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Customer Inter@ction Solutions News
September 2001


New Products

Mergers & Acquisitions

Happenings

Strategic Alliances


New Products

Communique Bolsters Communicate! Capabilities
01 Communique Laboratory Inc. has refined the capabilities of its Communicate! products, geared for providing small business and home users an affordable and advanced level of communications. The enhanced Communicate! product family is comprised of three versions: Communicate! v10.0, a fax, voice mail and e-mail solution for home and office; Communicate! Pro v5.0, featuring more robust capabilities, remote message notification to wireless devices and remote e-mail conversion by its text-to-speech engine; and Communicate! i2000, which offers the advanced communications services of the other suites, plus full-motion video, video phone, text-to-speech and call answering. The company said that the product design is consistent throughout the suite, providing a simpler and easier to follow means to upgrade as individual needs change. Additionally, the grouping of features is designed to follow a logical structure to ensure that users can best identify the most suitable product for their needs. 
www.01com.com / Ph: 800-668-2185

eshare Makes Auto Response Module Available
eshare communications, Inc. has released a stand-alone module version of eshare NetAgent ANSWER, the e-mail auto-response component of the company's NetAgent Suite of customer interaction management (CIM) applications. NetAgent ANSWER is eshare's latest intelligent auto-response application. The solution can, in some cases, filter up to 90 percent of incoming e-mail and provide accurate and timely responses to e-mail without the need for human assistance. The application's "neural," network-based artificial intelligence uses context vector technology to automatically group data into similarly themed clusters for improved accuracy and relevance. It adapts to what customers most often ask so that relevant and appropriate responses can be created. The accuracy of a company's responses can be further safeguarded by enabling contact center agents to see and approve the e-mail reply that NetAgent ANSWER prepares on its own. www.eshare.com / Ph: 866-437-4273

Cendant Proffers A Carrot Portal: Employalty
Launched by Cendant Incentives, Inc., a division of Cendant Membership Services, the Web-based Employalty program is designed to combine the motivating power of a points-based incentive program with the opportunity to capitalize on all employee-manager interactions. The incentive component of Employalty allows employees to earn points redeemable for rewards they select, including merchandise, gift certificates, travel, etc. Employalty's second component is an administration module that is accessible online and allows managers to award points and run reports to track employee incentive activity. Delivered over the Web, the program is structured to provide a method of sharing performance information that is frequent, clearly understood and consistent across a company, and afford opportunities to connect with employees on a continuing basis for building goodwill among employees and helping to retain high performers. The administration module allows companies to more easily track incentives and incentive dollars within a consistent framework throughout a company. www.employalty.com / Ph: 877-221-5533

I-Care 3.0 Solution Launches
Millennium Care Inc. has released Incident Care Version 3.0 (I-Care 3.0), a Web-enabled service chain automation solution designed for help desks and contact centers needing strategic customer service capabilities and desiring to reduce service management costs. I-Care 3.0 is a hosted application, and Millennium states that companies can transition to the product in less than a month. The application is hosted on a secure, scalable platform featuring three main modules using a role-based security model and based on a public domain, best practices framework. The Web portal is the common entry point for all users accessing any of the modules, and is password protected to maintain privacy and security. End users can create and track their own incidents through the MyCare Module. Service delivery staff or help desk analysts can create, update, assign, track, resolve and close their incidents using the I-CarePro module. External or third-party service providers use the I-CareSP Module to search, view and update incidents assigned to them. 
www.millenniumcare.com / Ph: 416-696-9090

Knowlagent Releases New KnowDev Version
Knowlagent, Inc. announced the availability of version 6.0 of KnowDev, its e-learning platform software solution. The product has several new modules, including KnowDev Course Packager, designed to make it easier to move courses and reviews from one system to another; and KnowDev Enterprise, which tracks agent training from all sites and provides easy-to-read results. Other features include a customized toolbar; a Revert to Last Published feature that prevents accidental deletion of data; a Student Today option, which shows agent progress; review lists that show all reviews in a course; and a new reporting feature. Knowlagent's non-disruptive training platform delivers training directly to the agent's desktop and can be customized with text, graphics, video and audio content. Managers can customize courses; push them to agents and track individual agent performance. 
www.knowlagent.com / Ph: 888-329-6661

