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Aspect Announces General Availability Of EnsemblePro 6.0
Aspect Software, Inc. (news - alerts) has announced the general availability of Aspect EnsemblePro 6.0. The latest release from Aspect Software's Unified Product Line offers new features and functionality, including hosted services capabilities, enterprise quality monitoring, increased security functionality and expanded enterprise administration. The new product capabilities were added to allow companies to more easily achieve their customer service, sales and telemarketing and collections business objectives. Aspect EnsemblePro is a complete contact center solution that unites inbound, outbound and blended multichannel contact (voice, e-mail, Web and fax), while delivering queuing, routing, reporting and agent empowerment capabilities. The product also provides application service provider capabilities. The enhanced architecture enables service providers to host multiple clients segmented as individual tenants to prevent them from accessing or exhausting each other's resources while leveraging a common platform.

Comarch Launches Loyalty Management System
Comarch, (news - alerts) a Central European IT business solutions provider, recently announced the global launch of its Loyalty Management System ' a comprehensive suite of business applications for managing both simple and advanced loyalty programs that can be implemented across all the sectors dealing with large customer groups: telecommunications, retail and financial services. Comarch Loyalty Management System was designed to improve customer retention rates, communication and frequency of customer interactions. According to the company, the system was created with flexibility, ergonomic Web-based user interface and ease of operations in mind. Scalable architecture guarantees adjusting the loyalty program to the company's growth. The company has positioned Comarch'Loyalty Management'as more of a business solution than an application. The solution was designed to be an easy-to-use tool for a range of professionals: marketing managers, salespeople, logistic partners or loyalty program partners. Because an exchange of confidential information is unavoidable, the system is designed with emphasis to security and data protection. The global launch of Comarch Loyalty Management was preceded by the contracts for the deployment of the system by a global energy supplier and the leading retail company in Russia.

Empirix Extends OneSight
Empirix Inc. (news - alerts) recently announced the launch of a new extension to its OneSight contact center monitoring solution. OneSight Call Statistics Monitors was designed to help contact centers measure and reduce the impact of technology issues on agents' key performance indicators (KPIs). KPIs are used in contact centers to measure and manage agent performance and service quality ' examples are queue length, transaction length and first-call resolution rates. Agents and contact center managers are held accountable for meeting KPIs, and often compensation is tied to their ability to do so. Empirix has stated that its OneSight product is the 'first proactive monitoring solution for contact center technology.' OneSight Call Statistics Monitors help call centers correlate real-time call behavior with voice self-service and infrastructure performance. The new measurements were added to provide greater visibility into the impact that automated system issues have on agents and on overall contact center efficiency. They also allow IT staff to prioritize repairs to minimize customer, business and agent impact, and enable contact center managers to re-state KPIs to accurately reflect their performance by removing the negative effects of technology problems.

Microsoft Releases Customer Care Framework 2005
Microsoft Corp. (news - alerts) recently announced its Microsoft Customer Care Framework 2005, a software solution for contact center operators created to deliver consolidated data from core business systems such as billing, CRM and order management to the customer service agent desktop. In the release, Microsoft'has added features'designed to enable contact center operators to more tightly integrate customer service channels, such as voice, instant messaging and e-mail, and develop improved self-service solutions, simultaneously helping to reduce operating costs and improve customer service levels.'' The Microsoft Customer Care Framework interoperates with diverse core systems through Web services that seamlessly deliver back-end customer data to customer service agents. The solution provides integration of information through new customer interaction channels: Web chat, instant messaging and e-mail. The added support channels offer contact center operators improved flexibility to interact with customers without sacrificing service levels. In addition, Customer Care Framework goes beyond the physical contact center by providing the tools to make customer information available directly to consumers. Through a new SharePoint-based self-service portal and IVR system, customers can access account and billing information, order new services or resolve business problems. Customers can also launch a Web chat or e-mail interaction with a contact center agent within the self-service portal. As part of Customer Care Framework 2005, an integrated agent desktop provides contact center representatives with a' comprehensive view of customer data through a midtier integration layer based on Web services standards. Using smart client technology, the solution leverages local resources and intelligently connects to distributed data sources, circumventing the need for expensive and time-consuming integration with existing systems.

