RightNow Technologies officials say their CRM on-demand product is "assisting" 200+ service representatives for Jackson Hewitt Tax Service, a tax prep company, give better customer support experiences.
Specifically, RightNow officials say, the tool lets reps view "contextual and timely" information for each customer call, see a single, unified view of all customer and franchisee interactions and access the same self-learning knowledge base used on the company's Web site for more consistent and accurate answers.
Jackson Hewitt piloted the RightNow product this past tax season at the peak of its seasonal activity -- throwing it to the wolves right out of the gate "to ensure it was robust enough to handle its high volume of interactions with franchisees, while simultaneously improving their support experiences," according to RightNow officials. Indeed, if it can handle that mad rush it's probably the right tool for the company.
"The successful trial of the RightNow on demand solution during our busy season proved that it could help us deliver a better customer experience and could scale to meet our needs during the most demanding time of year," says Danamichele Brennen, Chief Technology Officer, Jackson Hewitt. She added that using the tool, "call volumes dropped, questions were answered and we received positive responses from our franchise system."
Describing it as "part of its ongoing commitment to Java technology... as well as industry-wide technology standards and open source," SAP says it's taking "a more active leadership role" in the Eclipse Foundation by increasing its membership level from Strategic Consumer to Strategic Developer.
Its expanded involvement means SAP will collaborate with other members on building an open development platform comprised of extensible frameworks, tools and run times for building, deploying and managing software across the life cycle. The Eclipse Git Team Provider project was co-initiated by SAP for a distributed version control system to get easier Eclipse integration and better performance at reduced total cost of ownership.
However, the survey also found that most small businesses are not yet equipped to let employees work from home or mobile locations -- 66 percent of respondents say that less than a quarter of their employees, and in some cases no employees, are currently equipped to work away from the office.
Small businesses are different from big businesses, in that a) they're smaller, and b) "they can have a more flexible, entrepreneurial mind-set that can help them thrive, even in current conditions," according to Anthony Bartolo, general manager of Avaya's Integrated Office Communications business unit.
Calling it a "demonstration of its ongoing commitment to providing affordable products for small businesses in a tough economy," AT&T has announced a bundled offer targeted at small businesses that includes wireless, wired and high speed Internet services, starting at less than $100 a month.
The "All for Less" bundle is now available to qualifying small business customers (one to four lines in a single location) across AT&T's 22-state footprint.
It also offers AT&T High Speed Internet Business Edition in "a variety of speeds," with U.S.-based business-class technical support, all-in-one protection suite for selected tiers, up to 11 e-mail accounts and AT&T Wi-Fi connectivity at more than 20,000 hot spots nationwide and more than 90,000 hotspots worldwide.
There's also unlimited local calling voice package, including Call Forwarding and Caller ID and unlimited domestic long distance calling. To qualify, customers must already have wireless service or purchase new wireless service from AT&T in addition to new or existing local voice, long distance voice and broadband services.
According to industry research firm In-Stat, small businesses with one to four employees spent nearly $17 billion last year on telecom services and associated equipment in such areas as wireless, broadband, and local and long distance voice.
MTS Allstream is announcing the launch of Virtual Workplace Solutions, described as a suite of end-to-end products for "business customers of all sizes."
"Business today can see the value in a remote workplace strategy, but the challenges can be daunting," says Dean Prevost, President Enterprise Solutions, MTS Allstream. His company, Prevost says, can "create a virtual workplace strategy for a multi-site organization with hundreds or thousands of employees, in different time zones, with many variables. We can cut out the clutter, and help ensure the different platforms required to support Virtual Workplace work together. We've done it for our own business."
Remote workplace strategies "are not just about the technology," he says, explaining that "it's a shift in culture, in human resources policies and the adoption of collaboration tools within an enterprise."
MTS Allstream is a wholly owned subsidiary of Manitoba Telecom Services. Manitoba Telecom Services Inc.'s common shares are listed on The Toronto Stock Exchange.