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3Com Expands Convergence Applications Suite, Offers New VoIP Applications
3Com Corporation recently made two announcements in the contact center space. First, the company announced the expansion of its Convergence Applications Suite with the introduction of the new 3Com Internet Protocol Contact Center module. The 3Com IP Contact Center module routes customer contacts (phone, e-mail, Web and fax) to agents anywhere on the enterprise network. 3Com will license the 3Com IP Contact Center product from Nuasis Corporation. The 3Com IP Contact Center module is an IP-based application geared toward medium and large enterprise customers. The module consolidates multiple contact center systems such as legacy ACDs, IVRs and computer-telephony integration components on a single software platform; it is open architecture- and standards-based, leveraging Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) to provide the flexibility, interoperability and ease-of-use needed in a converged environment. In other news, 3Com introduced a new set of VoIP applications for large enterprises designed to allow remote users to gain secure access to a company's converged communication network. The new 3Com IP Telecommuting module is open and standards-based, leveraging SIP to provide improved flexibility, interoperability and ease-of-use. The 3Com IP Telecommuting module aims to enhance the mobility of employees by enabling the use of corporate IP telephony applications, such as IP conferencing, IP messaging, IP contact center and other communication services, from almost any location outside the LAN. This application also enables enterprises to deploy home agents outside of, but fully connected to, corporate contact centers.

Nortel Expands Microsoft Relationship, Debuts IP Multimedia Solutions
Nortel has announced the expansion of its relationship with Microsoft through integrated technology solutions designed to help simplify the way businesses communicate worldwide. This latest initiative between the two companies was forged to provide collaborative real-time capabilities for businesses via integration of Microsoft Office Communicator 2005 and Office Live Communication Server with Nortel's open, SIP-based communications solution. End users will be able to exploit the PC-based Microsoft Office Communicator client in concert with a Nortel desktop phone for business communications. Users can then determine when colleagues are available and employ an integrated instant messaging (IM) capability, all from the Communicator client interface. In addition, Nortel introduced new and enhanced IP multimedia solutions designed to improve employee productivity across the 'virtual workplace.' These new solutions include, but are not limited to: Nortel IP Phone 1100 Series; Nortel WLAN Handset 2212; Multimedia Communications Server (MCS) 5100 Release 3.5; CallPilot Release 4.0 Unified Messaging suite; and Com-munications Server 1000 Release 4.5.

AVTEX, Telstar Communications Join Forces
In a move that merges two providers in the call center and IP telephony realm, AVTEX, Inc. of Minneapolis has announced its acquisition of the contact center business of Telstar Communications, Inc. The combined companies will operate as AVTEX, Inc., based in Minneapolis. According to AVTEX President Robert Denman, 'This combination will bring many new resources and solutions to our customers and provide exciting growth opportunities for our employees.' AVTEX, Inc. has been a provider of telecommunications solutions since 1971. The company is an application and systems integration provider that designs, develops, deploys and supports messaging, contact center and IP telephony solutions. Telstar Communications is an Interactive Intelligence Platinum Elite Partner with its main focus in the design, implementation and ongoing support of VoIP telephony systems, contact centers and messaging solutions. AVTEX has a staff of software developers, systems engineers, network engineers, system design consultants, project managers, customer support and field technicians who are trained, certified and specialized in mission-critical applications.

Nuasis Integrates With Aspect eWorkforce Management
IP contact center company Nuasis Corporation announced the integration of its software-only, IP-based contact center system with Aspect eWorkforce Management software. This workforce management integration is consistent with Nuasis' product strategy of leveraging its standards-based architecture that includes SIP, XML and SOAP to support integration to core call center and enterprise software applications. The NuContact Center is a single, distributed system that integrates three customer service models in the contact center: self-service, deferred assistance and immediate assistance. It routes and queues customer contacts across multiple geographically dispersed service centers taking advantage of VoIP technology. It also leverages investments in the existing enterprise network.

