I was lucky enough to be part of Forefront Atlanta on May 3rd.  Forefront events bring together frontline workforce leaders from across workforce management, operations, IT and L&D to experience and discuss the future of the industry.

The Atlanta event, which was anchored by Citi and Cox, saw attendance increase four-fold from the fall 2015 event in Irving, TX as 70 leaders from 30 large enterprises were in attendance.  The size and energy of Forefront Atlanta was evidence of the ever-expanding community of companies who recognize and are acting on the need to fundamentally change how their frontline workforces operate.

From the day and talking to participants, there are a few key themes that I heard. Here’s a quick recap.

Change is Occurring (and it’s refreshing)

The needs of omni-channel, dynamic customers and millennial employees have long surpassed the capabilities of age-old workforce management models. The result is anything but good for customer or employee experience or a business’s bottom-line.

Companies like Citi are setting the pace in moving from a siloed, flat-footed frontline to one that is as dynamic as the customers they serve. Citi’s also leading the way in giving agents the schedule control and flexibility they covet.  Citi’s but one of a growing list of companies who are using intraday automation to meet the needs of customers and employees in ways they simply can’t do otherwise.

As Citi, Cox and other companies shared, the change and possibilities are exciting and represent a new era in workforce management. Now that’s exciting!

Real-Time Rules

With any new technology, be it software or consumer, seeing is believing. A theme of Forefront Atlanta was “imagine what’s possible and experience how to do it.”  The discussion that resulted from the interactive session on solving problems through business rules was both engaging and enlightening. I’ve received a lot of great feedback from attendees that it really opened their minds to the possibilities and armed them with the knowledge of why a growing list of companies view intraday automation as workforce management infrastructure.

Throughout the day, over 200 rules were written by attendees with one person writing over 25!

Leadership and Partnership are Key

Despite the rise of a new technology, leadership remains central. Why? Well, without it organizations will fail to capitalize on its full potential. Unlike most technologies, success with intraday automation requires strong collaboration between workforce management, operations and L&D. Citi and others shared their lessons learned and this was a key theme and one that other companies can learn from. With a strong partnership, the possibilities to reinvent workforce management and frontline performance are exciting and game-changing!

Forefront – Off and Running!

The most exciting part of the day was the level of interaction and idea sharing between businesses who are at different points in achieving the real-time frontline vision. Everyone got a lot of value from the day and are asking about the next event for their teams.  A virtual and fall Forefront event are in the works, stay tuned!