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August 1999


A Quintet Of Call Center Products


Editors' Choice award CRM System, HP Front Office, From Hewlett-Packard
The integration of Web-based commerce with that of the traditional call center can be both fruitful and frustrating. If customers cannot contact agents or find the information they need through self-service applications, they are likely to click to another company that can provide what they need. Also, integrating disparate systems from various vendors can cause IT nightmares. Plus, to keep customers coming back, companies need to integrate the sales, marketing and support functions into a coherent, workable whole. To help companies fill this need, Hewlett-Packard has released HP Front Office, a customer relationship management (CRM) solution that provides pre-integrated, Internet-based marketing, sales and support solutions that are tied to the call center. HP Front Office enables companies to provide consistent, comprehensive CRM through a customer’s preferred communication channel — in person, telephone, fax, Internet or e-mail.

HP has formed alliances with Rubric for the e-marketing application and with BroadVision for the e-sales application. E-marketing is an Internet-based, closed-loop application that integrates all marketing activities, from conventional and Internet campaigns to customer inquiries, sales/campaign reporting and metrics. The e-marketing application can automatically generate personal Web pages, e-mail, faxes, Web-based telemarketing scripts and direct mail. It also can capture and measure marketing campaign responses across all channels in real-time.

The e-sales application offers shopping-cart and transaction functionality, as well as the opportunity to talk with a call center agent. The shopping cart remembers selections from visit to visit and the personalization engine can respond to shoppers’ behavior by changing products, prices, promotions and other content to better meet their needs.

HP Front Office e-support offers customers help through an intelligent, Web-based “virtual agent,” which responds to customer Web inquiries and e-mail with interactive dialog that asks pertinent questions to provide the customers with targeted content to help them find the answers they need. Customers also have the option to speak personally with an agent by clicking on a “call me” button. All of the customer’s inquiries and responses, and other pertinent information, appear instantly on the agent’s desktop.

HP Front Office uses HP’s customer communications solution, HP Smart Contact, to provide control of customer communications across the enterprise. HP Front Office can be deployed as an owned or hosted solution.

No. 535, www.ccsmag.com/freeinfo 

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Editors' Choice award Marketing Automation Software From RightPoint
As the Internet has added another channel for customers to interact with companies, it also adds another layer of complication to targeting and refining campaigns to these customers and in keeping the message consistent across all customer interaction channels. To meet these needs and others, RightPoint Software has released Version 2.5 of the Real-Time eMarketing Suite, an enterprise application for real-time, one-to-one marketing. Version 2.5 adds new Web features such as real-time clickstream tracking and XML integration, as well as new customer interaction touchpoints for e-mail, IVR and fax.

RightPoint’s real-time customer profiling engine now utilizes Web clickstream data as a customer information source, in addition to customer information available in sources such as corporate databases and online data services. The real-time profiling engineuses patented analytic techniques and self-learning capabilities that allow it to improve the accuracy of its predictive models and recommendations with every customer interaction via any customer contact channel.

The components of the Real-Time Marketing Suite include: Real-Time Campaign Server, a campaign targeting engine that uses customer data, predictive models, targeting criteria and business rules to profile the customer and select the best offer; Campaign Control Center, which allows the marketing manager to make, monitor and refine campaigns; Real-Time Miner, a self-learning engine that builds a target customer profile for each customer; Touch Point Managers, which deliver customizable offer presentations over all Web and call center contact points; Campaign Workshop, which provides the campaign preparation environment for analyst and IT personnel to define campaign data, models and business objects; and DataCruncher, which is a data mining tool that analyzes enterprise data to identify patterns and relationships which predict customer behavior.

Version 2.5 provides immediate availability of TouchPoint Managers for e-mail, interactive voice response (IVR) and fax; these new TouchPoint Managers supplement existing Web Point Manager for Web site integration and Call Point Manager for integration in call center environments and applications. RightPoint also offers integration points for mainframe applications, direct sales applications and other environments.

No. 536, www.ccsmag.com/freeinfo

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Editors' Choice award Tioga Releases PC Support Software
A large and growing part of calls to help desks and support centers are for PC support, and the Internet provides both more help-seeking users and also the ability to provide help desk support in real-time. To help reduce such calls and the associated costs of support functions, Tioga Systems, Inc. has released version 2.0 of its Healing System software, which is designed to assist IT help desks and call centers in supporting PC end users through the Web.

This PC support burden is driven by three categories of user call types:

  1. “Break/fix” calls occur when an application no longer functions properly.
  2. “Acceptable Change” calls occur when a new change must be made to an end user’s PC configuration.
  3. “How-to” calls occur when end users need just-in-time training or education.

Because it is a Web-deployed or eSupport solution, the Tioga Healing System is designed to automate the resolution of support calls for all PC systems, including desktops, notebooks and servers. The Tioga system can provide solutions for the three levels of eSupport: self-repairing (preventive maintenance), self-service (end-user fixes problem) and assisted service (support technician fixes problem). For self-healing, the Tioga Self-Healing Module is designed to prevent problems before they occur, through automated problem diagnosis and self-repair. For self-service, Tioga’s Active Self-Service enables call avoidance through both end-user repair and end-user “how-to” capabilities. For assisted-service, Tioga’s Remote Healing enables support personnel to perform remote diagnosis and repair.

