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Executive Interview : Covid-19 (Coronavirus) and Your Business - 1 year on! - Exclusive Interview With Simon Pearton-Hindley from TELUS International

So a year on how would you describe how the pandemic has affected your company and how you work? If you can add some notes about your business to help readers understand what your center and/or company does, please add them here.
The past year drove immense progress in our remote working concept, testing everything from recruitment to disciplinarians. As a contribution to combating and protecting our employees from COVID-19, we successfully converted 80% of our operation to work remotely within the first 3 weeks of the pandemic.

If you operate a contact center how would you describe it today? 100% work from home? work in a socially distanced center ? hybrid? share some details
Our employees are our greatest asset, and their health and wellbeing is of paramount importance! With the on-going pandemic, we are now operating a WFH hybrid model with those who can work from home doing so, and those who cannot working in a socially distanced sanitised contact centre

When the pandemic hit and if you had to adapt, what went well or better than expected in the change of the way you work??
The speed in which we were able to move 80% of our workforce to a WFH model was a great success. We did not lose one day of operational time for any of our project; and even better, we did not see any decrease in productivity or Customer satisfaction, in fact in some projects productivity increased.

Since the start of the pandemic has call, email, chat traffic increased, decreased or stayed the same? AND, how? share some details on what you have noticed
The volume of contacts highly depends on the industry the partner’s works in. Some of our 300+ partners have seen a significant drop in contact volumes; such as those in the travel and hospitality industry; where as others have seen a significant increase.

Before the virus hit, did you have an emergency plan should something like this happen? and if so, did your plans work as expected?
With over 30 years’ experience we have built many robust BCP's, and a remote working solution due to a pandemic like situation was one of them. Over the years, the solution changed to keep up with technological advances, and when push came shove, we were very pleased that our BCP worked even better than expected.

In the early days of the pandemic there were lots of ideas how to keep staff now working from motivated - what activities / things did you do that worked well?
Through the use of various solutions such as our own internal secure meeting tool, and social media platforms, we are able to connect our remote employees together, allowing us to maintain a strong team spirit and boost morale.

Employees share fun experiences, create groups for share interests, and participate in group events, such as baking and photo competitions.

In addition we run Feel Good discussion rounds, virtual coffee breaks, and Never Lunch Alone sessions. These events help us to better monitor the mental health of our team and help our employees remain engaged and connected.

In some of these sessions management will be present as well motivational and inspirational guest speakers. In others sessions the team members are without a managerial presence, allowing them to get to know their colleagues in a more relaxed environment.

If you could go back in time and could plan for a pandemic, what would you do differently and why?
As the meme goes, it was the pandemic that push digital evolution forward more than any senior manager has managed in the past. With this in mind, it would have been good to have developed and utilise our remote capabilities prior to the pandemic.

How often do you meet with your team / colleagues and how ? zoom? skype other ? and also how well does this work for everyone?
We have daily interactions with various colleagues, as well as weekly team meetings, and organised remote social events, with guest speakers and chillout time.

Have you found colleagues are working harder, about the same as before or maybe a little less and why do you think that? please explain
Initially i think people were working harder, now i believe that people are working longer hours but within these hours, they are able to complete more personal tasks. This does however blur the lines of the work life balance making it difficult in some cases to remove yourself from the working environment.

Longer term do you think you may continue working like you do today or do you think you will get back to like it was before the pandemic hit us all?
I truly believe that we will continue to work using a hybrid model for the foreseeable future

How do you now train staff? how is this method working?
In order to facilitate remote training we utilises an internal secure web-meeting tool. The tool lets our trainers host secure video and audio conferencing with our environment. Providing attendees with virtual whiteboards, chat rooms, Q&A tools, and a high level of interactivity.

If you had to recruit new staff, how has this worked for you? Is it easier / harder? please explain
Sourcing and hiring the right people for the team is of fundamental importance. Using a 3 step approach: remote smart CV screening, remote interviews, and remote testing tools; we continue to ensure that we hire the right people.

