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Customer Inter@ction Solutions
January 2007 - Volume 25 / Number 8
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Avidian Technologies Announces Prophet 4.0
Avidian Technologies recently announced the launch of Prophet 4.0, the newest version of its Outlook-based Contact Management and Sales CRM solution. Along with improved usability and more advanced contact management features, Prophet 4.0 extends the platform to Windows Mobile devices and Terminal Servers. Other features new to Prophet 4.0 include adoption of Microsoft (News - Alert) SQL 2005 Express database for improved speed and .NET 2.0 technology to allow deeper integration with Outlook and better overall performance. The Prophet 4.0 product suite can be purchased as Prophet Personal, Prophet Personal Pro, Prophet Professional Server, Prophet Enterprise Client and Prophet Enterprise Sever. Extensions of Prophet 4.0 include Prophet for Palm, Prophet for Windows Mobile and Prophet for Pocket PC.

IDC (News - Alert)

Studies Expansion Of Homeshoring

IDC, provider of market intelligence and advisory services for the information technology, telecommunications and consumer technology markets, has released a study on the expanded scope of the use of “homeshoring,” a home-based customer service model. The study reveals a significant migration of the types of contact services companies are willing and ready to outsource. Homeshoring, a model which is changing customer management outsourcing, is the use of home-based agents to field various types of customer care inquiries. With an estimated four million people working in call centers in the U.S., companies are turning to a home-based model to address challenges such as the need for better agent quality, high turnover and the seasonal nature of many industries. There are an estimated 139,000 home-based phone representatives in the U.S., and IDC predicts that number could exceed 300,000 by 2010. The new emphasis in customer care, IDC further predicts, will be on meeting specific metrics while still providing high customer satisfaction.

RADVISION Chosen By Cestel
To Deliver Video-Enhanced Services And Contact Centers
., a provider of voice and video network infrastructure and developer tools for unified visual communications over IP, 3G and emerging next-generation networks, has announced that CESTEL, a major Spanish system integrator for the media and call center industry, has chosen RADVISION’s Interactive Video Platform to incorporate advanced video capabilities to its contact center and IVR solutions. RADVISION’s development platform offers an intuitive, smooth migration path from audio-based contact centers and IVR systems to video-enhanced solutions. The IMS-ready Interactive Video Platform enables rapid development and deployment of multiple video applications that can be run concurrently. This allows CESTEL to leverage a one-time infrastructure investment and enables delivery of carrier-class solutions that enhance the consumer experience.
www.radvision.com and www.cestel.es

West Corporation Partners With Disabled Veterans Group To Provide Jobs
West Corporation, provider of outsourced communication solutions, has announced a work at home partnership with CORA (Creating Opportunities by Recognizing Abilities), a not-for-profit organization specializing in providing career opportunities for disabled American veterans and their families. West’s West at Home program will launch the partnership with CORA via a pilot program. The pilot program will allow disabled veterans to operate as certified customer service representatives through the West at Home platform. The work at home model developed by West currently has 262 disabled veterans working as contracted agents, and gives veterans the freedom to prepare their own schedules and work from the comfort of their homes. The work at home pilot model being used by CORA and West is a scaleable design and has the ability to provide career opportunities to veterans who may not have other employment options available.

MaraStar’s ToonUps Available Globally
MaraStar Communications, the creators of ToonUps, 30- to 60-second customizable animations designed to deliver company messages and training with an element of fun, recently introduced a Web portal for international customers. With this new technology, customers around the world can access ToonUps from any computer with Internet access. Customers outside the U.S. and Canada can now simply download the ToonUp Animations directly from the MaraStar Web portal for use in PowerPoint Presentations, e-mails, intranets and learning management systems. Customers will also have the option to send links to the animations directly to employees through e-mail. The ToonUp product operates the same through the Web portal as for any other customer, with all the same features. Although the ToonUps animations are available in English only, there is space below each animation for additional copy. The ToonFrame animations consist of speech and thought bubbles only, with no character voices, making them easy to customize with other languages.

