CRM Managers Should Listen for a Change

As the New Year quickly approaches, many are looking to 2008 for a fresh start, whether it is losing holiday weight, learning a new language, or deciding to tackle Oprah's Book Club List one hardcover at a time. For contact center managers, 2008 is another chance to learn more about integrating CRM applications into day-to-day operations in order to get the most out of CRM applications, work more effectively, and deliver higher levels of customer service. AMC Technology, a telephony and multi-channel CRM integration provider, is bringing back its free webinar series in January 2008 with topics centering on integrating contact centers with CRM applications. The webinars are designed to provide real-world contact center experience and CRM integration information to department managers, project managers, and business owners looking to conquer their business goals by achieving their contact center goals, according to the company. The webinars will discuss how customer centric organizations can improve customer service experience, improve agent productivity, and reduce the total cost of ownership associated with contact center integration projects. The varying selection of webinars will allow participants to select which one will best suit their needs. The majority of AMC Technology's webinars will focus on a particular CRM vendor or contact center vendor, such as Oracle or SAP, so they can concentrate on specific situations. Each webinar will also explain relevant information on pair-wise integration, integrating a CRM system from a specific vendor with a contact center solution from another specific vendor, a situation more and more companies face as they look for the best solutions for their call centers. Beyond situational topics, the webinars will also cover specific topics such as multichannel, hosted solutions, and Web versus Windows clients. The diversity of topics will allow attendees to learn worthwhile information they can put to practice quickly. "These webinars will provide valuable information to contact center managers who want to learn how to get the most out of systems and applications they are currently using," says Larry Smothers, global partner sales manager at AMC. AMC-offered webinars coming up in January include:
  • January 2, 15, and 31: "Integrating SAP into the Contact Center";
  • January 9: "Integrating Oracle PeopleSoft CRM into the Contact Center"; and
  • January 23: "Integrating Oracle Siebel CRM into the Contact Center."
Each January webinar will start at 11 a.m. EDT and is slated to last 45 minutes. To register for upcoming webinars or to watch archived videos of previous webinars, visit AMC's registration site.
"The aspect of the series that is most interesting is the fact that AMC Technology is doing specific webinars on specific integrations to CRM," says Sheila McGee-Smith, president and principal analyst of McGee-Smith Analytics. "Most people who are trying to combine CRM into their business will find a session specifically for them." It's a Web 2.0 world in McGee-Smith's estimation, and information comes in snippets--people want targeted information. "Ten years ago you would have to devote two to three days to attending a call center trade show," she says. "Information is increasingly accessible now, and webinars are a good use of an hour." Judging by the webinars and the companies AMC Technology lists, they are covering about 80 percent of the market, McGee-Smith adds, but the company does it in a way that shouldn't water down the information provided. "Some webinars have topics that are painted with a broad brush, and it can be difficult for the user to take away information they need," she says. "That is what is good about AMC's series--that it has specific topics and users can choose exactly which webinar they need." But the value of such a session is also its potential sticking point. "My concern with webinars is people do not devote their full attention to the session," McGee-Smith says. "The trick is you have to tell yourself, 'I'm dedicating an hour of my time to this topic.' The platform can be useful, as long as you do not multi-task while the webinar is taking place." Related articles: Email Management for mySAP CRM New Product Spotlight: May 7 Scret of My Success: This Old CRM Come In and Take a Glance
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