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Connections v14.8

VIEWS: 10 PAGES: 32

									                           OCTOBER 2006




VOLUME 14, NUMBER 8




 PLUS…
 VoIP IN THE CALL CENTER
 HOW DOES VOIP FIT INTO
 YOUR CALL CENTER
 OPEN SOURCE IP PBX
                                                                                                                 Professional
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ASSOCIATIONS                                                     BROKERS                                                     EQUIPMENT




                                                                 Marketing
 Startel National Users Group, Inc.                                            Business Mergers &




                                                                  AS
Learn how Certification can demonstrate your Value in real $$.                     Acquisitions
   Dan L’Heureux Exec Director 800-317-8529                                      Brokers the sale of Telephone Answering,
            www.snugonline.org                                                  Voice Mail, Alarm Monitoring & Call Center
                                                                              companies. We also sell top-end TAS systems.
                                                                                 Steve Michaels - TAS Marketing



                                                                 T
                                                                                         800-369-6126
                    Supervisor Training and MORE!
                                                                                406-827-4131 • Fax: 406-827-4554
                        Sept 11-13, Chicago                                          tas@tasmarketing.com
 Great Lakes         Dan L'Heureux Exec Director
 Telemessaging                                                                       www.tasmarketing.com
                            888-712-9396
 Services Association       www.gltsa.org


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                   Southern Telemessaging                                                                                      Easily records ALL conversations—just click and play
                   Association                                               www.weikertonline.com                                               574-848-5233
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           Dan L'Heureux Exec Director                                           203-371-6423                                                    Record/Play Tek,Inc.
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       800-475-0857 • www.sta-assoc.org


             Western States Telemessaging Assoc.                 EQUIPMENT
              Opportunities beyond Boundaries- Join US!
                    Dan L'Heureux Exec Director
               877-754-4103 • www.WSTAonLine.org




BILLING SOFTWARE

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                                                                                                                               The online repository of
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CALL CENTERS                                                                                                                      insightful articles.
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                                                                                                                             Hundreds of articles, waiting for you!
      To find an Outsource                                         Voice Logging Recorders
                                                                        NOT JUST ONE SOLUTION                                To be included in the Professional
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                                                                      Recording, Monitoring, Bridges                            Directory, contact Valerie at
    the Marketplace section.                                     www.vlrcommunications.com 800-369-8273                                866-668-6694



Connections Magazine • www.connectionsmagazine.com                                                                                                   OCTOBER 2006 • 3
       Contents
                       10/2006
Cover Story



 IP Telephony:
 The Platform of Choice ..........14              Departments
 By Robert Winder
 Internet Protocol (IP) Telephony is rapidly      Professional Directory....................3
 becoming the platform of choice for
 contact center networks. A 2006 study            From the Publisher .........................7
 revealed that sixty percent of call centers      “How to Churn Employees”
 expect to deploy IP Telephony within one year;
 eighty-two percent, within two years.            Industry News ................................9
                                                  Call Center Comic........................25
                                                  by Ozzie Fonseca

                                                  Advertiser Listing ........................27
                                                  Classifieds/Marketplace ...............28
                                                  Coming Events.............................30




4 • OCTOBER 2006                                           www.connectionsmagazine.com • Connections Magazine
 Features                                                                     24
                                VoIP in the Call Center ...............................17   Strike the Right Balance in Your
                                By Wayne Scaggs                                             Contact Center .............................................23
                                What is VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol)?                By Luke McNally
                                How does it fit in your call center? VoIP is a              Call center agents fall into three categories:
                                vast and rapidly evolving technology that has               builders, cutters, and maintainers. Learn
                                far-reaching implications. We must master,                  how to identify who’s who and then achieve
                                implement, and apply this technology in our                 the right mix.
                                call centers. The rewards are great, while
                                the risks of ignoring it may be even greater.               How Does VoIP Fit into
                                                                                            Your Call Center?........................................24
                                Is Open Source IP PBX                                       Everyone’s talking about VoIP (Voice over
                                Right for Your Call Center? .......................18       Internet Protocol). Basically, VoIP is an
                                By Gary Barnett                                             inexpensive and effective way to communicate.
                                Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) enables                 Here is an overview of how key vendors are
                                call centers to combine networks and                        using VoIP in their product offerings. Which
                                transmit voice, data, and video over one cable.             ones are right for your operation?
                                If you’re considering VoIP in your contact
                                center, you should also consider an IP PBX.                 The Cardinal Rules
                                                                                            of Customer Service.....................................26
                                Hiring on Enthusiasm..................................21



18
                                                                                            By Nancy Friedman, The Telephone Doctor
                                By Ray Pelletier                                            Do you know that there is an International
                                Skills and competencies can be taught,                      Customer Service Week? This year it is
                                while enthusiasm is a much tougher trait                    the week of October 2nd. With this in mind,
                                to instill in your new hires. Enthusiasm is                 the Telephone Doctor shares some
                                infectious and will motivate your call center               customer service tips and techniques.
                                team. Why not hire for it?



                                                                                                          23
Whitepapers
Whitepapers On the Web
Find more information online:
www.connectionsmagazine.com/papers.
• Anatomy of a VoIP Attack by Brendan Ziolo,
  Sipera Systems
                                                       MyArticleArchive.com
• Doing More with Less: Next-Generation                Read more articles on line at www.MyArticleArchive.com/cm
  Strategies and Best Practices for Customer           • I Need a Lower Price! by Tim Connor
  Service, presented by eGain                          • Top 10 Sales Urban Myths by Paul DiModica
• Stop Delaying That Vacation by Harprit Singh,        • Does Your Company Culture Drive Away Your Best Workers?
  Intellicomm                                            by Andrew J. Edelman
                                                       • Six Powerful Prospecting Tips by John Boe
                                                       • Closing Sales or Closing Relationships? by Tim Connor
                                                       • Tell Us Another One: Successful Leadership through Storytelling
                                                         by Suzanne Bates




 Connections Magazine • www.connectionsmagazine.com                                                                         OCTOBER 2006 • 5
    Connections                                                                                                                 from the
 October 2006

 Publisher/Editor
                                                MAGAZINE

                                                 Volume 14, Issue 8

                                                             Peter DeHaan
                                                                                                                               Publisher
    Phone .................................................866-668-6695
    EMail ..................peter@connectionsmagazine.com
    Fax .....................................................866-668-6693
 Display/Classified Advertising ...............Valerie Port                                                                  How to Churn
    Phone .................................................866-668-6694
    EMail ...............valerie@connectionsmagazine.com                                                                      Employees
    Fax .....................................................866-668-6698          Peter DeHaan, Ph.D.
 Designer/Production.......................David Margolis
    Phone .................................................866-668-6696
    EMail...................dave@connectionsmagazine.com
    Fax .....................................................215-369-0144


                                                                                   M
                                                                                              y son, Dan, recently completed his first year of college. After spending
               48955 Hickory Lane • Mattawan, MI 49071                                        last summer relegated to working a smattering of part-time odd jobs, he
              www.connectionsmagazine.com
         email connect@connectionsmagazine.com                                                desired a different outcome for this year’s educational respite. He
                                                                                   learned that it was important to start his search early to beat out the competition.
                       Upcoming Issues:                                            By working contacts and networking through family and friends, he developed a
             Article/PR      Space                                                 list of prime prospects. Four realistic opportunities emerged, each complete with
 Issue       Deadline        Deadline       Featuring
                                                                                   an inside contact to guide the process, offer advice, and provide feedback. Dan’s
 Nov         Sept 29         Oct 6          Call Center Automation                 summer employment forecast seemed indeed bright.
 Dec         Nov 3           Nov 10         2007 Buyer's Guide                           During his spring break, he met with each company, submitting resumes,
                                                                                   completing applications, and going through interviews. Each opportunity looked
 Jan/Feb     Nov 3           Dec 8          The Year in Review;
                                            The Future
                                                                                   promising. Soon he begin to analyze their respective merits and desirability as his
                                                                                   ideal summer job, ranking them in order of preference and suitability. With all
 Mission:                                                                          these encouraging opportunities, it was understandably hard for him to pursue
 To be the principal clearing house of relevant and practical information          new leads and less desirable options.
 for the teleservices industry.                                                          Dutifully, he maintained contact with them throughout the remainder of the
 Distribution:                                                                     school year and made plans to meet as soon as school was out. It was during
 Connections Magazine is distributed monthly (with combined                        those follow-up meetings that things began to unravel. Due to unforeseen events,
 Jan/Feb and Jul/Aug issues) to the TeleServices industry, including               two prospects backed away during that first week. Two weeks later, a third
 outsource call centers, telephone answering services, in-house call
 centers, and industry professionals who actively buy and sell
                                                                                   bowed out and eventually the fourth fell through. Now he was almost a month
 products and provide service to this industry. The distribution list is           out of school and had to restart his job search. Fortunately, the area high schools
 continuously monitored and updated via the Connections Web site                   were still in session, so at least he could get a jump on their impending onslaught
 (www.ConnectionsMagazine.com), industry sources, reader requests,                 of the job market.
 and the change of address service from the U.S. Postal Service.                         It was a discouraging time for him and in the midst of desperation, or perhaps
 POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Connections Magazine,                         inspiration, he one day resorted to doing an Internet job search. The job site allowed
 44895 Hickory Ln, Mattawan, MI 49071.
                                                                                   him to conduct his search for businesses within a specified radius of our home. He
 Subscriptions:                                                                    put in five miles and, although we live in a relatively rural area, he got a match.
 Connections Magazine is sent free in the United States to individuals and               What follows is a sad saga of how not to recruit, manage, and treat employees.
 companies in the call center and teleservices industry. International
                                                                                   Within it are lessons to be learned. Here, then, is how to churn employees.
 subscriptions are distributed via email. Subscription requests can be
 processed on-line: www.connectionsmagazine.com and click on                             Hide Key Information: The help wanted ad was decidedly lacking in tangible
 “Subscribe.                                                                       detail. The specific type of work was not given and only vague generalities were
                                                                                   provided. The verbiage was along the lines of exciting and rewarding position,
 Notice:
                                                                                   working with other professionals at an established and successful company.
 Advertisers and their agents assume all liability for content, including text,
 representation, and illustration of any advertisement included in this                  In reading this finely crafted prose, it was hard not to get excited and draw
 magazine as well as for any claims made against the publisher arising             the conclusion that one had stumbled onto the most wonderful career opportunity
 therefrom. The publisher reserves the right to reject any advertising that is     available. For a moment I, too, was taken in by their impressively worded and
 not in keeping with the standards of the magazine and to add the word             enticing marketing copy. However, I soon realized it was only grandiose largess.
 “advertisement” to any ad herein. The publisher makes no claims regarding         In contemplating what they weren’t saying, I quietly concluded that they were
 the legality or condition of any goods or services advertised in this magazine.
 Opinions expressed in this magazine are those of the authors and not
                                                                                   either looking for home-based telemarketers or door-to-door sales staff. As it
 necessarily those of Connections Magazine or any of its agents. The               would turn out, neither was far from reality.
 information contained herein is for informational purposes only, and is                 Misrepresent the Facts: Dan responded to the ad and a preliminary phone
 not intended to provide legal, medical, tax, or any other professional            interview was conducted. An in-person meeting was the next step. Dan was
 advice or counsel.                                                                                                                              (Continued on page 8)

