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May 1996

New Products...
CTI Products...
Happenings...
Mergers & Acquisitions...
Strategic Alliances...
Contracts and Installations...
Expansions...
International News...
People...

New Products...

  • Support Services Software
    Advantage kbs, Inc. has announced the release of an enhanced suite of IQSupport(TM) products. Designed for distributing the expertise found within call centers and help desks, the IQSupport Application Suite includes: IQSupport-Pro, which improves support center staffs' problem-solving capability; IQSupport-Lite, which empowers corporate end users to solve problems independently; IQWeb(TM), which enables customers to query and solve problems via the World Wide Web using Netscape browsers; and Knowledge Editor, which provides an authoring facility to create custom knowledge bases for all IQSupport products. Using an expert system troubleshooting paradigm, the Augmented Fault Model, the IQSupport Application is based on a structured and detailed technique for representing failures, their symptoms, corrective measures and the procedures to confirm or rule out those failures. For more information, contact Dina Barr at 908-287-2236.


  • Internet Credit Card Acceptance Service Bureau
    BATS, Incorporated has announced that, following the announcement of the release of its NetCharger(TM) product (designed to allow Internet merchants to accept credit card orders), they are in the final phases of a service bureau product, NetChargerSB(TM), to provide similar functionality. Addressing the inherent insecurity of using credit cards across the Internet, BATS developed an interactive voice response (IVR) system link to an Internet Web server with a predefined command set. Using the security benefits of a call-back system via standard telephone lines, consumers are able to place product orders and have the system contact them at a predetermined telephone number for the actual billing information. Operating on an industrial platform with full redundancy, the NetChargerSB will interface to a number of voice response applications, allowing customers to take advantage of other marketing and sales tools offered through voice processing. The system is designed to allow current Internet service providers to offer a suite of services to their customers without actually developing applications that detract from their primary focus on the Internet. For more information, contact Tim Cabeceiras at 800-811-BATS.


  • Five Customer-Interaction Software Applications
    BayStone Software has announced the introduction of five customer-interaction software (CIS) applications for customer support, quality assurance, sales and marketing. SupportCenter(TM), designed to automate customer-support processes, allows users to log, track and facilitate the handling of customer issues, problems, suggestions and requests for information. QualityCenter(TM) is designed to automate quality control and assurance processes and provides a link between customer support, engineering and marketing for managing and improving the product development cycle. SalesCenter(TM) is designed to automate sales and marketing processes to improve sales force productivity. Processes supported include lead generation, qualification and fulfillment, sales hand-off, account and territory management, sales forecasting, sales-order generation, sales closure and analysis/reporting. IMonitor(TM) is an executive information system and graphics-based decision-support monitoring tool. IMonitor provides both real- time and historical metrics on demand to allow managers to evaluate the quality and effectiveness of their organization, from the number of sales leads generated within a specific territory, to the average time to close a sale. WebXchange(TM) is an integrated software application that provides access to BayStone's CIS solutions, extending the system's reach outside the corporate enterprise via the Internet. Users gain real-time remote access to information such as the submission of immediate queries or receiving updates to support activities in progress. For more information, call 408-370-9300.


  • No-Fee Checks By Phone Or Fax
    "Checks-by-Fax-or-Phone" has announced the ability of any business to accept checks by fax or phone and deposit these checks the same day. Software is now available that permits any business to print a bankdraft on its own Windows-based computer. The only cost is the cost of the paper the check is printed on. The software is designed to be user friendly so that it can be up and running within 30 minutes. Pre-authorized checks and check drafting have been part of check services for about 15 years, but until recently it was available only through service bureaus. Now the software has become available to the end user as well. Advantages of immediate deposits to businesses include increased collections, increased cash flow, reduced accounts receivables and credit card fees, and the elimination of C.O.D.s, plus the option of offering the customer an additional method of payment. For more information, contact Michael Kaye at 888-570-1234.


  • Clientele Announces Partner Program
    Clientele Software, Inc., a developer of customer support automation and help desk software, has announced a new channel partner program aimed at resellers of mission-critical software packages. The program will provide Clientele channel partners with product, training, lead referral and sales support programs, priority access to technical support and other services designed to create and sustain a long- term, strategic and mutually beneficial relationship. Clientele is actively recruiting established resellers with significant regional presence who will provide local expertise to Clientele customers. Potential Clientele channel partners are currently selling mission-critical software application packages for accounting, MRP, etc., from established independent software vendors. They possess a proactive sales force and certified technicians capable of installing, modifying and supporting a relational database application. For more information, contact Greg Drew at 503-612-2600.


  • New Digital Voice Recorder
    Comverse Information Systems has announced the introduction of the Ultra Verification Management System (VMS). The Ultra VMS is designed specifically for the recording requirements of the inbound call center and telemarketing industries. It offers voice and data integration with PC- and UNIX-based systems. The Ultra VMS is a PC-based digital recording system that automatically monitors and records up to thousands of agents simultaneously starting and stopping recording functions in conjunction with script or screen page changes. The system allows verification personnel to monitor and verify transactions from a Windows PC workstation while viewing order or screen data. Lory Johnson, director of national markets at Comverse, said, "There is a tremendous need in the call center industry to streamline back- office operations. With our technology, users can verify orders in either real-time, or near real-time and store up to 27,000 orders on a single DAT (digital audio tape)." For more information, contact Sandra Sick at 714-622-1617.


  • New Help Desk Software
    Datawatch Corporation has announced the release of version 4.0 of Q-Support(TM), its help desk automation and asset management software. Version 4.0 introduces call alerting with Q-Alert(TM), which uses e-mail or pagers to alert support center personnel to outstanding calls that may be in danger of unsatisfactory resolution. Q-Icon+(TM) is a new alerting feature that allows support staff to customize delivery of alerts to their individual needs. Version 4.0 includes a feature that notifies the user if a new call is related to one previously logged in its database. Additional features include support group loading and bookmarking. Support group loading provides the help desk operator or supervisor with information on the current support group workload. The bookmarking feature allows users to quickly refer back to any call that requires frequent monitoring. The multiple Service Level Agreement (SLA) feature has been enhanced to feature priority-tiered service level targets, which provide automatic call prioritization. For more information, contact Terry Nizko at 508-988-9700, ext. 587.


  • Enhanced Training Tool
    EIS International, Inc. has announced the introduction of an enhanced version of Star Trainer(TM), its voice-interactive, computer-based training tool that is designed to simulate actual call center activity and reduce agent training time. This next-generation version provides a new interface that enables users to design, edit and customize training sessions in half the time, and contains a new point-and-click reporting package. Star Trainer is now available in both the Windows and OS/2 environment. Users of Star Trainer can develop customized training for any call situation, from closing an order to dealing with an irate customer. Training sessions incorporate actual screens, campaign scripts and recorded "customer" responses. The system records responses for each private session, giving students immediate feedback. Instructors can also review session performance and evaluate students' strengths and weaknesses. For more information, contact Alan Caminiti at 203-351-4800.


  • New Direct Marketing Company
    Icon Health & Fitness has announced the creation of a new direct marketing company, TeleSource, established to utilize Icon's sales experience and resources. Icon's in-house marketing department already employs 60 operators on a computer-driven, state-of-the-art telephone system, permitting thousands of customer contacts and sales per day from its Logan, Utah headquarters. TeleSource currently markets the full range of Icon products, including the CardioGlide, Crosswalk, Crosstrainer, and most recently, SpaceSaver. Its sales teams have recorded closing ratios as high as 30 percent. For more information, contact Amy Taylor at 800-610-2862.


