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Talisma Launches Velocity Marketing v6.0 Talisma, a provider of multichannel CRM solutions, has announced the availability of Talisma Velocity Marketing v6.0, a multichannel campaign creation, management and tracking application that allows marketing professionals to automate, personalize and manage one-to-one marketing campaigns, surveys and newsletters. Talisma Velocity Marketing v6.0 is aimed at enabling the creation of seamless, highly targeted enterprise communications (ranging from simple, one-time marketing communications to richer, more sophisticated multimedia campaigns). Campaigns for leveraging the customer's preferred communication medium can be quickly scaled with accuracy to meet an organization's changing needs. New features include a reporting dashboard, dynamic survey capabilities and enhanced reporting functionality. The dashboard is designed to provide an efficient, real-time view of all metrics involved in campaign monitoring and controlling. The Campaign Result Summary Report, new to v6.0, is a comprehensive, campaign-based report that summarizes relevant metrics for campaign administration. Existing features such as reports, rules-based e-mail functionality, campaign builder and user interface have been enhanced to reduce the time and expertise required to build a campaign.

eAgency Expands Nice Office's SFA eAgency Systems, a provider of on-demand CRM solutions for the small to medium-sized office/home market, has announced the sales force automation (SFA) expansion of Nice Office Universal Edition. This newest version of eAgency's CRM solution is designed to deliver an array of Web and wireless SFA features that enable mobile professionals to achieve greater mobile productivity. In addition to the existing capabilities of Nice Office, which include over-the-air wireless synchronization of sales and customer data as well as e-mail, calendar and contacts, this latest version offers several new features.

Users can now receive leads with the rest of their data, including previous activities and sales. Also, the integration of Nice Office Web with the Blackberry Wireless Handheld from Research in Motion (RIM) enables users to automatically record key events directly into the CRM system. With the Nice Office Web and wireless journaling process, organizations can improve the data on activity reporting while eliminating the need to complete weekly activity reports. The new features retain the ability to be used by employee and non-employee groups without the need for corporate infrastructure or third-party integration. Other new SFA features of Nice Office include the following added capabilities: sales funnel; mail merge; custom contact and sales fields; full contact view; maps; and directions.

The Nice Office product works on the full suite of J2ME Blackberry devices from RIM. Business-specific information is tightly integrated with the existing Blackberry user interface to offer seamless transitioning from contacts and calendar to detailed sales and status information ' all encapsulated in an end-to-end encrypted data packet.

Left Bank's Monet AnyWhere Now In More Than 100 Languages Left Bank Solutions, a provider of workforce optimization software, has announced that Monet AnyWhere is being offered in more than 100 languages. Monet AnyWhere is a Web-based workforce management agent and supervisor interface that, according to the company, 'acts as a powerful extension to the Monet Workforce Management System,' providing agents and supervisors stationed at home or at work with 'convenient, easy access to scheduling, tracking and exception planning management functions.' The Monet Workforce Management System with Monet AnyWhere is suitable for multiple large contact centers using VoIP and hosted contact center technology. 'We are seeing the emergence of virtual call centers enabled by VoIP which can now be located anywhere in the world and consist of a mix of agents working from home as well as those stationed in an actual contact center,' said Left Bank President and CEO Charles Ciarlo in a company statement. 'Whether your resources are offshore, home-shore or anywhere in between, Monet AnyWhere can manage them cost efficiently in real time.' Ciarlo added that call center growth is greater abroad than in the U.S. With many of these overseas centers servicing in-region callers, there is a need for workforce management tools to be available in the native language. The more than 100 languages Monet Anywhere speaks include Chinese and other Asian languages that require double-byte capabilities.

SeatLink Files PBR Application Patent SeatLink, Inc., a newly formed venture and analytics platform developer for enterprise contact centers, recently filed a patent application for Preference-Based Routing (PBR). The purpose of PBR is to systematically and dynamically incorporate the personal preferences of customer service agents when determining optimal assignment of inbound interactions within a contact center. Through deployment of PBR, an enterprise contact center can simultaneously improve the quality of service while reducing operating costs. 'If you want to improve quality of service and productivity at the contact center, you must first fix the problems with the agents,' said Michael Sisselman, CEO and co-founder of SeatLink. 'PBR empowers agents by allowing them to help choose the type of work that they do. That has a positive effect on retention, attendance, endurance and schedule adherence, which naturally translates into better service and higher profits.' SeatLink claims it is the first company to make agent preferences an integral part of routing. In doing so, it extends traditional load-based routing and the more recent skills-based routing to achieve customer interactions that can be handled promptly and appropriately. Because of the widespread impact that SeatLink believes this technology will likely have on the customer service industry, SeatLink employed the legal counsel of Swidler Berlin to help secure its intellectual property.

