Contact Center Solutions Featured Article

Contact Center Solutions Week in Review

July 26, 2014

The Contact Center Solutions Community this past week once again delivered an eclectic mix of industry recognition, news about job opportunities/or lost ones, industry growth, new capabilities and some trend spotting. 

Community host Interactive Intelligence is a good place to start in reviewing this past week’s developments thanks to a few items of note.  In the first item, our hosts shared information about the recently concluded record-breaking attendance at INTERACTIONS 2014 their annual gathering for customers, partners and industry analyst. This year’s event drew 2,200 attendees from 42 countries, and as the item highlights was a great way to stay up-to-date on not just Interactive Intelligence but on industry trends as well.

In addition, Interactive Intelligence’s flagship CIC product and its ability to fully support remote workers gained attention as COLA, a non-profit clinical lab education, consultation and accreditation organization, which accredits nearly 8,000 medical laboratories and organizations, redeployed its entire staff of 80 employees to work at home during a four-month office remodel. The results of relying on CIC to allow COLA to not miss a step in providing its services may pleasantly surprise you.  And, speaking in Nigeria during one of the company’s master classes to help educate governments and organizations about the vital the vital role contact center solutions can play in economic development, Christopher Bell, Interactive Intelligence’s Channel Manager for Africa and other speakers explained how and why Africa is a place to look for contact center expansions in the coming years, and he called for creation of a pan-African association to help speed things along.

On the jobs side of things which we like to look at a bit each week for obvious reasons there was good news and some not so good news here in the U.S. 

  • Home improvement giant Lowe’s, in collaboration with the State of Indiana and the City of Indianapolis, is ready to open a Customer Support Center in Indianapolis. This new Customer Support Center will create up to 1,000 new jobs by 2016
  • Agero, a company that assists people who are calling in with a need for road side assistance, announced it plans on hiring more than 100 new employees over the next 12 months. The company will likely add those contact center employees to the 500 that are located at a contact center in Sebring, Florida.  This is an illustration of the fact that despite all of the attention about the connected car, it is still the human touch that will get you help in case of an emergency.
  • The flip side of the hiring story sweeping not just the U.S. but many parts of the world as the business process outsourcing business continues to boom, is that AT&T is closing its contact center in Springfield but is transferring its work and workers to other Illinois locations.   

Customer wins and upgrades also were news makers this past week with global insurance company Aviva turning to long-time partner Vodafone for a new cloud-based contact center solution.  The not-for-profit Scottish Cairn Housing Association is deploying Netcall's Customer Engagement Suite to improve the way it delivers services and expands and enhances how it interacts with customers including the use of social media for the first time.   

Of additional interest this week were two partnering developments that continue to take place as members of the community look to align around customer requirements and fill in capabilities they need as part their respective go-to-market initiatives. In the first, Inflow Communications, a provider of strategic consultative services and a ShoreTel channel partner, signed partnership agreements with network infrastructure product providers Brocade Communications and Aerohive Networks. In the second, Presence Technology, a provider of multi-channel contact center solutions and Interactive Connect, LLC, a voice and data managed services and solutions provider, have announced new partnership.

As noted above, there was recognition worth noting this week as well. The Brother International customer contact center has recently earned Center of Excellence certification from BenchmarkPortal.  And, Altocloud, announced that Aragon Research has named the company a Hot Vendor in Sales Enablement, in its new report: Hot Vendors in Sales Enablement, 2014

In other industry news:

  • A poll conducted by Call Centre Helper in the U.K. found that contact centers might be willing to use the popular VoIP service Skype for some customer service tasks. 
  • Software manufacturer Computer Instruments Inc, CI, unveiled its latest version, Release 2.0 of Screen Pop Premium (SPP), a productivity tool that will improve and enhance organization and save their valuable time.
  • Tech Cu, a credit union in the Silicon Valley, decided to give its call center customers a better experience by replacing nerve-wracking hold times with a call-back solution from Fonolo.

The last item is worth a pull out this week since it highlights a very important part of our community that tends to get overlooked. Being customer-centric and better engaged means speaking their language both literally and figuratively.  The reason to bring this up is that as CenturyLink travels down memory lane and relives its thirty years of existence one of the things it is proud of was its early recognition of providing contact centers that were bilingual. Its “El Centro de CenturyLink" bilingual contact center was one of the first of its kind, and deserves more than a bit of recognition. 

Weekend Reading

If you have some time and would like to get caught up on industry news and insights, this weekend is an opportunity is to us the community’s home page as your gateway to constantly updated eBooks, whitepapers, videos, demos, etc.  Plus, our affiliated channels — Accounts Receivable Management, Business Process Automation, CaaS, Cloud-based Contact Centers and Insurance Technology — contain news and insights on specific areas  of interest. 

Finally, if you were unable to join us recently for the popular webinar, “Business Process Automation Best Practices For Improving Customer Complaint Resolution,” you can click on the link and view the archived version of the event.