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Customer Inter@ction Solutions News
January 2001

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Expansions

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Comverse Adds Dashboard To Flagship Line
Comverse Infosys, Inc
., a subsidiary of Comverse Technology, Inc., announced the availability of the Supervisor Dashboard on its ULTRASelect multimedia monitoring and recording platform. The Supervisor Dashboard is a real-time coaching tool designed to allow contact center coaches and managers to assist agents with calls in progress. Real-time coaching includes interactive chat, whiteboard-based support materials, real-time conferencing of voice and screens, and interactive video. Supervisor Dashboard in its enterprise configuration can also be used to coach work-at-home agents in a virtual contact center environment and remote agents in a multisite environment, all in real-time. During or after a live coaching session, the appropriate training tools can be "pushed" to the agent.

Braxtel Speaks CRM With Fluency
Braxtel Communications
recently launched its Fluency Communications Suite, developed as a low-cost, fully integrated solution for enhanced customer communications. Fluency aims at meeting the functionality, simplicity, integration and advanced reporting and management requirements of customer interaction centers. It is an integrated, standards-based system designed to eliminate the need to invest in disparate technologies, leverage technology infrastructure investments, and seamlessly integrate into organizations' pre-existing systems and processes. The suite is comprised of four integrated modules: Customer Module, through which the system sends and receives communications, and includes IVR, ACD, unified messaging and dialer; Agent Module, through which all communications interact and reach the agent and the agent desktop, including screen pops, screen board and remote agent capabilities; Manager Module, which handles all reporting and supervising tasks, including call monitoring, recording, real time status reports and end-to-end reporting; and Information Module, which communicates with all data systems, such as external applications, databases and reporting systems, including CRM, workflow management, data mining and ERP applications.

Onyx Software Extends Thin Client Reach
Onyx Software Corp. announced the general availability of Onyx Employee Portal (OEP) 2.5, its Web-based CRM portal that provides new sales and marketing features. Sales users can access their secure customer lists from anywhere in the world and use their browser to perform Web-based quoting, including full support for multiple currencies and Onyx's complex pricing engine. New marketing features support comprehensive campaign management designed to enable organizations to develop and deploy sophisticated multistep marketing campaigns across multiple channels. Campaigns can target groups or individuals and leverage multiple media, including the Web, video-based e-mail, direct mail and outbound phone calls. Organizations can measure, monitor and track the response rate, revenues and return on investment of their campaign directly from their thin-client portal interface.

Next Generation Predictive Dialer From Stratasoft
Stratasoft, Inc. has released StrataDial - The Global Dialer Version 8.0. This latest version of the predictive dialer and ACD offers expanded platform compatibility as well as architectural changes allowing it to place or receive calls anywhere in the world. The company indicated it had spent a year testing new platforms that comply with the world's demands and standards so that companies can use Dialogic technology (designed for Europe), ISDN (global) and E-1 (global), as well as the North American analog and T-1 standards. StrataDial is capable of accepting multiple types under one platform. The Global Dialer expands StrataDial up to 1,024 time slots on a single telephony server, without the need for a PBX switch. This provides increased flexibility and scalability for contact center design and management. StrataDial - The Global Dialer provides enhanced HTML, XML and ASP integration to allow for Web chatting, embedding data into Web pages, Web collaboration and Web site VoIP direct to the call center.

Contact Center Solution Jointly Produced By 3Com And marchFIRST
3Com Corp. and marchFIRST, Inc. introduced Contact Advantage, an integrated turnkey contact center solution designed for small- to medium-sized businesses. The system addresses the need for high functionality, low cost of ownership and rapid installation for organizations with one to a hundred seats. The Contact Advantage system combines 3Com technologies; such as the NBX LAN telephony system, call center software from application vendors and implementation and support services from both marchFIRST and 3Com. The solution is the first in a series that 3Com and marchFIRST are jointly developing under their strategic alliance. The system is intended to offer customers a number of benefits, such as rapid deployment and easy upgrading as business needs change. The solution is designed to enable seamless interactions across multiple communication channels, and it is available in three versions: IP Contact, Web Contact and Ultimate Contact. In addition, 3Com is providing a single point of contact for support of the solution, thereby simplifying issue resolution.

PointSpan Communication Solution From Intecom
Intecom, Inc. introduced PointSpan, its new enterprise voice communication solution designed to integrate and provide a cost-effective migration path for advanced circuit-switched communications and IP (Internet protocol) telephony. PointSpan is the core technology empowering Intecom's Conversics solution, which serves to unify the interaction between companies and their customers. The PointSpan solution's primary components include the disaster-tolerant Enterprise Telephony Server and IP Node. PointSpan utilizes IP for internal signaling and control. PointSpan nodes can be deployed at diverse locations and linked as a unified system using an IP network and/or a circuit-switched network for control and signaling in any combination. PointSpan nodes are transport-medium independent and can be connected in any combination utilizing the public switched network, dedicated T-1 links, ATM backbone, or an organization's existing IP-based LAN and/or WAN. PointSpan also provides a contact center platform that includes automatic call distribution and supports all communications types (e.g., voice, e-mail, Web, etc.) as well as CRM and IVR applications. PointSpan's architecture enables the system to operate as a unified and geographically dispersed and disaster-tolerant communication platform.

