etalk Uses Local Partners for Latin American Push

etalk Corp., a provider of performance monitoring tools for call centers, is expanding its business into Latin America with the help of local business partners. The company announced this week that two call center VARs, Acumen Telecomunicaciones of Mexico and Plusoft Consulting of Brazil, have joined its Worldwide Business Partner Program. As a Worldwide Business Partner Acumen will sell etalk's tools for measuring agent productivity while providing call center quality management solutions to companies in Mexico. Plusoft offers call center consulting services throughout South America and will also resell etalk's tools. John Sweeton, etalk's vice president of global channel sales, said in a statement that the surge in call center and telephony infrastructure build-out in Latin America prompted etalk to seek out channel partners. Elizabeth Herrel, a vice president with market researcher Giga Information Group, says there is a global need for evaluating agent performance and call center monitoring tools. "Smaller and expanding markets can use quality monitoring as a training tool to help make applications work more efficiently," she says. She added that Latin America is one of the smaller, but expanding, markets. A survey conducted by the Instituto Mexicano de Telemarketing (IMT) estimates that in 2002 there were approximately 8,000 call centers and 140,000 representative workstations in Mexico in both the private and public sectors, plus another 30,000 at outsourcing companies. On the whole the Mexican call center industry employs roughly 210,000 people, of which 170,000 are contact representatives. IMT predicts the call center market in Mexico will grow by 16 percent in 2003. Due to this surge in call center and telephony infrastructure build-out, there has been growing demand for improvements to the quality of service. Acumen will sell, install and support etalk's suite of call center solutions along with its own offerings, which include transaction recording, performance evaluation, customer surveys, results-oriented training, analytical reporting, and real-time customer feedback solutions. In South America Plusoft will work with etalk to do development and consulting on the implementation and optimization of call centers, contact centers, customer services, and telemarketing. Since the company's inception in 1987, Plusoft has implemented and customized more than 100 contact centers, which together handle approximately 5 million customer contacts per year. The company is the leader in the Brazilian market, with more than 40 percent market share.
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