It’s time to raise our expectations of what enterprise software should do for us.

Today, most software solutions only provide part of what we need to make us more efficient and effective. Solutions either focus on providing isolated measurement which must then be interpreted, or on providing us the means to improve but without a measurement. In reality, software should provide both measurement and the means to improve in one unified package.

Today’s enterprises are awash with data. Companies gather data from a variety of sources, and use many types of enterprise software to obtain it. Business intelligence solutions such as Oracle and SAP, along with more modern data visualization applications like Tableau and Domo, are becoming increasingly valued worldwide. These types of software automate the data gathering process, ultimately saving companies money. What it doesn’t factor in is that this data gathering is followed by work from a dedicated team to review the data and subsequently act upon it. This model is slow, costly, and causes us to miss insights because of the timing and discovery methods used.

A lot of time and money ends up being spent on interpreting data that was initially meant to make life easier. The delay between gathering the data and acting on it also means that a company’s efforts are often ineffectual. If it takes several weeks to get from “What is happening?” to “How do we fix it?“, then the action taken simply will not be as effective and many opportunities for improvement will be missed. The link between information and action must be fast and strong, avoiding the middleman all together. Ideally, action should be taken in real-time while data is gathered and interpreted.

Software which successfully achieves real time functionality is, by definition, meeting the criteria which we have laid out. By responding to data in real-time with meaningful ways to act upon that data, software can provide value to its users in the moments that matter most. Additionally, products which continuously measure improvements in the metrics that it seeks to affect will have the ability to inspire confidence in its users. Software that can unify data with action will provide companies with savings in time and money, and an advantage over their competitors.

Call centers offer a great example of the need to combine measurement directly with a means for improvement. Call center teams gather massive amounts of data; employee productivity and engagement, service level optimization, and customer satisfaction captured via net promoter scores and post-call surveys. Call centers also have many applications used by agents to provide service to a customer, which seek to provide a means for improvement without a means for measurement.

We have heard from and are responding to customers, prospects and the greater market that we need to design and deliver software that provides measurement and the means to improve in a unified product. In our specific application we analyze the signals contained within the human voice and store that information as data. The software does not stop there – it analyzes the voice data – pitch, tone, pace, and other conversational behaviors, in real-time and provides speaking guidance to call center agents. The system produces alerts during conversations, letting agents know how to adjust their style to improve the outcome of the call. If we were not able to effectively collect, analyze and deliver key insights to end users in the moment of need our customers would not be able to take full advantage of the value we deliver.

As we have learned, to deliver maximum value enterprise software providers must unify measurement with the means to improve. Companies rely on software to power operational efficiency, productivity and to improve customer experience. Without software that can collect, analyze and deliver critical in-the-moment insights, companies will miss key opportunities, and they will not achieve the continuous improvement required to remain viable in a fast-changing world.

Eli Orkin
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