Keynote Launches Online Customer Experience Research Solution
Keynote has announced the release of Keynote WebEffective 5.0, an upgraded version of its on-demand customer experience/UX solution designed to help companies improve their Web site effectiveness and online business performance by conducting in-depth, online customer experience research studies. The solution enables Fortune 1000 companies and other e-businesses, as well as interactive design agencies, to examine and improve site effectiveness and online business performance in an array of strategic business areas, including sales effectiveness, brand positioning, customer satisfaction and customer acquisition. Keynote WebEffective is a flexible research tool that captures both the attitudes and behavior of customers and prospective customers as they interact with a company’s Web site or with competitor sites.

MySQL Database Enables Tellme
To Reduce Costs And Maintain Availability
MySQL AB has announced that Tellme Networks, Inc. is benefiting from reduced database-related costs by using the open- source MySQL database. Tellme employs MySQL to power enterprise and carrier applications on the world’s largest open platform for the phone. Tellme powers voice-based phone searches used by more than 35 million people every month. Like many fast-growing “Web 2.0” Internet businesses, Tellme’s data load has scaled with the rapid growth in its traffic: from 500 million calls in 2004 to nearly 2 billion calls in 2006. Tellme uses MySQL in three distinct ways. First, the company relies on MySQL as a core technology in its distributed data cluster. In addition to handling more than 2.25 terabytes per week, this system processes logging data, performance tuning data, recognition statistics and billing. Tellme’s second use of MySQL is as a fast, highly available data store for applications. The system is geographically redundant and can provide personalization data in milliseconds. Tellme also uses MySQL as a general data warehouse to reduce costs for several of its business efforts.

Nortel (News - Alert) To Open $38M Customer Service Center In Mexico City
By Johanne Torres, TMCnet Contributing Editor
In a move to expand its operations in Latin America, Nortel will invest and spend US$38 million in a new customer service center in Mexico City. The company’s new facility, dubbed the Customer Service Center of Excellence (CoE), will employ more than 300 professionals and will service providers across North America, Europe, the Caribbean and Latin America.

The new Customer Service CoE will provide assistance regarding next-generation network (NGN) engineering, VoIP solutions, multimedia, databases and radio-frequency technologies for global service providers and carriers. The team will support order management and network engineering, as well as field operations such as delivery and application of remote software integration. The company has plans to recruit recent grads from both public and private Mexican universities to staff the CoE and should have 300 employees working at the Customer Service CoE by June 2007.

“Mexico offers a great environment, with excellent professionals, universities and a diverse, well-established infrastructure in a centralized location in the Americas,” said Martha Bejar, president, Caribbean and Latin America, Nortel, in a statement released on Monday. “We are very glad to continue contributing to this country by offering professional opportunities to over 300 individuals who will provide the kind of high-quality service we require for this new CoE.”

Nortel’s new Customer Service CoE is an addition to the VoIP CoE in Mexico. The VoIP CoE was established in Mexico over a year ago.


Proxy Networks Introduces New Software Developer Kit
Proxy Networks, a provider of reliable, low-cost remote control and screen recording products for remote support, training, network management, compliance and collaboration, recently announced the general availability of Software Developer Kit (SDK) Version 5.10. This new release enables Proxy solution partners to integrate the latest features from Proxy Remote Control 5.10 and Remote Gateway (News - Alert) Server 5.10 into their call center and help desk offerings. Proxy Remote Control 5.10 and Proxy Gateway Server 5.10, which were introduced earlier this fall, offer new features and enhancements to Proxy’s remote control products that are installed on several million PCs and servers around the world. New features available in the SDK 5.10 include real-time screen recording and playback, centralized access and security management, enhanced reporting and multi-monitor support.

Talisma Launches Talisma CIM 8.0
Talisma Corporation has announced Talisma CIM 8.0, a solution designed to address companies’ unified-channel interaction management needs. The latest edition of the offering introduces two new products, Talisma Voice and Talisma Campaign, and includes enhancements to existing channels, empowering organizations to proactively engage customers and prospects to further enhance the customer experience, improve service quality and uncover new business opportunities. Talisma Voice allows companies to offer Web site visitors instant access to a live agent using VoIP technology, providing rapid, personalized service. To use the technology, visitors simply click a button on the site to establish a voice connection with an agent. Talisma Campaign enables contact centers to facilitate a continuous customer dialog and proactively deflect inbound e-mail and telephone calls by educating, alerting and informing customers about product updates, billing notifications and profile updates. The real-time offer engine enables companies to create personalized offers to send to customers based on a customer’s response to a previous campaign, the customer’s profile or their current Web site activity.

