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Spectrum Releases New Features To UltraLink
Spectrum Corporation, a company that specializes in real-time analytic and reporting solutions, has announced the availability of new features for Ultra-Link software. Ultra-Link now includes an XML interface and increased security. Ultra-Link software collects and distributes real-time and historical data from virtually any data source. These data are displayed to plasma screens, desktop screen pops, wallboards, e-mail and more. Ultra-Link now offers an XML interface option that will collect XML data and output XML to a Web page. Within Ultra-Link’s graphic user interface, users can specify an external style sheet and transform critical data into an easy-to-read format. Users can choose from several graphic or chart formats to display real-time data or create their own. Additionally, Spectrum has increased the level of security for Ultra-Link and Data-Pop administrators.

Genesys (News - Alert) Sees “The Tipping Point” For IVR Technology

The long awaited transition from older IVR technology to open software-based platforms is gaining strength this year, and Genesys Telecommunications Laboratories, Inc., an Alcatel ( News - Alert) company, has said that it now expects new voice portals to exceed new IVR ports for the first time in 2006.

In the first half of 2006, Genesys says it has already seen clear evidence that businesses are phasing out older IVR technology. More than 160 new enterprise customers have migrated from legacy IVR to Genesys in the past 12 months. By the end of 2006, Genesys has stated that it expects to see more new open software ports deployed than new legacy IVR ports. As the market momentum continues to build, Genesys has developed a migration model and an “ugly IVR” trade-in program to simplify the path for the next wave of companies that want to transition away from legacy IVR. Genesys identified five key reasons for the crossover: the high maintenance and upkeep costs for legacy systems are becoming harder to justify and are as much as twice the cost of maintaining open standards software; a rise in the number of end-of-life programs in which manufacturers will no longer support or improve legacy systems, driving legacy customers away; outmoded legacy technology that does not support critical technologies such as VoIP, VXML and CCXML; poor customer experience with older IVRs and frustration resulting from their rigid menu structure; and finally, the ability to easily reuse and leverage software-based applications across many departments or multiple enterprises.

Amcat Ships New Soft IP-PBX Functionality

Amcat, a provider of customer care and interaction solutions, has announced that is has begun shipping a soft IP-PBX solution that operates with and broadens the capabilities of the company’s Contact Center Suite product. The solution was designed to allow companies to take advantage of more affordable VoIP communications at the same time transforming their customer contact operations by leveraging employees from across the enterprise by making them available to deliver improved customer care, regardless of their department, function or location. The IP-based soft PBX customer contact platform provides a technology environment where each customer contact is intelligent and productive, thereby increasing employee morale and customer satisfaction. The Amcat IP customer contact platform helps ensure that companies focus and align their entire organization around customer care, providing better service at lower cost. As a result, companies profit from increased customer acquisition and retention metrics and, ultimately, more revenue and profit.

IBM (News - Alert) And dtms Solutions Forge Marketing Agreement
dtms Solutions and IBM have announced that dtms will market IBM WebSphere Voice Server speech recognition solutions to enterprises, tying their customers’ transactions to related systems through a service-oriented architecture (SOA). IBM WebSphere Voice Server speech software is integral to the creation of the new services being offered by dtms Solutions to enterprises. IBM and dtms Solutions have stated that they view hosted speech as a means to help clients leverage the advantages of IBM speech recognition technology and help their customers become more innovative and productive. The speech interface is managed remotely and transforms speech input/output into Web services.
Enterprises increasingly recognize the benefits of offering their customers on-demand access to information and self-service to conduct transactions, such as checking account status, paying bills and finding transportation schedules. With speech-enabled applications from dtms Solutions, enterprises can offer their customers pleasant, convenient, on-demand self-service using the ubiquitous channel of the telephone.
www.ibm.com, www.dtms-solutions.de

