Startel Announces Merger with Alston Tascom

Startel Corporation announced its merger with Alston Tascom, a provider of premise-based and hosted TAS solutions for call centers. Effective September 1, 2017, Alston Tascom is now a wholly owned business unit of Startel.

With this merger, the combined organization further expands its product offerings, broadens its markets, and enhances technical resources and expertise. In September 2015, Startel acquired Professional Teledata, a pioneer in order entry, billing management, and hosted and premise-based solutions for call centers.

“We are thrilled to combine three top providers to form the industry’s premier choice for on-premise and cloud contact center solutions and services,” said Brian Stewart, chairman and CEO of Startel and Professional Teledata. “We are looking forward to merging teams and leveraging our combined technical resources, capabilities and expertise to provide our customers with greater product offerings and greater support.”

“The synergies the combined company will generate will be of tremendous benefit to current and future customers,” said Wayne Scaggs, president of Alston Tascom. “I am excited for the opportunities the merger will bring and to the enhanced service our clients will enjoy.”

Alston TascomThe companies’ offices will remain open in Chino, California, Irvine, California and Manchester, New Hampshire. The principal of Alston Tascom, Wayne Scaggs, will join the senior management team of Startel and Professional Teledata to lead the combined company.

QCS Now Qualified for Government Call Center Contracts

Quality Contact Solutions (QCS) registered as a Federal Contractor, both as a certified woman owned and as a small business enterprise. QCS will qualify for contracts reserved by the government for small businesses (23 percent) and woman-owned businesses (5 percent). Angela Garfinkel, president of QCS, said, “A significant number of our current clients in the private sector have relied on our Woman Owned Business status for many years to ensure their company’s compliance with supplier diversity. Now we’re able to leverage our certifications to qualify for government contracts supporting inbound customer service, help desk, or even market research projects.”

Since its inception in 2007, QCS has continued to be a highly regarded call center organization. This is demonstrated by year-over-year growth since their first year of operation. At their core they are a sales organization specializing in a wide variety of outbound telemarketing and inbound call center programs for large and small clients. QCS also provides associations and non-profits with membership renewal programs.

Dean Garfinkel, chief operating officer, is excited about QCS’s status allowing them to bid for government initiatives. “There are numerous government agencies that rely on call centers to support consumers and business programs on an ongoing basis. From education to healthcare, to disaster recovery, state, local and federal governments must provide call center resources to support their programs utilizing today’s best technologies. It is important to provide communication channels that align with today’s consumer preferences. Whether that is text, voice, email, chat, or web, our state-of-the-art call centers are a great place to cost-effectively provide those services.”

Quality Contact Solutions is a woman-owned call center organization, which conducts high quality, telephone-based outbound marketing and inbound customer service programs for a wide variety of industry verticals. For more information contact Dean Garfinkel at dean@qualitycontactsolutions.com or 516-656-5115.

DialAmerica Taps DailyPay to Reduce Agent Turnover

DailyPay, a financial solutions company that reduces employee turnover through instant access to wages, announced a partnership with DialAmerica, a call center company with over 3,000 employees. Together, DailyPay and DialAmerica are combating the financial burden caused by the delay that arises from biweekly pay schedules. Through this partnership, employees of DialAmerica can now receive their earned but unpaid wages instantly, even on weekends and holidays.

The call center industry has one of the nation’s highest turnover rates averaging up to 45 percent with a typical call center spending up to 6,000 dollars to hire and an additional 4,800 dollars to train new hires. Financial stress is cited as one of the leading causes of employee turnover. When call center employees can’t pay their bills on time and suffer late fees, they quit in search of a new job.Financial stress is cited as one of the leading causes of employee turnover. Click To Tweet

“When employees achieve financial security at a job, they stay longer,” said Jason Lee, Chief Executive Offer of DailyPay. “We are very excited to integrate DailyPay as an employee benefit across DialAmerica’s nineteen locations and help the company improve employee retention and recruiting. Since launching the partnership, we’ve already found tremendous improvements in employee retention.”

“The consensus regarding DailyPay is that the app is extremely convenient and provides a safety net in case of emergencies.” explains Mike Beaubrun, Operations Manager at DialAmerica.

DailyPay’s mission is to help companies reduce turnover by mitigating their employees’ financial hardships. Seventy percent of Americans live paycheck to paycheck and 47 percent cannot afford a 400 dollars unplanned expense. By being able to access earned wages before the scheduled payday, an employee can pay his bills on time and ultimately achieve financial security at his place of employment.

For more information about DailyPay, visit trydailypay.com. To learn more about DialAmerica, visit www.dialamerica.com.

