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Contact Center Solutions Week in Review

January 18, 2014

It is always a challenge to categorize the Contact Center Solutions week in review items because of the broad interests of the community, and this week is a great case in point.  From customer deployments to new capabilities to advice and insights it is often hard to know where to know where to begin.

This week there is actually a great starting point. As you can see from my Editor’s Choice item, community host Interactive Intelligence (News - Alert) is hosting a free webinar on Jan. 28, “Key 2014 Contact Center Trends and Priorities: How You Can Be Ready.”  Hearing from internationally respected industry experts is a terrific way to start the New Year.

There were several new capabilities announced this week that were noteworthy.  These included:

  • Customer experience software provider Kana Software came out with the latest version of its LAGAN Enterprise customer service suite, which includes new functionality that allows government agencies to improve customer service and reduce costs. The functionality includes a secure self-service Web portal, social media integration, new mobile capabilities and citizen status updates.   
  • Infratel introduced MightyCall React for SMBs and a mobile version for iOS that provides SMBs tools to be more responsive to customers from anywhere.
  • Vocalcom launched its next-generation of contact center software solutions that focus on mobility and social engagement

There were also more than a few words of advice to be shared on a variety of subjects.

  • New research from NewVoiceMedia highlights the need and opportunities for improving customer experience when everyone in enterprise is involved. 
  • TMCnet Contributor Tracey Schelmetic, who frequently writes of this community, examined the growing need for contact centers to invest in Big Data for customer-facing operations.  
  • Schelmetic also posted an item that posed the question, “Has the Twentieth Century Arrived in Your Call Center Yet?” In fact, for a detailed answer, if you are attending ITEXPO (News - Alert) don’t miss the session, “From Call to Contact: The Next Generation Customer Service Center,” on Jan. 29 from 9 to 9:45.
  • Sitecore, who offers a customer engagement platform that pulls together web content, digital marketing, and legacy applications has partnered with Microsoft Dynamics powerful omni-channel commerce system.
  • Intradiem, a provider of intraday management solutions, has outlined a few trends that contact centers need to keep in mind for 2014. A big one is that social media is too strong a medium to be pushed into the background; however, it requires a different mindset and agents need to have the right skills and proficiency to handle customer queries.
  • Speaking of the proper use of social media, a survey conducted by Maritz Research found that approximately 70 percent of customer service complaints made on Twitter (News - Alert) go unanswered. What this means is that companies need to be careful about how best to use it to provide “True Social Customer Service.”
  • Finally, again on social, brightOne IT Services, selected Engagor as its social media management platform.  

In other industry news, Clarabridge (News - Alert) reported 45 percent growth in CEM subscription revenue for 2013 and secured $80 million in new funding from General Catalyst Partners, Summit Partners and Unica-founder Yuchun Lee (News - Alert).  Investors also pumped $6 million into ResponseTek, a Vancouver-based provider of custom experience management software, to fund its growth and expand into the Middle East and Asia, according to a statement released by the company.  

Aside from funding, there were customer wins, partnerships and a case to be made for cloud-based contact centers that made news.  First, Merkle was selected by Twitter for Tailored Audiences Solution, a CRM capability that the social media company will pay handsome dividends. DocbookMD, a physician-run mobile health technology company based in Austin, Texas, entered into a partnership with MAP Communications, a national call center provider that supports thousands of medical groups and hospitals throughout the United States.  A new cloud-based contact center that centralizes global inbound communications is giving ModusLink a competitive advantage. And, Motorola Solutions claims its Staff Communications and Management solution can help store associates work together for more effective operations and a better customer experience. Its communication services for retail enterprises include on-the-go employee support offerings, PTT, VoIP, workforce and task management, and manager dashboards.

Weekend reading  

As noted above, ITEXPO is only days away, and a great way to prepare for the series of contact center solutions sessions that will be part of the event is to get ready by making full use of the community home page. It is constantly being updated with links to great resources—eBooks, whitepapers, videos, demos, etc. 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 hope to see you in Miami.  By all means stop and say hello.



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