[View Past Issues] May 19, 2014
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New SupportIndusry.com White Paper: Omnichannel Customer Support for the B2B Organization

Today, we are seeing the next revolution in support, from multi-channel to Omnichannel: organizations and customers alike now want integrated, seamless solutions that reduce time and costs.

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Hyatt Selects Unify for Global Reservations and Customer Support Centers
Hyatt has selected Unify, formerly known as Siemens Enterprise Communications, and systems integrator Arrow S3, a division of Arrow Electronics Inc., to deliver a world-class contact center solution intended to enable Hyatt to improve responsiveness, streamline internal processes, and help its agents embrace a new way to work that is more flexible through improved analytics and multi-media capabilities. Arrow S3 partnered with Unify to deploy OpenScape Contact Center and to provide ongoing maintenance. OpenScape Contact Center will be deployed to 750 agents in three locations in the United States.

8x8 and KnoahSoft Partner to Deliver Out-of-the-Box, Cloud-Based Contact Center Quality Management Solution
8x8, Inc,, a provider of cloud contact center, unified communications and collaboration solutions, and KnoahSoft, a workforce optimization (WFO) solutions provider, announced a partnership to deliver a bundled, cloud-based contact center solution. The new offering combines KnoahSoft's enterprise-level interaction recording, quality management, coaching, learning, and analytics functionality with 8x8's market leading multi-channel customer interaction management capabilities to help users better optimize call center staff performance.

NTT Communications Selects Genesys Customer Experience Platform
Genesys announced that the company has recently entered into a partnership agreement with NTT Communications Corporation to deploy the Genesys Customer Experience Platform in the Arcstar Contact Center, a cloud-based contact center service that NTT Communications launched on May 2nd, 2014. By integrating the Genesys Platform, NTT Communications’ Arcstar Contact Center is a robust cloud service that provides highly reliable contact center capabilities with rich functions that can be activated rapidly. The Arcstar Contact Center is based on NTT Communications’ Enterprise Cloud, a cloud service, and Arcstar Universal One, a VPN service, providing enterprises robust security and highly reliable services that can be monitored 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.


Learn How to Balance Metrics & Quality to Deliver Superior Customer Service

To truly focus on the customer experience and deliver high quality, consistent service, there needs to be a balance between metrics and quality. It takes a combination of metrics, monitoring, coaching, training, and effectively communicating to consistently deliver a high quality customer experience that you can measure and promote. Additionally, it is important to know that delivering “excellent customer experience” does not require perfection. In fact, a focus on perfection often leads to customer dissatisfaction and negative employee morale. 

Watch this session to take the imperfect path to excellence and learn:

  • The difference between efficiency and effectiveness (value) metrics
  • Where to focus to create a quality customer experience (tips on call, incident, and knowledge monitoring)
  • How to achieve the balance of efficiency and quality (reporting, quality monitoring, coaching, and training)
  • The skills that differentiate EXTRAORDINARY customer service from good or great service.

Take Aways include:

  • Sample reports
  • Quality score card templates
  • Check list for skills that differentiate levels of service

Watch the webinar today!

U.S. Consumers Have Little Security Concern With BYOD
Despite the rise in the use of personal devices for business use, U.S. consumers are showing scant concern for security when it comes to bring your own device (BOYD). According to a recent survey by Gartner, Inc. a quarter of business users admitted to having had a security issue with their private device in 2013, but only 27 percent of those respondents felt obliged to report this to their employer. The survey was conducted in the fourth quarter of 2013 with 995 full or part time workers in the U.S., all of whom use a private device for work purposes.

The threat of cyber attacks on mobile devices is increasing and can result in data loss, security breaches and compliance/regulatory violations. One of the biggest challenges for IT leaders is making sure that their users fully understand the implications of faulty mobile security practices and to get users and management to adhere to essential steps which secure their mobile devices. For many organizations, overcoming BYOD security challenges is a full-time task, with a host of operational issues.

Nearly half of the survey respondents said they spend more than one hour each day using private devices for work purposes. The data also suggests that around half of respondents regularly use their devices for social as well as productivity tasks. This has different implications. It might point to employees considering their personal devices as necessary tools for their jobs. On the other hand, it also points to work-related documents regularly being transferred to private devices, leaving the security of the company network. In fact, 20 percent of respondents also stated that they do access data behind the workplace firewall using private devices.

