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Avaya Upgrades Analytics Module

Contact center software maker Avaya has built TimesTen’s event-processing technology into the latest version of its reporting andanalytics module. The Avaya Operational Analyst application supports real-time data collection and reporting of contact center applications, according to the companies.

The TimesTen system was chosen, the companies said, because of itsscalability and industry-standard application interfaces. Thefeature enhancements position Avaya to compete in the increasinglycomplex world of contact center analytics, said the company.”TimesTen’s real-time performance and near-zero administration are keyto making our business intelligence solutions even more compelling inthe marketplace,” said Jim Smith, Avaya vice president of CRM Solutions.

Operational Adjustments

The companies said that Avaya Operational Analyst is designed to deliverreal-time and historical data, provide a dynamic reportinginfrastructure and offer a complete set of prepackaged and ad hoc reports. The application gathers and compiles information about customer calls, e-mails and Web interactions; agents actively servicing customers; and the status of contacts, agents and statistics regardingservice-level performance.

In the contact center business, the companies contend, success ismeasured by customer satisfaction. To address satisfaction issues, supervisors must have a complete and current view of workflow, agent, channel and customer activity. The information can be used “on thefly” to make adjustments in contact center staffing and operations.

The Castor Oil Cure

Although many contact center experts concur that operational managementis the key to center success, customer service executives have been waryof complex analytics tools that provide data in real-time.

Aberdeen Group research director Guy Creese told CRM Buyer Magazine that –although they know that they need solid data for making operationaldecisions — companies rarely want to make the effort to gather it.”Data quality has, for a long time, been dogged by an attitude that it’ssort of like castor oil,” he said. “It’s good for you, but who wants totake it?”

Mike Trotter of the Purdue Center for Customer Driven Quality told CRM Buyer that one of the reasons for the lag in analytics adoption by call centers may be the training involved.”When you get into new software and technologies,” he said,”organizations must take time to retool the skill sets of their employees.”

Real-Time Is the Real Way

The training issues must be addressed, however, because real-time contactcenter analytics is the future, according to industry analysts. JohnRagsdale, analyst with Giga Information Group, told CRM Buyer that analytics applications must move toward immediate response to demonstrate value to enterprises.

“The level of complexity of these integrations is getting a lot tighter,”he said. “It’s no longer enough to feed data once a week. There must bereal-time checking.”

Aberdeen Group’s Harry Watkins said predictive modeling — based onhistorical data — is better than no analytics at all.”Even better than that is having tools that capture the voice of thecustomers in real-time as they are interacting or when they run into aproblem,” he explained.

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