By David Sims
David at firstcoffee d*t biz
The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is Adam Carroll’s Far Away Blues:
Tigerpaw Software, a vendor of IT business management software, has announced it has entered into a technology alliance with Kaseya, a vendor of Managed Service Automation software for IT providers.
Officials of both firms say the move is to “enrich the platform for the delivery of IT managed services through the integration of functionality between Kaseya and Tigerpaw CRM+.”
Tigerpaw CRM+, integrated with Kaseya’s MSA software, enables end-to-end CRM, service automation and inventory tracking while delivering a complete view into clients’ IT environments, according to Tigerpaw CEO Dave Foxall.
Foxall said the integration of the two applications creates a product for MSPs, pairing Kaseya’s network monitoring capabilities with Tigerpaw’s professional service automation tools. E-mail alerts generated through the Kaseya product are monitored, interpreted, and routed to appropriate technicians, and ultimately converted into service orders, through the Tigerpaw CRM+ Managed Services Integrator.
Always like to recognize quality whenever and wherever it’s honored:, so congrats to CIGNA Life Insurance, winner of the 2007 Call Center of the Year Award, 26 to 75 seat category, at the Telecommunications Users Association of New Zealand Awards.
Mark Kenning, CIGNA contact center manager, said his company has “invested heavily in recent years in our people, training and systems.”
Also a finalist in 2006, the win is especially significant as the CIGNA Contact Center makes predominately outbound calls. It is traditionally more difficult for an outbound center to win an award of this nature.
Hanover Group won for the fewer than 25 seats category, and earlier had won the Silver Award for Best Contact Center, less than 50 seats, in the Asia-Pacific section of the Contact Center World Awards. More than 600 competitors, from 60 countries, entered those awards.
Frances Maddren, Hanover’s Contact Center Manager, says the latest wins make Hanover’s customer call center “the most awarded in New Zealand.” She attributes the success to “old-fashioned” service.
“Our approach is to take the time, and make it memorable. We don’t have a recorded voice system where callers are asked to select service options. When people ring Hanover, they know they are going to get straight through to a real person, and one who will listen to them and won’t try and rush them off the phone,” she says.
In 2006, Hanover won Contact Center Manager of the Year at the TUANZ awards, and in 2005, it also won TUANZ Contact Center of the Year.
It has also had outstanding success in New Zealand’s other major contact center awards forum, the Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Awards. Last year, it won the Supreme Diamond Award, less than 50 seats, at CRM, as well as winning the best in the financial services industry category for the fourth year running.
Sabio, a vendor of contact center services, has recommended Leeds City Council implement a new Customer Feedback product for its Contact Leeds corporate contact center.
Sabio will deploy the Impact 360 Customer Feedback system from Verint’s Witness Actionable Solutions, which will enable the Council’s customers to provide immediate and relevant feedback at a fraction of the cost of previous postal feedback campaigns.
The new Customer Feedback product will replace a number of previous ad hoc feedback approaches, including outsourced phone-based satisfaction surveys and post feedback campaigns, and will allow the Council to assume internal control of customer feedback programs for Contact Leeds.
According to Adam Quesne, Head of Customer Development at Leeds City Council: “when we assessed the performance of our postal surveys we found that it was costing us up to £5 per survey, and it was very difficult to do anything useful with the resulting data, like linking responses back to actual calls, specific call types or agents.”
With the new Impact 360 product, he says, “we’ll get immediate feedback, the cost per survey will be in pence rather than pounds, and we’ll be able to connect individual customer feedback to the actual call recordings.”
With the addition of this new Impact 360 Customer Feedback module, he added, “we can start to get a more complete picture by adding an external customer perspective on how our different services are performing.”
The Impact 360 Customer Feedback product uses short, context-sensitive dynamic surveys to capture information from customers across all channels of contact. The system will provide Leeds City Council with unlimited surveying across any communications channel or customer contact, and will provide the ability to link survey results and customer feedback directly to call recordings as well as full performance management integration.
Alcatel-Lucent has launched the Alcatel-Lucent OmniTouch Contact Center Premium Edition, a contact center product designed for mid-market businesses and offering pre-integration with some CRM applications.
This latest contact center product bundles the Alcatel-Lucent OmniPCX platform with Genesys 7 software, taking a “user-centric” approach that provides what company officials describe as “an advanced multimedia contact center with a fully centralized, graphical management environment that simplifies deployment and boosts customer value.”
Its features include call qualification, management of real-time business conditions, and innovative collaboration capabilities that link agents, experts and customers.
The Alcatel-Lucent OmniTouch Contact Center Premium Edition is designed to be intuitively operated by the contact center managers, supervisors and agents. Designed for 20 to 150 agents, the product provides a graphical interface, the Visual CC, that reduces training costs and “time to customer value” between implementation and the first call answered by an agent.
Visual CC offers visibility and control at every stage, from design to operations, through real-time, color-coded interaction and call flows. For historical performance, Visual CC provides a comprehensive set of pre-defined reports to optimize contact center operations.
CRM and online office suite producer Zoho has partnered with Facebook to offer three new applications on the popular social networking site, and some of the few such applications intended for any productive use, according to industry journal CBC
On Tuesday, Zoho launched its word-processing, spreadsheet and presentation applications, called Writer, Sheet and Show, respectively. They’re now available to add to Facebook user profiles. Zoho officials hope the Facebook tie-in will give Zoho an edge over rival Google Office in popularizing the new Web-based office suite, CBC says.
CBC calls the Zoho products “the first office tools on Facebook and among the few applications with any serious intent… aside from a few tools providing stock quotes or classified ads, most of the 1,000-plus Facebook applications fall within the realm of the useless but entertaining, such as SuperPoke!, which allows you to (virtually) caress, sucker-punch or throw sheep at your friends.”
“Useless?” Depends on who gets hit with the sheep, I guess.