Mobile E-Commerce On The Fly: mZipper 4.0
Rissa Solutions Oyj launched mZipper release 4.0, e-commerce software that combines support for mobile devices with back-end integration to major ERP systems. mZipper 4.0 is designed to improve sales, after sales and field service operations in a demand chain. The product enables mobile employees, dealers, customers and service personnel in the field to handle real-time business transactions, such as ordering and inventory management, through wireless and Internet devices. Multichannel customer service modules include sell-side functions for inventory management, quote generation, ordering and logistics; product catalog publishing and content management; and a role-based or individually customized service desktop, which covers personalized access to other mZipper modules and links to internal or external information sources. mZipper server can be connected to enterprise back-end information systems through native connectors or open XML and generic EDI file integration kits. mZipper 4.0 software is written in Java and runs on Windows NT, Windows 2000, Sun Solaris and IBM AIX servers. 
www.rissasolutions.com / +44 118 963 5822

Onyx Rolls Out Latest Thin-Client CRM Portal Version
Onyx Software Corp. released the latest version of Onyx Employee Portal (OEP), designed to maximize the effectiveness of front-office employees by combining robust CRM functionality with complementary third-party applications and relevant Internet content in a single, customizable interface. OEP 3.0 provides one-click access to contextual Internet content for marketing, sales, service and support users through a single interface. Without leaving the portal interface, users have instant access to productivity tools, Web collaboration, complex product configuration, knowledge bases, expense reporting, etc. OEP can be personalized for departmental and individual needs, enabling employees across the enterprise to gather and share critical customer information, conduct one-to-one marketing campaigns, manage existing accounts and new sales opportunities, and provide customer service and support. 
www.onyx.com / Ph: 888-ASK-ONYX

Kabira Unleashes Nex-Gen Convergent Mediation App Framework
Kabira Technologies Inc. began shipping the latest release of its xDR Mediation V2.0 application framework. xDR Mediation 2.0 is designed to enable service providers to rapidly deploy solutions with service creation templates specific to their particular business requirements, depending on which services they are introducing at any given time. These custom templates include: IP and circuit- switched network billing mediation; a global system for mobile communications (GSM) and generalized partial response signaling (GPRS) billing mediation, prepaid billing mediation, quality of service (QoS) and service-level agreement (SLA) management, short message service (SMS) and content billing mediation; and fault management. The platform is architected to support both circuit-switched and packet-switched networks including GSM, CDMA, TDMA, GPRS, UMTS and EDGE. 
www.kabira.com / Ph: 415-446-5000

Responsys Upgrades Acquisition, Database Management Product
Responsys, Inc. reported that enhancements have been added to Responsys Acquire, the company's customer acquisition service. The product now includes e-mail append, electronic change of address and e-mail name prospecting, including CPA/CPC (cost per acquisition and cost per click) services. It offers a broad collection of opt-in customer database management services to help enterprises create an optimized online customer acquisition strategy that rapidly builds and maintains high-quality opt-in customer databases. These new services complement Responsys Acquire's previously launched CPM opt-in list brokerage offering, an e-mail list service that provides clients with access to trusted sources of opt-in e-mail addresses. Together, these services are intended to create a system for businesses to grow online databases and increase acquisition return on investment. 
www.responsys.com / Ph: 888-219-7150

Dunhill Adds Appending Service
Dunhill International List Co., Inc. has added to its portfolio of marketing services and list compiling capabilities by establishing a new division devoted to appending e-mail addresses to their client files. The appending service includes blasting the e-mail to allow the buyers or prospects to opt in or out of receiving future correspondence. Dunhill will append accurate and deliverable e-mail addresses, all opt-in, to a client's current customer or prospect file. This process creates valuable information for any client to target their market to those individuals who have shown an interest in a particular product or service. 
www.dunhills.com / Ph: 800-386-4455

