SpeechTek/CRM Evolution Round Up
In an era where many on site conferences have felt the impact of the economic downturn, resulting in decreased attendance, it was encouraging to see an active SpeechTek/CRM Evolution. The registrants seemed enthusiastic about the quality of the sessions and we found many new, interesting announcements by the exhibitors. Overall the exhibitors were pleased with the floor traffic as well as the interest level of people at their booths. The following is a synopsis of products and services we saw at the show.
ClickFox is continuing to expand its international presence through increased sales channels. Entering a new partnership with Business Systems (U.K.) Ltd, one of the U.K.'s largest and most established independent contact center specialist, ClickFox is furthering its commitment to support and enhance success with its EMEA-based customers. The partnership with Business Systems is a key example. With a firm footprint in multiple vertical markets, Business Systems will resell ClickFox solutions as part of its portfolio.
Nexidia , a provider of audio search and speech analytics solutions, was named the winner of the 2009 Speech Technology Magazine Market Leader Award in the Speech Analytics category for the third consecutive year. Nexidia announced the release of Nexidia ESP, a new feature in the company's flagship Enterprise Speech Intelligence (ESI) product designed to help contact centers automatically gain visibility into the critical issues that are driving customer calling behavior. ESP will automatically identify important events occurring within a call center, such as those that lead to increased call volume or call handle times. And since the system is totally automated, it works "right out of the box" with no advanced set-up or analysis required. ESP’s unique approach builds on the company's strengths in scalability and accuracy of speech processing, and introduces new techniques to filter results for maximum relevance and importance.
NICE Systems has recently introduced a hosted version of its Interaction Analytics business solutions to provide enterprise and mid-sized organizations with rapid access to the enhanced insight required to improve customer relationships and optimize contact center operations through analytics tools. NICE’s hosted analytics solutions are designed to provide organizations with a quick return on investment (ROI) and lower total cost of ownership (TCO). By making its Interaction Analytics business solutions available as a hosted service, NICE is helping to address the growing need of companies to comply with regulations while reducing operational costs, delivering exceptional customer service and improving customer retention. This is achieved through an automated, secure process that captures recorded customer interactions including audio and text and performs multidimensional Interaction Analytics on the captured data, including text and speech analysis.
TeleTech is one of the largest and most geographically diverse global providers of business process outsourcing solutions. Through a combination of their propriety correlative analytics software and commercially available speech analytics software, TeleTech is able to provide strategic decision makers with the ability to look deeper into customer interactions. Using statistical analysis, their team has come up with patterns on the most significant factors that drive customer satisfaction. Coming as no surprise, in the course of studying companies across industries, they have found that issue resolution is the most dominant factor in driving satisfaction. Interaction analytics will assist an organization by giving them a firmer grasp on process ad
Verint® Witness Actionable Solutions® announced the availability of its new Impact 360® Speech Analytics solutions. Simple to deploy, the software brings speech analytics technology into mainstream contact center operations without costly setup overhead, lengthy consulting engagements and the need for interpretation by separate analyst staff.
The new Impact 360 Speech Analytics enables businesses to mine recorded customer interactions to surface the intelligence essential for building effective cost containment and customer service strategies. Designed to provide rapid insight into changes in customer behaviors and patterns, the solution can deliver value right out-of-the-box by helping remove guesswork from the customer service equation. Impact 360 Speech Analytics proactively identifies call drivers—along with the related product, process and service issues that often originate in areas outside the contact center, such as back-office functions—emerging trends, opportunities and competitive influences, and can then make that business intelligence available enterprise-wide.
FrontRange Solutions is focusing their efforts on how our customer facing suite of business applications can help clients improve their customer relationships and manage their day to day customer service activities. They provide applications that help with a myriad of customer facing business issues ranging from internal help desk and service desk environments, to external sales, marketing and what’s especially important these days, customer service and support management. GoldMine Customer Service is specifically developed to help call centers and contact centers manage user needs with a complete set of business functionality to capture cases from all client communication channels, and manage all case activities for quick resolution. One of the most important customer communications channels for any customer service division is the phone. FrontRange Solutions voice enables the GoldMine Customer Service business functions to improve agent efficiency through mechanisms such as skills based routing, screen pop’s, and outbound / inbound calling queues. They not only couple together customer service functions with voice functions to increase agent efficiency, it also builds customer loyalty and improves client satisfaction. This is due to the fact that clients can get in touch with your business quickly and easily with the help of Integrated Voice Responses mechanisms, call routing and after hours messaging.
