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Nortel Networks Debuts Industry's First Cross-Platform Contact CenterSolution For Carrier, Enterprise Customers@

excerpt from PRNewswire:

Centrex Customers Now Can Access Seamless Functionality of Symposium

Portfolio For First Time

DALLAS, March 6 /PRNewswire/ - Nortel Networks (NYSE/TSE: NT) announced today the availability of Symposium Call Center Server (SCCS) Release 3.0, a contact center software application that brings the newest advantages of the Internet and Computer Telephony Integration (CTI) to large and small businesses who want to offer a new class of customer care. The customer management software spans both the carrier and enterprise markets for the first time, seamlessly linking agents in a multi-site contact center.

This Internet-enabled application brings increased reliability, efficiency and flexibility to the contact center through its eBusiness capabilities and is available for those using Nortel Networks Meridian 1 and Meridian SL-100 and DMS Centrex systems. Symposium Call Center Server 3.0 delivers the seamless functionality of the entire Symposium product portfolio for the first time to Centrex customers and adds new capabilities including network skill-based routing for Meridian 1 customers. The Symposium product portfolio for carriers includes Symposium Call Center Server Release 3.0, Symposium Agent and Symposium WebResponse Server.

By reaching the Centrex audience of more than 18 million access lines worldwide, Nortel Networks can deliver the full range of Symposium Customer Care Center solutions including Symposium Agent and Symposium WebResponse Server. With Symposium, Meridian SL-100 and DMS Centrex-based customers now can achieve advanced customer care functionality - previously available only on a PBX-based system - with the economics of a Centrex-based environment. The Symposium portfolio offers an advanced and powerful tool for customer relationship management and delivers a higher return on relationship for its users by increasing agent productivity, minimizing operational costs, maximizing agent scheduling and eliminating many manual administrative changes including the addition of extra agents to "re-balance" incoming calls.

"Because the Internet has provided an efficient way for customers to contact call centers, we've developed a highly productive and integrated way for our customers and/or their customers to process these calls," said Randolph Wheatley, vice-president, marketing, Carrier Solutions, Nortel Networks. "The Symposium Call Center Server and the availability of the entire Symposium portfolio equips any business with a universal set of tools to address their customer contact centers' needs raising end-user satisfaction with their eBusiness experience."

Network Skills-Based Routing Reaches Meridian 1 Customers

With its Network Control Center software, Symposium Call Center Server introduces network skill-based routing to multi-site business customers using Meridian 1. In conjunction with customer requirements routing, Symposium Call Center Server Release 3.0 uses network skill-based agent selection to route calls to the best qualified contact center agent at a networked location. Administration of the entire multi-site network is easily accomplished through a centralized interface.

Other Symposium Call Center Server features include total call tracking across the network, personalized reports and comprehensive CTI. Because it is Internet enabled, Symposium Call Center Server 3.0 efficiently distributes phone calls and web requests to the agent's desktop. Software enhancements assist Customer Care managers as they supervise and report on agents handling voice, Internet and other customer activities. These enhancements include multiple "Not Ready" reason codes, real time and historical data management updates, script samples, a semantic script checker and other configuration and system improvements.

"Symposium Call Center Server 3.0 brings more efficiency and profitability to contact centers than ever before," said Susan King, vice-president, Customer Care, Nortel Networks. "By providing contact center managers with a tool for multi-site routing and control, our customers' agents maximize caller satisfaction while contact center managers can view network information in real time for customer assistance and analysis and business reporting."

Symposium Call Center Server will be available beginning at the end of March through Nortel Networks authorized dealers and distributors. The manufacturer's suggested retail price begins at US$550 for the Symposium Call Center Server per agent seat for software in a typical 250-seat contact center. The above software package price includes skills-based routing, user administration and real-time historical reporting. Enterprise customers already using Symposium Call Center Server can upgrade their systems to the latest version with a simple software upgrade. The Symposium Call Center Server software upgrade from releases 1.1 or 1.5 to release 3.0 is approximately US$125 per agent seat.

Manufacturer's suggested retail pricing for Symposium Agent starts at less than US$400 per seat Symposium WebResponse Server manufacturer's suggested retail pricing starts at approximately US$260 per agent seat in a typical 250-seat contact center.


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