Sage Software Offers ACT! Premium For Web Sage Software (formerly Best Software), a provider of contact and customer management products, has introduced ACT! Premium for Web 2005. The solution is designed to provide real-time online access to centralized customer data for remote, traveling and on-site sales professionals and workgroups. Users are now able to run ACT! Premium for Web for online access and ACT! Premium for Workgroups 2005 as an offline client with full features. Combined, the products create 'the first and only contact and customer management solution to provide a seamless online and offline user experience with Web, desktop or mixed deployment.' ACT! offers Web-based access which assists sales and marketing professionals in tracking opportunities, closing sales and managing customer relationships by streamlining the communications and tasks required for successful relationship selling. Built on the ACT! 2005 framework, ACT! Premium for Web 2005 was developed using .NET, and it uses a centrally administered server that resides securely behind a company's firewall and updates customer data in real time. ACT! Premium for Web 2005 servers allow administrators to quickly and easily add new users and set individual and group data access permissions. The system also provides an automatic software-update option, so end users can receive new features instantly. Further, administrators can customize screen layouts and reports by creating customizations once and rolling them out seamlessly to all desired users.

Amdocs, Microsoft Sign Letter Of Intent To Develop/Deliver IP-Based Converged Services Amdocs, a provider of software and services for enabling integrated customer management and the intentional customer experience, and Microsoft Corp. have announced that they have signed a letter of intent aimed at enabling service providers to more rapidly deliver converged, IP-based services to their customers. Under terms of the letter of intent, the two companies plan to jointly develop, market and deliver solutions that will combine Amdocs consulting and implementation services: the Amdocs 6 portfolio of integrated, modular products with Microsoft Communications Sector solutions, including the Microsoft Connected Services Framework. Amdocs will expand its integration with the Microsoft Connected Services Framework to facilitate flow-through provisioning and usage collection for a variety of Microsoft services, such as the Microsoft Solution for Hosted Messaging and Collaboration and the Microsoft TV platform. Also, Amdocs Partner Manager 6 will be available on the Microsoft platform; and both companies plan to develop industry-standard, Web services-based interfaces to facilitate cost-effective, low-risk deployment and faster time to market for new services.

Avaya Announces New Contact Center Applications Avaya Inc. has announced new contact center applications to help organizations enhance customer service in a 24/7 world. The next-generation IP-based applications can seamlessly link a company's entire workforce to serve customers quicker, more accurately and more efficiently; this includes contact center agents, branch office employees and knowledge experts in any location. This ability is targeted at improving customer experience and agent productivity at a significantly lower cost of contact center operations. "We're leveraging people and processes across the entire enterprise, including branch offices, knowledge experts and call center agents ' whether in a domestic, offshore or virtual call center," said Lawrence Byrd, Avaya's director of communications applications. The new applications use intelligent communications to assist increasingly distributed businesses in connecting workers and processes with customers across the globe. New capabilities include the following:

' Advanced Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) capabilities to accelerate the delivery of the correct information from the appropriate expert to customers calling at any time;
' A new Web browser-based interface to allow organizations to more easily and cost-effectively deploy sophisticated multimedia contact center applications to agents anywhere;
' Enhanced analysis capabilities to provide an easier way to apply business value to each interaction (such as profit per customer or revenue per agent) with greater detail; and
' New survivability features to provide awareness of available resources in the event of network failures, to improve continuity across customer service operations.

The new applications are part of the Avaya Customer Interaction Suite, which is composed of four categories: contact management, operational effectiveness, self-service and proactive contact. The suite is a key component of Avaya's family of IP-based MultiVantage Communications Applications. Numerous new software releases are within two of the categories: contact management, with highlighted features to Interaction Center 7.0, IP Agent 6.0 and Call Center 3.0; and operational effectiveness, with enhancements to Operation Analyst 7.0 and Call Management System 13.