What have you noticed in terms of staff turnover since the pandemic? any changes? and why do you think there has been a change (if any)
in some cases attrition has decreased, but on a whole it has remained fairly static.

Do you think your company is now better prepared to deal with a crisis like this or any other crisis (flood, fire, earthquake, hurricane etc) if it happens in the future and if so why?
Yes, indeed. the requirement for hot-site BCP solutions is almost a thing of the past.

Do you think the company you work for appreciates staff more and shows appreciation more now because of the pandemic or does it feel like you get the same or maybe even less appreciation?
Appreciation has always been a top priority, the pandemic has made it more challenging to reward people, however we continue to do so in remote team meetings, and financially with bonuses.

If you manage a team - how have you coped with the change ?
The daily activities continue as normal, with the expectation that we now have more remote meetings and spend more time either calling or chatting with each other.

If you are part of a team that worked closely together face to face how do you feel now working in a different way? maybe more remotely?
Despite the tools available, there is an aspect of face to face connectivity that the current technology cannot replicate. No matter how many remote "coffee sessions" you run they will never replicate a face to face environment where you are able to have ad-hoc chats, discuss what’s on your mind, or make silly jokes..

If you are a manager how do you help your team if they are struggling with personal issues at home or anxiety about the future?
In addition we run Feel Good discussion rounds, virtual coffee breaks, and Never Lunch Alone sessions. These events help us to better monitor the mental health of our team and help our employees remain engaged and connected.

Many people were concerned about security of information with remote agents - how have you handled this in your business so its not an issue?
With the use of secure VPN's and enhanced WFH contracts, we ensure that our partner’s data is as secure as it can be. Employees’ computers especially turn in to terminals where they can access our secure environment, limiting their ability to save or copy data directly to their computers.

Lastly, any other comments or opinions you can share about the effects of this pandemic on your business or the people working in your company?
it has done wonders for digital solution acceptance and innovation!


About TELUS International:
Company LogoTELUS International (NYSE and TSX: TIXT) designs, builds and delivers digital solutions to enhance the customer experience (CX) for global and disruptive brands. The company’s services support the full lifecycle of its clients’ digital transformation journeys and enable them to more quickly embrace next-generation digital technologies to deliver better business outcomes. TELUS International’s integrated solutions and capabilities span digital strategy, innovation, consulting and design, digital transformation and IT lifecycle solutions, data annotation and intelligent automation, and omnichannel CX solutions that include content moderation, trust and safety solutions and other managed solutions. Fueling all stages of company growth, TELUS International partners with brands across high growth industry verticals, including tech and games, communications and media, eCommerce and fintech, healthcare, and travel and hospitality.
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Today's Tip of the Day - Suggestion Box

Read today's tip or listen to it on podcast.

Published: Monday, May 24, 2021

Printer Friendly Version Printer friendly version

2022 Buyers Guide Computer Telephony Integration

 
1.) 
Premium Listing
Call Center Studio

Call Center Studio
Call Center Studio is the world’s first call center built on Google and is one of the most secure and stable systems with some of the industry’s best reporting. It is one of the most full-featured enterprise grade systems (with the most calling features, one of the best call distribution, outbound dialing features and integrations—including IVR, AI Speech Recognition, blended inbound/outbound calling and includes Google’s new Dialogflow and Speech API. Call Center Studio is the absolute easiest to use (with a 10 minute setup), and is the price performance leader with lower equipment cost and less setup time.


2.) 
AMC Technology

DaVinci
DaVinci provides Computer Telephony Integration (CTI) to a library of pre-built applications + UXiPaaS (User Experience Integration Platform as a Service) built specifically for contact centers. As contact center needs evolve, organizations need to have access to extend or create new functionality, without waiting to be a part of a software roadmap. Get the benefits of CTI within your CRM like screen pop, click-to-dial, screen transfer, speed dial and more, but future-proof your contact center so you can expand and integrate how and when you want.

3.) 
ComSys S.A.

