InVision Software and Vocalcom, an internationally operating CRM provider, are joining their distribution channels. Since December, InVision Enterprise WFM, a web-based solution to optimise staff schedules, has been part of Vocalcom’s portfolio. The companies’ distribution partnership will include all of Vocalcom’s locations in Europe as well as Argentina and Brazil while InVision contributes the foothold it has on the entire American continent thanks to its Chicago branch, opened in the middle of 2005.
Peter Bollenbeck, CEO of the InVision group: “By collaborating with Vocalcom, InVision is going to strengthen the dominant position it holds internationally. We expect to see a significant gain in our worldwide trading efforts and an increase in brand recognition especially with regard to the call centre market. Vocalcom is a well-positioned and competent partner, a company that has made a name for itself in the field of web-based call centre technologies.”
“In a number of industries, the importance of customer communication has increased over the last years,” says Günter Dicks, InVision VP Business Development Central Europe. A noticeable increase has been observed not only in the number of contact centres but also in the range of technical alternatives. As a result, employees who handle customer requests must have a broad range of skills in order to provide great service. Moreover, staff schedules have long since ceased to comply with any fixed pattern, making staff scheduling more complicated. Studies show, however, that only few companies adequately respond to these challenges by implementing professional solutions. “This is where InVision’s software comes into play. By developing the InVision Enterprise WFM solution we have provided a powerful and user-friendly workforce management tool that guarantees a fast ROI without compromising our first-rate quality or service,” says Günter Dicks.
John Holst, CEO of Vocalcom: “We are looking forward to collaborating with one of the leading workforce management specialists. InVision’s solutions add a valuable component to Vocalcom’s product range: InVision is the state-of-the-art response to all issues revolving around scheduling in call centres. The system meets even the most complicated requirements and is available in all the languages our customers speak. Cost-efficient workforce management is a key factor when it comes to successful CRM and customer communication.”
Vocalcom develops and distributes ASP-based platforms and virtual phone networks for multi-channel contact centres. Vocalcom’s customers include Adecco Services, Albert Heijn, AOL, Arvato Services, BNP Paribas, Citibank, Crédit Agricole and Sony Music.
After a successful presentation at Call Center Expo in Birmingham, InVision has launched the new generation of its workforce management system. InVision Enterprise WFM is a solution that helps businesses across industries to optimize the way their staff is scheduled. Its new and improved time management components make it even easier to leverage and coordinate requirement forecast, staff scheduling, time management and monitoring. Besides, the solution now contains an additional module which monitors all scheduled and actual activities in real time. Another new addition is a feature that revolutionizes the way complex activity structures are optimized. Workforce management (WFM) will not only make the staff schedule more efficient but also simplify all processes involved in scheduling.
Regardless of the industry and the size of your company, the way your employees are scheduled is a factor critical for success. To improve your efficiency, it is indispensable to rely on a solution that will take care of scheduling for all your departments, especially when you consider rising costs and the need to take customer requirements into account. Peter Bollenbeck, CEO of the InVision Software Group, explains: “Conventional staff planning systems simply don’t do the trick when you want to optimize working hours in keeping with a staff requirement, especially when we’re talking about complex environments. For a scheduling procedure to be economically sound, we need flexible tools that meet all the challenges and deliver fast results. The new InVision Enterprise WFM delivers these results.”
Efficient staff scheduling requires integrated time management that is equally flexible as employees’ working hours. Monitoring and managing working hours is closely intertwined with the way your staff can be scheduled. If these aspects are not well coordinated, scheduling becomes tricky business. The more flexible your staff’s working hours are, the greater the challenge becomes to correctly calculate and process employees’ work accounts. InVision Enterprise WFM will equip you with the functions that enable you to seamlessly integrate time management into all WFM processes. Processing flexible working hours will thus be just as easy and reliably accurate as scheduling your staff.
Any scheduling procedure, no matter how well it is tailored to the requirement, can become useless if there is no way to tell whether the schedule is being complied with. That’s the reason InVision is offering a completely revised module which will enable you to monitor your employees’ current activities and compare them to the schedule. AdherenceMonitor gives you at-a-glance information in real time. It will highlight any deviations from the schedule and ensure that the schedule is adhered to, that need for assistance is identified, and work processes are optimized.