Enhanced Functionality For InnoMedia's IP VideoPhone
InnoMedia, Inc. has upgraded its IP VideoPhone product with improved audio and video, and increased interoperability and multiparty video conferencing. This new level of interoperability is designed to make the product a stronger contender for use in any business environment that has made the investment in a room-based conferencing system. The IP VideoPhone can interoperate with Polycom's ViewStation, ViaVideo and PictureTel; Microsoft's NetMeeting; CuSeeMe's 5.0 client and MCU server; and Cisco and Ezenia! gateways and gatekeepers. The IP VideoPhone supports MCU operations, enabling group videoconferencing with a variety of endpoints, which can help users to maintain a private conferencing environment while reducing operating costs and improving productivity. Expanded features include an auto-answer option, adjustable bandwidth support for improved audio/video quality and a network status indicator. The IP VideoPhone can be configured and upgraded remotely via a Web browser from any network PC. 
www.innomedia.com / 408-432-5413

MessageMedia Delivers UnityMail 5.0
MessageMedia, Inc. has released UnityMail 5.0, the latest version of its e-mail marketing software. This database-enabled software is designed to offer extensive capabilities combined with enhanced reports and expanded international language messaging capabilities for delivery of large-scale, targeted, permission-based marketing campaigns. The solution integrates a customer's database into e-mail marketing software that allows marketers to build one-to-one relationships with customers, prospects and employees, delivering personalization and providing meaningful report analytics. The product is intended to help marketers develop strategies in which audiences are messaged only when an offer fits a pre-expressed need, action or preference. UnityMail 5.0's scalability enables more efficient distribution of e-mail delivery and response-handling tasks to enhance the delivery and processing performance of large-scale e-mail marketing campaigns. www.messagemedia.com / Ph: 303-440-7550

Quixi Offers Sales Solution For Mobile CRM
Quixi Inc. recently unveiled its Quixi Sales Solution, designed to help enterprises address the low user adoption and data entry issues that are barriers to CRM success. Using a combination of software and live sales support, the Quixi Sales Solution simplifies sales professionals' interactions with their CRM platform, leading to improved sales productivity and comprehensive CRM data capture from sales forces. Quixi describes its solution as a bridge between the mobile sales professional and a company's existing CRM system, allowing for real-time interaction with the CRM platform from anywhere and at anytime. Live sales support representatives capture, update and retrieve CRM data, which is automatically integrated into a company's existing CRM platform. Valuable customer information is added to the system, giving everyone a more up-to-date view of customers. Sales professionals can use the solution effectively with minimal training. 
www.quixi.com / Ph: 800-784-9486

Big Blue To The Rescue
IBM Corp. has deployed a new, Web-enabled support service, Virtual Help Desk, designed to provide support to problem inquiries on a 24 x 7 basis via the Web. The design features of IBM's Virtual Help Desk utilize the latest electronic technology to integrate Web tools into the customer's environment. Virtual Help Desk builds on self-healing, self-help and assisted service processes to answer user questions. A Web portal guides users through all stages, reducing the need for help desk calls and on-site support. In addition, information about the user, the system and the problem is automatically collected and analyzed to guide the user to the right tools and sources for quick, efficient resolution. Some of its other features include automated problem diagnostics and support solutions, electronic chat (IM help), printer configuration, software rollback and self-healing, and dynamic language translation. IBM will initially market the Virtual Help Desk service to corporate clients. 
www.ibm.com / Ph: 914-499-1900

Telescan Activates Administrator
Telescan Corp. has released its Administrator product, a management tool for call center operations. The Administrator is designed to provide instant, real-time call traffic and resource utilization analysis. It offers analysis by time and date range, time interval, account, operator, station or trunk, and event type such as inbound, outbound, fax, alpha or e-mail reports, and automatically backs-up current and purged account master records. It also features virtually an unlimited number of messages, information screens, billing totals and statistical summaries in either graphic or text form. 
www.telescancorp.com / Ph: 800-770-7662

Multilingual Co-Browsing From Hipbone
Hipbone, Inc. has released Hipbone 2.3, designed to provide Web co-browsing solutions for international contact centers. Developed to meet the needs of multinational customers and resellers, the product enables online service agents to interact with site visitors by co-browsing Web pages in 14 languages. Contact center personnel can co-browse with prospects and customers while communicating using VoIP, Internet callback or text chat. The product also features a customizable user interface to reflect both a company's specific business practices and local language requirements. Hipbone also offers a complementary international telephone callback service, which permits customers in a country different from the contact center's to request live assistance by clicking on a "live help" button on the Web site and entering their local contact information. www.hipbone.com / Ph: 866-447-2663