Genesys, Verizon To Offer Hosted IP Service; Genesys Announces SIP Contact Center Solution Genesys Telecommunications Laboratories, Inc., an Alcatel company, and Verizon Enterprise Solutions Group have announced a partnership to deliver a hosted, voice-ready services call center solution. The planned offering will enable businesses to quickly and cost-efficiently deploy advanced contact center applications, such as voice self-service and agent-level call routing. The IP-enabled voice solution will combine Genesys' open IP contact center portfolio with Verizon's secure, voice-ready IP data network to deliver to enterprises sophisticated IP communications services within a flexible, cost-efficient hosted environment. Through the hosted environment, companies will be able to eliminate the need for up-front capital equipment investments, as well as maintain minimal staffing and maintenance costs.

Built on open, standards-based technology, the IP solution will aim to offer the flexibility of selective sourcing of services, to support faster deployment of new applications and to allow for a phased implementation approach based on business requirements. The scalability of the architecture will allow for growth as needed over time. The multi-protocol capability of the IP solution will allow businesses to integrate advanced voice services with other SIP-based applications and avoid vendor lock-in, complicated upgrades and expensive maintenance costs. In other company news, Genesys has announced a new Genesys Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) contact center solution designed to provide customer interaction control for any SIP-enabled infrastructure, regardless of vendor.

Genesys' SIP solution can handle contact interaction control among SIP-enabled devices. The solution provides tracking and monitoring functions of the state of agents. It also delivers a set of interaction management functions. The solution takes traditional end-to-end IP calls and mediates them as a central IP server. It is integrated into the open, standards-based Genesys Customer Interaction Management Platform for managing and tracking customer contacts from beginning to end. Targeted technology benefits include the following:
' Flexible IP deployments/migration;
' Hardware consolidation;
' Supports soft phones and all SIP phones; and
' Integration to non-CTI-enabled soft switches.

Nortel Release Brings New Collaboration Into Single Environment Nortel has announced the new Nortel Applications Center for bringing together contact center, advanced speech, unified messaging and multimedia collaboration into a cohesive application environment. It is designed, according to the company's announcement, to deliver an easy-to-use customer experience and increased profitability for the businesses that it serves. The new Nortel Applications Center platform can ultimately integrate what have previously been stand-alone applications with a seamless integration across multiple applications, common tools and standard reporting modules, making the application center a more efficient and effective solution for managing customer interaction. This open, standards-based framework allows Nortel's customers to adopt a complete solution to interact with their customers at one time. Open standards allow this solution to be integrated into a multiple-vendor environment. Customers can deploy additional Nortel applications over time by simply turning them on. Also, by employing the SIP standard, users can customize these solutions to reflect their specific business needs and to deliver faster innovation and competitive differentiation. The new Nortel Applications Center aims to provide the framework for customers to offer improved customer service via IP-enabled video communications, virtual contact center, real-time multimedia, collaboration, unified messaging, advanced speech and computer-telephony integration for contact centers. Nortel Applications Center specifically announced:
' Nortel Contact Center Suite 6.0;
' CallPilot Unified Messaging release 4.0; and
' Communication Control Toolkit 5.0.

Nuasis, Siebel CRM Integrate Nuasis Corporation, an IP contact center company, has announced the successful integration of its software-only, IP-based contact center system with both Siebel CRM and Vantive CRM. The Nuasis NuContact Center handles customer inquiries via the phone, e-mail, Web and fax. The integration of the Siebel CRM application with the software-only, IP-based Nuasis contact center system aims to extend the CRM investment and increase contact center efficiency and productivity. According to a company statement, when CRM applications are integrated with the NuContact Center, companies can immediately 'pop' existing customer information from the CRM database onto the contact center agent's desktop, thereby providing the agent with detailed customer information so that the call/e-mail/Web chat can be handled faster and more efficiently. Nuasis customers are reporting that the combination of the IP-based contact center integrated with their existing CRM applications allows them to shave 30 to 45 seconds from every customer contact, the company noted in its announcement. Nuasis reports that nearly 100 percent of its customers are integrating the NuContact Center with CRM applications. For Nuasis customers, no costly hardware or middleware or CRM APIs are required. Furthermore, there is no requirement for complex and costly professional services.

