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Customer Inter@ction Solutions
July 2007 - Volume 26 / Number 2
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 By Tracey E. Schelmetic, Editorial Director, Customer Inter@ction Solutions


Contactual Debuts Desktop Sharing
Contactual, provider of on-demand contact center solutions, recently announced its newest product: Contactual Desktop Sharing, which was designed to allow contact center agents to provide remote support to clients, helping improve the level of customer service, technical support and sales support. Agents can securely take control of the client's desktop to resolve support incidents, educate prospects, train customers and more. This integrated feature of the Contactual OnDemand Contact Center was added to help enrich the quality of customer interactions and eliminates the need to use a separate remote support application.

Aspect Announces Availability Of Aspect Unified IP 6.5
Aspect Software (News - Alert), Inc. has announced the general availability of Aspect Unified IP 6.5, a session initiation protocol (SIP)-based voice over Internet protocol (VoIP) unified contact center solution that provides automatic call distribution (ACD), predictive dialing, voice portal capabilities, Internet contact, workflow management, multichannel recording and quality management to help organizations achieve their customer service, collections and sales and telemarketing business process goals. In addition, version 6.5 also includes enhanced capabilities such as embedded voice portal for advanced speech recognition and text-to-speech, advanced outbound list management and multitenancy and partitioning that supports a software as a service (SaaS (News - Alert)) model.

Sage Releases ACT! For Financial Professionals 9.0
Sage Software (News - Alert) has announced ACT! by Sage for Financial Professionals 9.0, a contact and customer management solution that provides data management, activity tracking, reporting and sales productivity tools for financial advisors, brokerage firms and teams of financial services professionals. ACT! for Financial Professionals centralizes prospect and client data in a single, secure database and helps individual advisors and teams capture and access key contact, account, investment and financial planning information, and assists with regulatory compliance tracking. Users can synchronize contact, calendar and to-do information with their Palm OS or Pocket PC devices. The purchase of ACT! for Financial Professionals also includes one year of ACT! Business Care maintenance and support. ACT! for Financial Professionals is the second ACT! industry solution following the launch of Sage Premium for Real Estate 9.0 in May 2006.

Launches Enhanced Predictive Analytics Platform
SPSS (News - Alert) Inc. has unveiled new versions of its data mining, text mining, survey research and Predictive Enterprise Services products. The platform provides predictive analytics with improved integration, automation and data management, enabling organizations to more easily collect and use all available customer data, build predictive models and deliver customer behavior predictions across multiple channels. Among the benefits companies can derive are enhanced productivity across the enterprise, more accurate and consistent results and more confidence in decision making. SPSS predictive analytics applications and solutions are used to help improve critical business decisions focused on increasing customer acquisition, cross-selling, upselling and detecting and preventing fraud and risk in industries such as finance, retail, telecommunications and the public sector.

ClickSoftware (News - Alert) Delivers Business Analysis Tool
ClickSoftware Technologies, Inc. recently introduced a new version of its ClickAnalyze business analysis software. ClickAnalyze, part of the ClickSoftware ServiceOptimization Suite, now provides operational reports and a drill-down dashboard of key performance indicators (KPIs). Combining these reports and dashboard with ClickAnalyze's trend analysis capabilities can give service organizations a holistic view of everything from on-time arrivals to repair times, to tracking service level indicators like resource travel, workload, utilization and “in jeopardy” management. ClickSoftware's ClickAnalyze Suite was designed specifically for service businesses so they can reduce downtime, minimize costs and improve the accuracy of forecasting and planning.

BandTel (News - Alert) And Paraxip Partner
BandTel, a provider of SIP trunking services, and Paraxip Technologies have announced that BandTel's SIP trunking solution is fully interoperable with Paraxip's Open Media Gateway (News - Alert) Software. Paraxip offers transparent and customizable connectivity features between heterogeneous networks, which enable both legacy and IP contact center applications to leverage the BandTel SIP Trunking network. BandTel's network includes its N-Plus architecture, designed to solve the throughput and redundancy problems on high-capacity SIP-based networks. By deploying a solution featuring BandTel and Paraxip, customers can seamlessly deploy a VoIP infrastructure and retain connections to the traditional telephone network or legacy PBXs without requiring any additional equipment.
www.bandtel.com and www.paraxip.com

Telerx Appoints New President
Telerx, a contact center outsourcer that specializes in customer care for the consumer packaged goods and healthcare industries, has announced the appointment of Linda Schellenger to president, effective immediately. Schellenger will oversee six interactive communications centers with 2,000 employees while managing strategic development, business planning and client program consultation. Schellenger recently served as senior VP of sales and marketing for Telerx, and will serve on the Telerx Board of Directors. Prior to joining the Telerx leadership team in 2006, Schellenger served as chief marketing officer for TCIM Services, Inc.

