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Oracle Universal Work Queue User Guide
Release 12.1
Part Number E13500-04
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Product Description

This chapter describes the features and architecture of Oracle Universal Work Queue. It also describes the concepts required to understand the implementation and administration tasks. The concepts also appear in the product online help.

This chapter covers the following topics:

Features

Universal Work Queue is a flexible work presentation and access tool that provides centralized view and access to work. An agent can view, request, receive, access and organize work, which enables efficiency and productivity.

Universal Work Queue integrates work from different works sources (application and media) and supports different work methods. It addresses work requirements for multi-skilled agents and agents for whom work is queued. For example, multi-skilled agents handle work that is distributed across many different work item types and across business applications while other agents only handle and act on work that is delivered to them.

Work that originates from a business application, for example, Oracle TeleSales or Oracle TeleService is considered an application work item. Business applications are process centric and provide work management tools necessary to complete the work. Some application work items (i.e., tasks) exist only in the context of the other application objects (e.g., service request task is created to track tasks that are associated with the resolution of the service request).

For multi-skilled agents – those whose job entails many different functions such as combined sales and support -- work is distributed across many different work item types that cross different application products. This makes work difficult to manage and track. The application work management component creates silos that “hides” work from agents.

Ability to Access Different Forms of Work from Different Sources

Work comes in many forms. As a work access tool, UWQ supports different sources of work. There is application work generated internally by organization requirements, externally by customers using self-help channels and through the Interaction Center through phone, e-mail and web collaboration requests.

UWQ integrates media channels that bring external work in the form of customer interactions into the eBusiness suite. These media channels are external work sources and queues that present special real-time and media control requirements such as inbound telephone queues and e-mail.

Application work is work created or completed through self-help channels (such as web sites), field organizations, events and store fronts, and completing media channel work.

Support for Different Forms of Work Methods

Business applications are designed to address users' target work methods (e.g., OTS supports telesales agent process which tend to be driven off of queues and targeted to meet service levels). Sales Online is targeted at the self-directed field agent who manages territories and accounts on a my personal basis.

As the single point of work access, UWQ must support different work methods driven by organization business rules, application processes and the different roles agents may play. UWQ supports the full range of eBusiness work methods that lie between the two extremes of “heads down worker” who is directed to queued work executed in priority order and the self-directed agent who manages, organizes and prioritizes his own work and work day.

In its simplest utilization, it provides a view and access to all work items and gives agents work organization tools such as seeded nodes that segment by work item type and work item attributes, as well as sorting and filtering so that agents may narrow their focus and set work priorities. In this sense It provides a stable, persistent page agents can use to launch work into an application and return to for the next work item.

To reduce the navigation effort and time necessary to complete simple work processes, UWQ supports Quick Actions which allow agents to perform minor updates such as setting work status or reassigning work on one or several selected work items. This provides additional details to help the agent make a better informed decision and focus on progressing through a set of work and still allows them to open some work items into the application to execute more complex efforts.

UWQ now supports work distribution. This addresses the problem of how to queue and distribute unassigned work items in priority order to the next available qualified agent. Push distribution, which assigns work items to agents based on territory or other criteria cannot fairly distribute work load across enterprise agents. Manual distribution is too cumbersome and expensive and automated distribution is often inefficient in the delicate balance of work complexity, value, and other intangible considerations. Queued work distribution fairly disseminates work. (Over the long term of days, weeks or months.)

Features include:

Through integration with Oracle Interaction Blending, agents are moved between media queues based on service levels for the interaction center.

Concepts

Universal Work Queue is a framework for accessing, organizing and acting upon different types of work generated in an interaction center. UWQ supports two types of work: media and application. Work that originates from an Oracle Application, such as a service request or task is called an application or non-media work item. Work that originates from a customer contact channel, such as a telephone call is called a media work item. In addition to the types of work UWQ supports, it also supports different work methods including: queued media access, queued work access, browse and select, alerts and distribution of work.

