Fonality Targets Call Centers with Advanced Call Center Features

Tom Keating : VoIP & Gadgets Blog
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Fonality Targets Call Centers with Advanced Call Center Features

I met with Fonality CEO Chris Lyman at ITEXPO and he gave me a demo of HUD 3.0, which includes some very advanced call center features. HUD 3.0 now not only displays the queues, but it lets you drag-and-drop individual queues off the main HUD client onto your Desktop allowing managers & agents to focus on specific queues of interest. The new version features important statistics such as abandonment rate, ASA (average speed of answer), and more. You can see all of your agents in a particular queue and they are color coded to indicate their status (on internal call, on queue call, etc.)

One critical feature is that if a call is not being answered, it immediately broadcasts a toast popup window to all the agents in the queue and allows an agent to take the call before it is abandoned. Chris told me this feature has even helped to dramatically reduce the abandonment rate internally at Fonality for their support and customer service queues.
The advanced queue features in HUD 3.0 should really open the door for Fonality to go after medium-sized call centers that require real-time queue statistics and other advanced call center functionality.

The HUD 3.0 client has been totally revamped and written from scratch resulting in a 45% reduction in memory. They've also moved away from IRC chat backbone and are now using Jabber/XMPP which Chris says is less "chatty" on the network.

With the XMPP support, you can even add Google Talk users to your Contacts list within HUD. He demonstrated sending IMs to his Blackberry running the Google Talk client. There is no VoIP support yet, but that will be possible with Jingle which is installed in Asterisk 1.4. Currently, trixbox Pro and PBXtra are running on Asterisk 1.2. Chris also told me they plan to federate with other clients such as AOL/AIM, MSN Messenger, Yahoo! Messenger, etc. Once Jingle is added and Fonality moves to Asterisk 1.4 (no ETA) then you can make VoIP calls from your regular extension to MSN Messenger, Yahoo! Messenger, Google Talk, AOL, etc.

Of course, I told Chris he needs to add a SIP stack & full softphone capability to HUD so you can use HUD when telecommuting, traveling, etc. He did say I could use Counterpath's Xten SIP softphone client, but it's not nearly as feature-rich as HUD and it requires a second communications client to be open. I'm all about unified communications not diverging communications!

Still, I have to give the Fonality team mad props for the new HUD 3.0. I like the new docking/undocking windows feature which lets you undock specific portions of the HUD client and still minimize the main HUD application while leaving the undocked windows open. And again, I think the new advanced queues capabilities in HUD 3.0 with real-time color-coded stats should catch the eye of call center managers looking for a new feature-rich phone system.

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