Contact Center News Round-Up

Looking at the amount of news coming out of the contact center industry lately, one would never guess we’ve entered a period of slow economic growth: Vendors are pumping out announcements about new products and software upgrades at the same unrelenting pace they were about a year ago. Here are a few announcements from this past week that caught our attention:

SpeechStorm, a provider of speech enabled self-service systems for contact centers, has announced that its software applications can now be integrated into the Intelligent Customer Front Door (iCFD) system from Genesys.

The iCFD system — which SpeechStorm helped develop for Genesys — enables personalized messages to be played for callers when they dial a contact center to place an order or ask a question. By applying a business rules engine to all incoming calls, contact centers can determine caller identity, establish caller intent, and personalize the call based on previous experience with the caller collected from back-end systems.

The iCFD system was developed in response to market research showing that 89% of customers want proactive communications from companies, assuming the information is useful, and 84% want to receive cross-sell offers. By establishing who the caller is, their intent and history, contact centers can now intelligently upsell, cross-sell and steer the customer call with greater speed and accuracy.

Aspect Software
The PerformanceEdge Group of Aspect Software has introduced the next version of Aspect Quality Management, the call recording and quality management component of Aspect’s PerformanceEdge workforce optimization suite.

Version 2.8.1 works in both VoIP and TDM environements and offers tight integrations to Aspect Unified IP and VoIP recording for Aspect CallCenter ACD. It also includes a connector that enables it to record voices and screens of agents using Aspect Unified IP 6.5 and higher. This helps companies achieve full-time call logging, rules-based recording driven by specific business criteria, or on-demand ad hoc recording of specific interactions.

Convergys Corporation
Convergys has announced that it will be expand its operations in the Philippines with the addition of five new integrated contact centers. This brings the total number of contact centers the company operates in the Philippines to 14.

The new facilities will employ up to an additional 7,000 agents, bringing Convergys’ total agent workforce in the country to approximately 20,000. The new contact centers will provide both general support and advanced technical help desk services to a variety of clients via traditional voice calling, e-mail, and Web chat, as well as “back office” application and document processing.

Interactive Intelligence Inc.
Interactive Intelligence is developing an integrated solution that combines its all-in-one IP communications software platform with Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007. The integration is designed to help organizations communicate more effectively by adding contact center and IP telephony functionality to OCS environments.

The integrated system will offer advanced features such as multi-channel skills-based routing, call and screen recording, an operator console interface, workforce management, and cradle-to-grave reporting. It also offers the ability to exchange instant messages (IM) between the two systems using OCS’s secure IM engine through a common enterprise-wide user directory.

Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007 is an IP-based unified communications platform that handles instant messaging, voice over IP, audio and video conferencing. It works with existing telecommunications systems so businesses can deploy VoIP and IP-based conferencing without having to tear out their legacy phone networks. Microsoft OCS also offers a presence capability that lets a user see another user’s preferred mode of contact before sending a message or making a call.

Contact center outsourcing firm VIPdesk, which uses remote or home-based agents almost exclusively, has introduced a new version of its online recruiting portal that includes a more streamlined application process.

“VIPdesk is actively recruiting for thousands of home-based customer service contractors via our updated online recruiting portal, which allows potential applicants to apply for opportunities with VIPdesk in the easiest manner possible,” says Mary Naylor, CEO/founder of VIPdesk. “The new streamlined qualification process provides prospective candidates with up-to-date communications, informing potential Brand Ambassadors of their progress at each step in the qualification process.”

VIPdesk is a pioneer in the field of remote agents. It offers concierge and virtual call center services for companies operating in the retail, travel, auto and financial services industries.

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