Each year, Customer Inter@ction Solutions' magazine bestows its Product of the Year awards on companies that have demonstrated excellence in technological advancement and application refinements. Listed here are products and services that we've judged to have gone the extra mile to help improve both the customer experience and the ROI for the companies that use them. It is these companies' contributions that lead the way in making the contact center technology industry the dynamic field that it is today. The winning companies are broken down by general market category.
Congratulations to the winners.
' Tracey E. Schelmetic
Contact Center Suites
Amcat Contact Center Suite, Enterprise Edition
The Enterprise Edition, a new version of Amcat's scalable Contact Center Suite, was designed for enterprise and multisite contact centers. It was created to seamlessly integrate remote or distributed contact centers into a centrally managed, networked operation; reduce operating costs such as local support and local campaign management; and provide an enhanced level of resilience reducing single points of failure. The solution can sharpen management controls and reduce costs for enterprise operations, while improving business continuity so important with natural and man-made disasters.
eGain ServiceExpress is the small business edition of eGain OnDemand, eGain's hosted software suite for multichannel customer service (phone, e-mail, chat, Web self-service) and knowledge management. Small businesses, like larger enterprises, are under pressure to win and keep customers with superior service while controlling costs, but are saddled with limited IT budgets and resources. They need a hosted e-service solution that is affordable, effective and able to seamlessly support business growth. eGain ServiceExpress addresses this need with its 'no-risk value guarantee,' a 14-day free trial; 24-hour deployment; setup help; modular design and embedded best practices.
M1 Global Solutions, Inc.
Business Convergence Platform
With this release of the Business Convergence Suite, organizations can rapidly incorporate voice services (such as VoIP, IVR and speech recognition) into business processes to create client-centered business solutions. With a large percentage of transactions initiating or concluding with voice, the extended capabilities of BCS 1.5 will afford users the ability to deliver a better customer experience, adapt quickly to changing business dynamics and improve profitability by simplifying how they model, deploy and modify multimedia business applications. Business Convergence Suite 1.5 continues the innovation of BCS 1.0, incorporating call flow capabilities into the business process. Users can build applications, such as Web and voice self-service, that use the full range of M1's Business Convergence Platform capabilities, including workflow, Web services orchestration and service level management.
The Noble RepliServer solution offers 100 percent data redundancy for continued productivity and uptime in the event of a natural disaster or a hardware failure. Noble Systems offers 100 percent data replication to enterprise organizations with the Noble RepliServer, allowing them to maintain production in the event of a hardware error, eliminating lost time resulting from hardware issues. The replication solution consists of a dual-application server configuration, including a 'standby' server that is ready to take over operations in the event that the primary server becomes inoperable. Noble RepliServer also serves as a disaster recovery solution, allowing centers to deploy the redundant server to a remote site should the primary location become inaccessible.
The CallPilot Unified Messaging release 4.0, a component of Nortel's Applications Center, enables users to access messages from PDAs and other e-mail-enabled devices, empowering employees to work from any location. Additionally, advanced integration with Nortel Call Center Web Portal allows CallPilot 4.0 messages to be immediately delivered to the right agents, ensuring prompt responses to customer inquiries, allowing businesses the opportunity to achieve higher customer satisfaction.
Samsung Business Communication Systems
OfficeServ 7200 Converged Communications Platform
The OfficeServ 7200 marks the introduction of Samsung's converged platform for voice and data communications using wireline and wireless technologies, making it an efficient and flexible platform for business communications solutions. Capitalizing on Samsung's expertise and history in developing wireline, wireless, voice and digital convergence equipment, the OfficeServ 7200 allows end users to leverage new capabilities not previously available to them via Samsung products such as IP-based, in-office mobility and OfficeServ applications. OfficeServ 7200 handles voice calls and data using a flexible array of modules, including Local Area Network and Wide Area Network modules and a 10/100Base-T Ethernet interface. This provides an integrated wireless and wireline platform that offers full support for Samsung's VoIP, Wireless LAN and traditional phones and IP-based data and other business communications peripherals and allows for voice call quality of service control.
SER Solutions Inc.
CPS E2 Version 2.0
SERTAINTY is an agent performance optimization solution that enables contact centers to obtain real-time analysis on agent and team performance. SERTAINTY eliminates tedious and time-consuming manual monitoring activities by using speech recognition technology to perform highly accurate, automated evaluations of all customer interactions. SERTAINTY scores each call against a set of KPIs and flags only calls that actually need to be reviewed by a supervisor. The latest SERTAINTY release offers the following enhancements: a new, browser-based business intelligence dashboard; expanded reporting and statistical analysis; and an easy-to-use KPI Definition Wizard.
[Editor's note: In the January 2006 issue, SER Solutions' winning product was incorrectly stated as CPS E2. We regret the error. TES]
Siemens Communications Inc.
HiPath ProCenter Standard V6.5
The Siemens HiPath ProCenter V6.5 portfolio was designed to enable enterprises to drive even greater first contact resolution of customer calls with faster call center administration, call processing and multimedia routing and reporting, including enhanced user and management visualization tools. Presence-driven and permission-based collaboration tools have also been extended to reach enterprisewide communication sources such as the telephone, e-mail and instant messaging. The upgraded HiPath ProCenter Agile solution, with support for as many as 150 active agents, is designed for small and mid-sized enterprise contact centers or informal call handling groups.
Transera Communications, Inc.