Entellium Announces Rave CRM
Entellium has announced the pre-order availability of Rave CRM, the company’s new on-demand sales optimization solution geared toward helping independent sales professionals and small businesses sell more effectively. Rave CRM is a complete sales productivity solution that features a rich, visually immersive user interface powered by Sparkle, Entellium’s UI platform. Rave’s visual interface is a departure from limiting tab-based structure, replacing traditional tabs with a sleek, icon-driven layout. Rave incorporates features popularized in many Internet applications, such as its exclusive zoom in-zoom out timeline views, the ability to “drag and drop” to create sales activities and palettes that float around the screen to display information where it is preferred. Built on Entellium’s on-demand workflow engine, Rave is a “smart client” application that leverages the power of the PC to create a rich user experience, as well as business intelligence and fast access to client information. At the same time, Rave offers all the benefits of a browser-based application, including fast deployment, Web-based data sharing, online reporting and real-time data back-up.

Aspect Launches New Version Of Web Powered Agent 10.1
Aspect Software (News - Alert) , Inc. has announced the release of Web Powered Agent 10.1, a thin-client agent desktop for Aspect Spectrum ACD, a complete inbound solution that includes robust queuing, routing, reporting, agent empowerment and modeling capabilities. Web Powered Agent is a thin-client agent desktop application that provides integrated communication for managing all customer interactions. The latest version, Web Powered Agent 10.1, includes greater agent productivity, increased scalability, improved management tools and enhanced security. It also enables the agent desktop to be customized as work tasks change, it can be viewed in various formats including as a slim toolbar, and enables supervisors to control and limit views depending on each agent’s role. In addition, Web Powered Agent 10.1 includes parity with the Aspect Software Convergence (News - Alert) agent desktop solution — removing migration barriers to the new version.

GMT Unveils GMT Planet 9.5
GMT Corp., a provider of enterprise workforce and cash optimization solutions, has announced its newest GMT Planet, version 9.5, which was created to extend the functionality of its workforce optimization system. Driven by extensive customer input, the new enhancements include an agile staffing decision support tool, support for shift bidding and tour-based scheduling, as well as a new business modeling function that enables customers to further streamline business operations, reduce costs and improve customer service throughout the enterprise. With the new features, contact centers and retail banks can respond more quickly to change and manage their staff to more effectively serve customers. New automation functions enable managers to more closely monitor staffing requirements and ensure that the right level of personnel is available at the right time to deliver a better customer experience at the lowest cost.

SER Receives Two U.S. Patents For Audio Data Monitoring And Mining
SER Solutions, Inc., a provider of call management and speech analytics solutions, has received two U.S. patents for methods and apparatus using speech recognition technology. The first patent is for audio data monitoring and evaluation; the second patent is for audio data analysis and data mining. SER’s inventions use natural speech recognition combined with business rules to analyze customer conversations, transforming the spoken word to retrievable data. The invention enhances call monitoring by automatically evaluating conversations and initiating actionable events. The use of a computer program to automate this process makes it economically feasible to review 100 percent of recorded calls, not just a select few. This patented technology forms the foundation for SER’s speech analytics solution, SERTAINTY, which performs accurate, automated evaluations of all customer interactions. SERTAINTY enables companies to unlock the information stored in call recordings to identify key trends such as an increase or decrease in customer satisfaction levels, competitive mentions and product receptivity. SERTAINTY also analyzes and scores recorded calls for overall call quality, script adherence and fraud detection.

Symon Releases Enterprise Server 9.1
Symon Communications, Inc., a provider of real-time operational performance, productivity and communication applications, announced the release of Symon Enterprise Server (SES) 9.1 software. SES 9.1 is a robust software engine that powers Symon products for use in various markets such as digital signage, corporate communications, contact center and supply chain management. The SES 9.1 software instantly communicates to a client’s preferred medium, distributing data and content to flat panel displays, televisions, wallboards, PDAs, e-mail and the desktop. Included in SES 9.1 is the new Symon RSS Data Collector. RSS is an XML-based Web feed format that allows users to subscribe to their favorite Web sites and view the latest updated content such as stock quotes, weather forecasts, sports scores and news headlines by selecting their preferences through a simple interface. Client applications such as Symon Design Studio then use these data to create broadcast multimedia content and deliver it to digital and broadcast displays.