An OpenPath To Wireless Application Development
OpenPath Products introduced DataBow Professional, a wireless application-authoring tool and server designed to enable nonprogrammers to easily produce wireless applications. Using the solution's drag-and-drop graphical authoring tool, users can create a variety of applications with a minimal learning curve. Users create customized applications by graphically connecting "Nodes" that represent specific tasks. Databow integrates with existing SQL databases, IMAP servers, HTTP servers, Telnet servers, shell scripts, etc. Databow includes all necessary software, including Web server and database, Web-based SMS, WAP and Palm for testing applications; and provides a tutorial and eight sample applications, demonstrating access to e-mail, stock quotes, etc. The product operates on Windows, Linux, Solaris and other Java-compatible operating systems, and it supports WAP and standard HTML browsers, SMS/e-mail phones, pagers and Palm devices. 
www.openpathproducts.com / Ph: 410-263-1962

Web- Or Client-Based E-mail From NetDIVE
NetDIVE Inc. reported the release of the NetDIVE Email System. The company said it has tried to address the issues of operation, administration, customization and cost that can be barriers to implementing an e-mail and messaging solution in any size company. Its system features a Web-based graphical user interface (GUI) for system administration, secure e-mail, a report generation tool and SQL- or file-based connectivity for maintaining all user information and records. The client side can be Web-based or use any POP3-compliant software, such as Eudora, Netscape or Outlook. For Web-based client access, e-mail data is accessible anytime from any location, using an HTML-compliant Web browser. www.netdive.com / Ph: 415-981-4545

iemprove Webware Suite Expansion
Application service provider iemagine Inc. reported the addition of four new CRM applications to its iemprove Webware Suite. The new applications are: Support, which lets users leverage the Web to create and deploy incident report forms, assign incidents to staff and create escalation policies that automatically send notices via e-mail or wireless devices; Service Calls, which lets users log and manage all the details required to fulfill customer work orders (such as parts, labor, customer and payment data) and enables employees to log in, access the data and close out the work order via a Web browser or wireless device; Contact Management, where users log, store and access information directly from a Web browser or wireless device; and Private Surveys, which allows users to invite a select group of respondents to complete an online survey featuring user-specified questions and response types, then tabulate and export results to a report or data file. 
www.iemagine.com / Ph: 312-988-4849.

Development Tool Out Of Pocket
Pocket Technologies, Inc. debuted PocketStudio v1.0, a development tool for the Palm OS platform. PocketStudio is designed to allow for easier application creation for handheld devices. Features include: 32-bit compiler with an easy-to-use, full-featured integrated development environment; Delphi-like language based on Pascal; easy migration from Visual Basic, C/C++, Java, Access, Delphi and other rapid application development environments; complete access to Palm OS API for advanced developers; fully integrated editor and debugger; SnapIn technology for third-party developers to add features for code generation and code repository; PXL (PocketStudio Extended Library) collection of compiled source code components that plug directly into PocketStudio IDE; and integrated POSE support from the IDE for easy testing and debugging. www.pocket-technologies.com / Ph: 612-337-3883

Web-Based Self-Service And Support Solution
noHold, Inc. has introduced its noHold Instant Support solution. Built on proprietary artificial intelligence technology, Instant Support is designed to empower users to solve technical problems online through a chat-like interface built into a company's Web site, allowing support agents to concentrate on more complex problems. The solution is composed of Knowledge Platform, the database that contains a company's information on products and services; Knowledge Portal, the user interface with a chat-like setting; DynamicDialog, an artificial intelligence engine that allows users to describe problems in their own words; and Portal Manager, an "always on" virtual focus group that provides metrics about each support session. An optional Dynamic Link can access data on a company's existing legacy databases and incorporate it into the solutions. www.nohold.com / Ph: 408-946-9200

e-point 5.2 Released
Point Information Systems began delivering e-point 5.2 , designed to address key customer relationship management requirements by applying CRM across all distribution channels for more focused solutions for contact centers, one-to-one direct marketing and hybrid CRM business strategies. Combining Web CTI capability, media-blended queues and customer scoring and loyalty tools, the solution enables knowledge-based personalization of messages for personalized sales and service processes for cross-selling and upselling. This capability is also intended to enhance self-service by removing any dependency on e-mail or content management systems. e-point 5.2's new dashboard provides a unified view of all campaign information to make it easier to apply analytical models, define target groups, create and broadcast marketing messages and track campaigns. The product's enhanced customer scoring facility allows for rating customers on a variety of criteria and enables improved targeting of campaigns and the timely activation of loyalty motivators. 
www.pointinfo.com / Ph: 781-416-7900

