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Contact Center Solutions Week in Review

December 21, 2013

‘Tis the season to be jolly and also to look ahead as to what the next year, or several, are likely to look like in the Contact Center Solutions Community.  

In fact, I wanted to start out with two rather interesting sessions with our host Interactive Intelligence (News - Alert) for your pre-holiday reading. As you can see, my Editor’s Choice item is a recent interview I did with our community host’s CMO Joe Staples on industry trends. As usual, Joe was a rich source of industry insights and he likes what he sees for 2014. Equally insightful was Interactive Intelligence CEO Dr. Don Brown who shared his vision of cloud communications on a video interview with research firm Frost & Sullivan

Other industry developments covered such things as new contact center openings, customer wins, new capabilities on various fronts, and a week does not go by where we do not get a lot of advice. In fact, the advice area is a good place to begin our review. Topics covered included:

Turning raw data noise into actionable intelligence in the contact center  is the subject of the International Customer Management Institute (ICMI) report, “A WOW Customer Journey: Actionable Data in Today's Multichannel Contact Center, a guide to the more effective use of data and analytics in a multichannel environment.”

TMCnet special guest, Christopher Smith, editor of the blog Change, shared his views in an interesting posting, “What Principles and Aspects Are Key to Effective Change Management Leadership?”

TMCnet Contributor Tracey Schelmetic walked through with Nuance on why customers like self-service, but only when it actually works.

TMCnet Contributor Ed Silverstein looked at a recent study that found that appropriate customer service requires businesses to understand consumer needs, but despite recognition of this and spending on solutions in some cases, not much has improved.

IBISWorld released a new report on the procurement of telemarketing services.

On the new capabilities and deployment front there was a lot of news this week. It included:

Infosys McCamish Systems, the BPO unit of Infosys, unveiled a new customer service platform, VPAS Customer Service Work Desk (CSWD).

Just in time for Christmas, Avaya (News - Alert) Government Solutions announced that the company's technology will support this year's NORAD Tracks Santa program by deploying Avaya Aura contact center solution.

ShoreTel (News - Alert) enhanced its contact center solution for large enterprises.  

Radish Systems (News - Alert) made its ChoiceView visual interactive voice response (True Visual IVR) solution compatible with the Twilio (News - Alert) platform.

In a unique form of marketing that may become a lot more commonplace for outbound marketing, ProntoForms is showcasing the versatility of its mobile form solution with the release of three new diverse, self-recorded customer video testimonials

Creative Virtual, a company that provides natural language support technology, entered into an agreement with a leading cable, telecommunications and Internet provider, enabling the customer to make use of its omnichannel self-service tool, V-Person, and its component knowledge management system to enhance customer experience.

In the miscellaneous category two items were of interest. In the first, reflecting the growth of contact centers in the U.S., contact center and customer relationship management company OneTouch Direct is opening a contact center in Orchard Park, New York, that will bring up to 300 jobs to the area.

The second item is a bit whimsical but actually very pertinent. Befuddled by an interaction with a telemarketing call from “Samantha West” about obtaining affordable health insurance, TIME Washington Bureau Chief Michael Scherer, decided to figure out if the voice at the other end of the line was real or a one of those robotic voices we all have gotten so used to over the years. You should enjoy reading that the voice was very good at answering healthcare questions but not so good on other things which ultimately led to the discovery that she was not a human. However, it did highlight just how good technology has gotten. 

Weekend reading

With the holidays approaching, you might find yourself with a bit of downtime from getting the house ready for visitors of all types. Our community home page with its links to great resources which are constantly being updated is a place to spend some quality reading time. Plus, for detailed information on specific areas of interest, our affiliated channels — Accounts Receivable Management, Business Process Automation, CaaS, Cloud-based Contact Centers and Insurance Technology — are places to visit frequently and bookmark.

I will close as I have in the past few weeks in again mentioning the recent webinar, “A Practical Guide for Moving Your Contact Center to the Cloud.” It featured Drew Kraus, Research Vice President, Gartner; Donna Fluss, president, DMG Research, and Joe Staples, chief marketing officer, Interactive Intelligence, and is one that is a valuable reference resource. 

From all of us at, happy holidays!

Edited by Rory J. Thompson

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