Connections Magazine • www.connectionsmagazine.com                                                                                              OCTOBER 2006 • 7
from the
Publisher
  (Continued from page 7)



  dismayed to learn that it was to be conducted in another city,           meetings and twice-a-day phone calls struck Dan as unreasonable
  over thirty miles away. Given the high price of gas and his limited      and demanding, especially since he could see little reason for them
  funds, this was a discouraging development for a job represented         and experienced even less benefit from them. Perhaps most
  to be within five miles of home.                                         telling, however, was BJ’s insistence that they work seven days a
        Believing that only this initial meeting would be at a distant     week – for a job that was advertised as part-time. All the more
  location, he expectantly proceeded. After three hours of a               infuriating was that BJ often bragged that when he was in the field,
  preliminary group interview and subsequent one-on-one conversation,      he would only sell a few days a week.
  he was offered a job. He would be selling knives! Then he                      Give Bad and Inappropriate Advice: When the sales staff
  received more disconcerting news. Three days of training would           would complain about the cost of driving to the sales meetings
  be held – at that distant location.                                      and the long distance calls, BJ would dismissingly respond that it
        At the conclusion of the training, he was then informed that       was all tax deductible. He claimed to be aggressive in filling out
  twice-a-week sales meetings were mandatory. Not surprisingly,            his tax forms and boasted that he generally paid no taxes! He
  they were also to be held in the faraway city. Twice-a-day long          implied that his staff should follow his example.
  distance phone calls to his manager, BJ, were also required. It was            Don’t Pay What You Promise: Dan was told he would
  adding up to be quite expensive for this “local” job. On top of          earn a minimum guaranteed amount on every appointment, even
  that, he had to buy his demo set of knives at a cost of over $100.       if no sales were made. Never once did this happen. The reasoning
        Have Purposeless Meetings: Not to be deterred, Dan gamely          was not revealed. It could be that there were many loopholes
  proceeded. He made his first sale as soon as his training was            and exceptions in that policy, allowing ample wiggle room to
  complete and headed off to the sales meeting. So as not to interfere     avoid paying the minimum reimbursement; possibly BJ
  with selling, it was scheduled at nine in the evening, which was         exercised discretion over this facet and abused that power; or
  too late to make appointments. The meeting was not what Dan              perhaps it was merely a false promise.
  expected. BJ seemingly did not have a definite plan for the                    Arbitrarily Refuse Training: Dan’s initial training covered
  meeting and meandered through it. There was no apparent objective        product knowledge and how to do a demonstration. He was
  or purpose – other than to see how many staff would comply with          instructed to ask for referrals after every presentation, regardless
  his attendance mandate.                                                  if a sale was made. Dan was accumulating leads, but had not
        Generally the meetings would start late. Often they had little     been trained on how to follow through on them.
  substance. Other times BJ would not be able to locate all his                  He ask BJ what to do. BJ’s response was that it would be
  materials or handouts would not be ready. More than once Dan             covered at the sales meetings. Except that it wasn’t. Dan had pretty
  and his cohorts waited while BJ made copies, talked on the               much given up on the sales meetings and asked BJ directly for
  phone, or left the room. Once he got mad at the people not               assistance. BJ’s unexpected rejoinder was, “Since you’re not
  present – and chewed out those who were.                                 coming to the meetings anymore, I’m not going to tell you!”
        Waste Time: During these meetings, individual queries                    Despite all of this, Dan did well selling knives. He enjoyed
  were postponed for afterwards. If Dan waited around to have his          making presentations and doing demos. This resulted in a high
  questions answered, he might not get home until after midnight.          closing ratio, and he quickly earned a boost in his commission
  More often that not, he was frustrated with the lack of response         rate. Soon after Dan embarked on his knife-selling adventure,
  to his inquiries, either being deferred yet again or receiving a         another job opportunity availed itself. It was part-time – mowing
  cocky, condescending retort.                                             lawns and doing landscaping – and only expected to last for three
        The twice-a-day phone calls were also an exercise in frustration   weeks. Wanting to keep his options open, Dan balanced both
  and futility. Dan would alter his schedule to make these calls           jobs. He soon witnessed that not all bosses were like BJ. His
  during the prescribed time frame. Although these calls were              landscaping boss was easygoing and flexible. He and Dan quickly
  required, BJ sometimes wasn’t available or he might respond              established a rapport and worked well together. Although the job
  with irritation at the interruption. During these calls, sometimes       was never more than part-time, it happily continued for the rest
  Dan was encouraged; other times he could get chastised for not           of the summer.
  doing more or his communication would be summarily dismissed.                  Dan is still a knife salesman, though it has now become so
        Undervalue Staff: Another problem was that BJ was focused          part-time as to be negligible. Still, he is keeping it open as an
  on hiring more sales staff. He gave priority to recruitment and had      option for the future. If only he had received the additional training
  little left to give his existing charges. From Dan’s original group,     he needed and been treated with a bit of respect and dignity, the
  the attrition rate was at 90 percent after two weeks. It seemed that     outcome would have been quite different. ¤
  BJ viewed staffing as a numbers game. It was quantity over quality;
  people were expendable and you needed to hire many in order for               [Epilogue: Dan was just notified by BJ that the office will be
  a few to stick around.                                                   “temporarily shut down” and the sales reps reassigned to other
        Make Unreasonable Demands: The twice-a-week sales                  offices; BJ will go back to being a field rep.]

  8 • OCTOBER 2006                                                                    www.connectionsmagazine.com • Connections Magazine
   IndustryNEWS                                                      Join the Alston Tascom

Telescan Positions for the Future
      Telescan announced the retirement of Robert Riggs, Jr.,
setting in motion a series of moves that will strengthen Telescan
for the future. The announcement was made on August 31,
2006 by Roger Young, Telescan’s President. Nicholas J.




                                                                                                              Connecting Callers With Customers
Naimo will assume Riggs duties as General Manager.
      Telescan also welcomes their two newest members, Lisa
Rooks as Trainer and Customer Service Specialist and Craig
Hegel as Technical Support Specialist. In addition, Telescan
announced that they have renewed their contract with Carin
Shulusky of Marketing Alliance, to continue to provide
marketing programs to Telescan and their network.
      “We have positioned our company around a talented and
highly respected team of industry specialists,” said Roger
Young. “We believe we are better positioned than ever for the
future of the telemessaging industry.”
      To find out more about Telescan, call 800-770-7662 or
visit www.telescan.net.

Professional Teledata Makes
2-Way Emailing Available
     Professional Teledata announced the availability of two-
way email communications on their PInnacle Telemessaging
System. Agents can send emails to desktops, cell phones, per-
sonal digital assistants (PDAs), or any device capable of
receiving emails. Recipients may reply with instructions or
any other communication back to the agent. The contents of
the replies are automatically linked to the original transmission
to facilitate further communications and to act as an audit trail.
     Jim Graham, vice-president of software development,
added that initial email communications may be accepted by              Single-Point-Solution
the PInnacle system. He cites the example of a malfunctioning           • Unified IVR
piece of self-monitoring equipment automatically generating
an email and, based upon its content, an agent contacting the
                                                                        • Unlimited ACD
appropriate on-call individual to address the problem. “The             • Text to Speech
advantages to clients are numerous and varied and create new            • No Proprietary Hardware
markets and applications for the call center.”                          • Voice Mail
     The two-way emailing capabilities are being made                   • Voice Logging
available currently to all PInnacle users at no charge as part of
their standard support package.
                                                                        • Voice Recognition
     Professional Teledata (www.proteledata.com) provides               • Order Entry
systems and software products for the telemessaging and call
center industries. Contact Karen Black at 800-344-9944
x112 for more information.                                               Alston Tascom
                                                                         13512 Vintage Pl., Chino. CA 91710
Szeto’s Call Linx Gets Facelift;                                         866-2-TASCOM • 866-282-7266
Details at ASTAA                                                         Fax 909-517-3670
   To take advantage of the new features in the Linux                    info@alstontascom.com
Operating System, Szeto Technologies has optimized the                   www.alstontascom.com
                              (Continued on page 10)

Connections Magazine • www.connectionsmagazine.com                                              OCTOBER 2006 • 9
                                                                    According to Szeto’s founder, Charlie Szeto, this

   IndustryNEWS
(Continued from page 9)
                                                                enhancement increases system user-friendliness and further
                                                                reduces training time and effort. Every detail in the Call
                                                                Answer Screen is so clearly labeled and strategically
                                                                positioned that new call center agents can practically train
graphics interface of the Call Linx TAS System. Call Linx       themselves. On the product development side, the Szeto
system screens have now been completely revamped.               engineering team has already begun to take advantage of this
• Window definitions are sharper and text appearance is         display enhancement when implementing new features into
     crisper                                                    Call Linx’s Order Entry Module. Szeto Technologies will be
• Color highlights are distinctly noticeable, but continue to   exhibiting these new features at the ASTAA Convention,
     be pleasant to the eyes                                    Baltimore, MD, October 16-17.
• Function buttons are elevated and their labels are                Product inquiries can be directed to charles@szeto.ca or
     markedly clear                                             by calling 888-421-3737.
• Event reminders, be it a pop-up window or a flash of an
     icon, gently but steadfastly grab the user’s attention     Amtelco Announces Gary Kerner
                                                                as National Sales Manager
                                                                     Amtelco announced that Gary Kerner is being promoted
                                                                to national sales manager, effective August 31, 2006. Kevin
                                                                Ryan is retiring as national sales manager to pursue his other
                                                                career as owner of a call center. Kevin said, “I have had
                                                                twenty-one great years with Amtelco, and it has been my
                                                                pleasure to have worked with so many terrific people in this
                                                                industry. My wife and I recently started up an answering
                                                                service here in our hometown of Austin, Texas. I’ll be putting
                                                                my time and energy into growing that business. I look
                                                                forward to being your colleague in this incredible business.”
                                                                     Gary Kerner owned his own telephone-answering service
                                                                from 1982 to 1999. Previously, he was an Amtelco trainer
                                                                and installer, visiting well over 200 sites on behalf of
                                                                Amtelco. In 2001, Gary joined the Amtelco sales team,
                                                                covering the southern and mid-Atlantic states. His extensive
                                                                knowledge of Amtelco systems and the industry brings a
                                                                strong dynamic and asset to the customer base.
                                                                     For more information Amtelco, contact Amtelco at
                                                                800-356-9148 or visit http://callcenter.amtelco.com.

