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April 2011

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Call Center Headsets, KnoahSoft's IP Contact Center, Customer Experience Management, Customer Value Webinar

April 26, 2011

Ocular Technologies, which sells contact center offerings, has partnered with headset manufacturer Plantronics. Ocular officials say the move is a way to enhance its “competitiveness in the contact center arena by offering a complete unified communication services portfolio and becoming a one-stop shop for customers.”

Duncan Barnes, channel manager at South Africa's reseller of Plantronics products, Headset Solutions, says the company has “always seen Ocular Technologies as a strategic partner in the African contact center environment. With Ocular Technologies extending its specialist skills into the UC market, it allows us to jointly ensure that local customers get the best technology.”

Power Supply a VAR Opportunity, Knowledge Management Fads, Call Distribution Platform, Facebook as Debt Collector

April 22, 2011

Recently, Business Solutions Editor Gennifer Biggs had the chance to sit down with Minuteman's Bill Allen to discuss the VAR opportunity “tied to uninterrupted power supply (UPS) and extended run time if your customers have low-tolerance about network security, physical security, and disaster recovery.”

Minuteman UPS/Para Systems, a leader in power protection technologies, offers UPSs for computers, servers, peripherals, voice and data communication systems, security systems and other mission-critical equipment.

During the interview, Biggs asked Allen about growth opportunities in the power protection industry.

“For the reseller community, there have always been opportunities in the IT sector for extended run time,” Allen said.

Online Collaboration Tools, Call Center Off-shoring Study, Call Center Economics, New Call Center Outsourcing Destination

April 19, 2011

Industry observer Laura S. Quinn has produced a useful, quick and easy reference tool for companies looking for collaboration software tools.

Writing in an industry journal targeted to nonprofits, her advice applies to any enterprise, especially her observation that “these options are all different from each other, but each has notable strengths and weaknesses when it comes to supporting collaboration. For example, simple tools may not provide all the features you’d like, but more complex ones will require setup time and training that may not make sense for your group.”

As she writes, there are tools for informal conversations and presentations -- and she gives options for conference calls, video conferencing and online conferencing, but it wouldn’t be difficult for you to locate some yourself.

On Hold Message Scripts, Interactive Customer Center, IVR Success, On-Premise or Online Call Center?

April 15, 2011

We know: You want to compare the cloud-based versions of call center software with the on-premise model to see how the different models stack up in terms of cost, implementation, usage and success of the Workforce Management tool in your organization.

We -- and Monet Software -- are here to help:

Consider setup and implementation. The cloud gives fast set up, as the vendor creates the new account and you simply access the product through a web browser.

ProtoCall's Contact Center, KnoahSoft's Call Center, Google's Social Face App, Spiceworks

April 12, 2011

According to officials of ProtoCall One, 27 percent of contact centers surveyed recently said their contact center is using Net Promoter Score (NPS) to measure agent performance.

But on a more depressing note, the same study also found that 30 percent of the contact centers surveyed do not have a reliable method of measuring customer satisfaction. That’s right -- one in three contact centers don’t bother to measure their customer satisfaction.

The poll of senior contact center decision makers by ProtoCall One, a contact center consultancy and systems integrator, shows that contact centers are slowly -- oh so slowly, as in glacially -- moving away from operational-based metrics to customer-centric metrics, but still don’t give a whole lot of priority to customer satisfaction data.

Eaton's Power Management, Personal not Viral Messages, Call Recording Issues, OrecX and HIPAA

April 8, 2011

At the ITEXPO 2011 East recently held in Miami, TMC’s Erik Linask had the opportunity on day four to interview Eaton’s John Schwing.

Some of the issue facing the IT industry right now, as far as Eaton, in the power management products and services sector is concerned, are budget strains when implementing capital-intensive projects. “We are in a business where we provide power quality products, a capital buy,” he said, adding that from their perspective, they’re seeing a real push to high-value implementations.

Which probably isn’t so different from most other times –many of which Eaton has seen, the company was founded in 1911, happy centennial this year, guys – but as he says, getting the most for the money and driving energy efficiency are prime concerns now, as is lowering cost of ownership and complying with energy efficiency programs being pushed through organizations.

Idiro and Predictive Analytics, Customer Flow Management, Meeting Customers Online, Hosted Software in the UK

April 5, 2011

At the recent ITEXPO East 2011 in Miami, TMC’s Patrick Barnard had the opportunity to interview Aidan Connolly, Idiro Technologies’ CEO.

The company works in predictive analytics, specifically social network analysis. According to Connolly, the company analyzes the behavior of online communities, identifying “patterns of communication” between people, and how this affects the adoption of products and services.

It’s a hot area now, and Connolly said they particularly focus on telecoms, since there are rich social networks there, and “it’s a monetizable customer base as well.”

It’s one of the primary ways that organizations can get to tap into a large pool of customer data. There’s a lot of value in terms of discovering what customers’ patterns are, and what their likes and dislikes are, which of course is the coin of the realm.

Read more here.


From Qmatic, the company that introduced Customer Flow Management to the market, and GMT Corporation, which sells enterprise workforce management and performance optimization, has arisen a partnership intended to provide “a holistic view of service delivery and efficiency in face-to-face service environments.”

More specifically, officials of both firms say, this partnership is intended to improve the customer experience in bank branches, hospitals, retail outlets and government departments that provide face-to-face service.

If they can improve the face-to-face service at the DMV they deserve every product of the year award there is.

Qmatic officials explicity eschew what they call the “rear-view-mirror approach.” As they explain it, historically, “improving branch service effectiveness was largely a rear-view mirror exercise, analyzing prior events in an attempt to improve future service delivery.”

Read more here.

Mark Gibbs -- whose business card says “consultant, author, journalist, columnist, blogger” -- has a good question for you:

“Let's say you've built a Web application that streamlines your business processes and you'd really like people to use it rather than go through your customer service reps. The problem is that if your customers are used to calling your company and your telephony front end offers something like ‘please go to www.mysite.com or press 3 to speak to a representative’ you know they'll just press ‘3’ and carry on as usual.”

Using Polls Correctly, Knowledge Management 100, CRM Software, Transera and NICE

April 1, 2011

Polls, when done correctly and honestly, can be a useful fact-finding tool.
“While sociologists and economists like to point out the influence of biases in polls, there’s no question of their usefulness.”

That’s from Floodlight, which says yeah, polls “in their most basic form are the sample polls. Because they’re about facts and not opinions, these kinds of polls are pretty basic.”

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