>>LANGUAGE TRANSLATION SERVICES
Language Weaver - Automated language translation will play an increasingly important role in customer support applications, according to Language Weaver. Language Weaver's exhibit at SpeechTEK featured automated translation solutions that quickly and accurately translate digital content in over 70 language pairs. Focused on automated translation solutions for customer care and user-generated content, Language Weaver provides trusted quality translations that maintain and extend brand voice across languages for global audiences. Language Weaver recently partnered with Next IT to power translation capabilities for Next IT’s “virtual experts” – online avatars who can answer a customer’s questions in real time, and now, in virtually any language.
>>SPEECH SELF SERVICE
Acclaim Telecom Services , a full-service provider of IVR Speech Solutions, introduced a VoIP based IVR Hosting Service to compliment its product offerings. Acclaim’s SIP based platform allows for cost effective inbound and outbound call automation. Customers have the option to design their own applications or leverage their 16 years of experience in application design.
Acclaim also provides premise-based IVR solutions and our new managed service solutions, which for many companies, offers a more cost effective approach for a premise solution. Acclaim deploys the Microsoft OCS 2007 Speech Server and offers support and application design on Intervoice (Convergys) Genesys and other VXML applications.
Angel.com, a provider of on-demand, cloud-based business voice solutions, recently announced integration partnerships with VoiceVault, Novauris and Plug’n Pay, three pioneers in speech and voice recognition technology. By pairing with these leading-edge companies, Angel.com extends the reach of its IVR and call center technology solutions, helping customers maximize business productivity and efficiency, reduce telephony costs, and improve caller satisfaction. Angel.com also previewed its new Enterprise Reporting Suite at SpeechTek, which will be available in Fall of 2009. The Enterprise Reporting Suite utilizes Microstrategy Business Intelligence software to enable business managers and application developers alike to track caller behavior and trends, all which directly relate to operational efficiency and maximizing ROI. By having the ability to easily access detailed information about callers through a simple and robust cloud-based reporting solution, Angel.com customers can directly correlate these reports to business results and run a more strategic and successful business.
Cisco is introducing Speech Connect for Cisco Unity Connection. Much like Speech Connect for Cisco Unity, it is a speech-enabled auto attendant that allows callers to speak the name of the person, department, or room they would like to reach. Speech Connect for Cisco Unity Connection will reside on the same Linux appliance as Unity Connection, minimizing the total cost of ownership for Cisco customers.
Cisco views speech as a valuable component in many customer care scenarios, but also recognizes how important it is for businesses and organizations to provide customer care in the manner in which today's consumers wish to be served. This goes far beyond what many have termed the "multi-channel contact center" and into the realm of what Cisco calls "Customer Collaboration", where a wealth of collaboration technologies--including speech-- are applied that enable businesses and organizations to forge real relationships with their customers and elevate customer care to the next level.
Contact Solutions was honored to be named the Winner of the Speech Self-Service Suite awards at SpeechTEK 2009. Contact Solutions received the highest marks in 4 of the 6 criteria by which entrants were judged, including 1) Ability-to-Customize, 2) Customer Satisfaction, 3) Integration and 4) Cost.
“Contact Solutions is proud to accept the prestigious Market Leader Award,” says Paul Logan, CEO for Contact Solutions. “This recognition is proof that our On-Demand model is the right choice for businesses who want cutting edge technology, and savings well beyond the initial deployment. This is further proof it’s the right formula for today’s market”.
Convergys announced the availability of two new intelligent solutions that help companies reduce costs and deliver personalized, relevant multichannel interactions to improve the customer experience. These solutions bring together the best of breed offerings of Convergys and Intervoice since joining forces last year. The Intelligent Self-Service solution delivers personalized automation to enhance customer interactions, leverages customer data to enable real-time cross-sell and upsell offers, and decreases operational costs by increasing call containment. This solution provides tangible business results, such as up to 25% reduction in cost-to-serve. The Intelligent Notification solution delivers personalized and proactive multichannel notifications to customers using enterprise business rules, providing a more intuitive and relevant customer experience, while reducing IVR variable costs by up to 20% and increasing revenue through targeted outbound cross-sell and upsell initiatives. Results vary from client to client, but Convergys’ experience shows that these intelligent solutions can provide rapid ROI – often in six to twelve months.
