Community represents innovation, built on the unmatched expertise of WFMSG.


Going for the Gold = Workforce Management Reboot

Feb 19, 2018
Going for the Gold = Workforce Management Reboot

by: Roger Lee

QUESTION: What do Shaun White, Chloe Kim, Red Gerard, Mikaela Shiffrin, and Jamie Anderson all have in common, other than winning gold at the Olympics in Seoul?

Give up?

The ANSWER: Technology, social media, communication and collaboration.

These Olympians, even though they are a mix of generations, are tied to their smart phones non-stop – just follow them this week on Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram and Facebook. They are constantly connecting to and collaborating with their fans and their friends. They document their every move through character counts and photos. And they do it all with their earbuds stuck in their ears, playing their Pandora and Spotify playlist as they compete for their country and deliver gold medal performances.

These Olympians range in age from 17 -31, GEN Z to Millennials. The way they communicate, collaborate and even celebrate is changing from the way the old guard used to do it. Think about it, the old guard celebrated on TV, completed a few interviews and saw their picture on a box of Wheaties. Today – they still do all that, but before the interviews, they have already tweeted out to their fan base a picture of them with the medal around their neck and those fans have already congratulated them directly.

What does this change in the way these generations communicate mean to the contact center?

This is the future of our customer-base. This is how they expect to communicate, and we must be prepared to meet them where they are. And, like these Olympians, we must have the resiliency to change the way we talk, implement new processes and enable the right technology.

As expectations continue to evolve with people, process, technology and strategy, so must terms, acronyms and even the English language. First let me clarify the acronyms. As you probably know, WFM is Workforce Management; WFO is Workforce Optimization. And recently, Gartner redefined WFO as WEM, which is now Workforce Engagement. Confused yet? What’s the difference you ask and more importantly why does it matter?

Let’s start with Gartner’s definition of workforce engagement:

For years Gartner defined Workforce optimization (WFO) solutions as complementary functions designed to improve the performance of customer engagement centers by means of optimized deployment of appropriately trained and motivated agents. These functions range from ones for recruitment and scheduling to ones for evaluation and training. By adding intelligence to each function, everything from recruitment to scheduling to training can be optimized. Key functional domains include: strategic planning, recruitment, workforce management (WFM), including intraday optimization call recording and quality management (QM), coaching and e-learning, performance management (PM), surveying — focused on capturing operational and agent performance information, interaction analytics — audio and text analytics, combined with screen analytics, emotion detection and associated operational call data.

Workforce engagement management (WEM) solutions expand on the already mature workforce optimization (WFO) market by also accommodating technologies that help drive employee engagement within the customer engagement center.

Lastly, Workforce management (WFM) applications are spreadsheets or robust applications that allow you to staff and forecast the necessary resources (agents, customer service professionals) needed to answer calls, handle chats, emails, social media and back office operations. Unfortunately, the term workforce management much like quality assurance is viewed as “Big Brother”. As quite a few movies are going through a reboot (HellBoy, The Karate Kid), so must our industry terms and of course the acronyms. I will declare and put my twist on WFM that has started to and needs to evolve to WEM.

Why WEM?

With the ever-changing generations in the contact center, not only today’s Millennials expectations and needs are different, wait until GEN Z starts to be part of your contact center. The old days of a command center dictating schedules, determining when you are going to lunch and having to call in to let them know you are sick (unplanned leave) must evolve. The new workforce wants and expects the following:

  • Mobile, mobile and mobile
  • Transparency
  • A voice in the decision-making process
  • Recognition through gamification
  • The right tools at the right time
  • Work-life balance

As you can see from the “new” workforce demands, WEM elevates the strategic importance of having a collaboration and engagement approach to workforce management.

Let’s discuss item #1 in a bit more detail. Engaging your workforce through mobile applications especially through your WFM = WEM solution is not a nice to have but a standard feature that is intuitive and easy to use. Majority of the Millennials and GEN Z are born digital – usually having a laptop, tablet and mobile device attached to their body – especially mobile phones. To evolve your command center within the contact center to an engagement center, provide functionality but not limited to:

  • Viewing schedules
  • Request time-off
  • Receive notifications to accept or decline overtime and/or fill shortages in staffing schedules
  • View key performance indicators (KPIs)
  • Communicate unplanned late arrival
  • Communicate that you are sick

A few key factors in leveraging the above features and expected functionality are transparent communication and collaboration. Two-way and transparent communication is important with all generations who work with you in the contact center.

