By David Sims
David at firstcoffee d*t biz
The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is an old favorite here at the sprawling campus of First Coffee, Duke Ellington's Blues In Orbit:
WealthCraft Systems Inc. and Decillion Solutions Group have announced that they will partner in Asia to market WealthCraft's total wealth management product, including Advisor Workbench, Atoms Order Management, and Atoms SWIFTNet Funds Gateway.
The full product suite, integrated with Microsoft CRM, is a software system specifically designed to offer financial institutions and financial managers an automated product to "enhance the delivery of wealth management services," according to company officials.
WealthCraft CEO Kelly J. Tallas said given the current Asian economic environment, "the number of wealthy individuals is growing dramatically, and according to a Merrill Lynch world wealth report for 2005, personal wealth in Asia is estimated to reach $10.1 trillion by 2009."
Wealth management firms, Tallas said, need consolidated, multi-channel wealth management platforms to integrate all the components required for managing client portfolios, letting them improve advisor/ client communication and "therefore increase client satisfaction."
Tallas said Decillion's experience providing business products for financial institutions throughout Asia and its awareness of the SWIFTNet system, when combined with WealthCraft's product, "offer a synergistic opportunity for both companies, enabling us to achieve much greater market penetration in a much shorter time span than either company could achieve alone."
WealthCraft and Decillion anticipate beginning their new partnership with the first of a series of SouthEast Asia business focus seminars, sponsored jointly by WealthCraft, Decillion and Microsoft, to be held in Singapore later this spring.
To support its activity in Saudi Arabia, National Flight Service has selected Frontliners to deliver contact center outsourcing services on behalf of Air Arabia.
By outsourcing CRM operations to Altitude-powered Frontliners, NFS expects to see increased customer reach for Air Arabia passengers, improved customer satisfaction and cost savings.
NFS is a General Sales Agent for airlines in Saudi Arabia.
A multilingual team of experienced customer service agents was selected to handle Air Arabia inbound calls. All the chosen agents have been fully trained on the Air Arabia offering so they are able to offer customized advice to customers regarding flight availability, prices and destinations.
Fully customized outsourced CRM campaigns powered by Altitude uCI Frontliners was established in March 2005 to provide outsourced contact center services in the GCC and sells inbound and outbound CRM outsourcing services in the region.
Commenting on the technology used at the Jeddah-based contact center site, Frontliners IT Manager Eng. Yazan Abu Zannad noted that Altitude's products allow flexibility in designing front-office applications for clients, which means "we can propose an entire suite of customer communications."
Altitude uCI is a platform independent contact center with a universal queue and full blended support for voice -- inbound handling and outbound dialing -- IVR, e-mail response management, Web collaboration, and Web chat.
Since the Altitude uCI suite was deployed at Frontliners' contact center in October 2005, the outsourcing company has reported a 72 percent reduction of waiting times and a boost in first call resolution rates from 39 percent to 89 percent. Electronic Solution House, a certified Altitude Software partner in the GCC since 2001, has handled the installation and configuration of Altitude uCI at Frontliners.
Business & Decision Group and Inforte Corp. announced that they have entered into a definitive agreement under which Business & Decision will acquire Inforte for $4.25 per share in an all-cash transaction.
The transaction is valued at approximately $50 million and represents a 33 percent premium to Inforte's closing share price on May 11, and a net cash purchase price of approximately $22 million adjusted for Inforte's expected cash balance as of May 14, 2007.
The terms of the transaction have been unanimously approved by the Boards of Directors of both companies. Inforte Chairman, Philip Bligh, and CEO, Stephen Mack, (representing approximately 30 percent of the current shares outstanding) have committed to vote their Inforte shares in favor of the transaction.
The transaction is expected to be completed in approximately 90 days.
Business & Decision's Founder and Chairman Patrick Bensabat said the transaction is intended to strengthen the company's US, UK and India presence and capabilities and establish a German practice.
Inforte employs over 200 consultants with SAP Business Intelligence and CRM domain expertise.
StreamServe Inc. has announced StreamServe Financial Services, designed for use with the SAP for Banking product portfolio, is now an SAP-endorsed product.
This product is billed as providing cost savings by offering an integrated, end-to-end document processing product. The consolidation of multiple documents into individualized customer communications and personalized customer content "enhances customer service and retention," company officials say.
StreamServe Financial Services will be positioned by both companies.
The product's designed for use with SAP for Banking, and is supposed to improve operational efficiencies within high-volume environments typical of financial services by "integrating disparate document processes, streamlining the creation and distribution of enterprise documents, and consolidating customer information into fewer documents," company officials say.
It's supposed to enhance SAP business processes for banking from account activation to statement delivery across banking applications, including the SAP Deposits Management, SAP Loans Management and SAP Customer Relationship Management (SAP CRM) applications.
It gives customers personalized account statements, welcome packs and business correspondence, "transforming simple customer statements into effective communications, relevant to each unique customer," company officials say.
Contact center team leaders spend more than three times as many hours on breaks as they do addressing external quality issues, according to a long-term analysis of some 50 contact centers by the global management consulting firm Compass.
This lack of attention to quality underscores a fundamental problem with how contact centers are managed, and helps account for why, according to a recent consumer survey, "97 percent of contact center customers are dissatisfied with some aspect of their experience," Compass officials say.
"Simply put, contact centers focus on all the wrong issues,'' said John Sansbury, who headed the analysis and is global director of Compass' service management practice. "They're typically concerned with reducing call length and idle time per shift, or increasing the number of calls fielded."
Such measures are "worse than irrelevant," Sansbury says, "in many cases, enhanced contact center 'efficiency' can result in a decrease in the quality of customer service."
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