                                                                Quintum® Debuts
                                                                Survivable Versions of
                                                                Tenor® VoIP Switches
                                                                     Quintum Technologies debuted a “survivable” version of
                                                                its Tenor VoIP MultiPath Switch. It will provide local
                                                                support for a branch office IP telephony network when IP
                                                                connectivity with the voice server at the main location is lost.
                                                                This helps assure business continuity in remote locations.
                                                                The new Survivable Tenor S is a complete solution that will
                                                                be the only device needed in the branch office to support all
                                                                legacy equipment, local PSTN connectivity, and survivability
                                                                of the local IP telephony network.
                                                                     The new Survivable Tenor S contains a local SIP proxy
                                                                that provides survivability for local SIP endpoints and
                                                                intelligent call routing to keep any SIP-based VoIP network
                                                                up and running if connectivity with the main proxy server is
                                                                lost. Without the server connectivity, IP phones would not be
                                                                able to operate. In event of an IP failure, the new Survivable
                                                                Tenor S keeps the local IP telephony phone network

10 • OCTOBER 2006                                                         www.connectionsmagazine.com • Connections Magazine
operational, regardless of what happens on the wide area        in both Canada and the United States as delegates from both
network. Combined with PSTN failover capabilities, this         sides of the border prepare to head south in November for the
feature makes Tenor switches even more reliable.                CAM-X 42nd Annual Convention & Trade Show.
     For more information, call 877-773-2547 or visit                The Early Bird drawing of a free upgrade to a Junior
http://www.quintum.com.                                         Suite at the beautiful Omni Cancun Hotel & Villas went to
                                                                Marci Imes of Advantage Answering Plus of San Luis
Telescan Introduces                                             Obispo, California.
RSS Feed for Messages                                                “Both the destination, as well as the must-see line up of
     Telescan’s new RSS technology, a part of the Spectrum      presenters hailing from across Canada, the U.S., Great Britain,
Information Server, sets a new standard for the telemessaging   and the Netherlands, have created an international buzz that
industry. The RSS feed allows instant client notification of    has driven the early rush to register,” says convention chair
messages. When a client has a message, he can be notified       Michael Leibowitz. “Coupled with the fabulous Omni Cancun
through his choice of PDA, Internet, or cell phone. This new    Hotel & Villas property and the exceptional all-inclusive pricing
technology will reduce or eliminate the need for faxing and     the committee was able to secure, this offers an exceptional deal
emailing messages.                                              that conventioneers are jumping on,” he added.
     “Telescan is continuing to find new ways to use our             The convention will be held November 14-17, 2006 with
 technology to help telemessaging companies serve their         a preconference “Vendor Day” on November 13.
clients better,” said Bob Vornberg, Telescan’s director of           For more information, go to www.camx.ca or call
product development. “We want to make it as fast and easy       800-896-1054.
as possible to get critical messages to the clients.”
     To find out more about Spectrum by Telescan, call          ePLDT Acquires Leading BPO
800-770-7662 or visit www.telescan.net.                         Provider SPi Technologies
                                                                    ePLDT Ventus, a provider of cost-effective, offshore call
CAM-X Early Registration                                        center outsourcing announced that its parent company,
Set Record                                                      ePLDT, has acquired SPi Technologies, a global business
   Record-breaking Early Bird Registration numbers indicate     process outsourcing company with over 6,500 employees
Cancun, Mexico to be a really big hit with CAM-X members                                         (Continued on page 12)



     Attention
    Vendors and
    Outsourcing
    Call Centers:
    Sign up to be included in our

      2007 Annual
      Buyers Guide.
  Now in its sixth year, this greatly
  anticipated and valuable resource
    is expected to be the biggest
    one yet! Make sure that you
             are included.

              Go to
 www.ConnectionsMagazine.com/BG
         and sign up today!


Connections Magazine • www.connectionsmagazine.com                                                     OCTOBER 2006 • 11
                                                                     suitable for a variety of uses. They can be run as television

   IndustryNEWS
(Continued from page 11)
                                                                     commercials, viewed on websites, sent as e-cards, shown in
                                                                     trade show booths, or used when speaking to groups.
                                                                     Combined with ATSI’s industry informational Spotlight On:
                                                                     Communications, these promotional pieces present a great
worldwide. The acquisition allows ePLDT Ventus to further            introduction to the role the industry plays in the business and
expand into the healthcare, legal, publishing, and transaction       public communities.
industries. With twenty-six locations throughout North                    ATSI can be contacted at 866-896-ATSI or on the web at
America, Europe, and Asia and over 150 global clients, the           www.atsi.org.
acquisition allows Ventus to deliver scalable and knowledge-
based outsourcing solutions to its diversified markets.              STA to Host Additional Inspired
     “This acquisition enables Ventus to expand its global           Performance Seminars
delivery network and to provide additional BPO services,”                 Following the success of its July Inspired Performance
said Rose Montenegro, president, ePLDT Ventus. The                   Seminars in Atlanta, the Southern Telemessaging Association
combination of Ventus’ call center facilities and SPi’s              (STA) will be presenting additional seminars in January 2007
facilities in the Philippines, India, US, and China will further     in Houston, Texas and April 2007 in Tampa, Florida. The
strengthen Ventus’ position in the global market.                    presenters, Judy Vincent, Mari Osmon, and Dee Hawkins, are
     For more information, visit www.spi-bpo.com and                 industry legends in quality performance and training; they are
www.epldtventus.com.                                                 veterans of the former Supervisor 101, 102 and 103 series
                                                                     distributed by ATSI. The upcoming sessions will be expanded
ATSI Creates Promotional Media                                       to two full days and will include new material for lead agents,
     The Association of TeleServices International (ATSI) has        supervisors, and anyone else that wants to advance in the
created several promotional media pieces for the teleservices        industry.
industry. The pieces are designed to promote the reliable                 For more information, contact Dan L’Heureux 800-475-
service the small call center and telemessaging industry provides.   0857 or dan@CallConsult.net.
     These humorous 30-second spots may be customized
with individual company logos and information and are                ATSI to Launch Owners Forums
                                                                          The Association of TeleServices International (ATSI)
                                                                     will be launching owner-specific educational forums this
                                                                     year. These day-and-a-half forums will focus on issues of
                                                                     particular importance to business owners:
                                                                     • Bringing service ideas to the market
                                                                     • Financial strategies
                                                                     • Succession planning
                                                                          Each session will provide examples and expand upon
                                                                     how other businesses have handled these issues. This
                                                                     overview will be followed by attendee general discussion of
                                                                     how the issues impact their businesses and the industry. The
                                                                     presentations will be used as a springboard for small group
                                                                     discussion to formulate action plans that will be reported back
                                                                     to the whole group.
                                                                          ATSI is an international not-for-profit association founded
                                                                     in 1942 to meet the needs of the teleservices industry. ATSI
                                                                     can be contacted at 866-896-ATSI or on the web at
                                                                     www.atsi.org.

                                                                     IQ Services Partners with
                                                                     Dirigosoft Corporation
                                                                          Interactive Quality (IQ) Services announced their newest
                                                                     business partnership with Dirigosoft Corporation, a manufacturer
                                                                     of software solutions for contact centers, headquartered in
                                                                     Portland, Maine. By joining the IQ Services network of
                                                                     reseller partners, Dirigosoft can offer its clients IQ Services’
                                                                     patented load testing and availability monitoring technology
                                                                     to test their call center and web-based customer contact systems.

12 • OCTOBER 2006                                                              www.connectionsmagazine.com • Connections Magazine
     These tests, combined with Dirigosoft’s contact center       firm, announced the availability of their new post-call survey
implementation technologies, will provide customers a             product, HyperSurvey. HyperSurvey combines customer
complete internal and external view of system performance.        feedback from the post-call surveys with compliance
“We are excited to have IQ Services as a new partner,” said       feedback gathered through quality evaluations. This provides
Dirigosoft president and COO, Bill Hunt. “This partnership        a well-rounded look at the quality agents are providing to
will allow us to offer our customers a more complete line of      their customers.
services. From validating new installations with load testing          With HyperSurvey, brief telephone and email surveys let
services to keeping an eye on our customers’ systems with         customers tell what they thought of a company’s communications
availability monitoring, IQ Services fills a unique niche.”       – whether telephone, email or chat. After the brief survey,
     For more information, visit www.iq-services.com and          customers can leave a 60-second or longer open-ended
www.dirigosoft.com.                                               message telling the company what they can do to improve, or
                                                                  to keep up the good work.
Virtual-Agent Services Opens                                           For more information, visit www.hyperquality.com.
18th North American Location
     Virtual-Agent Services announced that it has established     Telecorp Introduces CentrEE
its 18th North American call center location. Established in      Recorder Plus – Record &
the village of Stanley, New Brunswick, Canada, the center         Verify Calls
will be added to the company’s other sites located in Illinois         Telecorp Products, Inc. announced the introduction of
and New Brunswick. The new center is expected to create up        CentrEE Recorder Plus, a digital recording solution for the
to fifty jobs for local area residents within its first year of   telecommunications industry. It is a stand-alone software
operation.                                                        application designed to record all or selected calls while
     To learn more about Virtual-Agent Services, go to            providing the user with the ability to review their recordings.
www.vagent.com.                                                   Recorder Plus only takes minutes to install and is compatible
                                                                  with most existing phone systems.
HyperQuality Launches                                                  For more information, call 8006341012 or 2489601000
Post-Call Surveys                                                 or go to www.telecorpproducts.com.
    HyperQuality, a contact center quality assurance services




Connections Magazine • www.connectionsmagazine.com                                                      OCTOBER 2006 • 13
IP Telephony:
The Platform of Choice
By Robert Winder




