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NetSuite Announces New CRM+ Functionality
NetSuite, Inc., a player in the sharply competitive on-demand CRM market, today unveiled a set of new features for its CRM+ product. New functionalities allow for the tracking of multiple quotas and forecasts, as well as the associated commission plans. The new features enable quotas, forecasts and commission plans to be driven using additional metrics that map to the way sales forces are generally managed.' NetSuite states that the new CRM+ forecasting capabilities are not possible with many other SFA applications since competitors' solutions are not built to handle sales transaction-related processes such as booked orders or incentive compensation. CRM+ is built on the foundation of NetSuite's Order Management & Commissions platforms, and the new capabilities allow companies to measure sales teams using more than just gross metrics of total sales or total bookings. NetSuite provides examples of how this functionality is useful: many companies desire to have one quota for product sales, and another for services sales.'Companies that offer an ongoing subscription service may wish to provide incentive for their sales force on the revenue recognized from a single year of a contract, as well as the total value of the booked order.'

Oracle Introduces Oracle Telecommunications Billing Integrator
Oracle recently announced the availability of Oracle Telecommunications Billing Integrator, a new applications product offering that allows communications service providers to integrate Oracle CRM applications with third-party billing systems, eliminating the need to develop customized integration solutions. Oracle Telecommunications Billing Integrator allows communications service providers to use standards-based technology to connect previously siloed systems, reducing integration time, cost and risk.'The solution positions the Oracle CRM modules within the Oracle E-Business Suite as a unifying dashboard, providing a single source of data for customer interactions across any channel, including the Internet, call centers and field sales organizations. Oracle CRM allows users to capture, configure and fulfill complex service orders and manage accounts.'With Oracle Telecommunications Billing Integrator, communications service providers can integrate these business processes seamlessly with third-party billing systems to bill for ordered services, respond to customer inquiries and conduct post-sale follow-up activities.

Siebel Releases CRM Professional Edition 7.8
Siebel Systems, Inc. has announced the availability of Siebel CRM Professional Edition 7.8. The newest release of the company's on-premise offering provides CRM capabilities for small and medium-sized businesses and was designed to help improve end user adoption through integration with familiar desktop and Web applications. Siebel CRM Professional Edition 7.8 also provides access to advanced call center functionality through integration with Siebel's hosted contact center.

AppExchange Availability Announced
InStranet, Inc., a provider of multichannel knowledge applications, and salesforce.com, which offers on-demand CRM, have announced the availability of InStranet for AppExchange. InStranet for AppExchange integrates with Salesforce.com to provide users with sales and servicing information across all customer touch points, including contact centers and Web self help. InStranet for AppExchange uses customer profile information located in Salesforce.com applications as a filter to provide immediate on-demand access for agents to appropriate knowledge. Appforce includes Appforce Builder, Appforce DB, Appforce API and the Appforce OS for development and deployment of multiple on-demand applications.

Before The Call And Salesforce.com Announce Before The Call For AppExchange
Before The Call and salesforce.com announced the availability of Before the Call for AppExchange. Built on salesforce.com's Appforce on-demand platform, BTC for Appforce is currently available, and will be generally available for AppExchange at the same time as the Salesforce Winter '06 release. Before The Call combs the best-known market intelligence sources to provide information about each sales lead, ranked according to the criteria that the customer chooses. It then arms the sales team with the most appropriate internal collateral for each sales call, such as relevant case studies, product brochures or technical whitepapers. The product retains all the information in a sales 'portfolio' that is associated with the lead record in Salesforce.com and can be shared with peers and partners.

Jacada Offering New Contact Center Agent Portal
Contact center software provider Jacada Inc. announced the general availability of Jacada Fusion Agent Portal, a desktop solution designed to optimize workflow processes across business systems within a contact center. The company also announced that Cox Communications and West Corporation have licensed Jacada Fusion Agent Portal. Fusion Agent Portal's features include: dynamic call scripting; automated navigation and workflow within and across business applications; notification and alerts; rules-based script and caller-based alerts for upsell/cross-sell and enhanced call handling; supervisor-to-agent and systemwide messaging; SmartPad, an auto-fill capability that automates redundant data entry; context-sensitive help and FAQs; knowledge base access tools; agent-level customization of desktop layout and look-and-feel; and CTI integration for screen-pop and soft phone support.