KANA Updates E-Mail Response Management KANA, a provider of service resolution management (SRM) solutions, has announced an updated version of KANA Response, the company's e-mail response management solution. The enhancements include multilingual capabilities, outbound rules and workflow replication, each of which is designed to improve customer service levels at reduced overall costs. Integrated with KANA IQ, the company's knowledge base solution for self-service and assisted service, KANA Response allows companies to manage and handle all e-mail inquiries while also being scalable to meet changing needs. Also, KANA Response is designed to handle up to 100,000 e-mail messages, in virtually any language, every day. The new product aims to ensure consistency in responding to customer inquiries, and to guarantee the most urgent inquiries are quickly handled and resolved. KANA Response typically enables organizations to resolve customer inquiries received via e-mail within a few hours, as opposed to several days. The new version of KANA Response includes the following enhancements: automatic language identification; outbound rules; and replication. The new version of KANA Response is available immediately.

Macromedia Ships Breeze 5, On-Premise Deployment Macromedia, Inc., a Web communications provider, has announced the immediate availability of a new, licensed version of Macromedia Breeze 5, the company's online conferencing and collaborative Web communications solution that everyone can access instantly. The licensed version complements the existing hosted solution, launched in May, and allows enterprise organizations to install a complete Web communications solution behind their firewalls. Breeze 5 enables training professionals to deliver engaging live and self-paced training through a variety of enhancements, including multiple-course curriculum management, full-screen video, enhanced tracking and reporting, and expanded question and quiz types. Breeze 5 also allows sales and marketing professionals to engage more prospects and qualify more leads while reducing overall acquisition costs. With new event lifecycle management capabilities, Macromedia aims at enabling companies to deliver and measure successful, lead-generating events and global Web seminars with high-impact event creation, registration and actionable insight through dashboard-style reports. There are also customized meeting templates. The on-premise version of Breeze allows IT groups to leverage their existing infrastructures, including directory services, single sign-on and existing network investments.

Brainshark Adds Presence, IM Support Within On-Demand Presentations Brainshark, a provider of on-demand rich-media communications solutions, has announced support for presence and instant messaging applications to provide viewers of on-demand presentations with the ability to detect whether the presenting expert or sender is currently available, and to instantly initiate an online conversation in real time. Any Brainshark presentation can be presence-enabled with a direct connection to the appropriate individual or group (such as a sales or support team). Presence elevates the reach and convenience of on-demand presentations to higher levels of interaction, coupling time-shifted content viewing with an immediate real-time exchange of information to deliver even more effective selling, channel support, training and customer service. Due to its open architecture, any existing presence platform can be seamlessly integrated with this on-demand communications application. Applications for contextual presence include selling, learning and customer service. 'By embedding contextual presence [into on-demand communications], companies can provide relevant and immediate personal contact at the moment of highest interest and need,' said Brainshark CEO Joe Gustafson.

Siebel Announces CRM OnDemand 8 Launch Siebel Systems, Inc., a provider of customer-facing solutions, has announced the launch of Siebel CRM OnDemand release 8. This release of the company's hosted CRM offering introduces new features that streamline team collaboration and enable sophisticated segmentation for targeted marketing programs. The enhanced functionality in Release 8 expands on the capabilities of Siebel Systems' hosted solution, including a hosted data warehouse, advanced analytics capabilities, industry-specific editions and a prebuilt, integrated hosted contact center. New features include the following: ' Group calendaring and delegated task management;
' Advanced collaboration and group sharing;
' Contact networking; and
' An advanced marketing segmentation wizard.
With this latest release, users can now analyze group calendars in a single consolidated view for better workload management and can track assigned tasks through completion for maximum customer satisfaction. Because it provides built-in integration to familiar applications such as Microsoft Outlook, Siebel CRM OnDemand enables rapid user adoption.

For marketing program development and planning, the new Marketing Segmentation Wizard assists in uncovering additional revenue-generating opportunities within contact networks. In segmenting contacts by way of using multidimensional criteria, users are able to customize campaign messages for effective target marketing. As campaigns are deployed into the field, marketing program managers can use insight-driven analytics and business intelligence tools to monitor and react to the sales performance on opportunities generated, which can ultimately improve program ROI and deliver immediate business impact.

