Eighteen Years Of Mergers
In May of 1998, I wrote a column in these pages entitled “Merger Fever — For Better Or For Worse.” In that column, I mentioned that at that time, one of our exhibit salespeople came to me and exclaimed, “The industry is contracting!” (http://www.tmcnet.com/338.1). It turns out, of course, that this salesperson was very wrong, and the call center market enjoyed decades of growth from that point forward.
CUSTOMER RELATIONSHIP MANAGEMENT
The Multichannel Revolution:
How Retailers Are Leveraging
Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA) To Transform Their Businesses
A new breed of e-commerce platform has emerged with service-oriented architecture (SOA). SOA not only provides a robust foundation for the Web channel, but can facilitate cross-channel customer interactions and bring the power of the Web to other sales channels. Multichannel integration has become the new retail imperative. Retailers can no longer make technology investments solely focused on improving business in a single channel. To stay competitive, retailers must now invest in creating synergy across all channels. What most retailers are missing is technology that can orchestrate the participation of disparate systems in these multichannel business processes. SOA is the next generation of e-commerce.
INNOVATE SOLUTIONS FROM THE EXPERTS
The Contact Center’s Migration From Efficiency To Effectiveness: Understanding Industry And Business Dynamics As Well As Technology Is Key
Efficiency will never go out of style in business. But in an industry that’s largely transitioned from one-dimensional call centers to email, Web chat and the full-fledged multimedia contact center, making a contact center more efficient isn’t enough to make it competitive.
Metrics That Matter
It has never made sense to me that call centers have traditionally measured their effectiveness by metrics such as average call handle time, average wrap-time and number of calls per minute (or hour, or week).This always seemed to make as much sense to me as measuring the effectiveness of outside sales reps by presuming the one who put the most mileage on his car during the week is the highest seller and the hardest worker.
Trapped In Chronic Push-Pull Struggles? Bridge Opposing Internal Forces
With Predictive Analytics
In the fight for higher profits, battles with competitors and industry forces may not be the only obstacles facing companies today. Internal tugs-of-war between departments and business goals could be working against the best-laid profit-building plans. For example, in a typical conflict scenario, a customer acquisition department might be working overtime to attract new customers. At the same time, a collections department is working hard to collect outstanding debt but, in the process, is creating a certain level of customer attrition.
CONTACT CENTER TECHNOLOGY
The Annual Headset Roundup
It’s no secret that headsets can lead to headaches for call centers (perhaps both literally and figuratively). When it comes to this vital piece of equipment, there are many options and factors to consider. There are wireless headsets, corded over-the-head headsets, corded over-the-ear headsets, cordless phone headsets and VoIP headsets. There are headsets for MP3 players, cellular phones, PC and video games, PDAs, airline pilots, musicians, astronauts and NASA mission- control engineers.
Return on Investment: The Advantages Of Quality Headsets
Headsets are the single most important link between consumers and businesses. Most consumer-oriented companies rely on contact centers to handle high volumes of customer inquiries, and contact centers must therefore thrive on efficiency. High-quality headsets streamline endless phone calls to quick, effective transactions by cutting down on any wasted time spent repeating information or fiddling with headset adjustments. When businesses invest in premium headsets for each agent in their contact centers, the benefits are quickly realized.
IP Contact Center
Contact Center Virtualization: Requirements For Effective Team Supervision And Quality Management
There are various approaches to voice recording and analytics. The traditional approach records all conversations on a central recording server or on multiple servers spread across various sites. The VoIP network delivers incoming calls directly to virtual call center workers at the network edge. As a worker takes a call, the network copies the conversation as a VoIP packet stream to the central site. Special servers record the streams for later analysis.
Hosting 101: A Q&A Session With Cincom’s Dan Arengo
To get some more information on the basics of hosted solutions and to uncover some of the key benefits these solutions provide to the contact center, TMCnet’s Stefania Viscusi asked Dan Arengo, senior industry consultant with Cincom, a provider of hosted contact center solutions, to answer a few questions on the topic.
CRM In Europe Up Ten Percent, Gartner Finds
Fueled by what it calls the “renewed business focus on revenue and customer growth,” total customer relationship management (CRM) software revenues, license and maintenance in Europe totaled $1.9 billion in 2005, an increase of 9.7 percent from 2004, according to Gartner.
Onyx And CDC: Hostile CRM Takeover Averted
So it looks like CDC’s hostile bid for Onyx has ended with a whimper. In deciding to withdraw and terminate the tender offer, CDC’s management and board cited “the remote likelihood that the conditions to the tender offer would ever be satisfied.” Read the full article at
Avaya Replaces Don Peterson
Avaya has announced both a profit decrease and the replacement of Don Peterson as CEO on the same day. Louis D’Ambrosio is the new CEO. I liked Don; he was a great guy. Unfortunately, on Wall Street, how nice you are rarely matters: it is all about the bottom line. Read the full article at
Salesforce.com Takes On SAP
For $12,000 annually, Saleforce.com’s Enterprise Edition customers will be able to integrate their sales force automation (SFA) environment into back-office operations performed on SAP R/3 using the Salesforce Connector for SAP R/3 to gain greater visibility and transparency of customer data. Read the full article at http://www.tmcnet.com