Gold Systems develops and deploys voice-driven communications solutions utilizing IVR and speech recognition, and provides software development and implementation services for unified communications (UC) technology. As a Microsoft Gold Certified Managed Partner, in June the company was named a Microsoft Partner of the Year Award finalist for unified communications, voice specialization, in recognition of its achievements in helping companies utilize the features of Microsoft UC products. Gold Systems integrates Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007 R2 (OCS) and Exchange Server 2007 with customers’ telephony infrastructure, including PBXs, VoIP services, and mobile devices. This combination helps companies save money and improve productivity by providing on-site and mobile employees with integrated, easy-to-use conferencing, messaging and “anywhere” access.
Gold Systems has continued to use the OCS development tools as a platform for innovation by launching the Gold Systems Social Center. The application allows OCS users to update and communicate with one another easily through Twitter, Facebook and a variety of other social media tools. IT departments may find it a preferable way for employees to post to these sites because it adds authentication and the ability to filter posts for security and compliance. Gold Systems is continuing its development of innovative voice-powered solutions to drive productivity improvements and cost savings in the enterprise.
GyrusLogic, Inc. announced the latest version of their unique conversational dialogue and natural language technology with life-like avatars for applicable web and iPhone or smart phone self service interfaces; the system applies consistent automated questions and answers for different media types like voice, web chat, e-mail, text messages, etc. The Platica™ interactive solution employs revolutionary, patented technology that allows people to ask questions and/or place orders or requests in their own language, allowing the system, in turn, to return the appropriate answer and/or follow-up question, in other words its generating a dialogue on the fly.
The new LumenVox Speech Tuner, due out later this year, makes it much easier for developers and implementers of speech applications to properly tune and test their applications. The new Tuner supports many of the same basic features as the current version of the Tuner, such as the ability to load data from callers, listen to audio, transcribe calls, generate accuracy reports, and test proposed changes on real data. What distinguishes the new Tuner is its focus on providing more proactive advice to users, as it now performs analysis and will make suggestions as to how to best set various application and speech recognition parameters to improve performance.
Nuance Vocalizer 5 blends text-to-speech with pre-recorded audio for seamless conversations with the caller. In addition, the new software has been shown through independent tests to approach recorded-speech quality for name and address playback to provide a better customer experience to the caller and increase system performance for the customer.
Nu Echo - Unified Communications provider, Voxeo, and Nu Echo, a developer of high performance speech recognition applications and development tools, announced a new collaboration to make it easier for customers to rapidly develop speech applications using the Eclipse integrated development environment. One of the challenges historically in developing voice applications has been the time involved with creating the "grammar" of words and phrases used to interact with the customer. Voxeo will now offer Nu Echo's NuGram grammar development tool in an integrated package with Voxeo's VoiceObjects Service Creation Environment. This integration allows developers to easily create either static or dynamic grammars that can be used with VoiceObjects technology to build multichannel self-service applications. NuGram reduces cost and time to market by accelerating grammar development and making it possible to detect and correct most grammar problems before deployment, thereby minimizing costly fix and redeployment loops.
Nu Echo has spent the last four years developing the NuBot™ Automated IVR Application Testing Platform, a solution that is both powerful and easy to use.The NuBot Platform is based on a multi-tier software architecture integrating: the NuBot Integrated Testing Environment (ITE), an Eclipse plug-in used to develop test scenarios, manage tests, and analyze results, the Robot Server, a middleware component that centralizes all call processingfunctions, and the Asterisk open source telephony platform, which interacts with the application through a public or private network.
Resolvity helps companies automate the handling of customer support phone calls using intelligent speech-enabled IVR applications by providing a comprehensive “soup-to-nuts” service offering for speech-enabled IVR applications. The software platform includes an AI Engine and a Knowledge-base that enables it to handle frequent changes & involved application logic. Resolvity has developed innovative techniques that vastly reduce the time and effort to build statistical grammars, making it affordable to develop natural language speech applications.
Verizon Business - Speech Technology Magazine awarded Verizon Business the ‘Star Performers Award’ for Open Hosted Speech Services for their excellence in innovation and execution. Verizon Business OHSS empowers business customers to control and host their speech applications while still gaining the benefits of Verizon’s hosted speech platform. OHSS is based on the VoiceXML industry standard, and customers maintain ownership of VoiceXML-based applications. Customers can run these options on Verizon Business’ Hosted IVR platform or connect the applications to an alternate platform of their choice.
