Vendor Profile: Amcom Software, Inc

Amcom Software, Inc. is a provider of PC/intelligent workstation-based attendant console and database solutions, computer telephony integration (CTI), speech recognition, paging management, messaging, Web-enabled applications, and event notification technologies. Amcom is headquartered in Minneapolis, MN and maintains a national network of sales representatives.

Amcom can streamline and centralize attendant call center services while improving service and efficiency. In addition the company provides development, customer support, implementation, training, and corporate sales functions.

History: Amcom was founded in 1984 to provide telephony software applications that complement the telecommunications and information systems of its customers. The company has a reputation for quality and innovation. Amcom is a leading developer of PBX-integrated applications running on redundant servers and integrating to communications networks via the existing corporate network.

Amcom has experienced ongoing corporate growth and market-share expansion through strategic acquisition, technological partnerships, and dialogue with customers. It has expanded its applications to address the needs of all types of organizations. This evolution has included the use of PCs, interfacing to local and wide-area paging systems, enhanced corporate directories, meet-me paging. More recently, this work has included speech recognition applications, call recording, and event notification/response.

Amcom strives to bring new products and technologies to market that complement the business objectives of its customers. This approach is carried through every aspect of Amcom’s solution offering. This dedication to fulfilling customer needs influences research and development, testing and quality assurance, project management and implementation as well as sales, marketing, and customer service.

Core Products: Amcom solutions unify existing telephone, paging, and computer information systems creating a comprehensive call center solution designed to cut operating costs and improve communications productivity.

Speech Recognition: Amcom Smart Speech applications enable call centers to process a majority of routine phone requests including directory assistance, messaging, and paging, independently of a live agent and with more ease of use than touchtone. Speech-enabled applications include:

  • Directory: Speech-enabled directory call processing.
  • Paging: Speech-enabled paging.
  • Auto-Attendant/IVR: Speech-enabled traditional auto attendant.
  • Meet-Me Paging: Speech-enabled meet-me paging.
  • Speaker Verification: Verifies caller’s identity via voiceprint.
  • On-Call Locator: Speech-enabled on-call locator capability.
  • Patient Information: Callers say the name of a patient and hear corresponding information.
  • Morale Call: Manages the connection process via voice prompts and caller’s spoken response.

PC Attendant Console: Smart console workstations automate agent tasks integrating caller and directory information in one PC-based application. Smart console applications provide efficient operations through screen-based interactive functions including automatic screen displays (screen pops) of incoming calls, single button call transfers, conferencing, speed dialing, and other telephony functions. This Windows-based application provides easy access to database information, messaging, and staff tracking options. Features and options include:

  • Directory Services: Fast, accurate directory look-ups for agents.
  • Operator Saver: Pre-recorded greetings answer calls in each agent’s own voice.
  • Voice-Assisted Transfer: Announces the number a caller is being transferred to.
  • Call Parking: Agents centrally park calls and can view who is holding for whom.
  • Park & Page: Single keystroke parking and paging of calls.
  • Call Recording: Saves recording of call in progress or any of previous 10 calls.
  • Operator Statistics: Real-time agent traffic monitoring package.
  • Messaging Options: Agents can send messages to pager, email, fax, Web-enabled cell phones, voice messaging, or printer.
  • Paging Options: Transparent front end to send pages to all paging devices including in-house and wide-area pagers, cell phones, and PDA’s.
  • On-Call Calendars: Paperwork reduction via centralized online calendar viewing and maintenance.
  • Group Messaging: Agents can send messages to multiple delivery points at the touch of a keystroke.

Event Notification and Response: This application initiates, monitors, and manages emergency notifications of all types, automatically delivering the message, collecting the responses, escalating if needed, and logging all activities for reporting and analysis. Features include:

  • Process Definition: Administrators build lists including people, devices, and sequence of notifications.
  • Message Delivery: Automated via templates; activate from Web, VRU, speech, or operator.
  • Response Collection: Prompts respondents for desired information, triggers actions when thresholds are met.
  • Escalation: Escalates unanswered notifications to further individuals, devices or groups.
  • Monitoring and Reports: Real-time and historical reports of all transactions and events.

Web-Based Applications: Amcom Smart Web applications enable employees and other authorized users to do directory searches, paging and on-call scheduling from their corporate Intranet or the Internet. Features include:

  • Web Directory: Users view/update directory information via the Web.
  • Web Paging: Users send pages to individuals or groups via the Web.
  • Web On-Call Scheduling: Users find people on-call, view daily on-call lists, or monthly calendars via the Web.
  • Web On-Call Calendar Maintenance: Users maintain monthly on-call calendars with proper permission.
  • Web Employee Registry: View scrolling rosters via the Web.
  • Web Status: Allows users to update their availability via the Web.
  • Wireless Web: Allows users to view pages, on-call, and directory information on their PDA, cell phone, or other hand-held device.

