Zendesk has acquired Tymeshift, a WFM provider that builds solutions exclusively for its platform.
Having previously received funding from Zendesk, Tymeshift has developed a solutions suite that covers the four cornerstones of WFM: forecasting, scheduling, intraday management, and review.
Noting this, Matt Price, Senior Vice President at Zendesk, stated:
Tymeshift has proven to be a comprehensive and intuitive WFM solution, enabling companies to streamline their scheduling, forecasting, and reporting, ultimately leading to better customer service.
Consider its forecasting capabilities. Tymeshift uses AI to automate the process while segmenting the expected traffic across various subject matters.
Not only does this save considerable time, but that segmentation allows WFM teams to take a more granular approach to workforce planning.
For instance, if they expect a flood of one contact type across a particular period, they can offer extra hours to team members who – according to QA data – are excellent at handling those contacts.
Automatic scheduling features within Tymeshift may also help here – taking all that forecasting and agent data to mechanize the process.
Other critical features include historical and real-time reporting, which allow planners to analyze particular staffing decisions and continually evolve WFM processes.
Excited to pull these capabilities into Zendesk, David Birchmier, former Tymeshift CEO and current Director of WFM Strategy at Zendesk, stated:
Having the right people on the right channels, at the right time, all based on real-time data, allowed us to provide immediate value to customers, and I’m looking forward to expanding our impact by officially joining Zendesk.
A press release suggests the expanded impact – which Birchmier references – will involve mixing Tymeshift’s predictive capabilities with Zendesk’s AI to “power the next generation of AI-assisted CX productivity.”
In doing so, the helpdesk leader may signal its intent to move deeper into the WFO market.
A First Step Into WFO
Considering how Zendesk may integrate Tymeshift into its existing portfolio is fascinating.
Indeed, alongside embedding the solution into its platform, the vendor could take Tymeshift’s WFM insights and factor those into its routing algorithms.
For example, consider an agent who has only a few minutes left on their shift. Tymeshift could communicate that to Zendesk’s routing system.
The routing engine may then send the agent a simple ticket.
With such capabilities, Zendesk may allow businesses to optimize breaks and schedule adherence.
That could be a significant contact center win, as the biggest driver of agent stress is: “It’s getting harder to take breaks when needed,” according to a 2023 CCMA study.
Such a use case highlights the opportunity for Zendesk in the WFO space, harnessing new data to open up opportunities for disruptive innovation.
Last year, Zeus Kerravala, Founder and Principal Analyst at ZK Research, somewhat predicted this approach for Zendesk.
“Acquisitions will be the path back to growth for Zendesk,” he said.
We live in a world now where competitive differentiation is based on what you do with data. The question for Zendesk is what do they do with the data they have, and what data do they bring into complement that.
Zendesk could take this strategy further by acquiring a quality assurance (QA) vendor. Indeed, it has already strengthened its ties with QA provider EvaluAgent.
When added to the Zendesk platform, EvaluAgent adds an auto-QA score to every ticket, highlighting hot topics, long pauses, keywords, and more.
With this partnership and its Tymeshift acquisition, Zendesk knocks on the WFO door, behind which stand the likes of Verint, Calabrio, and Playvox.
The move perhaps comes as little of a surprise, given Zendesk’s reputation for employee-centric innovation and the ample room for cross-overs with its existing portfolio.
Again, consider routing. The auto-scores that a player like EvaluAgent brings may allow Zendesk to route tickets to agents that score best for handling particular intents.
Such AI-driven routing is part of the future of WFO, which Zendesk could help to build.
Elsewhere at Zendesk
The acquisition of Tymeshift comes after a busy 18 months for Zendesk.
Last year, the vendor attempted to move into the voice of the customer (VoC) space by snapping up Momentive, which has now revived its SurveyMonkey brand.
However, that deal fell flat shortly before an investor group acquired Zendesk for $10.2BN and privatized the business.
Since, the vendor has made numerous announcements – including new generative AI capabilities, closer ties with Amazon Connect, and a new proactive messaging tool.
Yet, this move is the most significant. It signals the start of an expansion for Zendesk, opens up new routes to market, and enables the brand to meet more customer needs. That is critical in this age of CX convergence.