Web Page Translation Capability From InstantMercury
InstantMercury Software, Inc. announced it will include in Version 2.0 a multilanguage "Web page translator" capability to the "Web-touring" component of its instant messaging and online meeting technology. With InstantMercury's existing Web-touring functionality, online meeting leaders can guide a group of collaboration participants to different Web sites by directing their Web browsers (or the embedded InstantMercury browser) to chosen pages. The new page translator capability will allow for instant translation and display of toured Web sites into one of five languages: English, Spanish, French, German and Portuguese.

eshare Launches Enhanced Customer Contact Solution
eshare communications, Inc. recently announced the launch of NetAgent 4.0. The NetAgent Suite is an integrated Web-based customer interaction management solution that unifies several customer interaction methods, including e-mail, text chat, Web collaboration and voice (for both voice over IP and switched networks). Enhancements include features designed to allow the contact agent and end-user to "push" or share Web pages, providing customers with a more effective, personalized service. NetAgent 4.0 supports both incoming phone calls and Web callback requests within the same user screen as e-mail, text chat and Web collaboration contact methods. Within the telephony integration, NetAgent 4.0 can monitor an agent's telephony state and use this information to determine when an agent is unable to take a chat, callback or e-mail request. Major enhancements in release 4.0 help increase agent productivity with frequently used personal items, such as Web pages and scripted responses, an added outbound e-mail management system for targeted e-mail campaigns and newsletter management and the enhanced Enterprise Data Access facility that brings customer information from Web-enabled data sources directly to the agents.

Unified Messenger 4.0 From Avaya
Avaya Communications Inc., the former Enterprise Networks Group of Lucent Technologies, announced Unified Messenger 4.0 for Microsoft Exchange 2000 with enhanced features designed to further simplify and integrate communications functionality for enterprises. This solution continues the evolution of Unified Messenger, a unified messaging application that adds voice mail and fax access to Microsoft Exchange, one of the most popular e-mail applications. The solution is designed so that users can access, respond to and manage all of their messages from PCs, wired or wireless telephones or the Internet, thereby improving communications between employees, customers, partners and suppliers.

Improved Customer Intelligence Through WhiteCross ASP Service
WhiteCross Systems
announced a new suite of technology and services to automate Web-based customer intelligence. Its WX/WebAnalytics offering is designed to provide customers with a complete suite of analytical eCRM capabilities that have been customized to support customers who leverage WhiteCross Systems' ASP operations for outsourced, reporting and analytical services to obtain a complete view of their customers' behavior. Highlights of the service include: WX/eBuilder, which enables secure outsourcing of analytics to WhiteCross for ongoing data analyses; WX/LogRefinery, which transforms customers' Web Log files and site activity into visitor-session details; two data gathering components (WX/Narus STA and DataStage) that obtain data from IP networks and offline systems and augment existing log-based or file-based mechanisms and systems; WX/DataEnsemble , which integrates data for analyses and reporting; and WX/ReportServer, which enables WX customers to have secure access to reports and analyses, both current and historical. The product also provides customers with a starter set of reports. The company also announced it has enhanced its WX/DES server software so that higher volumes of data and query loads can be supported through greater server performance, functionality and improved resource allocation.

Great Plains' eEnterprise Gets Makeover
Great Plains Software, Inc. announced the release of Great Plains eEnterprise 6.0. Enhancements have been designed to make it easier for customers to take advantage of the global e-business network. For e-business, new solutions include Great Plains e.Timesheets and e.Monitor. New capabilities in Great Plains e.Order and e.Commerce deliver augmented scalability and flexibility, including multicurrency functionality. Release 6.0 delivers new e-banking solutions meant to enhance the interconnection between customers and their financial institutions by enabling electronic business processes. Major enhancements to purchase order processing and inventory control, coupled with new sales order to purchase order processing integration capabilities, help customers manage supply chains more efficiently. Project Series enhancements allow customers to track more project types and methods for recognizing revenue, streamlining budgeting and billing processes and a greater variety of reporting options. Transaction rollback and recovery capabilities in payables, receivables and sales order processing eliminate unnecessary re-entry in the event of a power failure or other interruption. An updated user interface and shortcut navigation bar makes navigation easier and more intuitive. Great Plains Explorer enhancements include "Top 10" lists, queries using multiple filters and several new views. Multinational/international enhancements include extended euro capabilities for entering and reconciling transactions for denomination or euro currency checkbooks; enable customers to accept cash receipts in multiple currencies for a single checkbook, reconcile and report on that activity; and provide the ability to run up to eight multiple languages against a single database.

Zeacom Releases Q-MasterEX
Zeacom Ltd. recently released Q-MasterEX, the latest version of its contact center management software, to the U.S. market. Zeacom said that Q-MasterEX was developed to offer an affordable solution for contact centers sized between 5-250 agents. Cost savings are made through improved staff productivity, lower call abandonment rates, improved customer service levels and effective handling of priority customers. Q-MasterEX combines LAN-based CTI architecture with the NEC NEAX R switching matrix, and has been designed to take advantage of the Windows NT operating environment. Completing the solution, Zeacom provides a range of services including installation, integration, consulting and training. Zeacom also develops and markets Corus, an enterprise messaging application, with a PC-based operator console, voice mail and unified messaging that works in conjunction with or separately from Q-MasterEX.

