Awards and Recognition

CIS Congratulates TMC Labs Innovation Awards Winners

By TMC  |  October 01, 2011

This year marks the twelfth installment for the prestigious TMC (News - Alert) Labs Innovation Awards in Customer Interaction Solutions, for which TMC Labs analyzes dozens of applicants to find the most unique and innovative products. Contact centers are constantly looking to increase agent productivity, reduce costs, and improve customer satisfaction through the utilization of innovative products – from all-in-one suites to targeted add-ons.

Like last year, we have quite a few hosted offerings. But this year’s winners represent a very diverse range of technologies, featuring everything from hosted file storage to hosted workforce management. With the growth of social media such as Facebook (News - Alert) and Twitter, and now the emergence of Google+, it’s no surprise we have at least one winner that directly integrates with social media.

We are proud to bestow this award to the 17 worthy companies listed below. In-depth write ups will be featured on TMCnet as well as in the October and November issues of CIS magazine. Here’s the full list of award winners, and part one of the two-part write up (part two will appear in November’s issue).





Amdocs Smart Agent Desktop

CDC Software

CDW Pivotal CRM Storage Service

Coupa Software

Coupa Cloud Spend Management

Drishti-Soft Solutions Pvt Ltd.



Customer Journey Cloud

Esna Technologies

Office LinkX version 8


Customer Engagement Platform


Virtual Call Center Release 8 Including Workforce Optimization

FrontRange Solutions (News - Alert)

FrontRange Customer Service Management

Knoa Software



LiveOPs Screen Recording


Medallia Text Analytics

Siemens Enterprise Communications

OpenScape Contact Center Campaign Director Solution

Toshiba America Information Systems, Telecom Systems Div.

Call Manager for IPedge

Upstream Works Software Ltd.

Business Interaction Manager


Vivisimo CXO Suite


Smart Agent Desktop

Amdocs Smart Agent Desktop provides a unified agent desktop that enables agents to focus on the customer, which can lead to higher job satisfaction and lower agent churn rates for the contact center. The platform can integrate multiple back-end systems and applications. That eliminates the need for an agent to log in to multiple systems and reduces copy/paste operations, thereby improving agent efficiency even more.

Amdocs Smart Agent is usually deployed on the customer premises, but can also be deployed in a managed hosted services setting. Amdocs says it was one of the first to embrace SOA: “All Amdocs Customer Management products comply with SOA design principles. Amdocs embraces service-oriented architecture, and the Amdocs Integration Gateway, which was introduced in 2002, was our initial step into the SOA environment. Amdocs provides the ability to register web services and then access them from within all Amdocs applications. We also make our business logic application programming interfaces available as XML/JMS, EJB, or web services public to external applications. SOA compliance ensures that our products provide the interfaces necessary for cost-effective integration, interoperability with other applications, and a seamless, end-to-end customer experience.”

Amdocs claims to be the first to integrate the agent desktop with ordering systems to take complex orders for multi-play bundles for service providers, triggering processes to check eligibility, compatibility, and feasibility, and leading to fulfillment, and activation. With Smart Agent Desktop, Amdocs incorporates over 100 service provider-specific best practice business processes out of the box. Amdocs can handle high-volume contact centers with up to 30,000 concurrent call center users and manage several million transactions per day.

Improvements in the latest release include new enhancements to platform support, security, and application integration and a re-designed user interface that is task driven and customer centric, rather than the traditional user interfaces that are data driven and process centric.

CDC Software

CDC Pivotal CRM

CDC Pivotal CRM 6.0 is a modular solution built on the Microsoft .NET framework designed for automating and streamlining sales, marketing and customer services processes to improve efficiency and improve customer experiences. It provides task-based navigation, tools that mirror business processes, embedded Microsoft Office SharePoint Server and Microsoft Office System applications, easy customization, and a smart client user interface. One key feature is its intuitive and familiar user interface because of its deep Office integration with Outlook and SharePoint.