Marketswitch Embellishes The TRUE
Marketswitch Corp. recently announced enhancements to its TRUE Suite of marketing optimization software products. The TRUE Suite is designed to deliver measurable improvement in the effectiveness of real-time call center and Web marketing campaigns as well as traditional outbound direct marketing programs. The suite now allows users to define specific business constraints that a marketing campaign must satisfy, such as minimum and maximum offers, eligibility or budgetary issues. Users can also create campaigns that maximize or minimize any mathematically definable goal, such as budget, revenue, cost structure, customer retention, profit, etc. Campaigns can be optimized at customer segment levels or to individual customers, and the software can now incorporate a variety of criteria (such as the eligible target population and valid time period) into the decision-making process. 
www.marketswitch.com / Ph: 703-444-6750

Big Office Messaging Functionality For The SOHO
ACCPAC International, Inc., a division of the interBiz group of Computer Associates, unveiled Simply BitWare, intended as a simple-to-use, unified messaging system to provide small offices and home offices with functionality normally available only to large corporations. Users can send and receive voice messages and faxes from a single screen via a local voice modem or multichannel voice board. Simply BitWare supports receipt of simultaneous voice, fax and pager messaging from as many as eight phone lines on a single desktop PC. The product does not require a dedicated server or training for installation and maintenance. Users can dial into their messaging system to listen to voice mail or retrieve faxes, voice messages or documents stored on the PC. In addition, users may provide their customers a single number for voice and fax messaging. Voice messages can be forwarded over the Internet to other e-mail users, and faxes can be annotated and digitally forwarded or stored for future retrieval. The solution is available in 16 languages. 
www.accpac.com/bitware / Ph: 800-808-7000

Mergers & Acquisitions

divine Intervention: Acquisition Of eshare Approved
divine, inc., a provider of enterprise collaboration and interaction solutions, announced it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire eshare communications, Inc., a provider of customer interaction management (CIM) solutions. The proposed terms call for a stock-for-stock merger agreement, expected to close by the end of September 2001. divine's chairman and CEO Andrew "Flip" Filipowski said, "A critical component of divine's strategy is providing net-native, community-facing applications and Web services combined with professional services and managed applications capabilities that promote interaction and collaboration among all of an enterprise's business communities and fully integrate with their core systems. eshare's offerings, combined with our existing collaborative applications, portal technology, Web services infrastructure, knowledge resources and delivery capability, will give our global combined customer base the ability to deploy community-facing applications capable of enhancing the customer's brand and building loyalty within their targeted communities." divine also announced its intent to acquire RoweCom, Inc., a provider of service and e-commerce solutions for purchasing and managing print and e-content knowledge resources.

PRC Closes Deal For Hancock
Precision Response Corp. (PRC), a division of USA Networks, Inc., has completed the acquisition of Hancock Information Group, a firm that provides services in the business-to-business teleservicing industry. Wes O'Brien, president and COO of PRC, commented, "This acquisition bolsters our...CRM capabilities, and augments our aggressive growth pattern for 2001. Hancock's expertise in high-tech appointment setting and lead generation will complement our existing Outbound Customer Care Division by broadening the range of clients we can serve. We believe this to be a critical component to our growth in 2001." Hancock, which operates two Florida contact centers and employs over 350 people, will be aligned with Access Direct, Inc., an outbound customer care provider acquired by PRC in November of 2000.

eMation To Join RAVISENT Family
eMation Inc., a provider of e-business enterprise software and "device relationship management solutions," recently signed an agreement to be acquired by RAVISENT Technologies, Inc., a software and intellectual property licensing company. The companies are joining forces to accelerate the development and adoption of device relationship management solutions. eMation's solutions are designed to allow companies to use the Internet to tap the hidden value of information within remote machines, devices and facilities to provide automated service, e-commerce and monitoring capabilities. Under the terms of the transaction, RAVISENT has offered to acquire all of eMation shares for approximately 8 million shares of RAVISENT stock and the assumption of $5 million in debt. Also, RAVISENT will provide up to $2.5 million of interim debt to fund operating expenses until closing, currently expected during the fourth quarter of 2001.