O
         nly a year or two ago, very few contact centers world-          The widespread emergence of open standards, such as
         wide were operating with a complete Internet               Session Initiation Protocol (SIP), is helping to promote the
         Protocol Telephony (IPT) infrastructure all the way to     adoption of IP telephony and is delivering many economies of
the agent desktop. However, this has changed considerably in        scale. With a telephony framework based on SIP, for example,
recent years. With its promise of cost savings, simplified          contact centers are able to separate the voice application software
management, and greater business agility, IPT is rapidly            from the underlying hardware infrastructure, which allows
becoming the platform of choice for upgrading contact center        them to purchase and deploy best-of-breed solutions.
networks or deploying new contact center facilities.                     With this approach, telephony functionality is provided by
     In fact, according to results from a 2006 global research      an application server on a company’s network and hardware
study commissioned by Genesys, sixty percent of all                 based on industry standards replaces expensive proprietary
respondents expected to deploy IPT in at least one contact          systems. As a result, contact centers no longer need to tear
center within a year, rising to eight-two percent within two        out an old system to add functionality, eliminating a large
years. The study, which involved 500 contact center                 amount of the switching cost and risk of data loss. In fact,
technology managers from twenty industries and fifty-three          seventy-five percent of all respondents in the study see great
countries, revealed valuable insight into the technological         value in being able to retain and leverage existing infrastructure.
expectations, architecture choices, and future deployment           Almost ninety percent consider it highly or extremely
plans of new contact center applications.                           valuable to retain existing applications as they migrate.
     Also notable among the findings was the fact that among
organizations with IPT being deployed or planned, almost                 Flexibility Drives Decisions:
ninety percent said they expect to activate their first IPT              Choosing the right architecture for an IPT solution is
contact center within one year – although most will only            vital for any contact center. A wrong choice can limit future
migrate some contact centers initially. This staged approach        technology deployment options and restrict the performance
reflects the industry’s traditional caution about any               of a contact center as it evolves and grows. Equally important
organization-wide technology change. As a result, most              is the ability to retain compatibility with existing infrastructure
technology managers expect to employ a mixture of traditional       and to ensure the flexibility to deploy new applications.
circuit-switched telephony and IP-packet switching telephony             For example, eighty-five percent of the technology managers
across their operations for some time.                              surveyed in the study expect to retain their current analytical
     As the deployment of IP contact centers has grown,             routing capability when they migrate to IP. Likewise, eighty-
infrastructure architecture has become one of the most important    one percent believe it is very important to retain the flexibility
technology considerations. So far, the majority of IPT              to select and deploy new business applications without being
deployments have been hybrid solutions which add IPT capabilities   limited by infrastructure. Balancing flexibility, reliability,
to existing time-division multiplexing (TDM) switches. Until        functionality, and cost is critical – and different architectures
recently, proprietary IP solutions have been popular.               balance these parameters in different ways.
Recently, a clear trend toward open standards IP as developed,           Proprietary platforms offer potentially greater reliability,
particularly among those planning or investigating IPT              easier integration initially and lower upfront costs, but they
architecture to replace existing contact center infrastructure.                                             (Continued on page 16)

Connections Magazine • www.connectionsmagazine.com                                                           OCTOBER 2006 • 15
IP Telephony
(Continued from page 15)                                            reduced maintenance costs.
                                                                         The cost of implementing such a “virtualization” scenario
also limit flexibility and functionality and grow increasingly      using a traditional voice network is prohibitive. The combination
expensive over time. Conversely, open standards-based               of IP networks with IP telephony applications makes it possible
platforms can offer greater flexibility and functionality,          for users located anywhere on a company’s network to have
including increased application portability. While the              access to voice and data – at a fraction of the cost. In addition
benefits and drawbacks of each architecture type differ from        to the software now available, today’s commoditized
product to product, potential limitations need to be considered     hardware, including gateways between traditional voice and
when deciding which type to deploy.                                 IP networks, media servers, and IP phones, plays an
     Most contact centers have already made significant             important role in widening the choices available to companies
investments in a stable and efficient technology environment        and reducing the overall cost of the solution.
to support quality customer service delivery. Therefore, there           Flexibility, compatibility, and protection of business
is a general reluctance to make significant changes unless          continuity are distinctly the most important considerations for
substantial new benefits are expected. Still, the importance of     many organizations. It is not surprising, then, to find that
having a flexible telephony infrastructure that can accommodate     hybrid IP remains the most common type of telephony
technological shifts is magnified by the expectation that the       architecture, while open standards IP is rapidly growing in
business requirements of the contact center are likely to           popularity.
change in the near future. This rapid – and inevitable – pace
of change reinforces the value of open platforms and also                The Pathway to Deployment:
helps explain the rising popularity of open standards IP.                While IPT seems to be inevitable for the majority of
     Until recently, cost savings has been the main driver of       contact centers, the way to proceed is less clear. Each
business cases that support IPT implementation. However,            organization needs to develop a migration strategy that maps
broader benefits are emerging from the experience of early          closely to their overall goals and current infrastructure needs
adopters. These benefits can help build stronger business           – one that can create a best-of-breed communication solution
cases for organizations whose recent investment in telephony        with reduced total cost of ownership and without sacrificing
infrastructure is holding them back. These benefits include:        existing capabilities. Fortunately, because IP runs on a
• Ability to mix legacy TDM hardware with IPT                       standards-based SIP infrastructure, it can be seamlessly
     infrastructure components and still create an integrated       integrated into the contact center and organizations can easily
     contact center environment                                     make the transition in a phased approach, bringing value to
• Business improvements resulting from centralized,                 the customer at each new phase.
     consolidated operations management                                  A key point with implementing IP technology is that it’s
• Easy virtualization of resources – providing a single             not an all-or-nothing proposition – that is, there’s no need to
     point of enterprise-wide call control and routing              migrate your entire environment to a single-vendor IP solution
• Application portability                                           to begin leveraging the advantages of IP. By choosing vendors
• Ability to purchase technology from multiple vendors              that support an open standards-based approach, organizations
• Flexibility to work with external, third party systems            can deploy multiple technologies from multiple vendors in
                                                                    different places and use SIP to enable all of these pieces to
     Strong Business Drivers:                                       work together. The good news is that the benefits of IPT can
     Until recently, the business case for deploying IPT in the     be leveraged even with a small initial deployment.
contact center has been based on the same two parameters for             When considering return on investment (ROI), organizations
deploying IPT across the corporate network – network and            should look beyond the short-term, easily measurable
toll cost savings and easier operational management.                elements. The true measurement of return must take into
However, the broad business benefits of IPT lend credibility        account the long-term opportunities that IPT enables.
to business cases that look further than simple cost savings,       Implementing IPT should be seen as a strategic move, rather
especially those that take into account opportunities to deploy     than just a cost-cutting exercise.
new business applications and features and extend the                    By designing a strategy around business needs and taking
functions of the contact center beyond the enterprise.              a phased approach, companies can ensure existing investments
     For example, deployment of IPT can be used to flatten          are not compromised and that the implementation will not
and consolidate the contact center infrastructure, reduce network   disrupt current business processes. Ultimately, the best
facilities, and control multiple locations from a centralized set   approach to ITP implementation is to view it as a long-term
of applications. This supports the creation of a single solution    investment – one that will provide returns in capital savings,
to incorporate contact centers, remote agents, satellite            productivity, and future innovation. ¤
locations, and outsourced resources, all of which can be
centrally managed and maintained. Moreover, centralized                  Robert Winder is the vice president of business development,
call processing means quicker deployment and significantly          IP for Genesys Telecommunications Laboratories, Inc.

16 • OCTOBER 2006                                                             www.connectionsmagazine.com • Connections Magazine
VoIP in the
Call Center
By Wayne Scaggs




V
         oice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) is a large,           with VoIP means the cost of the services has just dropped;
         complex, and rapidly evolving technology. What           since there are no usage charges, the companies that have
         makes this technology so attractive are the far          implemented this technology are reaping the profits.
reaching implications of what is possible. What is apparent           The implementation of VoIP can vary from hybrid
today with this technology is only a gleam of what is to come.    (add-on equipment) to a pure VoIP system. A major
When your client comes in with their brand-new IP-enabled         consideration is the leveraging of the technology’s growth
cell phone, and says “call me on my new IP cell phone,” what      and cost. Are you going to be part of this new wave, or will
are you going to do?                                              you see a few more clients slip away because you cannot
     We are riding on the crest of the digitalization of all      provide the service at the price point needed?
forms of communication and information, which can send that
communiqué at light speed to anywhere. The telemessaging               There are other reasons to implement VoIP:
industry is the oldest organized industry to professionally       •    Disaster recovery: an IP agent can do their job by taking
collect and distribute messages (information) via one of the           calls and delivering messages in a hotel lobby, a
first technological breakthroughs ever, the telephone. Now             Starbucks, or any other hotspot with a broadband connection,
VoIP is another tool we must master, implement, and apply              a laptop, and a system to connect to. Your standby
our applications to.                                                   agents can be in the next city or state.
     What is different regarding this technology is the speed     • Remote office: buy the accounts anywhere in the world,
in which it will proliferate in the communication industry as a        keep a local presence, and the calls can be handled on
whole and in our call centers specifically. Over the years,            your IP system located in “Anywhere, USA.”
many new technologies elevated the type and/or level of service   • Shared agent: move agents between multiple sites
we provide. This will be no different, except in the speed             without any travel.
with which it will be implemented. As an example, consider             Figure out how to downsize or eliminate your office and
that Jet Blue’s call centers are located in the homes of the      expenses; other businesses are getting the job done with less
agents. Think about that: no office expense, no commute           expense, why not you? Jump into the VoIP pool, even if it is
time, and no gasoline for the employees. This cost-effective      the shallow end, get your feet wet, and embrace the future of
arrangement is also being done in the telemessaging industry,     your business. VoIP is here and working. When will you
thanks to VoIP.                                                   start collecting your share of the profits? ¤
     Implementation of VoIP for the agent means that your
agent can be anywhere, as long as they have access to a               Wayne Scaggs is president of Alston Tascom, Inc., which
broadband Internet connection. VoIP for local DID numbers         offers an end-to-end contact center solution using
provides your call center with the opportunity to have a local    digital telephony. For further information contact
presence in the next city, the next state, or the other coast.    Alston Tascom at 909-548-7300, info@alstontascom.com or
Now, this possibility is not anything new, except that doing it   www.alstontascom.com.