Sento Introduces Its Customer eXperience Platform

Sento Corporation recently announced that its patent-pending software-as-a-service SaaS (News - Alert) solution, Customer Experience Platform (CXP), has proved successful in pilot programs. CXP is a rules-engine that aims to optimize Web sites providing rich customer experiences. Using CXP, customer behaviors are analyzed in real-time, and online Web sites are better able to respond rapidly, providing dynamic messaging and offers that motivate customers to take action. CXP’s functionality allows customized marketing offers to be delivered at the moment customers are making decisions which affect their loyalty and decision to purchase. In a time when customer satisfaction and loyalty are financial necessities, CXP can help companies be more responsive and demonstrate their value to their customers. Specifically by connecting customers’ interactions and behaviors with company data and e-commerce platforms, CXP delivers active personalization and one-to-one marketing. Customers receive offers based on their personal online actions, buying history, geographic location or demographics.

Telrex Introduces CallRex Agent Evaluation

Telrex, a developer of VoIP call recording and monitoring software for small and medium-sized businesses using IP-PBXs or hosted PBX services, has announced the release of CallRex Agent Evaluation, a solution designed to provide small and medium-sized call centers with an affordable and easy-to-use tool to improve agent performance.
The three-step CallRex Agent Evaluation process begins with a manager evaluating an agent’s phone call against pre-defined criteria, also know as a standard. Each standard identifies the key agent activities that accomplish a call center’s various objectives. As managers evaluate a call, they can attach excerpts of the recorded call to the evaluation, providing an agent with the ability to listen to specific examples of their performance. Next, the manager and agent review the evaluation together in an interactive coaching session. The coaching session is critical for the agent in understanding their strengths as well as areas requiring improvement. In the coaching session, managers use CallRex Agent Evaluation to highlight actual examples from calls that illustrate key learning points. Finally, as the three-step CallRex Agent Evaluation process is repeated regularly across all agents in the call center, improvements in agent call handling skills quickly become visible. By analyzing results over time and across multiple agents, call center managers can gain insight into performance trends and agent training needs.

TransUnion To Acquire Qsent
TransUnion has announced that it has signed a deal to acquire Beaverton, Oregon-based Qsent, a provider of contact and identity management services that support customer acquisition and retention, collections and recovery and identity resolution applications. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. With more than 60 percent of individual contact information changing each year and more than 25 million households moving annually, the need to have up-to-date, real-time contact information is vital for businesses that deal with high volumes of customer information. Qsent receives up to one million updates and more than 250,000 material changes to contact information per day, enabling it to offer current, real-time data sources. TransUnion will leverage Qsent’s information assets, technology and team of experts to enhance existing product offerings and develop new solutions in the areas of fraud and identity management, risk management, collections and marketing services.

AcxiomTeams With SAP (News - Alert)
Acxiom (News - Alert) Corporation has announced that company leader Charles D. Morgan, together with Bill McDermott, President and CEO of SAP Americas, has unveiled how the two companies intend to jointly market Acxiom’s ability to deliver a single, accurate, real-time customer view within SAP’s multichannel CRM solution, mySAP Customer Relationship Management (mySAP CRM). SAP clients and prospects can leverage Acxiom’s AbiliTec customer data integration technology and InfoBase products, which provide a large collection of U.S. consumer information. By combining Acxiom’s consumer content with SAP’s marketing and sales functionality, customers will be better able to maximize their marketing and sales dollars while strengthening their customer relationships. During SAP’s recent annual summer sales meeting, the two company leaders revealed their intention to jointly market SAP’s ability to deliver enterprisewide customer information to key customer touch points and Acxiom’s experience in delivering data, analytics and customer data integration. The presentation focused on the benefits to customers, including empowering customers to engage in true customer relationship management.

