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Enhancing Customer Service at the IRS
A bulletin board of CRM implementations.
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Unisys, a McLean, Va.-based provider of solutions, services, platforms and network infrastructure, has completed a four-year-long effort to assist the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to consolidate its mainframe computing operations, enhancing the agency's customer service and operational efficiencies. Unisys and the IRS consolidated 12 data processing centers into three computing centers and 67 mainframe computers into less than 20. The consolidation enables the IRS to improve its operational efficiencies by enabling IRS customer service reps to respond to calls more quickly due to increased hours of customer service availability. The IRS also has enhanced data storage and data protection capabilities, laying the foundation for future modernization efforts.

• The Netherlands-based Baan, a supplier of e-business software and solutions for the supply chain and CRM, has upgraded Boeing Commercial Airplane Group to the Baan Enterprise Resource Planning System. The upgrade included the migration of about 500 gigabytes of production data, and the new functionality will help its parts plants to improve their process and information systems.

• SCI Systems, a Boston-based provider of manufacturing and supply chain services, has signed a three-year agreement to deploy eBusiness, voice and Internet solutions from Nortel in Canada. SCI will install a portfolio of enterprise products from Nortel throughout its 51 sites in 19 countries. SCI says it will then be positioned to increase its capabilities for B2B e-Commerce and for network-based applications for expanded business process automation. Nortel says it will enhance SCI's ability to tighten its supply chain and support its business partners with faster time-to-market.

• Waltham, Mass-based Neteos, a developer of Web-based eCRM solutions for emerging enterprises, has selected Santa Clara, Calif.-based Exodus Communications, a provider of complex Internet hosting and managed services, to host its eRMNow! solution. Neteos selected Exodus' Internet Data Centers to provide a secure infrastructure that is essential for hosted business-critical applications. eRMNow! is developed for midsize organizations and integrates marketing, sales and support activities into one database.

• Austin-based Motive Communications, a provider of online customer care solutions, says it will provide AT&T Broadband with its answer-based online software to enhance the company's customer care for AT&T@Home and AT&T Road Runner services. The solution, Motive Olympus, will become part of AT&T Broadband's E-care support Web portal. AT&T Broadband will be able to provide customers with improved notifications and solutions for issues, such as service outages and new installations.

• Fingerhut Companies, a Minnetonka, Minn.-based subsidiary of Federated Department stores, has selected the Quadstone System from Boston-based Quadstone, a provider of customer intelligence software and services for CRM. The system will help to assist in the company's database marketing initiatives. Fingerhut's business intelligence team, comprised of marketing and statistical analysts, will leverage the Quadstone system to develop models in support of direct marketing campaigns.

• The National Basketball Association has selected the E.5 system from San Mateo, Calif.-based intelligent customer interaction software provider E.piphany. The system will research and provide insights about basketball fans. The NBA will use the system to bring together data from the U.S., Europe, Asia and Australia, enabling the league to create personalized promotions and to maximize customer service.

• Kana Communications, of Redwood City, Calif., a provider of enterprise relationship management solutions, has been selected by Barnes & Nobel.com to provide customer service capabilities that leverage self-service and automation. Kana Service is a Web-based solution that integrates the enterprise, the customer and the best aspects of the phone, e-mail and Web interaction into a single browser-based application. The service provides a 360-degree view of customer interactions. The system will help to empower customer service representatives.

• Bose, a Boston-based manufacturer of sound systems, has deployed a CRM solution from Boston-based IT support services company Akibia. Akibia's CRM solution includes an automated method for tracking reseller funds and inventory records of promotional displays and will allow Bose to add functionality. It is built on a foundation for sales management functions by standardizing the process for managing sales activities, tracking leads and monitoring reseller programs.

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