Delivered as a service, Seratel offers tools for the widespread shift to decentralized customer service operations. Transera's Seratel on-demand call management software was designed to allow multiple enterprises to collaborate in providing customer care across organizational, geographical and technological boundaries. Seratel leverages open industry standards such as SIP, Web Services and XML rather than proprietary mechanisms, eliminating complex integration requirements and significantly reducing maintenance overhead. By linking to multiple existing carrier networks based on off-the-shelf IP network elements, Seratel reduces call center cost of ownership and provides customers with freedom of choice.
Amae CI Suite
The Amae Customer Integration (CI) Suite is a modular enterprise application that delivers actionable results by engaging customers and intelligently collecting customer experience and perspectives regarding products, service and satisfaction across all channels of customer contact. The Amae CI Suite is an 'appliance-like' solution that integrates all customer experiences via telephone, Web and e-mail customer contact channels. For the telephone, the Amae CI Suite uses a built-in IVR-style system that is administered by managers through a Web browser. The Amae CI Suite directly connects to existing telephony and creates no conflict or redundancy with existing IVR or contact center technology.
Aplicor ATLAS includes functional advancement to each of the core CRM components, including Sales Force Automation (SFA), Marketing Management and Customer Service. The 2005 Aplicor CRM ATLAS release provides a hosted solution to deliver a workflow engine with visual toolkit to empower user-created business workflow processes, a visual forms designer for complete end user customization of screens, data warehousing and OLAP (online analytical processing) for drag-and-drop information analysis, and synchronization with Lotus Notes, Outlook, Exchange, Blackberry, Pocket PC and Palm. The ATLAS release also includes the Aplicor Gateway Interface (AGI) Web services library which exposes the Aplicor Data Service (including XML schema, Web Service Definition Language (WSDL) document and complete data dictionary) and permits system administrators to create their own Web services integration in a graphical environment using industry-standard XML and Simple Object Application Protocol (SOAP) requests.
The ePowerCenter contact center solution was developed with globalization in mind, according to the company. The core functionality provides all onsite and remote agents a robust, multichannel contact management solution with instant access to a unified repository of consumer, product and company information. It also provides customizable Web-based reporting for enterprisewide visibility into consumer issues and feedback. The new release (Version 6.2) can enhance a company's ability to deliver high-quality service to consumers worldwide with its 'Language of the Agent' and 'Language of the Caller' features. It offers complete translatability of ePowerCenter to extend the software's capabilities to non-English speaking agents and global contact centers. It also offers advanced features to facilitate data capture and rapid issue resolution with non-English speaking customers.
Cincom Synchrony 6.1
The new 6.1 release of Cincom's Synchrony extends the flexibility of the Synchrony Desktop unified platform framework by allowing each individual desktop to be completely adaptable and customizable to meet the unique requirements of every group, department and functional area within any organization, worldwide. Equipped with a desktop that intelligently presents both the appropriate information and applications for each interaction, contact center agents can work smarter and faster, helping increase productivity and reducing handling times.
Digisoft ' A TouchStar Software Company
eTelescript Guest Mode
eTelescript is a thin-client call center software solution designed to maximize the productivity, efficiency and effectiveness of your virtual VOIP call center. eTelescript provides the capability to empower remote global agents and administrators. The solution offers agents the tools necessary to make them better organizational representatives. By focusing on the quality and performance of the interaction, management can create campaigns based on predetermined business objectives. eTelescript can help empower agents to drive revenue, ignite overall corporate growth and improve service levels by maximizing a calling campaign's efficiency and productivity while providing complete control and security for call management processes.
Maximizer Enterprise 9
Maximizer Enterprise 9 is an adaptable CRM software solution designed to deliver integrated sales, marketing and customer service and support.'Maximizer Enterprise 9 helps businesses attract prospects, win new customers and increase repeat business to build successful, profitable customer relationships throughout the customer life cycle.'With secure, on-demand access to customer information through an intuitive interface and a rapid deployment time at an affordable price, Maximizer Enterprise 9 adapts to the business demands of growing small to medium-sized enterprises and divisions of large corporations.
NetSuite CRM+ is a hosted customer relationship management application designed to integrate order management, partner management, incentive management and project tracking to give growing businesses a 360-degree view of all customer interactions. NetSuite CRM+ also offers eCRM, which includes Web site hosting, Web site analytics, customer portals, partner portals and partner management. These capabilities allow NetSuite CRM+ to automate the entire customer lifecycle, from a prospect browsing a company's Web site, to an interested lead, to a qualified prospect, to a customer who has actually placed an order, to servicing that customer and finally, to guiding that customer to re-purchase.
Oncontact V, the company's flagship CRM software, was designed to provide sales, marketing and customer service professionals the tools they need to more effectively manage prospects and customers. Version V uses the latest Microsoft .NET platform to provide a detailed snapshot of the complete customer and prospect relationship, including account history and organizational hierarchy. The application contains a history of all interactions with customers and prospects on an individual or companywide level. The interface is completely customizable, which allows users to decide how they want to manage their customer and prospect relationships. The solution also offers marketing functionality complete with call center features to maximize marketing dollars by allowing users to create, execute, manage and track successful campaigns that increase leads and generate sales.
Portrait Foundation is an application platform suite optimized for customer interaction management that offers the next generation of sales through service platform. It is designed for building process-centric, enterprisewide, multichannel, composite customer interaction applications that integrate to many existing legacy systems. Foundation addresses the most important and most complex processes: those that drive customer interactions and fulfill customer demands.
