SpeechTEK Notes...

| Contact Center/CRM Views and Analysis

SpeechTEK Notes...

Personalization:Several notes from SpeechTEK, held earlier this week in New York City:

--The industry is waiting for 'G', as in 3G, to enable integrated voice/visual (web/video) solutions to mobile customers. These tools have been under development but have no real place to go in the North American market until the wireless carriers upgrade their platforms to permit these applications

--Legislation/regulations are affecting offerings. Handsfree wireless laws create a need for integrated voice/web interfaces. The new FTC TSR amendments prohibit outbound pre-recorded telemarketing messages unless there is express consent

--Personalization: the ability to engage automated systems with customers becoming extremely important to improve success rates, customer satisfaction rates, and sales

--Speech analytics becoming key as enterprises want to mine calls to learn more about their customers

--Call avoidance i.e. of calls made by and to live agents is becoming a key strategy of speech and CRM suppliers and teleservices agencies as it helps their clients reduce costs and improve service--and customer satisfaction/retention

--Concerns/questions about security of automated speech authentication with one hacker-come-security consultant who reportedly manipulated the application for a CEO's system to think it was the executive

--The Aumtech/Microsoft/JetBlue story is shaking up vendors in that space because of the pricing model; also anytime Microsoft shows a strong interest in a market there is concern by smaller firms of what could happen to them. At the same time there is interest by those suppliers who make applications using the engines in Microsoft's low-priced and rugged speech solution because it could help them cut their costs and become more competitive

--The show floor acoustics leave a lot to be desired: ironic for a speech event. The noise levels were so high that one could barely hear someone else speak. That and scarcity of seats forced private meetings to 2 to 3 floors away, which wastes time

--The speech and CRM mix appears awkward, especially the support, WFO, and HR aspects. The most forlorn booth: Kelly Services. It was really out of place, both marketwise and in location in a tech-oriented show. Yet Kelly addresses staffing needs: which are 70 percent of contact center costs: and why contact centers exist

--The most fun exhibits: ClickFox's energetic team of greeters at the entrance, and Nuance's Can't Stop Stupid Calls.

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