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Customer Inter@ction Solutions News
October 2001


New Products

Mergers & Acquisitions

Happenings

Strategic Alliances


New Products

Next-Gen Network Assurance On The Go
Empirix Inc. has rolled out Hammer TransPort, a portable multimedia test solution for next-generation networks. The Hammer TransPort is designed to provide industry-standard quality assurance metrics in a single chassis for all standard toll-quality media. It can be configured with analog or T1/E1 connections and supports CAS/ISDN, or SS7 signaling to support interfacing to a variety of next-gen network equipment. Housed in a sturdy, lightweight chassis, the Hammer TransPort allows users to generate and terminate test calls using tones or real voice. The new product also comes standard with the Hammer VoIP Testing System (VoIPTS), which allows measurement of connect and speech latency as well as verification and analysis of voice quality and the ability to monitor network conditions.
www.empirix.com / Ph: 781-993-8500

Qwest For Web-Based Contact Center Solution
Qwest Communications International Inc. unveiled an integrated, Web-based customer care solution for enterprise companies. Powered by Telera Inc.'s Voice Web Application Platform, Qwest Web Contact Center is a Web-driven platform that routes and processes voice applications. The technology enables customers to use a telephone to access functionality formerly reached only through the Internet, such as Web content, e-commerce transactions and highly personalized self-service. The solution is offered in two customizable packages. Qwest Web Connect is designed to allow creation of Web-powered voice applications such as touch-tone and speech-enabled voice response, complex queuing and outbound call placement. It can also provide Web-based real-time and historical reporting, and access to detailed call records. Additional features include virtual ports for customers, dedicated broadband access between call center facilities and the Qwest backbone network and the option for premised-based equipment for customers who choose not to host the entire system with Qwest. Qwest Web Connect & Route provides Qwest Web Connect functionality augmented by call distribution systems integration, which allows customers to automatically distribute inbound calls across multiple contact center locations.
www.qwest.com / Ph: 303-992-1400

vReps Unite!: Single-Server Capability From NativeMinds
NativeMinds Inc. has implemented enhancements to NeuroServer, its product used to create, implement and maintain virtual service representatives, or vReps, which are automated, online service agents that answer customers' frequently asked questions. The product now supports IBM DB2 databases in addition to its current support for the Oracle, Microsoft SQL Server and Access platforms. The enhanced NeuroServer now makes it possible to create and run multiple vReps on a single server. This ability is designed to enable businesses to reduce IT overhead by eliminating the need for additional hardware as they deploy more vReps. Also, development and administration of multiple vReps is simplified by running them on the same server, and vRep administrators can manage the default and back-up servers from the same interface. The product's Contributor Interface (Web-accessed form for content owners to contribute updates and suggestions) was upgraded to work with Active Server Pages for easier integration with Web content databases and greater vRep versatility and functionality.
www.nativeminds.com / Ph: 800-968-1002

eOn Implementation Of Supervisor WorkSpace Set
eOn Communications Corp. reported the launch of eOn Supervisor WorkSpace, a management and reporting tool for its eQueue multimedia contact center solution. Based on a Java platform, the Supervisor WorkSpace is designed to provide contact center managers with a customizable set of monitoring, reporting and administrative capabilities, and to ensure that all customer contacts (e.g., voice, e-mail and Web interactions) are efficiently managed and provide the highest service levels. Supervisor WorkSpace also provides real-time management displays and alerts, can be customized for quicker and easier identification of customer contact patterns and trends, and provides a package of standard reports. The product also allows contact center managers to more effectively track agent performance and customer activity across all communications channels. Users can access all Supervisor WorkSpace capabilities from a standard Web browser. Initial implementations of the product are scheduled to begin during the fourth quarter of 2001.
www.eoncommunications.com / Ph: 800-955-5321

LaGarde Tools Up StoreFront For E-Business
LaGarde, Inc. has released StoreFront 5.0 Merchant Tools that, in conjunction with its StoreFront family of e-commerce software, are designed to provide Web developers with a comprehensive e-commerce solution for online merchants. Merchant Tools are browser-based tools that an e-tailer can use for daily store administration and product maintenance once the StoreFront Web store has been created. The tools include two main components: Store Management (online administration tools) and a desktop module installed on a merchant's computer. Once installed on a Web site, the tools are easily accessed through any Web browser. Among many features are e-mail and promotional mail configuration and administration, managing affiliate partner programs, tax rate updating, sales and promotions administration, as well as inventory maintenance tools for managing products, categories, manufacturers and vendors. Also included are sales reporting tools, invoice printing and a "sale checker" feature.
www.lagarde.com / Ph: 800-943-5823