SAP (News - Alert) To Acquire Wicom
SAP AG recently announced the acquisition of Wicom Communications, a privately held provider of all-IP contact center and enterprise communications software based in Espoo, Finland. The acquisition is expected to be able to enable SAP to offer companies the ability to better integrate communications technologies and business systems so they can more effectively serve their customers, regardless of how they connect to the business; connecting functions such as customer service, marketing, finance and sales; and making sure that all customer-facing employees wherever they are located have access to the same relevant knowledge and data. Founded in 1999, Wicom delivers business benefits for approximately 200 contact centers and contact-intensive, multi-site enterprises in 18 countries. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Skype Available For Salesforce.com's (News - Alert) AppExchange
Skype and salesforce.com recently announced the availability of a new version of Skype for Salesforce via salesforce.com's AppExchange. Skype (News - Alert) for Salesforce was created to provide seamless Skype integration into Salesforce on-demand CRM applications and aims to improve workforce productivity and streamline customer and partner communication. Skype for Salesforce enables salesforce.com customers to easily make and receive Skype calls or initiate text chats directly with other people whose Skype contact names and presence indicators can now be added manually or imported automatically into Salesforce. SkypeOut calls to non-Skype users' traditional phone numbers can also be initiated with a single click. Conference calls of up to 10 participants (including the host) can now be conducted using Skype for Salesforce and can accommodate any combination of Skype and non-Skype users.
www.skype.com and www.salesforce.com

Acxiom (News - Alert) To Be Acquired By Private Firms
Acxiom Corporation has announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to be acquired by Silver Lake, an investment firm focused on large-scale investments in technology-driven growth industries, and ValueAct Capital, a large strategic block investment partnership. Silver Lake and ValueAct Capital will acquire 100 percent of the outstanding equity interests in Acxiom in an all-cash transaction valued at $3 billion, including the assumption of approximately $756 million of debt. Acxiom integrates data, services and technology to create and deliver customer and information management solutions for many of the largest companies in the world. The core components of Acxiom's solutions are customer data integration technology, data products, database services, IT outsourcing, consulting and analytics and privacy solutions.

Amcat (News - Alert) And IEX Sign Agreement
Amcat, a provider of customer interaction solutions, recently announced it has signed an agreement with IEX (News - Alert) Corporation, a NICE Systems Ltd. Company, to join the company's Global Alliance Program. The partnership agreement means Amcat is promoting the IEX TotalView Workforce Management system as an interoperable extension of Amcat's Contact Center Suite inbound outbound customer interaction system. This combined offering is expected to give contact centers the tools to maximize return from their largest cost, labor. Both Amcat and IEX solutions work with inbound, outbound and blended contact centers of all sizes and share the characteristics of an “open” platform, making them flexible and easy to integrate with other applications.
www.amcat.com and www.iex.com

Toshiba (News - Alert) Inks Licensing Deal With OAISYS For ACD Solutions
Toshiba America Information Systems Inc., Telecommunication Systems Division, and OAISYS (News - Alert) have announced they have signed a licensing agreement giving Toshiba exclusive global rights to the intellectual property and source codes of the OAISYS ACD product line. The agreement gives Toshiba the exclusive right to formally acquire the OAISYS ACD intellectual property. OAISYS products included in the agreement are: ACD (currently sold by Toshiba as Strata ACD), Voice Assistant, Net Phone, IVR and Call Router. All are compatible with Toshiba's family of Strata CIX IP business communications solutions. Toshiba will continue to partner with OAISYS for development and will continue to source the OAISYS voice recording products, including TRACER and the company's newly announced Talkument product. OAISYS will continue to develop and distribute its recording products to Toshiba and other vendors in the telecommunications industry.
www.telecom.toshiba.com and www.oaisys.com

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