Paging Options: Comprehensive paging execution, monitoring, and archival documentation provide a transparent front end for paging management.  Agents, IVR, speech, and Web users can send pages to all paging devices in-house and wide-area pagers, cell phones and PDA’s. Options include:

  • Support of all major paging protocols including TAP, TNPP, SMTP, SNPP, WCTP, and SMPP/SMS.
  • Support of alpha-numeric, numeric, voice, tone, two-way pagers, and cell phones with paging built in.
  • Re-beep.
  • Priority Paging.
  • Two-Way Paging.
  • Paging Escalation/Event Notification and Response.
  • Group Paging.
  • Automatic Coverage allows users to cover for each other.
  • Park/Meet-Me Paging allows agents to park a call, page the intended party to the park number.
  • Meet-Me Paging does not require agent assistance, available via Amcom’s IVR or speech recognition applications.
  • Overhead Paging & Soft Keys: Pre-recorded, ad-hoc, and pre-scheduled messages or audio files can be activated automatically or with the touch of one key.
  • Device compatibility to receive and distribute pages from Amcom Smart Console, the Web (Intranet or Internet), IVR, and speech recognition; cell phones, Alphamates, or other input devices.
  • Logging of all pages including time, date, sender’s name, sender’s devices, IP address of sender, and information input for delivery.
  • Pager Inventory and Billing.
  • Database interfaces to paging terminals, enabling centralized pager administration.

IVR: Applications include auto attendant, page request, meet-me paging, status change, message storage, wake-up call, event notification, room and bed status, and morale call management.

Platform: Amcom’s open architecture, standards-based systems provide a secure, robust platform that customers use and build upon over the long term:

  • Oracle database serves as the foundation of all Amcom software applications, providing fast, dynamic access to call processing information.
  • Applications run on Microsoft, Unix, and Linux operating systems.
  • Integration with all switches including PBX, CO, and VoIP.
  • First and third party call control architecture options ensure compatibility with any phone system.
  • Certified/compliant with LDAP, ODBC, HL7, SIA, and others.
  • Partnership with Nuance Communications and ScanSoft, recognized leaders in speech recognition technology, for the speech engines at the core of Smart Speech applications.
  • Applications are modular, so customers pay only for what they need with the option to add new capabilities as desired.
  • Ongoing investment in research and development ensures new products, enhancements, and upgrades.

PBX Integration: Amcom integrates with telephone switches from virtually every manufacturer, including Avaya, Alcatel, Nortel, NEC, Lucent, Siemens, Intecom, and Mitel.

Development Environment

  • Linux, Unix, and Windows 2000 server environments
  • Oracle RDBMS
  • Windows NT, 2000, and XP workstation options
  • TCP/IP to Ethernet Network
  • C/ C++, Java, PLSQL

Customers: Amcom products are installed coast to coast with a prestigious client base including Oracle Corporation, Stanford University Medical Center, Duke University, the Cleveland Clinic, the White House Communications Agency, the U.S. Senate, Bloomingdale’s, the United States Army, and the Chicago Mercantile Exchange

Testimonials: “Amcom has more than met our expectations–both in terms of improvement in our call center’s quality and speed, and in the cost avoidance we’ve achieved by reducing headcount.” – Elisabeth Arslaner, Director, Corporate Services, Oracle Corporation

“Buying the Amcom system was the best decision we’ve ever made. We now have an enterprise-wide system that everybody is comfortable with. We can sleep at night again.” –Mike Spencer, Telecommunications Manager, Orlando Regional Healthcare

“I felt comfortable from day one that we were on the best system for any type of emergency we might face.” – Stephanie DeRieux, Call

“Smart Speech has helped us more than any call center technology we’ve ever deployed. Our operators used to be overloaded with directory calls. Now we’ve reduced their workload tremendously.” – Marvin Thomas, Manager of System Telecommunications and Mail, Sparks Health Center

“With the help of Amcom’s system, we’ve transformed operator services. We’ve combined independent call centers into one centralized center, improved efficiency, reduced operational expense, and enhanced customer service.” –Julie Barr, Call

“We believe the reliability and upgrade capabilities will make this system very viable for years to come.” – Captain Curtiss Bailey, U.S. Army

Milestones

1984 –Entered the software solutions market – directory and messaging.

1988 – Introduced CTI-enabled directory application.

1993 – Delivered first client MS-DOS, Server Unix/Oracle dB system
Customer: The White House Communications Agency.

1994 – Installed several major centralized call centers (100+ agents).

1996 – Installed first client Windows 95, Server Unix/Oracle dB system.

1998 – Released Web applications (Smart Web).

1999 – Won and was awarded a certificate of achievement for U.S. Army contract. Installed 30 bases successfully within 6 weeks.

2000 – Released speech recognition applications and Compaq non-stop cluster solution.

2002 – Released Smart Web for wireless devices.

2002 – Migrated to Linux operating system and Oracle 9i.

2003 – Introduced Event Notification and Response with automated escalation.

[From Connection MagazineOctober 2003]

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