Chordiant Offering Fraud Detection And Lending Platform
Chordiant Software (News - Alert) , Inc., a provider of customer experience software and services, recently announced the release of a software application designed to empower financial institutions to automate fraud investigations and recovery processes while strengthening compliance with association rules. Chordiant Fraud Manager, created under Chordiant Mesh, increases the efficiency of investigation representatives and minimizes the impact of financial losses by helping card issuers determine the best course of action in fraud cases. Chordiant Fraud Manager evaluates data in industry-standard fraud detection systems to build cases and determine appropriate next actions. The application recommends the appropriate disposition for each transaction in a case based on industry best practices, specific card-issuer processes, the value of the customer and association rules. Each transaction can be processed as a chargeback, write-off or customer-liable. Chordiant Fraud Manager provides case management, a unified workbench, step-by-step guidance and integration with enterprise back-office and third-party systems to automate back-end processing.  

Vertical Launches Comdial DX-120 Phone System
Vertical Communications (News - Alert) , a provider of next-generation, IP-based phone systems and applications, has announced the availability of the Vertical Comdial DX-120 Business Communications System. The DX-120 continues the legacy of its predecessor, the DX-80 system, which has been widely adopted in numerous customer sites ranging from the private sector to state and local governments. The DX-120 system lets companies easily expand their telecommunications capacity, realize productivity gains with hundreds of built-in calling features and keep pace with operating costs as their businesses scale. The modular architecture of the DX-120 scales from a base of four CO lines, eight digital stations and four analog stations up to a 40 x 80 x 8 configuration that includes economical T1 or ISDN-PRI trunking. Both T1 and ISDN-PRI trunking options reduce phone service costs and also support up to 100 Direct Inward Dialing (DID) numbers to boost efficiency. These numbers can be assigned to any endpoint such as a fax line, company greeting, directions or hours, and hotline for improved customer service. Calls can also be completed without a live attendant. The DX-120 system also lets callers transfer incoming DID calls to pre-defined external numbers so that users are always reachable.

ASC, a provider of communications recording and quality monitoring solutions for contact centers, financial institutions and public-safety and government organizations, has announced the release of MARATHON EVOLUTION XXL, a new product for high-end communications recording. It records up to 480 phone lines simultaneously. The product is specially designed for companies with numerous telephone, VoIP or security-related communications. It also offers hybrid recording for mixed VoIP and TDM environments and is compatible with other applications requiring high channel numbers. The solution comes in one rack-mountable 19-inch chassis and is scalable and expandable for future needs. Users may preserve up to 280,000 hours of recordings online and on two additional storage systems. The Linux-based solution provides security and open-source flexibility for clients in a cost-effective package.

Interior Concepts Launches Completely Mobile Station
Interior Concepts Inc., furniture provider to the call center industry, has announced the release of its Traveler mobile, battery-powered desk. This latest innovation will allow complete mobility for managers and supervisors on the call center floor. The Traveler has a built-in battery, so it fully embraces the wireless environment, and there’s never a need to stay within reach of an electrical outlet. The battery is powerful enough to run a laptop for the entire work week, then recharge during the weekend. Each battery has a 7 to 10 year lifespan, at which point it can be safely recycled. Traveler is made of non-hazardous materials and is UL-approved. Optional plug-in power is also available. The mobile desk is the first piece of the Traveler furniture line. Interior Concepts plans to expand the line with a mobile, battery-powered presentation unit.

Interested in learning more about call center technologies?

Be sure to check out TMCnet’s Whitepaper Library, which provides a selection of in-depth information on relevant topics affecting the call center, CRM and teleservices industries. The library offers white papers, case studies and other documents which are free to registered users. You can find TMCnet’s Whitepaper Library at www.tmcnet.com/tmc/whitepapers.

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