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Contact Center Solutions Week in Review

January 11, 2014

As the New Year was ushered in, it was clear from the activities that made the headlines this week that the community is back to the business of business in a big way. 

This is not to say that we did not have the usual sprinkling of advice and insights. In fact, I was thinking a lot about the community over the holidays and as you can see shared my thoughts in two items. The first is the featured “Editor’s Choice” posting on the importance of understanding the role of the contact center as Brand Ambassador in the internal processes that can gain consensus about how to best improve the customer experience.  In the second, based on personal experiences, I suggested that contact center solutions supervisors need to be sure they have next generation speech analytics capabilities, and make a resolution to use them effectively and change their agent scripts.

Before turning to the new products and services portion of the news, I also wanted to draw attention to two other interesting postings.  The first item is a look at what is in store for project managers in 2014. These folks are important parts of the customer experience ecosystem that tend to be over-looked. In 2014 they are going to have more cloud tools available to ease workflows, their responsibilities are going to transform and become more important, they will be involved in working with increasingly distributed teams, and as a result they are going to be in high demand. 

The second item is one that is of particular interest because it details how what many customers have historically viewed as the bane of their interaction experience, speech-enabled personal assistants, are now user friendly and helpful rather than hurtful.

In the business wins and implementation area:

  • My colleague TMC Executive Editor Paula Bernier, had an insightful piece on how Intelemedia is leveraging it cloud-based call management platform to deliver customers superior experience by connecting them with the right resources to solve their problems.   
  • A North American customer contact center was launched by AGCO Fuse Technologies aimed at serving the customer interactions needs of the agriculture community
  • RevChain Solutions, a wholly owned subsidiary of Windstream, announced a three-year professional services and support contract extension with Empresa de Telecomunicaciones de Bogota (ETB). 
  • Community host Interactive Intelligence had a nice win when Heartland Dental selected its CIC flagship product.   
  • Lodha Group, a real estate company in India, will be implementing the Aspect Unified IP 7.2, a comprehensive solution with voice blend, IVR, call recording and quality management capability with tight CRM integration. 

In terms of new capabilities there was significant activity as well:

  • Unify, formerly known as Siemens Enterprise Communications, unveiled various new features and improvements to the OpenScape Contact Center Suite. These enhancements have been designed through a new partnership with Softcom. 
  • Castel Communications announced that the next version of its Castel Detect Voice and Speech Analysis Solution will be loaded with a customizable audit console feature.  
  • Direct TPV is offering new fraud prevention capabilities to ensure customer trust.  
  • TantaComm, a provider of interaction recording, security and regulatory compliance, and performance management solutions for contact centers, revealed that its Centralize cloud offering is now Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) 2.0 certified.
  • Hyundai’s integration of Covisint cloud-based platform will enable Google Glass in new cars to contact call centers. 

Finally, there was big news on the M&A front this week with the announcement from Microsoft that it had reach a definitive agreement to acquire Parature, a leading provider of cloud-based customer engagement solutions that will enhance, in what was described as a “perfect complement” to Microsoft Dynamics CRM. 

Weekend reading  

With the start of the New Year comes the exhibition season.  A great way to get ready is 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 also wish to alert everyone of a terrific learning opportunity that is coming up this month in the form of the webinar being sponsored by Interactive Intelligence, Key 2014 Contact Center Trends and Priorities, Tuesday, January 28th 2014, 11:30 AM EST / 16:30 GMT.