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July 1999

A Total Call Center Suite And An Enterprise Workforce Management Solution

Editors' Choice award Easyphone Releases Easyphone 4.04
Finding a call center system that works in a wide range of call center environments is rare, and it is nice to see that Easyphone 4.04 is a system that is designed to provide a solution for all ends of the call center spectrum, from five-agent centers up to those of 1,000 agents. Easyphone, Inc., which was founded in 1988 in Lisbon, Portugal, and has been developing call center products since 1993, now has 160 customers in 28 countries using its systems, so its recent entry into the U.S. market is backed by years of product development and use.

Easyphone 4.04 has inbound, outbound and blended functionality, CTI integration, intelligent call routing, interactive voice response (IVR), automatic dialing, call recording, an agent dialog script builder and a suite of business management tools to provide for continuous improvement in contact activities. The application suite also includes interaction through the Internet as well as access to legacy applications. Easyphone is based on nonproprietary technology and offers a set of published application programming interfaces (APIs) for easier integration into other products.

EASYdialer software provides predictive, power and preview dialing, allowing managers to implement intelligent dialing strategies, such as making certain calls at specific times based on the contact's time-zone and personal contact preferences. Call-backs can also be scheduled automatically and intelligently, for example, retrying a busy signal   within 15 minutes, retrying  no-answers  later in the day, and retrying any number only 3 times.

EASYcti provides the integration of voice and data for inbound and outbound calls, bringing data with the call, for example from IVR to agent or from agent to supervisor, and also brings caller or contact information from several databases and corresponding scripts to agents' screens as they begin the call.

EASYivr provides intelligence about the caller for routing decisions and caller profiling. Its scripting tool allows for quick updates and changes to IVR menu options and information.

EASYrouter makes routing decisions based on information collected in the IVR as well as from ANI, DNIS, customer database information, defined agent skills and other enterprise data. It also can make routing decisions based on data available across distributed contact centers in a networked environment.

EASYtalk brings customer/contact information and the relevant script to the agent desktop along with the call and consolidates multiple screen pops into one.

EASYscript provides a simple script-building tool that can be built quickly and can incorporate information from other departments and other call center databases and applications to provide the right caller/contact information for the agents.

EASYinternet, Easyphone's Internet gateway, provides secure Web access to real-time information and Web site visitor tracking and callback connection through Voice over Internet Protocol. Easyphone automatically generates calls based on this intelligence.

EASYsna provides access to legacy systems real-time from within other call center campaign scripts. It serves as a translator for different protocols to allow access to historical information stored in other enterprise databases.

EASYsupervisor is the consolidation of Easyphone's EASYwatch and EASYdba monitoring and database management tools. It offers real-time monitoring, performance alarms, customizable management screens and cradle-to-grave reporting.

EASYcorder is Easyphone's online, digital recording system. Recording can be initiated in manually, via voice detection or through pre-determined options built into scripts. EASYcorder integrates with the Easyphone product line or serves as a stand-alone digital recorder with a third-party call center system already in place.
No. 500, www.ccsmag.com/freeinfo

Editors' Choice award Enterprise Workforce Management From Interactive Software Systems
Having all the latest software and hardware in place in your call center will do you little good if you have too few people on the phone or answering customer e-mail inquiries, or you have ten cyber customers wanting to chat with your company online, right now, and two of the four agents you have who usually handle Web chat are in training classes. Also, how much customer retention will you have if your call center is answering all inquiries and following up on all callbacks if there is no follow-through by other departments because of lack of a coordinated scheduling system?

Interactive Software Systems has designed e-FORCE, an enterprise workforce management software suite to help organizations better meet such situations. e-FORCE is designed to meet the workforce forecasting and scheduling needs of the enterprise and extended contact center, allowing organizations to respond efficiently to diverse customer demand sources including inbound and outbound telephone calls, e-mail, fax and Web inquiries by modeling the workflow of an enterprise to create schedules relating to activities that can be deferred to a later time. The Internet-architecture design of the system provides increased accessibility to information, scalability and the ability to create forecasts, schedules and reports from varied sources in multiple locations.

e-FORCE provides an intuitive, Web-based user interface for reduced implementation and training time, and is deployed using Interactive Software’s accelerated implementation methodology. In addition, the system offers the ability to connect to both Microsoft SQL Server and Oracle databases.

The e-FORCE product suite includes over 20 modules that provide such functions as short- and long-term forecasting, schedule optimization and schedule management, supplemental staffing, exception tracking, outbound planning, real-time adherence, vacation administration, productivity analysis, meeting scheduling and a total reporting package.

e-FORCE Demand Analysis is a forecasting tool that offers three advanced forecasting options: Direct, Deferred and Derived Demand.

  • Direct Demand allows for the historical analysis of such factors as desired service levels, seasonality and calendar (day, week or month) to create direct relationship activity forecasts. This type of forecasting is most commonly used to analyze the volume of inbound calls and determine the required number of call center agents to handle those calls.
  • Deferred Demand forecasting allows for levels of activity to be forecasted based on work requirements that can be staffed at a future time as in the example of e-mail requests.
  • Derived Demand, the third type of forecasting, allows for work levels to be calculated when one unit of work, such as an inbound call, results in a second level activity like an outbound call or service dispatch. Because of this approach to forecasting, e-FORCE is capable of meeting the workforce management needs of other areas throughout the enterprise.

e-FORCE Scheduling offers an Optimizer Mode that allows users to create the optimum set of schedules based on the staffing rules of the organization; a Schedule Management Mode that derives the best possible schedules based on available personnel, employee preference and skill level, and a Supplemental Mode that will augment workforce scheduling to account for vacation, new hires and other employee shortages.

e-FORCE also includes a dynamic skills-based forecasting and scheduling tool, Right Force, to allow users to manage a multiskilled workforce. It uses advanced mathematical technologies to arrive at the proper number of employees needed to handle specific work demands such as those requiring multilingual or technically proficient personnel.

Interactive Software is also offering e-FORCE through alternate delivery channels. e-FORCE 2K is the client/server version that is installed at the customer’s site. The system can also be accessed through e-FORCE Net@ccess, an Internet solution that allows clients to use the system over the Internet without the overhead or maintenance of internal IT systems. Users can also benefit from the features of the system through e-FORCE @Your Service, a total outsourcing option whereby all workforce management responsibilities are performed by Interactive Software.
No. 501 www.ccsmag.com/freeinfo

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