MessageStream 2.0 For Contact Centers And Mobile Employees
Trango Software Corp. announced the release of MessageStream 2.0. MessageStream is a rules-based, real-time enterprise notification software solution that automatically reports and displays critical information on incoming client calls, voice mail messages and system data statistics. Version 2.0 is designed to expand the way contact centers and mobile employees receive notifications. Now they can use traditional electronic message boards, workstation desktops, e-mail messages and wireless devices such as pagers. MessageStream 2.0 adds new capabilities, including schedules, which ensure that messages are sent to agents only at specific time periods; enable/disable rules that provide the flexibility to create rules at any time but only activate the rules that are needed; conditions within rules, for providing a multiple criteria trigger to determine if and when a message is sent; and client groups, which allow single messages to be sent to groups. The reliability of the system is enhanced through the new MessageStream NetMinder, which monitors the MessageStream Server, Distributors and Data Sources and restarts these components if they are offline.

Epicor Introduces Second Generation eFrontOffice Web Client
Epicor Software Corp. announced the release of phase two of its Web client for Epicor eFrontOffice. This version of the Web client allows users to access virtually all customer data housed in Epicor eFrontOffice via a Web browser and permits remote users to more easily and securely access and update customer data in real-time. The new browser-based functionality is designed to reduce IT and deployment costs and increase user productivity. Since the Web client retains the look and feel of the Windows client, retraining costs should be substantially reduced. The browser configuration also enables multiple communication options, including local area networks, wide area networks, virtual private networks and regular dial-up connections. With this release, security rules and access rights are shared across both the Web and Windows clients, eliminating the need to redefine security options. Epicor's second generation Web client also uses an n-tiered architecture that enables users to add application servers to increase scalability. The phase two Web client is available at no extra charge to new and existing Epicor customers, and it is compatible with the Clientele 7.0 and Epicor eFrontOffice 7.0 releases.

Informix Releases Red Brick Decision Server 6.1
Informix Software announced Red Brick Decision Server 6.1, the latest version of its database engine for data warehousing in Web or conventional decision-support environments. According to the company, enhancements focus on meeting industry-specific business intelligence needs, including high-performance data loading, high-capacity and high-performance query processing and efficient management of very large databases. New features include support for Linux, automatic maintenance of aggregate tables (for faster query response), the addition of extensions to the parallel table management utility (to enable faster loading of data with less data preparation), sampling for accelerated data analysis and support for Java DataBase Connectivity 2.0 and Open DataBase Connectivity 3.5.

SEDONA Releases Intarsia V2
SEDONA Corp. announced the successful completion of beta testing and general release of Intarsia V2, its Internet customer relationship management application for small to-mid-sized financial service companies. The new version adds three capabilities to the Intarsia CRM package: support for wireless devices (such as laptops and handheld PCs); a portal front-end that allows individual companies and users to personalize their own Intarsia look and feel; and use of the software on an application service basis, meant to reduce the cost and time required to implement a comprehensive CRM solution.

Alcatel Unveils OmniTouch
Alcatel announced the OmniTouch Contact Center, a suite of software application modules designed for the OmniPCX 4400 IP-based PBX. Based on an open architecture with built-in CTI technology, the OmniTouch Contact Center suite increases customer relationship management (CRM) capabilities using multimedia communication channels and third-party applications. The OmniTouch suite can scale from 10 to more than 1,000 agents and can expand as businesses grow. Basic services include full automatic call distributor (ACD) and interactive voice response (IVR) applications. Advanced features include options for handling telephone, fax and e-mail inquiries as well as real-time Web chat and Web-based VoIP calls. Integrated capabilities for intelligent multimedia routing ensure that customer interactions are distributed to the appropriate agent based on predefined business parameters regardless of the communication medium selected.

New IP Platform From NEC Debuts
NEC America, Inc. (NEC) made its NEAX 2400 Internet Protocol eXchange (IPX) telecommunications platform available during the fourth quarter of 2000. It is designed for enterprise businesses desiring to deploy Internet protocol (IP) telephony without compromising the functionality offered by existing PBX technology. The NEAX 2400 IPX was developed to offer enterprise business customers a simple, clear and affordable migration path to IP telephony, as well as to support traditional telephony. This permits customers to adopt IP telephony if and when it makes business sense for them. NEC noted that IP telephony is an emerging technology that allows the blending of voice, data and video into one network. IP telephony can help users achieve added productivity, lower support costs and increased manageability. Applications like telecommuting, distance learning and networking can be more readily deployed through IP telephony. The NEAX 2400 IPX is also designed to give customers the flexibility to migrate incrementally to a pure IP switched architecture, which can reduce telephony infrastructure costs.