OnviSource Acquires Davacord
OnviSource has announced its acquisition of Davacord, Inc. (formerly VoiceLogger, Inc.) in an all-cash transaction. Davacord provides converged contact center recording and quality monitoring solutions for call centers. The company's products are used by more than 700 customers in North America, Europe and Asia Pacific, including many Fortune 500 firms. OnviSource is the parent of a group of companies offering contact centers a suite of integrated system and software applications, hosted application services, telecom access services and business outsourcing services in sales, marketing and business operations. The acquisition of Davacord is meant to position OnviSource as a company that can deliver a full line of integrated contact center software products and advanced technologies that offer productivity and compliance tools, operations support capabilities, inbound and outbound call handling as well as revenue-bearing vertical applications.

Sonum Technologies Announces Beta Release Of Two New Product Lines
Sonum Technologies, Inc. announced the beta release of two new product lines. Machine Translation gives users the ability to have foreign text automatically translated into English. The product is targeted at both the intelligence community and multinational corporations that need corporate communications translated for their interests outside the English-speaking world. The other product is Call Analytics, which also targets the intelligence community, but is focused on the contact center industry. Call Analytics mines recorded telephone conversations for actionable intelligence regarding such things as agent performance and competitive activity. Both solutions use Sonum Technologies' Natural Language Processor, which comprehends human language, allowing businesses and government to automate the way they identify, retrieve and analyze information while reducing dependence on human resources.

Verint Acquires Opus Group For $12 Million
Verint Systems Inc., a provider of analytic software-based solutions for communications interception, networked video security and business intelligence, announced the acquisition of privately held Opus Group, which provides performance analytics solutions for contact centers and back-office operations. Verint Systems has acquired Opus via the purchase of certain assets and liabilities of Opus Group LLC for $12 million cash at closing and additional earn-out payments during two years based on certain profitability targets. Opus is headquartered in Hinsdale, Illinois. Opus helps process-intensive enterprises improve performance and reduce the cost of their operations by analyzing data collected from across the enterprise and identifying areas for improvement.

IEX Forms Partnerships With Keynomics LLC, Symmetrics
IEX Corporation, a Tekelec company, has recently announced two strategic relationships. First is an alliance with Keynomics LLC in which IEX will offer its customers Talk, Type, Listen, Keynomics' contact center agent productivity training program that was designed to enhance agent computer keyboarding and transcription skills. The offering is being provided as a Web-based hosted program accessed via the WebStation Plus module available with the IEX TotalView Workforce Management system. The training program was designed to improve contact center productivity, quality and ergonomics regarding how agents interface simultaneously with the caller and each agent's computer. A benchmarking study is conducted to assess each agent's skill before starting the program. As the agent moves through the online training modules, the system detects his or her strengths and weaknesses. Based on the performance information automatically gathered by the system, ongoing progress reports are distributed to managers. Talk, Type, Listen can be deployed to thousands of agents simultaneously without software installation. Second is a partnership with Symmetrics Business Intelligence Solutions Inc. in which IEX will resell Symmetrics' custom reporting services. This extends the reporting and analysis capabilities of the IEX TotalView Workforce Management system. Customers will be able to create workforce management reports tailored to their center's specific needs. The TotalView Workforce Management system is designed to improve the scheduling and agent management processes in both single-site and multisite environments. The system's features include skills-based and multimedia scheduling, real-time and historical adherence, intraday and performance management, enterprise reporting and data exchange, vacation and holiday planning as well as short- and long-term resource planning.

NICE To Acquire Australian Distributor Hannamax Hi-Tech Pty Ltd.
NICE Systems, a provider of advanced solutions that enable organizations to extract insight from interactions, announced the signing of a definitive agreement to acquire the assets of Hannamax Hi-Tech Pty Ltd, the company's largest distributor in Australia and New Zealand, for $1.8 million in a one-time cash installment plus a future earn-out based on performance. Hannamax has worked with NICE Systems since 1993. NICE will add about 17 employees from Hannamax. The company believes the acquisition will not significantly impact its financials.