GMT Planet - Jupiter Edition Version 8 To Orbit Soon
GMT Corp. announced plans to launch, later this month, an enhanced version of its GMT Planet - Jupiter Edition workforce management solution. Version 8 will feature Mission Control, a real-time contact center control and management tool. This statistical display and analysis feature is designed to enable managers to monitor and quickly respond to the dynamic call center environment, providing information necessary to run the center, including statistics about call volumes, service levels, average speed to answer, adherence to schedules and staffing, and more. Mission Control enables managers to view raw data or to compare and analyze the differences in data. Multiple levels of data can be displayed, from a single queue to an entire center's operations. Also, the Employee Time Center component is now Web-enabled and allows management and staff to view and print schedules and timesheets, to make and review vacation and holiday requests, etc., over an Internet connection. It also allows employees to swap shifts with other employees according to criteria established by the scheduling manager.
www.gmtcorp.com / Ph: 770-416-6000

Wireless Virtual Assistant From eGain
eGain Communications recently unveiled its wireless virtual agent, which is a combination of eGain Assistant with Curious Networks' Continuum Embedded software. The wireless version of eGain Assistant is designed to enable users to get answers and assistance on Web sites via all mobile devices, including Internet-enabled personal digital assistants (PDAs) and two-way pagers. A life-like, conversational virtual agent gives users specific, detailed information to their inquiries, free of extraneous content such as pages of links, menus and icons. eGain's software is enabled for use on wireless devices via Curious Networks' Continuum Embedded Edition. Using natural language dialogs, eGain Assistant can provide a simple user interface that enables users to ask and receive answers for exactly what they want without tedious navigation and slow response times. Using a mobile device, customers can find information such as flight times, gate assignments, stock quotes, account balances or order status.
www.egain.com / Ph: 888-603-4246

New NICE CEM Platform
NICE Systems has released NICE CEM 8.7, its newest customer experience management platform. The platform is a modular solution encompassing the NiceLog system for recording, NiceUniverse quality management application and additional modules, including NICE Learning, NICE Link, NICE Analyzer, NICE VoIP and NICE Executive Connect. The new release features recording solutions for multimedia contact centers as well as integration with additional switches, CTI drivers and popular e-mail management systems to capture and evaluate interactions across all forms of communication. Features include enhanced interaction storage and retrieval, reporting and analysis tools, integration with CRM applications, expanded scheduling options and Web-based applications to access quality evaluations and reports.
www.nice.com / Ph: 888-577-6423

Intecom's Centergy For Multisite Management
Intecom, Inc. has released Centergy Version 1.2, designed to provide consolidated administration and management, and help improve business efficiencies and customer relationships through the daily management of performance at each call center site. The solution features a view of real-time performance data, ranging in scope from the individual agent to the enterprise level. Data can be partitioned so supervisors see only what they need to see, but enterprise management can view data for all groups, customers and sites. Centergy provides standard and custom reporting capabilities for multisite, multitenant call centers. Reports can roll up to the agent, group, center and enterprise levels. Custom and standard reports support filtering for permission-based views at every management level. Centergy's distributed architecture enables companies to centralize operations such as workforce management, technical support and quality monitoring. Centergy incorporates Intecom's PointSpan enterprise voice infrastructure and supports up to 8,000 agents and 64 call centers per system, and as many as 800 managers can access operations data simultaneously.
www.intecom.com / Ph: 800-468-3945

CRM For The Healthcare Industry
Pegasystems Inc.'s PegaCRM Healthcare product, its enhanced healthcare customer relationship management offering, is available. PegaCRM Healthcare is designed for healthcare payer organizations and automates many common member inquiries, supporting contact management, account maintenance and history, sales inquiry, fulfillment and member portal connectivity. The solution can integrate with the rest of the institution's front- and back-office applications, helping to leverage an organization's legacy systems and investments. It is rules-based, scalable and thin- client architected, and can be used either as a departmental package or the initial part of an enterprisewide CRM solution. Add-on modules include member services and claims exceptions processing. The solution features business process automation, customizable dialog and scripting, multilevel escalation criteria, work assignment and prioritization capabilities and many auditing and reporting features.
www.pegasystems.com / Ph: 617-374-9600