  • Updated Call Center System
    Know It! has announced the release of Version 3.0 of Telephone-Network Turbodialer (TNT), its PC LAN-based call center system. TNT combines predictive and preview dialing with contact management and office management capabilities into a scaleable and intuitive tool. New features for Version 3.0 include 24 time zone support for worldwide calling, live silent audio and screen monitoring, branch scripting, real-time confirmation and validation as well as pass through for call transferring. Other TNT features include an onboard data conversion utility capable of automatically converting large volumes of data from virtually any source, 11 call exclusion filters capable of handling an unlimited number of records per filter, messaging, contact follow-up, easy data access and automated literature distribution. TNT's flexible platform enables any agent station to be used for other LAN or desktop tasks when call sessions are not active. For more information, contact Michael Bergman at 800-576-9537.


  • Sales And Marketing Software Module
    Marketrieve Company, developer of the Marketrieve Plus sales and marketing application, has announced the release of its new Dealer Module. This optional module, which links to the Marketrieve Plus database, is a tool for providing quick on-line dealer look-up when assisting prospects or customers on the phone or when automatically assigning new leads to dealers. A dealer may be assigned to a lead based upon a combination of the ZIP code and/or state ranges, one or more products, and dealer ranking. Marketrieve Plus is a midrange, enterprisewide software system for marketing, telemarketing, telesales, field sales and customer service departments and is available for almost any platform, including Windows and Macintosh. For more information, contact Alyson Bruu at 800-234-6587.


  • New International Telemarketing Service Agency Formed
    McCown De Leeuw & Co., a venture banking firm, has announced the formation of International Data Response Corporation, merging S&P Data of Toronto, Canada and ProMark One of Phoenix, Arizona. ProMark One was recently ranked as the fifth largest outbound service agency in the U.S. in Telemarketing(R) & Call Center Solutions(TM) magazine's "1996 Top 50 Service Agency Ranking - Outbound." S&P Data appeared among the top 10 international service agencies in the same ranking. The new, privately held company will have seven geographic locations, 1,850-plus calling stations, five language capabilities and more than 3,000 employees. Total revenues of ProMark One and S&P Data in 1995 were $44 million. Jerry I. Reitman has been named president and CEO of the new company. He was formerly executive vice president and director, Integrated Communications Worldwide for the Leo Burnett Company of Chicago, Illinois. Robert Hellman, Jr., partner, McCown De Leeuw, said about the merger, "Increasingly, as we considered the factors vital to our strategic investment decisions - growth industries, quality companies and a significant untapped share of an emerging market - we found direct marketing and its related industries of targeted marketing having those attributes." The new company will be headquartered in Chicago, Illinois. Both Dan Plashkes, CEO of S&P Data, and Steve Moak, CEO of ProMark One, will continue as CEOs of their respective companies, reporting to Reitman. For more information, contact Joan Kufrin at 312-862-3380.


  • Web Help Desk Product
    Molloy Group has announced the introduction of its first product for the World Wide Web, the Knowledge Kiosk(TM), an application offering Web access to knowledge bases generated by the problem resolution technology that powers its TOP OF MIND(R) help desk software. Knowledge Kiosks are designed to allow employees, field service technicians and customers supported by the help desk to diagnose and resolve their own problems, instead of calling analysts directly. Knowledge Kiosks place the problem resolution of Molloy Group's Cognitive Processor(R) directly into the hands of customers, giving them the ability to solve their own problems, even if the help desk is closed. Field service technicians can use the corporate knowledge base remotely. Molloy Group also announced that it has established an agreement to incorporate pre-packaged technical troubleshooting data from ServiceWare Inc. as source material for Molloy Group's proprietary Knowledge Cubes(TM). Knowledge Cubes are packaged knowledge content products, processed into a unique data structure that takes advantage of Molloy Group's Cognitive Processor. Knowledge Cubes can be used as content for TOP OF MIND Help Desk software, to "populate" the TOP OF MIND knowledge base for problem diagnosis and resolution. Molloy Group also announced an agreement with Logical Operations, a subsidiary of Ziff-Davis Publishing, to provide access from within TOP OF MIND Help Desk software to Support On Site(TM), technical troubleshooting data published in CD-ROM form by Logical Operations. Support On Site, a multivendor technical support reference tool, is used by help desk professionals for quick access to answers to technical questions. For more information, contact Bruce Molloy at 201-540-1212.


  • Updated Client/Server Customer Support Application
    ProAmerica Systems, Inc. has announced the release of Service Call Management (SCM) Version 4, an advanced client/server customer support application. Version 4 features two optional modules: Return Merchandise Authorization (RMS) and Defect Management. The RMA module, primarily for hardware distributors and manufacturers, allows users to manage the merchandise repair and return process from both the manufacturer and the customer perspective. The Defect Management provides the ability to track, manage and solve development-related tasks. In addition to an enhanced knowledge base, SCM Version 4 has included "Query Lists" in all major screens, which enables users to store both public and private predefined queries. The "To Do List" addition to the tool bar allows for custom queries into the scheduled activities for any user of the system. SCM also provides user-defined screens, or "Profiles," that can be attached to any document with OLE capabilities. Version 4 also includes features inherent to the application: "Custom Folder" event-driven workflow design; "Notes" windows for customers, registrations and contracts; and "SCM Toolkit" for customization of all existing screens, labels and files. For more information, contact Jeff Longoria at 214-680-6257.


  • Updated And Single-User Help Desk Software
    Professional Help Desk has announced the introduction of new releases of its PHDEnterprise(TM) and PHDPremium(TM) help desk software and the all-new, single-user PHDSolo(TM). PHDEnterprise and PHDPremium 4.0 offer new Internet access and telephony capabilities. PHDEnterprise 4.0 provides a server-based database solution, supporting ODBC-compliant databases including Oracle(R), Sybase(R), Microsoft SQL Server(R) and other SQL databases. Designed for large, multisite or multinational companies, PHDEnterprise links help desks at multiple locations. PHDPremium 4.0 is a file-based database solution, providing support for popular file-based products including Microsoft(R) Access(R), Excel(R), dBase(R), Paradox(R) and other ODBC-compliant databases. It is designed for single-site corporations and businesses with up to 20 help desk analysts. PHDSolo 4.0 is designed to let small and growing companies start a help desk. Supporting dBase, it offers PHD's Natural Intelligence(TM) problem-solving tools, dBase-compatible database files and drivers, automatic call tracking, forwarding and escalation, history log and audit trail, priority ranking of calls, hardware and software inventory, on- line and hardcopy reporting, and automatic trouble ticket generation. For more information, contact Frances Tischler at 203-356-7700.


  • Ethernet Videoconferencing
    RADVision has announced the release of OnLAN System, a solution for connecting H.320-compliant videoconferencing stations over standard Ethernet. OnLAN acts like a video PBX, letting users connect their PC-based videoconferencing stations to the phone company's Digital Services to communicate with meeting room or desktop video stations without the need to rewire or install additional cables. OnLAN redirects videoconferencing data through dedicated routers and gateways. These bypass the standard Ethernet routers, eliminating delays, lost packets, etc., and they provide the dialing capability to call remote stations. The OnLAN system includes both hardware and software. The Video Router connects up to four LANs and provides real-time routing for audio-visual traffic. The Video Gateway acts like a router plus it provides the dialing connections to ISDN and other WANs. The Video Interface Unit is the interface between H.320-compliant stations and the LAN. The Video Communica-tions software is a package for OEMs that acts as a Windows-based driver to connect the codec and the LAN. For more information, contact Ilene Wiener at 201-461-0932.