Connections Magazine • www.connectionsmagazine.com                                                       OCTOBER 2006 • 17
      Is Open Source
           IP PBX Right for
     Your Call Center?
By Gary Barnett




W
            hy are more and more companies looking to forego        of concern to some, the phenomenal success of certain
            their traditional Private Branch eXchange (PBX)         high-profile endeavors, such as Linux and Apache, should put
            systems and are now opening their eyes to new           those fears to rest and deliver proof that open source is here to
Internet Protocol (IP) technology? The increased adoption of        stay. Open source is continuing to gain traction and is now
Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) and standards-based technology    taking hold of the contact center industry. For example,
point to open source as a viable option in the contact center.      Asterisk, an open source IP PBX, has been downloaded
Early adopters of this technology are drawn to the low cost,        750,000 to one million times, with 250,000 reported installations
as well as the greater control and flexibility that open source     since its first release in 1999. With approximately 350 developers
telephony offers companies. However, as with any new                contributing code to the Asterisk community, there are now
technology, it is important to examine the needs and capabilities   roughly 300,000 Asterisk IP PBXs in production. The viability
of the contact center to determine if open source makes sense       of open source, particularly in the contact center, is definitely
for your organization.                                              valid – many IT groups feel that open source has the potential to
     Many companies are deploying Voice-over-Internet               bring value to their organizations and are therefore opening the
Protocol (VoIP) in their contact centers to help them gain a        door to an open source IP PBX system.
competitive advantage and increase flexibility. VoIP enables
companies to combine networks and simultaneously transmit           What Are the Benefits?
voice, data, and video over one “pipe.” This convergence                 Open source IP PBXs are architected to be as reliable and
allows companies to save on network and administration              scalable as any closed source IP PBX. They present a fresh,
expenses, increase agent productivity and enjoy tight               new option for demanding enterprises, while delivering these
integrations with other solutions, thus providing a consistent      benefits:
experience across all communication channels.                       • Cost-effective – An open source IP PBX can be
     If you’re considering deploying VoIP in your contact center,        implemented for one-third to one-half the price of
you should also be thinking about implementing an IP PBX. An             proprietary systems that are on the market today. There
existing PBX may effectively manage voice communications,                are no associated software costs, as it can be downloaded
but it cannot handle VoIP calls – an IP PBX can support both.            for free and low cost SIP phones are readily available.
An IP PBX enables companies to move to IP at their own                   There are minimal expenses relating to installation,
pace – either immediately or via a gradual transition.                   depending on the expertise of your IT staff.
     While the survivability of open source projects has been       • Vendor neutral – Using SIP and other telephony

18 • OCTOBER 2006                                                             www.connectionsmagazine.com • Connections Magazine
    standards, open source IP PBXs can be easily integrated
    with applications from multiple vendors as well as
    existing TDM infrastructure to ensure seamless
    interoperability with the contact centers throughout your
    organization, whether they are open source or proprietary
    systems. These IP PBXs are specifically designed to
    help companies avoid being “locked-in” to specific
    vendors or products, resulting in better pricing and
    greater choice and flexibility.
•   Customizable – While typical open source IP PBXs offer
    more than 100 standard features, including all the
    expected capabilities, the number and scope of possibilities
    are infinite. Since the source code is readily available,
    companies can control and add an unlimited range of
    features and functionality to meet their unique and
    evolving needs, instead of spending money on and
    waiting for customized features to be developed by an
    outside vendor.
•   Rapidly developed – Proprietary systems use a pyramid
    model, where a few at the top of the pyramid are
    empowered to design the software while the rest of the IT
    team helps with the development process. This hierarchy
    process for technology development is generally slow
    and inefficient. On the other hand, open source
    telephony is powered by a large community of programmers.
    A multitude of users with collaborative development,
                                     (Continued on page 20)




Connections Magazine • www.connectionsmagazine.com                 OCTOBER 2006 • 19
Is Open Source IP PBX Right for Your Call Center?
   (Continued from page 19)                                      Is Open Source Right for You?
                                                                      As with VoIP, open source telephony isn’t the right
   real-world experience, and vested interests means that        choice for every company. Today’s early adopters of open
   new capabilities can be quickly added and brought to          source telephony include contact centers that are ready to
   market, and upgrades are timely.                              fully or partially launch an IP strategy. They have reasonable
   • Stable and secure – While it is not possible for any        yet dynamic business needs, but use vendors that are not able
   software to be entirely secure, open source enables con-      to offer the flexibility to meet those needs. They have
   stant peer review, which results in rapid identification of   relatively competent IT staff and some experience with
   security breaches. Because a large community of users         software development, licensing and intellectual property
   has access to the code, multiple people can be simultane-     policies.
   ously developing bug fixes at no cost. And because open            Some industry experts have acknowledged that
   source is open in terms of both code and philosophy, there    installation and ongoing support of open source IP PBXs
   is no motivation for hackers to try to “crack the code.”      remain the biggest obstacles to widespread adoption.
                                                                 Companies considering this technology should search for a
                                                                 solution with a packaged product offering post-deployment
                                                                 support and interoperability with other applications. This will
                                                                 allow companies to take advantage of the benefits of open
                                                                 source without worrying about potentially disrupting service
                                                                 to their customers.

                                                                 Making the Leap to Using the Technology:
                                                                      The first step in implementing open source in the contact
                                                                 center is to identify the areas that require a more flexible
                                                                 solution and offer a high potential return from open source
                                                                 telephony. It may be wise for companies to initially focus on
                                                                 less ambitious projects to gain a better understanding of
                                                                 capabilities and potential pitfalls before tackling larger
                                                                 implementations. It is recommended that companies fully
                                                                                      assess open source software for interoper-
                                                                                      ability with other applications prior to
                                                                                      implementation. It is also important that
                                                                                      before deployment, companies gain a
                                                                                      thorough understanding of the internal and
                                                                                      external resources that are required to
                                                                                      install, maintain, and continue development
                                                                                      of an open source IP PBX. Lastly, identify
                                                                                      IT staff and outside resources that are
                                                                                      willing and able to provide active support.
                                                                                           Careful research and planning can
                                                                                      help managers more fully appreciate all
                                                                                      that open source telephony has to offer.
                                                                                      Companies looking to make the leap to
                                                                                      open source IP PBX will find that it is an
                                                                                      extremely cost-effective platform that can
                                                                                      provide a new, fresh options for increasing
                                                                                      choice, flexibility, and control in the
                                                                                      contact center. ¤

                                                                                          Gary Barnett is chief technology
                                                                                     officer and executive vice president at
                                                                                     Aspect Software, a provider of contact
                                                                                     center products and services. For more
                                                                                     information on open source IP PBX
                                                                                     technology, call 978-952-0200 or visit
                                                                                     www.aspect.com.

20 • OCTOBER 2006                                                          www.connectionsmagazine.com • Connections Magazine
                         Hiring on Enthusiasm
                         By Ray Pelletier

                         M
                                    any call center managers        items about the candidate that appeal to you and three that
                                    consider new agent hires as     concern you. Write them down in the form of a mission
                                    short-term investments in a     statement and keep it nearby while you’re conducting your
call center’s future. However, the fact is that today’s employees   interview. Check your mission statement to make sure
are staying at their jobs longer than they did even a few years     you’ve addressed each of these six items before you conclude
ago. With this in mind, call centers need to carefully select       your interview. Develop a mission statement for each interview
their new agents to ensure the best possible fit – both for the     you conduct. By knowing specific items you want to cover
individual and for their operation. A comprehensive,                and results you want to gain, you can ensure that your
multistep interview process will ultimately lead you to the         interview time is well spent for both parties.
best possible candidate. While it requires a greater time
investment than conducting a single interview, the paybacks         Conduct the interview in the right environment.
are worth it. Your call center will gain an enthusiastic new             Much like a person who first visits your home gets an
employee, build stronger team morale, and spend less money          impression of you, a person who visits your office gets an
replacing the “wrong” candidate.                                    impression of your call center. Be mindful of the message
                                                                    you’re sending candidates. Make sure the reception area and
Enthusiasm versus Skills                                            your office are clean and well-appointed. Check your appearance
     When employers review resumes for an open position,            in a mirror before greeting the candidate. During the
they often look for the person who has all the job-specific         interview, shut the door to your office and don’t answer the
skills they want. However, the right person for the position        phone or check your email. Give the candidate your undivided
may not be the one who has the right education or is proficient     attention and show respect for the interviewing process.
with all the industry technology. While intelligence and some
technical knowledge are important, an enthusiastic go-getter        Ask the right questions.
with a positive attitude can be a greater asset to your call            Many questions are off-limits during an interview, but
center. After all, enthusiasm is infectious and a positive person   plenty of others can give you unique insights into the
will motivate your team. Plus, you can always train someone         thoughts and feelings of your candidate. Ask questions that
on specific skills; enthusiasm, however, can’t be taught. Other     require both technical and emotional answers, as these
important factors to look for are candidates who are good team      questions will tap into the person’s left and right side of their
players and “coachable.” The person you select should be            brain. Here are some good questions to consider:
open to taking direction and learning new skills.                   • What do you believe is your biggest accomplishment?
     Why are enthusiasm and attitude more important than skills?    • Who was the most challenging coach or supervisor you
Because employees like being surrounded by enthusiastic,                ever had and why?
motivated people. They want to be respected and valued by their     • What are the top three reasons I should hire you?
employers, and they want to trust their coworkers. Realize that     • What are three reasons why I shouldn’t hire you?
in today’s economy, job security isn’t what it once used to be.     • Have you ever participated in a team sport? What did
The old adage of “find a job you like, work harder than anybody         you learn from it?
else, and you’ll have a job for life” just isn’t true anymore.      • If I could give you a magic wand, what three most
Today’s employees know that people run companies and that               important qualities would your perfect company have?
people are capable of failure. They’ve witnessed many               • What question haven’t I asked you that you would like
apparently successful companies fail. Therefore, don’t give             me to know?
your agents anything else to worry about. Maintain integrity        • What question would you like to ask me that you haven’t
from the top down and let your staff know you respect them              already?
by carefully selecting their coworkers.                                 By asking open-ended, varied questions, you will gain
     To ensure you select the best person for the job and for       greater insight into the candidate and decide whether you
your organization, incorporate the following five practices         want to ask the person back for a second interview.
into your hiring process:
                                                                    Require three interviews before extending an offer.
Develop a mission statement for each interview.                         A manager or human resource person should always
    Prior to conducting any interviews, you need to know the        conduct the first interview. For the second interview, invite
results you want to get from the interview session. So, after       members of the candidate’s potential work team to ask questions
identifying a candidate you want to interview, identify three                                             (Continued from page 22)