Telephony@Work Releases CallCenterAnywhere Outsourcer Edition Version 8.0
Multichannel IP contact center technology provider Telephony@Work recently announced the launch of CallCenterAnywhere Outsourcer Edition Version 8.0. The solution was custom-designed for providers of outsourced contact center services. CallCenterAnywhere Outsourcer Edition 8.0 includes new multi-partitioning capabilities that enable outsourcers to fully segment all data, technology configuration information, capabilities and controls on a client or campaign-specific basis, including all routing rules. The goal was to design a product that allows outsourcers to keep client campaigns separate from one another. CallCenterAnywhere Outsourcer Edition 8.0 includes a new interface that enables supervisors to create and customize real-time data fields and reporting information in the interface. This interface allows supervisors to select data columns and organize them on a customized basis without programming. Information on agents, projects and interactions can be combined on a single display or set up separately. Threshold alarms for agents and interactions have been increased from three color-coded alarming levels to five for this interface.

KANA Provides New E-Mail Response Management Application
KANA Software, Inc., which provides service resolution management solutions, has enhanced its e-mail response management application, KANA Response, which allows companies to manage and respond to all e-mail inquiries. 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 as well as agent management and monitoring tools. KANA Response is designed to handle up to 500,000 e-mails, in virtually any language, every day.'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.

Allstream Announces IP-Based Enterprise Contact Center Solution
Allstream, a communication solutions provider, recently announced the deployment of its IP-based enterprise contact center solution, which was designed to enable enterprise customers to implement a full suite of multimedia contact center services and applications. The company's solution now permits agents to interact by voice, e-mail, Web chat and fax. Allstream is deploying the new solution within its own contact centers across Canada. The company is also working with technology partners such as Hewlett Packard (Canada) Co. to design and implement contact center solutions for its enterprise customers.

Syntellect To Acquire Apropos
Syntellect Inc., has signed a definitive merger agreement to acquire Apropos for about $50 million. Syntellect, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Enghouse Systems Limited, provides speech-enabled customer, employee and supply-chain self-service software solutions. The transaction is expected to close in late 2005 or early 2006. Apropos will become a wholly-owned subsidiary of Syntellect and Enghouse. Enghouse Systems Limited is a provider of enterprise software solutions serving several vertical markets. Apropos Technology, Inc. develops communications management solutions for contact center operations.

SMSI, emailtopia Partner For E-Mail Management
System Management Software, Inc., which offers consolidated contact center management solutions, has announced the formation of a partnership with emailtopia, a software provider of e-mail response management systems, as part of an effort to assist organizations in managing e-mail inquires. The partnership was forged to enable customers to consolidate their reporting requirements for inbound e-mail and ACD metrics. Forrester Research, Inc. recently reported that more than half of consumers (54.3 percent) use e-mail to contact customer service organizations, with 6.3 percent doing it at least once each week.

SER Unveils Latest Version Of CPS Enterprise Edition
Contact center software solutions provider SER Solutions, Inc. has released CPS Enterprise Edition 2.0 (CPS E2), the latest version of its next-generation outbound call management solution. CPS E2 was launched last year. Its open architecture supports Microsoft platforms (Windows, SQL and .NET) and XML standards, allowing it to interface with existing applications and popular ACDs. It provides a business intelligence dashboard with real-time enterprise stats and an approach to call record management that facilitates, organizes and orchestrates call records into an actionable customer datamart.

Verint Announces New Opus Performance Analytics Solution
Verint Systems Inc., a provider of analytics software-based solutions for communications interception, networked video security and business intelligence, announced the latest Opus Performance Analytics solution. The Opus Suite includes performance analytics that integrate and analyze data from numerous systems, 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. One of the additions to the Opus Suite is the Codas Operational Advisor, a knowledge base of actionable performance management insights and best practices that is tailored to each customer during implementation. When an operational problem surfaces, Codas automatically draws upon process optimization best practice models to suggest the appropriate corrective actions.

AIM Technology Adds To Performance Management
AIM Technology, a provider of operational performance management software, has announced version 6.0 of its performance management suite. By adding a new set of real-time call center management capabilities, 'out of the box' functionality for integration with multiple operational data systems, and pre-written, process management applications, the solution helps companies reduce the complexity of managing the call center. The new release allows call center managers to identify and understand the root causes of exceptions and enforce best practices for resolution in real-time. AIM Technology's Performance Management Suite is an operational performance management application that allows enterprises to transition the call center from a cost center to a strategic operational asset aligned with corporate objectives. The solution was created to enable a deep understanding and analysis of call center sales productivity, profitability and quality of service, correlated with traditional, efficiency-based key performance indicators (KPIs) such as customer 'hold time,' or 'transfer time.' As a result, AIM Technology can help companies realize an improved level of insight, visibility and optimization of call center operations.