The more heterogeneous employees’ skill profiles and responsibilities are, the more complicated it gets to optimize all their activities. To deal with this, many software providers choose the simulation approach, which is a very time-consuming method, or will cut up a shift into sequences to schedule employees for one activity at a time. In many cases, this leads to the actual staff need regarding individual activities being ignored. That way, ideal staffing cannot be guaranteed; often overstaffing is inevitable. InVision has solved this problem by introducing the Multi-Activity feature. This feature enables you to determine your staff requirement while taking into account all available staff capacities, including their skills and the activities they can carry out. By pooling skills and activities, you can minimize your staff needs: the requirement for specific activities can be covered by scheduling employees who are qualified for fewer activities. Our specifically developed, revolutionary calculation approach will make sure that Multi-Activity scheduling is not only more precise but also faster than a sequential scheduling procedure, and at least 50 times faster than the simulation approach.
The InVision Infothek is an integrated tool that will simplify both the scheduling process and communication with your employees. This portal allows your employees to select and manage their working hours, request days off, schedule absences, and print various reports. A new addition is the interactive shift exchange. This feature enables your employees to trade shifts with colleagues. The system will ensure that trade are not approved unless they comply with your scheduling rules. Infothek will reduce the administrative effort and make sure that information is processed and forwarded in a faster and streamlined manner, thus cutting cost and improving the productivity both for your staff and for your scheduling routine as a whole.
InVision Enterprise WFM is a modular system designed to optimize staff scheduling. InVision has more than 160 customers worldwide, among them global players such as ABN AMRO, BMW, Deutsche Telekom, H&M, IKEA, Vodafone and T-Mobile. Through its requirement-driven scheduling approach, InVision Enterprise WFM achieves a significant improvement in staff deployment and has been proven to reduce personnel-related expenses by up to 25%. The solution is completely web-based and comprises various modules which cover all areas of company-wide workforce management. This includes the requirement forecast, capacity and staff planning, employee self-service, time management, real-time schedule updating, and real-time monitoring.
InVision Software will showcase a revolutionary new approach to Workforce Management at ACCE (Seattle, WA) with its ground-breaking Multi-Activity Scheduling solution. This unique feature delivers productivity and efficiency improvements for multi-skill Contact Centers in a fraction of the time and with a fraction of the effort required by previous-generation systems.
InVision’s Multi-Activity Scheduling (MAS) solution optimizes staffing requirements using an advanced patent-pending optimization techniques. The MAS approach to skill based scheduling offers major advantages over traditional adapted-single-skill or simulation based scheduling. InVision MAS overcomes the inflexibility of alternative approaches by taking into account the full range of employee skills and applying them to the needs of the Contact Center dynamically.
MAS ensures that multi-skill efficiencies are fully realized by generating schedules based on individual skills, thus maximizing service level achievement. In addition, employees benefit from additional job variety which can be difficult to achieve without skills-based scheduling.
From the planner’s point of view, MAS ensures multi-skilled employees remain occupied for greater periods of each shift, helping to increase productivity and other KPIs. This is achieved without the complexity, and overhead setup, and maintenance associated with earlier simulation-based systems. The time required to generate skills-based schedules using MAS is a fraction of what earlier systems required.
A Boost for Contact Center Work/Life balance
In addition, InVision offers Interactive Scheduling, a feature which allows employees to make choices regarding shifts. This capability has proven to be a very powerful influence on motivation and retention. Employees can make requests for shifts based on business requirements. InVision customers report upwards of 80% of shift requests are granted, thus fulfilling the needs of both employee and employer. Interactive Scheduling is enabled by InVision’s Infothek module, a browser-based agent portal which also enables self service for shift swaps, holiday requests and more.
“Contact Center operators are increasingly looking for ways to improve employee retention and satisfaction by promoting good work/life balance and taking employee work preferences into account,” commented Andreas Bopp, InVision Vice President Business Development North America. “While these are important considerations, previously Contact Centers have found it hard to integrate these objectives with the conflicting drivers of increasing efficiency and improving customer service. InVision offers a route to all three requirements with a strong and tangible pay-off for Contact Center employers and employees.”
Citing global blue-chip customers Andreas Bopp said “InVision customers have reported a wide range of benefits from implementing InVision WFM, ranging from significant improvements in service levels and abandonment rate, to increased planning effectiveness and dramatic reductions in staff attrition.”
A number of customers such as KarstadtQuelle (a major German retailer using InVision Enterprise WFM to schedule 5000 employees) have even benefited in terms of recruitment. – Call center agents have actively chosen to work for the company instead of other employers, simply because of the level of agent interaction available with the InVision solution.