Eloqua Releases Summer 2006 Conversion Suite
Eloqua Corporation, a supplier of automated demand generation software and services for b-to-b marketers, has announced the Summer 2006 release of Eloqua Conversion Suite. The Summer 2006 product release of Eloqua Conversion Suite was designed to optimize sales lead creation, conversion and management with interactive and direct marketing tactics, behavioral analytics and efficient marketing automation. The Summer 2006 release of Eloqua Conversion Suite, an on-demand software as a service (SaaS) offering, became available on July 31st to new and existing customers. The latest version of Eloqua Conversion Suite helps empower marketers to reduce the time to deployment for sophisticated, automated lead creation and management applications while leveraging best practices used by b-to-b marketers; tailor direct marketing messages to prospects based their recent marketing response or Web activity to optimize response and conversion; and more quickly and efficiently deploy and manage sequential live or Web-based events to create demand and inform customers.

Aspect Enhances eWorkforce Management
Aspect Software (News - Alert), Inc. has announced that Aspect eWorkforce Management has a redesigned user interface for easier navigation; offers enhanced support for outbound and blended contact center environments in addition to its existing inbound support; and is available in four new languages: Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese, Korean and Japanese. The enhanced outbound support in Aspect eWorkforce Management 7.0 includes an algorithm that ensures that the right number of agents are scheduled to handle the predicted outbound and blended workload to help maximize the number of contacts made and revenue generated. It produces staffing forecasts based on contact completion information, blending rules and standard staff group parameters. Customized data regarding campaign size and passes can also be used. The software tracks schedule performance, including offered and handled contacts and contact handle time, so that real-time adjustments can be made quickly and easily.

Beta users of Aspect eWorkforce Management 7.0 have reported being able to accomplish daily workforce management tasks faster because of the software’s new navigational functionality and data-manipulation capabilities that make using it so instinctive. They also anticipate additional benefits to be gained from rolling the software out across geographic boundaries to Asia-Pacific contact center operations due to the staffing solution’s added support of the Chinese language.

Report Hails Dubai As A Finance And Accounting Outsourcing Hotspot
A new report by FAO Research, Inc., which covers the finance and accounting outsourcing (FAO) market, predicts that Dubai will soon emerge as a major services geography to supply the talent, economic enhancements and quality-of-life opportunities desired by companies seeking alternate geographies for the delivery of finance and accounting-related services. Strategically located near both Europe and Asia, Dubai has transformed itself over the past two years into a tourist and commercial business oasis. Its Dubai Outsource Zone (DOZ), one of many technology-specific areas within the emirate, offers financial incentives, government assistance, state-of-the-art infrastructure and support services. Dubai intends to generate 70 percent of its GDP from the services sector by 2010. FAO Research’s latest report, “Outsourcing in an Arab Nation? Dubai as the Hidden Jewel for Finance & Accounting Outsourcing, Shared Services and Captive Centers” is the result of a five-month independent investigation into Dubai as a non-traditional yet up-and-coming outsourcing location. The report suggests that DOZ’s financial business incentives, outsourcing-friendly infrastructure, focus on the financial services sector and competitive labor pricing make it an “extremely attractive option” as an F&A service delivery location.

Nuance (News - Alert) And ClickFox Partner
Nuance Communications, Inc., a provider of speech and imaging solutions, has introduced a Nuance consumer insight solution powered by software from ClickFox, which specializes in customer behavior intelligence. In addition to a reseller agreement, Nuance will develop an integrated solution that delivers task- and product-specific dashboards, feature views and reports pertaining to Nuance speech applications. The integrated solution has been designed specifically to optimize speech-enabled caller experiences. By pairing the integrated solution with business consulting services from Nuance, enterprises will be able to measure and analyze customer interactions within speech applications and other channels of service to identify methods to optimize the customer experience. Key benefits include: increasing the number of callers who stay with self-service, identifying optimal treatment strategies for customer by segment, and identifying opportunities for further automation.
www.nuance.com, www.clickfox.com

Envox Teams With Volt Delta Resources
Envox Worldwide, a vendor of voice products, has teamed with Volt Delta Resources, LLC, a standards-based voice application hosting services and a wholly owned subsidiary of Volt Information Sciences, Inc. to introduce the Envox OnDemand hosted call center voice product. Many organizations today are ditching their customer premise equipment in favor of hosted voice products. Chief among the reasons are lower cost of entry and perceived attractive total cost of ownership, shorter time-to-market, flexibility and the fact that infrastructure and adopting new functionality is somebody else’s problem. According to recent research by Gartner, organizations spent more than half a billion dollars for on-demand CRM products in 2005, and it’s still likely to account for less than 10 percent of business applications by 2010. Envox Worldwide and VoltDelta have been selling automation and alternate delivery products together for over five years in the directory assistance and enhanced services market.