RightNow CRM 7.5
RightNow CRM 7.5 is the latest version of RightNow's on-demand CRM solution. With a range of new and enhanced features, RightNow CRM 7.5 was created to deliver improved functionality across marketing, sales and service processes, enabling organizations to optimize the lifetime value of their customer relationships and the end-to-end quality of their customer experience. The product's components, RightNow Marketing, RightNow Sales and RightNow Service, are engineered with a common database, common business rules management and a common workflow engine. By automating a range of processes and eliminating the boundaries between customer-facing departments, RightNow CRM provides important advantages: marketing leads can be automatically routed to salespeople, data from service interactions can be used to improve marketing campaign targeting, and salespeople can avoid being surprised by open service incidents and/or active marketing promotions.
Sage CRM is full-suite, configurable and fully Web-based CRM software for SMBs that is available both as a hosted service at SageCRM.com and for on-premises deployment. Sage CRM was designed to provide SMBs with the ability to move from hosted to on-premises implementation as business needs dictate, keeping all online data and customizations fully intact. Sage CRM provides bi-directional front-office/back-office integration with many accounting and operations management solutions. Sage CRM users also have more supporting technology options, including Outlook and Lotus Notes integration, plus IBM DB2, MS SQL, Oracle and Sybase database options. Additionally, Sage CRM offers businesses other advantages, including local service and support through an established network of CRM solution providers; support for wireless devices such as PDAs and cell phones; a portfolio of vertical enhancements and custom components; and affordable pricing.
SAS Institute Inc.
SAS Marketing Automation 4.3
SAS Marketing Automation provides comprehensive data management, campaign management and advanced customer analytics in one integrated solution. The new version features notable enhancements such as performance capabilities with proven scalability, the solution's ability to flexibly manage multiple lines of business ' product areas, customer segment or geographies ' from the same system, improved real-time integration capabilities, a more powerful Web user interface for remote users and more flexible reporting and scheduling capabilities.
Sendia WorkSpace CRM
Designed for salesforce.com mobile users, WorkSpace CRM 3.0 replaces Sendia's Wireless Salesforce Automation (SFA) 2.3 and is compatible with popular wireless handheld devices such as Research In Motion's (RIM) BlackBerry Wireless Handhelds and Palm's Treo series. With WorkSpace CRM 3.0, custom objects such as invoices, purchase orders, HR tracking, expenses and project management originally created for the desktop version of Salesforce can be made accessible wirelessly on BlackBerry or Treo devices. This allows administrators to decide the exact custom application functionality they want mobilized on their field teams' mobile devices.
Sugar Enterprise Edition
Sugar Enterprise Edition is the first commercial open source CRM application designed specifically for larger businesses. It expands SugarCRM's open source platform to provide a full-featured CRM alternative to organizations with advanced database, mobility and reporting needs at a cost of just $449 per user per year, including technical support. The price also includes full access to the source code, facilitating customization and integration with legacy customer databases that can save time and increase the effectiveness of customer interactions.
Tigerpaw Software, Inc.
The release of Tigerpaw CRM+ signals the completion of three years of development that spawned a host of new features and expanded functionality. Chief among them are a revamped and much-improved user interface, brand new features like project management and subcontractor support, enhanced business analytics highlighted by a new dashboard and expanded customization tools. More than 1,000 user-requested enhancements were folded into the release, bolstering the product's core functionality of contact management, sales force and marketing automation, service management and inventory control. Other notable enhancements include a new group calendar, international date support, progressive billing functionality, payment tracking, an enhanced security model, improved RMA tracking, unlimited pricing levels and unlimited user-defined custom fields throughout the application.
Dial-On-Demand was engineered for contact centers with two to 400 seats, and expands TouchStar Software's dialer product offering to include an affordable hosted solution. It includes a predictive dialer, power dialer, broadcast voice messaging, graphical reports with real-time statistics, fast and easy access to software upgrades, level-one security with privilege-based assignments and 24/7 technical support. Dial-On-Demand can help provide contact centers across diverse industries with the opportunity to instantly employ a 'pay-as-you-go' system.
RED ALERT gives organizations and call centers a fast method for automatically notifying personnel in disaster and emergency situations, as well as providing routine notifications for meetings and other events. New features added to RED ALERT help ensure that recipients receive the most current alert information, and increase the flexibility by including more system customization options. The new RED ALERT features include recorded alert messages, concurrent alert messages, status updates for confirmed receipts, real-time updating of both alert messages and contact methods, auto check-in URL and check-in URL, custom message fields and recipient permissions.
InfoCast is a rapid alerting and notification system that can be controlled from anywhere. Giving managers and administrators tools to contact employees, faculty and students, contractors and vendors on an urgent or emergency basis is a challenging and expensive requirement for most organizations. InfoCast was created as a simple solution to address the growing need of both large and small organizations, businesses, schools and hospitals to reach members of their community through voice and other channels.
Display Technologies/ Dashboards
Symon Communications Inc.
SDA (Symon Digital Appliance) Series
The Symon Digital Appliance (SDA-500) series of advanced network-manageable products was created to deliver digital signage and a wide variety of broadcast content to visual displays such as televisions and plasmas, while combining Symon's expertise in real-time data collection and visual display technology. The SDA-500 is an IP/Ethernet network addressable device that can be collocated with the display signage for 24 x 7 operations. Being LAN-connected enables the SDA-500 software to receive content, scheduling and other instructions from a seamless integration to the Symon Enterprise Server (SES) single control site. Multiple display systems can be controlled and monitored from this central location, including proof of play with confirmation. The SDA controller is built on open standards and supports a wide variety of PDPs, LCDs, CRTs and projectors with pre-installed drivers and integrates with a multi-vendor networking environment.