ZAMBA Unfolds Its CRM Blueprint
ZAMBA Solutions announced the availability of an integrated, customer-centric portfolio of solutions, CRM Blueprint, designed to provide a comprehensive framework of interdependent processes and technologies for effectively and efficiently meeting end customer needs. As part of the CRM Blueprint, ZAMBA has designed and developed integrated, interdependent solutions geared for enabling companies to deliver consistent and valuable interactions across all customer touch points. The set of predefined solutions, designed to encompass the entire customer-facing experience, addresses CRM strategy, analytics and marketing, contact center, content and commerce, field sales and field service, and enterprise integration of cross-functional processes and technologies to deliver consistent customer value.
www.zambasolutions.com / Ph: 800-677-9783

Audio Quartet From Pro Tech Debuts
Pro Tech Communications, Inc., a subsidiary of NCT Group, Inc., recently introduced four new products: a headset, multimedia amplifier, USB (Universal Serial Bus) audio interface and DSP (Digital Signal Processor) microphone. Pro Tech's Apollo headset, a one-piece ABS plastic structure, features a patented quick-disconnect cable for easier headset release and includes a high-end, noise-canceling microphone for improved audio clarity. The Gemini multimedia amplifier is designed for telephones and PCs enabling voice over IP applications, and features top-mounted volume controls, patented gating and suppression circuitry, VOX control, dual mute switches and headset jacks. The USB audio interface offers a direct audio port (eliminating the need for a sound card), has a direct digital input with volume control and recording capabilities, and is compatible with existing headsets. The DSP intelligent microphone provides speech recognition, voice control, dictation and other features of high signal clarity through proprietary algorithms and acoustic design, and output levels can be matched to the required input levels.
www.protechcom.com / Ph: 800-468-8371

Alcatel Assists Do-It-Yourself Convergence Trials
Alcatel (Alcatel) began offering the Alcatel Convergence Starter Kit, a solution designed to provide medium to large enterprises the ability to trial voice/data convergence with options of in-building wireless capabilities for mobile workers and soft-phone functionality for remote workers. The kit is comprised of an Alcatel OmniPCX 4400 IP-based PBX and an Alcatel OmniStack 6024 stackable LAN, four Alcatel IP phones, four Alcatel digital phones, two Alcatel in-building wireless phones and Alcatel PC-telephony software. With the inclusion of an IP-enabler, the Kit also demonstrates how a digital phone can easily evolve into a full-featured IP-phone, without disruption and any change to the user interface. It is geared to provide businesses with the opportunity to sample in-building wireless capabilities so that mobile users can take customer calls anytime, anywhere, and still access the same features as their Alcatel desktop phones. The Kit can also help businesses enhance teleworkers' PCs to obtain the full range of Alcatel's desktop phone features, including voice, fax and e-mail messaging integration.
www.alcatel.com / Ph: 800-995-2612

iemagine Bolsters Webware Suite
iemagine Inc. announced three new accounting applications in the iemprove Webware Suite. Continuing its concentration on providing business-critical solutions, the application service provider's latest offerings include: Time & Billing, a Web-based timesheet and project billing application; Expense Control, designed to help businesses manage and collect expense data for client billing, and which features reporting and customizable categories for tax purposes; and Ledger, which stores transactions and account data with security-classified account numbers and allows transaction posting and review via the Web. From a Web browser, a business can customize iemprove applications for deployment over the Web. The applications, deployable in 15 languages, are "convertible" to stand-alone software for users who prefer to host solutions in-house.
www.iemagine.com / Ph: 312-988-4849

SYMON Adds Historian To Arsenal
SYMON Communications, Inc. has announced the release of its new cross-platform reporting tool, Historian, which is designed to standardize and unify contact center reports. SYMON Historian provides control of data while unifying contact center reports by allowing users to customize reports to their specific business needs by collecting real-time data (even from dissimilar platforms) and merging it into a single reporting tool. Historian offers integration and scalability through its open architecture and adherence to industry standards. As data are collected, Historian will batch and write data elements by highest number, lowest number, event count, summed values, standard mathematical average, or a time-weighted average. Data entry intervals can be set by the user to increase or decrease the granularity of data recorded. Historian data can be stored in various databases including: Oracle, Sybase, SQL Server and Access 2000. Reports can be created and viewed using standard ODBC-compliant reporting tools with automatic database and table creation, and according to user-defined selection and frequency criteria (e.g., timed, real-time, or on change).
www.symon.com / Ph: 281-240-5555