Longwood Software Updates TagTeam
Longwood Software, (news - alerts) developer of the TagTeam marketing materials management system, has announced TagTeam version 3.3. The new version of the TagTeam system automates sales support functions and makes it easier to provide a more effective marketing portal for salespeople, field marketers, distribution channels and customers. Marketers in diverse industries can deliver compelling on-demand support for sales, with fewer resources and in less time. In addition, they can extend their self-service marketing support to distributors, dealers, resellers, and even customers. New features in TagTeam include enhanced online ordering via a branded shopping cart; new data-driven portal views to provide compelling presentation of sales tools; and automatic user tracking. The new features are available immediately in the TagTeam.com hosted service. TagTeam's electronic fulfillment capabilities include a searchable database for marketing assets; a visual shopping cart for collecting items for distribution; multiple e-mail delivery modes; click-through tracking of electronically-fulfilled materials; and integrated reporting tools. Although the TagTeam electronic fulfillment facility can handle complex customer needs, it is designed for 'out of the box' use by marketers, and requires no technical training, IT support, or consulting services. This can provide a significant advantage for companies with lean IT and marketing staffs.

Smoothstone Offering Managed IP Communications To The Midmarket
Smoothstone (news - alerts) IP Communications recently announced the launch of its managed IP communications solution for the medium-sized enterprise market. Using a professional services approach, a proprietary, centralized IP communications platform and an outsourced, managed services delivery model, Smoothstone provides comprehensive IP communications solutions that are specifically tailored for the mid-sized enterprise and that result in a lower overall total cost of ownership (TCO) for these organizations. Smoothstone also provides the private, nationwide and converged network infrastructure that carries all of its IP communications. Smoothstone's IP platform has earned the Cisco Powered Network designation, delivering local dial tone in more than 5,800 calling areas and covering 94 percent of the United States. Target customers are enterprises with 50 to 1,000 employees, multiple locations, high call volumes and WAN traffic demands.

Talisma Knowledgebase Available On AppExchange
Talisma Corporation, (news - alerts) a provider of customer interaction management solutions, and on-demand CRM provider salesforce.com recently announced Talisma Knowledgebase for salesforce.com's AppExchange. Built on the AppExchange on-demand platform, Talisma Knowledgebase for AppExchange is immediately available for test drive and deployment at www.appexchange.com, in conjunction with the Salesforce Winter '06 release. This solution was created to deliver enterprise-class Web self-service, search, knowledge management and document management in one easy-to-use solution that integrates from anywhere within Salesforce. With AppExchange, salesforce.com customers have access to new applications that bring the benefits of salesforce.com to an entire business, letting them manage and share all of their company information on-demand. Using AppExchange, companies can add new on-demand applications to their existing Salesforce deployments. Talisma and salesforce.com's technologies were combined to help deliver a more effective and rapidly deployable Web self-service solution. Talisma's configurable self-service portal integrates with Salesforce to create an online support center via a company's Web site. With keyword, natural language, and Boolean searches, customers can quickly find answers to their questions at any time of day If information is sought but not found, then customers may open a case in Salesforce from the same portal, deflecting inbound calls to the contact center. With Talisma Knowledgebase for AppExchange, companies may be able to reduce the number of escalations and average time-to-resolution by allowing customer service representatives to more quickly handle most issues. By providing easy access to the information they need for rapid, informed and consistent responses, agents are better positioned to be more efficient and effective. In addition, Talisma Knowledgebase for AppExchange offers businesses extensive reporting and metric options to better enable insight into their customers' needs.
www.talisma.com, www.salesforce.com/appexchange

Telrex Introduces Call Recording Solution For Hosted IP-PBX Services
Telrex, (news - alerts) a developer of call recording and monitoring software for small and medium businesses using IP-PBXs or hosted PBX services, has announced CallRex support for hosted IP communications platforms from BroadSoft, Sylantro and VocalData. Telrex states that it is the first call recording vendor to offer premise-based call recording for hosted IP-PBX platforms. BroadSoft, Sylantro and VocalData offer hosted PBX and IP Centrex platforms to service providers. Covad, one of the largest hosted IP-PBX service providers in the U.S., now offers CallRex with their hosted IP-PBX service to provide call recording to their customers that were previously unable to afford it. By integrating call recording into their hosted IP-PBX solution, service providers can sell into a wide variety of customers in virtually any industry, whether they want to record calls for training purposes, dispute resolution or regulatory compliance. CallRex call recording can help these service providers take advantage of the rapid growth of the hosted IP-PBX market; according to InfoTech, the hosted IP telephony market is estimated to grow from $310 million in 2005 to almost $6 billion in 2010.