According to CDC Software, “With Microsoft SharePoint and Microsoft Visual Studio Form Designer embedded in Pivotal CRM 6.0, the CRM system can become a hub for all business activities and collaborations, allowing users to complete much of their daily work without having to switch back and forth between multiple applications. With Microsoft Outlook embedded, data synchronization is seamless between the CRM system and Outlook inbox, and users can complete their calendaring, task, or e-mail activities in either application.” The company adds, “With the recent addition of the Visual Workflow application, Pivotal is the single most configurable CRM solution on the market today.”

The Pivotal Visual Workflow Tool is an easy to use drag-and-drop, flowchart style designer that will allow the creation of a business process in both the production and customization environment. It saves organizations time and money while accurately modeling their business processes.

The Microsoft SQL Server, SharePoint Server and Pivotal Business Server are all hosted by Pivotal, while the Outlook and the Pivotal client run at the client’s site. Unique to the platform is Pivotal Social CRM, which integrates social media tools – Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter (News - Alert), InsideView, and Google BlogSearch – with users’ daily activity hub, Pivotal CRM. This enables companies to reveal insight and business intelligence from those social media sites and integrate this data into customer and prospect databases. Pivotal Social CRM also enables people to use Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, and InsideView easily for useful activities such as finding relationships, managing events, finding leads, and more, uncovering the practical business value of social media channels. Storage Service

Amazon’s S3 cloud is an extremely popular hosted storage service, due to its flexibility and relatively inexpensive costs. But with that popularity come the specter of competitors looking to offer similar features at even better price points. One such solution is, which is designed to be a substitute for S3. Michael Whitis, the founder and CTO of, tells TMC Labs, “I have been a Unix/Linux Systems Engineer for over 20 years, supporting commercial websites and large client and server infrastructures. I founded because I saw the potential for large savings in cloud and enterprise-class storage that none of the current vendors are addressing. My goal was to create enterprise-class storage appliances for $100 a terabyte, and true utility pricing for cloud storage.” As an example, the company offers 1 terabyte of cloud storage with 2 terabytes a month data transfer bandwidth for just $600 a year. It also offers the 36, a 2U, 36- terabyte storage appliance for $3,600; the 72, which is a 4U 72=terabyte storage appliance. It can even scale up to a petabyte by clustering multiple 72s and 36s.

Whitis adds, “Our enterprise storage appliances are one-tenth the price of a comparable NetApp, 1/31st that of a Dell storage server, and 2240 times less expensive than an EMC SAN. Our public cloud storage is 1/7th the price of Amazon S3.” uses a KosmosFS JBOD architecture with triple redundancy for files, across both primary and backup appliances, located in the Ashburn, Va., data center. And the company plans on having it redundant across multiple data centers within the next few months.

The DataStore is accessible via the Apache Tuscany REST API, in which it implemented the feature set of the Google Storage for Developers API, to make the client access method as open and transportable as possible. How simple is it? All you have to do is follow the Google Storage for Developers API and substitute for and for The storage appliances feature support for FTP, SMB/CIFS, AFS, NFS, GFS, PVFS, SHFS, Gluster and KosmosFS with dual gigabit LAN, eSATA, USB 3.0, and 10gbps ThunderBolt connectivity. It’ll be interesting to see if can win customers from S3 or other hosted offerings based on pricing, especially since this a startup, but we commend the company for an innovative solution that supports industry standards and aims to deliver cloud storage using true utility pricing.

Coupa Software

Coupa Cloud Spend Management

Coupa Cloud Spend Management combines e-procurement and expense management capabilities to help organizations get control of spending and save money. It provides executive dashboards and alerts to provide real-time visibility and actionable intelligence to control company spending more effectively. Users can also prioritize audits via intelligent audit scoring so that accounting reviews focus on reports that are most likely to be out of compliance or in risk of fraudulent activity. Coupa is cloud based, leveraging Amazon Web Services, so all you need is a web browser or any web-enabled mobile device. Coupa encrypts all communications between customers and their hosted data center using high-grade AES 256-bit encryption.