  • Internet Data Collection Tool
    Raosoft, Inc. has announced the availability of a new Internet Module for Raosoft(R) SURVEYWin, Version 3.0. It is designed to allow firms to insert data collection forms into existing Web pages, and then analyze the gathered data at any time with SurveyWin's point-and-click statistics. With the Internet Module, SURVEYWin will convert its electronic forms into HTML (hypertext markup language) forms. Anyone with a forms-capable browser can fill out information on-line and send it back to a Web server. The Internet Module then interfaces with the server to save this information to a SURVEYWin database. SURVEYWin lets users of all levels examine and report on the data gathered. The analyses include 3-D pie charts and bar graphs, which can be produced along with tables and explanatory text on the same page, for finished reporting. The Internet Module keeps an archive of all the data that has been collected, and a temporary file that holds the most recent collection. The two files give the user backup safety for their database and at the same time easy access to the most recent data for interpretation. SURVEYWin will give instant analysis on either or both of these files whenever wanted. For more information, contact Catherine McDole Rao at 206-525-4025.


  • Central Office Product Update
    Redcom Laboratories, Inc. has announced the introduction of an enhanced version of its central office, the Modular Digital Exchange (MDX). In addition to a rich set of standard public exchange features, Version 15.0 of the MDX is now available with CLASS(TM) features, Caller ID features, improved calling features and increased shelf capacity. The CLASS features available in the MDX include selective call rejection, selective call acceptance, selective call forwarding, distinctive call waiting, distinctive ringing, automatic callback and automatic recall. These features will be offered to subscribers on either a subscription or usage basis. The MDX's support for Caller ID includes calling number delivery, anonymous call rejection and calling number delivery blocking. The MDX also offers station-controlled restricted dialing, customer-controlled call trace and customized ringing (or teen dialing). The shelf capacity of the MDX has been significantly increased with the introduction of tone plant pooling and the new dynamic line circuit. The dynamic line circuit provides 16 ports per board, field-installable line modules for a variety of network termination requirements, software selectable blocking or nonblocking configurations, and a test access option. For more information, call 716-924-6510.


  • Enhanced Customer-Support Software
    Repository Technologies Inc. (RSI) has announced new capabilities for its customer-support software package, CustomerFirst. The features, incorporated in Version 2.6, include the automatic escalation of incidents based on a variety of conditions, the ability to create new CustomerFirst incidents via e-mail and the Internet, and the ability to break incidents into multiple tasks. CustomerFirst provides control of the support process from the time a user calls with a question until a fix is ultimately incorporated into the product, if needed. The escalation feature enables organizations to set individual, departmental and global rules for escalating incidents based on a number of conditions, including priority, sending an e- mail message to a responsible individual, transferring an incident to another group, or simply displaying a message in a special "alert" window. RTI has given CustomerFirst the ability to automatically create incidents based on e-mail and Internet messages. The messages are sent to a user-defined address, and the incidents thus created are assigned to a department that has been designated by the user. RTI has also added "send" buttons to a number of screens. These enable users to quickly send notes and temporary fixes via e-mail or fax. For more information, call 708-515-0780.


  • Software Protection
    Software Security, Inc. has announced the availability of its UniKey(R) software protection technology. UniKey lets any developer protect one or many separate applications, using a single hardware device. Each UniKey hardware device contains special memory "slots" that can be individually filled with codes to unlock applications at any time. UniKey uses a patented method for generating codes to protect documents. It uses special algorithms to create a "derived code" based on the unique ID that is permanently burned into each UniKey hardware device and the alphanumeric code that is placed in a UniKey memory slot. Each UniKey family member shares: a unique ID for every device; remote authorization to protect new software products using a highly secure and patented "derived key" authorization technology; automatic, pushbutton implementation using ’GIS, an "application shell" program that works in a matter of seconds; and compatibility with most languages and operating systems. For more information, call 800-841-1316.


  • Low-Cost Help Desk Software
    SolutionDesk has announced the release of its low-cost, multiuser help desk software program designed to automate and improve customer support departments for small and mid-sized businesses. SolutionDesk(TM) 1.0 is a low-cost, multiuser, Microsoft Windows-based help desk application designed to empower customer service, technical support and management with the ability to track and solve problem incidents. Specifically designed for small to mid-sized businesses, SolutionDesk provides first- level support the ability to deliver high-tech solutions to customer support. SolutionDesk can also serve as a sales and marketing tool. It has a specially designed Sales Literature Screen to provide staff with a window to record and track requests for product information. It can also assign an Action Task for follow- up calls to take advantage of potential sales. Other features include call tracking, document repository, and a knowledgebase of solutions for each company product. Keyword search locates pertinent information in the knowledgebase and the document repository to provide instant problem resolution. For more information, contact Darlene DeRouchey at 847-662-6288.


  • Telemanagement Software For Windows 95
    Telco Research Corporation has announced the release of a Microsoft Windows 95 version of its TRU SYSTEM(R) PC-based telemanagement software designed to control expenses and detect telephone toll fraud. Ben Scott, director of Micro R&D at Telco Research, said, "Anyone who upgrades to Windows 95 will have a telemanagement system compatible with that environment. Within six months we will release TRU SYSTEM enhancements that take advantage of Windows 95 productivity-enhancing and time-saving features, like on-line Internet help, electronic reports distribution, and more." Telco Research will continue to support its Windows 3.1 version of the TRU SYSTEM as long as customers use that operating environment. For more information, contact Ben Scott at 615-231-6182.


  • UCA&L Announces New Internet Division And Internet Products
    UCA&L has announced the introduction of a suite of Internet-based outsourcing services that are designed to enable companies to expand their marketing, sales and support programs. Key elements of the announced services, available through UCA&L's new Internet Division, include secure transaction processing and on-line customer and technical support that transparently link end users to UCA&L's backend infrastructure. Internet-based services available from UCA&L will include: secure Internet commercial transactions, whereby UCA&L will capture orders for products by seamlessly connecting its backend transaction processing infrastructure to its clients' Web sites using Secured Sockets Layer (SSL) and S-HTTP security technologies; WebReg(TM), which combines electronic product registration with the ability to capture specific marketing data and deliver an Internet browser and local home page/catalog to the end user's hard drive; CyberReg(TM), a tool to provide basic electronic product registration service employing either modem dialup or Internet protocol; customer service and support, offering a broad range of applications (including dealer locator/referral, order status and order inquiry, and broad-based customer inquiries and e-mail response) that the end user will be able to access directly from the clients' Web sites; on-line technical support services to help clients combat the high cost of both live agent support and toll calls; and text-based queries/knowledgebases whereby end users can access a client's proprietary database of documented support solutions directly from the client's Web page. For more information, contact Amy Wright at 716-871-4313.


