• July 15, 2004
  • By Coreen Bailor, (former) Associate Editor, CRM Magazine

Listen and Learn

In an effort to effectively respond to its customers' needs, CosmoCom, an all-IP contact center technology provider, recently announced an upgraded version of its unified contact center suite, CosmoCall Universe Version 4.4. The version's improved functions are rooted in the company's having listened to its customers' requests for a more flexible product. "They're telling us what they need that they don't have yet," says Steve Kowarsky, executive vice president of CosmoCom. According to Kowarksy, customer comments like "This is great, but if we just had [another element] it would be so much better," are what inspired the new features. Version 4.4's easy integration with thin-client applications is an example. "We were getting feedback that some of our customers, especially our service providers, wanted thin client because it's easier to maintain," Kowarksy says. "We sort of went one better on that, because they were telling us not only that they wanted a thin client, but they were telling us why they wanted [one]....In many cases it was because there was another thin-client application that they wanted to integrate with the call center client." Another Version 4.4 element, N-way conferencing with recording, comes from feedback that some CosmoCom customers wanted more than just three-party conferencing. "The conferencing is not just the typical conferencing that you get with PBXs and traditional ACDs," Kowarksy says, but any agent in a call center can now "create an impromptu conference of five, six, seven parties, monitor the entire conference, see a visual representation of the conference and disconnect specific legs at any time, without disturbing the overall conference." With the recording device, CosmoCorder, N-way conferencing is recorded, "just in the same way that two party calls used to be," he says. The new, streamlined tenant-management feature allows for a sublandlord and tenant relationship, Kowarksy says: "[It's] a great demo, because it's very hard for people to believe that in less than a minute you can actually set up a new tenant for a call center on a hosted ACD and be taking calls and routing them to an agent and answering those calls." CosmoDesigner, CosmoCall's end-to-end call flow tool, has also been improved with an inherent database. "You can take that data out of a simple Microsoft Access database or out of an Excel spreadsheet, export it as an XML database, and just put it right into our CosmoDesigner application development environment," Kowarsky says. Enhanced skill weighting allows you to give preference to certain agents for certain types of calls based on a weight. "The scale can go from one to as high as 100," Kowarksy says, although you can configure to one to 10, one to 20--whatever you prefer. "The system will always give preference to the lower number. If you have a call that needs the skill of the French language and there are two agents available and one of them is French One and the other is French Two, it'll go to the French One." CosmoCom achieved year-to-year revenue growth, according to Kowarksy, of 30 percent in 2002 and 40 percent in 2003, and the firm projects revenue growth of at least 40 percent in 2004. He credits much of this growth to increased business with existing customers: "We certainly attribute part of that loyalty to the fact that we listen to our customers and respond to what they tell us with product upgrades like Version 4.4, which customers receive at no charge as part of their regular software assurance program."
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