InVision Offering Multi-Activity Scheduling Solution
InVision Software is providing what it describes as a new approach to workforce management with its Multi-Activity Scheduling solution. The solution optimizes staffing requirements by using 'advanced patent-pending optimization techniques.' MAS was created to help ensure that multiskill efficiencies are realized by generating schedules based on individual skills. Employees benefit from additional job variety, which can be difficult to achieve without skills-based scheduling. MAS is designed to keep multiskilled employees occupied for greater periods of each shift, helping to increase productivity and other key performance indicators. InVision also offers interactive scheduling, a feature which allows employees to make choices regarding shifts. This ability has proven to be a substantial influence on motivation and retention. Employees can make requests for shifts based on business requirements.

GeoLearning Completes Rebranding Of USALearning
GeoLearning, Inc., which provides managed learning services and hosted learning technology, announced the completion and launch of USALearning.gov, the federal government's employee training site. USALearning features an enhanced course catalog, the addition of GeoLearning Analytics for measuring training effectiveness and expanded reporting capabilities for agency-focused and government-wide reports. Designed, hosted and maintained by GeoLearning for the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, USALearning is powered by the GeoMaestro learning management platform. More than 1.8 million federal government employees can access USALearning. GeoLearning's platform and training services are used by more than 40 federal agencies through the OPM/GoLearn program.

Sage Software Adds To ACT!, Forms Partnership With Small-Business Development Centers
Sage Software recently announced more than 40 new ACT! add-on solutions compatible with the new ACT! by Sage 2006 and ACT! by Sage Premium for Workgroups 2006 contact and customer management solutions. The new add-on products were created to offer communications, sales, marketing, mapping, help desk, synchronization, administrative and productivity features. ACT! is used worldwide by more than 2.5 million users and more than 30,000 corporate accounts. Sage Software also announced the availability of ACT! 2006 for one to 10 networked users and ACT! Premium for Workgroups 2006 for sales teams and corporate workgroups. In other news, Sage also announced a partnership with the Association of Small Business Development Centers. The partnership aligns Sage certified consultants with SBDCs nationwide to offer start-ups and growing businesses the management tools, training and support services that aid efficient business operations. The partnership also makes free 30-day trial CDs of Sage Software products available for nearly 1,000 regional SBDCs providing assistance to more than 1.3 million small-business entrepreneurs annually.

O'Currance Teleservices Names New President
O'Currance Teleservices, a provider of inbound telemarketing products and services, recently named Blake T. Rigby as president of the Salt Lake City, Utah-based company.' Despite his new position, Rigby is not new to the company; he has been associated with O'Currance since 2003. Previously, he was the chief financial officer for the company. O'Currance Teleservices was founded in 1994. The company has played a notable part in the development of Web-based virtual offices and remote telesales agents. It offers a variety of services, including telemarketing, telesales and call center operations.

Convergys Names New President, COO
Convergys Corporation, a provider of customer care, human resources and billing services, has announced that David F. Dougherty, executive vice president of Convergys' Global Information Management Group, has been named president and Chief Operating Officer (COO) of Convergys. In his new role, Dougherty is responsible for the company's Customer Care and Information Management businesses. Dougherty, a 15-year veteran of the company, continues to report to Convergys Chairman and Chief Executive Officer James F. Orr. It was announced that Jack Freker, president of the Customer Management Group, has left Convergys to pursue other interests.

SalesForce Expands Customer Service Platform With Genesys
Genesys Telecommunications Laboratories, an Alcatel company, has announced an expansion of its contract with SalesForce, an Australian outsourced contact center company, to provide contact center software and services to support an additional 1,000 agents across its call centers in Australia. The centers provide outsourced sales, after-sales and customer service solutions to clients in the telecommunications and financial services sectors. Following the merger of SalesForce and contact center provider Salmat earlier in the year, SalesForce will work with Salmat to replace currently installed call center solutions with Genesys software. Genesys will provide software that enables SalesForce to roll out multimedia, IVR/speech capabilities as well as inbound call management across its call centers.