  • New Help Desk Software
    The Vantive Corporation has announced the release of Version 5.0 of Vantive HelpDesk, its client/server help desk software product designed for enterprise support management. Vantive HelpDesk 5.0 includes new functionality for change management, problem management, and systems and network management. Change management allows a help desk manager to establish an automated process for scheduling routine tasks; problem resolution through Vantive Research Agent, as well as enterprisewide tracking and management capabilities. With release 5.0, Vantive HelpDesk now supports and resells Knowledge-Paks from ServiceWare. Knowledge-Paks are complete, on-line knowledgebases used by help desk administrators and end users to troubleshoot problems and improve productivity, and are accessible using Vantive's Research Agent (a collection of problem resolution techniques) for fast diagnostic access. Vantive HelpDesk 5.0 also features support for IBM NetView 6000. In cooperation with Vantive, Tivoli is developing Tivoli/Plus for Vantive HelpDesk. As a result, help desks can be notified of systems or network problems automatically. When integrated with Vantive HelpDesk, IBM NetView 6000: automatically generates trouble tickets for and fills in all the appropriate information regarding a problem or case; automatically notifies the help desk administrator if a network problem occurs; provides the network or help desk manager the cause of the problem; monitors all the systems traps or other software errors that may occur within the enterprise; and allows the network or help desk manager to define the escalation and routing process for a person, trouble ticket or report. With the Tivoli Management Environment, Vantive HelpDesk users are offered: automatic trouble ticket submission and close-out; resource monitoring; automatic software distribution for a coordinated and consistent distribution of Vantive software throughout the enterprise; and customized task administration for the Vantive Enterprise. Vantive also announced that it has licensed Decisive Technology Corp.'s Internet survey software. Vantive will market and resell Decisive Survey as part of the Vantive Enterprise suite of customer interaction applications. The companies are also partnering in joint development to seamlessly integrate Decisive's products with the Vantive Enterprise. For more information, contact Bob Tate at 408- 982-5700.


  • New Lighting Feature
    Waldmann Lighting Company has announced that its newest "Roma E" ergonomic task light now includes an electronic ballast built into the head. The new electronic ballast version Roma eliminates flickering and ignites lamps quickly. The electronic ballast also helps reduce energy consumption. Task lighting enhances overhead lighting at individual workstations by offering users direct light control at their fingertips. Similar to other Waldmann models, the Roma E features an ergonomically designed parabolic louver that spreads light evenly over work surfaces to virtually eliminate glare from almost any VDT position. One 18-watt compact fluorescent lamp housed inside the head provides 12,000 hours of lamp life. The Roma's fully articulated arms come in three arm styles: single, twin vertical and twin horizontal. The light is available in solid matte black and light gray. It also features an inert shade available in teal, burgundy, dark gray and royal blue. The Roma can be mounted by clamp, table base, grommet or open office furniture panel bracket that fits more than 60 different open office systems. For more information, contact Tori Potter at 800-634-0007.


  • Incoming Call Network
    The Willow Network has announced it is offering its services as a cost-effective medium for call centers and service agencies to access professional, independent customer service representatives (CSRs) on an as-needed basis to offset normal peaks, unpredictable spikes, off hours, CSR shortages, emergencies and disaster periods. Willow is a communications network, similar to the Internet, specifically for large, incoming call centers and service agencies. The network voice/data communication systems are all seamlessly interfaced with the network client's existing call center systems. The Network provides: real- time interactive service, added security for highly sensitive data systems, and off-site disaster backup facilities. Network CSR agents, including many highly qualified disabled persons, are recruited and trained by the State of Florida to the network client's exact call center protocol and service standards. The CSRs are certified by the network client before they are permitted access to the client's system. Currently, as an incentive, the State of Florida is offering all recruiting and training free to new network clients. Network CSRs are independent contractors, paid directly by clients or through an automated data processing bureau. The per-call rate is negotiated directly between the network client and the network CSRs using network services as a communication source as needed. All reporting, quality control, supervision, monitoring, security and other routines remain exactly the same, unless the network client also wishes improvements in these areas. For more information, call 305-864-6577.


  • New Long-Distance Reseller
    WizCom International Ltd., a wholly owned subsidiary of Avis, Inc., has announced that it has launched Avis Telecommunications. Avis Telecommunications provides companies with discounted long-distance voice telecommunication services. Avis Telecommunications has established long-term, multiyear agreements with major carriers such as AT&T and LDDS/WorldCom and now resells their services. These services include dedicated inbound and outbound, switched access inbound and outbound, calling cards and pre-paid debit cards. Avis Telecommunications is classified as a Switchless Reseller and does not own facilities or lines, but makes volume purchases of long-distance services from major facilities- based carriers. Avis Telecommunications also offers consultative services to business executives from small firms about their long-distance services. For more information, contact Didier "DJ" Vallauri at 516- 222-3787.


CTI Products...

  • Call Center Management Software Update
    Davox Corporation has announced the availability of release 2.1 of its Unison(R) call center management system software. This software module is designed to allow supervisors to monitor agent productivity during individual campaigns. New functionality available in Release 2.1 includes: supervisor to agent messaging, which allows supervisors to send messages to one, a group or all agents either as a pop-up message or as a system message; and agent performance statistics, which permits individual agents in a selling environment to monitor their performance during a campaign, seeing sales-related data including total number of sales, total revenue of sales to number of sales per hour and revenue as a percentage of all agents. Davox has also added new or enhanced features to its Unison Strategist(TM) Applications Software, which is designed to help call center management specify and modify comprehensive calling strategies in their operations by providing capabilities designed to let users better react to changes in their operating environment and eliminate the need for users to rely on Davox in these instances. New features include: File Builder, which gives the user the ability to format and accept new downloads; Term Code Editor, which allows users to access the term code file, specify new term codes and make changes to existing codes; Screen Builder, which allows users to create and modify the text-based display presented to the agent upon call connect; Call Guide, which provides users with the ability to define the campaign parameters that govern dialing and answering behavior; Telemarketing Report Package, which includes five standard reports - List Penetration, System Efficiency By List, System Efficiency By Time, TSR Productivity and TSR Sales; and Verification Agent, which provides the ability for a set of agents to be reserved for back-end call functions. For more information, call 508-952-0200.


  • Telemarketing Software Update
    Digisoft Computers, Inc. has announced the release of Telescript Version 3.4. The new version is designed to provide increased flexibility and productivity through major enhancements such as: a windows script editor, a CTI link, credit card validation, recordable macros, a dealer locator and improved graphics. Scripts can now be edited using a full-featured windows editor. Telescript's new CTI connection uses TSAPI to link it directly to the phone switch. Telescript can recognize both the inbound 800 number and the Caller ID. It will "pop" both the appropriate project and the incoming record to the screen before the agent answers an inbound call. In addition, CTI enables a call center to have universal messaging with the same agent handling both inbound and outbound calls through Telescript and a digital telephone. A new command in the script validates credit card numbers by having the agent type the number in. Telescript then validates the sequence of digits against the credit card type. Recordable keyboard macros enable an administrator to automate many time-consuming, database management tasks. Version 3.4 also offers inproved graphics for project reporting. Reports now include pie charts and bar graphs, and Telescript also supports new additional modules. A dealer locator module displays the addresses of the closest dealers along with their distances from the respondent. Another new module supports links to tabulation software such as SPSS and Survey Systems. For more information, contact Bruce Adams at 212-581-2190.


  • Mitel Expands Developer@work Program To Include IBM's CallPath(R)
    Mitel Corporation has announced it has expanded its suite of enabling products by creating software drivers for IBM's CallPath Application Programming Interface (API). Mitel's TALK TO(R) for IBM CallPath software brings the features and functions of CTI to the IBM environment through Mitel's SX- 2000(R) LIGHT PBX. The interface provides a seamless connection between CallPath Services Architecture (API) and Mitel's SX-2000 LIGHT fiber distributed PBX. The TALK TO for CallPath software converts the internal protocol of the SX-2000 and exports it via an Ethernet interface that complies with IBM CSTA telephony call control specifications. The Ethernet interface is presented to the IBM CallPath SwitchServer/2(R) and the IBM CallPath Server(R) components. Through this connection, IBM CallPath developers can access the features and functionality of the SX-2000 LIGHT PBX. This allows them to integrate the telephony processing capabilities with applications running on client workstations. For more information, call 613-592-2122.


