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May 1998

Three Products To Improve Call Center Processes


BayStone Introduces CIS Solution

Keeping up with all of the latest customer information in an organization can be a nightmare. Bits of information can be spread out among disparate databases, causing delays in getting a customer the product or information they need when they need it, resulting in a lost customer. To aid companies in retaining customers, BayStone Software has announced the latest release of its customer interaction software (CIS), BayCenter 3.0. BayCenter 3.0 is an integrated software suite designed to offer turnkey, comprehensive customer care with a low cost of ownership. BayStone’s Dynamic Adaptability Engine (DAE) architecture will provide users with quick and easy implementation, customization and integration of the suite of applications without programming.

BayCenter 3.0 includes: BayLeads, a contact management system to automate and optimize telesales and marketing processes; BaySupport, which tracks and manages all stages of the customer support process; and BayQuality, which tracks product and quality issues and serves as a link between customer support and product development departments. BayCenter 3.0 capabilities can be extended by two accessories: BayMonitor, a decision support tool that provides a graphical presentation of real-time and historical business process metrics; and BayWeb, which permits a company’s customers and business partners to have self-service support via Internet access to all BayCenter CIS applications.

All of the BayCenter components have been upgraded to use the new DAE architecture. The suite is designed to leverage Windows and Internet technology, including DDE, OLE and published APIs to enable seamless integration of third-party solutions, e.g., computer-telephony systems, pagers, case-based reasoning knowledge bases, word processors, spreadsheets and report generators, into the BayCenter environment.

The DAE gives users the ability to implement and customize BayCenter applications or systems without programming.

Selections of business process models and custom system behavior are made by the creation of business rules rather than by programming the server or client software. The DAE is a BayCenter Server extension that implements business process rules directly from plain English input. An example of a business process rule would be, "If anyone assigns a ‘critical’ status to a work ticket within three weeks of a scheduled product release, interrupt them with a warning of consequences, and if they proceed, e-mail copies of that ticket to the department heads." Rules such as this can be created individually or as a set of if-then compound rules, all entered into the DAE as simple English text. As a result, large-scale custom work including modifications to permissions, notifications, dialog boxes, data fields, appearance and functions can be performed quickly, centrally and without programming.

BayCenter 3.0 workstation clients receive updated processing objects from the server each time the system is accessed rather than depending on custom- programmed desktop applications.

Any rule changes made at the server by the DAE are automatically and immediately put into use at all workstations.

Because the rules are referenced as live data, changes can be made while the entire system is online without interrupting the work of any user.

BayCenter 3.0 has a workflow-centric design through integration with the Action Request System from Remedy Corporation. Rather than requiring a specific brand of database and SQL programming, the design of BayStone insulates business operations from the underlying database technology.

BayCenter 3.0 supports SQL databases from Oracle, Sybase and Microsoft.

For more information, contact Jane Dowley at 408-341-2942 or see www.baystone.com.


E-Mail Management From Distributed Bits

 

It seems the number of e-mail messages flying across networks on a daily basis is increasing at an exponential rate. Just yesterday, I was in a one-hour meeting and when I got back to my desk, I had 58 new messages in my inbox, and these were just internal, as our Internet server was down. Magnify this by whatever X amount you wish (we are a small company), and you begin to see the difficulty in keeping up with the great, pent-up volume of latent communication technology has unleashed upon us. The increase in Web sites has released challenges that were not even foreseen four or five years ago, which means that for any viable company, managing the masses of requests or orders constantly coming at customer service, sales or technical help personnel can become a slough of despair.

Distributed Bits, L.L.C. has developed ResponseNow to facilitate quick, personal and effective response and management of e-mail messages submitted by customers.

ResponseNow was designed for organizations that receive large volumes of e-mail from customers and other outside parties. It is a virtual call center that helps a company control interactions with its Internet customers by automatically routing inbound e-mail to the correct representatives. The software manages, tracks, analyzes and archives the entire life cycle of all customer e-mail correspondence.

The ResponseNow server software automatically retrieves e-mail from an organization’s multiple company e-mail accounts then categorizes and distributes it to service representatives according to company-defined rules that analyze content. ResponseNow features include: automatic routing of e-mail to improve staff productivity and reduce response time by eliminating the need for manual routing; extensive historical reporting, so management can examine long-term trends and progress in meeting benchmarks at the enterprise, group or individual level, such as e-mail volume and response times; real-time monitoring of response time and quality so supervisors can log in and check the status of messages, how long they have been in the queue and what the average response time has been over a given period; reporting functions to allow managers to track various volume and productivity measures over time; archiving and backup that allows companies to analyze the messages received over the last few months or verify a customer’s claim of sending a message months ago, by loading the messages from the archives; and quick access to answers for frequently asked questions (FAQs) via the FAQ Manager to ensure faster response.

ResponseNow leverages Java, open Internet standards and an advanced distributed architecture to enable companies to manage customer e-mail at the enterprise level. ResponseNow also can be customized to provide integration with a limitless number of protocols such as bulletin boards, telephone, fax, Internet telephony, Internet video and proprietary e-mail gateways.

For more information, call 312-207- 1500 or see www.dbits.com.


MarketFirst Marketing Software

Designing and following through on marketing plans is a labor- and time-intensive process. Marketing professionals, who are paid for coming up with overall marketing strategies, creating the mailing pieces, phone campaigns, Web or print advertising pieces and then analyzing the results, in actuality can end up spending nearly 80 percent of their time on the operations end of the campaign. MarketFirst Software, Inc. has released a suite of enterprise applications designed to automate manual marketing processes by combining process automation with real-time analysis.

Standards-based, MarketFirst 1.0 offers a Java-client interface, supports popular databases and provides a scalable architecture for easy integration with existing legacy applications.

This allows marketing professionals to communicate with a well-defined audience through multiple media, capture response and interaction data in a strategic knowledge base and respond more quickly and appropriately to customer and business requirements. The closed-loop approach to marketing process management allows marketing professionals to instantly evaluate results, identify trends and improve the overall effectiveness of marketing organizations by integrating real-world information and experience into marketing programs. MarketFirst also can be used to capture and disseminate best practices in marketing throughout the organization. For example, support will have access to support history and can amend customer profiles, backoffice personnel will have up-to-date customer information for data entry, and sales will have valuable contact information so they can call on qualified leads.

The MarketFirst solution includes four modules. Program and Campaign Managers are designed to provide a structured way to automate the definition, design, test, execution and evaluation of marketing programs. The Program Manager includes workflow support and provides a framework in which a workgroup can collaborate on complex programs. Marketing professionals can create interactive documents that can then be deployed using media such a e-mail, the Web, fax and print.

The product also supports the use of mail attachments, HML content, online surveys and mail merge. It allows users to schedule events and tasks, and provides both automatic media selection and real-time data filtering.

Contact Manager is designed to allow marketers to organize marketing data, including demographic and psychographic profile information.

Information can be analyzed and managed as lists, segments or profiles. The Contact Manager supports the flexible export and import information, the viewing of survey results, ad-hoc queries and marketing activity tracking.

Online Analysis and Reporting is designed to provide users with standard reports on program and media cost-effectiveness, survey response statistics and marketing profiles. Users can also easily create and run custom reports.

Reports can be scheduled, triggered by events or generated on an ad-hoc basis.

Template Manager is designed to facilitate the management of reusable components and process structures to increase productivity and efficiency.

Reusable items include: complete marketing programs, interactive documents and document components such as text blocks, HTML, form fields and survey questions.

For more information, call 888-mkt-first or see www.marketfirst.com.







Technology Marketing Corporation

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