ICMI 2016 Contact Center Expo and Conference Summary
ICMI 2016 Contact Center Expo and
The 2016 ICMI Contact Center Expo and Conference, which
took place at the Long Beach (CA) Convention Center in May 2016 provided
executives, managers and supervisors with a focused educational program as
well as a diverse marketplace to review the latest products and services. The
event provided a variety of training and networking opportunities, case
studies, and site tours of local contact centers.
Beyond the opportunity to get product information from more
than 60 solution providers, professionals were able to take advantage of a
number of educational and social events in and out of the exhibit hall.
One of the key themes of the event was the need for
additional modern contact center technologies and processes. Among the primary topics
discussed by speakers were omni-channel and cloud technologies, new rules of
engagement, training and coaching tools, updated forecasting and scheduling applications,
and the need to ensure that metrics were evolving to meet real-world
several exhibitors to discuss their latest solutions and gain insight on market
How does your all-in-one contact center
solution provide companies with the right feature set, on premises or
cloud-based flexibility and the ability to easily upgrade the system in the
Vivian Pow, Product Marketing
Manager, ComputerTalk: Over the past 29 years, ComputerTalk has
helped customers across all verticals-- particularly in the government,
healthcare, and financial sectors-- innovate and improve their customer
service. Through these years, we’ve developed expertise in delivering complex
contact center requirements, which has in turn helped us understand the feature
sets that fit different customer needs.
software behind the on-premise and hosted versions is the same, which minimizes
retraining and rewriting when customers move from on-premise to cloud. All the
features come out of the box: they just require licenses to turn on. Combining
our contact center experience with our cloud-first, mobile-first focus, we
offer a solution that can be easily upgraded in the future, as business needs
Can you explain the rationale behind the
acronym “ice” used to describe your solutions?
for “Intelligent Communications Exchange”, which plays a key role in
ComputerTalk’s vision of enabling omni-channel communications for everyone, so
that communication is possible with anyone, anywhere, on any device.
In what ways do the capabilities of your
native ice Contact Center Skype for Business enable organizations to extend the
life of legacy PBX systems while allowing them to conveniently connect with the
global Skype community?
Center for Skype for Business (SfB) is based on ice Contact Center, the legacy
version that connected with traditional PBXs for over 20 years. We replaced our
SIP (session initiation protocol) and media handling with the Microsoft API
used for Skype for Business – Unified Communications Managed API (UCMA) - but
kept our application engine and tools. This meant that it became a SfB/Lync
native solution with a mature product and with a simple upgrade path for
ice extends the
life of legacy PBX systems by providing the following:
management and single point of connectivity for all media, allowing
organizations to leverage existing infrastructure without having to buy new
for multichannel contacts and the ability to escalate media from one channel to
another (for example, instant message to voice).
to public networks such as Skype and PSTN. Since Microsoft has opened up the
connection between Skype for Business and the 300 million Skype users around
the world, ice can queue Skype calls, similar to how PSTN calls, webchats,
social media posts, SMS, video calls, and emails are queued.
What differentiates your solutions from
others in the multichannel contact center space?
Our 29 years of
real-world contact center experience, coupled with the past 8 years of
Microsoft platform development with a contact center, gives us what may be the most
powerful enterprise-class, PBX-agnostic contact center available. Our
relationship with Microsoft, through our gold competencies, participation in
early-access developer programs, and the invite-only Microsoft Enterprise Cloud
Alliance ensures that we are building our solutions on cutting-edge technology,
so customers can be assured that they would not be pigeon-holed into
differentiator is flexibility in integrating with tools that organizations use.
Our Workflow Designer, the application development engine behind ice, is a
drag-and-drop Visio-like tool that allows non-developers to create applications
that communications-enable existing business processes or create new
communications-enabled processes. More importantly, Workflow Designer allows
for integration with third-party software that organizations are already using
(for example, for customer relationship management, ticketing, workforce
management, speech analytics, data mining, etc.) as well as hardware to deliver
enterprise gamification help ensure that customer service personnel are more
engaged in their jobs and more cognizant of what’s expected of them?