ClientLogic Opens Panama Site, Expands In Mexico
ClientLogic, a business process outsourcing provider in the contact center and fulfillment industry, announced an increase regarding its presence in Latin America with the addition of a new customer care site in Panama and the expansion of an existing site in Mexico. This move will bolster its bilingual and near-shore English services to North American clients. ClientLogic is extending its bilingual capabilities to both improve service to the English-speaking population in North America and offer better service to the growing Hispanic population.

Pitney Bowes To Acquire Firstlogic
Pitney Bowes Inc. has signed a definitive agreement to acquire all of the remaining outstanding shares of Firstlogic for about $50.3 million, excluding cash and debt on the balance sheet. Pitney Bowes currently has 10 percent equity ownership of the privately held company. Firstlogic develops and markets software and services designed to improve operations in data quality, mailing efficiency and postal automation. Upon completion of this transaction, Firstlogic will become a wholly owned subsidiary of Pitney Bowes within Document Messaging Technologies. Subject to regulatory approval and completion of other customary conditions, the transaction is expected to close during the third quarter.

BMC Software Acquires KMXperts
BMC Software, Inc., which provides enterprise management solutions, has acquired KMXperts, a provider of knowledge management solutions for IT service and customer support centers. KMXperts, a privately held company headquartered in American Fork, Utah, has about 50 customers with a channel sales focus. KMXperts solutions cut the time required to resolve incidents and answer customer questions by providing service desk personnel with quick access to the collective knowledge of the IT service organization. KMXperts also helps decrease the number of issues that must be handled by service desk staff via its Web-based self-service options, allowing employees or customers to find solutions by using natural language search.

Sales Performance International, OneSource Partner
OneSource Information Services, a Donnelley Group company of infoUSA and a provider of business information solutions, has announced a partnership with Sales Performance International. SPI has integrated OneSource's Business Browser with its Solution Selling methodology and related sales training.'Sales professionals can drive more revenue and increase win rates with better precall planning, prospecting, account planning and territory management.

QAS Offers QuickAddress Names
QAS recently announced the debut of its QuickAddress Names, a solution that was designed to augment the company's suite of address management products by validating consumer names along with addresses at the point of data entry. QuickAddress Names uses Experian data compiled from thousands of sources, including the U.S. Postal Service, telephone directory records, real-estate transactions, surveys and other public and proprietary sources. To use QuickAddress Names, users type in a few address elements, such as a ZIP code, the first few letters of a street address and a street number, after which QuickAddress Names provides drop-down lists of potential address and name combinations.'Rather than typing in the full customer record, users simply highlight and select the validated, correctly formatted record.'The drop-down lists can help companies save time and keystrokes and better enable users to avoid typos and other inaccuracies.

Oracle To Buy Siebel
Oracle Corporation has announced that it has agreed to buy Siebel Systems, Inc. for $10.66 per share. The offer is valued at approximately $5.85 billion, or $3.61 billion net of Siebel's cash on hand of $2.24 billion. Said Oracle CEO Larry Ellison, 'In a single step, Oracle becomes the number one CRM applications company in the world. Siebel's 4,000 applications customers and 3,400,000 CRM users strengthen our number one position in applications in North America and move us closer to the number one position in applications globally.' The board of directors of Siebel Systems has voted in favor of the transaction, and Tom Siebel has agreed to vote his shares in favor of the acquisition. Siebel stockholders will convene in a special meeting to vote on the acquisition. Oracle stockholder approval is not required. While the transaction and the timing are subject to regulatory approvals, the deal is expected to close in early 2006.