Concept topics include:

Agent Workplace

The Agent Workplace is the desktop user interface for Universal Work Queue and serves as the central portal for agent work access. It is a Forms application and displays media and application work nodes and summary items, launches work into the appropriate application form, and provides work access controls. From it, you can browse through work sources, organize work summaries, select and open work items, or view work item details and execute quick actions upon selected work items.

You can use work access controls to request queued work or media contacts and to open selected work items. Features include: UWQ cascade and tree navigation of nodes, work selection, the work panel for quick actions and quick filters to organize work.

The agent workplace is divided functionally into five major regions: Configuration and Work Access Controls, Work Selector, Quick Filters, Work Summary Panel, and the Work Panel.

Workplace Configuration and Work Access Controls

The Workplace provides special menu options and toolbar icons that allow you to configure the workplace and control work items selected within the Workplace.

Configuration Controls

Using profile options, your site administrator, your supervisor or you may determine which work item types and customer channel sources are always available. From within the Workplace you may also change the work selector style (either as a tree along the left side of the Workplace or as a cascading menu at the top). From the tree work selector you may:

Work Access Controls

Work Access Controls allow you to request work from a selected customer channel or open a selected work item. You may also request, reschedule or complete work. There are work access controls that quickly clear or reset quick filters, to refresh work information, and to reset the current application and customer channel interaction state.

Work Selector

The work selector in the agent workplace presents you with an overview of your workload. Work is organized into nodes (work providers) by work type (for example, Tasks, Leads, or Service Requests or customer channel, such as inbound call, outbound campaigns, or email). Some nodes comprise more specific work item types such as types such as “My Leads” or “My Teams Leads”. Most nodes are further segmented into sub-nodes by attributes, such as application work type status, age or ownership. Some nodes have several sub-node segmentation tiers.

The tree work type selector displays along the left side of the workplace. It provides a quick overview of workload and its organization. The tree selector also enables you to turn counts on and off and to control the display and order of nodes.

The cascading work type selector displays as a drop down menu at the top left of the workplace, just below the menus and toolbars. It is more compact and affords a greater display area for the work summary panel. While it does not provide a complete hierarchy of all work items, it is more compact and somewhat easier to navigate.

Note: Certain functions cannot be performed from the cascade work type selector. They include: count refresh, hide counts, display or hide nodes, and change node order.

Your administrator may set the default (startup) display for the Work Selector. During your session you may use the Switch Display control to toggle the work selector display (tree or cascading).

Quick Filters

Quick Filters allow you to further refine and narrow the focus of work items displayed in the Work Summary Panel beyond the seeded work node segmentations. Not all application work item types support quick filters, and your administrator must configure your responsibility and nodes to activate quick filters.

When present, quick filter controls display across the top of the workplace, just below the menu and toolbars and to the right of the cascading work selector. Use the drop down filter control to set the attribute filter values, then press the Quick Filter apply button at the far right of the quick filter area. Once applied, Quick Filters remain in effect for the duration of the current session or until you change them; Quick Filters revert to the default setting at the start of each session.

Administrators may set a default Quick Filter value for each quick filter attribute. Use the “Default Filter” control or Tools->Default Filter to revert to the node's default Quick Filters. Use the “Clear Filter” toolbar icon of the Tools->Clear Filter to remove the current node's filters and view all work items unfiltered.

Note: Use Node Counts. Node counts always show the current qualified work items for a given node regardless of applied filters. It is possible to set filter criteria the exclude all current work items. In the course of your work, you may close all of the qualified work that meets the current filter criteria.