CallMiner Launches Speech Tools
Speech analytics software provider CallMiner has announced the launch of “SpeechTools,” an application designed to make it easier to customize the CallMiner Analytics Suite by tuning to any language, terminology or acoustic environment. SpeechTools requires no specialized skills or services and enables CallMiner’s Alliance Partners and customers to quickly create new language and acoustic models for CallMiner to analyze. Changes in languages, dialects, accents, colloquialisms and noise-levels can now all be altered by end users, rather than by software developers. With minimal training, virtually anyone with a modest level of computer knowledge can be qualified to operate and effectively use SpeechTools. SpeechTools also allows companies and government organizations to easily develop their own language models, allowing them to recognize unique languages such as Farsi, Pashto or other languages that are not currently available to analyze recordings. Also, companies that want to keep their audio archives private and don’t want to turn them over to a third-party speech developer for tuning can now make all necessary adjustments and modifications in-house.

NICE Unveils New Capabilities For Compliance, Analytics And VoIP
NICE Systems (News - Alert) recently announced new capabilities, including state-of-the-art speech analytics, new VoIP technologies and a regulatory compliance and risk management suite. The new capabilities are part of NICE Perform.
With the NICE Perform Compliance Suite, companies can use interaction analytics to address challenges in regulatory compliance and corporate governance. The suite enables policy enforcement through proactive compliance by preventing insider trading breaches, ensuring rules are followed and detecting irregularities during blackout periods. It alerts compliance- and risk-related stakeholders to irregularities even before a transaction occurs and enables more effective and accurate instant investigations. The interaction analytics offering of NICE Perform has been expanded to include more powerful search capabilities, greater analytics throughput and increased accuracy. NICE Perform’s interaction analytics component offers technologies and methodologies that address a variety of tasks and customer needs. The offering includes a variety of voice recognition methods, as well as talk analysis and emotion detection. NICE has also unveiled a VoIP Recording Gateway (News - Alert) technology that addresses the latest trends and needs in VoIP environments. Organizations are faced with changing business needs and new regulations that require them to record customer interactions in hundreds or thousands of branches. The new VoIP Recording Gateway helps make this task more efficient and cost-effective. It provides any IP telephony environment with a scalable, centralized recording solution that replaces the need to have recording units in every branch, reducing management overhead and total cost of ownership.

Onyx Acquired By M2M Holdings Inc.
A proposed merger announced between M2M Holdings Inc. and Onyx Software Corporation has been finalized. M2M is a holding company jointly owned by Battery Ventures VI and Thoma Cressey Equity Partners; its primary asset is Made2Manage Systems, an enterprise software and services company. First announced in early June, the all-cash transaction is valued at $4.80 per share, or roughly $92 million. With the finalization of the transaction, Onyx completed its transformation to a private company after seven years of being traded publicly on the NASDAQ stock exchange. Onyx is expected to operate organizationally as a business unit of its sister company, Made2Manage Systems, which houses several enterprise resource planning (ERP)-based product lines. Janice P. Anderson, former CEO of Onyx, will not continue with the business.

West Interactive Launches Natural Language Speech Solutions
West Interactive, a division of West Corporation, has announced the national rollout of its natural language speech solutions as part of its suite of services. West Interactive has already launched several customized large-scale client applications using natural language technology. A typical natural language application system asks open-ended questions (i.e., “How can I help you?”); callers speak the purpose of their call in a natural phrase or sentence and then proceed through relevant self-service applications or are routed to an appropriate agent. Unlike traditional speech recognition systems that dominate the market today, callers are not forced into specific options. Callers have more perceived control: They tell the system what to do in their own words. Natural language speech applications use a statistical model to understand caller’s intent in the context of your business. They provide robustness unavailable in a guided system; for example, callers can hesitate, re-start and re-state their statements and still be successful.