High Time For PrimeTime 3.0
Blue Pumpkin Software
announced the availability of PrimeTime 3.0, the latest release of the company's workforce management solution for contact center forecasting and scheduling. PrimeTime 3.0 features the addition of Sage, a new interactive user assistance tool, designed to provide interactive guidance and advice about potential scheduling issues that arise during day-to-day workforce management activities. It also helps novice users quickly progress to advanced user levels by teaching them how to resolve problems and avoid future mistakes. PrimeTime 3.0 also incorporates advanced scheduling and management features, such as rotation, team scheduling and break rules, and intraday management tools and reports. With Sage and other enhancements, PrimeTime 3.0 is designed to enable smaller contact centers to successfully bring automation and increased efficiency into their workforce management processes.

PeopleSoft 8 CRM On The Rollout
PeopleSoft Inc. launched PeopleSoft 8 CRM, a comprehensive suite of customer relationship management applications for e-business, billed as an end-to-end platform that combines Internet architecture with CRM analytics for a complete solution. PeopleSoft 8 CRM includes several components, such as: Customer Portal, a personalized interface integrating all PeopleSoft applications; integrated CRM analytics; PeopleSoft eSales for WAP, allowing for mobile sales automation tasks and applications; a Customer Interaction Center; and CRM integration to third-party vendors built on PeopleSoft's Open Integration Framework. Rollout of components began during the last quarter of 2000 and will continue through the first half of this year.

Redesigned Rackmount UPS From ONEAC
ONEAC Corp. announced the newest addition to its ON Series UPS family of products. The redesigned ON Series 2000VA extended runtime UPS and space-saver battery packs were specifically designed for 19-inch four-post racks, but are also available with an optional center-mount accessory for easy installation in 2-post rack environments. The extended run battery packs provide additional runtime and only require 3.5 inches of vertical rack space. Operating at either 50 or 60Hz frequencies, the ON2000 is designed for global applications requiring a virtual-zero footprint. The new ON Series UPS is available with Basic or Advanced communications for UPS manageability and also provides for low maintenance and easy serviceability with hot-swap user-replaceable batteries.

G6 Suite From Genesys
Genesys Telecommunications Laboratories, Inc. introduced G6, the latest rendition of its contact center suite. G6 combines enhancements to its integrated interaction management applications (Enterprise Routing, Network Routing, Workforce Management, Outbound Contact and Internet Contact) with streamlined installation, management and reporting designed to help businesses bring new contact center and customer relationship management functionality quickly to market. G6 Installation Wizards, provided in CD format, enable a step-by-step, intuitive configuration process and one-button deployment when the solution is ready for start-up. G6 introduces suite-wide management capabilities that deliver a single point of control for all Genesys contact center solutions. Solution-specific reporting and analysis capabilities are now bundled with each Genesys offering, and reporting can be integrated across all Genesys solutions and touch points to measure overall effectiveness. G6 also ensures high availability of its solutions with new fault detection and resolution capabilities. The suite features a centralized management layer for managing and controlling contact center performance, including real-time monitoring, control of solution availability and centralized logging.

Phonetic Systems Shifts Its Voice Search Engine To High Gear
Phonetic Systems, Inc. recently unveiled its Voice Search Engine (VSE). Based on its patented technology, the VSE utilizes standards-based APIs that allow application developers to command large depositories of information through simple voice input. Similar to Internet search engine products, the VSE interoperates with applications such as voice portals, directory assistance and the mobile Internet. Phonetic Systems' technology can scale to millions of records since, according to the company, it is not limited by vocabulary size and does not require static databases. The VSE is built as an IP-enabled platform, transferring the "Internet paradigm" to the wireless environment, with the engine itself designed for the back-end server. This server interacts with standard front-end interfaces like voice browsers for natural language applications or intelligent conversation managers that dynamically steer the conversation flow to maximize accuracy and minimize the length of each call. Phonetic Systems' approach separates the speech recognition and database search processes. The database can grow or constantly change without the need to rebuild the speech recognition database. The company is working with several carriers, portal companies and content aggregators to offer this technology as an integral component within their speech-enabled solutions.

Do Not Call Solution For Teleservices Providers
Gryphon Networks Corp. and Intermedia Communications announced a solution developed to address Do Not Call regulations being enacted into law at federal and state levels. Their offering is a network-based, enhanced service that allows companies to immediately prevent any of its telemarketing agents from calling a consumer who has asked not to be solicited. By punching two keys on their touch-tone telephone, any employee of a telemarketing firm using Gryphon's patented service and Intermedia's network can block future calls to a consumer who has requested to be added to a company Do Not Call list. Currently, 15 states and the federal government have Do Not Call laws in place and are levying fines up to $25,000 per infraction. The Gryphon service's interactive process blocks calls to those consumers who have been placed on state, federal and corporate Do Not Call lists. Additionally, any teleservices agent can automatically block, companywide, a newly requested Do Not Call number while still on the phone with the requesting party. The service is customizable, scaleable and able to block calls within a fraction of a second to all remote locations within a company via the network. This proactive solution is unique and proprietary to each of Gryphon's and Intermedia's clients. Gryphon also gives its clients, via secure Web access, the ability to conduct comprehensive database management functions and create extensive agent productivity reports.