IEX Introduces Workforce Management for Outbound Contact Centers; TotalView Outsource Manager
IEX Corporation has introduced the TotalView Workforce Management System for the outbound environment. The TotalView Outbound Solution applies inbound workforce management techniques such as forecasting, scheduling, adherence and change management to the outbound environment. The TotalView Change Management feature allows the center to see how its plan is aligning with the day's actual events. The TotalView Adherence Suite provides real-time and historical reporting tools that allow supervisors to more easily monitor and analyze agent activity. The TotalView WebStation feature streamlines many time-consuming administrative tasks. It allows agents and supervisors to view schedules from their desktops using a standard Web browser. The additional features available in WebStation Plus allow agents to trade schedules, submit shift bid requests, enter work preferences, manage paid time off and request changes online. IEX also debuted the TotalView Outsource Manager, an advanced feature designed to help contact centers meet the challenges associated with information exchange and resource management between in-house and outsourced operations. The Outsource Manager feature extends the multisite management capabilities of the TotalView Workforce Management system to accommodate outsourced sites. IEX SmartSync technology automates the data exchange between TotalView Outsource Manager and external resources. Information on staffing levels, agent schedules, resource requirements, intraday performance and more is periodically exchanged by the SmartSync feature, ensuring that personnel are working on the same set of data. A view of in-house, outsourced and combined resources as well as performance lets the center conduct 'what-if' analysis to evaluate the benefits of potential changes in work allocation or contact routing strategies.

KnoahSoft Announces Performance Management Software Suite
KnoahSoft, a division of Knoah Solutions, a provider of multichannel and BPO offshore outsourcing services, announced the release of its Cisco-certified KnoahsARK agent performance management software suite. KnoahsARK is equipped with recording, remote monitoring, screen capture, analytics and additional customizable quality tools, delivering a secure, Web-based solution. KnoahsARK software is role-based by design and is scalable, serving both single-site and multisite enterprises. It enables IP-based, multichannel (voice, chat, e-mail) contact centers to maximize the value of their investment in IP technology.

Influent Purchases Illinois Call Center
Influent, a provider of outsourced customer sales and service solutions with offices in the U.S., Panama and the Philippines, recently announced that it has acquired a 144-seat call center in Quincy, Illinois from APAC Customer Services. The company has extended offers to 58 employees and has a hiring goal of adding another 150 employees to the center, which it hopes to expand to 172 seats. Influent's need for additional domestic capacity has been spurred by the recent award of several new customer contracts as well as the continuing successful growth of existing client programs.

IBM Wins Bid For GM Call Center
IBM Corp. recently announced that it has won a contract to manage a 500-seat call center in Tampa, Florida that handles customer service calls and e-mail inquiries for General Motors Corp. The facility, located at 5701 E. Hillsborough Avenue, was formerly run by Sitel Corp., which has run the call center since 1999. GM's contract with Sitel was set to expire at the end of calendar year 2005. GM has stated that it is normal procedure to open a contract up for bidding upon its expiration. IBM is currently in the hiring process for agents for the facility.

Alpine Access Appoints New CEO
Alpine Access, Inc., which provides outsourced customer care using home-based agents, today announced the appointment of Garth Howard as the company's chief executive officer. Howard brings nearly 25 years of management experience to Alpine Access, including a strong background in outsourced teleservices/customer care. Most recently, he served as president and general manager with TeleTech Holdings in Denver, where he was recruited to improve operations and financial performance for a $1.0 billion business with 33,000 global employees operating in 16 countries and doing business in 22 languages. At TeleTech, he directed all elements of operations to deliver CRM, call center and BPO services to the North American market. Over the past year, Howard directed all aspects of operations, sales and marketing in the Asia Pacific Region as part of a global restructuring.

AnswerNet Network Offers Chinese Languages Services
The AnswerNet Network made an announcement recently that enterprises, governments and non-profits can now effectively serve their Mandarin- and Cantonese-speaking customers, clients and donors by outsourcing their contact handling to AnswerNet Network. AnswerNet Network member TelePartners now has a team of Mandarin- and Cantonese-speaking agents at its Toronto contact center. Toronto has one of the largest populations of Chinese speakers in North America. The new service was implemented to allow organizations to serve Chinese communities both in North America and abroad. TelePartners' Chinese-speaking agents have begun answering calls for the company's clients. It also provides enterprises with the ability to more easily and affordably connect with customers in China from a North American-based contact center.

Greene & Associates Inc. Under New Ownership
Greene & Associates, Inc., which performs business-to-business and qualified business-to-consumer teleservices, announced that it has come under new corporate ownership. Formerly a fully owned subsidiary of Dolan Media Company, Greene will now operate as a division of RMG Direct, Inc., a privately held corporation formed by Greene & Associates President Randy Greenberg. In the announcement, Greenberg emphasized that clients of Greene & Associates can 'expect to receive the same or higher level of production and service as they have to date.' Greene has an established record of service and an experienced staff of professional teleservices representatives and management, according to the company. The company will continue to be headquartered in Lincolnshire, IL, and will further develop its two existing call centers in Iowa; one in Manchester, IA about 40 miles north of Cedar Rapids; and one in Independence, IA, about 20 miles west of Manchester.

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