ClearPath for Contact Centers
Version 2.5 of the ClearPath for Contact Centers product provides contact center customers with the ability to instantly identify operational issues, determine problem root causes and automatically take corrective action or receive recommendations on resolutions via the system itself. It leverages intelligent call management and IP contact center technologies to deliver improved levels of business visibility for contact centers that use traditional, IP and converged communications systems. ClearPath for Contact Centers 2.5 also introduces Integrated Performance Indicators (IPIs), added to aid contact center managers in gleaning insights from the real-time correlation of disparate performance metrics.
Interactive Voice Response (IVR)
Plum Voice Portals
MedTalk was designed for use by healthcare providers such as pharmaceutical companies, health insurers and research organizations, and enables the automation of sophisticated communication campaigns with healthcare consumers. MedTalk is powered by the Plum VoiceXML IVR platform and facilitates notification and alerting, as well as the creation of elaborate, dynamic and scientifically valid surveys and studies. MedTalk supports 24x7x365 communication with patients via the one communication media that is almost universal in modern society: the telephone. The telephone enables participation in surveys by members of the population who are functionality illiterate, lack access to the Internet, or lack the ability to make regular physical appearances at doctors' offices or research centers.
IP Contact Center Platforms
Aspect Uniphi Suite v6.1
Aspect Uniphi Suite is an operating environment that gives businesses the flexibility and functionality needed for the convergence of contact center applications including ACD, CTI and IVR on a single, switch-agnostic platform that supports both PSTN and IP switches. Released in June 2005, Uniphi Suite v6.1 is the next step in the platform's evolution, offering streamlined customer interaction, simpler application development and system administration, and centralized reporting and analytics ' all while doubling the number of agents supported. Based on the Aspect Uniphi architecture, Uniphi Suite includes the Aspect Uniphi Engine, Aspect Uniphi Contact Center, Aspect Uniphi Voice Portal and tight integration with Aspect's workforce management software.
Avaya IP Office with Microsoft CRM
The Avaya IP Office Customer Management suite featuring Microsoft CRM encompasses all the hardware, software and support that businesses need to transform their sales and service operations. The IP Office solution integrated with Microsoft CRM delivers on a strategic alliance announced between Avaya and Microsoft to create packaged business solutions for small and medium-sized organizations. The solution now combines Avaya's IP Office Solution and contact center application with the Sales and Customer Service modules of Microsoft CRM Professional edition, coupling telephony call routing with customer relationship management technology to enable a new set of applications that can improve the customer experience and increase the information businesses have about their customers.
Cisco IP Contact Center Enterprise Edition
The new Cisco IPCC Gateway provides customers with the option to increase the scalability of their contact centers while also offering more flexible deployment options. Customers can deploy and manage a single customer contact solution for an entire enterprise or choose site-specific Cisco IPCC Enterprise and manage them from a single ICM. This option allows customers to address contact center ownership requirements at a specific site while still maintaining a virtual solution. The Cisco IPCC Gateway also allows for greater overall system redundancy, business continuity and a seamless migration from a traditional call center environment to an IP-based solution.
CosmoCall Universe 4.5
CosmoCall Universe (CCU) is an all-IP contact center platform with carrier-class reliability. CCU helps organizations achieve higher levels of customer service while reducing costs, by supporting all of their enterprisewide contact center needs from one virtual contact center platform, self-hosted or hosted by a network service provider. The CCU platform unifies all communication channels, including telephone, video phone, e-mail, voice mail and Web chat/voice/video/collaboration, and also unifies the contact center functions of automatic call distribution (ACD), interactive voice and video response (IVVR), computer-telephony integration (CTI), recording and quality monitoring, interaction history, and administration and reporting.
Launch Ready Outsourced Platform Solution
deltathree's 'Launch Ready' solution provides cable and Internet service providers with a complete VoIP telephony solution with a sharp focus on customers' needs. While deltathree's modular counterpart lets larger companies select the specific elements they want to outsource, enabling them to leverage their existing in-house capabilities and completely customize their products, medium-sized companies that have limited resources and capabilities find the deltathree 'Launch Ready' solution more attractive. The 'Launch Ready' solution provides a full turnkey solution and allows service providers to move quickly from the initial planning stage to full implementation.
Eagle IP LLC
EagleACD's hosted contact center model is a tool for giving small businesses and large enterprises the functional equivalent of a premise-based call center, including full operational and administrative control and access to all real-time and historical reports, without the implementation lead time, the system integration cost, and the capital expense of an in-house system. EagleACD offers full control of call treatment with monitoring and recording of all media for effective call center management and quality assurance.
Virtual Contact Center
The Five9 Virtual Contact Center was designed to enable companies of any size to build a comprehensive, feature-rich contact center without hardware, software or upfront capital expenditures. In addition to helping companies generate higher sales and customer service productivity and operating and long-distance cost savings, Five9's on-demand service allows for easy set-up and administration of single-site, distributed and at-home agent workforces and enables them to act as an integrated virtual call center, regardless of geographic location. The Five9 Virtual Contact Center consists of a comprehensive suite of applications, including blended inbound and outbound calling, automatic call distribution (ACD), predictive dialing, CRM, automatic number identification, IVR, call scripting, computer-telephony integration, remote agent capabilities, skills-based routing, call recording, silent monitoring, real-time reporting and centralized management.
