First Coffee for 9 May 2006 (The Portland Report) Business Objects and the U of Mich., RightNow and TD Banknorth, Stroudwater and Dirigio iQueue, Captain Blood

David Sims : First Coffee
David Sims
| CRM, ERP, Contact Center, Turkish Coffee and Astroichthiology:

First Coffee for 9 May 2006 (The Portland Report) Business Objects and the U of Mich., RightNow and TD Banknorth, Stroudwater and Dirigio iQueue, Captain Blood

By David Sims

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is Alison Krauss’s “Down To The River To Pray:”

You have to admire a king with this kind of a sense of humor:

On this night in 1671, Captain Thomas Blood tried to steal the Crown Jewels from the Tower of London. According to Writer’s Almanac, he was disguised as a priest and managed to convince the Jewel House keeper to hand over his pistols. Having done so one of Captain Blood’s accomplices shoved the Royal Orb down his breeches, and Blood himself flattened the crown with a mallet and tried to run off with it.

He and his partners in crime were caught in the act and haled before King Charles, who was so impressed with Blood’s audacity that he pardoned him, restored his estates in Ireland, and gave him an annual pension of five hundred pounds.

Business Objects, a vendor of business intelligence products, has announced that the University of Michigan has standardized on Business Objects.

The University of Michigan, a Business Objects customer since 1998, plans to expand its existing deployment and migrate to BusinessObjects XI Release 2. By using the Business Objects BI platform, administrators and faculty “hope to be able to predict course demand, forecast future state and federal aid, and improve decision making,” according to university officials.

The university has selected BusinessObjects Dashboard Manager to help executives and other non-technical users analyze data and manage performance.

“We hope that upgrading to BusinessObjects XI Release 2 will help us gain greater visibility and control over key performance indicators,” said Laura Patterson, associate vice president for Administrative Information Services at the University of Michigan. “We believe that a planned approach for the entire university is in our collective best interest.”

Patterson said they plan to use Business Objects as “a core business process as we build a more agile institution.”

The University of Michigan has created the Advisors on Information Management Strategy board, a federation of BI user groups from across the campus, to help the university develop standards and best practices for BI.

The university currently uses a mix of systems and software, including Peoplesoft and legacy systems. There are approximately 2,500 Business Objects users within the University of Michigan today.

You know, Alison Krauss is one of those artists you really don’t think to play all that often, but when you do you end up playing a lot by her.

RightNow Technologies is announcing another new client for its Customer Experience Management product, TD Banknorth.

TD Banknorth Inc. is a banking and financial services company headquartered in Portland, Maine and a majority-owned subsidiary of TD Bank Financial Group. As of March 31, 2006, TD Banknorth had over $40 billion of total consolidated assets and provided financial services to more than 1.5 million households in the Northeast.

TD Banknorth’s initial implementation was completed in 90 days. The bank has since identified benefits from using the system, such as “the ability to answer 50 percent of its e-mails within six hours and 97 percent within 24 hours,” according to RightNow officials.

The bank’s RightNow-powered online knowledge base has reportedly reduced e-mail volume to its contact center by more than 55 percent. This reduction, combined with the efficiencies RightNow brought to e-mail management, allowed the bank to shift the majority of its e-mail customer service resources to other areas.

TD Banknorth has since customized its implementation in a variety of ways in order to fulfill its specific business requirements. For example, a business rule in RightNow automatically detects whether non-secured e-mails contain sensitive personal information such as customer Social Security numbers. If so, the system rejects the message and directs customers to a different system.

The professional services team also customized the public interface of the knowledge base to match the look-and-feel of the TD Banknorth site so the bank’s customers would feel “right at home.”

TD Banknorth selected RightNow after looking at other CRM products. Key factors in the bank’s decision included RightNow’s intuitive knowledge-driven products and its multi-version, multi-tenancy SmartHosting environment, which is regularly subject to SAS70 Level 2 audits, a due diligence process that assures corporations of the safety and integrity of their data when it is being handled by a third party.

Stroudwater Contact Point has announced the introduction of its new Dirigo iQueue IP-ACD/PBX.

Dirigo iQueue is a server-based Automatic Call Distributor (ACD) and PBX supporting digital, analog and VoIP telephony standards.

Dirigo is a Latin term meaning “to guide,” but of course you already knew that.

Based on the highly popular Asterisk open-source PBX, iQueue provides a comprehensive set of PBX features including conference bridging, follow-me extensions and voice mail.

This must be the Portland, Maine edition of First Coffee, as Stroudwater is also based there. New York, London, Frankfurt, Zurich, Milan, Portland.

Stroudwater has added enterprise-class ACD capabilities such as unlimited agent groups, multiple routing strategies, detailed real-time displays, flexible, standards based reporting by agents, campaigns and groups, advanced call recording and monitoring, remote agents, virtual queues, unique ACD softphone, true third-party call control, advanced yet easy-to-use scripting.

Designed to handle contact centers from 5 positions to more than 75 positions, iQueue provides a robust and stable platform for growth. Dirigo iQueue provides customers with a legacy PBX or ACD an upgrade path at their own pace from their current TDM environment to a true IP based PBX and ACD.

When used with Stroudwater’s Dirigo iGuide dynamic desktop environment, it provides a complete end-to-end product for business telephony.

“Dirigo iQueue provides a level of capabilities not previously offered in this price range,” claims Bill Hunt, Stroudwater Contact Point’s president and chief technology officer. “Stroudwater’s experience in implementing enterprise contact centers has given us a unique perspective that allowed us to give iQueue the power of an enterprise-class ACD combined with high-end PBX functionality with the price point of a mid-range business PBX.”

Field trial implementations of iQueue are scheduled to begin at two 70-seat facilities in May. The product will be formally launched May 11.

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