Alcatel Acquires GMK For Its Genesys Subsidiary
Alcatel (news - alerts) recently announced it has acquired GMK, a provider of contact center voice self-service solutions in Brazil. Building on Alcatel's position in contact center solutions, led by its Genesys subsidiary, the acquisition is expected to support Alcatel's strategy to deliver advanced voice self-service solutions for contact centers and expand further into the Brazilian and Latin American enterprise markets. Founded in 1984, GMK is based in Sao Paulo, Brazil and currently employs approximately 100 people. GMK has established a presence in the Brazilian voice self-service and interactive voice response (IVR) market. The company currently serves more than 100 customers in the financial services and outsourcing sectors. GMK will be merged into Alcatel Telecomunica''es S.A, Alcatel's subsidiary in Brazil, and GMK employees will become part of the Genesys center of excellence for the local contact center market. This acquisition will enhance Alcatel's and Genesys' market presence and ability to serve local enterprise customers in Brazil and across Latin America. All GMK customers will continue to be supported on their current platforms.
www.genesyslab.com, www.alcatel.com

Sage Software Rolls Out ACT! Premium For Web
Sage Software (news - alerts) has announced the availability of the new ACT! by Sage Premium for Web 2006 contact and customer management solution. ACT! Premium for Web can be installed on a company server and deployed easily to remote and on-premises users, with no end-user client software installation required, to provide real-time Web access to centralized customer information. ACT! Premium for Web can also be used in conjunction with ACT! by Sage Premium for Workgroups 2006 to enable dual-use environments that equip sales teams with online and offline access to ACT! data. New ACT! Premium for Web 2006 features include customizable opportunity fields, custom user permissions, en masse contact access settings and scheduled automatic database backup, among others. Strong user adoption of ACT! Premium products has helped increase registered ACT! corporate accounts to over 30,000, significantly outpacing market alternatives, according to Sage. ACT! Premium for Web is billed as ideal for small businesses, functionally- defined workgroups and divisions of larger organizations that want to implement Web-based sales force automation without recurring monthly user fees.

PRC Integrates Access Direct And Hancock Information Group
Outsourced customer care provider PRC (news - alerts) has announced the integration of its two subsidiaries, Access Direct and Hancock Information Group. As part of the integration, all PRC services will be marketed under the PRC brand. Additionally, PRC has aligned its operations into two areas, a Business-to-Consumer Solutions group and a Business-to-Business Solutions group, each focused on customer acquisition, growth and retention strategies and services. In addition to the brand consolidation, PRC announced the completion of a new business process that'it says strengthens its ability to provide more strategic solutions for its clients. The Positive Return on Customer Impact model has been applied to new client relationships in 2005, and is in the process of expanding to existing clients in 2006. Joseph D. Livingston, PRC Executive Vice President and Chief Operations Officer, will continue to lead the Business-to-Consumer (B2C) Solutions group. His team will remain focused on delivering solutions that drive customer acquisition and loyalty for brand-focused companies utilizing a disciplined process that delivers the voice of the customer back to the client. Leading the Business-to-Business (B2B) Solutions group is Lori Sprague, Executive Vice President for PRC. Sprague, who spent over 18 years with Hancock Information Group, and her team will continue to provide customer acquisition and development solutions designed specifically for the sales and marketing organizations of brand-focused companies.