Aculab Launches Next-Gen Media-Processing Resources Platform Aculab, a provider of computer-telephony hardware and software for integration into high-performance communications solutions, has announced the launch of its next-generation media-processing resources platform, Prosody X. Prosody X is a card designed for media processing in IP-based networks with TDM connectivity as an option. Designed around an IP core, its architecture makes the product distributable among different chassis platforms offering resilience and scalability as well as 'helping future-proof solutions as they move to IP.' Prosody X is a new benchmark that offers significant flexibility to developers who can select the functions required to scale a wide range of low- to high-density applications. It is a highly configurable card that combines Aculab's media-processing resources, IP telephony and TDM digital network access functions. Preliminary channel counts for fully configured cards with basic speech processing are running at 600 for the PCI product variant. It features a rich mix of basic and advanced speech, fax and data features, making Prosody X "an extremely attractive option for any developer looking to create large-scale VoIP applications, from simple IVRs to complex blended contact centers."

NEC Introduces Complete Managed Services Communications Suite NEC Unified Solutions, Inc., a provider of converged voice and data communications solutions, has announced NEC Secure, a managed services suite for enterprises and small to medium-sized businesses (SMBs). The NEC Secure family of services includes the NEC SecurePlus Monitoring Service, NEC Secure Message Protection Suite and NEC Secure Advantage, all of which are designed to significantly reduce network downtime, increase productivity and ensure customers' networks are available even during disaster and emergency situations. NEC's SecurePlus service monitors a range of LAN and WAN devices, server infrastructure, operating systems and applications. The solution delivers an end-to-end monitoring solution, leveraging agent-based capabilities from NetIQ, robust SNMP-based monitoring from EMC and an advanced business rules escalation system, offering performance metrics, historical trending and advanced notification capabilities within the NEC SecurePlus Web portal. NEC Secure Message Protection Suite helps to preserve the productivity and benefits of e-mail communications by offering users a comprehensive, end-to-end approach to message compliance, security and continuity. The offering consists of the following three solutions: NEC Secure Message Filtering; NEC Secure Message Archiving; and NEC Secure Message Continuity. NEC Secure Message Protection Suite enables customers to reduce the risk, complexity and cost associated with message management while reducing costs related to message storage, inter-networking bandwidth and system administration. And NEC Secure Advantage extends monitoring and Technical Assistance Center (TAC) support by assigning an engineer to provide remote or on-site management. With NEC Secure Advantage, customers can gain dedicated relationship management and technical support teams that deliver immediate staff augmentation; also assisting with converged communications issues, network upgrades and moves, adds and changes (MACS).

Toshiba Migrates Toshiba Digital Telephony Systems To Pure IP Toshiba America Information Systems Inc., Digital Solutions Division (TAIS DSD), has announced the availability of Release 3.1 software, which migrates an existing Toshiba Strata CTX digital business communications system to a Strata CIX pure IP system. Toshiba's Release 3.1 software upgrade gives Toshiba Strata CTX users all the benefits of the Strata CIX pure IP system, including the following: ' Peer-to-peer IP communications, plus the ability to add digital TDM where it makes sense, or efficiently configure the system with all TDM; ' Toshiba's FeatureFlex adaptability feature that allows users to customize or create new features; ' Toshiba's Media Application Server, which allows multiple IP-based applications to run on a single platform including auto-attendant, voice mail, unified messaging, Web-based system administration, Web-based end user self-administration, speech recognition, text-to-speech, IVR, ACD and reporting; ' Availability of virtually all features to all users, regardless of the type of Toshiba telephone they are using, including IP desk telephones, IP wireless telephones, IP soft phones on laptop PCs and PDAs and digital telephones; and ' No major training hurdles for users that migrate from Toshiba Strata CTX systems to Strata CIX functionality. Toshiba's Strata CIX is designed for SMB enterprises or larger corporate users with multiple sites. Strata CIX670 supports up to 672 ports, while Strata CIX200 supports up to 192 ports, and the CIX100 supports up to 112 ports. All versions include FeatureFlex capabilities; can be TDM-enabled; and are designed to provide a smooth migration path from Toshiba Strata CTX and Strata DK digital business communication systems.