Floman, VP Marketing. GamEffective: Gamification
for the workforce is used to drive better performance and learning. It
approaches engagement through the prism of gamification – using gamification
mechanics to drive better engagement. The focus point of modern gamification
systems is to engage users through a sense of intrinsic motivation. Motivation can be
extrinsic (beating other people in a competition, etc.) or intrinsic (a sense
of completion, a job well done). Research shows that competition (an extrinsic
motivator) can be perceived as a threat, and that longer term motivation and
engagement are always a function of intrinsic motivation, where gamification
Using game mechanics, a clear communication of goals,
incentives to complete learning tasks, employees get a better sense of what’s
expected of them – and more important, how they are doing in real time, so they
can correct their course.
Better informed employees, that are aware of their goals,
of how they tie into larger-picture corporate goals and how they can become
better, do a better job.
In real-life deployments, core customer service KPIs go
up by 10% and learning completion is tripled.
does gamification enable agents to achieve greater balance between often
conflicting KPIs such as Average Handle Time (AHT) and First Contact Resolution
(FCR) while maintaining their focus on improving customer satisfaction?
Doing well at the contact center is never a function of
excelling at one thing. Low average handle time (AHT) is often indicative of
customer issues that aren’t resolved, hurting the First Call Resolution (FCR)
rate. That’s why setting individualized benchmarks that fit each employee’s
role and history - and setting those benchmarks as a composite, which drives
employees to improve all of them –
and thus, create a balance – is the best practice.
In our deployments, we often see that growing core KPIs also results in
higher customer satisfaction scores.
describing your product, you analogize gamification as a “Fitbit for work.” In
what ways can it drive performance to make “everyone a hero?”
Gamification is all about real-time performance feedback. In many ways, it shows what real-time
performance management can and will look like in the future – instead of goal-setting
that occurs once a year, and feedback about performance that also happens once
a year, gamification offers a different path. It enables real-time goal setting
that is individualized per employee, based on their group, targets and part performance.
It also shows real-time performance, offering the same gamified incentive that
fitness trackers offer. Fitness trackers are proven to improve fitness
activities, and the same logic applied to contact center gamification.
By “everyone a hero,” we mean that success in gamification lies in each
employee improving their performance relative to his or herself, and relative
to their personalized goals and benchmarks. This is a new standard, as opposed
to the previous practice of using overly-competitive gamification that often alienated
employees with overt, non-friendly, competition.
elements make your gamification solution superior to other available offerings
on the market?
has several unique differentiators. It is the only platform to include full
visual game narratives – providing another layer of gamification that can be
very innovative, such as asking employees to bet on their performance, and grow
social interaction. In addition, it has
a strong integration with learning systems, driving employees to complete
learning tasks to improve their KPIs. Its other strength is no-code integration
with numerous enterprise software apps.
is it so important for businesses to have the capability to verify the mobile
identity of current and potential customers?
John Dancu, President and CEO,
IDology: As consumers increasingly adopt the mobile
channel, and more organizations move to mobile platforms, there is an amplified
need for mobile-specific identity verification and fraud prevention solutions.
The ease of conducting transactions and doing commerce on mobile devices is
pushing more and more transactions in that direction. And where the general populace
goes, opportunistic cybercriminals are sure to follow. This is due to last
year’s EMV transition, where fraud is moving to online channels and,
ultimately, to mobile. A recent IDology survey
found that only 12 percent of the respondents—senior executives from across
many industries—felt prepared to detect and prevent mobile fraud.
However, establishing a mobile identity
and reducing the risk associated with the mobile environment is a complex
challenge. While it is decisively important for your legitimate customers to be
able to seamlessly and securely gain access to your mobile products and
services, it is equally imperative to spot and stop potential fraud. Fraudsters
have become quite skilled at exploiting the many nuances that accompany mobile
devices – from the millions of change events to the increasing ability of
fraudsters to attack mobile technology vulnerabilities with methods such as
mobile spoofing, cloning and hacking.
is it critical for call centers to have the capability to identify spoofed
numbers in real-time?
Call centers are becoming increasingly
more vulnerable to fraud. With the proliferation of stolen identity information
available on the internet, fraudsters have more than enough personally
identifying information to bypass account access verifications. Additionally, fraudsters
have access to technology that allows them to mask spoofed phone numbers
enabling them to bypass caller ID or ANI (Automated Number Identification)
systems used in call centers.
With a call verification system that has
the ability to identify spoofed numbers in real-time, contact center agents can
reduce the chance of social engineering attacks and verify that the inbound call
number is actually in session with the contact center number dialed.
