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January 2009 | Volume 27 / Number 8
Customer Interaction News

Customer Interaction News

Avaya (www.avaya.com)

now offers automated multichannel (voice, e-mail, SMS) outbound messaging services tailored for the financial and healthcare industries. The new solutions, Proactive Outreach for Financial Services and Proactive Outreach for Healthcare, enable greater efficiencies, improved cost savings and enhanced customer experiences. Outbound messaging achieves these results by alerting recipients in near real-time with needed information such as fraud alerts or doctor visits respectively. This not only helps companies cut down on expensive incoming calls, but also frees up live agents to handle more complex interactions, thereby driving improved efficiency and customer service.

Convergys (www.convergys.com)

now offers Intervoice (News - Alert) ® Voice Portal 6.0 (IVP 6) and the introduction of its next-generation application creation environment – Interaction Composer. With IVP 6, enterprises can now create highly personalized speech solutions, leveraging a set of rules and policies that can be easily constructed by integrating with the Convergys (News - Alert) Dynamic Decisioning Solution. Interaction Composer enables the development of applications that allow callers to perform tasks simultaneously or interrupt tasks with new requests, and then resume tasks where they left off. For enterprises with legacy IVR applications, Interaction Composer also enables the migration of legacy IVR applications to open-standards applications that can include a speech option for more efficient self-service calls

FrontRange Solutions (News - Alert) (www.frontrange.com)

has added speed to its help desk solutions with HEAT® Plus Mobile, which enables field-based technicians to access and update critical service management information including new trouble ticket alerts through BlackBerry (News - Alert)® smartphones. HEAT Plus Mobile offers configurable realtime sync capabilities that remove the dependency on wireless connectivity to access data and remote onsite incident logging and tracking that enables field techs to handle assistance from customers on other issues

HarQen (www.harqen.com)

is gradually rolling out VoiceScreener, an automated prospective employee pre-screening solution which enables firms to process large volumes of candidates quickly while eliminating the need for time-consuming, expensive, and occasionally challenging live phone interviews. VoiceScreener lets HR professionals use their phones and simple Web-based dashboards to create and distribute custom, recorded phone interviews. HR personnel can put a series of questions into the system in the form of voicemails. Invitations can then be sent to the aspiring candidates and also links for the interviews

ICCM (www.iccm.co.uk)

has made e-Service Desk, a helpdesk management solution built upon the Metastorm (News - Alert) BPM platform available in the U.S. Recognized for its process enabled design, the e-Service Desk can be integrated to deliver a range of applications including the provision of mobile solutions through BlackBerry mobile devices. This highly flexible and configurable service management solution can be implemented quickly, with minimal disruption to organization's working practices

Interactive Intelligence (News - Alert) (www.inin.com)

has added SMS to its Customer Interaction Center® (CIC) contact center suite to enable contact centers to communicate with customers both inbound and outbound via this versatile increasingly popular channel. Contact centers will be able to route, record, and report on SMS on the same way as other media types. Contact centers will also have the ability to push SMS alerts to users

Oracle (News - Alert) (www.oracle.com)

has upgraded its Siebel CRM solution. Oracle’s Siebel CRM 8.1.1 has updated self-service functionality, including Siebel eSupport and Siebel eCommerce applications, with Java-based J2EE applications built on Oracle® Fusion Middleware that extends Siebel’s CRM product to the Web channel. Siebel CRM 8.1.1 now provides industry-specific customer self-service for communications and the public sector, as well as enhanced use of multi-channel applications with Siebel Chat and deeper, more comprehensive search capability. It also includes new deal registration capability to provide improved visibility into channel partner deals—ultimately enabling increased sales effectives of the partner channel.

Siebel CRM 8.1.1 is supported by new features in Siebel Loyalty, Siebel Marketing, and Siebel Sales. The entire customer loyalty program lifecycle is supported by providing membership enrollment and management, including loyalty points accrual and redemption, member services, partner management and promotion management. There is now a closed-loop solution that uniquely empowers all members of the marketing organization with actionable insight by automating processes across the marketing function, from strategy and planning to multi-channel response and lead management execution. Sales forecasting capabilities have been extended to give sales teams the flexibility to manage and share forecasting in cross-functional teams and to perform ad hoc adjustments that help improve sales quota attainment

OrecX (www.orecx.com)

has bolstered the Oreka Total Recorder (TR) software by enabling to be ready to connect into most commercially available speech analytics engines, thereby increasing ability to process call data and uncover hidden value. It also now has an open Application Programming Interface (API) that permits software companies to enhance their solutions and strengthen their customer base by integrating Oreka TR functionality directly with their applications. Oreka TR, a companion product for OrecX's free Oreka GPL open source call recorder, organizes and catalogs calls over a standard SIP-based VoIP interface. Oreka TR allows call storage and retrieval by timestamp, duration, direction, as well as by remote or local party

SpeechStorm (News - Alert) (www.speechstorm.com)

plans to launch a new suite of Visual IVR applications. With it enterprises can now offer their customers a new, intuitive way to transact with them using a simple video call on their mobile phones to give a visual representation of their service options. Adding visualization to traditional IVR reduces the time people spend listening to full menu options before making a choice. It puts a visual element to the business transaction itself, such as transferring money or checking in for a flight, enabling the user to complete the transaction much quicker and more intuitively. Visual IVR is gaining increasing acceptance in Europe, where SpeechStorm is located with the growth and proliferation of the 3G network.