The Doctor Is In: No Cost Internet Self-Analysis
Application service provider 4CallCenters.com introduced an online workforce management service geared toward the call center industry: Call Center WebProfiler. The service, provided at no cost to users, offers a variety of performance profiling and staffing optimization tools for inbound call centers of all sizes. Call Center WebProfiler is comprised of the Performance Profiler and Staffing Profiler tools. Performance Profiler allows you to determine and optimize the performance level of your call center; you can test the impact of call volume "peaks and valleys," agent absence and various design configurations. With Staffing Profiler you can determine the number of agents required to meet your call center's performance goal. Both tools provide a detailed report of the expected performance with a variety of performance indicators. Internet access and a standard Web browser are the only requirements for using this service.

NICE Introduces Integrated Customer Management Applications
NICE Systems released a new suite of applications and contact center management tools meant to enable contact centers to capture, evaluate, analyze and improve their multimedia customer interactions to build lasting customer loyalty. The suite includes Customer Contact Analyzer, a Web-based data mining application integrated with a recording platform; CustomerSat Web Survey, a survey tool (also Web-based) designed for quality evaluation of customers' multimedia interactions; Unicenter TNG for mission-critical monitoring; and digital extension loggers designed to provide a direct digital recording interface with leading PBX/ACDs.

BRE 9.0 From FirePond Bows
FirePond has released version 9.0 of FirePond Business Rule Engine (BRE). This version is designed to establish the company's Web-based sales "configurator" (configuration tool) as an independent application that can be rapidly deployed with out-of-the-box product, pricing and needs analysis functionality and easily maintained by line business managers. FirePond BRE also drives the FirePond Application Suite for the interactive selling of complex products across multiple sales channels. With the addition of a new Enterprise Java Bean API (application program interface), core sales configuration functions and data can be deployed in any Java 2 Enterprise Edition (J2EE)-compliant application server environment (such as IBM WebSphere, FirePond and other third-party applications). Highlights of the enhancements include an option for stand-alone configuration; out-of-the-box, industry-specific data models for rapid deployment; the ability for users to create configuration rules using a simple natural language interface; enhanced role-based editing views that are tailored to specific job functions reducing complexity for users populating and updating the rules engine database; the addition of a new tool for visually identifying, mapping and importing data from external systems; a standard browser-based test application; extensive rules search functionality and an intuitive tools navigation interface.

AVT Introduces WebLinq 3.0, Transitions To Web-Based Services
AVT MediaLinq Services, a division of AVT Corporation, announced WebLinq 3.0, completing the company's conversion of its core services to the Web. WebLinq 3.0 is designed to give users full Web-based functionality for targeting and personalizing e-document delivery broadcasts and enables end-to-end account management capability across an enterprise, allowing customers to optimize use of online e-mail and fax delivery on a mass scale. Personalization for both e-mail messages and fax deliveries is accomplished by accessing DocumentMerge from the Web. Key features include integrated e-mail and fax delivery; easy merge template creation using MS Word's Mail Merge Helper; and support for a variety of document formats. Web-based account management capabilities include the ability to add, delete and modify users and user information, and tracking usage and billing back to individuals or departments in their organization without using special billing codes. With WebLinq 3.0, customers can upload a single distribution list with both e-mail and fax recipients and a single document for broadcast to both types of addresses. Users may send broadcasts to e-mail or fax only, or both simultaneously, eliminating the need to manage separate distribution lists and documents. In addition, WebLinq automatically delivers the document in the appropriate e-mail and fax formats.

MessageMedia's UnityMail 4.0 For Volume E-Mail Marketing
MessageMedia, Inc. released version 4.0 of its UnityMail e-marketing software, database-enabled software designed to provide a complete solution for targeted, personalized and accountable e-mail list management and Internet permission marketing. According to the company, the key benefit of UnityMail 4.0 is its ability to distribute the crucial and intensive e-mail delivery and response-handling tasks to dedicated machines. UnityMail 4.0 uses a load balancing system to process bounce management, outbound delivery and response handling for any size mailing. With the ability to handle all tasks across multiple servers and multiple processors, UnityMail 4.0 software is meant to substantially enhance the delivery and processing performance of large scale e-mail marketing campaigns. UnityMail also includes capabilities such as traceable URLs, dynamic content management, personalization, reporting, campaign management, event-based scheduling and automatic sensing HTML technology, and integrates a relational database into an advanced e-mail list server.

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GN Netcom Will Merge With Hello Direct
GN Netcom announced it entered into a definitive merger agreement to acquire Hello Direct, Inc., a developer and business-to-business direct marketer of desktop telephony and equipment interface products. GN Netcom is a wholly owned subsidiary of GN Great Nordic Ltd. The acquisition is expected to facilitate the merged companies to more aggressively pursue their growth initiatives: accelerating e-commerce development, intensifying technology and product development, and accelerating international expansion.

FrontRange Acquires Maestro
FrontRange Solutions Inc. acquired Maestro Commerce, Inc., a Chicago-based application service provider (ASP) and developer of a modular suite of e-business products. The acquisition is expected to enable FrontRange to expand its product offering for small to medium-sized organizations and complements the company's initiative to roll out a full range of Web-based applications intended to help companies manage all aspects of a customer experience.

Gemplus Inks SLP InfoWare Deal
Gemplus announced the acquisition of SLP InfoWare, Inc. The buyout of SLP InfoWare provides Gemplus with software expertise in CRM and data mining to complement the company's smart card offering and security and wireless applications. SLP InfoWare, based in Paris, France, is a provider of predictive relationship management software solutions for telecommunications and mobile e-commerce.

