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Microsoft Dynamics CRM, Six Call Center Strategies, Cloud Computing Strengths, Improving Call Center Knowledge

May 20, 2011

Officials of Trillium Software say the company has decided to integrate Microsoft Dynamics CRM software into its data quality offerings for both on-premise and cloud environments using Windows Azure.

The Dynamics CRM’s Software Development Kit is intended to let users access data cleansing and matching capabilities in the Trillium Software System, Trillium officials explain, adding that it will give users real-time and batch enterprise data quality services -- “data will be evaluated and cleansed at the point of entry.”

"Microsoft Dynamics CRM is designed to offer a flexible and extensible framework to enable organisations like Trillium Software to integrate," said Mark Albrecht, director of Microsoft Dynamics ISV Strategy.

CRM and Biz Software Prospects, Cloud Call Centers and Weather, Cloud Collaboration Tools, Broadview's Stevie Award

May 14, 2011

“With a cloud-based call center, your team can bring home a medal no matter what the competition or the weather sends your way,” wrote industry observer Meghdutt Brahmachari on the Contactual blog a while ago.

That’d be good news to the brave folks in Alabama and across the South these days, who are getting some of the worst that weather can send their way.

Maybe your conditions aren’t that extreme -- let’s hope they’re not -- but as he writes, if you manage a call center “you may have experienced changes in weather, seasonality, and the vagaries of the free market.”

In other words, stay in the cloud so you don’t have to worry about what’s in the clouds!

Maximizer CRM Live, Angel IVR Recognized, Knowing Call Center Callers, Free Conference Calls for Charity

May 10, 2011

Cloud-based customer relationship management software is an increasingly prominent market, but you didn’t need us to tell you that.

Officials of Maximizer Software recently announced Maximizer CRM Live, which is the on-demand version of its flagship offering with all the expected CRM software functionality, including sales and marketing automation, contact management, and customer support.

The system, the company said, “consolidates all contacts, action items, business communications, forecasts, reports, and results into one central hub.” Through opportunity dashboards, managers can assess their sales team’s performance, while e-mail alerts notify team members of changes to opportunities.”

If you were a fan of the old Maximizer CRM software and worry that the new cloud CRM system isn’t what you know, don’t worry. Company officials say it’s built on the same data model as the company’s on-premises offering.

Enterprise Call Recording, Cloud Computing Simplicity, Cloud Collaboration Apps, Telepresence Keeps Growing

May 6, 2011

South Africa’s Electronic Communications and Transactions Act imposes “stringent record-keeping compliance requirements on organizations,” according to industry journal BizCommunity.com, requiring them to keep accurate records of all telephonic and other electronic interactions with consumers for at least three years.

Protecting the rights of consumers is part of the recent legislation, but as the journal says, “simply implementing a call recording system will not provide the optimum compliance with the increased legal requirements either.”

Last fall TMC had the news that Datatec acquired niche software security company Biodata IT SA, which was part of the group's strategy to grow its South African networking, convergence and security distribution business.

"The acquisition comes at a time when we are seeing growing demand among our customers for products that will enable them to meet, reach and exceed their security needs with particular reference to the Electronic Communications and Transactions Act," said Jacques Malherbe, the CEO of Westcon SA.

Matthew Balcomb, director of Majuda Software Southern Africa, an affiliate organization to Majuda Corporation International, which deals in call recording and quality management, said to fulfil the requirements as set out by the laws, “companies will need to do more than simply implement mere policies and procedures. A governance, risk and compliance strategy tightly integrated into the operations and the culture of an organization, is required."

Read more here.

Of course one of cloud computing’s great selling points is its simplicity -- right? So why is Andre Yee blogging that “there's an issue with the adoption of cloud computing that no one is paying much attention to...

Salesforce CRM and Intuit, NetSuite and SFA, Data Centers and Customer Info, Telepresence and Teliris

May 3, 2011

Good news, if you were waiting for the highly popular Intuit QuickBooks and QuickBooks Online small business accounting software to integrate smoothly with Salesforce’s small business CRM software editions -- Contact Manager, Group and Professional.

Industry blogger Laurie McCabe posted recently about the fact that not only have Intuit and Salesforce.com partnered to make this particular dream of yours come true, but that as part of the deal Intuit “will resell a pre-integrated version of the Salesforce CRM application via Intuit’s App Center (as well as Intuit channel partners).”

What this means, as McCabe explains, is that data will synchronize across QuickBooks and Salesforce for “a real-time, unified view of the data,” whichever app you happen to be working in at the time.

The Wall Street Journal said that according to Intuit Chief Executive Brad Smith, many small businesses still manage their customer data on paper or in basic spreadsheets: “We know there’s a better solution,” he said.

Read more here.

Call Center Wallboards, DC-Baltimore Ethernet, KnoahSoft's Harmony Suite, Out-Twittering Twitter

May 1, 2011

A recent article in the Baltimore Sun highlighted the growth from the perspective of Georgia-based metro Ethernet provider FiberLight, which late last year promised to unveil a network “that can connect commercial customers in downtown Baltimore and several southern suburbs to points in Washington and Northern Virginia."

It’s "a huge, growing market for us," said Judd Carothers, the company's executive vice president of network operations, engineering and construction.

At the time of the announcement last November, FiberLight officials also said they would spend $20 million to build the network, slated to run 104 miles “from downtown and western parts of Baltimore south through Columbia, Laurel and Greenbelt, where it ties into the company's existing Washington and Northern Virginia telecommunication networks.”

Last month, TMCnet reported that the company completed a new 3.5 mile, 432-count underground network through Miami's Financial District.

Read more here.

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.

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