How does IDology ExpectID Number
Verification solution help companies verify mobile numbers while remaining in
compliance with TCPA regulations?
fines can be as high as $1,500 per violation and with the mobile channel
becoming the most popular way to contact customers, it is essential for
organizations to have a solution in place to verify mobile numbers and mitigate
risk. Mobile numbers present a unique
challenge in that many numbers are not new and are recycled. This can be
problematic if a company tries to contact their customer and the number is no
longer theirs and in use by another consumer.
ExpectID Number Verification
works through a batch upload and is able to verify numbers prior to customer
contact. The solution verifies numbers prior to customer contact by accessing
more than 750 million mobile numbers in real-time directly from mobile network
operators (MNOs). The results indicate
if the potential called number is ok to call, not ok or indeterminable. An added benefit for your customers, ExpectID
Number Verification does not rely on personal identifiable information (PII) to
verify the number.
In what ways can knowledge-based
authentication (KBA) help organizations control
fraud while driving revenue and boosting their call center performance?
about it, it’s difficult to establish trust with new and existing customers
alike when call center agents can’t look someone in the eye, or see an ID in
person. Being able to confirm someone is
who they say they are in customer-not-present situations is a powerful fraud
protection tool for your business.
We offer two
knowledge-based authentication (KBA) solutions: ExpectID IQ – verify consumers
and generate out-of-wallet KBA questions based on robust data sources and ExpectID
Enterprise – create custom out-of-wallet KBA questions using internal
proprietary data behind your firewall both based on an out-of-wallet questions
process, that businesses can use to establish trust with their consumers and
then maintain this trust throughout the entire customer lifecycle. These
solutions can be used individually or together to expand out-of-wallet
authentication capabilities, giving call centers the flexibility and ability to
select and change the questions asked on what their customers are comfortable
with and the risk tolerance the call center is comfortable with.
What elements make your
solution superior to other available offerings on the market?
has developed an on-demand technology platform which allows customers to
control the entire proofing process and provides the flexibility to make
configuration changes that are deployed automatically. This is also underscored
by our fraud platform that provides a layered fraud defense to help potential
fraudulent access that could lead to account takeovers. Another unique element
of our solutions is that we have real-time access to mobile network operator
data so that we can verify numbers with a higher degree of confidence. This
helps ultimately lower risk in call centers. By leveraging this MNO access, our
ExpectID Call Verification solution is able to determine if a number is being
spoofed when it comes into a call center.
our ExpectID Number Verification solution, we have access to more than 750
million mobile numbers and we are able to verify if the number, in real time
with the MNO, to determine if the number is ok to call, thus helping contact
center agents and their organization to ensure the contact is in compliance
How do you make it easy
for companies to save time, reduce costs and improve the quality of hires?
Murphy, Executive Vice President, Shaker: Our Virtual Job Tryout (VJT) technology impacts three
value streams: 1) Improve recruiting efficiency - reducing the effort and time
to advance candidates, 2) Increase new hire retention - lowering staffing waste
and rework, 3) Raising quality of hires as measured by individual productivity
and time to proficiency.
clients have reduced their interview-to-hire ratio by 25% to 30% and have
stated that they spend less time interviewing poor-fit candidates. The Shaker VJT
delivers an engaging and educational application process which causes some
candidates to self-select out, thus reducing unwanted candidate flow and the
related administrative demands. One year after implementing the Virtual Job
Tryout, a recent client conducted over 2000 fewer phone interviews and over 800
fewer face-to-face interviews.
our experience, users typically document a 30% to 50% reduction in 90-day
turnover rate. Reducing waste from sourcing, recruiting and training
individuals who leave in the first 90 days delivers measurable ROI. A retail
client was able to reduce 90-day turnover by almost 50%, saving $1.7 million in
first year of implementation. In addition, clients experience a 20-125% lift in
new hire performance as documented with productivity metrics and manager
ratings of core competencies.