IP Contact Center (IPCC) 5.0
The new version of FrontRange's Voice Over Internet Protocol-based (VoIP) software suite features quality management and integration with other FrontRange product families, including the company's HEAT, GoldMine Corporate Edition, and the new IT Service Management (ITSM) modules. As contact center managers continue to scrutinize and manage costs meticulously, IPCC's integration to business applications reduces implementation as well as ongoing costs. FrontRange IPCC 5.0 enables users to train staff more effectively with features like the optional module Quality Management with which a supervisor can record calls with server-based recording and call rating.
Genesys Telecommunications Labs, Inc.
Genesys Enterprise Telephony Software (GETS)
GETS enhances information workers' desktop real-time collaboration experience by enabling users to call contacts directly from within the right-click presence menu that is displayed in several familiar Microsoft Office applications, such as Outlook, Excel, Word and SharePoint. GETS also provides the telephony presence info that is displayed within Communicator. The technology helps maximize worker productivity by saving time agents would otherwise spend switching between applications to find contacts, and calling or setting up meetings and conference calls when contacts are busy, on the phone or away.
Interactive Intelligence Inc.
Customer Interaction Center (CIC)
The new version of CIC provides three important new capabilities. First, the release introduces a new session initiation protocol-based Interaction Media Server, which provides an increase in IP system scalability and reliability by transferring the majority of all media processing to the dedicated media server. Second, CIC delivers additional agent optimization enhancements including screen recording, whisper coaching and agent alerts. The final addition to the release targets the product's enterprise telephony users with enhancements to the voice messaging component of the offering, including a speech recognition interface for message management and the addition of customer-configurable voice mail menus.
Kayote Networks, Inc.
FronTier ' Advanced VoIP Traffic Management System
FronTier is Kayote Networks' flagship hosted VoIP traffic management solution. It was designed to enable carriers and Internet telephony service providers (ITSPs) to deploy mission-critical VoIP networks quickly, efficiently and securely with complete technical support and comprehensive provisioning and monitoring functionality. Companies spend a lot of money setting up their own VoIP operations, which require elaborate Session Border Controllers (SBCs) and routing engine hardware, software licensing agreements and support contracts. However, this still leaves VoIP networks with extensive interoperability challenges. FronTier combines the features of an SBC and routing engine with robust management and reporting tools, all within a secure environment, providing carriers and ITSPs with an advanced, field-proven interconnectivity solution.
Dynamic Customer Satisfaction Management
Dynamic Customer Satisfaction Management (DCSM) is not a feature but rather a set of capabilities that spans across various technologies to deliver maximum customer satisfaction rates. Traditional service level approaches don't provide reliable data on customer satisfaction because they measure adherence to corporate policies rather than whether customers were actually satisfied with the quality of the service that they received. CallCenterAnywhere Enterprise Edition V.8.0 effectively addresses the problem of how to accurately measure customer satisfaction by measuring it directly, with end-of-transaction surveys which supplement traditional service-level data analysis. The solution goes beyond existing survey technology approaches by dynamically implementing technology-driven responses to negative customer feedback and adapting routing rules to take account of customer feedback trends for future routing decisions.
Vertical Communications' TeleVantage 7 is a software-based IP-PBX targeted at small and medium-sized businesses. The enhancements in the new version aim to build on TeleVantage's reputation for providing superior productivity tools, ease of use and lower costs of ownership. With TeleVantage 7, Vertical provides greater productivity and cost reductions through comprehensive SIP support, allowing customers to take advantage of the growing range and decreasing costs of SIP-enabled networks. TeleVantage 7 customers can now deploy everything from a pure SIP solution, to a hybrid solution of SIP, digital and analog phones, all with full access to TeleVantage's feature set.
Knowledge Management/Business Intelligence
The Envision Report Server
The Envision Report Server is a centralized reporting database that will gather key agent performance data as well as key customer interaction data. The search and reporting capability will allow users to make customer queries, spot trends and produce customized reports based on customers' business requirements. The product was designed to address the growing desire of customers to design new quality metrics as well as defining metrics to measure and better understand the customer experience. The data mart allows for centralized data and processing; de-normalized data for fast, ad hoc reports; storage of historical data; summarization of reports based on any business requirement; and integration with other enterprise data sources to present a single view of the entire enterprise.
The InQuira 7 customer interaction platform helps empower companies to consistently manage their customers' interaction experiences across Web self-service and assisted-service channels. A complete suite of applications built from a core ability to understand language for its semantic meaning, InQuira can analyze any search interaction to determine the searcher's need or 'intent' and index enterprise knowledge assets for their meaning. Armed with an understanding of customer or user intents, regardless of how they are articulated, companies can focus their resources on optimizing the customer interaction experience on an intent-by-intent basis, regardless of interaction channel (Web, call center, e-mail) or stage in the customer interaction lifecycle (i.e., acquisition, transaction, fulfill, service).
Knova 6.5, the company's application suite, is built on what the company calls a 'next-generation search and knowledge management platform.' Version 6.5 applications include Knova Contact Center, an assisted-service application that automates the resolution process for customer service agents and support analysts; Knova Self-Service, a self-service application that enables customers to help themselves with a personalized, proactive self-service experience; Knova Forums, an integrated forums application for peer-service that enables customers to help each other while providing valuable feedback; Knova Field Service, a mobile support application that enables service professionals to quickly resolve customer issues on-site; and Knova Knowledge Desk, a knowledge management solution that helps service desks to more quickly resolve problems and answer questions
BlueVue II Business Intelligence Suite was designed to be 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 architecture. According to Latigent, 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; 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.