Talkback To Support.com
Support.com, Inc. recently acquired ePeople, Inc.'s Talkback source code and intellectual property rights. It bought the technology to extend its e-support infrastructure offering in its current markets and to accelerate entry into new markets. Prior to the purchase, ePeople had granted Support.com an exclusive license to market and resell this technology, with an option to purchase.

Delano Seals Digital Archaeology Deal
Delano Technology Corp. announced it acquired Digital Archaeology Corp., a provider of advanced analytics for e-business. The acquisition enables Delano to bring to market a single solution that tightly integrates Digital Archaeology's analytical products with Delano's e-business platform and electronic customer relationship management (eCRM) applications. A fully integrated solution will be released in multiple phases. The first stage, the integration of both technology platforms, was completed in December 2000.

Lightbridge And Corsair Announce Merger Plans
Lightbridge, Inc. and Corsair Communications have signed a definitive merger agreement. The new company will operate under the Lightbridge name. Pamela D. A. Reeve, president and CEO of Lightbridge, indicated that the merger with Corsair, a provider of real-time prepaid billing systems for the wireless industry, is expected to create an end-to-end customer management solution in combination with Lightbridge's portfolio of customer acquisition and retention products.

Coleman Consulting Acquired By Blue Pumpkin
Blue Pumpkin Software, a player in workforce management solutions for customer interaction centers, has acquired Coleman Consulting Group. The privately held Greenbrae, California firm is a services and solutions provider for capital and human resources optimization. The acquisition and integration of Coleman's methodologies is expected to complement Blue Pumpkin's PrimeTime family of products and help provide a more robust set of solutions and services, and deliver efficiencies and cost savings opportunities to a broader range of contact center clients. Coleman Consulting Group will operate as a wholly owned subsidiary of Blue Pumpkin.

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ASD Announces Name Change
ASD Systems changed its name to Ascendant Solutions, Inc. David E. Bowe, president and CEO of Ascendant Solutions, indicated the new name reflects their commitment to providing a higher level of service to their clients and customer care to their customers. Ascendant Solutions offers comprehensive system solutions for online and traditional merchants, including retailers, catalogers and manufacturers.

Kowal Announces CCAudit Program
CRM consulting firm Kowal Associates announced CCAudit, its new call center auditing program, intended to help companies determine if they are receiving optimized return from their outsourced teleservices programs. Designed to assess the operations of both the service providers and the companies that hire them, the CCAudit process examines the data, staff and technology being used by call centers. Using CCAudit, Kowal Associates' consultants can identify a company's goals and ensure that those goals are being shared by their call center. CCAudit uses a comprehensive set of assessment questions. After the audit has been completed, Kowal can provide feedback to both the company and its service provider. By the end of the process, both the business and the outsourced call center have a better understanding about each other and the teleservices program, how they work together, what works successfully and what needs improvement. Kowal Associates also encourages follow-up audits that are done between three months and a year after the initial audit.

eConvergent Offers eCRM Blueprint Consulting Service
eConvergent announced the introduction of eCRM Blueprint, its new consulting service for companies looking to solve the complex issues of incorporating a successful customer relationship management initiative. The eCRM Blueprint service provides the necessary information to assess an organization's readiness and requirements for a fully integrated eCRM solution and provides a phased approach to implementation according to business goals. Available from internal eConvergent consulting experts or through channel partners, this offering is meant as a fast and simple way for companies to obtain immediate results from eCRM and break through the complex barriers of managing the human experience in e-business. eCRM Blueprint can allow companies to invest minimal time and money to evaluate the business needs for an eCRM initiative. eCRM Blueprint provides the information necessary for a company to determine its eCRM requirements and how this initiative fits into overall business goals and objectives. Each typical company receives a two-week independent analysis to determine overall requirements. Very large or complex organizations may require a longer analysis period. A success framework document is then compiled outlining a detailed strategy roadmap to implement an integrated eCRM solution. Lastly, a tailored solution model and implementation plan is presented, discussing how a specific company can reach its ultimate eCRM goals.

Cintech Name Revision
Cintech Tele-Management Systems, Inc. announced that it has changed its name to Cintech Solutions, Inc. Cintech's president and CEO Diane Kamionka said the name is more descriptive of the company's focus and direction: offering the small to mid-size market comprehensive solutions, including support and expertise, and partners with hardware, distribution and services.

Expansions

Comverse Lengthens Asia-Pacific Reach
Comverse Infosys, Inc., a subsidiary of Comverse Technology, Inc. and a provider of multimedia recording and monitoring systems, opened a new office in Sydney, Australia. The office will provide sales and project management services for Comverse Infosys' offerings of recording, quality monitoring and customer contact management solutions for contact centers in Australia and New Zealand. Its South East Asia Professional Services group, based in Singapore, will support the Australian and New Zealand operations. The Sydney facility joins its existing Asia Pacific operations in Singapore, Hong Kong and Japan.

Sento Establishes eCustomer Center In Green River
Sento Corp. announced that construction has begun on its newest eCustomer Contact Center, to be located in Green River, Wyoming. The new center will incorporate the latest in CTI technology and CRM capability. The Green River location is on schedule to be operational by April 2001 and will house 200 plus support agents. The company said the establishment of the Green River site continues its predicted growth of new centers, and it expects to announce additional expansions in the coming months.