Porticus Announces Triple-Factor Voice Authentication
Porticus Technology Inc., a provider of voice biometric solutions, has announced the launch of Versona, a family of voice authentication solutions for use in IVR and embedded systems that offers triple-factor authentication for maximum security. Triple-factor authentication combines three elements to verify a customer’s identity: a pass code, that customer’s voice and his or her communications device — landline or wireless. Phone-based caller authentication has particularly grown in demand as the need to prevent identity theft and fraud increases with wireless and electronic transactions. In the call center, or wherever an IVR system is in place, Versona speeds up the process of verifying callers by eliminating the need for agents to ask a series of qualifying questions to ensure a caller’s identity. Versona’s embedded option, a software-only voice biometric based on an open API for native mobile operating systems, was created to provide an ideal platform and can be pre-loaded and shipped with a handset or downloaded OTA directly to a device.

Interactive Intelligence (News - Alert) Offers Interaction Dialer 2.4
Interactive Intelligence recently announced that it has launched Interaction Dialer, the company’s standards-based outbound dialing system that offers power, preview and predictive dialing, outbound campaign management and inbound/outbound call blending. Interaction Dialer is SIP-based, which allows it to operate in an all-software, all-VoIP environment. This version also includes a new SIP gateway called Interaction Gateway, an appliance device for protocol conversion and bandwidth management between networks designed to work with Interaction Dialer to give high-volume outbound contact centers predictive call analysis capabilities.

Unlike standalone dialers offered as part of a product portfolio requiring expensive integration, Interaction Dialer includes switching capabilities via the company’s contact center automation software, Customer Interaction Center (CIC), eliminating the need to purchase a separate PBX/IP-PBX. The bundled approach also provides more cost-effective multichannel support, call recording, inbound routing, outbound campaign management, outbound IVR, blended dialing and more. All components can be deployed incrementally on an as-needed basis with simple license purchases.

The solution is built on existing scalability improvements to CIC with support of up to 1,000 outbound agents per server; as a result, the new SIP-based Interaction Dialer, combined with the company’s new Interaction Gateway, can accommodate the digital trunking needs of busy outbound contact centers, including those with distributed locations. With its “NxM” or “rack and stack” architecture that enables multiple gateways to pass calls to multiple dialer servers, flexibility, load-balancing and fault tolerance can be vastly improved compared to traditional standalone dialers, according to the company.

Call abandon rates are a concern for most companies nowadays, particularly in light of federal restrictions brought about by the Teleservices Sales Rules. A poorly paced dialer can create more problems than it solves. To counter these problems, Interaction Dialer offers a staged predictive dialing capability that identifies and projects the length of call stages such as introduction and closing to more effectively pace automated outbound calls. This not only helps improve agent effectiveness, it can help increase revenue opportunities compared to more old-fashioned outbound dialing solutions.

As real-time data is a must in today’s call center, Interactive Intelligence is offering a new dialer “Health View” for supervisors. “Health View” offers call center supervisors a single interface for viewing the health of their campaigns, workflows and outbound operations. Messages displayed in this Health View provide an evaluation based on combinations of statistics gathered over time with links to the Interactive Intelligence Web site for more in-depth analysis and suggested improvements.

Another new feature includes “Contact Import Wizard,” which is designed to make campaign management easier by providing a simple tool to import records into call list tables from commonly used source such as CSV files, Microsoft (News - Alert) Access, Microsoft Excel, SQL Server and Oracle (News - Alert) . Contacts can be added on-the-fly and scheduled to dial immediately or at a future date, and specific agents can be assigned specific contacts for preview dialing. A new “Contact Exclusion” interface enables contacts to be marked “uncallable” for one or many campaigns, whether active or not.

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