Work Summary Panel

The Work Summary Panel lists summary information for work items. It allows an agent to view, organize, and sort qualified (open work for you or your groups). Not all work is immediately actionable. Some work is in a sleep state.work. It presents qualified work items in row format. Key work item information, for example, type, status, and displays in column format. The work summary panel is always present and will contain work item summary information when a node is selected and the node contains data. Each node presents different information within the work summary panel because of different work types and different node purposes. The information that appears for tasks will be different from that which appears for service requests. The same is true for group nodes versus individual nodes and owner versus assignee nodes. The use of quick filters may further refine and narrow the focus of work items that appear in the work summary panel beyond the seeded work node segmentations. Not all application work item types support quick filters.

The key functions of the work summary panel are:

From the work summary panel, an agent can:

Work Panel

The Work Panel allows you to perform quick actions on selected work items. It presents additional information in the form of special instructions, extended information, and detailed information about the work item selected in the Work Summary Panel.

The Work Panel is divided into three areas:

Each display element in the work panel is configured independently, based on responsibility.

When present, the Work Panel appears in the lower-half of the Agent Workplace (beneath the tree work selector and the Work Summary Panel).

Not all nodes provide work panel actions; some application work item types do not include work panel information and actions the work panel and your administrator may configure nodes to access the Work Panel.

icWork Controller

The icWork Controller is an independent window that provides a quick and easy way to control media items and monitor and control work state.

The icWork Controller consists of three parts:

The icWork Controller has two displays sizes if tabbed plug-ins are present: full size allows you to view and access all plug-in controller features and collapsed which minimizes the icWork Controller to show only the toolbar, menu and media access and work status information. If no plug-ins are present, the icWork Controller will display collapsed.

The features of the icWork Controller depend upon your configuration and current working status. The following is a list of the features and the configurations and work status that active them:

Softphone

The softphone is a plug-in tab that is present if you are configured for any telephony services, inbound, outbound or web callback. The softphone may not be usable if it cannot connect with UWQ Server, the OTM Server, or some of the supporting telephony services.

Notice Controller

The notice controller is a plug-in tab that is present if you are configured to receive notices. Use the notice controller to read and manager your notices.

Work Access Toolbar Icons and Menu Options

You may control your session status and outstanding work requests using toolbar icons and accessible Action menu options on the icWork Controller.

There are four types of work access controls:

Session Status

The icWork Controller shows your current media source and working status and time at the bottom of the controller.

Phone Tab

The softphone allows users to view call information and to control the call. Use the Phone tab to:

Notice Tab

The notice control is a plug-in tab to the icWork Controller that allows you to read and manage one notice at a time. As you receive notices, the UWQ Notice schema retains all open notices. They are available in the notice controller as a set (or list) in the order you received them from most recent to oldest. The Notice control allows you to act upon and filter notices.

Using the notice controller you may:

The Notice controller supports two refresh strategies. Automatic refresh checks for new notices at regular intervals configured through profile options by your administrator. Manual refresh requires you to check for new Notices using the Refresh button on the Notice Controller. You may always use Refresh to check for new Notices, to refresh the current filter list after acknowledging or clearing notices or to apply a new filter.

Screen Pop

A screen pop presents a fully populated application form or search screen based on media (call) information. Because the screen pop and phone call arrive nearly simultaneously you can begin helping the customer almost immediately. Universal Work Queue works with the application and customer channel to effect the screen pop. If you do not receive the screen pop immediately, use the softphone call information to start your conversation with the customer.

When you receive an interaction from a customer channel, Universal Work Queue launches the appropriate application form and delivers the media information (call information) to the application. The application populates the form with customer or work information or both.

Interaction Blending

Interaction Blending integrates work from different customer channels, based on defined service level rules (e.g., length of time a customer waits on an inbound call) and the number of agents available to handle the interaction. When Oracle Interaction Blending is enabled, a blending work source appears in the work selector. Each time you request a blending work item, blending considers your skills and where they are most required.

Through Universal Work Queue, Interaction Blending supports both inbound and outbound telephony and may blend across inbound classifications. Once blending assigns you to a work source it tries to continue giving you work from that source; however, if you are needed on another work source, blending will move you. For example, if a flood of inbound calls arrives around lunchtime, you may move from an outbound campaign to an inbound classification to help out; later blending may move you back to the outbound campaign.

