May 2009 | Volume 27 / Number 12
Customer Interaction News
Customer Interaction News
• Envision Telephony (www.envisioninc.com) has produced a new version of its unified workforce optimization platform, Envision Centricity 9.7. It has clip authoring to enable creation of training videos that include voice recordings and screen captures of any application, Web page, or document. It now enables customers utilizing selective recordings to utilize the full custom tagging features for recordings that were previously only available to full time recording customers. It is now localized in Spanish and German
• Newfound Communications (News - Alert) (www.newfoundcomm.net) new Newfound IP Call Recorder version 1.5 has Pause and Resume Recording which can temporarily stop and start recording while maintaining a single file from the call. This feature better enables an IVR to omit sensitive information such as credit card or account numbers out of recordings. IP Call Recorder 1.5 also has a new record and save feature that enables storing only the most essential recordings. It initiates recording at the beginning of calls and keeps the recording only if an escalation occurs
• Nortel (News - Alert) (www.nortel.com) has developed new and enhanced contact center solutions. Its Contact Center 7.0 is a native SIP-based solution featuring integration with Microsoft (News - Alert) Office Communications Server 2007 with unified communications. It also has open application programming interfaces using a services-oriented architecture (SOA) integration and predictive dialing. It also has a Service Creation Environment via a graphical 'drag and drop' tool that simplifies workflow creation at 5x the speeds of traditional applications.
Also, Nortel's Interactive Communications Portal now includes features such as outbound answering device detection, and supports the Avaya AES. Its Agile Communication Environment (ACE) supports wider presence capabilities via Microsoft OCS 2007 plus integration with IBM (News - Alert) Lotus Sametime Client 8.0.1 for click to conference and enhanced presence. ACE has also has application customization, prototyping, and custom application development
• Siemens (News - Alert) Enterprise Communications (www.enterprise-communications.siemens.com) has released OpenScape Xpressions. It offers built-in voice mail, unified messaging, instant messaging (IM), presence and audio and web conferencing and point-and-click calling and video/web conferencing. Xpressions can show user presence status and user profile sharing, including location information to streamline communications and supports multiparty IM sessions. It also has Visual Voicemail, providing access to voice messages via the software's desktop interface
• Syntellect's (News - Alert) (www.syntellect.com) has come out with Syntellect Communications Portal Version 7.2. The new features include additional speech technologies vendor support, efficiency enhancements for MRCP V2, new features for Syntellect Studio, CTI (News - Alert) Link Resiliency, and support for Windows Server 2008
• Varolii (www.varolii.com) has three new hosted outbound communications products. Varolii Call Me Now launches SMS notifications and allows recipients to respond via text; they can be connected to agents or finish the interactions with automated voice calls. Varolii Generations tailors communications to generate responses from Generation Y, Generation X, Baby Boomers, and seniors. This is achieved by altering the channel (SMS, voice and e-mail), voice treatment, message patterns, and previous response outcomes, such as time of day or male/female voice. Varolii Contact Center Agent automatically notifies agents to ensure staffing requirements are met, even if unexpected events disrupt operations
With more firms relying on IP for home agents and presence there is also a greater vigilance needed to make sure that they are secure. WatchGuard® Technologies (www.watchguard.com) is helping to do just that with the release of a new operating system for WatchGuard security appliances: WatchGuard Fireware XTM. With it WatchGuard customers can extend the capabilities of their unified threat management firewall appliances to include a bevy of new security features, networking capabilities and management functions. Fireware XTM defends networks by adding innovative security features, including full HTTPS inspection, VoIP security, and IM and Peer-to-Peer (P2P) application blocking.
ShoreTel's (News - Alert) ShoreWare Contact Center 5
ShoreTel (www.shoretel.com) has made delivering contact center functionality, including to the growing ranks of home-based agents, more versatile, reliable, and easier to manage with its IP-based ShoreWare® Contact Center 5. ShoreWare Contact Center 5 offers increased capacity, hot-standby redundancy for disaster recovery, and new supervision and reporting features. Leveraging Shoretel's unified communications platform, ShoreWare Contact Center 5 is an all-in-one application for contact center communications, including inbound and outbound calling, e-mail and web chat, supporting home, branch office, and traditional contact center-based agents. With ShoreWare Contact Center 5, the highly productive, cost-effective virtual contact center is now a reality. The solution also delivers presence, instant messaging, and video. It has an IVR integrated with the platform that is customer-intuitive that results in high call deflection rates and lower costs. ShoreWare Contact Center 5 has been specifically architected for distributed enterprises using the ShoreTel Unified Communications (News - Alert) platform. The same desktop software client application ShoreWare Call Manager is the software foundation for the client application used by contact center agents. This reduces the cost for deploying and supporting enterprise-wide client applications.
