Unified360, Riff Raters for IPhone, AltiGen, DocuSign at Dreamforce, Taylor Research Group, Ideal Dialogue

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

Unified360, Riff Raters for IPhone, AltiGen, DocuSign at Dreamforce, Taylor Research Group, Ideal Dialogue

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is Don Byron's Ivey-Divey. Interesting clarinet jazz, we raised an eyebrow at the cover of "Freddie Freeloader," but it works:

Communications products vendor Unified360 has announced a new customer: Rasa Floors & Carpet Cleaning, described by Unified360 officials as "one of Texas' fastest growing floor and carpet cleaning companies."
Always good to have fast-growing companies as customers, yes. 
Rasa Floors wanted something to help "streamline communication with their customers," according to Jim Barker, CEO of Unified360, saying they wanted "a way of integrating their telephony infrastructure and systems with the core database and CRM."

In mid-2009 Unified360 helped Rasa upgrade their voice and data network to use more intelligent MPLS and SIP transport methods. After putting that network in place, Unified360 rolled out Cisco voice and data infrastructure for Rasa, including phones, soft phones, unified messaging, reporting, and recording.

"The team at Unified360 did a fabulous job of managing this major technology rollout for our business," says Michael Rasa, CEO of Rasa Floors & Carpet Cleaning. "This project was so important that we went to the extreme of checking multiple Unified360 references, going onsite to visit their reference sources, and visiting their offices on multiple occasions."

Unified360, a Premier business partner with Cisco Systems, is based in Dallas.

Here at First Coffee's we're suckers for news of any cool iPhone apps. If there are enough of them, why, Mrs. First Coffee just may agree that it's the perfect Christmas present this year. And look -- here's another one no modern man should be without.
Joy Entertainment, in partnership with iPhone application developer Big Nerd Ranch, has introduced an iPhone application of its kind that allows users to generate musical riffs, with their own instruments via the iPhone/iPod Touch. 
Riff Raters was created to "allow musicians and music enthusiasts alike to share their original riffs with the world," according to Big Nerd officials. Well, that and to keep people from getting work done, of course.

"Riff Raters enables musicians to spread the news about their music and expand their fan base," says Joy Glenwright, CEO of Joy Entertainment, who explains that using the app, which costs a buck ninety-nine, musicians can "share and get comments about their riffs with the entire App community."

Riffs are "short repeated melodic phrases," usually lasting no more than twenty seconds. Those of you addicted to Twitter can think of them as musical tweets. Use the app to record your riffs on your iPhone/iTouch "with any instrument," company officials say. 
Then do all the cool editing you want with reverb and trimming tools, post it to Riff Raters and watch it climb to the Top 25 charts. Fans even have the opportunity to be notified when their favorite riffers upload new riffs.
Then, in a few months, hear your very own riff stolen on the radio. Ha ha! Just kidding! First Coffee's sure that would never happen!

Gautam Godse, Software Director of Big Nerd, acknowledged that he's in a crowded field, noting that the iPhone is fast approaching 100,000 applications, "with music applications numbering in the thousands."
Oh, and friends, please: Do not, repeat, do NOT upload "Smoke On The Water." The world's coolest riff, yes, but it's been done. Feel free to avoid "Jumping Jack Flash" too.

AltiGen Communications, which sells Microsoft-based VoIP business phone systems and call center tools, has announced that online retailer BuySeasons adopted AltiGen call center technology to process up to 14,000 in-bound calls a day during the Halloween season.

We know what you're thinking: "Halloween season? Since when does somebody need to beef up the call center during Halloween season?" Ever since that somebody's an online-only retailer of costumes, party supplies and Halloween decorations. Now go eat some more leftover candy corn.
Speaking of candy corn, anybody else remember those old Bartles & Jaymes ads for wine coolers? The ones with two old country guys on the porch? Were those cool or what?
To market for the Halloween season, the company mails millions of catalogs and maintains the BuyCostumes.com and "CelebrateExcess" family of Web sites. It also added 250 seasonal agents to the 90 year round agents to address its share of the $5 billion a year Halloween industry.
etcha didn't know Halloween was a $5 billion-plus industry. That there's a lot of candy corn.

"We've experienced tremendous growth in the last several years," said BuySeasons Vice President of Operations Terry Rowinski. "It's unusual for most call centers to go from 90 to 300 agents in a few days, so we require technology that is flexible and easy to manage."
Using AltiGen's software, Rowinski said, the company can "adapt to changes that may take place in a single day."

Earlier this summer, BuySeasons deployed an AltiGen softswitch and call center suite. The company implemented digital lines from the phone carrier to allow up to 368 concurrent calls to the AltiGen system.

DocuSign, vendor of on-demand electronic signature tools, has announced its participation and sponsorship of the Salesforce.com Dreamforce Global Gathering 2009 at the Moscone Center in San Francisco. The party starts November 17th. 

DocuSign is presenting three conference sessions, including "DocuSign for Salesforce." 

Dreamforce Global Gathering 2009 is expected to host more than 12,000 attendees for four days of best practices, training, networking and "an entire community of Salesforce.com experts."

DocuSign is also launching products, including electronically signed quotes, automated proposal creation with routing and electronic signature functionality, smart electronic signatures for Salesforce CRM and integration with contract management products on the Force.com platform.

In collaboration with Apttus, the DocuSign Large Enterprise Track Session, "Electronic Contract Execution with Apttus and DocuSign for Salesforce," will demonstrate "the benefits of deploying an end-to-end electronic contract management and eSignature," company officials say.

"At DocuSign, we see Dreamforce as an opportunity to deepen our partnership with Salesforce.com, engage existing and new partners and come up close and personal with our DocuSign for Salesforce customers," says Ken Cavallon, market director at DocuSign.

Colin Taylor, The Chairman and CEO of The Taylor Reach Group, has announced that the Toronto-based contact and customer service consultancy has added Deborah MacAskill to its team of consultants:

"Deb adds more depth to the team. With twenty years of call center experience she provides hands-on center management expertise our clients expect from TRG."

Taylor says MacAskill has "a successful track record building and operating" customer service and operations centers, noting that prior to joining The Taylor Reach Group, she was Vice President Operations at Sutherland Global Services, a contact center/BPO outsource agency, where she was responsible for operating four outsourced customer support contact centers. 
MacAskill also worked for other outsourcers including Teletech, ICT Group and Resolve (formerly Watts Communications). At Resolve as Director, Atlantic Operations Deb oversaw three centers. 

Her career began at Bell and included a period at Register.com.
Taylor says TRG offers an ROI guarantee: "When we make a recommendation and our clients ask us to implement we guarantee a 300 percent Return on Investment. In four years offering this, we have yet to pay against this guarantee."

Tampa-based Ideal Dialogue has rolled out systems for improving call centers' customer satisfaction ratings.

Previously known as Quality 3, Ideal Dialogue is unveiling its new branding and releasing details of the research and development behind IDEAL systems on its site.

Company officials say it brings to the industry a "focus on the human component of customer service," and that the systems are designed to "refashion hiring, training, and performance improvement for outsourced and in-house call center operations."

Systems include voice agent selection, agent training, leader selection and training and performance-to-goal mapping. Each of the systems is offered as a standalone product or as a component of the complete suite.

"Ultimately, it is the human component -- communication between agent and customer --that wields the greatest influence on your brand's reputation," says Ted Nardin, president of The Ideal Dialogue Company, adding that the tools are designed in part "to change the way consumers perceive both the service they receive and the brands they use."

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