One truly unique feature is that it is fully integrated with Google Maps, so users simply need to enter their departure and destination addresses, and their mileage and reimbursement amounts are automatically calculated and added to their expense reports. Coupa explains “While many other solutions in the spend management space focus solely on automating the PO and expense report process, Coupa’s Cloud Spend Management is more than an automation engine – it is a spend management platform that empowers organizations to take action. Budget owners are alerted immediately when budgets reach certain levels and can adjust before they go over. Managers can easily update workflows to meet the changing needs of the business without the need of high-priced technical resources. Executives have real-time insights into top spend categories, forecasts and much more so they can make the right decisions at the right time to help the business grow while keeping spend inline.” 

Another unique feature is the frugal meter, which educates employees on company policies to ensure they stay within limits. As employees create their expense reports, the frugal meter alerts employees when their expenses deviate from the category norm. With a single click, employees can view the maximum allowable expense and modify their expenses accordingly. Importantly, it features 100 percent paperless receipt management. Users simply snap a picture of the receipt with a smartphone and e-mail it into the system. When it’s time to submit expenses, the receipts are added to an e-wallet waiting to be put into the report

Drishti-Soft Solutions Pvt Ltd.


Ameyo is an all-in-one contact center software platform sporting features such as predictive dialer, ACD, IVR, voice logging, reporting, quality monitoring, CRM and CTI, campaign management and multimedia (e-mail, SMS, chat, fax, web) communications. Ameyo certainly earns the all-in-one moniker since it features inbound, outbound as well as blended communication features. The company claims Ameyo provides high uptimes of the order of 99.9 percent and above. The solution is flexible due to its base architecture that is SOA- and MDA-based. Ameyo manages and automates customer interactions, keeping a log of those interactions and derives analysis reports to determine the customer experience.

Part of the solution is PACE, or Pro Active Connect Enhancer, which is a pretty innovation predictive dialer. What is unique here is it adds business intelligence to the dialing process, enabling targeted dialing operations with up to 30 percent better connects. For instance, rather than dialing blindly to an available list, PACE helps define a strategy to dial based on the past connect history of the customers and achieve more positive connects as well as reduced nuisance of unanswered calls. The solution also supports skill-based routing for outbound calling depending on available agent resources.

The technology, based on Eclipse OSGi and MDA, offers intelligent change management and deployment capabilities along with code generation. With the help of code generation and the latest technology tools, most interfaces and development are faster, low cost and error free. On the telephony side, Ameyo supports SIP, SS7 and ISDN PRI, as well as interestingly, Skype. In fact, it supports Skype IM, Skype voice calling, and Skype video calling. The innovative Node flow Designer lets you easily create custom inbound, outbound and blended call flows. Other features include sissed call alert pop-up to all agents, enabling any agent to initiate a callback, quality monitoring, and pre-recorded agent voice prompts that agents can play on command to help reduce agent fatigue. For supervisors, Ameyo’s Inbound supervisor interface displays runtime data segregated on various parameters like average call handling time, average wrap-up time, abandoned calls per queue as well as overall resource distribution.


Customer Journey Cloud

Enkata’s Customer Journey Cloud is a SaaS solution offering a comprehensive set of solutions for contact centers. Enkata provides a full set of workforce optimization and performance management capabilities entirely in the cloud with access across multi-site, multi-vendor, multi-system environments to improve the customer experience. Enkata claims to be the first to use a cloud architecture to consolidate and store call recordings from multiple sites, multiple recording systems (agnostic of vendor brands), across multiple outsourced vendor locations for the purpose of improving call recording selection for scoring and coaching purposes. Enkata explains, “This approach solves a fundamental set of problems that plagues the industry: Ability to pull relevant call recordings from the largest pool of examples; lower the cost of storage and archival; select those call recordings of highest relevance for archive; and store only those recordings.”

