• September 29, 2005
  • By Coreen Bailor, (former) Associate Editor, CRM Magazine

An ICCM 2005 Product Showcase

Contact center vendors used the 2005 ICCM Conference & Exposition in Las Vegas this week to unveil new and soon-to-be-released products: Witness Systems, tapping its Blue Pumpkin functionality, introduced Impact 360, its new workforce optimization (WFO) solution combining quality monitoring, workforce management, e-learning, and performance management. Impact 360's architecture framework, which enables quicker deployments through an open system TDM and IP platform, allows for central administration of agents and recorders across the enterprise. Organizations can capture a broader view of performance by drilling to recordings during adherence review, examine quality scores to ensure consistent service delivery across shifts, send training requests to the scheduler, and assign learning materials based on evaluation scores. Companies also can detect unknown trends through speech analytics, courtesy of Witness' OEM agreement with CallMiner. Via Cognos Business Intelligence, Impact 360's reporting engine allows users to request reports directly from the WFO interface. With Impact 360 the company is able to deliver a new level of visibility into information that organizations previously haven't been able to access due to siloed applications, according to Nancy Treaster, senior vice president of global marketing at Witness. "The goal...is, pulling it all together in one single framework, really building that first opportunity for these different functional areas to share information automatically...and really pulling off this concept of workforce optimization." Joe Outlaw, principal analyst for contact center solutions at Current Analysis, notes how cumbersome it can be to flop between separate systems. With Witness' acquisition of Blue Pumpkin there was "the potential to create synergistic products from this new, tight integration," he says. "That was the promise in December. That's what they delivered on with Impact 360." On the logistical side of the house, the eQuality brand name has been dropped and the Blue Pumpkin name will be transitioned out in the fourth quarter, according to Ryan Hollenbeck, vice president of corporate marketing and investor relations. That functionality will fall underneath the brand name Impact 360. "We're obviously going to continue to support all of those products in the market going forward," he says. "There won't be any forced upgrades for [Impact 360], but that said, there's going to be some incentives for them immediately." IEX
, a Tekelec company, announced two new tools, one catering to organizations with outsourced contact center operations, and the other for the outbound environment. TotalView Outsource Manager is designed to ease the headaches associated with exchanging information and managing resources between in-house and outsourced operations. IEX SmartSync technology automates the data exchange process between TotalView Outsource Manager and external resources, enabling everyone to work on the same information including agent schedules, resource requirements, and performance data. "The key benefit is managing on an interval basis," says Rick Glew, director of marketing at IEX. "You want to have that same level of visibility and control. This allows that constant monitoring and constant sharing of information [allowing the outsource partner to] become a strategic part of the client's operation." The TotalView Outbound Solution features capabilities including forecasting, scheduling, adherence, and change management functionality. Managers can construct schedules for environments including inbound only, outbound only, blended, and block scheduling. Avaya announced Avaya Proactive Contact 3.0, the latest installment of its predictive dialing software, which automatically can call customers, detect a live connection, and connect the right agent to the customer. Through its new predictive dialing automation feature coined Cruise Control, administrators can set service level objectives more easily and have the system adjust calling-activity pace without manual intervention. Avaya Proactive Contact, now available as a software-based solution that integrates with Avaya Communication Manager, helps identify issues in outbound communications and alert administrators, allowing them to act before outages occur. Lawrence Byrd, director of communication applications at Avaya, notes Cruise Control's ability to allow customers to comply with regulatory requirements. "There's a great need to increase the automation in predictive dialing," he says. Cruise Control is "making it [easier] to deal with regulation while being more efficient." Adds Outlaw: "It automatically keeps you in line...without breaking the law." Related articles: People and Processes Rule Remarks at ICCM 2005 Verint Unveils Its First Opus Offering Everybody in the (Speech Enablement) Pool
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