Check out another article on the importance of Engaged Employees in the October 2017 issue of Contact Center Pipeline written by Roger Woolley titled Engaged Employees = Happy Customers.

Having been both an industry practitioner and a vendor, I remain focused on what is important to the end-user, customer/clients. As leaders we must serve the needs of our employees not the other way around. If you have any questions and/or need advice, please send me an email to

Stay tune for the next blog as I discuss “communication is only as successful as collaboration.”

Until next time…

About the Author

Roger Lee has more than 20 years combined experience in finance, operations and services management and quality. Roger has held several leadership positions and been characterized as an “other-centered leader” who fosters a transparent environment with an emphasis on engaging and actively listening to all staff and customers. He believes that finding ways to improve the customer experience is essential – and the responsibility for improvement spans the enterprise.

He has been featured in global industry publications including Contact Center World, Customer Interaction Solutions, Call Center Network Group (CCNG), Contact Center Pipeline, Call Center Magazine, Call Centre Helper, Australia Internet Retailing, and CMO Australia.

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Engaged Employees = Happy Customers

Oct 18, 2017
Engaged Employees = Happy Customers

by: Roger Woolley, Director of Marketing at WFMSG

Article Featured in Contact Center Pipeline / October 2017

Employee engagement is more than just a buzzword. Successful customer service organizations create a culture that encourages it. Engaged employees are more enthusiastic about their contribution to the business and, ultimately, increase the level and consistency of service provided to their clients. Senior executives, as a result, are increasingly targeting employee engagement as a significant contributor to the quality and impact of the customer experience.

Sounds simple enough, right? But actually, creating a dynamic culture that encourages employee engagement means addressing what’s important to contact center employees:

  • Work-life balance
  • Recognition of accomplishments
  • A voice in decision-making
  • Clear and attainable goals
  • Tools needed to be successful
  • Transparent communication

Community workforce management (WFM) keeps employees engaged as it was built from the ground up with agent empowerment at the forefront of its design.


The Community WFM framework natively connects agents, supervisors and analysts through tightly integrated desktop portals and multiple notification channels without the need for a third party plug-in. It provides the tools for contact centers to have the right number of agents with the right skills, at the right time, across all channels throughout the day. But, the difference is the agents are involved in the process every step along the way, giving them input into critical scheduling decisions.

While traditional workforce management applications are good at accurately forecast- ing customer demand, optimizing the agent’s schedules, and have increased productivity, Community WFM expands these capabilities by engaging employees with a built-in communications network that gives agents a voice in the decision-making process. Through this framework, analysts are able to update forecasts and schedules in seconds to adapt to intraday changes in call volumes and customer demand. With more control over their work schedules, agents enjoy a better work-life balance to deal with unexpected challenges in everyday life.


Agents, supervisors and analysts can interact across five different channels including: desktop pop-ups, internal memos, email notifications, SMS/text messaging and an agent mobile application. Through any of these options, supervisors and schedulers can:

  • Send ad-hoc information and notifications to a specific group or individual.
  • Send reminders about upcoming schedule events.
  • Solicit agents for opt-in shift adjustments.
  • Notify agents of schedule changes and processed requests.


Community’s mobile application, Community EverywhereTM, empowers agents on-the-go by providing unmatched visibility and transparency. Whether employees are in the office, working at home or on the road, they can:

  • View their schedules.
  • “Call in” sick.
  • Receive notifications and accept or decline offers for schedule over- and under-time.
  • View adherence to KPIs.
  • Notify analysts and supervisors of an unplanned late arrival.
  • Request time off.


Agents and supervisors can engage in traditional intraday activity such as shift-bidding as well as swapping shifts with other co-workers all from the communications network.

As an enterprise workforce management provider of omnichannel forecasting and scheduling optimization, Community WFM is the first truly collaborative workforce management system that revolutionizes the way WFM analysts collaborate with agents and supervisors to quickly adjust schedules with precision and agility. Imagine having the ability to refine work schedules and immediately engage employees about the new schedule with just a few clicks.


With Community WFM you have the ability to engage employees by offering them the framework to connect with each other, the ability to engage through the channel of their choice, and on-the-go visibility and transparency. This engagement will help your employees make happy customers.

Increasing Employee Engagement with WFM Software

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Welcome to the Next Evolution in Workforce Management

Jun 13, 2017
Welcome to the Next Evolution in Workforce Management

by: Dick Bucci, Founder and Chief Analyst of Pelorus Associates

If you have worked in the customer service industry, then you know workforce management software is a proven technology that’s been around for over three decades. As the technology has matured, the majority of legacy providers have proven they can adequately forecast, schedule, track adherence, and offer intraday management. However, with the newest release of Community WFM, the Workforce Management Software Group (WFMSG) has taken a leap forward and introduced a set of features that will create new standards for WFM technologies going forward.

