This article originally appeared in the August 2011 issue of Customer Interaction Solutions
Some of the hottest issues facing contact centers include handling the rapidly-becoming-vital social channel, managing and working with cloud/hosted-based applications and with home-based agents. It is a new world out there, with customers who can influence others and raise issues and opportunities worldwide at the speed of light, with applications running, updated and supported on servers offsite and with hiring and managing team members who are out of sight but definitely not out of mind.
Insights on these matters and more, along with the opportunity to meet knowledgeable speakers and suppliers and industry colleagues, are best found at ITEXPO (News - Alert) West 2011 (http://www.tmcnet.com/voip/conference/west-11/) which is coming to Austin, Texas Sept.13-15.
ITEXPO West’s venue, the Austin Convention Center, is arguably one of the most accessible and convenient in the U.S. Every major U.S. airline provides nonstop flights to Austin from virtually every key American city. And the airport is just 15 minutes away from the conference facility. The Austin Convention Center has state-of-the-art communications capabilities. TMC (News - Alert) has arranged for all participants to enjoy free, fast Wi-Fi connections throughout the center’s massive network, capable of serving 5,800 simultaneous users. There are plenty of places to stay that close by; more than 6,000 downtown hotel rooms are within walking distance to the convention center.
On the conference side, the Social CRM Expo, launched successfully last year at ITEXPO West in Los Angeles, Calif. has returned. The sessions include:
· The Contact Center: The Key to Social Media Success
· How Social Media is Changing Customer Behavior
· Socialize Your Contact Center for Greater Customer Engagement
· Securing Social Media for Compliant Collaboration
· Best Practices for Leveraging Customer Conversations for Brand Equity
· Creating Community, Creating Customers for Life
· Top 10 Tips for Online Marketing
· Does Your Business Have a Social Media Strategy?
There is Call Center track that features these sessions:
· The Cloud Evolution in Contact Centers
· Harnessing the Customer Service Experience with a Multi-Channel Approach
· Hearing the Voice of the Customer
· What’s Really Driving the Hosted Customer Care Trend?
ITEXPO West has in the works a special session on home-based agents. Every aspect of enabling and managing them will be explored and attendee participation will be actively encouraged; this is the opportunity to ask the unasked questions about this increasingly important model.
The conference has other tracks, on business collaboration, enterprise security and on meeting the communications needs of small-midsized businesses. These are in-depth sessions that are ideal for attendees that need to be immersed in these topics.
There are also several collocated conferences. These are 4GWE Conference, Business Video Expo, ChannelVision Expo, Cloud Communications Expo, M2M Evolution Expo, MSPWorld, Regulatory 2.0, SIP Tutorial 2.0, StartupCamp 4, Super WiFi (News - Alert) Summit and Voice Interconnect and Peering Conference.
To set the tone, ITEXPO West will have keynote sessions on Tuesday Sept.13 and Wednesday Sept.14. They will be led off by the ITEXPO West Opening Address Tuesday morning.
The exhibit floor will have a wide range of leading-edge suppliers; there is always a buzz of “what’s new” on ITEXPO show floors. They cover a wide range of solutions including business communications systems, communication security, conferencing, media gateways, multichannel contact routing/switching and VoIP hardware and software. The hall will be open all three days for convenient access and interactions.
Networking is a vital part of attending any conference. ITEXPO West is exceptional for that. There will be a grand opening reception Tuesday evening from 5:30pm-7:30pm. Other events include continental breakfasts Wednesday and Thursday, a luncheon Wednesday at 12 noon for paid attendees only, followed by a network reception at 4pm.
And as always, ITEXPO West will feature its popular end-of-show draw. Check back on the site for more details.
See you in Austin!
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Edited by Stefania Viscusi