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Envision Names New CEO

November 01, 2012

Coaching and workforce optimization solution provider, Envision has appointed a new CEO in Ron Strandin. He returns to the company as CEO, replacing the founder of Envision, Rodney Kuhn, who remains chairman of the board.

Kuhn tapped Strandin, who was vice president of sales and marketing during his last stint at Envision from 1999 to 2003, to move forward the privately-owned company’s marketing and sales initiatives.

In an interview yesterday afternoon, Strandin told TMCnet that the time is right for Envision to introduce new products that address trends like social media, texting and all the ways Envision’s customers talk to their own customers. He declined to discuss specific new product plans, adding that his first day is today, Nov. 1, and that he will spend his first 60 days at the company listening to customers and what they want in terms of solutions.

Over the past two years, Envision has significantly changed the way it releases products, having adopted an agile lifecycle development model, said Kuhn, an advisory board member of TMC’s (News - Alert) CUSTOMER Magazine.

Now, he said, the company needs to do the same thing with its sales and marketing culture.

The plan for marketing and sales is to beef up enterprise sales, increase the phone sales effort and continue to focus on the “critically important” channel, Strandin said. Kuhn added that Envision also aims to use marketing to increase its presence in large deals and in the upper mid market.

To make that happen, he added, Envision will do more marketing related to social media and with the telephone.

Kuhn founded Envision in 1994 to create software for the contact center that would leverage emerging CTI (News - Alert) standards on open platforms. Today, the company licenses its workforce optimization suite of solutions, known as Centricity, Click2Coach and Workforce Management, to call centers from 50 to 200 agents, as well as large multi-site implementations on the order of 1,000-8,000, or more agents located in different countries.

Envision bills itself as the only workforce optimization provider with an emphasis on agent effectiveness and coaching. The company’s solutions help businesses increase agent performance and job satisfaction, drive revenue through more cross-sells and up-sells, lower operating costs and increase call and contact center ROI, and drive customer retention and brand loyalty.

For supervisors, Envision enables more streamlined, one-on-one coaching; faster, more frequent agent training; and the efficient use of new technologies such as video and social media.

“Right now it’s all about virtualization and the cloud, which will drive scalability and flexibility; and helping companies shift their contact centers into what we like to think of as an ‘All-Pro Defense’ that can properly handle the sheer amount of social media noise that’s coming their way,” Kuhn wrote in a column that ran in the first issue of CUSTOMER Magazine in September.

Contact centers will leverage the cloud to be more flexible and scalable with their centers, particularly as they add work-from-home agents quickly without large capitalized technology investments.

“The contact center will have a significant role in handling customer interactions through the social channel,” he added. “But this will create huge challenges in training, forecasting and scheduling interaction volume, coaching for appropriate response, and analyzing what’s driving customer dissatisfaction.”




Edited by Braden Becker

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