Refresh Strategy

For Universal Work Queue to provide up-to-date work information, including counts for all work and channel types, it must refresh its counts and other information from the work source.

The following table describes the refresh methods.

Refresh Method Description
Work Selector (Tree View) Refreshes both the counts and contents for an active work node.
Node and Sub-Node Refresh This refresh method allows you to manually update any work source node and sub-node counts and contents from the work selector tree.
Work Summary Panel Refresh This method allows you to manually update and refresh contents by right-clicking in the work summary panel or by applying a filter.

Note: You cannot perform node or sub-node updates from the cascading work selector. You may or may not be enabled to refresh nodes and sub-nodes through the work selector tree depending on how you are configured.

The following are the refresh styles for Universal Work Queue.

Refresh Style Description
Automatic Refresh A full refresh is performed when you request the next work item. Most users do not need refresh updates so frequently and it can detract from their work flow. Therefore this setting is not recommended.
Refresh on Login UWQ only performs a refresh on startup to get counts for all work nodes. You must use manual refresh for updates during the rest of your session.
Manual Refresh You must manually request a refresh when you need to obtain the current counts.

Note: Typically users need to refresh at the start of their session, when they return from break, after a rush of work (for example after a number assignment notices), or after an hour or two of continuous work. Therefore, most users are configured for refresh on login or manual refresh.

Work Repository

The work repository is a central schema for all work items that are generated by an Oracle E-Business subscribing applications (such as Service Requests and Tasks). It is a core component of the queued work distribution. It facilitates the enforcement and achievement of service level goals by delivering work items to the appropriate agent, in priority order.

For work items to be maintained within the repository, the business application must subscribe to the framework component. The business application owns the work item within their schema (service request or task) and is responsible for the creation, updating and deletion of work items. For example, when you open a service request, all of the inherent information associated with the service request (history, activity, etc.) is maintained within the schema for the work item. The business application maintains the work reference within the repository. Universal Work Queue provides global prioritization capability that the business applications use to translate the internal work item priority to a standard Universal Work Queue global priority, which is applied across all work items types.

The work repository provides a single source for work access, management and distribution. This allows quick and easy access to information as well as facilitating the application of complex distribution rules across different work types. For example, a task created from a service request is representative of an inherent work item. The service request represents the parent entity while the service request task represents the child entity. The service request task is inherently linked to the service request. In the example provided, the quick access benefit of the work repository ensures that the service request task will not be distributed before the service request. It also allows for applying a priorities-based order, common to all work for an agent or group, even work of different types. Because the repository maintains work distribution, it enforces accountability (See Queued Work Access).

Work Source

A work source identifies a unique work item type and its work distribution rules, delivery mechanism, and may establish work relationships. There are two types of work sources, primary and association work sources. Primary work sources are based on a work item type, such as a service request. The association work sources are based on work relationships. the association of the work source ensures that the service request task is distributed with the same rules as service requests with the addition of the parent-child distribution rules, such as closing service requests tasks before or at the same time as the service request.

Note: In this release of Universal Work Queue, association work sources only apply to tasks with a primary work source, i.e., a service request task.

There are three work sources in this release of Universal Work Queue.

Work Item

A work item is a commonly referred to as a business transaction that involves a user or a resource of a particular type in the organization having a specific role or responsibility and the relationship with some form of work that may or may not involve a customer interaction depending upon the nature of the work being front office or back office. For example, task, service requests, service requests tasks.

Work Assignment

Universal Work Queue can present all of your work. However, if you are not properly configured you may miss seeing some work. Work assignment explains how and why Universal Work Queue presents work items.