What makes your hiring
technology solution superior to traditional approaches?
approach client engagements with the objective of defining and implementing
business process improvement with a documented a return on investment. Our solutions are driven by the three core
competencies of Selection Science, User Experience, and Measurable Results
Science. We are one of the largest employers of
Ph.D level selection scientists solely dedicated to custom and pre-configured
simulation based pre-employment assessments. Our work conforms to and exceeds
the legal and professional standards for the use of assessments in the
workforce. Experience. Candidate
and recruiter experiences impact talent attraction customer retention and
hiring decision effectiveness The VJT
delivers a candidate experience that enhances brand affiliation provides
candidates and opportunity to demonstrate their capabilities. Recruiter and hiring manager experience
decision support which optimizes quality of hire. Results. Every
solution we deploy begins with business impact in mind. Our clients develop an
improved level of rigor and measurement discipline to improve the yield of
their business process called “staffing.”
The outcome is documented contribution to the bottom line of a
How does providing
candidates with a more realistic job preview as opposed to a job description
result in a better match, easier onboarding and a higher retention rate?
technology combines realistic job preview, testimonials, simulated job tasks
and a multi-method assessment in one seamless candidate experience. This
media-rich storytelling combined with ‘test-drive’ like experience allows the
candidate to learn more about the complexity of job demands than would ever be
achieved from reading a job description.
feedback indicates they leave the VJT with a clear picture of job expectations
and a sense that some level of training has already begun. Candidate profile
reports provide an onboarding plan and coaching guide based on the individual’s
strengths and opportunities – ensuring a faster development curve as they
become fully proficient in the role. And early success is a great driver of
What role does predictive
analytics play in the process?
analytics play a critical and ongoing role in each VJT system. The discipline
of data gathering and analysis is established with each implementation. Shaker’s team of Ph.D level selection
scientists collaborates with clients and engages in regular analysis and robust
predictive modeling to document business impact, refines the systems based upon
insights gained, and modifies message and measurement to adapt to changing
business needs. Predictive modeling documents that candidates who score well on
the VJT achieve high levels of performance.
How does your InstaCC Global cloud
contact center solution help enterprise companies integrate applications to
deliver a superior omni-channel customer experience?
Guill Munoz, Senior
Director, Tata Communications:
As a Tier 1 Service provider, Tata Communications owns the largest undersea
cable fiber infrastructure connecting over 200 countries. We use this infrastructure to provide MPLS (Multiprotocol
Label Switching), Internet, SIP, ITFS (International Toll Free Service), DID
(Direct Inward Dialing) and other telephony services. We’re leveraging this infrastructure by
co-locating our InstaCC Global Contact Center Solution (ICCG) in the same data
centers, through which we can cross-connect MPLS, SIP and telephony services
and deliver a ready-state solutions with all the required connectivity on Day One. We also provide data center geographic
redundancy for all theaters of operation and pre-connects this tested disaster
recovery with ICCG
Thus, our ICCG
is pre-packaged and ready for delivery on Day One with the following features:
• Reduces Risk by eliminating all the
required 3rd party products needed to connect any contact center solution.
• Increased speed to market. With a pre-packaged ICCG, we can deliver a
new contact center in as little as 3 months rather than 9 to 12 months
• Pay-as-you go – Customer only need to
buy what they need for day to day business.
During peak periods, customer can request additional agents/resources
and pay only for what is needed.
• Increased ROI – Customer has zero
up-front investment, and zero maintenance cost
• Enhanced customer experience by
providing omni-channel agent capabilities that include voice, email, social,
chat and video-enable agents
• Enhanced Customer Corporate Brand –
By using Tata InstaCC Global, each customer receives a carried grade SLA to
cover all services; carrier-grade data center security and carrier-grade
customer services 2x24x36
In what ways does your self-service
portal enable businesses to quickly route inquiries to the most qualified
agents anywhere in the world?
ICCG has a development
platform to deliver integrated self-services through our IVR platform from
which we can provide global services and deliver the call to any agent in a
single virtual agent pool anywhere in the world.
How does your cloud-based platform
ensure the security customarily associated with premise-based installations?
We provide a
virtual dedicated platform to each customer, delivered through our secured
carrier- grade data centers, and our private MPLS cloud.
What elements make your solution
superior to other available offerings on the market?
Communications is leveraging our private global fiber infrastructure to deliver
ICCG in a ready state, fast delivery, minimal investment, enhanced customer
experience and enhanced corporate brand
can extend this private cloud contact center to partner BPOs that can provide
manpower around the world and still retain control of the customer experience,
irrespective of where the agents are located.