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April 1999

Spring Brings A Gallimaufry Of Call Center Products


Editors' Choice award Insight 3.0 and Email Agent From Onyx Software
As more and more business is being conducted online, companies are scrambling to make their Web sites more accessible for self-service by users. Going hand-in-hand with more self-service by users is an influx of e-mail. Addressing these new business concerns, Onyx Software Corporation has released Onyx Insight 3.0 and Onyx Email Agent, two core products in the Web-based Onyx eService product family. Onyx eService, which includes Onyx Insight, Onyx Web Wizards and Onyx Email Agent, is designed to provide customers with the cost-savings, flexibility and convenience of Web-based customer service. Onyx eService products work in conjunction with the company's integrated relationship management database.

Onyx Insight provides users with the option of customer self-service. An organization's customers, employees and partners can use this knowledge management tool to access information across the organization via the Internet at any time. Customers can perform multiple searches simultaneously, tapping into information to solve service problems on their own.

Onyx Email Agent automatically responds to customer emails 24 hours a day. When a customer makes an e-mail inquiry, Onyx Email Agent assigns it an incident number, replies to the customer and routes the customer inquiry to the appropriate internal representative while logging a record in the relationship management database.

Onyx Web Wizards enables an organization's customers to create, view or update product service incidents via the Web. Onyx Web Wizards collects and records critical incident information from customers anytime, anywhere to help organizations offer global 24-hour service.

No. 400, www.ccsmag.com/freeinfo

Editors' Choice award TCS & Ascend To Build Network Optimized For Telecommuters
While telecommuting has held promise of reducing overhead costs, increasing employment options and increasing worker productivity, implementing telecommuting systems, especially large-scale systems, has often proven difficult and expensive. TeleCommute Solutions, Inc. (TCS), a provider of turnkey corporate telecommuting services, and Ascend Communications, Inc., a provider of wide area networking (WAN) and Intelligent Networking (IN) solutions for providers and users of the next-generation public network, have joined forces to standardize TCS's new telecommuting network service, NetWorX, on Ascend's MultiVPN (virtual private network) architecture.

TeleCommute Solutions will deploy Ascend's next-generation networking products to deliver a robust, secure, high-speed connectivity solution engineered to support the demanding access needs of large-scale corporate telecommuting programs.

TCS' NetWorX solution is designed to deliver the secure performance necessary for telecommuting connectivity and reduce the costs usually associated with building a large-scale remote access platform that supports telecommuting. Ascend's MultiVPN architecture will be used to provide flexibility in this carrier-class solution. Ascend's backbone and access products will be used to build a robust network capable of high-speed connectivity on a framework that will support TCS' DSL and computer-telephony integration plans. TCS' NetWorX will be deployed nationally over fully-meshed frame relay and ATM backbones separate from the Internet. NetWorX provides connectivity between telecommuters and their corporate enterprise network using multiple access technologies and supporting a wide range of security mechanisms. The entire network uses Ascend's quality of service (QOS) capability to ensure the mission-critical performance necessary when extending the reach of the corporate network.

TCS's NetWorX service rounds out its turnkey telecommuting offering TeleWorX. TeleWorX provides a complete solution from program development to home office audits, installations and in-home support bundled with complete network connectivity. This offering is supported through SmartWorX, TCS' proprietary operational support system which ensures smooth operation of the remote workforce environment. All TeleWorX services are offered for a monthly per telecommuter fee as a part of the overall telecommuting program.

No. 401, www.ccsmag.com/freeinfo

Editors' Choice award Enterprisewide Training System From Docent
Few can dispute the importance of training to the success of an enterprise. But maintaining a training program across an enterprise that delivers a consistent format and message, and yet can be flexible, can be maddening. Addressing this need, Docent has released the open-standards-based Docent Enterprise, which can be customized to meet unique requirements and processes, while maintaining security and confidentiality. Docent Enterprise is designed to allow users to: assess existing employee competency; collect user profiles; create new, customized courses easily and effectively; deliver and manage enterprisewide learning online; measure training effectiveness, competency and impact on business objectives; and integrate data from enterprise applications (such as ERP, HRMS and SFA).

Docent Enterprise is comprised of three components: Docent Desktop for Developers, which is used for content development, assembly and publishing; Docent Server, which provides the core server-side functionality for online registration, assessment, content delivery, course administration, learner administration, result tracking and reporting; and Docent Mobile, which is used for remote course delivery and CD-ROM course distribution.

