Category Archives: News

New All-in-One Spectrum / Prism II Server

Amtelco hardware and software engineers designed the new Prism II server to run Spectrum, Prism II, and other applications from this one server. Some of the key features or the Amtelco/Telescan designed server are:

  • Redundant power supplies
  • Redundant long life solid state disk drives—480GB disk drives mounted in easily removable/replaceable hot swappable carriers, making for easy maintenance if maintenance is ever required.
  • Rack mountable 2U chassis
  • Windows Server 2016 with up to two virtual machines
  • 2GHz Intel Xeon quad-core processor
  • 32GB of RAM
  • Gigabit Ethernet
  • Additional 1TB hard drive for storage
  • Redundant 500 watt hot-swappable power supplies
  • Front USB panel and DVD drive
  • Intel RST (rapid storage technology) RAID management console allowing easy drive and RAID array management

In other Amtelco news, the Genesis Just Say It feature enhances the IS Navigation Menu feature by enabling callers to speak responses in addition to pressing telephone keypad digits. The Just Say It Navigation Menu features give callers the ability to access information and conduct transactions using either speech recognition and/or live operator involvement.

Genesis Just Say It automatic speech recognition applications simplify and speed telephone calls. The Genesis Just Say It applications listen to what a caller says to interact with the caller and understand the caller’s meaning based on pre-defined parameters. The Genesis Just Say It applications make it possible to increase call handling capabilities and call traffic volumes while decreasing labor costs and other operating expenses.

AmtelcoFor more information, contact Amtelco at 800-356-9148, or info@amtelco.com.

Startel Releases Latest Version of Secure Messaging Solution

Startel Corporation released its secure messaging solution, Startel Secure Messaging Plus (SM+). Many new features and enhancements were part of this release, including the ability to respond to group messages and allowing the forwarding of messages.

SM+ is a two-way direct messaging solution that allows users to securely send and receive messages, including those containing sensitive information.

All message content and attachments sent and received on devices using SM+ are encrypted. New key features and enhancements included in this release are:

  • Group Response: When replying to a group message, users can choose to reply only to the sender or the entire group.
  • Message Forwarding: Prior to sending a message, users can indicate which messages can be forwarded. Administrators can also enable certain accounts to not allow forwarding of any messages.
  • Account Management: Enhancements have been made for both channel partners and end users.

“We are excited to offer our customers, and the marketplace, with the latest version of Startel Secure Messaging Plus,” said Margaret Lally, senior director of operations and technical services at Startel. “The new features and enhancements included in this release help to ensure that our customers remain competitive, and that sensitive data remains confidential and secure.”

Startel Secure Messaging Plus is available as a stand-alone web-based solution or integrated with the Startel Contact Management Center. The SM+ app is compatible with the latest versions of Android and iOS (iPad, iPhone, iTouch).

StartelFor more information, contact Startel Sales at sales@startel.com.

PACE Win Brings Sensibility to the TCPA

The Professional Association for Customer Engagement (PACE) won a decisive victory for sensible regulation of the teleservices industry. In a unanimous decision, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit vacated the Federal Communications Commission’s arbitrary and capricious definition of an automated telephone dialing system and creation of a one-call safe harbor for calls to reassigned numbers under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA).

In its 2015 Omnibus Declaratory Ruling and Order, the FCC held that any system with the present capacity or potential functionality to operate as an automated telephone dialing system (ATDS) meets the definition of an ATDS. PACE strongly objected to this definition as overly broad and not grounded in the law, as evidenced by the fact that even a generic smartphone could be an ATDS under the FCC’s definition. In vacating the FCC’s definition, the Court agreed, “Those sorts of anomalous outcomes are bottomed in an unreasonable, and impermissible, interpretation of the statute’s reach. The TCPA cannot reasonably be read to render every smartphone an ATDS …”

Likewise, the Court set aside the FCC’s one-call safe harbor for calls to reassigned numbers as arbitrary and capricious. In its 2015 Order, the FCC defined the “called party” for purposes TCPA liability as the new subscriber of a reassigned number but exempted from liability callers who erroneously made one call without consent to the new subscriber. Industry participants warned that that this one-call safe harbor was insufficient because in many instances a caller would not learn from that one call whether the number had been reassigned (e.g. the call is not answered, the voicemail is not descriptive, a text message is not returned). The Court not only vacated the safe harbor, it also recognized the potential for strict liability to attach under the FCC’s definition of “called party” as the new subscriber and set the definition aside too.