The key to having a secure device is making sure it is well-managed. Enterprises are being compelled to make decisions about whether or not to allow employee-owned devices to access their enterprise's network and information. Failure to embrace BYOD will force it underground and into the shadows, where it will have the potential to publicly expose private data and open the enterprise to a data breach situation.

In our survey, 26 percent of respondents said their employer required use of BYOD devices and 15 percent had signed a BYOD agreement. A third of respondents have employers who are aware but don’t have a policy in place, and the rest said their employer was either not aware or they didn't know. This means 59 percent of survey respondents who regularly use their private devices for work have not yet signed a formal agreement with their employer.

Organizations that do decide to allow employee-owned devices need to develop solid BYOD policies based on their business requirements and risk profiles. At the moment, BYOD laptop, smartphone and tablet security policies are still incomplete in many companies, and contain gaps and other inconsistencies that don't measure up to business obligations. Many enterprises (especially in the smaller and midsize sector) lack the proper organizational structures to create these policies and must reorganize to provide the necessary governance for a successful mobility implementation.

For a BYOD program to work there has to be strict policy enforcement and compliant users - an issue that CIOs and IT directors are grappling with right now. All policy agreements have to be created with clear guidelines for cases of security breaches.

More...


IDC Lowers IT Spending Forecasts Due to Emerging Markets and Mobile Device Slowdown
According to the just released International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Black Book, worldwide IT spending will increase by 4.1% in constant currency this year, down from IDC’s previous forecast of 4.6% and also down from last year’s growth of 4.5%.  According to the new report, IT spending has been volatile since the beginning of the year, with macroeconomic wild cards including the crisis in Ukraine and the slowdown in China adding to the general sense of uncertainty which continues to impact business confidence and investment.

Pent-up demand should, however, drive a more positive capital spending cycle in the second half of this year. In mature economies, organizations will take advantage of a more stable business climate to replace ageing infrastructure including servers, storage and network equipment. In some emerging markets, stabilization of the economy after the slowdown that began in mid-2013 could drive a period of catch-up spending, especially in China where IT spending has cooled significantly over the past 12 months.

Mobile Device Slowdown and Exchange Rates Will Drive IT Spending Growth Lower, While Cloud Continues to Disrupt Traditional IT Budgets

Aside from macroeconomic wild cards, the other weak spot in the IT market since the previous quarter has been slowing growth in mobile devices (smartphones and tablets), due partly to price erosion and a more mature installed base. IDC has lowered its forecast for total IT spending growth this year from 4.6% to 4.1% in constant currency, primarily as a result of downward revisions to mobile device forecasts. Based on average exchange rates from Q1 2014, this will translate into US dollar growth of just 3.4% as currency volatility continues to negatively impact US-based IT vendors. In 2013, the IT market  increased by 4.5% in constant currency, but just 2.5% in US dollars. Excluding mobile phones, growth in 2014 will accelerate slightly from 2.9% to 3.1% (constant currency) due to the expected pickup in infrastructure investment and the related downstream effect on IT services revenues.

Around 10% of software spending will have moved to the Cloud by the end of 2014, while Infrastructure as a Service will represent 15% of all spending on servers and storage. While this is creating significant disruption for IT vendors targeting traditional IT budgets, it is also driving equally significant short-term opportunities for those vendors that successfully capture mindshare for their Cloud-based solutions.

Meanwhile, both Cloud and traditional spending will be driven by the underlying pent-up demand for server and storage capacity, driven in turn by the previous, explosive growth of mobile devices that are now generating an ever-increasing volume of data. The opportunity to extract value from this data is driving strong demand for analytics tools and Big Data solutions. Many organizations will choose a gradual approach for their journey to the Cloud, with security, reliability and regulatory factors in mind, implementing hybrid and private cloud solutions. As a result, both Cloud and traditional IT spending will benefit from these drivers in the next 2-3 years.

Positive Momentum in Most Mature Economies

Western Europe will post growth of 2% in constant currency terms as most countries continue to shake off the debt crisis and return to a more stable business climate. Similarly, business confidence is gradually improving in the US, after the sequester and government shutdown of last year. Server and storage spending will rebound to positive growth after last year’s slowdown, while IT services growth will accelerate to more than 2%. In Canada, IT spending growth will accelerate from 3.3% last year to 5% in 2014, due to stronger spending on PCs, servers and storage. Japan is a different story; the pent-up demand was largely worked off in 2013, when the government’s deflation-busting policies boosted business confidence and when IT buyers moved to take advantage of lower prices before new taxes came into effect at the beginning of 2014. As a result, IT spending in Japan increased by 3.4% last year, but will decline by 1% in 2014.