CLink for CRM and Call Center Integration
CLink by Comsys is a middleware that connects in real-time the CRM and the contact center applications. CLink enhances the CRM with interaction management capabilities from the contact center that allow agents to work more productively across all communication channels.
Comsys is a provider of οmnichannel customer engagement solutions that assist companies around the world in delivering unique customer experiences. For the last 15 years, Comsys designs and implements complex projects for clients from the outsourcing, financial services, telecommunications, and retail sectors. Comsys enjoys strategic partnerships with technology vendors like Cisco®, Aspect Software®, and Microsoft® for the delivery of innovative interaction management and contact center optimization solutions.

4.) 
Consilium Software

Consilium UniAgent™
Today’s call centers need their agents to work more naturally, and respond better and faster. Here, we talk about the innovations Consilium has made with the latest desktop and mobile agent releases of the UniAgent™ CRM connector. From small enterprises to Fortune 500 companies and governments across 110 countries, UniAgent™ comes into action right at the moment of reckoning, making every contact center experience engaging and personalized, powered by simplified customer identification and anticipating customer needs.
UniAgent™ provides CRM integrations between all the Cisco contact center solutions (UCCX, PCCE, UCCE and HCS-CC) and over 20 CRMs, such as Salesforce, Microsoft Dynamics 365...
(read more)

5.) 
IntraNext Systems

IntraNext Systems develops agent efficiency tools and data security software solutions for medium-to-large contact centers. Our Event Intelligence® Platform solutions include SmartCTI™, iGuard®, and SmartSIP™. SmartSIP is based on our patented SIP layer technology and provides a DTMF masking solution for VoIP environments.

6.) 
Megacall

CRM integration
CRM
We know how important it is for a business to obtain data from its customers and to manage them effectively, so we help small to large companies by integrating their CRM with the Virtual Switchboard.

This type of integration will simplify the work of your team and improve the management performance of the contact list and its information.

7.) 
NovelVox

NovelVox CTI Connector
NextGen Cisco Finesse, Genesys & Avaya Embedded CTI Connectors for Salesforce, Microsoft Dynamics, ServiceNow, Zendesk & more.

8.) 
PhoneIQ

PhoneIQ
What is PhoneIQ?
PhoneIQ is the modern cloud phone system and contact center platform built exclusively for companies on Salesforce. Our all-in-one cloud communications platform brings together power dialing, local presence, voicemail drop, Salesforce call routing, call recording and a complete PBX replacement that lives within your CRM. With support for desktop, mobile, and desk phones, PhoneIQ works seamlessly at the office or remote, logging all interactions in Salesforce and generating reports in real-time.

Best For
Companies using Salesforce and looking for a phone system, dialer, or contact center software that provides deep integration capabilities with their CRM and expert Salesforce support.

9.) 
PRILINK

Easy Contact Center Traffic Analytics (Ec2Traffic)
Prilink Ec2Traffic provides network traffic analytics (NTA) for Internet, SIP Trunk and WebRTC traffic for on-premises and cloud Contact Centers.

Ec2Traffic analyzes network layer 2 to 4, RTP and SRTP packet loss and SIP protocols in real-time from the demarcation point or network edge, generating NTA metadata and requires little telemetry bandwidth.

Ec2Traffic provides:

- Year-round NTA metadata

- Daily CSV files upload to Customer business applications

- Capture packet to Wireshark for Deep Packet Inspection (DPI)

- detect traffic anomalies

- and more ....

10.) 
Teckinfo Solutions Pvt. Ltd.

InterDialog UCCS
InterDialog UCCS - a robust contact/ call center software that helps organizations provide a seamless customer experience across all channels in the customer service journey. All interactions from various channels come to a single unified queue on the InterDialog platform. With unified view agents get to see all historical interactions , enabling him to give a resolution quickly. InterDialog UCCS is a comprehensive Contact/Call Center Software with robust CTI, Unified Q ( ACD), Reporting, Unified Agent Management, Administrator, Supervisor - Monitoring (Pmonitor)
 

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