OutStart Participate V2006
OutStart Participate is a knowledge, expertise and community management platform. V2006 addresses key barriers associated with contributing and using the learning and knowledge that employees, customers and partners need to perform their jobs efficiently and effectively. New capabilities include the organic contribution of knowledge to eliminate the typical knowledge creation bottleneck; connections to existing document, information and data repositories; and the ability to leverage the extensive learning objects contained within formal and rapid training sources. With these expanded capabilities and newly created learning objects, the OutStart Participate system can act as the single source of on-demand learning and knowledge available through a self-service, just-in-time manner.
REPeValuator is a Web-based simulation that assesses the critical skills of contact center candidates who are seeking positions that require communication in both English and Spanish. LOMASelect REPeValuator Bilingual measures essential on-the-job skills like managing customer relationships, providing complete and accurate information and managing call time.'The LOMASelect REPeValuator Bilingual simulation determines how well candidates deal with customers using Web chat and phone interaction while providing a human touch. Candidates face different scenarios from customers inquiring about product support and service termination.
CXM Agent Portal
CXM is a suite of call logging and quality monitoring products. The CXM system is comprised of hardware (servers and voice boards) and software that are integrated with the customers' PBX and LAN. CXM is used by businesses to help improve customer satisfaction, resolve customer disputes, verify information, ensure compliance and improve agent performance. New to CXM V4 is the CXM Agent Portal; the agents' virtual classroom. Within the Agent Portal, each agent has a private view of their recordings, their evaluation results and access to all of their training materials.
Enkata 5 is an Operational Performance Management (OPM) suite that offers industry-specific solutions designed to capture, integrate and analyze both front- and back-office operational data to provide businesses with actionable information needed to reduce costs while simultaneously increasing customer loyalty. Released in February 2005, Enkata 5 includes three solution suites: Enkata Contact Performance, Enkata Back Office Performance and Enkata Voice of the Customer. Together, the solutions help companies provide an integrated view of the entire end-to-end customer lifecycle, enabling organizations to both identify the root causes of costly operational failures that lead to high contact volumes, dissatisfaction and churn, and take corrective action that improves overall service and cost effectiveness.
Qfiniti Enterprise is a unified call recording, agent evaluation and advanced speech analytics solution for the contact center market. The solution was created to deliver a scalable and centrally managed enterprise platform that allows international, multisite customer service operations to effectively monitor, measure, improve and understand relevant customer interactions. Qfiniti Enterprise has new features and functionality, including a fully integrated recording, evaluation and speech analytics offering for quality monitoring, logging and VoIP-based call acquisition that does not use third-party analytics technology. In addition, the new interface provides operational and visual improvement and supports language localization, which is expected to open up more international opportunities.
Merced Performance Suite
The Merced Performance Suite (MPS) increases contact center efficiency and effectiveness by consolidating data from disparate sources, delivering advanced analytics, providing personalized dashboards and integrating workflow and process improvement tools. By delivering performance data to every employee and automating key managerial processes, Merced can help link data directly to specific employee actions, driving overall operational productivity. With v2.5, Merced Systems has introduced two new features: Staff Manager, which provides a unified view of both quantitative and qualitative performance data; and Pre-configured Workflows, which are best practices for coaching and recognition.
Onyx Process Manager
Onyx Process Manager was designed to help companies automate, manage and evolve customer processes with efficiency and consistency. The solution includes applications for process design and business rules creation, which enable organizations to streamline key business processes. Onyx Process Manager is part of the Onyx Process Management portfolio of products. It allows business analysts to design and modify end-to-end business processes using graphical workflow and business rule design tools. The technology enables users to model processes without writing code, thereby reducing the need for IT support ' as well as the associated delay and expense ' while creating greater business agility for the enterprise.
Opus Group (a division of Verint Systems)
The new Opus Performance Analytics solution combines process optimization techniques with performance analytics to help enterprises enhance operational performance across their customer-facing and back-office operations. The Opus Suite includes performance analytics that integrate and analyze data from a variety of systems across the enterprise, including customer and operational databases such as CRM and ERP, and presents these data in an executive dashboard to help management identify areas of improvement and drive operational performance. The Opus Suite dashboard delivers business process, compliance and operational performance intelligence directly to executives and alerts them when performance in key areas drops below acceptable levels. Executives can then drill down by department, team or individual to determine the root cause of the unacceptable performance levels.
CallMentor Learning and Performance Improvement System
Ulysses Learning says that CallMentor develops what's often 'the missing link' between executive intent and front-line execution ' sound judgment and effective sales and service skills employees can use in every customer conversation to consistently deliver the company's brand promise. The company uses simulation-based e-learning blended with facilitation, coaching and performance improvement consulting. The 2005 version features new skill reinforcement training aligned with simulations, enabling ongoing development and refinement of skills on the job. The company has also enhanced its performance tracking process and post-training Knowledge Transfer Plan.
Verint Systems Inc.
ULTRA IntelliMiner 9.4 Performance Intelligence
ULTRA Analytics, powered by Verint's IntelliFind and IntelliMiner solutions, combines voice and data analysis to help enterprises identify, understand and resolve issues that impact the effectiveness of their customer-focused operations. ULTRA Analytics goes beyond traditional performance management and workforce optimization tools, enabling businesses to understand what is happening in their operations and identify the underlying causes. ULTRA Analytics provides actionable intelligence on critical issues such as why agents are underperforming, why customers are dissatisfied or why enterprise processes are ineffective.