IEX Announces Dutch Expansion
IEX Corporation, a subsidiary of Tekelec, Inc., announced the expansion of its European operations with the opening of a new office in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. In addition to providing distributor support for the company's TotalView Workforce Management and TotalNet Call Routing solutions, the new office is staffed to pursue direct sales opportunities in Europe, Africa and the Middle East.

Two New Sites On Stream
Stream International announced the opening of two new customer interaction centers that expand its eCRM outsource solutions services for Spanish-speaking markets in North America and Europe. The facilities are located in Silver City, New Mexico and La Coruna, Spain. The La Coruna site will also provide services in Portuguese.

FutureCall Hastens To Hastings
FutureCall, Inc. selected Hastings, Nebraska, as the site for its fourth national call center. The Hastings facility will initially provide the company with an additional 84 workstations, with plans for immediate growth to 146 stations. Consistent with FutureCall's operations, the Hastings call center will conduct a variety of direct sales and customer care campaigns for industries marketing to both businesses and consumers. Bob Matthies, a veteran call center manager and Hastings resident will manage the facility.

Mexican Call Center Launched
In response to the growing Hispanic market, Hispanic Teleservices Corporation, headquartered in Houston, Texas, launched a state-of-the-art customer service center in Monterrey, Mexico. The company expects to offer corporations the means to capitalize on the purchasing power of the U.S. Hispanic market, the nation's fastest-growing demographic group and, according to research sources, its $350 billion buying potential. Further driving the company's business model are reports predicting Latin American Internet users will increase to nearly 40 million by 2003, making the Latin American e-commerce market the fastest growing in the world outside the U.S.

TeleTech Spawns Subsidiary
TeleTech Holdings, Inc. announced the launch of enhansiv inc., a subsidiary focusing on the development, deployment and management of remote-hosted eCRM technology solutions. enhansiv's multichannel customer relationship management solutions are delivered across a virtual, centralized infrastructure, including the Internet and PSTN (public switched telephone network). enhansiv rolled out its first product offering, enhansiv 1.0, last October (2000). enhansiv 1.0 is intended as a scalable, Web-centric eCRM technology that incorporates a contact management component with all customer contact channels, and is designed to be open and interface with today's market-leading technologies.

Unica Continues Expansion, Opens Two Offices
Unica Corporation announced the opening of new offices in Denver, Colorado and San Francisco, California, areas that it views as fast growing centers for CRM operations. The offices will offer marketing, sales, consulting services and support to clients and partners in these regions. The openings are part of Unica's plans to increase opportunities for its analytical CRM and marketing automation solutions, both in the U.S. and international marketplaces.

Binghamton Hosts Latest Synergy Site
Synergy Solutions, Inc. opened a state-of-the-art customer contact center in the Binghamton, New York area. The new center specializes in outbound teleservices and customer acquisition programs, and the company plans to include Web-based customer contact and support from the facility, which will employ about 175 agents by year's end.

RMH Plans Two New Facilities
RMH Teleservices, Inc. announced the planned opening of new customer interaction centers in Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada, and Harlingen, Texas. The two facilities will add 750 workstations to the company's capacity. CEO John Fellows said that RMH is continuing its strategy to grow its financial services, telecommunications and technology segments.

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Siemens And Quintus Ally For Joint eCRM Product Development
Siemens AG's Information and Communication Networks group and Quintus Corporation announced a strategic partnership between Quintus and Siemens Enterprise Networks LLC, a subsidiary of Siemens. Under the terms of the agreement Siemens and Quintus will develop eCRM solutions to address all market segments, including small to mid-sized contact centers; larger, more advanced contact centers in need of more customized solutions; and networked offerings for applications requiring advanced multisite capabilities. The jointly developed solutions will support both Siemens and non-Siemens platforms. Siemens will offer Quintus' eContact Suite through its sales channels and will become a preferred professional services partner of Quintus. Quintus will sell the jointly developed packaged contact center solutions both for the Siemens' HiPath 5000 IP communications platform and as an open solution across platforms. Siemens has agreed to invest US$72 million in Quintus and, in return, obtain approximately 19.9 percent of the outstanding stock in the company, subject to the approval of the antitrust authorities. With the investment, Siemens will obtain a seat on Quintus' board of directors.

Hello Direct Interfaces With Dialogic
Hello Direct, Inc. announced it has signed a licensing agreement with Intel Corporation's Dialogic subsidiary intended to accelerate the development of new telecommunications interface equipment. The agreement is designed to help Hello Direct expand its efforts in addressing the growing challenge of analog-to-digital equipment compatibility, and help enable it to develop several variations of a next-generation PBX interface solution. Under terms of the agreement, Dialogic Corporation will provide the necessary PBX/key system protocols that Hello Direct will incorporate into a proprietary, patents-pending "universal and adaptive" analog-to-digital interface architecture.