Designed by industry experts, Community WFM enables organizations to maximize resource productivity, deliver consistent customer service, and control payroll related expenses. Below are some of the capabilities featured in the latest software release. Community WFM eclipses many of today’s legacy WFM technologies by automating communications and processes that are not currently tapped by the legacy providers.

  • Multiple levels of Two-Way Communications – Employees can communicate with each other through a multi-channel communication framework, including an agent mobile app, SMS text messages, email, desktop pop up messages, and secure memos.
  • Automated Schedule Attendance Monitor (ASAM) - ASAM provides an automated and streamlined approach to track agent arrival and attendance. From the dashboard supervisors can determine agent attendance status including expected arrival time.
  • Automated Schedule Adjustment Plans (ASAP) - With this toolkit analysts can create and save strategies for dealing with unexpected increases or decreases in contact volume.
  • Data Targeting – Flexible data export capabilities allows users to readily integrate with external databases such as common payroll systems to quickly and economically create custom reports and devise new applications.

Workforce management systems have a well-deserved reputation for complexity. Consequently, even in the very large contact centers only a handful of highly trained personnel can manage the software. Community’s software is easy to learn and easy-to-use. Lastly, Community’s Data Targeting module coupled with industry-standard SQL database software and intuitive dashboard commands makes it possible for contact center personnel to build third-party integrations and custom reports using only its internal staff.

Since its inception, the Community WFM solution has excelled in making workforce management easy and even fun. This latest generation continues to simplify scheduling and forecasting in highly dynamic contact center environments and adds even more value by automating response strategies and, through its open design, substantially reducing the time and cost of integrating with related enterprise applications such as human resources and payroll. So, if you’re looking to improve workforce agility and deliver accurate schedules with precision, check out WFMSG latest software!

About Pelorus Associates

Dick Bucci is Founder and Principal of Pelorus Associates where he specializes in contact center technologies. Dick has authored fourteen in-depth market research reports on workforce optimization applications and numerous articles and white papers. Prior to founding Pelorus Associates he was a senior sales and marketing executive with leading telecommunications vendors and value added resellers. Dick has over 30 years of experience in telecommunications and is one of the most widely published and widely quoted analysts in the contact center industry.

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Analyst Perspective: The WorkForce Management Software Group, Inc. (WFMSG)

Sep 22, 2016
Analyst Perspective: The WorkForce Management Software Group, Inc. (WFMSG)

by: Dick Bucci, Founder and Chief Analyst of Pelorus Associates

If you have not yet heard of the Workforce Management Software Group, Inc. (WFMSG) it is likely you will come across their Community workforce management solution in the very near future. And you may not even know it when you do! After spending nearly a decade largely under the radar, this now well established provider has emerged as an innovative and significant player that is reshaping the definition of workforce management and the workforce optimization landscape.

Company Profile

Founded: 2006, Privately Held
Corporate Offices: Plano, TX
Product: Community Workforce Management
Industries Served: Financial, Insurance, Utilities, Technology, Retail, BPO’s, Healthcare, Federal, District & Local Government Agencies
Number of Installed Customers: 100
Compatible ACD’s: Approximately 20 different manufacturers including: AVAYA, CISCO, EICC, Interactive Intelligence, Mitel, ShoreTel etc.
Markets Served: North America, Near Shore, EU
Target Market: 25 - 5000 Agents
Product Licensing Model: Buy or Subscribe

Company Background & Strategy

The primary reason for WFMSG’s explosive growth, 140 % year over year, is modern product design featuring true ease of use coupled with a unique distribution strategy. Their product is bundled with eight well established technology providers within the contact center space. These include quality monitoring and recording companies, as well as, a global ACD provider. Community is often white labeled, one reason you may not have been previously aware of the company. All of the Community resellers are well established and have a substantial installed base in need of WFM technology. In every case, each of the Community resellers supports their own distribution network which further extends WFMSG’s reach into the broader market.