Whitefeld Announces XTAPI Software v5.0 For Contact Centers Whitefeld, LLC., a provider of CTI products and services, has announced version 5.0 of its flagship XTAPI Server software. This latest XTAPI Server features enhancements that include an integrated, thin-client management tool, improvements in screen-pop and call routing, and the addition of an IVR module. It is available in three editions: IVR, Standard and Enterprise. The new version is aimed at improving customer service and reducing costs throughout the call center. Desktop automation in the form of XTAPI screen-pops and soft phones makes the caller data available immediately upon receiving a call. The XTAPI Server's advanced client-/server-cooperative screen-pops can be created to perform server-side processing, then seamlessly pass control to the desktop, at which point the desktop can perform middleware functions to screen-pop CRM applications and Web browsers. The XTAPI Server's call-routing engine can significantly improve call-handling time and customer satisfaction by routing calls to the correct person the first time. Call routing can incorporate data from IVRs, the PBX and other customer data sources. The XTAPI Server's IVR module can be used for on-demand call recording or for providing IVR self-service functionality. The integrated Web Services can also be utilized for integrating screen-pops and routing with an existing IVR. The IVR feature is designed to improve the efficiency of the call center by automating as much as possible while improving customer service. The XTAPI Server's graphical, thin-client, browser-based administration tool and its fully integrated architecture reduce training and IT needs. No administration is required at the agent desktops and, in some cases, no software is required on the desktop.

ASC Enhances VoIP Recording Solution For Cisco ASC, a provider of performance improvement solutions for contact centers, financial institutions and public safety and government organizations, has announced an enhanced VoIP recording solution for its Cisco product, EVOip+ for Cisco. ASC lists numerous new capabilities of EVOip+ for Cisco, including compatibility with different VoIP protocols, such as SIP, SCCP (Skinny) and H 323. The product also uses XML to display the recording status on the user's phone and a pre-programmed button to replay the last call recorded over the phone for verification. Employee protection and confidentiality are addressed through special features to record only threatening calls and delete private ones. EVOip+ for Cisco is offered in an active version, which records encrypted calls and works in distributed environments with multiple locations via a single server, at which point the calls are stored on either a standard Windows server or with Linux; or in a passive version, which monitors RTP/ RTCP packets on the LAN and operates independently from the customer's network. Both versions support DHCP (Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol) and the recording of internal and external calls. EVOip+ for Cisco is compatible with Cisco Catalyst 6000 Series switches, Cisco CallManager, Cisco Media Convergence Server, Cisco Integrated Communications System and Cisco IP IVR.

InStranet Launches Telco-Media Edition Of Contact Centers In-Line Application InStranet, Inc., a provider of multichannel knowledge applications, has announced the launch of its packaged Telco-Media Edition of its Contact Centers In-Line (CCIL) application. InStranet has packaged industry-specific knowledge processes in the Telco-Media Edition, which results in a consistent cross-channel customer experience and 'unbeatable deployment times.' The CCIL Telco-Media Edition is a multichannel, fully integrated knowledge application, now available for the telecommunications and media industries, aimed at extending across multiple customer touch points. Possible benefits of the solution include faster, better service for customers; increased agent satisfaction; and streamlined knowledge processes for managers. This can boost customer retention, lower operating costs and increase revenues. The CCIL Telco-Media Edition provides agents with instant, one-click access to all product and service information relevant to the complete customer experience. From a single screen, agents can instantly access all information needed to handle any stage of a call, for the purpose of eliminating the necessity of conducting multiple searches. CCIL can also empower agents to seamlessly integrate upsell and cross-sell proposals at appropriate times during calls, thereby translating into increased potential revenue. For managers, the Telco-Media Edition automates knowledge processes, including product launch, retention initiatives and support, 'ensuring agents across channels are always in sync and have the right information to help customers at any time during a call.'