The Court did let stand the FCC’s decision to allow consumers to revoke their consent to be called using any reasonable means that clearly express a desire not to receive further messages. PACE and other petitioners argued that the reasonable means test could allow for a consumer to revoke consent by telling a store clerk that they revoke consent or another means that would not fall into a caller’s normal process for recording revocation of consent. Acknowledging this concern, the Court elucidated that “[C]allers will have every incentive to avoid TCPA liability by making available clearly-defined and easy-to-use opt-out methods. If recipients are afforded such options, any effort to sidestep the available methods in favor of idiosyncratic or imaginative revocation requests might well be seen as unreasonable.”

Reacting to this victory, Stuart Discount, PACE CEO, stated, “PACE appreciates that the Court rightly found that the FCC went too far in its definition of an ATDS and its treatment of reassigned numbers in its 2015 Order.

“PACE looks forward to working with the FCC over the coming months to develop reasonable regulations that align with the statutory language and protect both consumers and callers.”

PACE continues to analyze the Court’s decision and its impact on callers across the country.

Founded in 1988, PACE is dedicated to the advancement of companies that engage with customers via the contact center. The association promotes its members’ ability to provide outstanding customer service and sales solutions delivered via omnichannel communication including voice, email, chat, text, and social media.

Startel Corporation Releases Contact Management Center v14.1

Startel Corporation announced the availability of Startel Contact Management Center (CMC) v14.1. This release includes several new features and enhancements designed to maximize agent productivity and efficiency.

Customers can expect a tighter integration with QGenda, allowing QGenda schedules to be configured directly within Startel administration controls. The client maintenance module now includes a find feature, enabling programmers to locate specific form features more quickly. New variables are now available for hyperlinks, including agent ID, agent first name, agent last name, and more, within client maintenance. Enhancements were also made to the Startel web portal and Startel dashboard.

“We are thrilled to deliver this new release and reinforce our commitment to providing customers, and the marketplace, with the latest innovations in technology and software,” said Brian Stewart, chairman and CEO of Startel. “We look forward to training customers on the product release next month at our annual user group conference.”

Startel CMC v14.1 is available now. For more information, or to schedule an upgrade, contact Startel technical support at techsupport@startel.com.

StartelStartel is a leading provider of unified communications, business process automation, and performance management solutions and services. Learn more at 949-863-8776 or www.startel.com.

Amtelco Introduces Intelligent Series v5.1

Amtelco announced version 5.1 of its Intelligent Series (IS) suite of call center applications at the annual meeting of the National Amtelco Equipment Owners (NAEO) users group in February. New features include:

Virtual Terminals for the SMS, SNPP, TAP, and WCTP contact methods make it possible to switch from one terminal type to another without having to reprogram individual contact methods. When upgrading to IS 5.1, the IS server automatically creates a virtual terminal for each existing messaging terminal in the system.

The Genesis Just Say It Interactive Voice Response (IVR) feature enhances the IS navigation menu feature by letting callers to speak responses instead of pressing telephone keypad digits. The Just Say It IVR and navigation menu features give callers the ability to access information and conduct transactions using speech recognition or live operator involvement.

The Genesis Just Say It Directory Assistance feature prompts the caller to say the name of a person, performs a directory lookup, verifies which listing the caller seeks, and transfers the caller to the appropriate phone number stored in the IS Directory.

The miTeamWeb Dashboard provides call center staff and clients with real-time information about automated call distribution (ACD) activities, operator call handling statistics, and dispatching tasks in both graphic and text formats in a widget-based enterprise web interface. The dashboard screen can be customized to display only the dashboard widgets that individual users need to see.

The Intelligent Series Two-Way WCTP Messaging interface implements the capabilities contained in the international Wireless Communications Transfer Protocol (WCTP) to enable the IS server to conduct two-way messaging with a third-party application. The two-way WCTP interface makes it possible for developers to interface to the IS server application and the IS database without involving Amtelco’s development team.

Infinite Convergence Solutions is a new SMS text messaging aggregator service available for use with IS Dispatching. Infinite Convergence developed its integration with the Intelligent Series platform using the new two-way WCTP messaging component of the IS 5.1 software.

The Genesis Meet Me Park feature lets an agent park a call to a designated ACD skill table to await connection to the called party. The park response element and the Meet Me Park behavior automate the Meet Me process using IS scripts.

The Auto Attendant behavior answers a call, plays a greeting, and transfers the call to an extension or patches the call to another number. The auto attendant behavior includes call analysis options to determine if a call reached an answering machine; in that event, it will respond according to its settings.

AmtelcoFor more information, contact Amtelco at 800-356-9148 or info@amtelco.com.