Docent Desktop for Developers allows a development team (including learning consultants, content developers and course administrators) to create and publish effective online coursework. It includes two components that enable the development of new coursework while still using existing knowledge and courses. Learning consultants and content developers can use Docent Outliner to create a course outline, importing content from existing HTML pages or launch any third-party editor to create content. Course administrators can use Docent Publisher to deploy courses created using Docent Outliner on the Internet or corporate intranet. Docent Publisher allows users to set quiz settings and publish to multiple servers from one location.

The Docent Enterprise Server provides: administration capabilities including batch trainee registration and administration, customized course curriculum development, e-mail links between administrators and trainees, and standard reports-all delivered through a browser interface; use of Internet-based standards (i.e., TCP/IP, NSAPI, ISAPI); enterprise data collection of learning information, including all user interactions, assessment results, navigation and records; hybrid CD-ROM delivery of media-intensive content; the ability to deploy multiple Docent Servers on different (physical) machines for intranet and Internet course access, as well as the ability to publish inside or outside of corporate firewalls; integration of third-party tools and applications; and use of standard enterprise-level relational databases to provide enterprises for the flexibility and security required for large-scale software deployments.

No. 402, www.ccsmag.com/freeinfo

Editors' Choice award BroadQuest Introduces Customer Information Portal Application
Certainly corporations collect mountains of information about their customers, but the main business problem has always been getting the right information to the right people at the right time. Addressing the dilemma, BroadQuest, Inc. has released BroadQuest 2.0, a browser-based enterprise application designed to give employees, partners and customers self-service access to live customer information through a single point of access called a Customer Information Portal. The BroadQuest Customer Information Portal is designed to let users rapidly search and summarize customer information from all available front-office and back-office systems (such as systems from Aurum, Baan, Clarify, IBM, Lotus, Microsoft, Oracle, PeopleSoft, Remedy, Sibel Systems and Vantive) in real-time without having to log in to each application. The Customer Information Portal also gives the user one simple view to learn. BroadQuest hides the complexity of the underlying systems while presenting information in familiar business terms, allowing users to point and click for real-time access to customer information whenever the require it, or when live business events trigger a BroadQuest alert.

BroadQuest's self-service access features are designed to allow everyone in an enterprise to rapidly find, analyze and interact with customer information. BroadQuest 2.0 provides users with a single log in and a single view, which gives immediate access to enterprisewide systems presented as a single, coherent view of the customer; user-defined navigation for rapid searching and summary of all customer information; real-time notification for personalized alerts for monitoring and notification of important events; and user-driven analysis and live data reports.

The application is comprised of the following three components: BroadQuest Portal, a scalable and secure CORBA service which provides users with browser access to a customized interface that features navigation, summaries, alerts and reports; BroadQuest Broker, which is a non-invasive connection to host systems that generates an up-to-date cache of customer information to deliver real-time response to users; and BroadQuest Administrator, which allows for rapid implementation and efficient administrations. Through use of the Administrator, systems can be monitored for performance, non-technical employees with administrator privileges can manage users and groups, and system security and access control is enforced through permissions and constraints.

No. 403, www.ccsmag.com/freeinfo

Editors' Choice award New Cordless Headset From Hello Direct
By now (hopefully), every reader of this publication is aware of the productivity gains and ergonomic benefits a good headset can provide. One drawback (sometimes literally), especially for call center mangers who often have to go from desk to desk supervising TSRs, has been the limited mobility enforced by a cord. Designed to help free call center managers and others who must or prefer to roam about untethered, Hello Direct has introduced its new compact cordless headset, the Cordless XLT.

The Cordless XLT features the Hello Direct-developed LearnIt smart chip technology, which makes it simple to set up. It does not require manual configuration and is guaranteed to work with any analog or digital phone on the market. The headset weighs only six ounces, including either the standard four-hour or an optional nine-hour battery. Hello Direct's exclusive ReadiLine remote answering accessory is fully compatible, allowing users to answer calls without returning to their desks to lift their handsets. The Cordless XLT operates at the 900MHz frequency for good sound quality and range.

The newest Hello Direct-developed cordless headset has been streamlined and enhanced to meet the specific requests of Hello Direct headset users. The Cordless XLT's new slimmer design provides more comfort and stability. The noise-cancelling microphone filters out background noise, and the bendable microphone boom is fully adjustable. The Cordless XLT's tone control switch lets users adjust bass and treble tones for full, rich sound quality. Forty user-selectable channels avoid interference with co-workers' calls. The charging base holds the Cordless XLT when not in use, and simultaneously charges both the headset and a spare battery.

Using Hello Direct's LearnIt smart chip (patent pending), the Cordless XLT provides fast and easy setup. The user simply connects the unit to his or her phone's handset port and presses the LEARN button. The Cordless XLT automatically adapts itself to each phone's unique acoustic characteristics.

No. 404, www.ccsmag.com/freeinfo

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