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June 1998

Call Center Products For Customer Service, Remote Workers and Least-Cost-Routing

Problem Resolution Software From Primus

As we head for the 21 st century, more and more customer interactions with a company will be over the Internet. Addressing this shift in the way customers contact businesses and the accompanying shift to self-help customer service over the Internet, Primus Communications Corporation has released new versions of its problem resolution software. SolutionExplorer 2.0 is a Web-based product designed to enable frontline and remote support professionals to resolve technical problems quickly and cost-effectively. SolutionPublisher 2.2, also Web-based, is designed to allow customers to access solutions directly and solve problems themselves.

SolutionBuilder 2.3 is problem resolution software with broad knowledge management capabilities designed to enable support professionals to capture and immediately distribute solutions in the workflow.

The new versions of SolutionExplorer and SolutionPublisher include the Hot Issues list, a feature that allows users to view and immediately access the most frequently requested solutions. Customers who come to a support site powered by SolutionPublisher are now able to search multiple sources such as knowledge bases, technical notes and documentation, to rank and return a single list of solutions for review.

The browser-based interface of SolutionExplorer has been streamlined to enhance usability and customization.

A new online tutorial and the familiar browser interface and navigational controls minimize the need for user training.

System administrators can customize the interface to meet corporate standards by adding or editing text, graphics and functionality via HTML.

The search engine allows users to diagnose customer problems quickly and accurately by searching multiple solution resources including information contained in popular text-retrieval systems.

SolutionExplorer includes security features to ensure that only authorized users gain access to this information.

SolutionExplorer also operates with leading call-tracking products.

SolutionPublisher is designed to make it easy for customers to use the Internet to find resolution to their own problems rather than calling a support analyst. It uses an interactive, intuitive-approach to lead end users through problem resolution by means of engaging them in a dynamic dialog similar to a conversation with a support analyst.

SolutionPublisher captures the entire call interaction and, in the event a solution is not found, passes the problem information along to the support organization through email, so that the end user can receive a callback from a support analyst.

SolutionBuilder includes a new utility, SolutionX, which allows the importation of information from a broad range of external sources — including existing technical documents, solutions from third-party content providers such as Support on Site, and information from other problem resolution systems — directly into a SolutionBuilder knowledge base. Once imported, the data is accessible through the SolutionBuilder search system. SolutionX also duplicates all or part of the contents of an integrated SolutionBuilder knowledge base, enabling support organizations to share solutions with other locations worldwide.

With SolutionBuilder 2.3, data from call-tracking systems external data sources and problem resolution knowledge bases can now be compiled and interpreted within a complete reporting system. Using this system, support managers can generate complete reports to track the correlation of call incidents and Managers can also create customized, reusable reports to review the quality of new solution data being entered into the SolutionBuilder knowledge base.

For more information, contact Sue Whitcomb at 2062921000, ext. 442 or see www.primus.com.


MCK Products Extend Telecommunications And Data Beyond The Corporate Office

As corporations’ volume of offsite employees (more than 20 million telecommuters are expected to be employed by the year 2000) and/or branch offices proliferates, so too does the need to extend voice networks.

MCK Communications has recognized and addressed this need with the provision of two product solutions — the PBXtender and the Phonelet. The PBXtender is the first in a series of Network Voice Gateway products from MCK that will enable corporations to link their voice and data networks together. The Phonelet is an Ethernet phone connector that extends MCK’s remote voice technology to accessibility through corporate data networks.

The PBXtender is a central component of MCK’s remote voice solutions .

It is a customer premise equipment between existing communications and data networks and the corporate PBX.

When a PBXtender at the corporate site is paired with the Phonelet at a remote site, companies are able to utilize their existing remote-access servers to provide secure, transparent access to the telephone system, since the Phonelet’s Interactive Voice Protocol is sent over an Ethernet network. The PBXtender is also compatible with MCK’s analog and ISDN EXTenders.

When coupled with a MCK remote product and digital phone-set, the PBXtender delivers transparent PBX functionality to remote users, including the ability to place and receive calls, use four-digit dialing, speed dial, transfer calls, initiate and participate in conference calls, access voice mail, use intercoms or interoffice paging and utilize ACD systems or call accounting software.

The PBXtender is a scalable, multi-line, rack-mounted device that can support from 1 to 24 remote telephones per unit or a combination of voice and data connections. It supports up to 12 MCK switch cards, which may be mixed and matched between BRI ISDN (two lines per card), analog modem (one line per card) or Ethernet LAN (two lines per card) to support a company’s range of remote configurations. The PBXtender can route data, which is multiplexed with voice in some MCK remote products such as the analog EXTender, to the data network through a RS232 serial connection.

MCK’s products support the protocols of the leading PBX manufacturers, through technology and distribution partnerships, including Lucent, Nortel and NEC.

For more information, contact Joan Lockhart at 6174546114 or see www.mck.com.


Intelligent Call Routing From CallManage

Keeping track of the maze of phone pricing schedules is a difficult and time-consuming problem. To help alleviate this problem and find the lowest rates, CallManage, Inc. has released CallManager software, which extends the capabilities of least-cost routing (LCR). CallManager fully supports existing phone systems and does not require changing carriers. It works with a range of PC-based telephone systems and fax servers to take advantage of carrier access codes (10XXX).

CallManager transparently directs calls to the best available long-distance carrier without dial tone delay.

Using the company’s patented Intelligent Selection technologies, CallManager provides a "per call" optimization by monitoring up to 30 parameters, including time of day, call destination, long-distance carrier specials and current industry rate analysis. The software is designed to constantly search for the best telephony rate and automatically updates itself to ensure it secures the most current industry pricing.

CallManager selects the least expensive carrier for each call, based on when and where the call is going.

Each call is logged and detailed reports are provided so the user can track the savings. Monthly, users receive one bill encompassing all carriers used. The software will default to the current long-distance plan if it has more savings.

The software comes in two versions: Windows-based for the SOHO (small office/home office) market and NT for PCPBXs, fax platforms, NT servers or standard PBXS or key systems.

CallManage, Inc. has established several strategic partnerships with third-party vendors including Packard Bell, NEC, Artisoft, Altigen, Currus, Hayes Corporation, Mitel and Xantel Corporation.

For more information, contact Mike Pellegrino at 2033510080, ext. 18 or see www.callmanage.com.

 







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