Key Features and Components
• Support for up to 600 simultaneous agents and 2,000 total configured agents
• Hot-standby redundancy helps ensure rapid disaster recovery and provides protection from wide area network failures
• Supervisors can easily manage agents in a web chat session with the ability to monitor, whisper, barge, and coach the session. They can also send targeted, group-related, real-time information and messages using the enhanced Agentboard application
• An intuitive, graphical script builder enables businesses to easily modify applications to meet changing business conditions, which helps ensure that the best agent responds to the caller's unique requirements
• An IVR system integrated with the platform that enhances the customer experience, and provides more self-service features for callers
• Predefined standard reports help drive down costs by providing the information supervisors and managers need for effective planning, without requiring them to build customized reports in external reporting packages. It also supports advanced analytics, providing the business intelligence necessary to address customer complaints, or for agent training System Requirements Contact Center 5 software is fully supported on ShoreTel Unified Communications platform. Pricing The suggested list price for ShoreTel's Contact Center solution starts at $550 per agent. ShoreTel's more advanced Enterprise Contact Center starts at $1550 per agent. Additional supervisors, multi-media, and other optional components are available separately based on the customers needs.
CosmoCom's (News - Alert) CosmoCall Universe version 6
CosmoCom (www.cosmocom) has added so many new capabilities and enhancements to its CosmoCall Universe (CCU) IP-based platform that its new CCU version 6 offers a new dimension in delivering customer service and operational efficiency.
CosmoCom has introduced two new user types: ReadyRep and Business User, which are lower-cost partial usage-based licenses in addition to the existing CosmoCall agent. The ReadyRep licenses connect subject matter experts or others that have other knowledge and skills such as field techs via the ACD or through presence. The Business User licenses are basic extensions but are not connected to the ACD. They permit administrative, back office, management, and marketing to use the CCU platform.
CosmoCom now permits users to connect into the CCU via their wireless devices. The new solution, CosmoGo™ gives expert agents, knowledge workers and others who need to be mobile connectivity to the ACD, screen pops, and inquiry and transaction enablement. CosmoCom has also given desktop-bound staff a new option: the CosmoPhone SIP-based desktop phone as an alternative to softphones.
The CCU 6 features CosmoDashboard reporting which lets supervisors and managers creatively and imaginatively configure their reports from ‘gadgets': programmable tools that make charts, graphs, tables, and clocks. It also enables administrators to create standard views for different applications and supervisors to devise personal views and permits them to share the information with others.
Key Features and Components
• ReadyRep and Business User licenses
• CosmoGo smartphone application
• CosmoPhone SIP-based desktop IP phone
• Virtual outbound calling, including from multiple sites and home agents
• Linked Campaigns: multiple lists in different formats can be easily combined into a single campaign
• CosmoDashboard graphics-based reporting
• Optional CosmoCorder multichannel screen recording (voice, e-mail, and chat)
• Integration with Microsoft Outlook
CCU is available as a premise-based solution from CosmoCom and its resellers, and as a hosted service from service providers. It runs on standard Wintel servers and interfaces directly with SIP trunks from the PSTN, or with any SIP or H.323 media gateway. Agents and ReadyReps need standard PCs and IP connectivity. CosmoPhone is optional. Basic Business Users require only a CosmoPhone. CosmoGo requires 3G or higher with simultaneous voice and data.
CCU as a premise-based solution is licensed by users and options. Users include Agents (concurrent or named), ReadyReps (named only), and Business Users (named only). Basic Concurrent Agents list for $2,350, ReadyReps for less than $600, and Business Users for $60. CosmoPhone prices range from $130 to $280, depending on the model. Pricing for CCU as a hosted service varies with the provider from a fixed fee per user per month, to pricing models based on minutes of use.