AIM Enhances Its Experts
Applied Innovation Management, Inc. (AIM) released Version 6.5 of its family of Web-based IT support and CRM software solutions (HelpDesk Expert, Asset Expert, Bug/Defect Tracking Expert and Change Management Expert). Each solution is designed to offer reliable performance either in a stand-alone or integrated environment. New features include an enhanced GUI and navigational structure, reporting features that incorporate Microsoft Excel Reporting, enhanced chart capabilities with interactive Java-based layouts and expanded report templates and new alarm/alert capabilities.
www.innovate.com / Ph: 702-617-8140

ViryaNet Gives Voice To Field Service Solution
ViryaNet Ltd. has released ViryaNet Voice Portal, a component of its Service Hub 5.0 product. ViryaNet Voice Portal is designed to allow field engineers to access new calls, obtain detailed information about assignments and report time-critical information (e.g., labor, travel time and expenses) using natural voice commands from any wireline or wireless phone. The solution runs on a voice server that conforms to VoiceXML, an emerging standard language for accessing Internet information through speech-based applications. ViryaNet's Service Hub enables service organizations to schedule and dispatch field service technicians, and allows field engineers to wirelessly access relevant information regarding the service they are providing. With Voice Portal, Service Hub can allow communication with a wider variety of applications, platforms and devices.
www.viryanet.com / Ph: 800-661-7096

Quaero Initiates Outsourced Services
Quaero, a CRM service provider, announced Quaero Springboard, designed to address companies' needs for intelligent and strategic customer communication services without incurring large, upfront CRM investments. Quaero's CRM outsourcing division was formed to help companies outsource all or part of their CRM programs to avoid large infrastructure investments, and overcome technical and organizational challenges that impede the success of CRM programs. Quaero helps companies maximize their customer profitability through its intelligent customer relationship management services with development of CRM roadmaps, rapid data mart development, customer analytics and campaign management implementations.
www.quaero.com / Ph: 877-570-2199

Getting There Is Half The Customer Satisfaction
RightNow Technologies, Inc. has launched RightNow Locator, designed to enable companies to effectively link their Web presence with their "brick-and-mortar" locations. The solution provides accurate, up-to-date online maps and driving directions to retail facilities, authorized service centers, corporate offices, distribution centers, partners and other locations. Customers can be directed to locations based on their most important selection criteria, including geographic proximity, hours of operation and the availability of selected products or services. By providing answers to questions about store locations or branch offices online, RightNow Locator can also help reduce call center loads and boost revenues at physical locations of sales and service. RightNow Locator is provided as a hosted service, and it can run as a stand-alone application or be integrated with RightNow Web eService Center and other RightNow solutions. The software's architecture is scalable and flexible, allowing companies to support multiple dealer channels and product lines through a single software installation.
www.rightnow.com / Ph: 877-363-5678

Teloquent Gives Voice To Its Integration Platform
Teloquent Communications Corp. has integrated automated speech recognition technology into its Teloquent Interchange software platform, which is an open, multiple communication product that integrates call center and CRM systems. The integration of speech recognition results from a partnership with Sonexis, a global provider of voice technologies and solutions. The Interchange platform enables voice, e-mail and Web contact driven by multichannel interaction routing and queuing, and seamlessly integrates with legacy network and CRM applications. Based on scalable Java 2 Enterprise Edition (J2EE) architecture, Interchange is interoperable with any enterprise application. Other functionality and features include switch platform neutrality, universal agent desktop, location and network independence, and browser-based management and administration.
www.teloquent.com / Ph: 888-TELOQUENT

DocExpress Automated Project Reporting And Documentation
Telelogic AB announced the availability of DocExpress 3.0, an automated reporting and documentation suite. This release consolidates all previously available DocExpress products into a single, integrated, open and scalable platform. DocExpress 3.0 is designed to simplify and automate the task of gathering, formatting and publishing data from various systems and software development tools into archival and deliverable documentation. With more integration to third-party development tools, data can be imported from Telelogic tools (e.g., DOORS, Tau UML Suite and CM Synergy) and third-party content sources including Rational Rose, Microsoft Visio and the Microsoft Office suite. The product features easier data access, automatic capture and refresh of content from multiple applications/tools, real-time reporting, customized content styling and formatting and customizable applications within the suite. It can be configured with links to specific tools, which can be updated as tool selections change within an organization. It is currently available on Windows 98/2000/NT and requires Microsoft Word, FrameMaker or an HTML editor.
www.telelogic.com / Ph: 949-830-8022