NextNine Service Automation v3.5 Available Immediately NextNine, a provider of automated, remote service and support solutions for business-critical systems, has announced the immediate availability of NextNine Service Automation (NSA) version 3.5. This software is designed to offer significant enhancements for facilitating improved workflows and system efficiency, 'providing technology vendors with a tremendous competitive advantage.' 'NextNine Service Automation version 3.5 [...] offers support professionals new tools that enable them to realize valuable, once-unattainable returns on their investment, such as enhanced organizational efficiency, increased system uptime, reduced Mean Time to Repair, and significantly reduced service and support costs,' said NextNine CEO Adi Dulberg in the company's announcement. NextNine's technology aims to assist customers in achieving higher levels of service delivery at the lowest possible cost. NSA's platform enables proactive monitoring, automatic problem escalation, self-healing and remote secure access ' functionality for significantly increasing system availability and customer satisfaction while simultaneously improving the efficiency of an organization's support mechanism. NSA version 3.5 enhancements include the following: Customer Site Dashboard; basic diagnostics; improved remote access; extended file distribution; enhanced security; and extended API.

NICE Completes Dictaphone CRS Acquisition NICE Systems, a provider of integrated multimedia recording systems for business analysis and insight, has announced the completion of its acquisition of Dictaphone's Communications Recording Systems (CRS) business, a provider of liability and quality management systems for first responders, critical facilities, contact centers and financial trading floors. The acquisition of the assets of Dictaphone's CRS business, originally announced on April 11, 2005, was an all-cash transaction for approximately $38.5 million. NICE expects the transaction to consolidate the company's leadership position with the largest market share in contact centers, financial trading floors and with first responders and command and control centers. Furthermore, with Dictaphone CRS' broad intellectual property portfolio and CRS' reputation for quality, the acquisition is expected to accelerate incremental sales of NICE's Insight from Interactions solutions for the public, security and enterprise sectors. Dictaphone's sale is part of its strategy to create a company focused principally on the healthcare information technology market. Dictaphone's Healthcare Solutions Group deploys dictation, transcription and speech recognition software systems in approximately half of the hospitals in the U.S. Its solutions automate critical elements in the creation and management of health information, to help healthcare organizations improve productivity and patient care quality.

Convergys To Acquire Deloitte Consulting Outsourcing F&A Outsourcing Business Convergys Corporation, a provider of customer care, human resources and billing services, and Deloitte Consulting Outsourcing LLC have announced a definitive agreement under which Convergys will acquire the Finance and Accounting (F&A) Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) business of Deloitte Consulting Outsourcing LLC, a subsidiary of Deloitte Consulting LLP. Deloitte Consulting Outsourcing and Convergys expect to close on the transaction 'as soon as practicable.' Financial terms are not being disclosed. The acquisition will be neutral to Convergys' 2005 earnings per share. 'In today's highly competitive market, companies are finding outsourcing to be a strategically attractive alternative to internally operating certain business functions like human resource management, customer care, and finance and accounting,' said Katrina Menzigian, vice president of Business Solutions and BPO services, IDC., in a company statement. "As a global outsource service provider, Convergys is addressing a growing trend to outsource finance and accounting functions so that companies can focus on their product or service delivery instead of this internal administrative operation."

Ergonomics Seminars Target Improving Productivity, Reducing Injuries Humantech, Inc., a workplace ergonomics consulting firm, has announced the fall schedule for its series of ergonomics seminars. Health and safety staff, engineers, facilities managers and ergonomics committees can learn to maximize the benefits of an ergonomics process from Humantech's experienced and board-certified ergonomists. The fall 2005 seminar schedule covers such topics as industrial ergonomics, office ergonomics, and ergonomic design guidelines. See the schedule below for seminar information, with dates and locations.

Telstra Appoints New CEO Chairman Donald McGauchie AO of Telstra Corporation, a telecommunications and information services company, has announced the board's appointment of Solomon (Sol) Trujillo as Chief Executive Officer and as an executive director of the company. Trujillo took up his position in the beginning of this month. He replaces Dr. Ziggy Switkowski. Trujillo has been appointed on an ongoing contract. He holds a Bachelor of Business and an MBA degree from the University of Wyoming. Past experience includes the following: he was previously a non-executive director, and then CEO, of London-based Orange, a large mobile company in Europe; was the CEO of high-tech company Gravitron; and spent 26 years with US West Inc., including serving as its chairman, CEO and president for five years.