About InVision Software
Formed in 1995, InVision Software has established itself by gaining a significant market share in continental Europe. InVision is rapidly increasing its footprint in the North American marketplace by developing and implementing products designed to forecast, schedule, manage and monitor employees in the most efficient and cost-effective manner. The InVision customer base currently includes global brands such as ABN AMRO, BMW, Vodafone, Deutsche Telekom, Sky and T-Mobile. A truly global player, InVision has a local presence in Chicago IL, Germany, France, Scandinavia, Belgium, Netherlands, Luxemburg, Spain, Italy, Switzerland and Austria as well as the UK and Ireland.
InVision Software provides a comprehensive workforce management solution, enabling customers to optimize every aspect of the scheduling process. The web-based software significantly reduces personnel costs by matching the number of staff to the specific requirement of the business, thus preventing under and over staffing.
As a workforce management solution, InVision Enterprise WFM easily integrates with existing IT systems, and interfaces with a wide variety of external systems to produce forecasts and enable data exchange. InVision’s solution has been successfully implemented more than 480 times across businesses of varying sizes, ranging from 25 employees to tens of thousands of employees.
In February two tradeshows will take place concurrently: the CallCenterWorld in Berlin and the Alcatel Forum in Paris. From the 9th to the 12th of February CallCenterWorld will inform of current trends in the call-center sector, and from the 10th to the 12th of Febrauary the Alcatel Forum will inform of business communication solutions and applications. InVision Software AG will be represented at both tradeshows because of their important market position both in Germany and in Europe, but also in order to set the course for the year 2004.
The software firm from Ratingen will make use of both events to introduce their newest release of their workforce management system, which has incorporated two new modules and many new features. The InVision Staff Planning System (SPS) is completely web-based and includes apart from a tool for systematic master data management, also modules for the scheduling of requirements, capacity, shifts and monitoring, and also for taking into account the employees’ requests when it comes to scheduling.
The new forecasting module Prophet that can be found in release 4.2 supersedes ForecastPro. Its web-based user interface and new features make it more user-friendly and allow a fully controlled processing of the data relevant to scheduling, plus also a very precise forecasting procedure. The Desk Manager function organizes the assignment of employees or teams to their workplaces and takes care of the workplace management on a daily basis. With the newly implemented Shift Exchange employees can swap shifts with colleagues. This feature belongs to the Infothek, the place where employees can express their shift requests, and it contributes to a more interest-oriented staff planning and to high employee motivation. Release 4.2 has been successfully implemented at various clients’ sites since Fall 2003. Apart from its user friendliness, it is characterized by its stability and precise planning results.
InVision Software, a software company specialising in company-wide workforce management (WFM), has launched a fully-owned subsidiary in the Netherlands. The subsidiary, InVision Software B.V., started business at the end of June. The opening of its Utrecht office is another milestone in the realisation of InVision’s internationalisation strategy, bringing to 12 the number of countries in which InVision has a branch.
So far, InVision’s Benelux customers used to be served by the German headquarters. In addition, a distribution partnership has existed since 2003 with Newtel Essence (former Brickworks B.V.). “Our product’s success in all of Europe and the increasing number of customers in the Netherlands and in Belgium have made this step an obvious choice,” says Günter Dicks, Vice President Business Development Central Europe. “We simply realised that a Benelux subsidiary was the only way to ensure the level of local service that we want to provide. It will enable us to better take into account the unique factors present in each country.” Another motivation for the launch was the enormous market potential in the fields of commerce, financial services as well as transportation and logistics. “The fact that the Infothek module, our central module for employee participation, is already available in Dutch is an important advantage,” Dicks adds.
InVision Software B.V.
3508 AB Utrecht
Phone: +31 (0) 30 210-6422
Fax: +31 (0) 30 210-6666
The new headquarters of InVision Software, Inc. will service both the US and Canadian territories with further bases planned for the west and south to be nearer to those specific markets. The launch forms part of InVision’s international strategy targeting any business with a staff scheduling requirement.
The InVision Enterprise WFM is a web-based solution enabling businesses to forecast, control and schedule their workforce in real-time to match requirements with capacity. InVision’s software solution has been proved to reduce staff-related costs by up to 25 per cent.
Formed in 1995, InVision Software has established itself with a dominant market share in Germany with products designed to control and monitor staff scheduling in the most efficient and cost-effective manner. The customer base currently includes global brands such as ABN Amro, Vodafone, Deutsche Telekom and T Mobile. The recently launched UK & Ireland head office is based in Derry, Northern Ireland, other European locations include Germany, France, Scandinavia, Benelux, Spain, Italy and Austria.