Acxiom's Opticx Peers Into Database Quality
Acxiom Corp. announced the availability of Opticx, a new customer data analysis process designed to help companies realize new revenue opportunities and reduce marketing costs. Opticx is designed as a first step in unlocking capital tied up in database inefficiencies by providing a "holistic view" of a company's data and its relationship with its customers, and enabling quick and effective corrective measures. Acxiom also demonstrates the potential for improvements that AbiliTec, its customer data integration software, and InfoBase data products can provide to the data. As part of the Opticx process, customers receive a value analysis report demonstrating the return a customer can realize by investing in Acxiom's CDI solutions along with industry benchmarks developed to show customers how the quality of their data measures up against the average database in their industry. Opticx reports are based on actual data received by companies, with results produced from the customer's test file.
www.acxiom.com / Ph: 501-342-1000

Digisoft Presents New Dialing Platform
Digisoft Computers, Inc. has released Switch Dialing, an automated dialing platform. Switch Dialing is an outbound solution designed to optimize a company's phone switch to dial numbers in a similar manner to predictive dialing. In lieu of a predictive dialer, Switch Dialing enables the client to utilize the technology included in the phone switch to dial. For organizations that have a phone switch in place, this solution provides an automated dialing system at a fraction of the cost of a predictive dialer. The solution dials on the lines assigned to it, transfers the answered call to an agent and continues to dial. The phone switch manages inbound calls, transfers, conferences and performs other telephony-related functions generally required in a typical predictive setting. Traditional phone switch functions, such as audio monitoring, coaching and call reporting, would continue to run through the switch.
www.digisoft.com / Ph: 212-687-1810

Mergers & Acquisitions

Applied Acquires Badger Technology
Applied Innovation Inc., a provider of telecommunications network management solutions, announced it has acquired Badger Technology, Inc.'s remote network management systems and information collection device business (Remote NMS Business). Badger, a privately held company, primarily targets the wireless telecommunications markets. Badger's product offerings will be integrated into Applied Innovation's Ohio manufacturing operations, while sales and engineering functions will be maintained at Badger's current offices in California. While both companies specialize in mediation and efficient management of networks, Badger has focused on the wireless market and Applied Innovation has concentrated on the wireline market. The agreement called for Applied Innovation to purchase certain assets of Badger's remote network management business for cash, a note and deferred cash consideration based on future sales of the Badger products. Badger will retain the assets associated with its legacy remote metering business and continue to operate that business independently.

FutureCall: New Ownership At The Helm
FutureCall Telemarketing West, Inc. was acquired by a private investment firm and is now known as FutureCall, LLC. The company will remain headquartered in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Immediate plans call for the implementation of new technological systems, which are intended to increase FutureCall's ability to provide outbound calling capabilities, expand inbound call handling and reporting capabilities and add technological features, such as digital call recording, Web integration, GUI interface, IVR and VoIP capabilities. The technological transition is scheduled for completion by the end of this year. FutureCall will be run by Ron Berthiaume, chairman, and Mike Carney, president and COO. The company has also enlisted the services of Brent Welch, a former COO of MATRIXX Marketing, as acting CEO.

Propelis Spins With Jacada
Jacada Ltd., a provider of enterprise user interface solutions, has acquired the assets and assumed certain liabilities of Propelis Software, Inc., a business unit of CNT and a provider of business process management and legacy integration software. Propelis products include Propelis EAi (Enterprise Access integrator), which integrates data and processes from multiple legacy applications, and Propelis BPm (Business Process manager), a business process and workflow management system that automates business processes while integrating enterprise systems. The acquisition is expected to enable Jacada to expand its solution set by leveraging Propelis technology with its offerings. The Jacada Interface Server, a fully integrated development and deployment environment, is used to modernize and extend existing legacy functionality, help developers more easily build modern user interfaces for new applications and generate a consistent look and feel across new and existing applications.

