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Eleveo WFM Glossary


ABA (Abandoned Calls, Abandonment Rate)

The percentage of offered calls dropped by customers before a person answers. Abandons that occur very quickly, typically in a time frame shorter than the specified service goal, are sometimes removed from ACD abandonment calculations. These calls are referred to as "short abandons".

Actual Shrinkage Rate

The actual percentage of work time that is lost due to absences of people, as well as planned and unplanned events.

ACD (Automated Call Distributor)

Third-party hardware and software that routes calls in a contact center. The ACD typically provides voice prompts to customers to make menu selections, provides real-time displays of calls in queue, and provides call statistics reporting.  Common ACD vendors include Aspect, AVAYA, Cisco, Five9, Genesys and TalkDesk.

ACD Queue

A labeled object that houses metrics for similar types of contacts when offered. For example, if a caller presses one for customer service, the contact would be associated with and counted on a customer service queue. Various ACD vendors use different terms for this including, but not limited to data source group, application, VDN, customer service queue, etc.

ACD Skill

A labeled object that houses metrics for similar types of contacts when answered. For example, if a caller presses one for customer service, but is eventually routed to a salesperson (perhaps overflowed, or manually redirected), the contact would be associated with and counted on a sales skill where it is answered. Modeling WFM off ACD skills (sometimes called precision queues) is generally not advisable.


An event that pulls the employee away from dedicated working on their schedule. Exceptions might include calendar events such as appointments, meetings, trainings, and coaching.

ACW (After Call Work - also known as Wrap Up)

The time (in seconds) spent by the person completing clerical work after the call has finished. Depending on the operation, this may last from a few seconds to several minutes. During this time, the person is not available to handle another call, so this will be included in the overall Handling Time for the call. ACW is always included in AHT, so only automatically triggered (auto-wrap) time should be considered ACW. If people are required to manually choose Not Ready or Unavailable states to complete post-call work, this time should be included in Shrinkage, not ACW.


A person who works in a contact center handling contacts with customers of the business or handling back office tasks in a contact center.

AHT (  Average Handle Time)

Total time a person dedicates to handling a contact. This includes talk time, hold, and after call work (sometimes called Wrap Up).  AHT = Talk Time (ATT) + Hold Time + After Call Work (ACW)

API (Application Programming Interface)

A set of functions and procedures allowing to access the features of the system. In case of WFM API, it allows to upload the CSV file with historical data generated by the ACD system. 

ATT (Average Talk Time)

The average length of time an agent spends actually talking to a customer on the phone, including using hold/conference with the customer involved. ATT excludes customer queue time and agent post-call processing. It is the talk time referred to in the AHT definition.

ASA (Average Speed of Answer)

The average length of time it takes a contact center, as an organization, to answer inbound calls from customers.  This includes the average length of time a customers spends waiting in the queue. It does not include the length of time a customer spends interacting with an IVR. It is an essential element when measuring customer experience (CX).

Available/Not Available

A status of an agent who has been logged in to the ACD. Available is typically a state that indicates an agent is ready to receive an inbound contact. Not Available is typically an ACD state such as Not Ready, which the agent manually pushes to prevent receiving additional contacts. Where an agent is "Not available" this means that calls will not be routed to this agent to answer them. The reasons why an agent may be unavailable include the following:

  1. S/he is already handling another call

  2. S/he is on a break

  3. S/he is engaged in another activity which does not involve handling customers' calls such as training, one to one sessions etc.

In WFM software, schedules may be constructed entirely of an activity of Available to indicate the employee should be logged and ready to take calls during that time.  In WFM software, a scheduled activity of Not Available typically refers to a time frame the agent is not available to be scheduled (for example Child Care, Medical Needs, Secondary Employment, University classes).


Base Requirement

Check: Requirement

Blended Media

Requiring an omni-channel capable ACD, this is a type of schedule in which a person is assumed to handle contacts of different types in a fully blended manner throughout their shift.  For example, a blend of e-mail, chat and voice interactions throughout the day. Handling specific media in a dedicated manner during predefined times during a shift is known as Media Hopping.


Call Volume

The number of telephone calls received or handled by a contact center within a specified period of time. When this number is multiplied by the   Average Handle Time, then divided by the length of the period in question, this is the workload (see below) and you can calculate the number of people required to handle this workload in this period.

Call Center

Check: Contact Center

Channel Type

The means of communication used to handle the queue (i.e. Voice, Email or Chat).