Surado Announces Release Of Surado CRM 5.0
Surado Solutions, a provider of CRM solutions for small to medium-sized enterprises, has announced the release of Surado CRM 5.0. Surado CRM 5.0, according to the company, includes several improvements, from an updated and more simplified user interface to the addition of new functionality, including Interactive Workflow and integration with Microsoft Project Management. Interactive Workflow functionality was designed to help streamline and simplify processes, reduce training time, improve customer service and increase business flexibility. By using a graphic representation of an organization's workflow, users can be guided on a 'best practices' path to accomplish tasks. Surado CRM 5.0's new 'key' features include: enhanced user interface; interactive workflow process manager; built-in project manager; CRM dashboard; enhanced sales automation; increased back-office integration; added security; enhanced support rules; advanced quoting module; template merge capability with MS Word and MS Excel; customized reporting; upgraded data mining; enhanced e-mail integration; new calendar views; contact and account record alert; and an upgraded search engine with ability to create, save and run queries.

Sendia Enables Wireless Salesforce.com
Sendia Corporation, a wireless business application platform company,'recently announced the release of WorkSpace CRM 3.0 for salesforce.com, which, according to'Sendia,'features a host of new features and upgrades, including support for salesforce.com's Customforce and other advanced capabilities such as filtered views, increased data capacity and customizable lists. 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. 'WorkSpace CRM 3.0 gives salesforce.com customers the unprecedented power to mobilize their custom objects in an easy point-and-click environment,' said Alex Klyce, president of Sendia. 'With our new configurable filtered views and vastly increased storage capacity, the right data is readily available on the device, making WorkSpace 3.0 a must-have for any salesforce.com user working outside of the office.'

Salesboom.com Releases Next Generation Hosted CRM, CLM Solutions
Salesboom.com, a provider of hosted CRM, SFA, ERP and CLM solutions, announced the release of Salesboom.com v6.0. It's the latest release in Salesboom's history of hosted CRM software updates. Salesboom v6.0 offers numerous new features. The new Salesboom.com v6.0 release has also allowed Salesboom to introduce new features that fine-tune its ERP offering, including inventory management systems. Integrating the ERP features with customer lifecycle management is also part of the Salesboom CRM system. Salesboom has also released a new customer self-service portal, helping provide organizations with a tool to better manage customer expectations. The portal was created with the goal of cutting the costs of handling customer cases.

SugarCRM Expands CRM Portfolio With Sugar Enterprise Edition
SugarCRM Inc. announced the availability of Sugar Enterprise Edition, an addition to its suite of commercial open-source CRM products that extend the reach of the SugarCRM platform into a wider range of business environments. Sugar Enterprise supports both Oracle 9i and MySQL. Sugar Enterprise also simplifies the installation and management of third-party add-on modules with a new module loader that is being simultaneously released in Version 3.5 of SugarCRM's Open Source and Professional editions. This new module framework allows users to add or remove third-party modules without programming and keeps the add-ons separate from the base application code, allowing core updates to be made without affecting accessory modules. SugarCRM community software developers have created more than 80 Sugar Suite accessory modules, ranging from language translation packs to document and knowledge management systems, timesheets, database backups and Java synchronization. The annual license fee of $449 per user includes 12 months of application updates, installation assistance, trouble ticketing, global weekday phone/e-mail-based technical support and full production support, including patch and fix distributions. Sugar Professional Edition costs $239 per user per year.

IBM Offerings Selected By Avaya, IBM Partners Donate RDCs To Apache
Avaya has selected IBM WebSphere Voice Server and IBM WebSphere Application Server as the initial speech and middleware platforms for Avaya Voice Portal, Avaya's new Web services-based speech self-service platform. The solution, which is the result of an expanded alliance between the two companies, is meant to combine IBM's proficiency in middleware and speech technology and Avaya's position in self-service, contact centers and IP telephony. IBM WebSphere Application Server is the foundation of IBM's speech architecture. IBM WebSphere Voice Server provides integration into a Java-based enterprise application framework. In other IBM news, three of the company's partners, Audium, Fluency and Openstream, have donated RDCs to the Apache Software Foundation, a community for open-source software development.'RDCs allow developers to plug standard pieces of speech code into their own code to help speed the development of speech applications for new uses. In addition, IBM said it will offer WebSphere Voice Toolkit components to Audium for inclusion in the next version of Audium Studio, which is powered by Eclipse.'Audium's customers can enjoy expanded functionality from the use of a common tooling platform.'Audium Studio is a voice application environment combining the standards of Voice XML with packaged services for IVR applications.