Relizon To Purchase Epsilon
The Relizon Company plans to acquire marketing solutions provider Epsilon Data Management Inc. in a move intended to enhance and expand its capabilities in customer relationship management. As part of The Relizon Company, Epsilon will maintain its brand identity and keep intact its management team. Relizon will merge its eCRM group into Epsilon, creating a new business unit with an expanded customer base, larger pool of resources and increased opportunities for growth. Founded in 1969, Epsilon is currently owned by DMDA, Inc. "Epsilon's experience and expertise in direct and database marketing, particularly data mining and data analytics, will allow us to offer customers a more robust and complete set of marketing solutions," said Rodney A. Hedeen, Relizon's president and chief executive officer. Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

Call_Solutions Nets ARM
Call_Solutions.com, Inc. announced the acquisition of Advanced Response Marketing, Inc. (ARM) of Dallas, Texas. ARM specializes in direct marketing campaigns. Its services include campaign strategy development, audience definition, creative design and content for direct mailing promotional programs, mailing data management, integrating telemarketing to recipients and results analysis. With the acquisition, Call_Solutions expects to provide a single-source solution for clients desiring integration of direct-marketing techniques, fulfillment solutions and call center services for managing the customer contact experience.

NEC Acquires MCS; Expands Presence In Contact Center Market
NEC America, Inc. announced the acquisition of Micro Computer Systems, Inc., a privately held software development company specializing in networking products and Internet/Intranet access. MCS designs and sells its interoperability software worldwide; its flagship product, Calypso Message Center, is a customer contact management solution that tracks, routes, reports and archives incoming e-mail and Web-based chat activities within blended call centers. Based on the integration of the Calypso Message Center with NEC's contact center products, ContactWorX is an application designed to provide capabilities to address e-mail and Web contacts within the NEC CCDesign product suite.

Happenings

FFP Implements Innovative Web Recording
Fulfillment Plus, Inc. (FFP), a provider of customer relationship management and teleservices, reported the release of a call center recording system technology designed to provide sales verification and quality assurance, and to meet FCC regulations. The system creates a permanent voice record that allows FFP to verify sales with consumers who have questions regarding transactions, and ensures that FFP customer service representatives follow predetermined scripts and provide "high-touch" customer service. FFP's proprietary system also offers data storage and management to meet FCC regulations that dictate that all calls resulting in a sale must be recorded and then stored for two years. The Web-enabled recording system is activated through the computer monitor once the consumer has agreed to have the conversation recorded. FFP's recordings serve as their own files that are attached electronically to the sales record. The file can be searched by customer phone number or ID number. Since FFP's recordings are electronic voice files stored with the sales record and not on servers or in databases, information can be accessed almost immediately.

Avaya Leverages Boulder To Move Speech Rec Tech Mountain
Avaya, Inc. and the University of Colorado at Boulder are undertaking a joint research initiative to develop natural language speech recognition technology for self-paced training programs and other business applications. To fund the research, Avaya donated $250,000 to the university's Center for Spoken Language Research and the Alliance for Technology Learning and Society program, both of which will work with local Avaya research and development engineers. The project's goal is to create a new generation of voice recognition tools that intelligently engage users with greater levels of verbal and visual perception. Part of the donation will be used to develop a toolkit that simplifies speech recognition development and integration, making it easier to deploy and maintain speech-enabled CRM solutions within an enterprise environment.

EPOS Extends Focus On Alliance Program
EPOS Corp., a provider of interactive voice and Web self-service solutions, has begun efforts to expand and enhance the EPOS Strategic Alliance program. The program focuses on creating strategic relationships with complementary businesses that enable end-to-end solutions to meet customers' needs. EPOS' Alliance categories are designed to offer the best-of-class solutions to customers. EPOS alliance partners are provided with the tools and support required to deliver the latest technology for self-service solutions in sales, marketing, technical support, customer service and training. The extended focus on strategic alliances will enable EPOS to broaden product offerings and solutions to customers in a wide range of markets.

Witness Inaugurates Channel Partner Program
Witness Systems, Inc., a provider of multimedia recording, performance analysis and electronic learning management software, announced its Global Solution Provider Program, designed to help channel partners penetrate the rapidly evolving contact center market. Through the program, channel partners are provided with a structured training roadmap and verification process to ensure they have the expertise to market and sell Witness Systems' eQuality software suite. By joining the new solution provider program, channel partners are recognized for having proven expertise in Witness Systems' performance optimization solutions, and have the opportunity to invest incrementally with revenue opportunities correlating to the level of those investments. The program is expected to extend the company's eQuality offering to today's expanding community of VARs, including application service providers, e-business consultants, IT consultants, Web integrators, independent software vendors and traditional technology resellers.

