IN THE NEWS
Nortel has realigned its organization to strengthen its enterprise focus, drive product efficiencies, and deliver global services, according to the company. Two new product groups have been formed: Enterprise Solutions and Packet Networks, and Mobility and Converged Core Networks. Nortel is also forming four regional teams intended to increase the rapid deployment of products and technologies. "Our enterprise and carrier customers are demanding partners who can deliver enterprise innovation and carrier-grade platforms," said Bill Owens, vice chairman and CEO, in a written statement. "We're playing to win, and that means having the determination and flexibility to transform our teams, simplify our portfolio, and focus our resources close to our customers, as well as harness both the power and opportunities of network convergence."
Syntellect, a wholly owned subsidiary of Enghouse Systems Limited, has agreed to acquire Apropos Technology for $2.76 per share of Apropos outstanding common stock, or approximately $50 million. The transaction is expected to close in late 2005 or early 2006, and is subject to customary closing conditions, including the approval of Apropos shareholders. Apropos will become a wholly owned subsidiary of Syntellect and Enghouse.
TuVox has acquired NetByTel's hosted speech application business. TuVox says the move strengthens its position in the speech application market by expanding its customer base and accelerating its growth and expertise in new vertical markets including retail and financial services. "In our evaluation of over 60 companies as potential growth opportunities, NetByTel rose to the top of the list," said Larry Miller, president and CEO of TuVox, in a written statement. Art Schoeller, senior analyst at Yankee group, says the move reflects continued consolidation in the voice self-service market.
SSA Global has completed its acquisition of Epiphany. All holders of Epiphany outstanding common stock will receive cash consideration totaling $4.20 per share. The acquisition allows SSA Global to provide a CRM offering that includes outbound and inbound marketing, sales, service, and CRM analytics.
Telephony@Work launched CallCenterAnywhere Enterprise Edition Version 8.0 at ICCM in Las Vegas this week. The multichannel IP contact center solution measures customer satisfaction via end-of-transaction surveys, can implement responses to negative customer feedback, and can adapt routing rules to take account of customer feedback trends for future routing decisions. Feedback is leveraged by the CallCenterAnywhere ACD, allowing companies to include feedback as a weighted routing metric, while end-of-transaction survey information can be used to automatically alert supervisors of emergency situations. The tool also allows agents to define or redefine how much they like working on different call types, taking into account agent preferences in routing decisions. Additional functionality includes integrated user interface support for Crystal Reports and a new campaign manager interface.
Etalk, a division of Autonomy, has released Qfiniti Enterprise, an integrated recording, evaluation, and speech analytics solution. Features of Qfiniti Enterprise, which uses internal analytics technology, include a new interface and the ability to support language localization. Etalk can now listen and understand a customer inquiry, and provide quick and accurate answers to assist the agent, says Scott Shute, president of etalk. "Our goal of analyzing customer interactions in real time, and providing relevant customer information quickly, will help contact center managers reduce customer churn and help retain important customer relationships," Shute said in a written statement.
SER Solutions unveiled the latest version of its outbound call management solution, CPS Enterprise Edition (CPS E2) 2.0 at ICCM in Las Vegas this week. New features include Call Tactics, a call treatment management solution; Text-to-Talk Announcer, a component of Call Tactics that enables personalized, system-generated messages to be delivered; and AgentFree Manager, which provides a way to create and run automated outbound campaigns. Visual Scriptor, a browser-based script development environment that leverages Macromedia's Dreamweaver, is aimed at making it easier to develop and customize text, graphics, and onscreen displays.
Voxify announced that PhotoTLC, a provider of digital photo products including photo restorations and personalized photo gifts to American retailers, will deploy Voxify's Conversation Engine technology at more than 15,000 outlets at photo retail centers. Voxify Automated Agents are set to handle more than 30 percent of the company's internal call volumes. An Order Status Agent will be the first deployed application, and an Order Processing Agent will also be deployed.
Nortel's Extreme Makeover
Financial woes behind it, the company is focusing on new products and brand awareness
SSA Global's Road Map: Compliance and an Epiphany
The Global Client gathering this week revealed how customers will benefit from SOA and the pending Epiphany integration.