Fonix Speech Group Solutions Offered By i-mate, Fonix Releases VoiceDial 2.1
The Fonix Speech Group, an operating division of Fonix Corporation, has announced an agreement with i-mate, a company specializing in Microsoft Windows Mobile device solutions and supportive applications, wherein i-mate will offer Fonix speech-activated dialing solutions, Fonix VoiceDial and Fonix VoiceCentral as downloadable software packages and as bundled software packages to corporate accounts. Fonix receives unit royalty fees from i-mate for each download or bundled package sold. Fonix VoiceCentral is an interactive, hands-free software application for Windows Mobile Pocket PC devices that allow users to dial contacts and access personal information management tools or other programs such as Media Player with voice commands. In other company news, Fonix Speech Group has also announced the release of Fonix VoiceDial 2.1, a speech interface software solution for mobile phones that is compatible with Bluetooth headset technology. VoiceDial 2.1 features a new voice command and provides improved contact management, as it now searches large contact databases more efficiently and better manages names with special characters. Original design manufacturers and original equipment manufacturers can license VoiceDial for a per-unit royalty fee. End users can download the software at www.handango.com.

Apropos Technology, Maxxar Form Strategic Relationship
Apropos Technology has announced that Maxxar, a business unit of Open Solutions Inc. and a provider of IVR solutions, joined the Apropos Technology Alliance Partner program. The relationship combines Maxxar's expertise in speech-enabled interactive information solutions with Apropos' multichannel communications management solutions. Maxxar's Total Natural Transaction system provides a set of interactive self-service delivery features used by financial services organizations, including natural language speech recognition, speech-enabled lending, text-to-speech and touch-tone IVR. The combined offering targets customers transitioning from automated to agent-assisted interactions. Apropos' multichannel support also expands Maxxar's ability to deliver online communications support to its banking and credit union customers. As Maxxar maintains relationships with leading core data processors in the financial services field, this partnership also expands Apropos' integration with these providers.

SPIRIT DSP Powers Macromedia Flash For Multi-point Voice Conferencing
SPIRIT DSP, a provider of embedded voice communication software products and solutions, announced that its voice products are integrated into Macromedia Breeze 5. Macromedia Breeze delivers online conferencing and collaborative Web communications. SPIRIT delivers integrated voice products, services and solutions designed specifically to produce superior voice quality in any IP network on any platform. SPIRIT counts among its clients Agere, Atmel, Flextronics, Ericsson, Furuno, Hyundai, JRC, Kyocera, LG, Macromedia, Marconi, NEC, Nortel Networks, Oracle, Panasonic, Philips, Polycom, Samsung, Siemens, Texas Instruments and Toshiba, among more than 150 other communication OEMs and software vendors.

Audium, ClickFox Partner To Offer IVR Solution
Audium, a provider of VoiceXML application development and management tools, and ClickFox, a software company that delivers patent-pending technology that analyzes human behavior in self-service environments, have announced the availability of an integrated solution to provide Audium customers with an end-to-end, behavior-centric, IVR design environment with continuous improvement capability. ClickFox's software shows customers step-by-step navigation through DTMF and speech-enabled IVR systems, allowing line-of-business owners to differentiate between successful and unsuccessful experiences. ClickFox translates customer interactions into an intuitive, interactive, visual map of user behavior. ClickFox's software takes advantage of Audium's native logging functionality to build a more complete picture of customer interactions, and by integrating with Audium's application creation environment, allows users to immediately see the impact of changes to the call flow.

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