Pete Glihooly Joins Call Center Sales Pro as Director of Hospital Call Center

Telecom leader brings 15 years’ healthcare experience to Call Center Sales Pro

Call Center Sales Pro hired Pete Gilhooly as director of hospital call centers. In this new position he’ll finetune and rollout the organization’s operational model for hospital call centers. His first day in this new assignment was December 18, 2017.

Janet Livingston, founder of Call Center Sales Pro, brought Gilhooly on board to further advance the company’s already successful efforts in this market. “Pete is a natural fit with the Call Center Sales Pro team,” Livingston said. “He brings three decades of telecom leadership experience to us, the last fifteen of which focus specifically on healthcare.”

“I’m happy to be part of the Call Center Sales Pro team,” Gilhooly said. “I’m looking forward to this and all the exciting opportunities it entails.” In his new role, Pete will integrate the current initiatives of the Call Center Sales Pro team and use it to develop a comprehensive model for hospital call centers across the United States.

Gilhooly spent six years at Glens Falls Hospital, most recently as senior director of IT infrastructure. He also worked at Chaplin Valley Physicians Hospital as director of information technology and Albany Medical Center as vice president of technology management.

Amtelco Successfully Tests Cox SIP Trunking

Amtelco and Cox Communications announced the successful completion of interoperability testing of Cox’s SIP trunking services with Amtelco’s Genesis intelligent soft switch, the internet protocol (IP) based private branch exchange (PBX) capability of Amtelco’s Infinity platform, and the Telescan Spectrum Prism II platform.

The testing was conducted by Amtelco’s Field Engineering team and Cox Communication engineers at tekVizion Labs, an independent telecommunications testing and verification facility in suburban Dallas, Texas.

Cox SIP trunking is a scalable and efficient IP trunking telecommunication solution for businesses that provides all the traditional telephony services, such as direct inward dialing, hunting, calling name, calling number, local and long distance, business continuity options, and support for geo-redundant PBX deployments and automatic rerouting of calls as needed.

All calls carried by Cox SIP trunking are routed over Cox’s proprietary fiber-optic network, with guaranteed Quality of Service (QoS), rather than over the internet. To use Cox SIP trunking with Amtelco’s products, Amtelco customers are required to maintain a separate business agreement with Cox Communications.

AmtelcoFor more information contact Amtelco at 800-356-9148, info@amtelco.com, or callcenter.amtelco.com.

Amtelco Employee Awards Announced

Amtelco announced that Steve Bormett of the Field Engineering Department is the 2017 recipient of Amtelco’s William J. Curtin Employee of the Year award. The honor, conferred annually at year’s end, is named in remembrance of Amtelco founder William J. Curtin II, and is the most cherished award available to Amtelco employees.

Bormett was recognized for his work as director of Amtelco’s quality assurance testing program and for his efforts to document Amtelco’s data security policies and procedures and regulatory compliance as a member of the standing Security Working Group.

Other employee awards announced at the holiday luncheon on December 8 include:

  • Administration Employee of the Year: Jordan Beale, Customer Care Department
  • Operations Employee of the Year: Ken Marty, Software R&D Department
  • Service Employee of the Year: Thomas Jimenez, Field Engineering Department
  • TAS Sales Person of the Year: Tom Lindsay, regional sales manager, Midwest and east-central states
  • 1Call Sales Person of the Year: Joe Curtin, regional sales manager, western states

AmtelcoFor more information, contact Amtelco at 800-356-9148, info@amtelco.com, or callcenter.amtelco.com

Szeto Technology Hires Ron Violante as Sales Rep

Szeto Technologies is pleased to welcome Ron Violante to its team. Ron has over thirty years’ experience in the call center industry as a sales representative. He is familiar with the requirements that are needed in this industry. He is already well known within the community with his knowledge and involvement in the answering service field. 

Szeto TechnologiesBased in Ohio, Ron will serve the industry, starting December 2017. Charles Szeto and his team welcome Ron to their family and wish him success in his new role.

ATSI Awards Gold Call Center Re-Certification to ASCO

The Association of Teleservices International (ATSI) announced that ASCO, dba Answer Quick, again received the Gold 24/7 Call Center Certification Award and has done so continuously since the program’s inception in 2001.

Beth Cooper, president of Answer Quick a division of ASCO, Inc, is a pioneer and founding member of the committee and continuing advocate of the entire certification program.

The certification, which requires a physical inspection every three years, indicates that Answer Quick has met or exceeded high standards in the areas of business practices, life safety, operations—including normal and emergency procedures, personnel hiring, training, and ongoing evaluations through a peer review program focusing on a 99.9 percent annual run time. The program was developed by industry owners and consultants to recognize call center excellence.

ATSI is an international trade association established by and for entrepreneurs in the teleservices industry.