CRM Installed or Cloud, SAP Endorses InQuira, UC Webinar, MetLife Call Center

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CRM Installed or Cloud, SAP Endorses InQuira, UC Webinar, MetLife Call Center

If you were looking for a good rough 'n' ready side by side comparison of workforce management software compared in its cloud and on-premise, installed varieties, well, this is your lucky day, pilgrim. Monet Software's got one right here, excerpts follow comparing how "the different models would impact the cost, implementation, usage and success of the Workforce Management in your organization."

Set up and implementation. Cloud offers fast set up, vendor creates new account, and users access it through a web browser. The On Premise kind takes time to purchase, install and configure both the hardware and software.

Upfront investment. With Cloud, ther's no upfront investment for software or hardware. Subscription fees typically include support, maintenance and upgrades. On Premise requires a fairly large upfront investment for hardware and software, installation, configuration and implementation.

Operating costs. Cloud offers a shared services infrastructure, which reduces the cost for operating and maintaining servers. With On Premise, you're responsible for running your own server operation, including back ups, maintenance, upgrades and hardware replacement.

Read more here.

On Thursday, March 10, at 2 p.m. EST, and 11 a.m. PST, Dave Immethun, senior director of Marketing for PanTerra Networks, presented a free Webinar discussing how cloud-based unified communications enables smaller companies to compete.

PanTerra is a provider of cloud-based unified communications Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) for small- and medium-sized enterprises. Its WorldSmart products are delivered from the cloud through a 100 percent browser-based UC client, eliminating any premise-deployed hardware or software.

While improving responsiveness and providing competitive advantages, unified communications is often considered too complex and expensive for SMBs. Immethun is convinced this isn't true: "Many believe the lofty price tags and complex deployments of premise-based systems outweigh the possible return on investment," he says. Among other topics, the Webinar will discuss how with the prevalence of high speed wired and wireless connections, cloud-based UC offers many advantages including a low-cost entry point, seamless integration with CRMs and hassle-free implementation and maintenance.

Read more here.

InQuira, which sells enterprise knowledge products for Web self-service support, contact center support and social communities, has announced that its InQuira Platform is now SAP-endorsed.

The offering is comprised of contact center knowledge, integrated social forums, and Web self-service software, company officials say, adding that the InQuira Platform is endorsed by SAP for being "complementary to SAP software offerings, developed in accordance with SAP development guidelines," and that it "provides additional choices and flexibility for businesses running SAP applications."

InQuira officials say they worked with SAP to get out-of-the-box integration between InQuira Platform and the SAP Customer Relationship Management (SAP CRM) application, since that would eliminate the need for custom integration. And further cooperation is assured: "As part of the agreement between InQuira and SAP, both companies will share technology and product roadmaps," InQuira officials say.

Mike Murphy, CEO of InQuira, said SAP's endorsement of InQuira Platform "provides further validation of our knowledge management product that builds on the experience and business insight that organizations have already gained from the use of SAP CRM." He explained that while the initial integration is focused on SAP CRM, the InQuira Platform "also has broad applicability for improving the end-to-end customer engagement lifecycle through integration with SAP Business Suite software."

Read more here.

Officials of MetLife say the company has recently earned the designation of "Certified Center of Excellence," marking the sixth consecutive year its Customer Sales & Service Group has won the award, presented by Purdue University's Center for Customer-Driven Quality in conjunction with BenchmarkPortal, a national benchmarking firm.

BenchmarkPortal evaluates contact centers across a variety of industries, among other considerations, judging them on their ability to exceed certain statistical standards in comparison to their industry peers. MetLife officials claim that "on average, each year only ten percent of contact centers that apply for certification earn the designation." They also note that MetLife's Customer Sales & Service Group is "one of only two winning centers to have earned the certification six years in a row."

Karen Hemenway, MetLife vice president, Customer Sales & Service Group and a woman who has never been asked if she's related to a prominent 20th century American author, said "as a business that relies on the trust and goodwill of our customers, MetLife recognizes that caller satisfaction is an important factor in retaining customers, building strong relationships, and driving business results."

Read more here.

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