Connections Magazine • www.connectionsmagazine.com                                                         OCTOBER 2006 • 21
Hiring on Enthusiasm
(Continued from page 21)                                            Also, be aware that the training required in some call centers
                                                                    is so involved and lengthy that a temp may not be a practical solution.
and meet the person. This way, the group can determine              When you have an effective interviewing process in place, you
whether the person would mesh well with the team. The               can be confident you selected the right person for the job.
candidate’s potential supervisor should conduct the final
interview. During this time, the supervisor needs to make a         After the Hire
final decision about whether to extend an employment offer.              After you’ve made the final decision, go the extra mile.
Sure, three interviews are more time-consuming than just one,       Once your preferred candidate accepts your offer, send them
but the rewards are worth it. When you invest this amount of        a plant or some flowers with a handwritten note saying,
time in the interview process, your prospective hires get a         “Welcome to the team.” But don’t stop there. Show recognition
sense of the company culture from the beginning. They will          and appreciation to your agents throughout their employment.
know that the company cares about who works for them, and           Staff members like to know that their jobs make a difference.
you will feel confident that you made the best possible decision.   Motivate agents by telling them how their jobs fit into the
                                                                    company as a whole. Employees don’t just want a paycheck –
Use a temp service when needed.                                     they want to be in a positive environment doing meaningful work.
     HR directors feel tremendous pressure to make the right             You can create a positive work environment by employing
selection, not just fill a slot. Sometimes, conducting a            positive, enthusiastic people. Therefore, make sure your
lengthy interview process simply isn’t feasible. During these       interview process is designed to really get to know your job
times, some companies decide to give potential employees a          candidate so you can learn how the person would fit in with
“trial run” by bringing someone on staff temporarily through        your existing team. When your interview process encompasses
a temp service. Employers benefit by witnessing the candidate’s     these five points, you will be rewarded with positive employees
attitude and skills firsthand. The team can also determine if       who will help your organization thrive. ¤
the temporary employee works well within their group.
While the company has to pay a recruiting fee, many don’t                Ray Pelletier, CSP, founder and president of The
mind doing so because they’ve avoided a long and tedious            Pelletier Group, is an internationally known author, business
hiring process – and possibly making the wrong decision.            speaker, motivator, and team builder as well as the author of
But while occasionally using a temp service to try out an           the best-selling book, Permission to Win. He may be reached
employee can be a good idea, don’t make it a regular practice.      at 800-662-4625 or info@raypelletier.com.

                                                                        Mergers & Acquisitions
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                                                                      the hands of a highly qualified brokerage firm who specializes in selling just
                                                                                     one product…Telephone Answering Services.

           Association of TeleServices International
           12 Academy Avenue, Atkinson, NH 03811
           Toll Free (866) 896-ATSI
           admin@atsi.org
                                                                                       TAS
                                                                                     Marketing
                                                                                    Serving the industry for over 27 years.
                                                                                   233 Whitepine Creek Road • Trout Creek, Montana 59874
           www.atsi.org                                               (800) 369-6126 • Fax (406) 827-4554 • tas@tasmarketing.com • www.tasmarketing.com

22 • OCTOBER 2006                                                               www.connectionsmagazine.com • Connections Magazine
Strike the Right Balance
in Your Contact Center
By Luke McNally


C
       ustomer relationships often hinge solely on the
       performance of contact center agents, but who are
       these people on the front lines? How can you be sure
they’re handling callers with proper care? In any contact
center environment, agents fall into three main categories:
builders, cutters, and maintainers. Identifying who’s who and
striking the right balance means the difference between
success and disaster.

Behind the Categories
    Builders are ambitious achievers who thrive on contributing.
They champion management decisions and encourage others
to do well. They’re enthusiastic about solving problems and
making a difference. They need challenging work, freedom
to innovate, and recognition for their accomplishments.
Builders expect to rise through the ranks.
    Cutters live at the other end of the spectrum. Pessimistic
and cynical, they’re prone to gossip and criticizing management
– lowering productivity and morale in the process. They’re
quick to blame others and rarely accept accountability for            contact center with the right agent mix: 20% builders, 75%
their own actions. Here’s the catch: They’re often among              maintainers, and no more than 5% cutters. Don’t be mistaken
your highest performers. They’ve been around awhile, so               in thinking that hiring mostly maintainers is an exercise in
their level of knowledge makes them hard to cut loose                 submitting to mediocrity. Instead, you are laying the foundation
    Maintainers are the constant. They arrive and leave on            for a contact center ready for profitable, productive growth.
time. They do what’s required – no more, no less. What they
lack in ambition they make up for in reliable, consistent work.       You Need to Know
However, they can be positively influenced by builder behavior             Achieving harmonic agent balance begins and ends with
or negatively swayed by cutters.                                      knowledge. First, you have to know your contact center’s
                                                                      growth capacity. When you determine how many supervisory
“Right” versus “Best”                                                 positions you will have at any given point, you can calculate
     So it’s a no-brainer. Just fill your center with builders        the number of builders you have room for.
and collect your profits, right? Wrong. Even if you could                  Second, you have to know who’s who – how to tell
hire only builders, you wouldn’t have enough time to keep             builders and maintainers from cutters. Nothing gives you this
them perpetually challenged. Adding a few sales responsibilities      foresight like assessment testing. With automated
wouldn’t do the trick. You couldn’t possibly nurture every            pre-employment assessment software, you can accurately
single one for succession into leadership positions. In short         predict how well people will perform in any given job in your
order, a large proportion of your agents would become dissatisfied.   contact center, from inbound service to outbound sales to
Dissatisfied builders would be likely to either leave your            collections. Your own holistic interviewing can then
company for a better job, adding to attrition woes – or worse,        determine their willingness to do the job for you.
they can become infectious cutters.                                        You have too much riding on your contact center to leave
     Meanwhile, if you just hire maintainers, your bottom line        anything to chance, especially the people responsible for
would sorely miss the value that comes only from ambitious            keeping your customers satisfied. Sustaining the right mix of the
agents eager to show initiative, go the extra mile for callers, and   right agents will produce the right results for your organization. ¤
improve team performance. Plus, you can’t underestimate the
cost and time benefits of filling supervisory roles from within.           Luke McNally is president of SelectSACS.com. Select’s
     One thing is certain. There is never room for cutters, but       SACS is an agent assessment software proven to help contact
it’s unrealistic to think you can stay cutter-free. Instead, from     centers cut attrition and boost productivity. To learn more,
this point forward, you can strive toward building a successful       visit www.selectsacs.com.

Connections Magazine • www.connectionsmagazine.com                                                             OCTOBER 2006 • 23
 How Does VoIP Fit into Your Call Center?




E
        veryone’s talking about VoIP (Voice over Internet              then rented space in offshore call centers in the Far East
        Protocol), but do you really know what it is and how to        (with a second office in Asia). All equipment remained
        use it? In a practical sense, VoIP is a less expensive         in the call center’s back room in the United States; the
way to transmit calls and information from point A to B.               only hardware offshore is Tascom keyboards.
     There are definite advantages to VoIP. Within the call            All of these are due to VoIP and creative people who see
center, the most obvious one is less wiring. With VoIP you        the future. Alston Tascom’s Evolution system is powered by
won’t need to run separate audio cables. It is also less          Braxtel, a COTS (commercial off the shelf) system.
expensive to transmit calls, so phone service rates will be            Contact Wayne Scaggs at 909-548-7300 or
lower. Next, VoIP is adventitious for disaster preparedness,      wayne@alstontascom.com; visit Alston Tascom at
as VoIP calls can easily connect to different remote locations.   www.Alstontascom.com.
The multiple connections mean you will still be connected to
the phone company even if your main connection is lost from             Amtelco has integrated its Infinity call distribution and
an internal or external disaster. Lastly, VoIP is a practical     messaging platform into VoIP-enabled systems using both
and cost-effective way to have a distributed call center and to   Cisco and Quintum VoIP switches. This enables Amtelco’s
support home-based reps.                                          customers to expand their operations and service offerings in
     Here is an overview of how key vendors are using VoIP        a variety of ways with only a minimal investment.
in their product offerings:                                             Amtelco’s VoIP method is hardware-based, not software-
                                                                  based. ISDN spans are used to connect the Infinity switch
    Alston Tascom has used VoIP technology to produce             with the VoIP switch, giving VoIP-enabled agents access to
several remote agent scenarios. Here are three working            the complete range of Infinity’s features and functionalities.
configurations:                                                   No special agent software is required.
• Site 1: The call center has no building. Their home-based             The Infinity VoIP integration works as well for on-premise
    agents know their assigned hours, clock into the system,      staff as it does for remote and work-at-home employees. The
    and perform their duties just as any on-site agent.           VoIP integration eliminates the need for a station board, reducing
    Managers pull reports, train, and consult with the agents     the overall number of boards in the Infinity chassis. This
    and clients. This configuration uses IP agents and local      reduces the cost of and number of slots required in the system.
    DID numbers via VoIP (provided by CommPartners). The                For more information, contact Jim Becker, vice president
    Evolution system is in California; the call center is not.    of sales and marketing, at 800-356-9148 or jim@amtelco.com;
• Site 2: The IP agents are located in two different states.      visit Amtelco online at www.amtelco.com.
    Callers use toll-free numbers. Again, the agents log in
    from their home offices.                                           Startel’s 5700 digital switch affords call centers the
• Site 3: An Evolution site took several IP agent seats and       ability to take advantage of agents working remotely via

24 • OCTOBER 2006                                                           www.connectionsmagazine.com • Connections Magazine
VoIP, whether it’s one agent working from a home office or              Telescan: Disaster preparedness is another key benefit of
an entire staff at a remote office location. Startel customers     VoIP. It is more effective when combined with Telescan’s
have deployed VoIP gateways and/or routers in their home           Cluster Server technology, as it provides telephone connection
and office environments, seamlessly connecting this equip-         redundancy in real time at multiple locations. This means, that
ment to Startel’s 5700 digital switch via a T1 utilizing ISDN      should a main phone line be disconnected, agents will still be
PRI protocol to take advantage of the powerful call processing     able to connect calls in different locations. The VoIP
capability of Startel’s ACD.                                       connection keep the call center connected regardless of the
     Remote agents can utilize all of the features afforded to     disaster that struck the main line. The Cluster Server provides
agents within the main office environment, including split         the ability to reroute calls uninterrupted to any remote
group attributes such as overflow call routing, call throttling,   location.
and priority call handling.                                             Telescan recommends that when shopping for VoIP solutions,
     Startel customers have deployed VoIP solutions for remote     users should be careful to select a provider that supplies a clear
agent access for years, whether they are across town or in         connection. When adding VoIP there are some crucial questions
countries as far away as Pakistan. VoIP now provides a             to ask. A key factor is the provider’s bandwidth. In some cases,
cost-effective solution for deploying remote work environments     VoIP connections are hard to understand. “Clipping” or
and seamlessly connecting them to a Startel environment.           incomplete words can occur without adequate bandwidth.
     For more information, contact Geri Cerkovnik, VP of                To find out more about the VoIP by Telescan, call at
Marketing, at 800-782-7835 x726 or geri.cerkovnik@                 800-770-7662 or visit www.telescan.net.
startelcorp.com; visit Startel at www.startelcorp.com.