FrontRange Puts SANDi To Work In GoldMine
FrontRange Solutions Inc., a provider of CRM and customer service and support software, will provide GoldMine 5.5 customer management users the ability for mobile telephone voice access through the Sound Advantage Natural Dialog Interface (SANDi ) by Sound Advantage LLC. FrontRange will sell GoldMine PLUS Voice powered by SANDi CRM to its network of solutions partners for placement in their customer sites. Sound Advantage will provide sales support and tools, as well as direct technical support and technical support training for FrontRange. The new functionality, geared especially to enabling the mobile workforce, will allow users, in one call, to access the information in their GoldMine database to schedule appointments, retrieve contact information, dial any company or contact by voice, listen to and send e-mail, etc. GoldMine PLUS Voice will be available in international versions beginning January 2002.

IBM Approves Magic Solutions
Magic Software Enterprises, Ltd., a provider of application development technology and business solutions, reported that its Magic eDeveloper and Magic eMerchant offerings have received IBM Corp.'s ServerProven Certification, designed by IBM to help its customers easily identify complete solutions for their business-critical e-business needs. The ServerProven program is limited to IBM PartnerWorld members, who must complete a rigorous testing and evaluation process before their offerings will be certified. All certified products are validated to install quickly, start up easily and run reliably on IBM servers. Both eDeveloper and eMerchant are certified on all of the Intel platforms, including Red Hat Linux and Microsoft's Windows NT, Windows 2000 Server and Windows 2000 Advanced Server.

Strategic Alliances

Island Data, iBack Office Join Forces
Island Data Corp. and iBackOffice.com Ltd. have partnered to provide iBackOffice customers with access to Island Data's Web self-help and e-mail response solutions and 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 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.

Talisma To Offer Hipbone Technology
Talisma Corp. and Hipbone, Inc. announced an OEM relationship under which Talisma will integrate Hipbone's co-browsing technology into its eCRM suite of product offerings. Talisma is packaging Hipbone's co-browsing capabilities into both its on-premise and hosted versions as a separately priced option. Talisma selected Hipbone because its technology demonstrated compliance with the stringent security, auditing ability, transaction control and verification standards and regulations now mandated by financial services institutions, a key market for Talisma.

TANDBERG Forges Agreement With Hello Direct
TANDBERG, a provider of videoconferencing solutions, and Hello Direct, a developer and business-to-business marketer of desktop telephony and equipment interface products, have concluded a strategic distribution agreement. Hello Direct will market the TANDBERG 500 and 1,000 small group videoconferencing systems to its subscriber and customer base through its Web site (www.hellodirect.com), telemarketing sales team and catalog. Hello Direct cited the ease of use, quality and functionality of TANDBERG's products as determining factors in entering into the agreement.

Entretel Reaches Turning Point Accord
Entretel Inc., a provider of training program design and performance improvement consulting in call center environments, and Turning Point Training and Assessment Systems Private Ltd. of India have entered into a partnership arrangement. The deal will furnish Entretel and its TelePro System of Contact Center Performance Improvement with a presence in the rapidly emerging markets in India, and provide Turning Point with a program to ensure their trainees meet international standards of call quality excellence. While Entretel has been actively establishing strategic relationships primarily in the U.S., this is its first such relationship outside North America. Turning Point's services include performance assessment, competency testing, training and development, and service quality audits. Contact centers have been a mainstay of its business.

Netonomy, Nuance Ink Marketing Deal
Netonomy, Inc., a provider of self-service and e-commerce solutions for the wireless communications industry, announced a global joint marketing agreement with Nuance Communications, a provider of voice Web software. MyNetonomy customer managed relationship (CMR) software will be co-marketed with Nuance's speech recognition, voice authentication and text-to-speech software to provide communications service providers with voice-enabled interactive voice response (IVR) functionality that can be accessible to subscribers from any telephone at any time. Subscribers can securely access their accounts through the personalized MyNetonomy portal via natural language voice commands in addition to menu-driven IVR. The addition of a Nuance-powered MyNetonomy customer touch point is intended to improve customer service, satisfaction and retention, increase revenue, enable efficient roll-out of value-added services and enable more cost-effective call center management.

