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Customer Inter@ction Solutions
March 2007 - Volume 25 / Number 10
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No Longer Just About Outbound: A Moment With Stratasoft’s New CEO

By Tracey E. Schelmetic
Editorial Director, Customer Inter@ction Solutions

In business since 1995, Houston-based Stratasoft Inc. is a computer telephony/call center software provider with a comprehensive patent portfolio that includes predictive dialing, predictive dialing algorithms, contact center database management, contact center campaign scripting and contact center management systems. Stratasoft has customers in over 20 countries and 28,000 seats worldwide. Historically, the company has predominantly been known as an outbound — code word for “dialer” — company.

I recently got a chance to catch up with Asim Saber, the newly appointed CEO of Stratasoft. Saber wanted to tell me about a challenge recently won by Stratasoft — against industry giant Aspect.

“In October,” said Saber, “Stratasoft was invited to go head-to-head for a 3,000-plus seat contract for a Fortune 500 company with Aspect. We won. To be invited to compete against Aspect was an honor, and winning was especially gratifying.”

I asked Saber why he thought Stratasoft had performed so admirably against Aspect which, though not precisely a household name, holds a great reputation in the contact center industry.

“It was the flexibility of the system and the ability of the client to be able to change, in real time, on the fly, screens, add programs and do different edits as far as list management. That was probably the biggest key. From a functionality perspective, we’re 95 percent of each other [Stratasoft and Aspect] for inbound and outbound functionality, though our clients say we have the best answering machine detection,” said Saber.

“We have beefed up our product development staff — from 3 to 21 — and we’re adding more people as we go. To our customer service, we’ve added 500 percent to our help desk functionalities.” Saber also spoke about one of Stratasoft’s largest recent deployments.

“TRG (The Resource Group), based in Washington, DC, is a large teleservices agency with about 4,000 seats worldwide: 60 percent inbound to 40 percent outbound. We are in the process of converting all those seats to Stratasoft. For the first time in Stratasoft’s history, we have owner-operators. We’re going to be putting a lot of pressure on ourselves as far as functionality to handle 4,000-plus seat type environments.”

So what’s next for Stratasoft, as it seems to be pursuing a bit of self-reinvention?

Saber answered, “We’re looking at competitive platforms to see what it is we don’t have, and trying to pursue that with our own development, or perhaps acquire some companies.”

I asked him about workforce management. “Everybody’s doing it,” I said.

Saber acknowledged that this is a technology Stratasoft currently lacks. He also spoke of other advances in the pipleline for the company.

“We are in the process of developing a true skills-based routing (inbound) solution, which they are now testing. In the future, they [R&D] plan to create the ultimate soft switch platform, which is in the works.”

“We’ve started a hosting facility, as well,” added Saber. “Similar to what Five9 or TouchStar Software does. We’re going to make agreements with carriers’ data centers to collocate services with them. That’s a new service offering for us. We’re one of the only companies that has the capability to offer all functionality in our CPE environment in a hosted environment.”

“We were just awarded a patent in July for the technology…if you have a supervisor in a remote location, we can transport voice and data on very low bandwidth, so the only part of the screen that changes gets transported, so the whole screen doesn’t need to refresh.”

Outbound (primarily dialers) was the foundation technology in the past for Stratasoft. In these days of increased regulation over outbound (not to mention its bad rep in the media and with the general public), I asked Saber how the company’s outbound business was doing, and if it was dying, as many people predicted was the fate of outbound several years ago. “Not at all,” said Saber. “We find the split between inbound and outbound is still about 60/40, or even 50/50.”

In other words — and market data have thus far borne this fact out — reports of the death of outbound are greatly exaggerated.
And Stratasoft is no longer just a dialer company. CIS

By Tracey E. Schelmetic
Editorial Director,
Customer Inter@ction Solutions

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