CT. SFA + is a complete Web-based solution that allows companies to automate their marketing and sales processes and integrate key customer information across their organizations. CT.SFA + supports the strategies that help further enhance relationships with existing clients and establish relationships with new clients. With the product's intuitive, easy-to-use interface, users can more efficiently manage sales opportunities, securely centralize and access client data, effectively create and manage sophisticated marketing campaigns and improve day-to-day operations.
VanillaSoft delivers a Web-based application that helps inside sales teams improve their calling efficiency by 35 percent or more. Typical CRM functionality has been designed to handle complex account management tasks, not to improve productivity. By offering a 'desktop distraction-free' environment, interactive call scripting, one-click response collection, progressive dialing and automatic call recording in one package, the VanillaSoft application can help improve both the efficiency and the quality of every call.
Nexidia Enterprise Speech Intelligence 5.0
Building on Nexidia's existing technology, Nexidia ESI 5.0 was designed to help dramatically impact an organization's ability to generate and analyze intelligence contained in recorded spoken interactions. Nexidia's approach makes recorded audio searchable at over 55 times real time and returns search results from the database at over 30 million times real time. New features in Nexidia ESI 5.0 include enhanced analysis using metadata, additional reporting and trending capabilities, enhancements to searching recorded speech and media replay and search.
Utopy SpeechMiner 3.5
SpeechMiner 3.5 is the latest version of Utopy's speech analytics solution. It identifies, evaluates and catalogs events within recorded person-to-person conversations, providing reports that categorize the content of customer conversations for contact center managers, quality monitoring groups, sales, marketing and business unit managers. According to the company, they have strengthened the solution's ability to accurately capture the meaning of conversations and correctly categorize calls; upgraded SpeechMiner's 'Enterprise Ready' features so it easily supports complex, multi-divisional solutions across wide area enterprises; enhanced SMART, the solution's topic and management software, in terms of ease-of-use and features; and made pre-packaged reports available in Microsoft Reporting Services.
Vicorp UK Limited
Vicorp's xMP service creation capabilities allow users to present next-generation speech and data services to the market rapidly and in a way that enables both clients and their customers to control the key service elements themselves, with less technical skills. xMP enables users to quickly create, deploy and manage a range of high quality voice self-services, from the provision of Web access, allowing customers to make changes to their interactive voice services as well as construct sophisticated speech-based voice services. The xMP software is unique in its ability to offer a secure, partitioned service that allows customers the freedom to make real-time changes to their customer self-service applications, which are then executed in the their network. This enables customers to focus on providing better services for their consumers without the need to invest and manage complex and costly technology infrastructure.
Echo Customer Feedback Solution
Echo is a Web-based application designed to help companies continually improve the service they provide by collecting and leveraging the voice of their customers. With Echo in place, real-time feedback is channeled directly from the customer to front-line customer service representatives, which results in CSRs being able to self-correct gaps in the service they deliver, based upon the behavioral reinforcement or redirection they receive.'Feedback directed to the company's leadership team is available via meaningful online reports that can be filtered to view by CSR, team, location, product, reason for call and other factors.'
Hammer Service Assurance for Cisco CVP
Hammer Service Assurance for Cisco CVP is a solution designed to ensure the quality of Cisco Customer Voice Portal (CVP) applications; according to Empirix, similar testing and management solutions for other VXML platform vendors will follow. Hammer Service Assurance for Cisco CVP is a managed service that allows enterprises to reap the benefit of the experience of Empirix and its partner, Audium, with VXML application lifecycle and quality assurance. It was designed to lower the barriers to implementing thorough testing and management practices. Empirix and Audium's integrated testing and management solutions focus on the quality perspective that matters most ' that of the caller. Based on Empirix's Hammer technology ' a voice transaction engine that can hear, speak and listen just as a caller can ' they combine a test harness built by Audium with Empirix's managed services for pre-deployment testing and production monitoring of voice applications.
Web-based Customer Service
GoToAssist is a remote assistance solution that enables contact centers and outsourcers, consulting and IT professionals to better help their customers anytime and anywhere, while increasing profitability. Now in its seventh generation and delivering more than 10,000,000 remote sessions annually to more than 4,000 corporate customers, GoToAssist is a managed service offering high ease-of-use, quality of service, availability, security and capability. With its advanced suite of new features, including a management center dashboard, expanded integration services, best practices resource center and enhanced collaboration and productivity tools, GoToAssist 7.0 can help transform remote services/support into competitive advantage.
Glance Networks Inc.
The Glance screen-sharing service, used primarily as a sales tool for hosting instant Web demos and presentations, provides a quick and dependable Web demo service. It includes 'Guests Connect for Free' flat-rate pricing and the ability to connect instantly to nearly any PC, Mac or Linux computer without downloading software.
Inter-Tel Remote Support
Inter-Tel Remote Support was designed to be a secure and efficient customer service tool that enables technical and sales support groups to quickly troubleshoot and correct end user issues. Through this application, agents have the ability to view and control a user's desktop to perform a number of tasks remotely, such as installing and configuring software, troubleshooting PC issues, transferring files and sharing documents and applications with customers, and co-browsing to direct customers to online resources that can further assist end users in resolving issues. The product includes a queuing capability that visually displays specific information on incoming callers, a recording and playback feature developed to enhance technical training and development, a system recovery tool to allow complex problems to be resolved quickly, and online management tools to track and access service histories and other relevant data.