IEX Enters Iberian Distribution Partnership
IEX, a Tekelec company and a provider of contact center solutions, concluded a distribution agreement with Internexus-CTi of Madrid, Spain, a Grupo DYCSA company and a global provider in the contact center arena. Under the terms of the agreement, Internexus-CTi will resell the IEX TotalView Workforce Management product in the growing Spanish and Portuguese markets. Art Olender, international director of contact center solutions for IEX, said, "The agreement with Internexus-CTi strengthens our presence in Western and Southern Europe and positions the TotalView product as the workforce management solution of choice in the Spanish market."

Active Voice, L&H Enter Licensing Pact
Active Voice, Inc., a provider of unified messaging and computer-telephony software solutions, announced a licensing agreement with Lernout & Hauspie Speech Products USA, Inc. (L&H), a provider of advanced speech and language solutions. Under the agreement, Active Voice will use L&H RealSpeak as the text-to-speech component of its PhoneSoft products: Unified Messaging, E-mail Reader and Telephony Software Development Kit for the Lotus Notes/Domino information management environment. PhoneSoft users can now listen to Lotus Notes e-mail messages read aloud by a human-sounding voice, making it easier and more efficient to access and manage messages (e-mail, voice and fax) from the Lotus Notes Inbox, through a touch-tone telephone or over the Internet.

Syntellect Adds Fonix Text-To-Speech
Syntellect Inc., a provider of open systems, enterprise voice portal software and hosted services, announced it has signed an agreement with Fonix Corporation, a provider of "natural-user" interface technology solutions for wireless and mobile devices, Internet and telephony systems and vehicle telematics, to license Fonix Text-To-Speech (TTS). The Fonix TTS engine will be integrated with Syntellect's Vista Interactive Media Response software solution to provide a natural-sounding voice to a wide range of applications such as stock quotes, order management and customer support. The Fonix engine uses a fraction of the hardware, both in terms of processing power and memory of other text-to-speech offerings. As a result, Vista can provide enterprises high user satisfaction with system cost savings.

Digisoft Joins Artisoft Alliance
Artisoft, Inc. reported that Digisoft Computers, Inc. has joined its Open Communications Alliance to provide sophisticated scripting capabilities to call center agents using TeleVantage, Artisoft's software-based phone system. Recently introduced, TeleVantage 4.0 is designed to offer mid-sized businesses sophisticated call center functionality, including advanced queue routing, trend reports, real-time statistic tracking, remote IP agent support, and agent monitoring, coaching and recording. Digisoft's Telescript is a CRM application designed to increase call center efficiency and productivity through the use of advanced graphical scripting, real-time reporting, multiple dialing platforms and an open database design. The combination of products is expected to furnish an effective and affordable call center solution for the targeted market.

Web-Enabled Contact Center Offering From Amcat And TeleSpear
Amcat, Inc. and TeleSpear Technologies partnered to release a "new generation" Web-enabled computer-telephony software for call centers worldwide. In addition to the traditional telephony communication formats, Internet users can use as many as 10 added touch points to communicate with businesses. Some of the channels included in the customer communication software offering are Web collaboration, chat, e-video, e-fax and automated e-tours. Initially, the alliance will deploy the Web-enabling, multichannel software created by TeleSpear. The integrated product (with Amcat's CTE Call Center Solution software) will be released in the second quarter of 2002.

SAS, Big Blue In CRM Accord
IBM Corp. and SAS Institute announced a strategic alliance geared to deliver comprehensive solutions for analytical customer relationship management to customers in specific industries, starting with financial services and telecommunications. SAS also becomes a major player in IBM's partner program. The two companies will enhance each other's offerings to customers and further integrate technologies to provide solutions in these targeted industries for building and maintaining lasting, profitable relationships with their customers. The alliance combines SAS analytical applications and data warehousing technology with IBM's strength in e-business infrastructure, technology, data management and services. SAS and IBM will also develop marketing plans to jointly promote these solutions and share leads for customer opportunities in these industries.

eLoyalty Adds FaceTime IM To Offerings Portfolio
FaceTime Communications, a provider of instant messaging applications for business, entered into a marketing alliance with eLoyalty, a management consulting and systems integration company focused on building customer loyalty. As part of the alliance, eLoyalty will leverage FaceTime's Instant Message Director as part of its managed services offerings to provide call centers with the ability to improve first call resolution by enabling time-sensitive problem solving and rapid escalation to appropriate knowledge resources. According to Forrester Research, the instant messaging channel will rapidly supplant browser-based customer service chat systems. FaceTime believes it is well-positioned to help its partners and customers capitalize on this opportunity.

[ Return To The October 2001 Table Of Contents ]


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