Hosted AKA SaaS WFM Software May Be the Answer for the Growing Needs of Your Business
Hosted solutions, better known as software as a service (SaaS), allow software to be transported through the Internet, and its benefits and popularity are known far and wide. For example, THINKstrategies Inc. and Cutter Consortium claim that over ninety percent of customers who purchase SaaS WFM software are content with their system purchases. SaaS provides an appealing substitute for mortgage companies that desire the functionality of an enterprise workforce management system, the ability to scale software to reflect the needs of their business and steady, foreseeable operational expenses.
Software as a service has been on the market for more than 10 years. Now that most security concerns have been minimized, firms such as mortgage companies are able to put the burden of distributing and sustaining software on the vendor, through the use of hosted or SaaS WFM software. Organizations large and small frequently utilize multiple SaaS services, with most relating to computing and hosting, trailed by those in the storage needs category. SaaS allows businesses to be more competitive in their marketplaces, without a lack of technology keeping them back.
The guidelines below may assist you in deciding if SaaS WFM software is the right choice for your mortgage company or other business.
Before making a decision about any software, consider all the factors required and costs associated with on-premises installations, and compare that price to the costs and advantages of using a hosted application. Even after the purchase, there can be additional fees when choosing in-house software, like monitoring, licensing, support and upgrades, customization, deployment, development, and maintenance. Additional fees such as these can increase costs above what smaller firms are able to pay. Companies are choosing SaaS WFM software and other hosted apps over in-house hand over fist because of the lower startup costs.
IT — Forget About It
With SaaS applications, companies don’t have to be concerned about the installation and maintenance of multiple different software platforms. Instead, they can focus on their core business. A major factor of SaaS WFM solutions is that it enables you to not have to worry about the hassles that can come with a WFM system. Leave the hassle of IT to your WFM vendor. Several SaaS systems tackle requirements for projects quicker than in-house workforce solutions. This trait is invaluable when it comes to creating niche applications.The fast, easy to use tools offered by a SaaS WFM software solution grant you the capability that allow you to create business ideas into applications that will enable:
- Expansion into new markets
- Unique offerings
- Better service to your existing customer base
The bottom line is, choosing SaaS will save you money, increase business opportunities, improve customer service and increase flexibility. Instead of spending money on your IT staff and infrastructure, invest those dollars back into your core business or in new profit generating opportunities.
SaaS — The Pluses
Before deciding to purchase SaaS WFM software, it’s important to make sure that what you buy will help your business increase profits and cut costs. Most packages include lots of tools, but the features listed below are what you need to make sure are included:
- Forecasting and Scheduling Software – Regardless of whether your software is hosted or premise based, good forecasting and scheduling software is the most important feature of any solution, and will be what gives your business the largest return on investment. Make sure they are top of the line. Without accurate and effective forecasting, you might have a difficult time reaching your desired service level goals.
- Pricing Fluctuations to Match Seasonal Trends – Pricing should be set depending on how many agents are being scheduled. If not, cost savings can’t be experienced.
- A Separate and Unique Database – WFM customers should each possess their own individual databases. Software doesn’t have multiple tenants (more than one customer using a shared data model). For instance, if one customer undergoes a security breach, problems with software or issues with their database, other WFM customers won’t experience them too. In addition, upgrades can be implemented independently from one another, and hot fixes can be applied to only the customer(s) that require them.
- High-Level Equipment and Redundancies – The software doesn’t contain a single failure point, because redundancy has been built into every level (power, network, servers, etc.).
- Test Environments – This feature should be configurable.
- Advanced Security Features – Secure software is a feature of key importance when it comes to SaaS. Search for a SaaS system that is hardened physically. You also want a system with a firewall featuring anti-intrusion capabilities. Because mortgage companies commonly comply with industry and/or government requirements, you will want a Statement on Auditing Standards Number 70 Type 1 security level. This is essential for mortgage companies, financial service businesses, healthcare and pharmaceutical companies, and anyone who takes credit cards online. This security level makes sure that only authorized persons are allowed to enter the data center. In addition, it makes sure that electrical and mechanical failures don’t result in power outages, smoke detection, cooling and power levels are constantly monitored, inspected and if need be serviced to guarantee optimal performance, and that connection to the internet performs smoothly.
- Advanced Routing Technology/Multiple Tier 1 Providers – If a network is quality, it will have several Tier-1 providers. If your main carrier should fail, service will be transferred immediately to another provider so that your business isn’t interrupted.
- Monitoring – Performance should be constantly monitored, and the necessary hardware added as needed. Bandwidth should be treated with the same scrutiny. SaaS makes it possible to buy a WFM solution that will grow as your business grows. It’s cheap to begin using, costs less, and negates the strain of having to worry about IT issues. Be sure to inspect every facet of a software solution, whether installed on premises or in the cloud as with SaaS WFM software, to ensure you don’t waste company time, money or other resources.
Pipkins, Inc. is a leading supplier of workforce management software and services to the call center industry and offers tools to increase agent retention. @HomeVantage simplifies At-Home Agent implementation and offers an agent self-scheduling feature that gives agents control to manage their schedules with an easy-to-use checkout method. Pipkins’ Agent Notification tool offers easy to use automated notifications for scheduled activities and non-adherence conditions. Pipkins’ WebAccess empowers agents to manage day-to-day activities through online productivity tools that allow agents to view schedules on a real-time basis. Pipkins’ systems forecast and schedule more than 300,000 agents in over 500 locations across all industries worldwide.