Work is organized into seeded nodes by work type. In order to see an assigned work item, your supervisor or administrator must configure you to access the work node. Customer channels are special work sources that queue and deliver work when you request it. Application work items are assigned to you or a group through a number of means:

Work may either be assigned to you or owned by you. Assignment means you are responsible for completing the task, ownership means you are responsible for managing the task and making sure it is completed. Only tasks may be assigned and tasks may also be owned. All other work items, such as service requests, leads and opportunities are owned.

Work may either be assigned to or owned directly by you, so you are personally responsible for it. Work may also be assigned to or owned by a group to which you belong. Universal Work Queue provides a full view of all work, whether owned or assigned directly to you or to a group.

Work Delivery

Work delivery is the process of launching work so that it can it can be acted upon.

Queued Work Access and Distribution

Queued work access assembles a set of work items you qualify for based on your group memberships and assigned Work Sources.

Work within the queue is ordered by work item priority and scheduled date. You access work by requesting it from the queue. There are two queue access methods:

Your administrator may configure you for one, both or none of these queue access methods.

You may control access to the queue by configuring the Work Sources included in (or excluded from) a work request if your administrator grants you this privilege.

Queued work access and distribution replaces the 'pooled' worklist functionality of prior releases. Queued work provides the same prioritization and delivery advantages and adds accountability through work distribution and the flexibility to request work without immediately opening it into an application.

Media and Work Launch Strategies

Launching refers to the opening an application form and populating it with the selected or delivered work item.

Note: A work item may also pertain to a customer TCA record (Party).

The launch strategy associates the proper work item with the proper application based on work item type or classification and agent skills and responsibilities.

Launching occurs when:

Media Action Association - Media Screen Pop

Media screen pop configuration associates a launch rule with an application form through a launch function. Responsibility has been added to the existing launch rule.

Launch rules may be configured with a hierarchy of default values. This provides the flexibility to apply the most common actions and create default behaviors on anticipated situations and specialized application pops for special handling. By configuring a default application as a "fail-safe" agents will always receive a screen pop and be able to work within an application, even if the call was mis-classified or delivered by mistake.

The key benefit to adding responsibility to media action association is the ability to handle inter-group transfers and misdirected calls. (for example, the customer press ‘0' and exits out of the IVR). Previously, media actions were mapped at site level. So, if an inbound gold customer calls, the TeleSales agent will launch the eBusiness Center and the TeleService agent will launch the Contact Center. Because of the addition of responsibility mapping, the agent can be mapped to the contact center while the TeleSales agent can continue to receive their calls in the E-Business Center. The new default feature is easy to administer. You can set the TeleService agent to receive all customer party calls and classification in the contact center (even if they are a sales call context) and target specific service requests to launch in to the service request form.

Navigating within Universal Work Queue

This section provides you with information and shortcuts for navigating within Universal Work Queue.

Keyboard Navigation

In addition to being able to use the mouse to access and select work nodes and work items, you can accomplish the same tasks through the use of the keyboard.

Shortcut keys provide another means of navigating within the Universal Work Queue user-interface. See Menu Bar and Toolbar, Tools - Keyboard Shortcuts, Actions - Keyboard Shorts, and icWork Controller Keyboard Shortcuts for additional information. When using either the Tab key or Arrow keys to navigate within the interface, fields in which the information is predefined and available for selection only are denoted by a perforated line above and below the field. A blinking cursor appears in fields in which you are able to enter text.

The following table presents keyboard shortcuts for navigating in the Universal Work Queue user-interface.

Function Shortcut Key
Activate keyboard operation and selection mode
  • Left Arrow

  • Right Arrow

  • Shift + Shortcut key

Activate keyboard operation and selection mode Alt
Navigate between menu bar options
  • Left Arrow

  • Right Arrow

  • Shift + Shortcut key

Exit from a keyboard option Esc
Exit from a keyboard operation mode Esc
Navigate between fields in the interface Tab
Navigate between fields in the interface
  • Up Arrow

  • Down Arrow

  • Right Arrow

  • Left Arrow

Menu Bar and Toolbar

The menu bar and toolbar provide several ways for you to quickly access features and navigate within the Universal Work Queue user-interface. You can perform the following:

Tools - Keyboard Shortcuts

The following table features keyboard shortcuts for functions available from the Actions option on the menu bar in the icWork Controller.

