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Convergys, Microsoft Partner on New Smart Communications Suite

Convergys (News - Alert) is partnering with Microsoft to create the Convergys Smart Communications Suite powered by Microsoft. Currently under development, the solution will reportedly be the first pre-integrated and pre-configured billing and customer care platform. A release date for the new product has not yet been set.

Aimed at communications providers and utility firms, the Smart Communications Suite will enable them to rapidly deploy and launch new and business and consumer services, says Convergys. By combining Microsoft (News - Alert) Dynamics CRM and Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2 with the modular business support system capabilities of Convergys, the solution “supports a shared vision of enabling service providers to rapidly deliver a wide range of new and differentiated services.”
The Convergys Smart Communications Suite is scalable and interoperable with existing systems and third party applications, as well as with varying deployment models. It has open and well-defined architecture that Convergys says will help companies achieve faster-time-to-market for new services with reduced implementation time and automated workflows for most common business processes. Additionally, the suite has low cost licensing options and maintenance costs associated with it that can rapidly reduce cost-to-market for new services.
The integration of Microsoft Dynamics CRM into the Convergys Smart BSS Solutions portfolio will bring the well-known and easy-to-use customer care tools based on Microsoft Office, Outlook, and SharePoint across all service providers’ customer care channels. Contact center agents will benefit from a simplified user interface, helping ensure that they can move customers quickly and intuitively between sales channels and promotions, to deliver the best possible customer service and reduce call-handling times. There will be a single catalog that enables easy bundling of new products will help agents with more targeted cross/up-selling opportunities that have a positive impact on the service provider’s revenue, profitability, and churn.
The power underlying Smart Communications Suite is illustrated in performance results gathered in July 2009 and reported by Microsoft that showed Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0 scale to more than 50,000 concurrent users and more than 2.9 million daily transactions. These were obtained from hardware that cost less than $35,000 or $0.70 per user, reducing hardware costs by nearly 80 percent. By comparison, says Microsoft, an October 2008 performance test for Oracle (News - Alert) Siebel Release 8.0 (1) scaled to 14,000 users and 1.6 million daily transactions leveraging Sun hardware that cost more than $150,000.
With the inclusion of SQL Server 2008 R2 in the solution, Convergys can offer customers and prospects the best commercial database from a performance and pricing perspective. Delivering excellence in data compression, partitioning, availability, and encryption at no extra cost, SQL Server will enable communications providers to centralize and manage critical customer information.
“Microsoft’s value added services and strong internet delivery platform combined with Convergys' communications-focused billing and customer care provides a unique solution for new entrant and established communications service providers to introduce new services and rapidly gain new revenue,” said Larry Goldman, head of Subscription Research at Analysys (News - Alert) Mason.
“We are delighted to be working closely with one of the top vendors in the communications industry to offer a truly flexible billing and CRM platform,” said Austen Mulinder, corporate vice president, Communications Sector, Microsoft. “Our relationship signals greater choice for service providers looking for a more agile, cost-efficient platform that can support the delivery of the next wave of differentiated services.”
“As leading companies in our fields, Microsoft and Convergys have come together to help our customers grow faster and provide a better customer service experience and alleviate communications industry pain points,” said Bob Lento, president, Information Management, Convergys. “Working together, we are providing new capabilities to service providers to launch new services faster, provide superior customer service experiences, and create new or enhance business growth plans at a total cost of ownership that simply can’t be matched.”
“The result is a solution that ushers in a new era of affordable innovation and customer-centricity,” Lento added.

Brendan B. Read is TMCnet’s Senior Contributing Editor. To read more of Brendan’s articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Kelly McGuire
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What Are Related Definitions You Should Know?

Related definitions that you should know as you increase your understanding of predictive dialers include:

Dialer: generic term for any computer-driven device that places outbound calls and connects the answered calls to an agent or operator.

Agent: telephone professional to whom a predictive dialer sends the ready call.

Predictive Dialer: Predictive dialing was introduced for the purpose of increasing efficiency within calling centers. They are computer based system that automatically dial groups of telephone numbers, and then passes live calls to available agents. The SpitFire Enterprise dialer utilizes sophisticated algorithms to speed up and slow down the call rate based on, number of available agents, number of available lines, the campaign’s average call time and other statistical information.