Another reason for the Company’s consistent growth and success is their deep understanding of workforce management systems and practices going back nearly 25 years. WFMSG began as a consultancy focused exclusively on workforce management systems and practices. Their personnel average nearly 20 years of workforce management experience across all product lines. This perspective on the needs of contact centers and thorough knowledge of legacy technologies has led to some true innovation within their Community product and a unique deployment methodology which they call the “Steps-to-Success” deployment model. Highly consultative in nature, this approach accelerates adoption and takes clients into production using a best practices model. Steps-to-Success wizards and multi-media training videos are embedded within the Community software. The end results are highly effective deployments and satisfied customers.

About Community WFM

Based on familiar Microsoft Architecture the Community WFM solution is browser neutral and supports full virtualization for private cloud deployments. Depending on the ACD manufacturer a fully hosted service is also available. A true cloud offering is on the near term product roadmap. The solution is highly scalable from 25 to 5000 agents and beyond and supports high availability and secure https environments. The product is licensed by named scheduled agent and is delivered with four tightly integrated and configurable desktop portals. Community also features an Agent Mobile App, Community Everywhere, for iOS and Android operating systems.

The system is available via a traditional CAPEX purchase or on a subscription basis (OPEX). Community integrates with over 20 ACD manufacturers making it one of the most broadly compatible WFM solutions on the market. This flexibility is another reason for its appeal to WFMSG’s growing reseller network and contact center executives. Community can be readily extended to integrate with CRM, HR and payroll applications. The product is delivered all inclusively with some minor exceptions and clients may adopt single site, multi-site, virtual site and virtual agent strategies on-demand the day the product is installed – and all for no additional licensing or professional services fees. All upgrades are covered under WFMSG’s standard Software Assurance program.

Some of Community’s unique features are:

  • Five different modeling engines for staff planning
  • Use of agent photos when reporting
  • Schedule optimization wizards
  • An interactive, color coded shift bidding mechanism
  • Rich agent portal that also features a virtual agent shift swap board
  • Targeted streaming messages
  • Optional communications channel management

Delivering Innovation

While the WFMSG organization is rapidly expanding, the Company is still small enough to maintain close and ongoing relationships with their customers. Good ideas from the field quickly find their way to the product management team. From there, an assessment is made about the practicality and marketability of the new feature. If management green lights the idea, prototypes are quickly developed and field tested with actual customers. A good example of this customer driven design is the development of ASAP (Automated Schedule Adjustment Plans). Customers expressed their frustration with the difficulty of reacting to sudden and unanticipated changes in call volume or resources. ASAP serves as a two-way notification gateway that facilitates communication between all contact center personnel enabling almost instantaneous realignment of contact center resources. ASAP may even serve as a built in emergency management system. Managers and analysts can broadcast messages on any one or any combination of the channels within the ASAP framework.

For example, if a need arrives for the re-alignment of agent resources, the center can quickly add, remove or refine their staff based on current conditions using eight categories of reusable strategies. An opt-in solicitation can be presented to targeted groups of agents via desktop pop-up, carrier independent text messaging, or to agent smart phones using the Community Everywhere™ mobile app. With a simple “click” or a code entry the agent can accept or decline an offer for over or undertime. Community will then update the agents’ schedules automatically. Depending on which channel the agent responded on, those agents will receive a confirmation that they have accepted that offer and their schedule has been changed accordingly. Analysts can now execute an unlimited number of condition based strategies resulting in hundreds of schedule changes and communicate those to the agents in one single motion and in just a few minutes. It is a powerful blend of technologies that for the first time in the industry, automates the intraday change management process enabling impact resistant service level delivery, increased agent productivity and more agile opportunity cost control. We believe this particular functionality will become a new standard for all WFM and WFO systems in the future.

WFMSG is Best-of-breed

With over our 10 years of monitoring the WFM vendor space, Pelorus has observed the industry’s strong migration toward the workforce optimization concept and significant industry consolidation. There are benefits to relying on a single vendor for multiple applications but there also downsides. WFMSG is among a small group of vendors that specialize in workforce management. There are obvious advantages to maintaining domain expertise and a technology focus on one discipline, as illustrated by the success of WFMSG and the unique set of benefits available to the users of their Community solution.

About Pelorus Associates

Pelorus Associates is a consultancy that specializes in contact center technology and best practices. We have published 14 comprehensive reports on the state of the industry, co-authored two books on best practices, and published dozens of articles and blog posts. Our clients include virtually all of the major producers of interaction recording and workforce management solutions. In our opinion, WFMSG brings to the table an exceptional combination of products and services that merit the consideration of contact centers seeking to invest in workforce management for the first time or replace legacy systems that are no longer adequate to support today’s multi-skill and multichannel customer care environment.

Dick Bucci, Founder and Chief Analyst

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