Plantronics upgrades analytics in Plantronics Manager Pro 3.9 monitoring service

While Plantronics Manager Pro originally had only an Asset Analysis analytics capability, the new version adds Usage Analysis, Conversation Analysis and Acoustic Analysis.

Plantronics is announcing a significant upgrade in its Plantronics Manager Pro v3.9 monitoring service. Using data from headsets, the service provides operational, historical, and contextual data on voice interactions and headset usage patterns to evaluate trends, head off potential problems, and improve customer interaction.

“This is a big jump in the analytics capability,” said Mike Holmlund, Senior Manager of Applications and Services at Plantronics. “The initial set of analytics we launched with when we monetized this service last May focused on asset management. These take us in a new direction. They determine how users interact with their devices, and how they engage with customers on the other end of the line. We can now determine when there is overtalk or silence in a conversation. These analytics also allow for the optimization of employee performance for KPI.”

Holmlund said that this evolution is a key evolution in the transition of what started out as a purely hardware-focused company.

“This is a strategy that has been in the making for a long time,” he said. “We were almost dragged kicking and screaming into software, but as our strategies evolved, it has become central to our strategy. We now literally have millions of people using our client software. This latest release is our most ambitious one ever, and embeds three new sets of analytics to provide better tools for the help desk.”

The three new sets, which join the Asset Analysis that was there previously, are Usage Analysis, Conversation Analysis and Acoustic Analysis.

Usage Analysis is for use in unified communications and contact center settings with IP telephony and Plantronics USB headsets. It helps interpret device usage patterns, including call summary data, calls made and received, duration of calls, device adoption, and the frequency of common actions such as mute, volume and quick disconnect.

Conversation Analysis is supported with Plantronics DA Series USB audio processors. It is designed to Improve the quality of agent conversations and customer experience by identifying details such as the ratio of agent versus customer speech, and the amounts of silence and over-talking.

Acoustic Analysis is also supported with Plantronics DA Series USB audio processors, and reports the performance of protections built into Plantronics headsets. It permits the review of a logged history of acoustic events like unexpected loud sounds during agent-customer conversations, as well as daily noise exposure averages. The idea is to help contact centers ensure the occupational safety of their workforce.

“The new capabilities expand our analytics library from four reports to eleven,” Holmlund said. “We have also fixed some issues that tended to keep us in the hands of IT, such as the need to create command lines. The new deployment tools democratize that for the non-technical person. We have also tried to optimize the data so analysis is apparent to an informed lay person. You can drive the analysis usually in about four clicks.”

Holmlund said that while they expect the new analytics capabilities will further accelerate adoption of the software, demand will be stronger among larger users.

“Benefits are realized at scale,” he said. “Some might deploy with as few as a dozen users, but features like the ability to do firmware updates with push of a button are a lot more important to large users. The capability of the analytics platform to see users impacted and managed in real time are also enhanced with scale. Adoption had been accelerating since this became commercially available to the market in May, and we think these new capabilities will increase adoption.”

Plantronics Manager Pro is sold through channel partners, for whom it offers the ability to remotely manage configuration and push out settings and firmware updates, and quickly respond to service inquiries

“It was opened to all our channel partners when we originally launched it, but a significant percentage opted out because it didn’t fit with their core capabilities or align with their strategy,” Holmlund stated. “It fits best with more focused resellers who are bundling with other subscription software like Office 365, and some partners acting as MSPs use it for that purpose. It provides a very unique capability compared to what competitors are doing.”

Plantronics Manager Pro is available as either an annual or three-year subscription service through the Plantronics channel.