KPMG And Youcentric Ally, Introduce RxWeb
KPMG Consulting, LLC and YOUcentric, Inc. announced a strategic alliance to market relationship management software. Under the agreement, the companies will leverage the strengths of their sales organizations and participate in joint selling opportunities. YOUcentric will train KPMG Consulting professionals for technical projects, and the two firms will team on marketing activities for industry events. YOUcentric and KPMG Consulting also have collaborated to develop RxWeb for the pharmaceutical industry. This e-business relationship management application is expected to offer several advantages, including an open architecture that can provide the pharmaceutical industry with flexible solutions designed to meet its rapidly changing needs. RxWeb can help optimize the value of marketing dollars spent on new drug and other marketing campaigns and is designed to help professionals maximize sales to institutions and individuals.

TriVium Integrates Solutions With Envision And Artisoft
Envision Telephony and TriVium Systems, Inc. announced a partnership aimed at helping organizations maximize the value of their CRM and contact center technology. Envision's Click2Coach solution provides a comprehensive coaching approach and integrates it with quality monitoring technology. TriVium's SimpleRM delivers easy-to-use, electronic customer relationship management (eCRM) solutions for mid-sized companies. By integrating both products in their CRM/contact center environments, organizations are expected to realize an increased long-term value and profitability through managing the total customer experience across multiple departments and customer touch points. Customer information can be seamlessly integrated among many functions (for example, a potential lead can be passed from either marketing or support to sales) and across multiple channels (e-mail, telephone, PDA and Web chat). TriVium also announced it has formed a marketing partnership with Artisoft, Inc. for delivering multichannel communication and business solutions for small to mid-sized contact centers. The companies will combine/co-market TriVium's SimpleRM and CallAnalyst (call accounting) solutions with Artisoft's TeleVantage software-based phone system.

e-talk And Knowlagent Enter Integration Accord
Knowlagent and e-talk Corp. recently entered into a partnership agreement through which Knowlagent will leverage e-talk's customer base to make its KnowDev 5.0 technology suite available to a wider audience of customers. The two companies intend to strengthen their core competencies and provide opportunities for businesses to deliver quality customer service, lower agent turnover rates and reduce costs. The agreement will enable e-talk to offer KnowDev 5.0 as a complementary tool to the e-talk Performance System. Knowlagent's e-Learning software will be integrated within Advisor, an element of e-talk's product suite. Collectively, these technologies aim at enabling companies to monitor the skill efficiencies of individual contact center agents through e-talk's Skill Mining module and deliver appropriate training courses via Knowlagent's KnowDev 5.0. e-talk's customers also are expected to benefit from KnowDev 5.0's Reports module, an objective measurement tool designed to identify and track agents' knowledge gaps. With this added capability, e-talk can retrain its agents based upon individual needs and learning retention levels.

Motive For Siebel Alliance
Motive Communications, Inc. announced that it has joined Siebel Systems' Alliance Program as a software partner. The software alliance will cover joint marketing and sales efforts, and product integration and validation. Companies will be able to use Siebel eBusiness applications and the Motive online customer care solution to optimize the process of answering users' questions, resolving their problems and tracking operational customer data. Motive's software will help these companies leverage real-time and historical data from Siebel's applications to connect customers more quickly and efficiently to in-context answers and distributed human experts. Motive's e-service solution aims at combining with Siebel eBusiness applications to improve customer care efficiency and effectiveness compared to traditional telephone-based methods.

Teltrust Taps CTI For eCRM Partnership
Teltrust, Inc. and Custom TeleConnect, Inc. announced a strategic alliance to create a fully integrated multimedia and multichannel customer interaction specialist and contact center. The partnership aims at becoming a premier supplier of outsourced services in the eCRM space, delivering customer contact in almost every language and dialect through a growing variety of channels including live voice, VoIP, Internet chat, automated operator, e-mail and fax. The partnership will combine Teltrust's 1,400 multilingual and multimedia agents and array of products and services with CTI's communications network, technology and infrastructure, including its IVR solution.

RMH Closes Service Deal With MSN
RMH Teleservices, Inc. announced that it has entered into a multi-year agreement with Microsoft Corporation to provide inbound customer relationship management services for MSN Internet Access. Utilizing Web-enabled workstations, RMH is providing support, retention and account creation services for MSN subscribers.

Philips Strikes Gold For Alliance
Gold Systems, Inc., a provider of voice and wireless Web solutions, and Philips Speech Processing, a developer of speech recognition technology and a business unit of Royal Philips Electronics, announced an international strategic alliance to deliver advanced speech recognition solutions. The companies plan to jointly market and develop customer projects on a global basis, initially targeting the banking, finance, insurance, retail e-commerce, healthcare, government, utilities, travel and transportation and customer care industries.

Iwatsu And MCK Alliance Targets Remote Voice Market
Iwatsu America, Inc. and MCK Communications, Inc. announced the formation of a strategic alliance to jointly develop remote voice product solutions for business customers in the United States. Under the terms of this agreement, MCK will engineer its remote voice technology to operate over Iwatsu's ADIX APS platform. Iwatsu will have exclusive access to the MCK product using the Iwatsu protocol, and will distribute this remote voice solution throughout North America. The combined solution expects to offer branch offices, remote workers and call center agents new levels of performance, providing full PBX functionality and high-speed data transmission.

[ Return To The January 2001 Table Of Contents ]


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