Startel Releases Contact Management Center v14

Startel Corporation announced the availability of Startel Contact Management Center (CMC) v14. “With this latest release, Startel continues the advancement of the Startel Contact Management Center and its commitment to helping enhance the overall customer experience,” said Brian Stewart, chairman and CEO of Startel.

The CMC v14 release includes several new features and enhancements designed to help contact centers streamline efficiency, achieve HIPAA compliance, and improve agent productivity. These features include:

  • Client Scrub: Archived data, including protected health information, can now be deleted for a current or past client. This new feature helps ensure contact centers maintain compliance with the latest HIPAA regulations.
  • Multi-Site Responses: Email, SMS, secure messaging, and secure messaging plus responses that are not automatically associated to a client will now be associated with a specific site rather than the system.
  • Search Function: Specified text strings, such as a client’s user name or company name, can be searched on in IntelliSite Access Control plug-in. This new search tool helps to increase staff efficiency and productivity.
  • Skip Voice Record: Call recordings can be paused when agents enter a field that requests sensitive data, such as credit cards, social security numbers, and patient information. This helps ensure contact centers maintain HIPAA, PCI, and HITRUST compliance.
  • SMS Reply: SMS replies are tied to the last message sent to the replying device, helping users to locate and respond to conversations quickly.

Startel CorporationFor more information, contact Startel at 949-863-8776 or visit www.startel.com.

ASTAA Workshop a Success

Maryellen Pruitt became the new Executive Director of ASTAA, just in time to support the Supervisor Workshop, You Can Move Mountains, held in Baltimore. “There is nothing like trial by fire, said Jim Reandeau, president of ASTAA, “Maryellen no sooner said ‘Yes’ to the position than she had to board a plane to go to work. She never missed a beat.”

“Maryellen was a delight to work with at the Supervisor Workshop,” said presenter Donna West. “She took care of a few issues before I even knew they existed. Her support was invaluable. I know this is going to be a great relationship.”

Maryellen has been a part of the industry since 1997 when she accepted a position with Gary Tedrick at Answer Midwest as an agent. “We tend to grow people from within our organizations, and that is how she is where she is today. When she left Answer Midwest, her title was director of operations.” Maryellen has also recently accepted a position as the new executive director of the Telecommunications Users Network (TUNe).

Nate Gefvert Recognized with 2017 Allen Kalik Award

Nate Gefvert of Towne Answering Service received the 2017 Allen Kalik Award at the annual PINetwork User Group Meeting in Miami, Florida. The Allen Kalik Award was implemented in 2011 after the passing of industry leader and Professional Teledata’s late president, Allen Kalik. Honoring Allen for his tremendous contributions to the telecommunications industry and the PINetwork Group (PIN), this award recognizes individuals whose unselfish dedication and leadership have led to the advancement of PIN.

“Nate has always been very willing to share his knowledge and expertise with fellow PIN members,” said Phyllis Shaw, education committee chair of the PIN Board. “He is continually there to lend a hand or offer a potential solution. He pushes the limits and thinks outside the box. Nate is very deserving of the Allen Kalik Award.”

Gefvert is the systems administrator at Town Answering Service. He joined Towne Answering Service in 2004 and moved into his current role in 2009. He is an active member of the PIN Board, currently serving as secretary. In 2013, he served as vice president and in 2014 he served as president of the PIN Board.

Professional Teledata“I am honored to be considered alongside the other great contributors to the PINetwork who have helped so many others—including me—over the years,” said Gefvert. “I remember Allen being kind and considerate to me at my first PIN conference when I had no knowledge of what a TAS platform was. His vision for Pinnacle helped create the invaluable toolkit of software that we rely upon to this day, and fostered a developmental mindset of always expanding and growing the product to suit future needs.”

Alan Hartmann Receives Lifetime Achievement Award

Alan Hartmann, director of software development for Professional Teledata, received the Maryann Wetmore Lifetime Achievement Award. Hartmann was presented with the award on June 29 during the awards dinner gala at the Association of Teleservices International (ATSI) 2017 Annual Conference.

The Maryann Wetmore Lifetime Achievement Award, developed in 2014, is the highest-ranking award from ATSI. Named in honor of industry leader, Maryann Wetmore, this award is presented to individuals who make significant industry contributions.

“Alan is a relentless advocate for our industry,” said ATSI president Doug Robbins. “His receipt of the Maryann Wetmore Lifetime Achievement Award is well deserved, and we thank him for his contributions.” Hartmann has forty years of software engineering experience. He oversees all product development of the Professional Teledata product line.