Verizon is also offering its speech services in an IP-enabled version. The new capability allows customers to run their speech services on the company’s Hosted IP Interactive Voice Response (IVR) platform, as an alternative or in addition to its traditional Hosted IVR platform. The services help callers conduct simple self-service inquiries and transactions over the phone Verizon Speech Services can be delivered to customers in a variety of ways to meet customers’ needs and environment. Customers can choose to have Verizon Business host the services, manage them, or simply provide customer premises equipment.
VoltDelta OnDemand has recently integrated the Delta On-Call Contact Center OnDemand solution with salesforce.com CRM. Delta On-Call provides skills based routing and real-time queue management via TDM and VoIP connectivity to contact center and home agents with web-based desktops and softphones. Delta On-Call can now automatically populate salesforce.com fields with call detail such as name, phone number and other relevant information. Agents are thus able to work within their familiar salesforce.com environment with new automation to enable more rapid call resolution.
Additionally, VoltDelta has enhanced Delta On-Call’s computer telephony links into Microsoft Dynamics to merge call determinant information with CRM data to drive value added applications. Agents utilizing Microsoft Dynamics will now be able to activate maps to visually link a caller’s location to a desired destination or access a knowledge base initiated by caller detail within a unified interface.
>>SALES PROSPECTING DATA
Jigsaw, a provider of business information and data services, announced the availability of Data Fusion, the first cloud-based, automated system for acquiring and managing new sales prospect records for CRM and marketing automation systems, including Salesforce CRM. Data Fusion addresses the issue that 80 percent of records in most CRM systems are incorrect or incomplete. Jigsaw has built the world’s largest user-generated database of complete and updated business contact information by engaging their community of over 800,000 business users. All of Jigsaw’s records are updated in real time by Jigsaw’s community and are complete with name, title, company, work email, business phone, and address. Data Fusion leverages the Jigsaw database to move CRM record management to the cloud. The company has published an open API and Developer Toolkit so any CRM application can be integrated to enable its customers to take advantage of Data Fusion.
Access Hoovers will add value to your CRM system by giving your sales management the capability to download information from over 50 datapoints, 32 million companies and 37 million executives’ right into your CRM system.
>>SOCIAL MEDIA SOLUTIONS
Lithium Technologies, a provider of Social CRM solutions to power the customer network, was selected by CRM magazine as a winner of the 2009 Rising Star Award. Lithium solutions combine the power of online customer communities with the broader social web and traditional CRM business processes to inspire customers to innovate, promote, and support on the company's behalf. As a result, businesses measurably improve their marketing and sales, accelerate innovation, and increase customer satisfaction
Lithium provides a deep set of community applications, a Social CRM platform, and an on-demand deployment strategy. Customers should have the ability to talk to each other in discussion forums; to share and rate ideas; to post blogs; and to create content specific to the company and brand that can help fellow customers and prospects.
Empirix - In the past six months Empirix has expanded the breadth and depth of our support for contact centers with our flexible Empirix Testing as a Service™ solution. A custom, end-to-end solution, this new offering provides customers with the ability to test an entire contact center infrastructure at full call capacity for any size environment - without the need for CapEx expenditures. It is an ideal solution for customers with multi-vendor, highly complex contact center projects to help them ensure the reliability of these systems before they are deployed.
Also, Empirix is working with customers that have new initiatives in the areas of SIP and VoIP. Ensuring a quality end user experience is a major concern and Empirix’s testing and monitoring solutions can help ensure the performance and reliability of these environments from the contact center and throughout the enterprise.
IQ Services, a leading provider of contact center testing services, recently launched an enhancement to its Outbound & Predictive Dialer StressTest(TM) services in order to meet the growing demand for outbound IVR application testing. IQ Services' SaaS offering provides actionable insight into the performance of outbound and predictive dialer solutions from the all-important remote, end-to-end customer perspective. By enhancing the real-time reporting capabilities of Outbound & Predictive Dialer StressTest(TM), IQ Services makes it even easier for customers to access performance and load testing results. With the help of IQ Services' testing services group, issues are quickly identified and resolved before end-users are negatively impacted.