Sprint for Haiti, NICE and AnswerOn, Ectaco in Haiti, IQServices Locator

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David Sims
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Sprint for Haiti, NICE and AnswerOn, Ectaco in Haiti, IQServices Locator

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is Creedence Clearwater Revival's Cosmo's Factory. One of the sturdiest bands in the history of American rock music, CCR's genius was that they created a sound that could take uninspired material and carry it along so it's not a distraction between the highlights:

As of Friday, Sprint has been advancing 80 percent of the funds of the mobile giving donations from its customers to the relief efforts in Haiti, with the remaining 20 percent to be submitted under Sprint's normal 30 to 90-day settlement cycle, company officials say.

This advance payout "will encompass all of the Haiti disaster relief shortcodes in which Sprint has waived standard text messaging fees, including the American Red Cross International Response Fund."
And as regular readers of this space know, if your company's pitching in for worthy charitable causes we'll let you get away with a bit of P.R. here.

Between now and Sunday, January 31st, Sprint is waiving all fees and charges for Sprint customers sending text messages to and from Haiti. "During times of emergency, it has been shown that sending text messages rather than calling is more reliable form of communications and frees calling lines for critical communication between first responders, other emergency personnel and aid workers," Sprint officials say, adding that waived text-messaging fees do not apply to customers roaming on other networks.

Sprint "realizes the need for monetary resources and support for this effort from our customers has been overwhelming," says Ralph Reid, vice president of corporate social responsibility for Sprint. "We want to ensure customer contributions are put to immediate use and Sprint is transferring these funds to bring relief to the people affected by the earthquake in Haiti as quickly as possible."

Since January 12th, Sprint customers have contributed more than $3.1 million in mobile-giving donations to Haiti relief efforts and 100 percent of all the money donated through texting is given to the respective non-profit organizations.

The Sprint Foundation is also matching any American Red Cross earthquake-relief donations made by Sprint employees from Wednesday, January 13th through the 31st. The Sprint Foundation will match employee contributions up to a total matched amount of $50,000.

To date, Sprint employees have contributed more than $24,000 with donations continuing through the end of the month, bringing Sprint and its employees' total philanthropic contribution to $98,000. Sprint's giving includes the Sprint Foundation grant of $50,000, more than $24,000 in employee donations and an additional $24,000 in matching Sprint Foundation donations.

NICE Systems, which sells tools to "extract insight from interactions, transactions and surveillance," company officials say, for business performance, reduced risk and safety reasons, has teamed with AnswerOn, which sells customer retention, acquisition and loyalty products to telecoms for a project to give Cincinnati Bell the joint NICE-AnswerOn Customer Churn Reduction.
The hosted product integrates NICE Interaction Analytics and transactional data analytics from AnswerOn, NICE officials say.

The product lets Cincinnati Bell create "more accurate churn prediction models" by integrating multidimensional analysis results into their churn reduction models, NICE officials explain: "It cross-references customer interaction and transactional data and alerts customer retention personnel in near real-time."
Cincinnati Bell officials say they want to build more personalized offers for at-risk customers, "deliver the offers in a proactive and timely manner, and perform on-going measurement and monitoring for fine-tuning of churn models and retention offerings effectiveness."

"We continuously look for ways to increase customer retention," says Jeff Baker, Director of Planning and Support at Cincinnati Bell, saying to do that, "we need to use insights from both customer interactions and from transactional data. For instance, if we see highly emotional calls, combined with a drop in phone usage, this requires our immediate attention or a change in the service package."

Eric Alan Johnson, AnswerOn's President and CEO, says by integrating data from NICE's Interaction Analytics, "we were able to increase the accuracy of our predictive model by 30 percent, resulting in an forecasted increase of 61 percent in saved revenue over the next 12 months."

Retaining subscribers is vital in an industry where a two percent monthly churn rate can result in many millions of dollars lost on a monthly basis, "even for mid-sized service providers," says Barak Eilam, president of Interactions Business Applications at NICE.

Following the devastating earthquake in Haiti, Ectaco, a vendor of hand-held translation devices, has released an English-Haitian (Creole) Speech-to-Speech Medical translator.

Ectaco has worked in the developing and manufacturing of linguistic products for over 20 years. The SpeechGuard handheld speech-to-speech device was initially requested by the Department of Defense to be developed for translation use by the military, company officials say, adding that it has subsequently "become used by many, including law enforcement, medical and Homeland Security agencies throughout the United States."

Ectaco's SpeechGuard MD-5 is a handheld electronic speech-to-speech device with first responder and medical content that affords translation from English to Haitian (Creole). Simply speak into the SpeechGuard in English and it will translate and repeat what you say in Haitian (Creole) instantly based on the recognition of its Audio Phrasebook. 
"In support of disaster recovery and emergency medical efforts in Haiti, we have readily made available thousands of dedicated units to be shipped," notes Ectaco CEO, David Lubinitsky.

Company officials say the handheld and pocket sized SpeechGuard is "easy to operate and takes 15-20 minutes of handling to get familiarized with its use. Users can speak a command, phrase, or question into SpeechGuard and be understood in numerous languages based on the modification."
Modifications include PD-5 (Law Enforcement), GI-5 (Military), HS-5 (Homeland Security), and MD-5 (Medical).

IQServices.com has announced the releaseZIP code using their telephone keypad and our text-to-speech engine delivers the location information in a realistic human voice."

One can see the obvious savings possible here. "Xtreme Locator IVR can save you hundreds of hours in human CSR time by automating the process of sending callers into your stores," Tremaine points out. "Since we have the capability to handle nearly an unlimited number of concurrent calls, customers will never have to wait and information will always be up to date and accurate."
of its Xtreme Locator IVR Dealer Locator Application.

William Tremaine, Director of Sales, is pitching the product as "for companies that are unable to keep up with calls from customers trying to find out where to buy their products. Xtreme Locator IVR technology allows companies to automate telephone requests for store locations with packages starting as low as $50 per month."

It's a companion to the Xtreme Web Locator, and can handle "hundreds" of concurrent phone calls, company officials say: "Callers simply enter their
An added option allows for your callers to 'Patch Through' to speak directly to the nearest location when they need more information, he adds.

Emphasizing what he characterized as the "low setup fees and low minimums," Tremaine says this is "for businesses of any size. We expect that a lot of companies who thought such technology was out of reach will find this to be just what they were looking for."

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