Premiere Global Services Launches Two New Speech Apps Premiere Global Services Inc., a global provider of communication technologies, has announced the launch of two new speech-enabled solutions added to its services suite: an Automated Payment feature for its outbound calling applications, leveraging the company's existing Web-based EIPP platform to enable businesses to complete transactions in a single automated call; and an Interactive Survey feature for quickening the survey and data collection process. Both features involve no live agent intervention. "Premiere Global's Automated Payment solution is a great addition to our Collections Accelerator application ' now we're able to offer our customers a turnkey speech-enabled solution that quickly changes 'past-due' accounts to 'paid' in a single call," said Premiere Global Services President Lee Provow in a company statement. "And our new Interactive Survey will help businesses save time and money with a fully automated solution that collects survey responses and data faster and more efficiently." With Premiere Global's Automated Payment feature, businesses are enabled to accelerate payments and increase cash flow. As well, companies can provide proactive customer service with convenient reminders and immediate payment capture. Further, they can now reduce days sales outstanding (DSO) and customer defaults by boosting payment rates and by reducing costs related with printing, mailing statements and past-due notices. The new Interactive Survey solution uses speech recognition to assist businesses in automating the capture of spoken responses without needing live agents, which simplifies the data collection process. Interactive Survey also aims to help businesses collect more responses in less time. Interactive Survey features can be used for functions such as capturing customer/subscriber feedback, third-party research and political surveys, among others.

Nexidia Releases Enterprise Speech Intelligence 5.0 Nexidia, an audio search and speech analytics products vendor, has announced the general availability of its flagship product, Nexidia Enterprise Speech Intelligence 5.0. Nexidia ESI 5.0 was engineered to help generate and analyze intelligence contained in recorded spoken interactions. "As organizations continue to leverage audio to gain greater insight into their customers and businesses, there is a need for an enterprise solution capable of searching and analyzing audio data at a user-defined level, while maintaining a total cost of ownership that is enterprise viable," according to Nexidia President and CEO John Willcutts. Nexidia's phonetics-based approach to searching audio is aimed at contributing to the accuracy, relevancy, scalability and speed of the product. New features in Nexidia ESI 5.0 include the following:
' Enhanced analysis using metadata. v5.0 enables sophisticated analyses of the attributes surrounding the recorded audio (metadata).
' Added reporting and trending capabilities. v5.0 enables users to view search results in user-defined combinations using call data and metadata. Intelligence gained from recorded speech can be viewed and analyzed to provide insight into business issues.
' Enhanced recorded-speech search. v5.0 brings enhanced searching capabilities with the addition of search best-practices functionality. The Nexidia search and query functionality can now be used to perform optimized searches and queries generating intelligence relevant to the user's information needs.
' Media replay and search. v5.0's replay functionality allows sorting and reporting of search results by user-chosen metadata fields. Media Replay enables the user to review and replay search results at the point in the file where the result happens.

Symon Announces Enterprise Digital Video Network Appliance Symon Communications, Inc., a provider of broadcast and digital signage solutions, has announced the launch of the Symon Digital Appliance (SDA-500), a series of advanced network-manageable products that combines Symon's experience in data collection and visual display technology, maximizing the efficiency and flexibility of delivering broadcast and digital signage content while minimizing costs. Symon provides the SDA-500 with the purpose of being a powerful, easy-to-implement, dynamic digital signage solution to timely and flexibly share retail and advertising information of all kinds (including content from live external feeds, news, weather and up-to-the-minute current advertising messaging). Using strategically placed flat-panel LCD or plasma displays, the SDA-500 aims to deliver information with impact to the retail environment for maximizing its reach. This then enhances the frequency with which product messages can be delivered. Messages with dynamic, real-time data integration and content delivery are created using an integrated lineup of Symon Communication components: the Symon Enterprise Server (SES), Symon Design Studio and Symon Digital Appliance. Customizable, tailored for unique audiences and automated, a Symon digital signage network and SDA-500 can deliver rich promotional messages featuring graphics, text and moving images. With its solutions suite, Symon leverages its real-time infrastructure, combined with vibrant, graphical and animated video messaging, resulting in a complete digital signage, 'infotainment' and even an emergency communication system that can be used in virtually any environment.

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