Peter Bollenbeck, managing director of InVision Software commented, “As the tenth anniversary year for InVision, the opening of the US office demonstrates how far we have come. This is a real milestone in our company’s development and with an impressive client list, a strong foothold in Europe and 110 employees, InVision continues to go from strength to strength.”
InVision Software aim to significantly reduce personnel costs by matching the number of staff to the specific requirement of the business, thus preventing under and over staffing.
As a workforce management solution, the InVision software is easily integrated into existing IT systems and can incorporate any external requirement. It has been successfully implemented across businesses of varying sizes, ranging from 25 employees to 28,000.
InVision Software Ltd.
10 South Riverside Plaza
Chicago, Illinois 60606
Tel.: +1 (312) 474-7767
Fax: +1 (312) 474-6099
Since the beginning of January, Michaela Niss has taken up Public Relations for InVision Software. She is responsible for external as well as internal enterprise communication. Beside the intensification of the company’s public and media relations, editing the corporate internet presence adds up to her job.
Michaela Niss, born in 1975, graduated in Journalism and Communication, with emphasis on Public Relations, as well as Newer History and Romanic Languages in Bochum in October 2002. Her thesis examines communication processes and use of media in the context of knowledge management. It describes these on the basis of a case study in selected companies. Apart from various internships Michaela Niss gained experiences at today's Vodafone Information Systems during her study.
InVision Software AG, leading German provider of staff planning software for call centers, can look back at a successful business year 2002. Despite the unfavorable economic climate, the company was nevertheless able to increase their turnover by 22 percent compared to the previous year, and produce a profit margin of well over 10%.
By gaining new customers, particularly in the financial services sector and telecommunication, InVision promoted a positive economic development in Germany. Furthermore, last year saw an increase in international sales. While international sales in 2001 were barely a quarter of the total turnover, in 2002 they made up over 35 percent of the total turnover.
In consequence of the business environment, business policy was rather modest. However, a very precise analysis of the market and quietly optimistic forecasts led to the right decision. An account which has risen: "Our strategy to keep costs consistently low, while at the same time investing in the growth of sales has proven to be a success", as chief executive officer of InVision Software AG, Peter Bollenbeck has happily established. "Thus for 2003 we are in an even better position than the competition than we were before."
On March 6, 2003, InVision Software SAS, Paris, and NextiraOne France finalized their strategic cooperation agreement. In the former Alcatel subsidiary, InVision was able to win an additional internationally active reseller with a leading market position.
NextiraOne’s dominance in the French market and the functional supplementation of their e-business solutions with InVision´s workforce management software make NextiraOne the ideal sales partner. “NextiraOne has many years of experience in the Contact Center environment and excellent contacts. We therefore expect a significantly higher sales revenue potential. The connection with existing Alcatel customers is of particular importance”, explains Peter Bollenbeck, Chief Executive Officer of InVision.
NextiraOne France evolved from the distribution and service department of Alcatel and is a subsidiary of global player NextiraOne. As the leading supplier of e-business communication solutions, NextiraOne France has a market share of over 50 per cent of the French call center integration market.
The collaboration with NextiraOne will allow InVision to consolidate its strong position in the French market and to profit from synergies on an international level. NextiraOne expands its portfolio through the addition of InVision’s software products, enabling it to offer call centers a more comprehensive service package.
From 6th to 8th May, Europe’s biggest IT market for trade, EuroCIS opens its doors. Here, InVision Software AG, leading provider of workforce management systems in the fields of customer contact and customer service centers, will present their staff planning system for the first time to a diverse trade fair audience.
Optimum staff planning is not only of importance to customer service by telephone, but also direct contact with the customer. In particular, discussions about flexible opening times and lack of customer focus demonstrate the important role played by staff planning which is tailor-made to customer flows, in the success of a company. “However, strategic staff planning is often overlooked as the crucial key to success in commerce“, describes Günter Dicks, Business Development Manager at InVision, of great value to many small and medium sized commercial enterprises, in terms of staff planning.
A software-supported approach helps staff planners to organize employee scheduling around the flows of customers, and to adapt to the current requirement. The Staff Planning System from InVision is a modular solution for requirement based staff planning. It contains requirement and capacity scheduling, shift and staff planning, reporting as well as modules designed to integrate the employees into the scheduling process. As a purely web-based application, the staff planning software is particularly suited to companies with an affiliated structure.
EuroCIS is the biggest international trade fair for communication, information and safety technology in the commercial sector. It is an integral part of the EuroShop and takes place every three years in Düsseldorf. This year, approximately 200 national and international companies are exhibiting, and more than 6,000 specialist visitors are expected.