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UJET Launches Native Workforce Management Solution

Today, at Enterprise Connect 2023 in Orlando, UJET announced a native workforce management (WFM) solution that complements and extends its CCaaS offering. The addition of WFM is another significant milestone as UJET rapidly transitions into a mainstream CX solution. A year ago at this event, UJET became a part of Google’s contact center family, won Best Of Show, and was also selected for the Innovation Showcase.

The partnership with Google went GA last January and is already available in 10 countries (30 countries expected by the end of this year). In addition to Google Cloud’s direct and channel sales, UJET and Google are now represented by 33 system integrators.

Many CCCaaS providers are expanding into adjacencies, especially workforce management. UJET WFM is a cloud-native suite for forecasting, scheduling, and real-time adherence monitoring. At launch, the solution is supported for thousands of agents, but it was architected for scalability, so the number of agents supported will likely increase soon. UJET and Google Cloud both intend to continue supporting other WFO partners as well.

UJET’s solutions are available directly from UJET, but Google will likely be its primary route to market. Google Cloud’s contact center family includes Artificial Intelligence (CCAI), Google Cloud Platform (GCP), ChromeOS for endpoints, and the Google CCAI Platform that UJET powers. Vasili Trirant, UJET’s COO, indicated the company is actively bidding on most of the known current opportunities.

Workforce management solutions are among the less interesting aspects of the contact center. Though I appreciate its importance, it’s largely a circular process of making assumptions and then going back and changing them. Most contact centers start with spreadsheets, and upgrade to a WFM solution as their size and complexity grows, but they rarely seem to abandon the spreadsheets.

Spreadsheets are used to smooth or adjust exceptions in previously collected data. UJET considers exceptions to be the rule, and allows administrators to smooth or adjust their data within its WFM app. This should eliminate the need to export and import data for manual manipulation. That’s one of the big advantages of approaching CCaaS and WFM as a single solution. Both WFM and CCaaS leverage the same data, but it’s often duplicated or manually synchronized. If designed properly, a single solution will leverage available data such as agents, queues, skills, and other operational details. A single database eliminates the risks of accidentally giving the same queue a different name in one system or forgetting to add an agent to the WFM.

I had the opportunity to get a detailed demonstration of UJET WFM, and leveraging a single data source was a recurring theme. For example, during initial setup, the WFM automatically ingests all of the call detail records in the CCaaS platform. UJET expects implementations to be measured in weeks, not months.

Additionally, the opportunities to customize views and reports stood out. The default values that administrators set can be overridden for each queue and other elements. Forecasters can group queues that will be regularly combined to simplify the process with consistent results.

UJET WFM schedule intervals can be 15 minutes, 30 minutes, or one hour. Fifteen minute intervals are designed for gig shifts. The solution also supports separate values for voice and email average handle times and chat concurrency. The forecasting system supports combining different types of voice queues together, or blending queues for voice, chat, and/or emails.

The UI, features and detailed design of UJET WFM did not appear to be a version 1.0 product. I did some digging and found that UJET quietly acquired Authority Software sometime last year. UJET did confirm the acquisition, and indicated it did not want to announce the acquisition until the new WFM was completed. Authority Software was established over 20 years ago, and provides cloud-based scripting, scheduling, and quality monitoring for contact centers.

With Authority now part of UJET, we can expect that PCI and quality management (QM) solutions will be coming. UJET can store audio files in its platform along with transcripts. These are building blocks to QM. The architecture also supports going back to find any recording from any period of time and even getting sentiment analysis. These capabilities will very likely complement, even blur, the Google CCAI Insights capabilities which highlights key moments in a conversation and scores agent and customer sentiment.

UJET shared that key objectives in the design of its WFM solution included ease of use, support for distributed teams, and fast deployment without the need to duplicate or export data. All of this was accomplished with a web UI. That means it’s accessible from any device, including Chromebooks with distributed agents and supervisors. The solution was also, of course, designed and optimized to run in the Google cloud.

With native WFM, UJET and Google Cloud customers can also unify their data and reporting to gain higher confidence, and more consistent performance management across disparate organizations - like multiple BPOs. Of course, customers are not required to use the WFM component. It’s an optional add-on, but that works both ways. Organizations that have a CCaaS without an integrated WFM may want to consider UJET WFM, especially if using other aspects of the Google contact center suite.

It is not uncommon for an organization to upgrade to CCaaS, only to discover how primitive its WFM solution is. Forecasting and scheduling don’t need to be manual processes. It also makes a lot of sense for the CCaaS and WFM to leverage the same data. For UJET, WFM could provide the key differentiator from the other hyperscalers. Amazon also recently expanded into WFM, but it’s less comprehensive. Microsoft has only signaled its interest in CCaaS and WFM.

The development and launch of UJET WFM, available from UJET and Google, is another indicator that the GTM partnership between the two companies is working, and that both companies are fully committed to competing for a greater share of the contact center wallet.

Dave Michels is a contributing editor and analyst at TalkingPointz.