Professional Teledata“Being honored with this award is deeply meaningful to me. I have been fortunate to have spent so many years working in a business and industry that I love,” said Hartmann. “To receive this recognition from my peers who share a common passion and commitment and to be included among esteemed past recipients that I greatly admire and respect, is quite humbling.”

Alston Tascom Announces Two Easy-to-Use Revenue Enhancing Products

Alston TascomAlston Tascom announced two new products, with an eye toward providing more tools for their customers to use to enhance their call center revenue: ADAM Outbound and Reply and Deliver.

Alston Tascom’s ADAM Outbound is an excellent tool for taking on outbound campaigns to offset the inherent idle times by offering outbound campaign calls to designated agents when they are not taking incoming calls. The built-in scheduler blends calls, adding the ability to keep agents busy during slow times.

Additionally, Alston Tascom’s Reply and Deliver is a feature that allows call center customers to send a reply to the message sent to them via SMS or email with an option for them to close out the message. For example, when a repair call comes in and the message is sent to the person on call, once the job is finished the on call person can send a reply and close the message. Their reply is inserted into the message ticket so the next morning the office will have a complete record of the incident.

Amtelco Introduces Intelligent Series v5.0

AmtelcoAmtelco introduced version 5.0 of its Intelligent Series (IS) suite of call center applications. The updated IS messenger interface incorporates multiple conversations into one window. The contacts page is used to select agents and supervisors for a new chat message. Agents can initiate a chat, refresh the screen, dock the IS messenger window, and view the IS messenger history.

The IS specials pane displays a list of special notes regarding the selected client. Specials usually contain timely information about the client’s availability, location, and activities. Specials have a subject and content, just like an IS message, but are displayed in the specials viewing area and can have expiration dates and times.

The client sidebar enables agents to view information for the current client account. The info pages pane lets agents view info pages for a client without opening a new work item in the work area of the soft agent screen. A new navigation menu feature has been added to configure menus of options that can be used to select an automated behavior for a call to follow.

The call event tracker, accessed from the IS supervisor monitors menu, provides detailed information about call events generated with the optional Genesis soft switch, which provides detailed information about agent events.

Genesis reports have been added to IS supervisor reporting for use with the optional Genesis soft switch. The Genesis reports can be run from IS supervisor and the optional miTeamWeb application.

In other news, Amtelco announced that the Genesis Intelligent Series solution and the Intelligent Soft Agent have successfully completed Avaya DevConnect Compliance Testing.

The Genesis Intelligent Series solution was tested with Avaya Aura® Session Manager Release 7.0 and Avaya Aura® Communication Manager Release 7.0. The Intelligent Soft Agent Release 5.0 call center solution was tested with Avaya Aura® Communication Manager Release 7.0 and Avaya Aura® Application Enablement Services Release 7.0. Both successfully completed compliance testing.

The Genesis software switching solution provides the Intelligent Series applications with advanced software-based telephony. Genesis provides an all-inclusive call center solution based on the Intelligent Series suite of applications.

Professional Teledata Announces New Online Payment Processing Solution

Professional Teledata launched ThePaymentPortal.com, its new payment processing option for its Total Billing Solution 3 (TBS3) software. The solution was unveiled earlier this month during the annual PINetwork User Group Meeting in Miami, Florida.

ThePaymentPortal.com is a hosted, online, secure e-commerce site that customers’ clients can log into at their convenience to manage their account. Through a partnership with QOS Merchant Solutions, Professional Teledata offers this optional feature to users wanting to view account statements, invoices, and traffic history and to pay bills online. ThePaymentPortal.com incorporates several features designed to optimize the user experience: A secure and simple way for clients’ end users to manage account and pay bills online. Click To Tweet

  • Easy Account Management: End users can access and download invoices and view traffic statistics from their account. Users now maintain the administration of their accounts, including registration and passwords.
  • Custom Branding: Accounts can be branded with company logo, colors, and contact information.
  • Strong Encryption: Communication with the website and data at rest is strongly encrypted to resist any potential data breaches.
  • Flexible Payment Options: Payments can be made via credit card or electronic check, depending on TBS3 users’ preferred merchant account configuration.

Professional Teledata staff monitor and maintain the web server, saving users from having to dedicate in-house IT resources.

“ThePaymentPortal.com provides a secure and simple way for our clients’ end users to manage their accounts and pay bills online,” said Alan Hartmann, director of software development for Professional Teledata. “We are excited to offer the marketplace with our new payment solution and a more convenient way to do business.”

Professional TeledataThePaymentPortal.com will be available in July 2017; Professional Teledata is taking pre-orders now for installation in July. To place an order, or for pricing or system requirement information, contact Sales at sales@proteledata.com.