Tracking Customers' Assets, M2M Evolution, Outbound IVR Tools, 4PSA and the Cloud

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David Sims
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Tracking Customers' Assets, M2M Evolution, Outbound IVR Tools, 4PSA and the Cloud

Founded in 2000, Transportation Solutions Group uses custom-developed asset tracking software, integrated within a call center to provide a full service transportation brokerage that specializes in moving expedited and time-sensitive freight. Obviously, in such a business, service and capacity are an issue.

The group has about 80 employees, with 50 agents in the call center and 30 in back office, development and management. And TSG required a VoIP call recording tool that worked with both the Cisco IPCC and Cisco Call Manager platforms to assist in general operations management and enhance operational metrics.

The company's call recording was driven by four primary areas. Not all companies have the same needs, of course, their four areas might not be your four areas. Their included risk mitigation, quality management of the customer experience, training of the call center agent and operational and performance analytics.

Oreka TR’s open source core meant that TSG could install the VoIP call recording software and test it to make sure Oreka TR could meet TSG’s needs within the Cisco call center environment: “It was simple to download and implement Oreka TR’s call recording application.During the pilot, OrecX was responsive to our requests for enhanced functionality and were able to develop these features before the pilot was completed," said Eric Rempel, Chief Information Officer.

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At the recently-concluded ITEXPO East in Miami, TMC's Juliana Kenny had the chance to interview Olivier Amiot, director of Marketing, Enterprise and Consumer Solutions for Sierra Wireless. He gave a presentation about consumer products during the M2M Evolution segment.

When asked if there was a certain targeted audience for this presentation, he said it was for Internet application engineers and companies trying to understand better how to get into these markets.

Last week TMC's Bob Emmerson wrote that Sierra Wireless unveiled four new products recently: Two 4G mobile hotspots: the AirCard 753S and AirCard 754S connect up to five WiFi-enabled devices simultaneously to the Internet over Dual-Carrier HSPA+ and LTE networks, respectively.

Both products are scheduled for commercial shipments in the second quarter of this year. The company will also offer a suite of accessories designed to enhance performance and functionality, e.g. car chargers, silicone skins, extended batteries, and cradles with integrated antennas for indoor use and desktop charging.

Read more here.

Technology and voice user interface design innovation "are transforming outbound IVR applications from the pain of stilted DTMF to proactive outreach with speech dialogs that are actually appreciated by prospects and customers."

So say officials of VoltDelta, adding that reminders, offers and alerts "are not only generated from hosted platforms cost effectively, but systems can now take advantage of far more engaging interactions to make the predictive dialer 'press or say' model of automated outreach a relic of the past."

Sounds good to this reporter. Let's face it, as much money as it saves for companies using it, IVR is far too infrequently a good experience for the customer. There is a way to do it well, however. As VoltDelta officials say, "When combined with easy to use self-configuration tools, automated outbound IVR tools are enabling a channel of communication for customer satisfaction and retention benefits."

As they explain it, capable on demand outbound IVR minimizes technology configurations without requirements for capital investment for quick results. "A robust on demand outbound IVR solution with a wide range of applications can be used for many purposes," as well -- "for example, one bank customer of VoltDelta is using its DeltaCast outbound IVR to notify customers of inactivity which helps them to comply with new banking regulations. The easy Web configuration did not require that IT become involved in the campaign set-up or management."

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Recently at the Miami ITEXPO 2011, TMC's Erik Linask had the opportunity to sit down and talk with 4PSA's CEO, Bogdan Carstoiu. Linask noted the interest in cloud communications these days is such that the conference had an entire track dedicated to it. Carstoiu said yes, much of the interest, in his opinion, is due to the flexibility it offers, for users as well as service providers.

"We were focused on cloud communications before the cloud became a cloud," Carstoiu said, over eight years. As far as who's driving the interest in cloud, Cairstoiu said service providers like it because they can scale their services more easily, and enterprise users like it because they only pay for what they use, "which is quite important these days."

Other benefits, besides cost efficiency and scalability, accruing from the usage of cloud-based services, include "the ability to use services for the right price, but without all the internal management." In cloud, he said, users can have the latest features every month, "depending on the provider. It's very important for them to be competitive as well."

Read more here.

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