 Call Center Comics




Connections Magazine • www.connectionsmagazine.com                                                         OCTOBER 2006 • 25
The Cardinal Rules of
Customer Service
By Nancy Friedman,
The Telephone Doctor




I
   nternational Customer Service Week falls in October.             familiar and comfortable with the terms and abbreviations
   Even so, we at Telephone Doctor like to celebrate                than your customer is. Some companies seem to have
   customer service all year long – 24/7/365. With this in          acronyms that would make the CIA green with envy. Use
mind, we want to share some special tips and techniques with you.   simple, easy to understand words with your customer.
                                                                    They’ll appreciate your thoughtfulness.
People Before Paperwork:
     How many times have you stood and waited while                 Be Friendly before You Know Who It Is:
someone tallied up a batch of figures or counted a pile of                As a customer, have you ever been treated in a rather
money? Then, only after they were done were you asked:              average – or maybe even below average - manner? And then,
“Now, how can I help you?” And how many times have you              when the salesperson realized you were a friend of the boss or
waited while someone “fiddled” with something or wrote up a         someone other than an “average” customer, they brightened
note, before they acknowledged you? Reminder: Paper can             up? Why wait to be friendly? Why discriminate? If you’re
wait. People should not. Paper won’t walk away, but the             friendly before you know who it is, you’ll make a whole lot
customer might. Drop what you’re doing and pay immediate            of extra points. When you’re friendly before you know who
attention to the customer.                                          it is, you’re delivering the same great service to everyone.
                                                                    That’s the way it should be. Don’t discriminate.
Don’t Be Too Busy to Be Nice:
     In most interviews, managers and owners hear something         “There Ya Go” Is Not “Thank You.”
like this from the applicant: “Oh, I love to be busy. If I’m not    “Uh-huh” Is Not “You’re Welcome”:
busy I get bored and unhappy.” Then they are hired, and one             Count – starting today, just for one day – how many
of the first things managers hear is the complaint: “Wow, I         times people forget to say “Thank you” and “You’re
am so busy.” Well, being busy does not give you carte               welcome” to you. “There ya go” just doesn’t hack it. When
blanche to be rude. Let’s not be too busy to be nice. It’s not      customers spend money, they want to hear a big, smiling
worth it.                                                           “Thank you, we appreciate your business.” And when we, as
                                                                    customers say “Thank you,” we don’t want to be grunted at
Rushing Threatens Customers:                                        with the old, mouth-hung-open “Uh-huh.” Speak clearly.
    Whether it’s on the phone or in person, avoid rushing           “You’re welcome” is a wonderful phrase. Please use it more
people. Make each experience a great one. And remember,             often. And don’t be a grunter. When your customer tells you
one-word answers make you sound cold and unfriendly.                “Thank you,” immediately give them a great, big, smiling
Slow down. Smell the roses. Stop rushing people. Use full           “You’re welcome.” ¤
sentences. Rushing threatens customers.
                                                                         Nancy Friedman is president of Telephone Doctor, a
Don’t Use Military Language on Civilians:                           customer service training company in St. Louis, MO. To
   Simply put, company jargon should stay within your               receive a free subscription to the Telephone Doctor newsletter,
company. Mistakes and miscommunications thrive on                   The Friendly Voice, email Press@telephonedoctor.com or
company jargon. You, as the employee will be far more               call 314-291-1012

26 • OCTOBER 2006                                                             www.connectionsmagazine.com • Connections Magazine
    AdvertiserLISTING
Alston Tascom, Inc..................9         ATSI ..........................................22   Record/Play Tek, Inc. ..............27             TAS Marketing ........................22
13512 Vintage Place                           12 Academy Avenue                                   Voice logging recorders                            Business Brokers
Chino, CA 91710                               Atkinson, NH 03811                                  574-848-5233                                       800-369-6126
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909-517-3660                                  www.atsi.org                                        stoll@recordplaytek.com                            tas@tasmarketing.com
fax: 909-517-3670                             admin@atsi.org                                      www.recordplaytek.com                              www.tasmarketing.com
www.alstontascom.com
                                              General Equipment Leasing ....19                    Startel...................................12, 31   Telescan Corp ...........................13
Amtelco .........................11, 20, 32   800-226-0049                                        17661 Cowan Avenue                                 10679 Midwest Industrial Blvd
800-356-9148                                  www.geleasing.net                                   Irvine, CA 92614                                   St. Louis, MO 63132
or 608-838-4194                                                                                   800-782-7835                                       800-770-7662
fax: 608-838-8367                             OnviSource ................................19       fax: 949-863-9650                                  fax: 314-426-1357
info@amtelco.com                              2300 N. 10th                                        www.Startelcorp.com                                www.telescan.net
www.callcenter.amtelco.com                    Enid, OK 73701
                                              800-311-2025                                        Szeto Technologies .....................2
Appletree                                     www.onvisource.com                                  Call Management Equipment
Technology Services............10, 27                                                             888-421-3737
Chuck Boyce                                   Professional Teledata, Inc..........6               info@szeto.ca
888-563-0040                                  175 Canal Street                                    www.szeto.ca
                                              Manchester, NH 03101
ATL Enterprises .......................10     800-344-9944
198 Lawn Ave                                  sales@proteledata.com                                   Our Advertisers make Connections Magazine
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Telecom equipment reseller                                                                                    possible. Please thank them for their
888-285-9777
                                                                                                                continued support of this magazine.
www.buy-atl.com



                                                                                                                                                                                    V
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                                                                                                   With Rebecca and Danyel from RPT. Training at the site.
                                                                                                   x Answering Services, recording phones, headsets. mics.
                                                                                                   x Search by Startel®, Telescan®, Morgan®, Amtelco®.
                                                                                                   x SMDR numbers, with 175 days of history on hard dr.
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                                                                                                   x 110 East Vistula Street, Box 790, Bristol, Indiana 46507
                                                                                                   x Recordplaytek.com, 800-809-5233.

Connections Magazine • www.connectionsmagazine.com                                                                                                          OCTOBER 2006 • 27
ASSOCIATIONS                            HEADSETS                          terms to right buyer. Call Ed at            Businessman from California
                                                                          310-641-0113.                               looking to purchase small
           ATSI
 Association of Teleservices              ALLMODEL                        Florida – Billing $41K per
                                                                                                                      answering service billing 10k per
     International, Inc.
    12 Academy Avenue                     HEADSETS                        month with new equipment.
                                                                                                                      month. Please call John at
                                                                                                                      209-456-6343.
 Atkinson, NH 03811, USA                                                  This service has 30% medical
     Charlene Glorieux                   available and headset repair.
       603-362-9489                                                       with little competition. Well               Premium price and prompt
                                           Call RLY & Associates
       www.atsi.org                                                       established for only $435K.                 cash closing for quality
                                             800-841-0841                 800-369-6126.                               accounts. Long established,
              CAM-X
 Canadian Call Management Association   HELP WANTED                                                                   reputable Minnesota company
  24 Olive Street, Unit #10                                               PA – 230 accounts for sale                  will purchase your accounts with
   Grimsby, ON L3M 2B6,                 Expand your help wanted           billing $26,700 per month.                  or without equipment. Very
               Canada
                                        search by placing your ad here.   Must be moved. Great deal at                confidential. Patrick Eastwood
  Linda Osip 800-896-1054
          www.camx.ca                   Reach out to qualified, experi-   only 6.7 times or $180K. Call               218-763-3007 (home).
                                        enced, industry employees.        800-369-6126.
BILINGUAL                                                                                                             Answering service owner inter-
                                        Email your ad to Connect@
CALL CENTERS                            ConnectionsMagazine.com.          List your Business Here; go to              ested in purchasing your
                                                                          www.connectionsmagazine.com/                accounts with or without
                                        POSITIONS                         ads/info.html                               equipment. City/State no issue.
Contact One Call Center                                                                                               Contact via email at
      Dan Rogers                        WANTED
     800-278-3347                                                         SEEKING                                     ibuytas@yahoo.com or call 800-
 danr@wetakecalls.com                   Seasoned         Cold      Call   ACQUISITIONS                                285-3224.
   Spanish / English                    Prospector: Experience in                                                     Reputable nationwide call
                                        communication (2 way radio,       SERIOUS BUYER                               center owner interested in pur-
                                        paging, cell phones), message     Well known and reputable nationwide
                                                                                                                      chasing any or all of your com-
Total Quality Communications            dispatching, insurance, execu-
                                                                          call center looking to acquire inbound
  Michael C. McMillan
                                                                          call centers/answering services for cash.   mercial or medical accounts.
                                        tive recruiting, animal trans-    Everything to remain in place and as is:    Top dollar paid. Contact Nick
       800-270-7030                                                       location, equipment, agents – the lot!
                                        port, purging chemicals, premi-                                               toll free at 888-422-7352 ext
    sales@tqcweb.com                                                      If what happens to your employees is as
Spanish & English • 24 Hours
                                        ums/incentives, jewelry-metal     important to you as getting a fair price,   1500 or nicholas@hcas.com.
a day 7 days a week Guaranteed          fab (tools and equipment),        then you need to call us first. We are a
                                        pharmaceuticals/biologicals,      350 strong Employee-Owned                   Top Dollar paid for your answer-
                                                                          Company (ESOP) where your employ-           ing service. Qualified cash buyers
                                        international courier (docs-
OUTSOURCE                               pkgs). Charges: hourly rate
                                                                          ees will now share in the ongoing finan-
                                                                                                                      looking for entire businesses or
CALL CENTERS                                                              cial strength of the company.
                                                                                                                      accounts only. Call us first! 800-
Call Centers that provide services      plus phone expenses. Contact      Contact: Grant Sibley 800-955-9888 or
to other call centers.                  Bert Cohen in Tucson, AZ, at      email corp@mapcommunications.com            369-6126.
                                        bmc41782@aol.com or 520-          TASCO MESSAGE CENTERS
       Personalized                     818-3785.                                                                     Established answering service
                                                                             Seeking full service TAS centers or
     Communications                                                       accounts only. Prompt closings on cash
                                                                                                                      owner is interested in purchasing
       Stan Gardner                     Looking for call center work?     or deferred payment transactions. We will   your business, with or without
       800-232-3321                     Start your job search here.        coordinate with your tax advisor. Long     equipment. Will pay top dollar.
  sgardner@per-com.com                                                        established company since 1938.         Contact Peter at 800-698-9172
                                        Email your ad to Connect@
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                                        ConnectionsMagazine.com.               Very Confidential 888-558-2726.
                                                                              John@TascoMessageCenters.com            SERVICES
   Sage Advantage, Inc.                 BUSINESSES                                                                    Low-cost domain names,
                                        FOR SALE                          A fair offer by an established,
         Scott Miles                                                                                                  website hosting, do-it-yourself
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                                                                          commercial or medical answer-               web design, email, SSL certifi-
inforequest@sageadvantage.com           Telephone Answering/voice
                                                                          ing service (with or without                cates, shopping cart, merchant
 www.sageadvantage.com                  mail company. Billing approxi-
                                                                          equipment). Contact Ron                     account, blogs, site, copyright,
                                        mately 40k; Serving Northern
                                                                          toll-free at 866-388-0772 or                business registration, fax
                                        California & Nevada. Favorite
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28 • OCTOBER 2006                                                                       www.connectionsmagazine.com • Connections Magazine
                                          DID YOU KNOW?
                     All Connections Magazine Classified Ads are on-line:
                           www.connectionsmagazine.com/ads/ads.html
 To place your classified ad, go to www.connectionsmagazine.com/ads/info.html


