't hit the mark with its target market.

Last January I started talking to the HardMetrics team, and I was immediately impressed. HardMetrics Performance Manager flat-out works for call center-driven organizations. Our customers are willing to step up and tell the world about the positive changes that are enabled by real-time visibility into call center operations and the subsequent impact on overall business operations.

They rave about our launch process, our domain knowledge, the quality of our staff, our ongoing customer support, and our flexibility in accommodating changes as they learn, grow, and expand the scope of their implementations. We have proven case studies with signature clients that can be publicized and expanded upon. In short, the only thing that was missing was additional market presence and visibility. And that's where I come in.

I'm excited to be on board. I've enjoyed my interactions with customers I've met, and there are a number of customers I'm planning to meet with in the near future. They have all given me great feedback on our company and our solution, and expressed a willingness to participate in the HardMetrics customer community.

To capitalize on that, I'm planning to establish a user group advisory board. If you're interested, please let me know. In addition, we've already started the process of increasing visibility through a concerted marketing initiative.

We plan to have a significant presence at trade shows such as the ATA 2011 Convention and Expo, SOCAP International 2011 Symposium, and the ICMI ACCE Conference and Expo. I'll post more details on where we'll be and what we'll be doing at each show as they get closer. I look forward to meeting all of you in the coming weeks and months!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

New home for HardMetrics

We're moving out and into a new, larger corporate headquarters in Wayne, Pa.! We announced the exciting news in a press release, which you can read below.

Our three-and-a-half year lease with Brandywine Realty Trust, the property’s owner, provides us with a strong foundation for today, and plenty of room to grow tomorrow.

Ideally located in the Philadelphia suburbs along the Route 202 Technology Corridor, this new facility will provide access to the many technological, educational, and transportation resources in the Philadelphia area, as well as a deep pool of professional talent.

Many of the Philadelphia region’s most successful corporations are our new neighbors, such as SunGard, Amerisource Bergen Corporation, Safeguard Scientifics, Inc., SEI, and many others.

Despite the challenges of today's economy, HardMetrics has continued to enjoy strong growth. This is an indication of the increasing market recognition of the value of performance management technology and solutions.

We have gained significant penetration within the financial services, insurance and membership services, and cable and MSO verticals. We are a leader in providing solutions to the outsourced call center sector. We also are happy to have several very happy Fortune 500 clients.

These customer-focused corporations operate in highly competitive markets. They need to operate at peak efficiency. They understand the value in being able to simultaneously collect, measure, manage, and monitor both call center and business operations metrics. The demand is increasing dramatically, and we are investing in the infrastructure needed to meet that demand.

Our move to a new, larger facility is a tangible demonstration that HardMetrics is on the move (figuratively and literally). This new headquarters will further advance our aggressive expansion plans for 2011 and beyond. Come and visit us in our new digs soon!
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