Contact Center

A business that is composed of one or more groups of people who handle inbound contacts such as phone calls, e-mails, chats, or place outbound calls.  A contact center may also have a back-office or processing component where employees complete work related to the customer-facing part of the business.

Contact Volume

The number of customer contacts of any kind (phone calls, outbound phone calls, faxes, chats, e-mails, cases, etc.) received or handled by a contact center within a specified period of time. When this number is multiplied by the   Average Handle Time for these contacts, then divided by the length of the period in question, this is the workload (see below) and you can calculate the number of people required to handle this workload in this period. Remember, when calculating the workload for chats, it is often assumed that one agent can handle multiple chats concurrently.

Contacts Offered

A term close to Contact Volume. It is a number of contacts presented to the business that require response. Some of these contacts will become Contacts handled and the rest will be Contacts abandoned (see below for definitions). Repeat contacts from the same customer will increase the number of contacts offered.

Contacts Handled

The number of contacts in a specified time period which are handled (answered) by an agent or bot. This can be expressed as a number or as a percentage of contacts offered, which provides a measure of the contact center's availability. Where 100% of contacts are handled, this may well be an indication of over staffing, since volumes fluctuate constantly and no contact center can adjust staffing levels to meet demand on a second by second basis.

Contact Handled Percentage

Expressed as a percentage, this is: (Contacts Handled/Contacts Offered).

Contacts Abandoned

Calls or Chats that abandon while in queue, waiting on an Agent to answer. This can be expressed as a number or as a percentage of calls offered (compare with: ABA).

Conversation types

Also known as omni-channel media type. The types of work performed by an agent during work time. This may be inbound calls, outbound calls, chats, emails or others.


A format of a file, stand for "comma-separated values". It is a delimited text file which uses comma to separate values. Only CSV files are accepted by the WFM API to upload historical data generated by the ACD system.

CTI Platform

A term used often to describe the software components of an ACD that can provide people will call information, often from Caller ID, an IVR or CRM systems before the person answers the call.


Draft forecast

A forecast produced in the Forecasting Studio module of the Eleveo WFM application, which is not put to production yet. The application permits the creation of any number of draft forecasts. They are preliminary and can be used later during the production forecast creation.


Erlang C

A commonly used formula to calculate the number of people required to handle the predicted workload during a given time. It is named after Agner Krarup Erlang, a Danish mathematician who specialized in the field of traffic engineering and queueing. An Erlang C formula needs the following data to calculate the probability that a call will not be answered (it will be queued): expected call volume,   Average Handle Time (AHT), target answer time or Average Speed of Answer (ASA) and the number of people per interval. Erlang C assumes no calls in queue abandon.



The process of predicting offered contacts,  Average Handle Time, and workload for a specified time period. During the forecasting process the following factors are considered: historical data, exceptional events, general trends.


A specific instance generated by the forecasting process.

Forecast Range

A time frame over which a forecast is generated.  This can be short-term, intermediate, or long-term, depending on the input of the forecaster.

FTE (Full Time Equivalent)

The number of hours a regular (full time) employee works in a given time period. This may be 40 hours per week, for example. Parameter used instead of counting heads/people.  For example, one employee working 40 hours per week would be 1 FTE.  Three employees working 20 hours per week would provide 1.5 FTEs worth of work.



A count of how many people on the schedule possess a given skill (displayed as an integer)

Historical data

A record of prior contact volume and  Average Handle Times required to create a new forecast.  Historical data may also include reportable additional metrics such as S/L or ASA, Abandons, Contacts Answered, etc.


KPI (Key Performance Indicators)

A type of performance measurement which evaluates the success of a group of people in the contact center in a particular activity.


Media Hopping

Term that describes people handling specific media in a dedicated manner during predefined times during a shift. An example would be a shift that starts with two hours of dedicated email work, followed by several hours of dedicated phone work, and finished by several hours of dedicated chat work. In generic terms, this is also called task switching or task hopping.


Any important measure that is being recorded, tracked and reported in a business.


Situation when a person has multiple skills on a single media and handles the contacts in a blended manner throughout the day; for example, a person may be multi-skilled on English Billing, Spanish Billing and English Customer service. The person can handle any of these calls at any time, depending on which one has been in queue the longest when the person becomes available.