  • Nortel Releases New Products
    Northern Telecom (Nortel) has announced the availability of Microsoft TAPI and Novell TSAPI capabilities for its Norstar-PLUS Integrated Communications Systems. The application programming interfaces (APIs) enable a range of computer-related applications to be integrated with the Norstar-PLUS Integrated Communications Systems. With TAPI and TSAPI capabilities, automatic call distribution (ACD), desktop videoconferencing, PC-based telephony control and other applications are available to Norstar digital key system users. In addition, developers will be able to offer their TAPI- and TSAPI- based applications to users of Norstar. Nortel has demonstrated several examples of these new capabilities, including an integrated wireless CTI application that capitalizes on CTI standards and the Norstar COMPANION wireless key system. Nortel has also demonstrated its VISIT Voice screen-based telephone control software with PCs connected to the Norstar system and VISIT Video desktop videoconferencing. Its VISIT FastCall computer-telephony application for call centers and knowledge workers working on the Norstar system and also on Nortel's DMS-100 Digital Centrex and Meridian 1 private branch exchange (PBX) system allows a call center with even a single agent to become a reality. All Nortel business communication systems, including the Meridain 1 PBX and DMS-100 digital Centrex, can work with the same TAPI- and TSAPI-based applications. Nortel also demonstrated the Norstar-PLUS Voice Mail 2.0 with fax mail capabilities on the Norstar-PLUS Applications Module. Norstar-PLUS Voice Mail provides users with voice messaging, auto attendant and custom call-routing features. Nortel also announced the release of FastView and FastView+, two call center tools designed to improve agent productivity, enhance customer service and empower agents by integrating Nortel's advanced automatic call distribution (ACD) features and functionality with a wide array of Microsoft Windows-compatible software. New capabilities include on-screen display of the latest queue statistics, timed return of calls to queue after no answer, keystroke macros for intelligent call-handling rules, single or multiline call answer and automated outbound call handling. In addition, agents can access all formal call center features and functionality from their keyboards, such as agent log-in, call supervisor and activity code displays. FastView+ software has all the display-based telephony features of FastView with the added functionality of a broad set of "middleware" capabilities. Customers can create predefined intelligent call rules in any Windows-based application that activate immediately upon presentation of a call. For more information, contact Brian Murphy at 214-684-8589.


  • NPRI Reseller Program
    NPRI, Inc. has announced the introduction of the VerSatility Integration Professional (VIP) Program for resellers of its VerSatility series of software products. Under the VIP Program, resellers of NPRI's call center and sales force software will receive support to sell, install, train and support customers using VerSatility. "Dave Luvison, senior vice president of channels for NPRI, said, "We believe that there is an excellent opportunity for resellers to expand their business into the call center segments of the computer- telephone integration (CTI) marketplace. Our VIP Program offers our channel partners the product access, training, support and sales assistance that they will need to be successful." For more information, contact Hoyt Maulden at 703-277-2482.


  • Three New Telephony Applications
    Priority Call Management has announced the release of three new telephony applications for its ORYX(TM) platform. ORYX delivers one-number communications to provide access through a single existing telephone number to an individual's office or remote telephone, cellular telephone, facsimile and pager. New applications include: oryxTALK - voice-activated dialing; oryxMEETING - conference calling; and oryxTEAM - workgroup communications. oryxTALK provides voice-activated dialing for hands-free calling from any wireless or wireline telephone. Users can create directories of frequently called numbers or simply speak the number they wish to dial. oryxMEETING lets users initiate conference calls from any available phone. Users may initiate a conference call of up to 8 individuals. After receiving an inbound call, users may also add additional callers by placing the current call on hold and entering the phone numbers of new participants. When used with oryxVOICE, an ORYX voice messaging platform, the conference may be recorded for distribution. oryxTEAM is a grouping of oryxONE accounts to provide call distribution and overflows to team members. This allows callers to reach an alternate contact if the primary contact is unavailable. For more information, contact Mary Sullivan at 508-694-2579.


  • Call Tracking And ACD Connections
    Teknekron Infoswitch Corporation has announced the release of Rendezvous!(TM), a customer call tracking system. Using the call tracking system, calls arrive at the agent desktop accompanied by customer information as well as with detailed customer transaction histories. As part of the system, Teknekron has configured its client-server application, Rendezvous!, to retrieve customer information from the server database using caller identification numbers. Callers enter their numbers through an interactive voice response unit, and via Rendezvous!, call data is sent from the server to the agent desktop with the call. The call tracking application can collect call data from the automatic call distributor (ACD), customer information from the host and call tracking data from the server to produce standard, daily reports. Teknekron also announced its CTI applications Orchestra!(TM) and Rendezvous! will connect to a range of ACD systems via Dialogic Corporation's CT-Connect(TM). CT-Connect is an open-standards- based call control server that supports a wide range of major telecommunications switches and local area networks. Compatible switches include: Nortel's Meridian 1; AT&T's Definity G-3; Rolm's CBX; Rockwell's Galaxy ACD; Aspect's ACD; Alcatel's A4400; and Ericsson's MD110. CT-Connect runs under the MS Windows operating system, on Intel architecture and Digital Alpha processors. The server software supports Intel/Microsoft's TAPI with a client/server configuration and the TSAPI-compliant programming interface. CT-Connect is also CSTA-compliant. For more information, contact Katherine Kirkpatrick at 817-267-3025.


  • Speech Recognition Software And Internet Marketing Initiative
    Voice Control Systems, Inc. (VCS) has announced the availability of software for continuous, high- density speaker-independent recognition. ContinuousHD(TM) is a downloadable software package for VCS-supported hardware platforms. The ContinuousHD software supports six lines of continuous, speaker-independent recognition on each Texas Instruments 50MHz TMS320C31 32-bit DSP. For most typical DSP board architectures, 24 channels of continuous recognition can be supported in a single PC expansion board slot. With ContinuousHD, multiple VCS technologies can reside on the same DSP in multichannel configurations. For example, developers can utilize VCS's continuous digit vocabularies simultaneously with other features such as speaker-dependent ASR for voice dialing and command words for menu navigation, which is important for applications where ASR is a critical resource, such as personal accounts and voice dialing. In addition, VCS supports 12 continuous languages, with many additional languages under development. VCS also announced the opening of its Multimedia Internet Worldwide Web Home Page. VCS's Home Page is a real-time Multimedia Website. To hear interactive demos and to see the latest VCS news, the address is http://www.voicecontrol.com. For more information, contact Lila A. Finhill at 214-726-1249.


  • Electronic Assistant System Update
    Wildfire Communications, Inc. has announced an upgrade to the Wildfire Electronic Assistant, a service available through service providers that coordinates all of a professional's daily telephone communications the way a secretary once did. The Wildfire Electronic Assistant now offers on-the-fly telephone conferencing from any phone, anywhere. Version 1.3 also includes a new reception feature designed to meet the complete communications needs of small businesses. When initiating conference calls, Wildfire responds to natural voice commands and calls the other parties and conferences everyone together. The new Wildfire service also includes a new reception assistant that handles all telephone communications. Like a receptionist, the Wildfire Electronic Assistant greets callers and transfers all calls to each employee's own Electronic Assistant. Additional new features include enhanced training, refined voice mail integration and support of multiple pager systems. The Wildfire Electronic Assistant now leads users through a simple, intuitive training program using a friendly, human-sounding voice. Version 1.3's tighter integration with voice mail systems allows the Wildfire Electronic Assistant to send and retrieve messages between widely available voice mail systems. Wildfire Communications also announced that rather than purchasing bundled Wildfire servers directly from Wildfire, authorized service providers purchase hardware from their choice of Wildfire approved business partners, and the Wildfire Assistant software from Wildfire. The system is shipped from the hardware supplier fully configured with 12 Wildfire Assistants, which support from 40 to 60 end users. For more information, contact Leslie Anderson at 617-674-1711.