Mercado Announces On-Demand E-Commerce Search And Merchandising
Mercado Software, (news - alerts) a provider of e-commerce search and merchandising solutions, recently announced the release of Mercado bFIRST, an ASP offering that enables businesses to more quickly and cost-effectively deploy enterprise quality e-commerce search and navigation capabilities to its online customers. By using Mercado bFIRST, e-commerce search can be up and running in a matter of days, successfully merchandising and marketing products and services. As this is an ASP on-demand service, maintained by Mercado, there is little additional load on IT and marketing staffs. In addition, to handle business growth and success, Mercado provides a migration path from Mercado bFIRST to its widely adopted search and merchandising licensed software solutions. Both Mercado bFIRST and the company's software platforms provide reliable e-commerce search, leveraging the state-of the art in online product merchandising and active selling technologies. Mercado states that it has assembled a feature set that goes far beyond what is currently available as an ASP offering in the e-commerce search market. By packaging merchandising functionality with effective search and navigation and catalog-enrichment capabilities, Mercado bFIRST was created to be an ideal solution for small to medium-sized companies (SMBs), business units in larger organizations, and new market entrants striving to aggressively grow their online sales.

The AnswerNet Network Acquires Unicall International
The AnswerNet Network, (news - alerts) a provider of outsourced contact center and telemessaging services, announced recently that it has acquired the assets of Unicall International, Inc., an outbound and inbound contact center outsourcer based in Fairlawn, Ohio. Unicall's Fairlawn contact center will continue to operate as part of the AnswerNet Network's 54-site outsourcing business. Unicall President and founder Ben Harris joins AnswerNet in the role of Corporate Operations Manager, focusing on outbound services and process development. The addition of Unicall continues AnswerNet's expansion in the outbound teleservices market. The AnswerNet Outbound Group's expansion over the last two years has been fueled by its acquisition of Custom Telemarketing Services, Inc. and its URL, www.telemarketing.com. This growth is expected to continue with the addition of the Unicall facility and team.
www.answernet.com, www.unicallinc.com

Lathem Offering PayClock Pro Version 4
Lathem Time Corporation, (news - alerts) which designs and manufactures time and attendance products for small businesses, has announced the release of PayClock Pro Version 4, a complete time and attendance system for multi-faceted organizations. PayClock Pro Version 4 was designed to accommodate the complex payroll and attendance rules of larger organizations, as well as the varying rules between different groups of employees within an organization. Features of PayClock Pro Version 4 include support for up to 1,000 employees, access for up to 24 users and local area network compatibility. The software can now be installed on a server and accessed from different workstations. It also allows database backups, key processing and security management on a secured server.'Additionally, Pro Version 4 supports multiple terminals.'Users may now add additional PC100s or PC400s to place terminals closer to work places and facility entrances. Pro Version 4 also supports up to 50 definable breaks including paid, unpaid, fixed or flexible. It also provides support for QuickBooks 2005, providing seamless integration with QuickBooks Pro, Premier and Enterprise edition products. The software supports rotating schedules and multiple pay periods. An expanded report library, with over 40 standard reports, was added to help larger, more complex organizations keep abreast of important payroll-related costs.

Saratoga Systems Announces Saratoga CRM 6.5
Saratoga Systems, (news - alerts) a provider of CRM solutions, has released Saratoga CRM 6.5, the company's latest version of Saratoga Systems' Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software (formerly iAvenue). The new release includes a number of enhancements and more powerful integration to back-end enterprise data, positioning Saratoga CRM as an alternative to what the company calls 'behemoth' CRM enterprise software solutions that require substantial programming to integrate and customize. The core of the new release is closer, more efficient integration with systems such as SAP using new Web Services support. Other new features in Saratoga CRM 6.5 include a new alert engine, new data push for Outlook and Lotus Notes, an improved Web dashboard and new query capabilities. Saratoga CRM's software architecture was designed to make it easier to implement and upgrade than some competing enterprise CRM solutions. Rather than re-programming the enterprise application to accommodate a CRM implementation, Saratoga CRM lets users customize everything including business processes and integration with other systems without any programming. Users can create new business applications or optimize current processes in days, at minimal cost. Saratoga's modular design allows companies to more easily create CRM applications that users can access whenever they need to, either through LAN or WAN, through the Web, or through handheld wireless devices using Saratoga's Apresta technology.

