• January 17, 2003
  • By David Myron, Editorial Director, CRM and Speech Technology magazines and SmartCustomerService.com

News Roundup

NetLedger Bolsters Partner Support Just one week after going live on 8.5, NetLedger Inc. this week announced the coming of its NetSuite 8.6, which will include enhanced partner relationship management (PRM) capabilities. According to Zach Nelson, president and COO of the front- and back-office hosting company, version 8.6 is expected to go live on February 15. It will enable organizations to enter leads for partners, check the status of customer support tickets and orders, and to extend opportunity management and forecast management capabilities to partners. NetLedger is using its own PRM tools to support its partner channel, which Nelson says generates 35 percent of NetLedger's revenue. Currently the company has about 150 business partners, and expects to have roughly 500 by the end of the year. Communication Breakdown SMS wireless text messaging technology is under fire from a recent study citing critical interoperability problems. Keynote Systems released a study earlier this week stating the percent of short message service (SMS) wireless text messages lost between major wireless carriers in the United States. The study found that 7.5 percent of messages sent were not received within 120 seconds and were counted as lost during the two-week study between December 1 and December 14, 2002. To make matters worse, until recently, SMS users had no way of knowing if a message had been delivered to the intended recipient. However, that has changed, which means carriers could take a revenue hit for lost messages. "Among the challenges for the adoption of SMS messaging by consumers has been the lack of cross-carrier SMS interoperability," says Chuck Mount, general manager of Keynote's Wireless Perspective Service. "If out of thirty million messages as many as ten percent are lost, the projection for next year could represent a staggering revenue loss for the carriers."
Minding Midsize Matters Yesterday TechExcel Inc. released its FrontOffice 4.0 for small and midsize business sales, marketing, and customer support. The suite of five integrated products incorporates download management, sales and marketing automation, support-plan management and renewals, customer support, and asset management. "By building intelligent business process objects directly into the core products, we have created an architecture that is easily configured to fit any complex business process using just a simple point-and-click interface," says Tieren Zhou, president of TechExcel. IT Phone Home Yesterday Willow CSN Inc. received a patent for its method of using telephonic and digital means to schedule remote contact center agents to work with contact center clients. The company creates contact center staffing solutions by incorporating home-based customer service representatives (CSRs). Willow offers access to the technology through its StarMatic workforce management system, part of its CyberCenter Customer Care Service. This service allows managers to replicate their contact center operations remotely by routing portions of their call volume to trained, home-based agents, known as CyberAgent CSRs. Clients and CyberAgents use StarMatic technology for scheduling, reporting, and communications. "StarMatic is the embodiment of our process of scheduling remote agents," says Basil Bennett, CEO of Willow CSN.
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