Communication Servers

By Peter DeHaan

Peter DeHaan, Publisher and Editor of Connections MagazineA common element of call centers is that they gather information from each caller. This information is generally entered into a computer and saved in a database. Then what happens? For the outsource call center, this information needs to passed on to each client. Sometimes this will occur in batches, where mass transfers of data are periodically scheduled. In other situations, especially when the information is time-critical or time-sensitive, the captured information is transmitted at the completion of each call.

To automate this process, specialized communication servers have been designed. Depending on the users’ requirements, these systems may receive information at the conclusion of the call or all pending messages may be grouped together for batch delivery. Using the client’s designation or PIN, the communication server accesses its internal database to determine delivery instructions and method. Following those instructions, the next step is formatting the data for the requested delivery method. Finally, the information is transferred to the client. This could be in a variety of formats, including fax, alphanumeric (text) pager or phone, a database file, or through an email (text-based or file attachment). The information can also be sent to more than one recipient or in more than one way. Once the initial client’s preferences have been programmed into the communication server, this whole process is done automatically and without agent intervention.

Medcom Professional Services in Levittown, PA, makes extensive use of a communication server to transfer information to their clients, primarily via fax. Tom Sheridan, Vice President at Medcom, stated that with his Startel “CMC Dispatch Server, faxing is lightning fast.  When you send a fax, the client’s machine is ringing right away.” Allan Fromm, owner of The An-Ser in Green Bay, WI, uses Teledata’s FMDS communication server and stated succinctly, “When it absolutely, positively has to get faxed, use FMDS.”

Amtelco‘s UltraComm system is a Windows 2000 based platform that can send messages, orders, and other caller data to clients via fax, email, two-way pagers, or digital cell phones or it can write to a file. For fax services, it also supports outbound fax message delivery, fax message pickup, fax store and forward, and fax forwarding to email and is capable of performing outbound fax broadcasts.

For email, UltraComm can deliver clients’ orders and messages to any email address. The information can be text-based or sent as an email with file attachments. UltraComm also supports email retrieval and forwarding to another email address, fax, two-way pagers, and digital cell phones, as well as text-to-speech for clients to hear messages and orders over the phone.

Amtelco can be contacted at 800-356-9148 or by visiting their website at www.amtelco.com.

Professional Teledata‘s FMDS II is a multi-tas

For more information about Professional Teledata or FMDS, please call 800-344-9944 or visit www.professionalteledata.com.

A call center does not necessarily need to purchase a communications server to transmit caller data to their clients. Delivery software is an internal solution that is part of many call-processing platforms. These include:

Alston Tascom: The Evolution system provides message and order delivery via alphanumeric pager, voice pager, voice mail, IVR, fax, email, Web access, wireless PDA, computer transfer, text-to-speech, CD, and text messaging to cell phones. Message delivery can be scheduled, on demand, or selective, and grouped to multiple devices, either by the agent or by the client. Also, multiple methods of delivery can be scheduled and multiple devices can receive information simultaneously.

Contact Alston Tascom at 909-548-7300, info@alstontascom.com, or by visiting www.alstontascom.com.

Szeto Technologies: Message delivery is an integral part of Szeto Technologies’ Call Linx system. Messages can be delivered via email, fax, pager, telephone, voice mail, or by Web-retrieval. Both automatic and non-automatic delivery (client pickup, agent initiated, job list, and grouping) are available.

The chain delivery option follows a programmed sequence of delivery methods. Information can be delivered as it is received, at specified time(s) of the day, at intervals, or within specified time periods.

Call Szeto at 514-421-3737, info@szeto.ca or visit www.szeto.ca.

Telescan‘s Spectrum gives call centers many delivery options, including alphanumeric pagers, fax, email addresses, and wireless devices. These transmissions are based on per-client schedules to either batch and transmit information at specified daily times or on a per-call basis. Spectrum provides real-time logging of all communication activity and issues agent notification in the event of transmission errors or failures.

For more information about Telescan or the Spectrum system, call 800-770-7662 or visit www.telescan.net.

[From Connection Magazine September 2004]