Quick Connect: Quick Connect allows your agents to log in one-to-one with a phone line. This option is great for B2B purposes, especially when your agent needs to be on the phone line through the entire call.

Fixed Dialing: Fixed Dialing gives your call center manager the power to manually set the volume of calls. The software will then automatically dial a predetermined number of lines per agent. Fixed dialing is ideal for political campaigns, charity campaigns, and other situations drop call ratios are not a factor.

Auto dialer: makes thousands of calls screening for busy signals, no answers, fax machines while detecting answering machines/voicemail and delivers pre-recorded messages. SpitFireX Auto Dialer is a low cost solution for voice broadcasting.

How Do Predictive Dialers Work?

Predictive dialers use complex mathematical algorithms that calculate, in real time:

  1. the number of available agents
  2. the number of phone lines available
  3. the probability of reaching a human being at a specific number
  4. the time between calls required for optimum agent efficiency
  5. the length of typical agent/customer or
    debtor conversations
  6. the average length of time agents require to wrap up after a call

SpitFire Enterprise Predictive SEP is a fully blended call center solution that supports unlimited lines, agents, and campaigns. Its greatest strength is in its flexibility: multiple campaigns can be set up, viewed, and changed with the click of a button. With easy options for customization, data and dispositions can be catered to each campaign. In addition to our user-friendly interface, SEPhighlights full customer data and combines multiple campaigns on one screen. All the information your agents need is accessible at a glance, freeing their energy to focus on what matters: the calls.

Keep It Simple with SpitFire Fully Integrated Call Center Software

Our greatest priority is making your call center run smoothly, and we do that by developing software that is intuitive and easily integrated with your current systems. SEP works seamlessly with most CRM applications and long distance carriers, making it the simplest and most cost-effective solution for your call center.

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Benefits of Using a Predictive Dialer

  1. Manages the process of dialing tens of thousands of calls or tens of millions of calls in its lifetime.
  2. Detects the result of the call, as an example: no answer, busy, fax, bad number, answering machine without any presence of human expertise. Consequently saving time by only transferring calls which are voice connects to the agents locally or remotely.
  3. Using predictive dialer increases the productivity of the company by drastically increasing the time agents spend on the phone talking to actual customers or prospective clients.
  4. Predictive dialer users get the ability to organize and better manage the client information, no lost notes scribbled on pieces of paper. The database used by the dialer organizes the calling structure.
  5. The most significant task done by the predictive dialer is to predict, which means always making an effort to get a live call to the available agent with the shortest amount of wait time. This is achieved by self learning algorithms within the predictive dialer to increase or decrease the dial ratio per agent, logged into the system.
  6. Inbound call can be better dealt with by allowing the customers to wait on hold in an IVR system, or a way to leave a message they'd like a callback while the agent is busy talking with other customers.
  7. Most important benefit of a predictive dialer is it reduces expenses for your company over a period of time since you do not need to buy and deploy a complex and sometimes extremely expensive PBX system. Your company will experience return of investment (ROI) in a period of six to twelve months.
  8. A predictive dialing system can effortlessly fit into your companies existing infrastructure since it is software controlled.
  9. The call routing logic and the contact management is all included in one software package. Your call routing logic implemented as per your specifications. Since it is a software package it can easily be upgraded even if you are located remotely with the help of internet.
  10. Provides an added cost effective method of managing the client database by giving the user of the predictive system ability to rework your database on previous call results.

    1. only redial records which were busy, no answers and answering machines
    2. Delete records which are bad numbers, disconnected numbers or operator intercepts
  11. Do a real time look up against the do not call database saving the predictive dialer user from accidentally calling people who have enrolled in the do National not call registry. This saves the company from lawsuits and others risks conforming to all legal statutes and FCC complaints.
  12. Provides progressive dialing capabilities like call blending which means handling inbound and outbound call at the same time.
  13. Provides ability to integrate call recording devices and call monitoring interfaces which helps call center supervisors to train agents and users and improve their customer support skills.
  14. Easy to setup and learn the predictive dialer logic and software tools.

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