Happenings...

  • Sprint Announces New Telemarketing Subsidiary
    Sprint has announced that its successful telemarketing services have led to the formation of Sprint TELECENTERs Inc., a subsidiary of Sprint's Local Telecommunications Division that operates four direct marketing centers capable of handling 30 million calls per year. David Matheson, formerly director of telemarketing services for Sprint/United Telephone-Florida, was appointed president of Sprint TELECENTERs. The new subsidiary combines the two Sprint-Florida TELECENTER sites in Maitland and Orlando with the Direct Marketing Center in Bristol, Tennessee, and the Sprint Integrated Marketing Services unit, which was part of Sprint Publishing and Advertising in Kansas City. Three of the sites handle inbound and outbound telemarketing programs for Sprint and a number of Fortune 500 companies. The fourth center is a market research facility. Sprint TELECENTERs Inc. is headquartered in Maitland. The company's four sites will operate 600 workstations, employing more than 1,000 people with the capability of handling 100,000 calls per day and up to 30 million calls per year for Sprint and other clients.


  • Spanlink Offers Initial Public Offering
    Spanlink Communications, Inc. has announced that it has filed a registration statement with the Securities and Exchange Commission relating to a proposed initial pubic offering of 1.9 million shares of common stock, all of which will be sold by the company. The proposed offering is being made through Summit Investment Corporation as underwriter. The company anticipates that the net proceed will be used to repay certain liabilities and capital expenditures, sales and marketing activities, research and development and working capital. Spanlink designs, develops and markets interactive computer telecommunications software and services that link business computer systems, telecommunications systems and the Internet. A registration statement relating to the securities has been filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, but has not become effective.


  • TCIMarketing Changes Name
    TCIMarketing, Inc. has announced a corporate name change to TCIM Services, Inc. With the new name, the eight-year-old company emphasizes its strong position as a fully integrated direct marketing agency, supporting Fortune 500 companies as an outsourcing specialist. "We selected TCIM Services to emphasize our increased breadth of offerings," said Linda Drake, president and CEO. "We wanted a change that would reflect our expertise in designing and implementing complex, multilateral campaigns that are customized to each client's particular marketplace needs." TCIM Services was founded in 1988 as TeleCall, Inc., a small telemarketing firm with 40 manual telephones and only three full-time employees. The company rapidly expanded its range of marketing services, and by 1990 was established as TCIMarketing, Inc. By 1995, TCIM employed a workforce of more than 3,000 in 10 separate locations throughout the East and Midwest; within the year, the company supported 50 national accounts, managed 100 major programs and had contacts with more than 100 million consumers and business customers. In 1995, TCIMarketing grew by more than 100 percent; the company was ranked as the ninth largest outbound service agency in the 1996 Telemarketing(R) & Call Center Solutions(TM) magazine "Top 50 Service Agency" rankings.

Mergers & Acquisitions...

  • Brooktrout To Acquire Technically Speaking
    Brooktrout Technology, Inc., a provider of fax and voice messaging products for telecommunications and networking environments worldwide, has announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Technically Speaking, Inc., developers of Show N Tel(TM), an application development tool for enterprise computer-telephony applications. With the addition of Technically Speaking's product line, Brooktrout will expand its offering of products that reduce the time-to-market and cost of developing innovative, high-performance electronic messaging systems and services. Under the terms of the agreement, Brooktrout will issue approximately 475,000 shares of its common stock to Technically Speaking's shareholders and optionholders in exchange for all equity interests in Technically Speaking. Brooktrout has agreed to register approximately 50 percent of the shares issued in the transaction for resale under the Securities Act, with the remaining 50 percent entitled to registration rights under certain circumstances. Brooktrout expects to incur approximately $1.2 million in one-time charges in the second quarter 1996 for transaction expenses and corporate restructuring associated with the acquisition. The transaction, currently valued at approximately $12 million, is expected to be a tax-free reorganization, accounted for as a pooling of interests. The issuance of the shares is subject to Brooktrout shareholders' approval.


  • Syntellect Completes Telecorp Systems Acquisition
    Syntellect Inc., a provider of voice and information processing platforms and applications, announced shareholder approval of its merger with Pinnacle Investment Associates, Inc., the parent company of Telecorp Systems, Inc., making Telecorp, a provider of call processing and transaction processing services, a wholly owned subsidiary of Syntellect. Pursuant to the merger, Pinnacle's shareholders received 1.15 shares of Syntellect common stock for each Pinnacle common share equivalent held by them. This translates to 4,685,838 shares of Syntellect common stock, or approximately 37.7 percent of Syntellect's outstanding common stock on a post-merger basis. With the completion of the merger, J. Lawrence Bradner has assumed the positions of chairman of the board of directors and CEO of Syntellect and Steve G. Nussrallah is now president of the company and a member of its board of directors. Joining Messrs. Bradner and Nussrallah on the board is Jack Kelly, a former member of Pinnacle's Board of Directors and a general partner of Noro-Moseley Partners, a venture capital firm. Daniel D. Ross, who served as the acting chairman of the board of directors, will resume his position as a member of the board.


Strategic Alliances...

  • ProAmerica Systems/Fulcrum Partnership
    ProAmerica Systems, Inc., a developer of software for the customer service and help desk industry, has announced a partnership with Fulcrum Technologies Inc. and its intent to incorporate Fulcrum's full- featured information-retrieval functionality in Service Call Management (SCM), ProAmerica Systems' flagship client/ server customer support and help desk application. An upcoming version of SCM will include Fulcrum(R) SearchServer(TM), which will add text retrieval options to SCM's knowledge base, in addition to Surfboard(TM), which will allow customers access to database information via the Internet. Joe Longoria, president of ProAmerica Systems, said, "Our partnership with Fulcrum Technologies will allow us to provide high-performance searching of information that can be absolutely critical in effective call resolution and customer support."


  • Rockwell/Dialogic Partnership
    Rockwell International Corporation's Switching Systems Division has announced it is partnering with Dialogic Corporation to develop a suite of call center platforms for critical customer-contact applications in corporate departments, branch offices and small businesses. The systems will be sized, priced and configured for up to 40 customer service representatives in mission-critical applications such as help desk, order entry, reservations and dispatch. In this joint development, Rockwell will be extending its mission-critical call center solutions into the existing LAN and telecommunications infrastructure of multifunction organizations. Currently, Rockwell supplies the Spectrum call processing systems and a family of related products and services to dedicated call center operations. Dialogic, a supplier of industry-standard telecommunications products, brings the ability to deliver Rockwell's call center expertise in a form optimized for the workgroup.

  • Sendero/OKRA Marketing Alliance

    Sendero Corporation, a wholly owned subsidiary of Fiserv, Inc., and OKRA Marketing Corporation, a provider of database marketing solutions, have announced they have formed a marketing alliance. Sendero, a provider of PC-based support systems for asset liability management and profitability measurement, will market OKRA's The TotalMarketer(R) database marketing system to banks, thrifts and credit unions. Sendero will also support the product and provide consultation services, helping financial institutions enhance customer relationships and develop more profitable customers. Designed for financial institutions, The TotalMarketer is a desktop marketing customer information system (MCIF) that is designed to "household" customer relationships, create an accurate summary of total customer relationships, enable more effective cross-selling of products and services, help reach new customers, and track marketing performance. TotalMarketer users may opt to process on their own mainframes, on their PCs or through Sendero.