details and pricing                 at     EQUIPMENT                                              Szeto Voicemail System and         bi-neural headsets H251N with
www.taswebsites.com.                       WANTED                                                 ACD Switch. Will front-end         P10 jacks: $95/pair. Smith
                                                                                                  any TAS for greater capacity.      Corona Headsets with 2 prong
Startel® Nationwide 24/7 Sales-            Are you looking for used equip-
                                           ment? Place your ad here! Go to                        Interfaces with PI-2000, Panda     jacks: $25 each. Okidata 320
Service-Parts. On-site rush, same                                                                 call-logger. 2 - T1s, 14 ports     turbos & 390 turbos $95 each.
                                           www.connectionsmagazine.com
day and emergency service! Deep                                                                   out to TAS, 24 dedicated oper-     Call 800-769-6050.
                                           /ads/info.html.
Discounts! Free over-the-phone
                                                                                                  ator stations, 56 voicemail
technical support. Call me with all        NEW EQUIPMENT                                                                             Digi Box 16 Ports asking
                                                                                                  ports, 32 hrs storage, 3 modem
your Startel questions. All equip-         FOR SALE                                                                                  $500.00 or best offer; 2 Teac
                                                                                                  ports. Will work with Call Linx
ment professionally overhauled, test-
                                                                                                  TAS system, or can also            CR-320       Communication
ed, and sold in “like-new” condition.
Ninety-day warranty on all parts and
                                            Voice Logging Recorders                               function as paging terminal.       Recorders (20 Channels/Ports
                                           Easily records ALL conversations—just click and play
                                                                                                  Contact Scott Lyons, Extend        each) asking $750.00 or best
labor. Specializing in older, obsolete,
and impossible to find Startel sys-            574-848-5233                                       Communications Inc 800-265-        offer. Call Melissa Mignini of
tems and components. Buy-sell-                 Record/Play Tek,Inc.                               9975 slyons@extendcomm.com.        APAS, Inc. 800-477-9103
trade-repair-replace-upgrade. I’ll buy            www.recordplaytek.com

your used or broken systems and                                                                   Wildfire voice activated unified   Rent versus Buying your TAS
parts! For fine pre-owned Startel          USED EQUIPMENT                                         messaging system. All hard-        equipment for as little as
systems and components call Dave,          FOR SALE                                               ware and software included;        $200/seat per month. No
The Phone Doctor. Your prescrip-           AccuCall, 6 positions, 3.5 ver-                        $13,000 plus shipping or best      install, back-up power, spare
tion for communication solutions           sion (+upgrade disks), VM3,                            offer. Call Randy at 877-472-      parts, service contracts etc.
since 1991. Call 702-791-0533 or           email & fax with all computer                          6396.                              Pay as you go. See our ban-
800-872-3159.                              equipment including 4 PCs for                                                             ner advertisement on www.tas-
                                           stations. Business closed -                            Identifier Plus answering sys-     marketing.com or call Kathy
Database Work, Dissimilar DB               Must sell - $24,000 or best                            tem a 4 port system with           Gray at 800-558-1545.
Consolidation, Multi-Dimensional           offer. Call Marie at 740-788-                          WYSE terminal and monitor.
Deduping, Questionable Dupe                8885 or cell 740-975-9101.                             Asking $2700 plus ship. 2
Reconciliation, Seeding, Filtering,
Sorting, and Validating; Fast, High-       CadCom 3600 (2 cabinets), 12
                                                                                                  Osborne-Hoffman Quick Alert          Attention
                                                                                                  alarm receivers. Asking $175
Quality, Economical. Call Erik at          positions, DataMaster, Voice
                                                                                                  each plus ship. 918-782-9020 or
                                                                                                                                        Vendors
800-531-6382.                              Mail II. Exacom Digital
                                           Recorder, 16 channels with
                                                                                                  grandlakesecuritycenter@
                                                                                                  wavelinx.net.
                                                                                                                                           and
Information the way you see it.
Custom reporting tools to unlock
                                           custom LineMaster interface. 2
                                           Adtran TSU 600 channel banks
                                                                                                                                      Outsourcing
                                                                                                  Amtelco Genesis EVE system
the data hidden in your TAS
switch. Ask about our suite of
                                           with smart jacks. All items in
                                           excellent working condition.
                                                                                                  with FMDS & Teams with              Call Centers:
stock reports available free of            Call 800-228-5667.                                     complete spare parts kit             Sign up to be included in our
charge (requires Crystal Reports).                                                                $8500. Will split up. EVE
Aegis Reporting. Contact Angus at                                                                 Monitors $50 each. EVE key-
                                                                                                                                         2007 Annual
                                           Concerto Unison Dialer For
212-517-1100 or write acamp-               Sale. Fully functional, less than                      boards new-reconditioned $95.          Buyers Guide.
bell@aegismanagement.net.                                                                         Alpha CFR 2000 backup power        Now in its sixth year, this greatly
                                           2 years in operation. Includes
                                                                                                  system w/extra battery cabinet-    anticipated and valuable resource
                                           Sun Microsystems Ultra 80,
PTM has been repairing Amtelco                                                                                                         is expected to be the biggest
                                           DCP shelf and Inbound (24) and                         needs new set of batteries
and Startel keyboards and monitors                                                                                                     one yet! Make sure that you
                                           Outbound (96) licenses.                                $950 + shipping. SmartUPS
for over 25 years; all models, 6                                                                                                                are included.
                                           Complete with software and doc-                        2200 $500. Omnivoice Voice
month warranty; you save more
                                           umentation. Please call 310-                           Mail system with good power                     Go to
than 50% with us. Please call or
                                           497-5343 or e-mail jsymon@tri-                         supplies & double set of dual      www.ConnectionsMagazine.com/BG
email Luis Garcia at 714-835-4195
                                           comteleservices.com Jeff                               hard drives $950. Almost                 and sign up today!
or lgarcia23@peoplepc.com.
Visit www.ptmaint.com.                     Symon for additional information.                      new Plantronics Supraplus

Connections Magazine • www.connectionsmagazine.com                                                                                        OCTOBER 2006 • 29
coming                                               All new listings or changes are italicized


Events                            Get expanded coverage and the most recent updates online:
                                               www.ConnectionsMagazine.com/events.html

                            To have your group’s events included in Connections Magazine’s
                                           “Upcoming Events” calendar and on our Website,
                            please email your information to Peter@ConnectionsMagazine.com




                           October 8-11, 2006                       November 5-7, 2006
                    ATA 23rd Annual Convention & Expo              WSTA Annual Meeting
                               Orlando, FL                              Phoenix, AZ
                        Call 317-816-9336 or visit               Contact Dan 877-754-4103,
                           www.ataconnect.org                   Dan@CallConsult.net, or visit
                                                                    www.wstaonline.org
                            October 16-18, 2006
                             ASTAA Manager/                        November 14-17, 2006
                          Supervisor Conference                CAM-X 42nd Annual Convention
                     Comfort Inn (near BWI Airport)                      & Trade Show
                                Baltimore, MD                          Cancun, Mexico
                     Call Nell Norris at 800-718-1712           Call Linda at 800-896-1054 or
                           for more information.                      visit www.camx.ca

                           October 18-19, 2006                      December 4-5, 2006
                    CAM-X Supervisor Coaching Clinic              ATA Compliance Seminar
                                Chicago, IL                              Phoenix, AZ
                      Call Linda at 800-896-1054 or               Call 317-816-9336 or visit
                            visit www.camx.ca                       www.ataconnect.org

                          October 23-24, 2006                        March 18-21, 2007
                        ATA Compliance Seminar                  SNUG 20th Annual Convention
                               Atlanta, GA                             Dana Point CA –
                        Call 317-816-9336 or visit                Laguna Cliffs Resort & Spa
                          www.ataconnect.org                  Call Dan L’Heureux 800-317-8529,
                                                                  dan@callconsult.net or visit
                          October 27-29, 2006                        www.teamsnug.com
                     STA (Southern Telemessaging
                              Association)                            June 20 - 23, 2007
                    Radisson-Opryland, Nashville, TN         ATSI 63rd Annual Convention & Expo
                       Contact Dan L’Heureux at                      Antlers Hilton Hotel
                            763-473-0210 or                         Colorado Springs, CO
                          dan@CallConsult.net                 For info call 866-896-2874 or visit
                                                                         www.atsi.org



30 • OCTOBER 2006                                www.connectionsmagazine.com • Connections Magazine
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