Emerging Markets are Volatile, Downside Risks Have Increased

Emerging markets are more volatile, with macroeconomic forecasts having been lowered since January. In Central & Eastern Europe, the crisis in Ukraine has added to the sense of business uncertainty, and IDC now expects IT spending in Russia to decline by almost 1% this year after a similar decline in 2013. The slowdown in Russia will inevitably continue to have an impact on other countries in the region, although the recovery in exports to Western Europe is a positive factor. Inflation remains problematic in many emerging markets, including Latin America, India, Indonesia and Turkey.

China remains a wild card. On the one hand, there is significant pent-up demand for IT spending after the slowdown of 2013. On the other hand, some economists are now forecasting that GDP growth could dip below 7% in 2014 and 2015. A hard landing in the real estate sector could yet derail the expected short-term recovery in IT spending, if businesses choose to once again delay their capital spending upgrade and expansion plans. Assuming the economy remains relatively stable, however, the pent-up demand will drive IT spending growth back to 10% in 2014, before another likely slowdown in 2015.

More...


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Customer Experience: The Rise of Empathy
As companies increasingly focus on customer experience, they will recognize that their organizations lack a deep understanding and appreciation for their customers. It's not a flaw in the people, just a natural result of how organizations operate. To break this pattern, companies need to learn to "guide with empathy," one of the principles of what the Temkin Group calls People-Centric Experience Design. This article presents a few steps for putting this concept into action.
Full Article...


Where Are All the Happy Agents?

You’ve heard it before, and I’ll say it again; happy agents make happy customers! Simple enough, right? So where are all the happy agents? Chances are good that you already have happy agents inside your contact center. But do you know who they are?
Full Article...


The Top 8 Reasons Your Best People Are About To Quit -- And How You Can Keep Them

Why are almost 2.5 million Americans a month these days – or about 30 million a year – willing to quit their jobs? There’s an old saying: people quit their bosses, not their jobs. If you want to keep the most talented members of your team, it’s time you started looking in the mirror and realize the biggest reasons why people quit have to do with you.
Full Article...


The Trust Agenda
As the global economic recovery gathers momentum, optimism among CEOs is increasing. The post-recession period challenged many companies, and their chief executives focused their attention on survival. But they are now switching into growth mode. Today, smart CEOs are increasingly seeking “good growth,” aligned with business ethics and sustainability.
Full Article...

BYOD may be SOP, but it's still a headache for IT
Just because BYOD has become standard operating procedure in most workplaces doesn't mean the practice has stopped causing challenges for IT.
Full Article...

Successful Business Process Management: What You Need to Know to Get Results
by Paula K. Berman

Companies - especially more complex organizations - require standard, documented processes and procedures to achieve high levels of quality and productivity. Too few, and inefficiency ensues; too many, and creativity is stifled. Yet it can be difficult to find training on process improvement - and the range of complicated tools available could make even the most experienced professional's head spin. Successful Business Process Management fills the gap, providing a succinct, accessible overview of the field. This book includes step-by-step instructions explain how to achieve success with your business process management initiative.

Click here for more information!

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Free Research on the Service and Support Industry
Are you looking for the latest research available (for free!) on the service and support industry? Then check out the research section of SupportIndustry.com. Some of the current offerings available to members are:

  • 2013 People Issues in Customer Support
  • 2012 Service and Support Metrics Survey
  • The 2012 Service & Support Snapshot: 5 Support Trends That Will Change Your Business in 2012
  • Research Insight: Self-Service Support
  • Research Insight: Average Speed to Answer, Wait Time and Handle Time
  • Research Insight: Effectively Measuring Customer Loyalty
  • Research Insight: Cost Per Contact (Phone & E-Mail)
  • Research Insight: First Contact Resolution

All of these reports can be accessed by clicking here...

Visit the SupportIndustry.com Blog
The SupportIndustry.com Blog is another way stay on top of the service and support industry. Our blog, updated at least once a week, is dedicated to covering the latest topics related to service and support, call center management, customer experience management, web-based support, help desks, workforce optimization and more.
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