  • Teloquent Alliances
    Teloquent Communications Corporation and Periphonics Corporation have announced they have formed a co-marketing alliance. Under the agreement, the two companies will work together to promote and deliver the combined capabilities of Periphonics' integrated voice response (IVR) technology and Teloquent's call center solution. Through the co-marketing alliance, Periphonics will recommend Teloquent's Distributed Call Center to customers seeking a comprehensive call center solution to complement their IVR. In turn, Teloquent will recommend Periphonics' IVR technology to customers interested in the value-added capabilities of IVR within a call center environment. Teloquent also announced a distribution and development agreement for distributed call center products and technology with Executone Information Systems, Inc. The agreement leverages Teloquent's expertise in distributed call center technology and intelligent networks and Executone's distribution strength and experience in the delivery of complete call center solutions. Under the terms of the agreement, Executone will begin to distribute Teloquent's Distributed Call Center product in the U.S. Teloquent and Executone will also begin development on the integration of Teloquent's Distributed Call Center application with Executone's Integrated Digital Telephone System. Teloquent also announced plans to work will Bell Atlantic to develop a video call center application and interactive video stations. Designed to give remote service centers the ability to handle hundreds of "video calls" from customers quickly, the new application will provide multimedia and compressed video in real-time via ISDN to off-site kiosks. The product is scheduled for full market deployment in the third quarter of this year.


Expansions...

  • APAC To Open Ten New Centers
    APAC TeleServices, Inc. has announced it will open 10 new telephone call centers to operate more than 800 additional workstations during the second quarter of 1996. These facilities will employ more than 1,000 additional people and will be located in the Midwest. The new call centers will be part of APAC's Sales Solutions group, which offers direct-telephone sales for clients in the financial, insurance and telecommunications industries. With 12 new call centers already opened by APAC during 1996, new workstation expansion within Sales Solutions will exceed 2,000 during the first half of 1996. The company has more than 8,000 employees located in 45 call centers across the country.


  • CTC TeleServices Expands
    CTC TeleServices has announced the opening of a new call center in St. Charles, Illinois. The facility is a totally dedicated center that will be leased to a CTC client for the next three years. The facility is fully automated with inbound and outbound capabilities.


  • Rockwell SSD Purchases New Headquarters Facility
    Rockwell International Corporation, Switching Systems Division (SSD), has announced the company has purchased a new headquarters building located in Wood Dale, Illinois. "This new building is a milestone for the division and its employees," said Steve Panyko, vice president and general manager of Rockwell's SSD. "The new facility is located only minutes from the airport and will benefit our customers through improved training and demonstration facilities." SSD also has offices in the U.K. and Canada, as well as regional sales offices in New York, Washington, D.C., Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas and Los Angeles. SSD employs more than 700 people.


Contracts and Installations...

  • Aspect Installation
    Excel Communications, Inc. has announced that the company's new expansion call center facilities in Houston, Texas feature Aspect Telecommunications' CallCenter(R) system. The Houston Aspect system will network the new 400-station call center with Excel's 600-station call centers in the Dallas area where Agility, Aspect's interactive voice response (IVR) system, has been in place since the fall of 1995. The contract for Excel's Houston facility is estimated to be worth approximately $1 million.


  • CallCenter Services Contract
    CallCenter Services, Inc. has announced that Rivertown Trading Company, which mailed more than 60 million catalogs in 1995, has chosen CallCenter Services to help with inbound telemarketing. St. Paul- based Rivertown produces a variety of catalogs. Some, like "Wireless," are associated with public radio; others, like "Seasons," are not. "We're pleased that Rivertown picked us as an overflow outsourcer," said I. Michael Kadish, CallCenter Services' vice president for marketing. "We had a terrific fall, handling 20 percent more calls than forecast, with 97 percent call completion."


  • Incite Installation At Duke Power
    Incite has announced that Duke Power Company has deployed Incite's Conversational Media(TM) systems to improve communications between its emergency response facilities and enhance crisis management. Duke Power, which serves 1.7 million customers in North and South Carolina, has installed the multimedia communications system to give nuclear power plant personnel a face-to-face, real-time link with the company's centralized emergency operations center. During any unusual event at one of Duke Power's nuclear plants, on-site engineers will be able to use Conversational Media's advanced desktop-based vidoeconferencing capabilities to communicate critical information effectively, including vital procedural and response checklists, to the emergency operations center.


  • Gatorade Contract For MATRIXX
    MATRIXX Marketing, Inc. has announced that it has teamed up with Gatorade to handle customer service calls for the beverage giant's new bottle cap promotion, "Sweat It Out," in conjunction with the NBA Finals. As part of the agreement, MATRIXX will handle all customer service inquiries about the contest and fulfillment of contest rules via Gatorade's 1-800-60-SWEAT and 1-800-GATORADE numbers published on bottle, promotional material and broadcast on radio and television. The "Sweat It Out" contest is the first bottle cap promotion by Quaker.


  • Mobil Oil, MasterCard Contracts For Signature
    The Signature Group has announced that it has been selected by Mobil Oil Credit Corporation as the managing provider of fee-based services for its proprietary credit card file and its premium Mobil+ card. Mobil Oil Credit Corporation has been a Signature client since 1981 when the Mobil Oil Auto Club was first launched. Since that time, the product portfolio has steadily grown to include a wide variety of consumer services and personal insurance products. The Signature Group also announced that it and MasterCard International have agreed to offer Dining … la Card through MasterCard's Travel and Entertainment MasterValues program. This offer is expected to reach up to 30 million MasterCard cardholders nationwide.


  • Tele-Response Wins National Awareness Foundation Contract
    Tele-Response Center Inc. has announced it has been appointed to handle a major Pennsylvania fund- raising and public awareness campaign for the National Awareness Foundation of Washington, D.C. The announcement was made jointly by Stuart Discount, president of Tele-Response Center, and Ruth Harris- Shaw, president of the foundation, one of the largest national charities dedicated to the education of drug and alcohol abuse. In making the announcement, Discount said that tele-fundraising representatives will be at work contacting Pennsylvania residents and asking for pledges with the goal of $1 million for educational programs aimed at preventing drug and alcohol abuse, especially among the young. Harris- Shaw is the creator of the HUGS NOT DRUGS(TM) program.


  • Pacific Bell Chooses Teloquent
    Teloquent Communications Corporation has announced that Pacific Bell's ISDN organization has purchased Teloquent's Distributed Call Center, a network-based call management system. Nearly 200 call center agents throughout Pacific Bell's ISDN Ordering Center will use Distributed Call Center to issue and process ISDN orders throughout the company. The ISDN Ordering Center will leverage Distributed Call Center's network-based architecture to distribute calls equally among its geographically dispersed agents located in San Ramon, Sacramento and Pasadena, California using a single system. The ISDN Ordering Center will also use Distributed Call Center to provide a fully integrated view of the real- time and historical status of agents in any of the three centers; to identify the number of callers in queue; how many calls were taken on any given day; and service and staffing levels.


International News...