Kana-Broadbase Merger A Done Deal
Kana Communications, Inc., a provider of enterprise customer relationship management solutions, and Broadbase Software, Inc., a provider of customer interaction solutions, have completed the merger of the two companies. The new company, KANA, has tasked itself with providing the next generation of eCRM solutions to Global 2000 organizations. KANA's scalable J2EE and COM contact center applications are designed to enable companies to bring intelligence and automation to an organization's service and marketing organizations to better manage customer and partner relationships that result in rapid return on investment.

CompUSA Call Center Services Unit Acquired
The Telvista Company, a subsidiary of CompUSA Inc. and formerly known as CompUSA Call Center Services, was acquired by Technology & Internet Holding Co., held jointly by Telmex, America Movil and Grupo Carso under a stock purchase agreement. Telvista will remain headquartered in Dallas, Texas. Telvista is a full-service solutions provider delivering contact center support, technology solutions and customer interaction business consulting. The management team has extensive experience in teleservices and customer relationship management. Current clients include leading computer hardware manufacturers, software publishers, Internet service providers, telecom companies, wireless access businesses, insurance/warranty companies and retailers.

Happenings

USPS's Web Tools On LaGarde
LaGarde, Inc., a provider of e-commerce software, has contracted with the United States Postal Service to incorporate USPS Web Tools into its StoreFront software to meet the growing demand for accurate online shipping charges. The Postal Service developed its USPS Web Tools APIs to bring improved customer service solutions to e-commerce shippers. LaGarde cites a Jupiter Media Metrix study that found as many as 63 percent of online shoppers abandoned their orders because of high shipping and handling costs based on estimated flat-rate charges. StoreFront's integration with USPS Web Tools' APIs sends both the product's weight and dimensions to the Postal Service Domestic or International Rate Calculator and returns an accurate shipping charge at the time of checkout. Merchants using the solution can minimize losses due to estimated shipping charges, and online shoppers receive precise shipping costs for their purchases. Using the Postal Service as a shipping solution for online purchases also affords merchants and shoppers additional benefits, including lower shipping costs, Saturday delivery and delivery to post office boxes.

CIAC Certification Program For Call Center Management
Call Center Industry Advisory Council (CIAC) announced the launch of an industry-sanctioned certification program for call center management professionals. CIAC, in conjunction with call center management professionals throughout North America, identified the key competencies necessary for call center management professionals to demonstrate superior job performance. CIAC certification is based on the knowledge, skill and behavioral competencies applicable to individuals working in all types and sizes of call centers across all industries. CIAC developed the certification specifically to raise the stature of the call center profession and industry and to cultivate a workforce of superior performers. Competency development and certification for other call center job roles will follow implementation of the management track. CIAC is a non-profit organization that was established by the industry to develop, administer and govern certification for the call/contact center profession.

Teleservices Program Planning And Management Firm Debuts
eStrategy3, LLC has launched its services as a specialized consulting and brokerage firm. The company specializes in strategic planning, resource development and program management for teleservices campaigns. The company designs and implements strategies for integrated teleservices campaigns encompassing inbound, outbound, sales, CRM, customer service, Web integration, DRTV advertising, direct mail and other media channels. eStrategy3, LLC currently maintains offices in Colorado Springs, Colorado and Dallas, Texas.

Adobe, Cisco Adopt Kanisa Support Solutions
Kanisa Inc., an enterprise service solutions provider, reported the launch of a new online support service for Adobe Systems Inc. The service will initially provide access to support content for Adobe Acrobat and Adobe Photoshop, Adobe's two largest product lines. The Kanisa service site provides Adobe customers access to both general and highly technical questions. Customers can also access downloads, upgrades, tutorials and Web-based instructional content. The announcement follows on the heels of Cisco Systems Inc.'s adoption of Kanisa's technology and interface for its Technical Assistance Center (TAC). TAC users engage in a natural language dialog for guidance on how to install, upgrade and configure Cisco's products and do troubleshooting. The Web-based TAC also makes it easy to escalate a question to a TAC engineer via chat, e-mail or telephone. Both solutions employ the Kanisa Customer Experience Platform for delivering enhanced support capabilities.