KANA Response allows companies to manage and respond to all e-mail. With the newly unveiled Active Framework, customer information is pulled automatically in real-time from any data source, including KANA's knowledge base application, KANA IQ. The latest version also includes increased security layers and agent management and monitoring tools. KANA Response is designed to handle up to 500,000 e-mails, in virtually any language, every day, helping guarantee almost immediate response and resolution to customer queries. The latest version helps reduce customer service costs by providing agent productivity capabilities such as a unified agent view and access to content and knowledge wherever it resides. Now, with KANA Active Framework, a rules-based desktop integration framework, Response automatically pulls data from multiple back-office systems, based on keywords in customer e-mails, to automate the resolution of transactional inquiries, including questions regarding order status, shipping and billing.
With new features that render relevant Web content to targeted visitors and supply better visibility into visitor behavior, Timpani 7.5 enables organizations to improve the return on online sales and service initiatives. The latest release of LivePerson's hosted multichannel communication solution was created to deliver enhanced capabilities that enable contextual and personalized online interactions, directly influencing consumer buying behavior and improving conversion rates. Featured enhancements in Timpani 7.5 include SmartBar, a function that identifies Web site visitors and audience segments that are likely to respond to offers and then automatically displays relevant content; a refined rules engine; robust reporting capabilities; and enhanced CRM tools.
NextNine Service Automation
NextNine Service Automation (NSA) version 3.5 was designed to facilitate improved workflows and system efficiency, providing technology vendors with a competitive advantage. The NextNine Service Automation platform enables proactive monitoring, automatic problem escalation and diagnostics, self-healing and remote secure access ' functionality which significantly increases system availability and customer satisfaction while simultaneously improving the efficiency of an organization's support mechanism.
Spanlink's Web Q&A
Spanlink's Web Q&A product incorporates patented natural language-based question-answering technology that enables users to find answers to their questions on a company's Web site more quickly and easily. Web Q&A leverages Spanlink's natural language understanding technology, which allows customer service and support centers to provide precise answers to customer inquiries without human intervention for Web, e-mail and phone applications. The application understands questions and the content of an organization's information sources. Customers are able to ask or type questions in their own words; the software then delivers the precise answers, not thousands of potentially relevant documents, and the process increases accuracy and reduces response times and man-hours for retrieving information.
Toshiba America Information Systems
Toshiba Video Communication System
Toshiba's VCS will initially provide affordable point-to-point (P2P) video communications and collaboration (desktop and applications sharing) capabilities. Using voice extensions, video can seamlessly be added to telephone conversations. A number of default settings (on, off, communication rate and window size for video) can be configured to meet the individual user's needs. Functionality is integrated into the telephony capabilities with features specifically tailored to handle video telephony, including features such as hold, transfer and forward.
Workforce Management/Performance Optimization
TotalView Workforce Management System, v3.9
Version 3.9 of the TotalView Workforce Management system offers skill block scheduling features that make it easier to manage multichannel contact types and other back-office work. The new version also heightens agent empowerment with new time off management and schedule preference capabilities. Skill Block Scheduling automatically designates optimal time slots for agents to devote to a particular skill, such as outbound calling, e-mail, Web chat or other customer contact channel types. Additionally, centers can also manage offline tasks such as filing, fulfillment and other types of work. During these designated periods, the agent is considered open to handle only a defined subset of contact types. As a result, the center can manage multimedia and offline contact types more effectively.
Inova Solutions, Inc.
Inova Performance Optimization Suite 5.1
Inova LightLink is the core of the Inova Performance Optimization Suite, a family of products designed to simplify the real-time capture and communication of vital information across customer service operations. Inova LightLink 5.1 offers expanded database and XML support, providing customers with greater flexibility in managing their key data. Inova Broadcaster integrates with Inova LightLink to enable customers to display unified views of real-time data along with other mixed media content. Version 5.1 is also capable of pulling information directly from an external database, supporting basic data display in less time-sensitive environments. This latest release includes a new set of charts, gauges and graphs that offer advanced 3-D and transparency effects for presenting data with high visual impact. Customers have full control over appearance through configuration options, and configuration settings can be saved as templates for easy re-use across multiple screen layouts.
Left Bank Solutions
Monet WFM OnDemand
Monet WFM OnDemand workforce planning software was designed to be a vital component in capturing efficiencies, particularly in small to medium-sized contact centers for which finding the right 'fit' tools can be difficult. The product harnesses the benefits of an enterprise-class WFM application without the large upfront investment for hardware, software licensing and installation. Monet WFM OnDemand features a skills-based forecasting simulator engine that provides an on-demand model designed to empower managers to forecast and best schedule agents to handle inbound calls, outbound calls, e-mail, Internet messaging, Web callbacks and other related back-office activities. The product offers drag-and-drop rostering to make training easier and requires no hardware, software or IT support resources. It adjusts to support as few as 25 to over 1,000 agents.
Witness Systems' Impact 360
Witness' new workforce optimization solution, Impact 360, was created with the goal in mind of enabling global organizations to deploy a holistic, streamlined framework and accompanying feature-rich solution set with speed and confidence. Impact 360 brings together a synergistic solution for workforce management, quality monitoring/full-time recording, e-learning and performance management. The WFO framework empowers organizations to access information, including actual recorded interactions, more quickly, easily and confidently. The company notes that Witness Systems' technology and distribution partners such as Avaya and Nortel will leverage the Impact 360 platform to further extend benefits to an even broader base of customers around the world.
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