Tioga’s patented DNA Probe technology dynamically determines the state of any application — all components and dependencies — of any Windows software, anytime, anywhere.

The Enterprise Healing Module enables preventive support. It includes capabilities for mass problem identification and repair.

The Tioga Support Network is the network infrastructure that connects all support constituencies. As a communications platform, it encompasses support APIs; the Internet, Intranets and extranets, and provides scalability to millions of end points. It also enhances security by encrypting communications.

The Integration Server enables integration of leading help desk, systems management and knowledge base solutions into existing support infrastructure.

The Support Server consists of the Software Vault, the Tioga Server Administrator, and analysis and reporting tools.

No. 537, www.ccsmag.com/freeinfo 

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Editors' Choice award Web-Based Lead Management Solution From MarketSoft
Studies have reported that as many as 70 to 90 percent of sales leads are never acted upon. Even companies that follow industry-standard “best practices” can have serious shortfalls in following up on their sales leads. To help companies realize a closed-loop tracking process, MarketSoft designed its Web-based lead-management software, eLeads. eLeads qualifies, prioritizes, enriches, assigns, routes and tracks sales leads to improving the throughput of qualified, high-quality leads.

eLeads automatically captures and routes leads from multiple sources to multiple destinations and enriches them by adding “intelligence” in the form of Dun & Bradstreet information, sales and channel promotions, order forms, quotes and other sales tools via attached objects. It also provides personalized notification and delivery based on sales reps’ preferences. eLeads also creates a closed loop between a business and its channel partners to provide exact measurement of specific campaigns and performance of individual channel partners.

eLeads creates a closed-loop lead management and reporting system through its LeadTrack function, which captures the end destination of each lead. eLeads can also generate effectiveness reports for specific campaigns or channel promotions, as well as for lead destinations (e.g., sales rep or reseller).

Optimized for the extended enterprise, eLeads’ native Web architecture enables universal access and makes it easy for marketing and sales personnel to use and customize the product. eLeads accepts leads from all input sources, including: call centers, e-mail, the Web, service bureaus and the trade-show floor. It feeds leads directly into Siebel, Outlook, and ACT! It can integrate with all major ERP systems (including SAP, PeopleSoft, Oracle and J.D. Edwards), mapping orders directly to campaigns and individual leads.

eLeads provides intelligent leads via the SmartLeads function, which allows market intelligence to be imbedded into each lead at the initiation of the sales cycle, providing sales reps with immediately actionable leads and the critical information they need to help them close the sale.

eLeads’ real-time routing is designed to compress the sales cycle and speed up lead-response time. Previously, leads that took weeks to months to get to their destinations are now delivered in seconds. English-language, wizard-based customization allows marketing and sales personnel to change routing rules and minimizing their dependence on IT.

eLeads is available as a perpetual-use license or as a Web-hosted application service.

No. 538, www.ccsmag.com/freeinfo 

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Editors' Choice award Actuate Releases Reporting Software For E-businesses
Delivering effective online business also means providing a high volume of secure, customized content to thousands of customers. Actuate Corporation has designed its Actuate e.Reporting Suite 4 to automate the creation and delivery of high-volume, structured, personalized content to e-business Web sites. Actuate e.Reports enable e-businesses to differentiate their services by providing users with instant access to high-resolution content from application and database information with the look, feel and infrastructure of a company’s e-business Web site.

Users can search and navigate high-resolution, personalized content in e.Reports that are viewable in a pure browser via Dynamic HTML (DHTML) requiring no plug-ins and no Java download. When a user initiates a request to view a page of an e.Report over the Web, the e.Report Server renders the pages as DHTML using a high-performance rendering engine and delivers this page to the user complete with a customizable DHTML Viewer. The DHTML Viewer is a set of DHTML pages that provide content navigation functionality, Smart Search capabilities and an automatically generated, fully customizable Nav Bar. The Actuate e.Report Server processes all of these activities to ensure that minimal amount of data is transported to the user’s desktop.

The interface for viewing, navigating and interacting with Actuate content is based on a series of customizable templates. Developers can build e.Reports that access any data source, perform any calculation, compose any format and seamlessly integrate with any Web site. They can also customize any aspect of the DHTML Viewer, such as the Nav Bar or Smart Search interface, so that users will be unaware they are interacting with Actuate content.

Actuate 4’s Page Security mechanism provides secure, personalized views of information contained in a single document produced by a single query. The developer defines the security rules for information when the report is designed. When the report is run, the rules are used to create an Access Control List (ACL) for each page of the report. When the report is viewed, information concerning the user’s identity is compared against the ACL for each page in the report to determine what pages the user can see.

Actuate e.Reports can be generated on-demand and viewed immediately, or generated on schedule and chached, to be viewed later, and the Open Server feature allows reports written in languages like C or tools like Crystal Reports to be accessed and scheduled as well as any Actuate e.Report.

The Actuate e.Reporting System provides report scheduling capabilities that are used to execute and distribute reports on a regular basis, and Automatic Archival enables documents to be automatically deleted or archived from the system.

No. 539, www.ccsmag.com/freeinfo 

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