Vantage Communications (News - Alert) (www.vantageip.com)

has launched a new small to medium-sized business-targeted CRM solution: vPlatform™ CRM. vPlatform CRM, available as a hosted solution, includes advanced customer retention and revenue and sales force automation enhancement tools, marketing campaign ROI analysis, analytics and reporting, and business intelligence functionality

Verizon Business 
(News - Alert) (www.verizonbusiness.com)

now offers a VoIP lab where its U.S. clients can test the compatibility and capabilities of customer premises equipment (CPE) that has not been certified with the Verizon VoIP or IP Contact Center (IPCC) portfolios. By participating in the Verizon VoIP Interoperability Lab, a company can test drive virtually any piece of equipment, such as an IP PBX (News - Alert) or a Premise Session Border Controller, during a two-week trial period, using a simple Internet connection and Verizon VoIP or IPCC service. Following a successful trial customers can then elect to contract for VoIP or IPCC, using their CPE

Aperio CI (News - Alert) ’s Social Network Analysis and Propensities (SNAP)

Aperio CI (www.aperioci.com) has come out with the Social Network Analysis and Propensities (SNAP), a powerful application that helps identify social groups within a company’s customer network to generate increased revenue and build retention among social network members. Offered initially to and written for wireless carriers, SNAP will likely be adapted for other markets with similar characteristics, such as retail and banking.

SNAP enables accurate assessment of the value of individual customers based on not only their specific transactions but also on the degree they influence the buying decisions of others. It taps into the core fundamentals of human interactions, which is exchanging information in peer groups in each of which there are dominant individuals whose knowledge and counsel is listened to and usually followed by the others. These people can therefore, because of their influence, make or break products. SNAP identifies these peer groups and influencers by examining call and contact records: who calls and contacts whom, how often, and how long.

Key Features and Components • Call record assessment, social group determination, user categorization in terms such as Deciders, Connectors, and Influencers and assignation of risk and value to each category

• Passive behavioral analysis based on the data collected

• ‘Connected Value’, or revenue generated by a sub-set of social network members methodology, to quantify customers’ true value to wireless operators

• Ability to utilize the influencer category to better retain and sell new services through personalized, subtle and less intrusive campaigns

System Requirements

SNAP utilizes elements of several of Aperio CI’s existing solutions, including its SmartSave and FlashTrac applications. SNAP meets all privacy and security mandates, can be integrated with campaign, and offer management protocols to deliver information through multiple channels. SNAP utilizes existing customer data. Operators do not need to conduct additional data processing to integrate into SNAP. Aperio CI can have most customers up and running in within 45 days.


SNAP is priced on a per subscriber basis with a monthly charge for the service and analysis that ranges from 1.7 cents (US) to 4.5 cents (US) dependent upon volume, reporting and output requirements to the operator. There is also a non-recurring set up fee for adaptation to the customers’ current infrastructure and specific data structures and inputs.

Fonality (News - Alert)’s PBXtra Unified Agent Edition
Fonality (www.fonality.com) has married customer relationship management (CRM) software and telephony to provide a complete integrated view of multichannel contact center operations with its PBXtra Unified Agent Edition (UAE) product. First offered with Salesforce.com (News - Alert), PBXtra UAE may be integrated with other CRM applications in the future. Fonality UAE works by automatically adding call history and other call intelligence to a customer’s Salesforce.com database. It allows a Salesforce.com user to have a 360 degree view of all interactions with their customers, including phone calls, call recordings, and time to follow-up on new leads. UAE, says Fonality costs a fraction of what it would cost to write a custom in-house application to try to accomplish the same level of telephony and CRM analytics.

PBXtra Unified Agent Edition enables companies to increase close rates, revenue and profits, while providing improved customer service and dramatically reducing sales and support costs. Managers can easily measure, test, and improve sales and support processes, view the effectiveness of human resources, salvage opportunities or identify service level agreement lapses. They can find out the number of calls it takes to convert a lead to a sale and determine which agents are the most responsive.

Key Features and Components PBXtra Unified Agent Edition includes the following features and components:

• Reporting to understand how follow-up time impacts close rate

• Track and record all call history in Salesforce.com CRM automatically

• Listen to call recordings from inside Salesforce.com

• Stack-rank agents by call frequency and duration

• Instantly report all leads not called within a specified period

• Screen-pops and click-to-call

• Automatically route inbound calls to their account owner, by caller-ID match

• Displays small Outlook style on-screen alerts that shows how much calls are worth in the first rings

System Requirements
Customers need to have the Fonality PBXtra Call Center Edition and a subscription to Salesforce.com’s App Exchange

Pricing Unlimited agent pricing starts at $4,000, for existing Call Center customers or $6,995 for new customers, which includes server hardware. Customers must also have a valid Salesforce.com account. The applicable fee is $65/month per user

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