CRM Help From Bigcheeseware, Callidus and Thrivent, Hansen and Sarasota, Aspect 2.5.1

David Sims : First Coffee
David Sims
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CRM Help From Bigcheeseware, Callidus and Thrivent, Hansen and Sarasota, Aspect 2.5.1

By David Sims

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is Miles Davis' landmark jazz album "Bitches Brew." It's considered a "landmark" by critics, personally I like what he did before this album better than what he did after it.

Bigcheeseware has announced a 30-day trial for businesses of what it calls its "Total CRM Design."

As more and more online consumers take advantage of free trial services, Bigcheeseware officials say, Internet-based businesses like to offer free trial sessions.

Some more "free" than others, of course, in First Coffee's opinion the truly devious ones are like Sports Illustrated saying "Four Free Issues!" and it turning out that if you subscribe first, they'll throw on four free issues at the end of your subscription term, not that they'll give you four free issues to decide if you like the magazine or not.

"Free trials differ in terms of use and the period of use," Bigcheeseware officials note. "From kids’ and adults’ computer games to anti-virus software and CRMs, free trials are one way of taking hold of a business’ target market."

Which of course is what Bigcheeseware is doing. "Bigcheeseware’s countless features make it one of the most powerful tools in live chat support software," company officials claim, saying it's also "packed with features absent in other support software," to wit, Instant Message and Email Notification of Dropped Chat and Chat on Queue, a Web Call Back System, Live customer support agents -- hey, there's a new one!

There's a Customizable Proactive Chat Total CRM Solution, as well as a Real Time Agent Performance Reporting, which lets you "evaluate your live support agents with Bigcheeseware’s Performance Agent Scores feature."

Bigcheeseware’s promotional 30-day free trial registration runs on secure pages, company officials say, adding that registration information is kept private and is used only for verifying purposes. Bigcheeseware free trial is enhanced with the most basic live chat features.

Bigcheeseware combines voice, e-mail and chat technology with real live customer support agents in real-time interaction.

Callidus Software Inc., a vendor of Enterprise Incentive Management, has announced that Thrivent Financial for Lutherans, which calls itself -- and First Coffee has no reason to disagree -- "the nation's leading fraternal benefit society with nearly 3 million members," has selected Callidus' TrueComp Manager and TrueInformation software modules to "automate the organization's administration, reporting and analysis of incentive compensation."

Thrivent Financial officials says they chose the Callidus Software to "reduce operating costs and to improve time to market with new products and compensation changes." The organization will implement Callidus Software's TrueComp Manager and TrueInformation software modules for its 2,500 financial representatives.

Thrivent and its subsidiaries offer financial services including insurance, annuities and mutual funds, as well as a broad range of educational and volunteer opportunities.

"We believe that the TrueComp EIM software will provide better support for our sales teams, support our cost reduction goals and provide significantly improved reporting and analysis capabilities to help us better monitor our business," said Mark Coleman, vice president, field administration of Thrivent Financial.

EIM software products are used to allow employees and channel distribution partners to be compensated accurately and on time.

"Thrivent Financial is positioned to achieve improved alignment of incentive compensation with member engagement, a key metric for a fraternal benefit society," explained Leslie Stretch, senior vice president worldwide sales for Callidus Software.

Hansen Information Technologies, a vendor of software for the public sector market, has announced that it has been awarded a $1.1 million contract to provide the Hansen 8 Community Development and Regulation product to the City of Sarasota, Florida.

The four phases of the CDR solution will include Licensing and Escrow, Code Compliance, Building and Permits, and Development Application Review.

Also included in the deployment plan will be a mobile product and Hansen's DynamicPORTAL. DynamicPORTAL will give the citizens of Sarasota the ability to input service requests, apply for permits, schedule inspections, and more.

"Our previous system was expensive and difficult to use, and limited both our reporting ability and our capacity to adapt to change," said Kevin Wells, Manager of Electronic Government Services for the City of Sarasota. So in February 2005 the city began searching for a CDR product.

The business of government is increasing, evidently, and much to the chagrin of us civil libertarians everywhere: The City of Sarasota serves over 58,000 citizens and 22,000 properties. In 2005, the City issued over 5,600 permits, managed over 2,300 code enforcement cases, and processed over 6,100 occupational licenses -- up from 5,300 permits, 1,800 cases, and 5,800 licenses in 2004.

The city expects the Hansen product to help streamline the permitting process and make information transparent and directly accessible to developers, contractors, and owners. City officials also hope it will reduce the total cost of construction by reducing downtime from inspections, and increase the effectiveness of citizens' tax dollars by automating routine tasks, and that it will "significantly" decrease the cost and increase the effectiveness of governance by integrating information across the city.

Aspect Software, Inc., has announced the general availability of Aspect Quality Management™ 2.5.1, a product billed as "simplifying the call recording and quality management process."

The latest release of Aspect Quality Management includes a tight integration with Aspect Spectrum ACD, which means the quality management and full-time recording is available to all users of the Aspect Signature ACDs, including Aspect CallCenter ACD.

Aspect Quality Management, from the company's Contact Center Performance Optimization product line, provides capabilities for recording, reviewing and reporting on customer interactions. Many companies use that information to help improve agent performance and job satisfaction, increase customer satisfaction and revenue generation, and better manage overall costs.

The new integration with Aspect Spectrum ACD, as well as the existing integration with Aspect CallCenter ACD, can probably benefit contact centers using the Aspect Software Signature ACDs, including lower cost of ownership, ease of use, improved partitioning of call access and security, and more power to find calls of interest quickly.

The recording and compression technologies used in such products do make it possible to capture considerably more calls, allowing contact centers to implement 100 percent recording. Such systems perform audio and screen recording of the full interaction, with easy access to all call segments when calls are transferred to observe the complete customer experience.

Good systems (such as this one) even allow for the customer to be automatically surveyed after the call, using tools that any contact center manager can administer, removing the need for IT resources when new surveys are desired.

Brian Derr, vice president of quality management solutions at Aspect Software explained that being able to configure call recording rules based on existing ACD definitions, and then monitor every segment of a call as it is transferred "while receiving tightly integrated customer feedback when the satisfaction survey is completed," helps to identify areas for improvement with the agent, "the overall interaction process, and the enterprise as a whole."

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