• August 12, 2004
  • By Coreen Bailor, (former) Associate Editor, CRM Magazine

ICCM Shines Its Spotlight Again

Amidst increasing buzz surrounding voice over IP, call center vendors converged at the International Call Center Management (ICCM) Conference and Expo in Chicago this week to showcase new and soon-to-be-released products.

IEX Corporation exhibited its optimization solutions, including its SmartSync Exchange technology, which allows for integration and interoperability between workforce management, strategic planning, and performance management. Company execs were also on site discussing IEX's partnerships with Bay Bridge Decision Technologies and Merced Systems. "We want to have best-in-class companies," says Debbie May, president of IEX.

FrontRange Solutions demonstrated its upcoming FrontRange Contact Center, a solution integrated with its HEAT Service and Support software. The product will not be shipped until the fall, but attendees got a sneak peek at the product's routing capabilities and self-service applications. Managers will be able to manage local and remote agents with Presence Management, which allows them to view agent performance and status, and to monitor calls. Contact Center also uses session initiation protocol (SIP) to maintain and end calls between two or more end points, as well as a System Administrator that lets contact center supervisors manage from a remote site or locally.

Witness Systems announced enhancements to its eQuality ContactStore for IP solution, which offers enhanced scalability and enterprise management abilities, providing one view of all customer contacts. The application captures and stores up to 100 percent of interactions and assigns features for easy reference. The recording can also capture the entire call from beginning to end during any point in the call.

Blue Pumpkin announced two new additions to the Blue Pumpkin Workforce Optimization Suite, Blue Pumpkin Learning Express and Blue Pumpkin Time Record Manager. Learning Express arms contact centers with an integrated e-learning application that recaptures and reuses periods of lower productivity, while Time Record Manager links actual work to payroll.

Dictaphone unveiled ContactPoint Recruiter as an added element to the ContactPoint suite, its Workforce Management (WRM) solution. Recruiter allows contact centers to identify and hire the most qualified agents, create job profiles that link to competency profiles describing the necessary qualifications for particular positions, prescreen prospective agents by administering questionnaires, and maintain competency profiles for hired agents. Trainer and Assessor are the two other elements of the suite. "They're all integrated and the competency model is what holds them together," says John Kaiser, vice president of global marketing for Dictaphone's CRS Group.

Verint Systems announced an addition to its ULTRA Intelligent Recording suite with ULTRA IntelliCoach, an integrated coaching and development application that lets contact center managers evaluate agent performance it real-time to quickly provide on the spot feedback as well as alert mangers to potentially heated calls. Mariann McDonagh, vice president of global marketing, tells CRM magazine that ULTRA IntelliCoach's Supervisor Dashboard lets managers monitor what agents are doing, and intervene. "The agent is really benefiting from on the spot coaching," McDonagh says. IntelliCoach also allows users to leverage recorded calls and send them to agents as part of continuous training. Verint also announced a new enterprise-quality workshop with TARP, a
service-information firm, entitled "Actionable Intelligence for a Smarter Workforce."

Opus Group announced the availability of Opus Suite 2.0, an application that lets organizations use analytics tools and work planning and assignment methods from front-office contact centers to back-office operations. The solution integrates workload management metrics into the performance analytics dashboard.

eTalk made its presence felt by discussing its soon-to-be-released Call Quality Calibration (CQC) solution. CQC matches agent performance data against corresponding customer satisfaction feedback and analyzes it to find inconsistencies between the two.

Voice Print International displayed Activ! Analytics, which collects data and presents real-time information and Activ!eLearning that works with Activ! Analytics to interject when agents are underperforming, then sends information like coaching tips and quizzes to help them better perform.

Austin Logistics announced Valeo, a solution that uses predictive analytics and routes calls to the most appropriate service levels.

Related articles:
The Top 5 Ways to Keep Agents
ICCM Product Spotlight
ICCM News Roundup

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