Latigent Offers BlueVue II
Latigent LLC, (news - alerts) a provider of business intelligence and call center management software, has announced the release of BlueVue II, the latest version of its business intelligence suite. According to the company, BlueVue II Business Intelligence Suite is the convergence of business intelligence, performance management, reporting and analytics for the call center, employee management and enterprise RSS in a single product, on a single modern architecture. Latigent claims that BlueVue II is the first business intelligence portal to integrate an enterprise RSS aggregator and reader to create a converged information portal for employees. Managers and employees can identify the feeds that are applicable and incorporate them into dashboards with reports and charts from other data sources. BlueVue II adds several new features to allow for greater data connectivity and report design flexibility, including: Web Service support for building reports on non-premise-based data (i.e., salesforce.com and sugarcrm); the capability to apply XSL templates to BlueVue reports, giving the report author complete control over the presentation layer, and the ability to integrate reports directly with third-party Web-based applications. In addition, companies can now build business intelligence (BI) extranets to allow their customers secure and user-based access to information in real-time over the Web. BlueVue II also offers expanded support and turnkey integration for common call center technology applications, including: Cisco ICM, Cisco IPCC Enterprise, Cisco IPCC Express, Avaya CMS, Avaya BCMS, Aspect Call Center, Witness, NICE, Aspect eWFM, IEX and Blue Pumpkin.

Call Compliance Delivers New Suite Of Services
Call Compliance, Inc. (news - alerts) has announced a new program to deliver a complete suite of compliance services to the teleservices sector. This new suite of services, Compliance Sentinel, combines existing compliance technology with new initiatives, all aimed at providing the 100 percent'guaranteed compliance solution the industry demands. The Compliance Sentinel program delivers the following services, bundled together to provide a comprehensive telemarketing compliance system: TeleBlock, Call Compliance's patented real-time Do Not Call compliance technology; ongoing compliance auditing delivered by Compliance Testing & Solutions (CTS), Call Compliance's consulting division; the Registration Guide, Call Compliance's automatic online system for completing state telemarketing registration forms; the Regulatory Guide, the only online and up-to-date compilation of state and federal telemarketing laws; and ComplianceWeb, a series of regularly scheduled compliance Webinars.

Mercom Releases MIQ Version 2.0
Mercom Systems, Inc. (news - alerts) recently announced the release of version 2.0 of Mercom Interaction Quality (MIQ). Mercom's MIQ software is a browser-based call evaluation and quality monitoring system designed to advance the correlation of quality and productivity metrics in the contact center. New features in MIQ 2.0 include a Quality Key Performance Indicator Report feature, which shows correlations between quality scores for behaviors and an outside metric the user would like to impact (e.g., revenue, customer complaints, etc.). The results allow managers to focus on the key performance indicators within their quality data ' those that have the tightest correlation to what their company would like to change.'A new Performance Dashboard was added to allow users to get a quick graphical overview of quality score trends and key quality indicators in their center. Error Analysis Reporting allows users to view and analyze specific areas in which groups or individuals are making errors during calls (e.g., answering questions accurately, using standard required greeting, etc.). Finally, Enhanced Calibration Function and Reporting makes comparing multiple evaluators' scoring to a mean or standard faster and easier. Standard deviations can be tracked against goals in easy-to-read graphical views and drill-down functionality enables root cause discovery when deviation is present.

InfoCision Announces Promotion To VP Of Marketing
InfoCision Management Corporation (news - alerts) has announced the promotion of Nate Drushell to vice president of marketing. The Copley, Ohio resident was previously director of marketing in the company's nonprofit division. Senior Vice President of Marketing Ken Dawson said Drushell worked hard to earn the promotion. 'Nate has excelled at every level on the marketing staff and is very well respected by his peers, coworkers and clients,' said Dawson. Drushell is credited with exceeding 2005 sales goals and otherwise leading the nonprofit division to expand the client base as well as helping to oversee the Christian division.

Toshiba Hires VP/General Manager For Telecom Systems Division
Toshiba America Information Systems Inc. (TAIS) (news - alerts) recently announced that Brian Metherell has accepted the position of Vice President/General Manager of the company's Telecommunication Systems Division (TSD). Toshiba's telecommunications division provides business communication systems to the small and medium-size business market through an authorized dealer network across the U.S.'Metherell comes to Toshiba with broad experience in the telecommunications industry, having held executive positions at Nortel, Williams Communications, General Telecom and Verestar. In addition, Metherell has also worked for Bell Communication Systems and Toshiba in Canada.'

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