MS CRM Gets Call Center Connection

Microsoft's CRM solution has been customized by more than 1,000 VARs since its release earlier this year. One of these customizations allows MS CRM to be integrated to the contact center. This capability comes courtesy of a new partnership between AltiGen and Convergion. As part of the agreement, Convergion will provide integration services through authorized AltiGen and Microsoft CRM resellers to companies integrating their contact centers with Microsoft CRM. AltiGen, which provides VoIP phone systems and other contact center products, says it chose Convergion because of its nationwide reach and expertise in telecom, CRM, and contact centers. Convergion also has experience customizing both Microsoft CRM and AltiGen solutions. Convergion says it chose AltiGen because it is a certified Microsoft partner developing communications solutions and technology for the mid-market. This past April AltiGen announced out-of-the box integration with Microsoft CRM. AltiGen says its open architecture enables rapid development and customization for integrating the contact center with Microsoft CRM, which provides for low total cost of ownership. AltiGen's partnership with Convergion aims to allow businesses to significantly reduce implementation costs and timeframes, making integrated CRM deployments affordable. "We tried to take what most small and midsize businesses could not dream of having in a call center and make it affordable," says Jim Puchbauer, director of marketing at AltiGen. "This partnership really allows us to turbo charge a contact center." Puchbauer says that AltiGen's core business is call centers with about 50 seats. According to Mark Albrecht, ISV team manager at Microsoft, the integration of telephony applications for call handling with CRM is necessary to enable delivering business insight to mid-market contact centers. "The Convergion solution of Microsoft CRM with AltiGen telephony will enable us to meet our goals of improved internal and external communications, better lead/opportunity tracking, and the ability to take advantage of the virtual workforce when the need arises," Rich Barton, president for N Hunt Moore and Associates, said in a statement about the partnership. "We are a small company and now are very mobile with a central repository of information at our fingertips. We chose Microsoft CRM and AltiGen through Convergion because it is easily accessible, user friendly and has powerful integration."
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