Visitar's CRM Appointments, Omega's Call Center Training, Centive Compel, NCO Group, PG&E's CRM Upgrade

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

Visitar's CRM Appointments, Omega's Call Center Training, Centive Compel, NCO Group, PG&E's CRM Upgrade

By David Sims

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is "Six Months In A Leaky Boat" by Split Enz:

Visitar, which likes to call itself "the first company to offer hosted communications enabled customer relationship management (CRM) products exclusively for the true small and mid-sized business," has announced two executive appointments, poaching some Avaya talent.

Stephanie Anderson has been named vice president of channel and alliance marketing; and Tommy Nijem joins as Visitar's chief architect and vice president of engineering.

As Visitar's VP of channel and alliance marketing, Stephanie Anderson will lead the company's efforts to deliver the channel program. Her responsibilities will include architecting the strategy and design of the channel and alliance programs, channel governance, sales enablement and marketing programs.

Prior to joining Visitar, Anderson served as VP of services solutions sales for Avaya Inc., where she was responsible for over $1 billion in revenues.

Tommy Nijem will lead the Visitar development team, and as VP of engineering and chief architect, work closely with Visitar CTO George T. Sullivan on the company's product architecture.

Most recently, Nijem held the position of director, services technology strategy and development for Avaya, Inc.

In addition to the two executive appointments, the company reports hires in product management, support, channel development and engineering.

Visitar provides customer relationship management (CRM) and sales force automation (SFA) products that "link rich telephony capabilities with business applications," according to company officials, and are delivered as a hosted service.

Centive, a vendor of on-demand sales compensation management, has announced that Trex Co. Inc., the manufacturer of Trex decking and railing, selling what's evidently called "alternative decking lumber" has gone live with Centive's sales compensation product, Centive Compel.

Trex selected Compel to automate sales compensation and provide sales representatives and managers with "real-time visibility into sales performance."

" We required a rapid deployment," said Mitch Cox, vice president of sales for Trex Co.

Centive Compel is an on-demand sales compensation management product that, according to the marketing copy, "automates the entire sales compensation process in one secure, centralized system." Along with calculating accurate sales commission and bonus payments the product is billed as being able to provide real-time visibility, flexibility and scalability.

The product features integration with and other CRM systems to let sales reps and managers forecast compensation based on opportunities within their pipeline. Centive calls this level of automation of the sales lifecycle "From Prospect to Paycheck." They say it helps ensure that sales representatives stay "focused, aligned and motivated to close the right business." See the carrot…

Centive Compel was recently awarded the 2006 CRM Excellence award from Customer Interaction Solutions Magazine.

NCO Group, Inc., which sells business process outsourcing services, has announced second quarter of 2006 net income of $10.0 million, or $0.31 per diluted share; including special charges of $1.4 million, net of taxes, or $0.04 per diluted share.

This compares to net income of $14.1 million, or $0.42 per diluted share, in the second quarter of 2005. Guidance for the second quarter was $0.26 to $0.31 per diluted share, including special charges of $0.04 per diluted share.

The special charges are "associated with the previously announced restructuring of the company's legacy operations to streamline the company's cost structure, the integration of recent acquisitions, and costs associated with the company's proposed merger," according to company officials.

The restructuring charges are included as a separate line item under operating costs and expenses, and the integration and merger charges are included in payroll and related expenses, and selling, general and administrative expenses.

NCO is organized into four divisions that include Accounts Receivable Management North America ("ARM North America"), Customer Relationship Management ("CRM"), Portfolio Management, and Accounts Receivable Management International ("ARM International").

Overall revenue in the second quarter of 2006 was $296.2 million, an increase of 17.3%, or $43.8 million, from revenue of $252.4 million in the second quarter of 2005.

Pacific Gas & Electric Company, one of the nation's largest combination natural gas and electric utilities, has gone live with an upgrade of SPL Customer Care & Billing software.

PG&E also replaced an existing CRM application with SPL CC&B's Practical CRM software, which gives utility companies the specific CRM functions they need.

Pat Lawicki, PG&E's Chief Information Officer said the company chose the Memorial Day weekend to install the upgrade, and "by the end of the weekend the system had been upgraded and was ready to support both normal and storm user leads."

Isn't "Storm User Leads," as Dave Barry would say, a great name for a rock band?

"As with any CIS migration of this type, there were some unplanned events," Lawicki said, adding that "employees have been quickly adapting to the new system."

Tom King, President and Chief Executive Officer for PG&E Company, said the SPL CC&B application "improves access to customer information and supports SmartMeter billing, automates manual processes and reduces errors. These enhancements will allow our customer service representatives to provide customers with improved and more consistent service."

Omega Performance has announced the availability of a call center sales training program, "Turning Service Into Sales Online," described as an interactive eLearning course which "gives call center agents and their managers the skills and tools they need to expand customer conversations beyond the point of a customer's initial service request."

The hope is employees learn how to "deliver increased wallet share, deepen customer relationships, and improve customer loyalty."

The eLearning course was developed by Omega Performance's call center and technology-based learning staff, company officials say, "to meet two growing demands of the call center industry: (1) delivery of a dynamic experience that exceeds customers' expectations and satisfies their needs and (2) flexible, cost-effective training to develop agents' sales and service skills."

Anne Ivey, Omega Performance senior vice president and contact center director, is pushing the program by saying it "can help a call center shift more quickly from being a cost center to a profit center."

The program can train one employee at a time or the entire call center. Four hours in duration, the program is accessible 24-7. Hey, use it during periods of low call volume. And if the trainee is interrupted by pesky customer calls, the program bookmarks progress in the course and returns them to their point of departure upon return.

If read off-site hit for the fully-linked version. First CoffeeSM accepts no sponsored content.

Featured Events