First Coffee for 24 April 2006: VoIP Down Under, ContactPoint's Trainer for Contact Centers, CRM Vendor CDC's Results, KiBS Wants You For CRM Beta

David Sims : First Coffee
David Sims
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First Coffee for 24 April 2006: VoIP Down Under, ContactPoint's Trainer for Contact Centers, CRM Vendor CDC's Results, KiBS Wants You For CRM Beta

By David Sims
 

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is Beethoven’s String Quartet Op. 1272 in E flat, performed by the Quartetto Italiano in 1968:

Interested in participating in the beta testing of a new CRM product? Oh come on, where’s your sense of adventure?

The Kyliptix Integrated Business Product CRM module is billed by company officials as delivering “integrated sales, marketing, customer service, and support in one complete offering.”

Designed to adapt to the customer acquisition, retention, and development processes within SMBs, this CRM application provides” low cost of ownership and seamlessly integrates with popular accounting software and other external applications used in today’s business environments,” officials say: “KiBS is here to help solve various problems that are traditionally associated with a utility-style billing model.”

Designed to simplify collaboration, interoperability, and integration, KiBS CRM “removes confining, costly aspects of traditional agreements with a utility-style billing model.”

Developed on the principle of software as a service or SaaS , KiBS CRM is designed to let companies eliminate licensing arrangements with recurring fees and software management requirements, free up server storage space and reduce IT costs associated with the deployment of products, the acquisition of hardware, software implementation, and on-going maintenance.

The product’s framework and delivery method lets employees in all areas of an organization work with existing data “rather than replicating or porting data to other locations,” company officials say, adding that the CRM application can be integrated
“with various external applications."

KiBS CRM is currently accepting applications from companies interested in participating in our Beta Program. For more information please email anthony@kyliptix.com.

Enterprise software vendor CDC Corporation, through its CDC Software subsidiary, which focuses on mobile applications and online games through its China.com Inc. (“China.com”) subsidiary, has announced “robust growth in China during the first quarter of 2006,” driven by 24 percent growth in revenue from CDC Software and an increase of 27 percent in online game users.

CDC sells the Pivotal brand of CRM, among other enterprise software products.

During the first quarter of 2006, 16 new customers licensed enterprise software applications from CDC Software in China, and total revenues for the region increased by 24 percent compared to the same period a year ago.

In addition, China.com’s portal business has demonstrated strong momentum over the past quarter, company officials say. China.com has been focusing on developing itself as an ideal portal for Chinese professionals domestically, and the World’s Gateway to China internationally.

China.com is also cross selling CDC Software’s Software as a Service (“SaaS”) products to its enterprise user base. A user survey has been recently completed to assess Chinese SMEs’ demand for SaaS.

CDC Software, The Customer-Driven Company, is a provider of enterprise software applications, including the Pivotal CRM (customer relationship management), Ross ERP (enterprise resource planning) and SCM (supply chain management), IMI warehouse management and order management products.

New Australian Voice over IP (VoIP) provider Clarinet claims to have “reduced its fixed-line call rates to mobiles to 27 (Australian) cents per minute,” company officials say.

Clarinet Director Greg Pennefather said local and national calls are free on the One Country Plan, and only a flat 10 cents or 10 cents per minute respectively on the One World Plan.

Like Vonage in the US, Clarinet’s broadband telephone service is attracting customers looking for cheaper alternatives for fixed-line calls: “Australian residents and businesses make a lot of calls to mobiles from fixed-lines and it gets expensive, which is why our focus is on reducing these costs,” Pennefather said.

To use Clarinet’s service, customers need a broadband connection, a Clarinet phone adaptor and a normal fixed telephone. Customers with a Clarinet broadband telephone connection can call locally, nationally and internationally from a fixed-line phone.

Clarinet Australia Pty Ltd was formed in 2004 as the Australian arm of Clarinet’s US-based global network integration services company called ITC.

Goldman Sachs JBWere analysts are predicting internet telephony to become commonplace among mainstream users within one to two years, according to a report in the Sydney Morning Herald earlier this month.

VoIP technology is booming worldwide, and in the US, the biggest cable companies have halted expansion on traditional telephone services in favor of VoIP, and “the corresponding drop in people using traditional telephony in the US is equally dramatic,” Clarinet officials say.

South African software vendor SGS, Inc., developer of ContactPoint, is announcing products to facilitate hiring and training of contact center employees.

Employee hiring, training and turnover account for 70 percent of the cost of running a customer contact center, company officials say. As more businesses seek products to improve contact center management and return all or part of the contact center function in-house, SGS is selling tools to improve hiring and training processes to increase agent productivity, customer satisfaction and ultimately revenue.

The new ContactPoint Trainer is scheduled to be launched this July. The proprietary Trainer module creates a part of the ContactPoint competency profiling and development strategy to make sure agents’ competencies are brought in line with the competency requirements of their jobs.

Deon Appelgryn, President and CEO of SGS said Trainer was developed “in response to an industry outcry for a way to better manage costs in employee hiring and training in contact centers.”

Employee hiring and training is the largest single expense in managing a contact center, and up until now there have been few tools measuring returns. Training often fails to address the real problem areas, Appelgryn says, “and is delivered in spite of an unclear understanding of what the outcome should be.”

ContactPoint Trainer helps identify areas that require development on a per agent basis, helping target training efforts.

Trainer is a full-fledged learning management system that is fully compliant with the international SCORM interoperability standards. Learning management, course creation and management, resource management, and scheduling are just some of the capabilities that Trainer provides. In addition, the Trainer online learning facility allows the effective use of slow-down times to train agents at their workstations.

Trainer adheres to the ContactPoint competency modeling philosophy, Appelgryn says: “Through the use of competency gap analysis, training can be targeted towards developing the competencies actually required, rather than settling for a costly and inefficient ‘one size fits all’ approach. Not only are new hires up and running sooner, equipped with the skills they need, but ongoing maintenance training ensures that agents constantly move towards an even better fit with the job.”

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