Enkata's performance management applications include a set of fully integrated analytic tools including speech, performance management, desktop, root cause, and cross-channel analytics, which help quickly identify priorities to achieve key objectives and performance metrics. It also correlates historical data to offer much more accurate analysis.

The system can identify the 10-20 percent of CSRs causing the majority of repeat calls as well as anticipate and preempt next calls. Enkata has an innovative contact reasoning engine and algorithm-based approach to accurately measure first call resolution. Its Next Best Action Framework compares CSR (News - Alert) performance against peers and then systematically targets the pertinent agents that require more coaching. Another important feature is the cross-channel analytics, which monitors customer contacts across every channel with a common set of contact reasons so you can analyze channel preferences, compare channel resolution rates, and proactively discover weak links in the customer experience. The platform also features speech analytics, and even desktop analytics, which automatically tracks desktop activities. The application also helps improve agent productivity by automating routine functions like cutting and pasting of repetitive information.


Office-LinX Version 8

Many organizations have deployed IP PBXs that don’t feature – or have limited – unified communications capabilities and cannot give up that investment. With Office-LinX version 8 you don’t have to give up your existing phone system, while simultaneously providing seamless integration with cloud applications. Esntech explains, “Office-LinX version 8 is designed to leverage an organization's virtualization infrastructure while integrating cloud-based technology such as Google Apps and directly with their voice and mobile network. This will deliver ubiquitous access to live communications and collaboration while driving down overall costs and management of enterprise communications.”

Office-LinX communication and collaboration software enables speech-enabled auto-attendant, unified messaging, mobility, unified messaging, fax mail, and presence integration with both on-premises and cloud-based business applications and processes. Support for VMware Vsphere allows organizations to take advantage of their existing virtualization investment and easily integrate unified communication services with their existing business infrastructure with minimal change or overhead investment. Highlighted features include mass event notification with BlackBerry PINs, call recording and transcription integrated with Google apps, native speech-to-text support, speech biometrics and navigation, and GPRS-based locations routing and presence.

Uniquely, it can deliver enterprise telephony integration natively in Google apps; this includes single inbox access for voice, fax, and e-mail from Gmail supporting legacy phone systems and MWI support. It also features embedded Web framework to deliver dialing, call control and presence from Google, sites, Gmail, calendar and contacts, as well as offline speech access to Google Gmail, contacts and Google talk presence. The platform also enables organizations to plug SIP video endpoints into their voice networks and be part of the standard voice dial plan. The company explains, “By unifying video endpoints with existing legacy dial plan we are accelerating unified communications within the enterprise network. It allows us to unify and simplify real-time communications and drive video adoption by unifying it with voice communications.”

ethosIQ LLC

Customer Engagement Platform

ethosIQ’s Customer Engagement Platform provides event level data capture from a variety of sources to provide a more holistic view of the entire life of a call. ethosIQ states, “We differ from other reporting tools because we maintain the relationships between events. We maintain the relationships with previous transactions and contacts. We can create reporting buckets similar to other products; however, we can also show the relationship between each event and not require to average values across buckets of time.”

The software can be co-located on premises or off premises. At the customer premises you require just a browser and the hosted side consists of Oracle, Linux servers running Apache and clustering for redundancy. The company tells TMC Labs, “ACD reporting tools have been available for quite a while. We have changed the thought process to capture and maintain the relationship between each event. Our application is used to maintain a link between each activity that occurs between the customer and the contact center. Customers are beginning to use our applications to drive routing rules into Genesys and Cisco based on real time data collected.”

Their solution works on Windows, Macs, and Linux machines and is very granular in measuring activity. For instance, suppose an agent handles three calls or pieces of work during a 15-minute period and each work activity lasts 3 minutes and only one has 6 minutes of after call work. The application reports the exact amount of after call work time for the one piece of work instead of averaging across all three. The solution can show customer effort, cost per call, cash per call and a large list of other metrics related to each activity.

<italics>Tom Keating is vice president, CTO and executive technology editor/SEO director of TMC. He runs TMC Labs<italics>

Edited by Stefania Viscusi