October 10, 2023

A Single Pane of Everything

Taking agent productivity in the contact center to whole new level

pane of glass graphic render

The majority of contact centers today know they have a problem with productivity. It’s a challenge that revolves around the core activities being repeated every hour of every day: dealing with customer issues, accessing relevant information, and detailing the correct resolution.

It’s also an issue that puts the spotlight on the technology involved, and specifically the desktop portal through which every agent can discover and consume data — a window whose capabilities increasingly make the difference between a happy or frustrated customer.

A Unified Purpose

Most contact centers have of course spent significant IT budgets over the last two decades to find a solution. This is an investment strategy that is ultimately aligned to three principal outcomes:

  • Presenting information in the most useful, joined-up, and intuitive way possible
  • Simplifying and speeding up the information discovery process
  • Improving the way notifications are introduced into daily workflows

What’s more, there’s also clear recognition that the interface presented to contact center teams needs to present a unified view — and close integration with — all the separate apps an agent will potentially need to call on. A single pane of glass through which the user experience can be personalized to support the tasks at hand.

“A Silent and Costly Tax”

The single pane of glass approach directly impacts the productivity challenge because it tackles head-on the issue of ‘toggle tax’, which is essentially the time employees lose switching between apps on their desktop. It’s a sizeable issue too, as according to a 2022 report from Harvard Business Review:

  • Workers typically toggle about 1,200 times a day
  • They then spend around 4 hours each week ‘reorienting’ themselves after toggling
  • Which equates to approximately 9% of their work hours spent toggling

Overlaid onto such numbers, is the actual behaviour displayed by contact center agents. Here, for example, Forrester suggests that 35% of their time is spent searching for information; 15% of their time on rekeying data across multiple apps; and 10% on finding/speaking with subject matter experts. All told, the task of accessing insight is leading to “a silent and costly tax” that’s making itself felt on the bottom line.

A Leaking Roof

No wonder then that the path to a single pane of glass is well travelled. Yet a sense of disappointment can often take over once the destination is reached, due to the monolithic nature of the resulting technology set-up. Or put another way, bringing all the required apps together under the proverbial “one roof” can lead to:

  • Performance issues: relating to the way individual systems are stitched together to allow data access, alongside issues with maintaining secure integrations
  • Restricted innovation: where the ability to experiment with new capabilities is held back by interdependencies within the wider ‘tech stack’, meaning a significant IT burden for revamping the arrangement every time a new app is introduced
  • A lack of personalization: with the wants and preferences of individual agents constantly sacrificed at the altar of complexity, as any change is frowned upon for the potential disruption it could cause

Unified Everything

So, what’s the solution? Well, at OpenFin we believe the first step is to reset expectations within the contact center for what’s possible. To imagine better, from a better browser for accessing information and a better way to search, to a better way for notifications to reach the right agent, in the right way, at precisely the right time. To deliver, as we call it, a unified experience of everything.

Let us explain.

It’s an approach that’s termed a “seamless single pane of glass” (SSPOG), which enables a simpler form of app management and unifies an agent’s favourite tools — all without changing the way they work. That’s not to say though that the SSPOG model is new to the contact center space. And now with OpenFin, there are a range of capabilities that change the game when it comes to delivering a more instinctive user experience and dialling up productivity — thereby turning the vision into practical reality.

As for the technology involved, SSPOG offers a customizable platform that provides secure connections between apps and content. In turn, this creates the flexibility to deploy any tools that agents are calling for, while minimizing dependency, adaptability, and scalability concerns.

But it’s in the user benefits where SSPOG gets really interesting:

  • The approach is all about reducing clicks, thereby cutting back on time to resolution
  • With the ability to dynamically drag and drop different web pages and apps into their visible window, agents can simply and quickly create any personalized workflows they want
  • Information discovery is also dynamic, proactively delivering information in line with any search, while even invoking apps not requested if the system identifies relevant data that could be of value

Deliver Better for Your Contact Center

By combining these features, with many more besides, OpenFin is helping contact centers deliver the small advances in productivity that can have a significant impact on overall performance. That said, our goal is not to move clients away from the single pane of glass model, but rather to make it work to its fullest potential.

This is our vision for contact centers: users are empowered to create their ideal digital workspace, without need for perpetual IT involvement. An intuitive and dynamic space that simplifies every aspect of working with information to help boost results, enhance the end-to-end training cycle, and minimize the cognitive load (read: the disruptive fall-out of toggle tax disturbance) of every single agent.

You can find out more by reading our white paper: Better Customer Experiences with a Seamless Single Pane of Glass — which can be accessed here.

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