Function Shortcut Key
Refresh All Work Shift + R
Reset Interaction Shift + S
Web Availability Shift + W
Clear Filter Shift + F
Default Filter Shift + D
Switch Display to Cascade Shift + C
Switch Display to Hgrid Shift + H

Actions - Keyboard Shortcuts

The following table features keyboard shortcuts for functions available from the Actions option on the menu bar in Universal Work Queue. If media is enabled, media handling actions can be performed from the icWork Controller, including the ability to access action options through the use of keyboard shortcuts.

Function Shortcut Key
Get Work Shift + G
Stop Media Shift + S

icWork Controller - Keyboard Shortcuts

The following table features keyboard shortcuts for functions available from the Actions option on the menu bar in the icWork Controller.

Function Shortcut Key
Next Work Shift + N
Next Media Shift + T
Stop Media Shift + M
Break Shift + K
Collapse Shift + L

Phone Extension Window

If you are enabled for media work, then the Phone Extension window may appear when you start Universal Work Queue. If the Phone Extension window appears, enter your assigned telephone extension and number for the teleset then click OK.

Note: If the Phone Extension window appears and you do not know the teleset number, contact your supervisor.

Note: The Phone Extension window will not appear if your user profile has been configured with the teleset number.

Work Distribution

Work distribution is the process of disseminating work to agents. The distribution of work items can be done using different distribution methods, for example, manual distribution through an Oracle E-Business application or through the Assignment Manager and Scheduler.

Work distribution assigns work to a single agent who is responsible for completing a task. Work, when first created, is undistributed. There are basically two, distinct distribution models; push and pull. The push model, identifies a qualified agent and assigns the work item to them. In the pull model, an agent either selects or request work from a set of qualified work candidates. An example of the push model is the Assignment Manager, which may be automated through workflows to identify a qualified agent or used manually by a supervisor or co-worker to identify and assign work to an agent. Examples of the pull model include group nodes where an agent may find and select a pooled work item and work queues that distribute work to a requesting and available agent. The queue adds order, necessary to enforce service level rules.

There are two queued work access methods:

For example, an agent commences work and requests the first priority work item from their queue and works in a continuous fashion, requesting work items from the queue until they take a break or end the work session.

The request work method distributes one or more work items to an agent who then accesses them through work node in Universal Work Queue. This method facilitates the distribution of work to self-directed agents who independently prioritize work assigned to them.

Work Launch Rules for Application Work

Unlike media channels, which require an associated launch function -- all application work items have a native launch behavior. For example, service requests open into the Service Request form. The work launch feature and functionality allows you to override that default behavior to apply your own work launch application criteria. It is based on the same approach as the media action association. A separate launch association mapping is necessary because application work items use different information for launching work. Within Universal Work Queue, the configuration of application and media work is segregated but the same, basic launch strategies apply to each work type.

The seeded launch functions are:

Application Work Launch Rules

The work launch association is optional, you can just accept the default work item launch strategy.

The following lists order in which work launch rules are applied:

  1. Is there a work launch rule applied? If yes and the agent's responsibility has appropriate privileges agent will open the work item in the associated form

  2. If there is no launch rule applied or the agent does not have responsibility for the associated form, then UWQ attempts to open the work item with the default work item launch strategy. (The agent responsibility must have privileges on the default application form.)

  3. FOR TASKS ONLY, UWQ will attempt to launch the task using Task Manager if the launch rule task flag is checked and the agent responsibility is configured to open the Task Manager.

  4. If the agent responsibility cannot open the default application form (or Task Manager) then the agent will receive an error message. If this occurs you ma either: 1) correct agent's responsibility or 2) add launch association or determine why the agent was wrongfully assigned the work item.