  • Aspect Installation In Belgium
    Aspect Telecommunications has announced its first customer installation of an Aspect CallCenter(TM) automatic call distributor (ACD) in Belgium at telemarketing agency Zacson/Marien & Gybels, which is headquartered in Antwerp. Zacson/Marien & Gybels' new call center will be staffed by 150 agents, enabling the company to branch out to additional European countries beyond its traditional market of the Benelux countries. Zacson/ Marien & Gybels is now using the call center for varied projects including order entry, customer service and outbound telemarketing campaigns and has recently added five inbound projects to its portfolio. Plans are also under way to use "screen pop" so agents will receive detailed caller information simultaneously with the voice call. Additional new services being planned include "follow the sun" call center services in cooperation with Zacson in the U.S. and Asia. Relying on Aspect's Network InterQueue(TM), the company will automatically transfer incoming calls via the Aspect CallCenter to the continent that has agents at work during that time of day. Furthermore, Zacson/Marien & Gybels plans to offer its services to organizations that are unable to handle incoming call volumes as a result of disasters or overflow.


  • Sale Of 49.9 Percent Of BELGACOM Approved
    The European Commission has approved the acquisition of a 49.9 percent stake in BELGACOM by a consortium formed by Ameritech International, Tele Danmark and Singapore Telecom. After the sale, the Belgian government will retain a 50.1 percent majority interest in BELGACOM. The consortium, which will complete the deal through the acquisition entity ADSB Telecommunications, has agreed to pay more than $2.4 billion for its stake in BELGACOM. ADSB Telecommunications was selected by the Belgian government and BELGACOM as the winning bidder because the three carriers have extensive experience with deregulation, privatization and competition. Ameritech, Tele Danmark and Singapore Telecom each have expressed their commitment to using this knowledge to ensure BELGACOM's future as a leading international telecommunications provider.


  • Genesys Labs/Bruncor Joint Venture
    Genesys Telecommunications Laboratories, Inc. of San Bruno, California and New Brunswick-based telecommunications holding company Bruncor, Inc. have announced they are launching a new joint venture - Genesys Laboratories Canada, Inc. (Genesys Labs Canada). The focus of the new company is to develop and deliver network-based computer-telephony integration (CTI) software solutions for enterprisewide multimedia call centers. The company will manage and distribute new and existing Genesys products directly, and through Bruncor subsidiaries NBTel and NBTel interActive, other Canadian network providers, as well as existing strategic partners of Genesys Labs (Bell Sygma, PRIMA Telematic, Inc. and TTS Meridian Systems). The partnership was formed to exploit the capabilities of net.Vectoring technology, which was pioneered by Genesys Labs, and the service delivery focus of Bruncor. Net.Vectoring allows consumers to choose their preferred method of access (i.e., any combination of voice, video, data and Internet) to communicate with businesses.


  • INFO-CHIP Awarded General Motors Contract
    INFO-CHIP COMMUNICATIONS has announced it has won the contract to provide General Motors dealers throughout Western Canada with telephone on-hold marketing services. The service covers Chevrolet-Oldsmobile-Geo and Pontiac-Buick-GMC dealers in all of Western Canada from Vancouver Island to the Ontario border. The contract will involve the servicing by INFO-CHIP of almost 200 dealers in four provinces running different on-hold productions. INFO-CHIP provides on-hold marketing to some of North America's largest companies, including Danzas International, MSAS and The Brick.


  • SKF International Agreement For MSM(TM)
    Marketing Information Systems, Inc., developer and marketer of the MSM (Marketing and Sales Management) family of software products, has announced the signing of an international agreement with SKF, one of the world's largest manufacturers and distributors of ball bearings. SKF, headquartered in Sweden, will standardize worldwide sales and marketing departments on MSM. SKF chose MSM for its advanced Profit Tracking and Team Customer Service capabilities. Nine hundred end users in over twenty-five global locations will utilize MSM as a strategic marketing tool to increase SKF's customer market share through relationship marketing.


  • Scotland's Call Center Industry Is Growing
    Locate in Scotland, the inward investment arm of Scottish Enterprise, has announced that there are now approximately 50 companies in Scotland involved with call center operations, employing more than 5,000 people. U.S. companies abroad account for approximately 10 percent of that number. Most recent among those are IBM and Adobe Systems. IBM moved its U.K. Helpcenter operations from Basingstoke to Greenock, Scotland. IBM cited the availability of a workforce with the right mix of technical and linguistic abilities as a key factor in its decision to move its Helpcenter to Greenock. Helpcenter handles technical inquiries from IBM personal computer users on a 24-hour, 365-day help line. Adobe Systems of California recently announced that Edinburgh would be home to its European headquarters. This comes after the recently completed merger of Adobe Systems and Aldus Corporation, making the newly formed company (called Adobe) the world's fourth-largest personal computer software company. The newly merged Adobe also announced that it would outsource its customer service function with McQueen Ltd., a Scottish service center company providing 24-hour, multilingual telemarketing service.


  • Accor Chooses Australia
    Telstra Corporation, Australia's leading full-service domestic and international telecommunications service provider, has announced that Accor Asia Pacific (AAPC Limited), which is part of the international network operated by Accor SA, the largest hotel group in the world, has established its international reservations center in Perth, Australia. AAPC's international reservations service, know as Resinter, services the company's range of hotel brands including Sofitel, Novotel, Mercure and Ibis. Ms. Fran Walton, general manager, Resinter Asia Pacific, said the company chose Australia as its reservations center because it was cost-effective and practical, with ready access to multilingual staff, and that Telstra's partnership approach provided a total solution. "We chose Perth because of its geographic proximity to Asia, the time-zone advantage and its reputation as a business gateway to the Asia-Pacific region," said Ms. Walton. She added that, like all Resinter call centers around the world, the Perth office will take reservations for any of the 2,400 Accor hotels worldwide. She estimated that the number of calls handled daily by the Perth center would increase from 800 to 1,000 currently to 2,500 by the end of 1996.


People...

  • AAC Corporation, a leader in telemanagement, data management and call center management solutions, has announced that C. Jay Kurtz has been elected to the AAC Board of Directors, replacing Walter F. Bauer.


  • M. Kenneth Lavine has been named president and chief executive officer of Rhetorex, Inc., a manufacturer of hardware and software components that connect PCs and LANs with telephone networks. Headset and wireless communication equipment provider VXI Corporation has announced that Bob Birch has been named chairman of the board and Victor J. Temple has been named president and chief executive officer.


  • Jodi Meryl Wallace has been named executive vice president of marketing at EIS International, Inc., a provider of software and systems to the call center industry.


  • Telemarketing service agency MATRIXX Marketing, Inc. has announced the promotion of Curt Stoll to senior vice president and general manager of the business division.


  • Telemarketing service agency TeleSpectrum Worldwide has announced the appointment of Sonney Taragin as vice president of information technology.


  • CTC TeleServices, a telemarketing service agency, has announced the appointment of Pat Hoffmann as quality control manager and Tiffany Melin as training manager of CTC's DeKalb, Illinois facility.


  • Marketing, management and information research services firm ICT Group, Inc. has announced the following appointments: Eugene S. Stahl as vice president of insurance telemarketing operations for ICT TeleServices; Jan Jones as director of quality assurance and compliance; and Brian D. Pullin as assistant director of operations for ICT TeleServices.


  • Unitel Corporation, a telemarketing service agency, has announced the following appointments: Michael A. Ebhardt as director of operations; Hilary C. Whitfield as vice president of national accounts; and Karen Lawrence Gamel as director of human resources.
  • List and data enhancement provider CAS, Inc. has announced the appointment of Jim Marsh to head its new Product Fulfillment Division.



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