It’s somewhat refreshing to see a vendor at VoiceCon that doesn’t talk about SIP, endpoints, or collaboration. Instead, my briefing with Calabrio on the showroom floor reminds me of how a company continues to strive for innovation and improve the user experience of its products.
Calabrio One is the new moniker for the contact center suite from this Minneapolis-based company. The software aims to unify Calabrio’s various applications — quality management, call recording, workforce optimization, etc. — into one integrated suite, and along with adopting a Web 2.0 architecture, to provide customers the best and most effective user experience.
The user experience is constantly brought up during the briefing. Kristen Jacobsen of marketing mentions it as she gives me an overview of the company and a quick demo of the product. Then as Tim Kraskey, VP of Marketing and Business Development, takes me into a deeper dive of the demo, he also emphasizes the user interface and experience. And finally during a Q&A with CEO Tom Goodmanson, he continues to drive home the point of how the user experience with Calabrio One sets it apart from the competition:
“Workforce Optimization suites have not lived up to their promise,” said Tom Goodmanson, President and CEO of Calabrio. “Though packaged, priced and described as a suite, they fall short when it comes to the common interface, usability and supportability advantages that truly define a suite, and the complexity of the implementations continues to be an obstacle.”
Calabrio One is designed as a software suite of applications that share a look-and-feel, leverage common underlying data, minimize cross-application administration, and are easy to implement, use and manage. Workspace views are personalized by employee role, providing the ability to match the work style of different types of users. For example, agents, supervisors and evaluators can log into their customized workspace to access the tools they need to provide excellent customer service, manage effectively and keep the contact center in line with business goals.
Although primarily known for its WFO application, Calabrio has also updated its speech analytics software to go head-to-head with offerings from competitors. Speech analytics is primed for major growth in contact center applications and Calabrio Speech Analytics is definitely a serious contender in this space. Fundamentally it’s just an efficient indexing engine for audio files. In fact, I’m told that this would work with any collection of say, MP3 audio files (however, speech analytics vendors often encrypt and sometimes compress the audio for PCI compliance). What sets speech analytics products apart are the bells and whistles — what can you do with the metadata of audio? and how easy is it for an everyday contact center supervisor or manager to use?
There’s still a caveat in the announcement: not all of the key products have been engineered into the Calabrio One framework yet. So far only Call Recording and Quality Management are part of One, with others slated to be included throughout this year. I have requested a roadmap for this and will definitely provide an update when I get it.
Update: Kristen Jacobsen was kind to send me the roadmap of products to be included in the Calabrio One framework, in the next major release scheduled for fall 2010: Workforce Management 8.5, Quality Management 8.5, Call Recording 8.5, and Speech Analytics (version TBD, but likely 2.5). But there’s more! Much of the administration, reporting, navigation, and alerting features will be unified, too.