Occupancy rate

A percentage of time that an agent is busy working contacts out of their total time available/ready.  Occupancy = Time on contacts/(Time on Contacts + Available Time).  People 100% occupied will handle contact after contact with no break in between.  people with low occupancy will be available for long periods waiting for contacts to arrive.

Omni-Channel ACD

A modern ACD that routes not just voice calls, but also chat sessions, social media threads, and even faxes, emails or website information request window responses converted into text.



A labeled object that contains a logical grouping of similar contacts.  For example, if a caller presses 1 for customer service, the call would be associated with and counted on the Customer Service queue.



A workload requirement after Erlang C formula has been applied but before shrinkage is included. This is an essential requirement needed to meet Service Level. This would be the number scheduled if humans were robots and had perfect adherence and productivity.


SL (Service Level)

A type of a Service Goal. The percentage of calls that needs to be answered within a given amount of time (for example: 80% of calls within 30 seconds).   

  • Estimated Service Level: The calculated Service Level based on a Forecast.  

  • Actual Service Level: The Service Level as reported by the CTI Platform. 

SLA (Service Level Agreement)

A general agreement by a contact center to provide a minimum level of service to customers.  This may be part of a commercial or government contract, or a general expectation of service.


A process of planning the work schedule for the calculated number of people. Schedules are created based on the workload forecast.


A specific instance of schedules created by the Scheduling process.

Schedule Range

A time frame over which a schedule is generated.  This can be short-term, intermediate, or long-term, based on the scheduler’s inputs.

Service Goal

A service goal may be an Average Speed of Answer, an Abandonment Goal, or a Service Level. The Service Level type goal is an industry-wide gold standard and used by Eleveo.


A recurring period of time during which a contact center employee performs their work.

Single Skill

Situation when each person is dedicated to one and only one skill throughout the days, hours and weeks on their schedules. The skill may be a single phone, single email, single chat, skill, etc.


A competence (talent, knowledge, specialization) which a person has. It can be, for example, language(s) spoken, level of technical knowledge, knowledge of particular applications, expert knowledge in various professional areas. People are assigned to proper queues based on skills.


A contribution of work the people on a schedule provide to a given queue. In single-skill scenarios, this is identical to headcount.


A measure of lost productivity that needs to be accounted for when calculating realistic requirements for scheduling.  Shrinkage often includes (but is not limited to) such activities as meetings, trainings, same day absences and vacations. When calculating Shrinkage the following formula is applied: (1- (total time spent in activity/total scheduled time) x 100%). When calculating Shrinkage as applied to the Base Requirement: Base Requirement/(1 - Shrinkage as a decimal).

Studio forecast/schedule

A forecast or a schedule produced in the Studio module of the Eleveo WFM application. The Studio module permits the creation of a final production forecast, which is used for schedules creation. The Scheduling Studio permits the creation of a final production schedule, which can be shared with people.


Threshold (or SL Threshold)

The second component of a Service Level that is typically fixed on an ACD/CTI.  For example, a Service Level of 80% of calls answered in 20 seconds has a fixed threshold of 20 seconds.  All Service Levels are reported with respect to this threshold, for example, missing a service level would be reported as 70% in 20 seconds, not something like 80% answered in 35 seconds.


Workload Requirement

The initial requirement generated when multiplying the volume of calls/chats/e-mails times the amount of time that is required to handle or process this call/chat/e-mail (For example: 10 calls x 60 seconds to handle those calls would result in a 10 minute workload requirement).

Wrap Up

Check: ACW

Workforce Management 

Workforce Management (WFM) is a powerful solution for contact centers and/or back offices which helps management to schedule the right number of people, with suitable skills, at the right time in order to achieve the best possible KPI in the most effective way.

WFM features multi-skill, multi-channel forecasting for both short and long-term planning in addition to trend and seasonality analysis. Based on these forecasts, WFM uses a powerful, multi-skill, scheduling-optimization engine in order to effectively plan agent schedules, taking into account work-hours, legislation, demand, employee requests – and more. The system creates shifts from a mix of schedule activities. The basic package includes a rich set of real time and historical reports.

Workforce Optimization 

Workforce Optimization (WFO) is the collection of products, solutions or tools that customers can use to improve or optimize their productivity, meet compliance requirements and reduce costs in their contact center. Eleveo provides multiple tools as part of our WFO offering, these include; Quality Management, Speech Recognition, Monitoring, Analytics, Automated Rules and more.

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