Convergys Renews FedEx Deal
Convergys Corp. has signed a three-year contract renewal to provide technical support services for FedEx Corporate Services, Inc., a subsidiary of FedEx Corp. FedEx provides systems to help its customers send and track shipments. Convergys will provide direct customer support for FedEx platform PCs, software and printers through the FedEx Customer Technical Support organization.

RMH Provides MSN TLC
RMH Teleservices, Inc. has expanded its agreement with Microsoft Corp. to provide inbound customer relationship management services to include technical support for subscribers of MSN Internet Access. RMH will provide these services from its new contact center located in Harlingen, Texas..

Motive Added To Cisco's iQ
Motive Communications, Inc. has joined Cisco Systems' iQ Ecosystem Program. As a member, Motive will work with Cisco to integrate its ServiceNet Platform with mutual product offerings and deliver a highly automated, context-driven, intelligent service solution that spans both self-and assisted-service. The Cisco iQ Ecosystem Program is part of an overall Cisco iQ initiative intended to help companies understand their "Internet Quotient" (iQ) that is critical to competitive advantage in today's Internet economy. The Cisco iQ Ecosystem Program comprises application vendors, systems integrators and consultants which, when combined with Cisco's expertise and architectures, help deliver end-to-end solutions.

Strategic Alliances

EDS And FranklinCovey Strike Long-Term Agreement
EDS Corp. and FranklinCovey Company concluded a broad information technology pact under which EDS was awarded a 15-year, $469 million contract for CRM and IT services. EDS awarded FranklinCovey a $25 million contract for learning and performance solutions and tools to increase service excellence within EDS. EDS will provide customer interaction center, warehousing and distribution services to support FranklinCovey's CRM program, and approximately 400 FranklinCovey warehousing and customer care call center employees will transfer to EDS. FranklinCovey will transition its Salt Lake City customer care, warehousing, product fulfillment and distribution facilities to EDS for an anticipated cost savings of $50 million. FranklinCovey will provide learning and performance services for EDS, including its leadership and productivity curriculum, assessment and consulting services. EDS will leverage FranklinCovey's expertise by providing FranklinCovey solutions and tools to employees who transition to EDS from client companies to help integrate them into EDS' mission and cultural values. The two companies also will develop, co-brand and market online versions of FranklinCovey's solutions.

Sideware Integrates Its eCRM Suite With IBM Wares
IBM Corp. and Sideware announced a strategic alliance to deliver customer service applications to help companies better manage their customer, partner and employee interactions. A major goal of the alliance is to offer a scalable turnkey solution that can be easily deployed across multiple customer service channels, including the telephone and the Web. As part of the three-year alliance, Sideware has integrated its Enterprise Interaction Suite (EIS) eCRM software with IBM's hardware and middleware. The companies will jointly market and sell the solutions in both the U.S. and Canada. WebSphere and DB2 will be Sideware's primary development platforms. IBM and Sideware expect to help customers improve the speed and quality of online customer service, while increasing their return on investment in hardware, software and training.

Convergys, Siebel Ally For Unified Care And Billing Solution
Integrated billing and customer services provider Convergys Corp. and Siebel Systems, Inc., have formed a strategic alliance to integrate Convergys' contact center capabilities, billing solutions and operational expertise with Siebel's eBusiness Applications software. The integrated solution aims to improve customer satisfaction and increase return on investment by providing a comprehensive view of customer interactions, including service and billing history, across all channels. Clients will have access to Convergys' network of 50 outsourced contact centers for the deployment of Siebel eBusiness Applications. Convergys and Siebel Systems will collaboratively sell, market and integrate their joint solutions primarily for the communications, financial services and technology industries.

Siemens Says SYMON Certified
SYMON Communications, Inc. announced that SYMON2000 is now certified for operation with the Siemens' Hicom 300 H communications platform. Siemens Enterprise Networks LLC offers enterprises solutions designed to enable customers to deploy technology at their own pace and to help optimize use of current infrastructure and applications. SYMON2000 monitors for service-level performance by displaying real-time ACD statistics or threshold exceptions from a variety of switch vendors. The interface between SYMON2000 and Siemens provides for the automatic notification of critical alerts to SYMON's DeskView "soft" wallboard, IP network-connected wallboards and panels, displays, monitors, pagers, PDAs, cell phones, etc. The interface provides automatic updates from the Hicom 300 H platform, delivering continuous information to management and support personnel. Hicom users can also send messages from their workstations directly to SYMON-supported visual media devices.

MIND, Ring Line Ink Agreement
MIND CTI Ltd., a provider of billing and customer care solutions for voice, data and additional IP services, and Ring Line Corp., a systems integrator based in Taiwan, have signed a sales and support agreement. Under the terms of the agreement, the companies will work together to deliver MIND's billing and customer care solutions to telecommunications and Internet service providers in the Asia Pacific region with the goal of enabling communication service providers to more quickly develop and roll out new services cost-effectively.

MobileSys Finds Remedy For Wireless Messaging In Help Desk Apps
MobileSys, Inc. announced a technology alliance with Remedy Corp. to provide joint customers with global two-way wireless alerts and message delivery for help desk applications. The partnership aims to help customers incorporate two-way messaging into their help desk platforms, allowing for global delivery and interaction with remote devices, increased productivity of field forces and improved response time to customers' technology inquiries. MobileSys integrated its MX messaging platform into the Remedy Action Request System. The combined solution enables help desk agents to communicate with remote service personnel through real-time wireless alerts over a global network. Both MobileSys and Remedy customers now can more easily integrate mission-critical wireless capabilities into their current help desk platforms, allowing secure, efficient and predictable two-way messaging functionality.

Artisoft And Oncontact Partner For Integrated CRM, Telephony
Artisoft, Inc., a provider of software-based phone systems, and Oncontact Software, a developer of CRM systems, have formed a marketing and development relationship through the Artisoft Open Communications Alliance. The relationship makes it possible for users of Oncontact's CRM systems to use Artisoft's TeleVantage phone system for extended computer-telephony functionality. Oncontact's CRM systems automate the sales, marketing and service areas of mid-market companies. Artisoft's TeleVantage provides robust PBX switching, intelligent call handling and comprehensive messaging capabilities for small- to mid-sized businesses. The TeleVantage Software Developer Kit (SDK) allows businesses to add advanced computer-telephony capabilities, such as screen-pop on inbound calls and Web "click-to-call" buttons, to CRM systems or other applications.

VoIP NICE-ly Integrated With Cisco IPCC
NICE Systems Ltd. announced the interoperability of its VoIP recording solution with Cisco Systems' Internet Protocol Contact Center (Cisco IPCC) solution. The combined solution will provide VoIP recording solutions to customers that are deploying IP telephony networks, enabling them to deploy customer experience management over converging networks. This interoperability allows the enterprise to record multimedia interactions through a more cost-effective and timesaving IP platform. The combined solution will accommodate all forms of communication taking place on an IP network including voice, e-mail, Web chat and collaboration as well as agent desktop activity.

iBackOffice, Island Data Reach Accord
Island Data Corp. and iBackOffice.com Ltd. announced a partnership to provide iBackOffice customers with access to Island Data's Web self-help and e-mail response solutions, and furnish Island Data customers with access to iBackOffice's outsourced contact center services. iBackOffice, a provider of outsourced customer and technical support services, and Island Data, a leading solutions provider for the online customer service market, will cooperate on marketing and sales activities designed to bring the best of both companies' offerings to their customers.

HTC And VCustomer Partner For Outsourced Customer Care
vCustomer Corp. and Hispanic Teleservices Corp. (HTC) announced a strategic partnership to promote their contact center and CRM services worldwide for both English and Spanish language support offerings. Clients of both companies can now leverage the quality and cost benefits of similar outsourcing models to serve a larger, more diversified customer base. Based in New Delhi and Mumbai (Bombay), India, vCustomer's customer support model offers reliable, English-speaking front- and back-office support. Headquartered in Houston, Texas with operations in Monterrey, Mexico, HTC is a provider of outsourced customer support for the Hispanic market. HTC offers bilingual contact center operations that deliver customer care, technical support, customer acquisition and Internet customer support services.

[ Return To The September 2001 Table Of Contents ]


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