Category Archives: News

Amtelco Summer Interns

The summer is fast winding down, and Amtelco has started saying “thank you” and “good bye” to the fifteen students who completed internships this summer.”

AMTELCO summer interns

Shown left to right:

  • Adam LaLuzerne: University of Wisconsin-Platteville, Field Engineering Department
  • Marcus Seaton: Madison Area Technical College, Production QA Department
  • DJ Hogan: Production QA Department
  • Kyle Anderson: Production QA Department
  • Brevin Becker: White Rhino Co. Property Management Apprenticeship, Production QA Department
  • Hannah Anderson: Wisconsin Youth Apprenticeship, Production QA Department
  • Luke Anderson: University of Wisconsin-Stout, Software R&D Department
  • Emmanuel Barber-Thomas: Herzing University, IT Department/ Production QA Department
  • Jessica Mohns: Rockford University, Field Engineering Department
  • Sean Scanlan: Madison Area Technical College, Field Engineering Department

 Not pictured:

  • Dillon Clark: St. Cloud State University, Production QA Department
  • Tyler LaLuzerne: Wisconsin Youth Apprenticeship, Marketing Department
  • Angela Riederer: Viterbo University, Business Office
  • Ashley Werner: University of Wisconsin-Madison, Software R&D Department
  • Bennett Olson: Wisconsin Youth Apprenticeship, Production QA Department

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

AnswerNet Acquires Synergy Solutions

AnswerNet acquired Synergy Solutions in an asset transaction. Synergy Solutions specializes in high-touch consultative customer service and sales support programs for many of the nation’s leading brands.

Headquartered in Phoenix, Arizona, Synergy Solutions was established in 1999 and focuses on innovative customer interaction solutions. This allows Synergy Solutions to provide superior results for its clients in fast-growth retail and e-commerce, as well as traditional verticals such as healthcare, insurance, and financial services.

Gary Pudles, president and CEO of AnswerNet stated, “Synergy Solutions furthers AnswerNet’s continued growth in high-touch customer engagement space for well-known companies and brands. AnswerNet’s customer care business has been growing exponentially over the last three years, and adding the incredible Synergy team further deepens our strength in providing solutions that help our clients continually stand out in providing support to their customers.”

Synergy’s president and co-founder Lori Fentem is staying with AnswerNet and will work closely with Pudles on building and executing AnswerNet’s growth strategy. Fentem is a well-regarded leader in the contact center industry. “We are thrilled by the opportunity to become part of the AnswerNet family,” says Fentem. “This acquisition allows Synergy the ability to continue to offer high-touch customer experience solutions. I believe that integrating with AnswerNet will present the ideal environment for Synergy employees and clients.”

Amtelco’s Genesis Intelligent Series v5.1 Now “Avaya Compliant”

AmtelcoAmtelco’s Genesis Intelligent Series release 5.1 is compliant with key communications and collaboration solutions from Avaya, a provider of digital communications software, services, and devices.

The Genesis software switching solution provides the Intelligent Series applications with advanced software-based telephony. Genesis Intelligent Series provides an all-inclusive, enterprise-wide call center multimedia software suite with skills-based automatic call distribution (ACD), built-in speech recognition, text to speech, and voice services to improve call routing and management.

Genesis users can keep metrics with customizable reporting, enhance accountability with call logging and video screen capture, connect remote agents, and manage automated dispatch and on-call scheduling. Genesis can be operated in a virtual server environment or in the cloud, enabling businesses to grow without adding additional hardware—helping save time and money. The application is now compliance-tested by Avaya for compatibility with Avaya Aura® Session Manager 7.1 and Avaya Aura Communication Manager 7.1.

Amtelco is a Technology Partner in the Avaya DevConnect program. As a Technology Partner, Amtelco is eligible to submit products for compliance testing by the Avaya Solution Interoperability and Test Lab. There, a team of Avaya engineers develops a comprehensive test plan for each application to verify whether it is Avaya compatible. Doing so enables businesses to confidently add best-in-class capabilities to their network without having to replace their existing infrastructure—speeding deployment of new applications and reducing both network complexity and implementation costs.

“We are excited that this latest release of our Genesis Intelligent Series has successfully completed Avaya DevConnect compliance testing,” said Tom Curtin, Amtelco president. “Our mutual customers can confidently deploy Genesis with their Avaya Aura platform, helping them uncover new possibilities for getting more out of their communications infrastructure.”

In Other Amtelco News

Amtelco has brought on Brad Swift as their contract service sales manager. Amtelco created this position in response to the growing need for call centers to quickly have access to the newest Amtelco software features. Brad will offer Amtelco contract services to help call centers get up-to-date with current technologies, assist with projects such as upgrading system software, and help with growth and future development.

“Brad had a successful eighteen-year sales career with us in the past, serving our clients in Canada,” said Curtin. “We are excited to begin this new partnership so that our customers will be able to outsource to Amtelco to help get the work done that they cannot find resources for. This will open up new opportunities for our customers to be able to add even more processes to their Amtelco call center system.”

“I’m looking forward to this new role,” Swift said. “When call centers are unsure about the cost and liability that comes with hiring temporary in-house or contracted employees for their communications projects, I will be able to help—backed by the resources, expertise, and HIPAA-compliance Amtelco provides. There is a huge opportunity in our industry to help customers with services such as converting from legacy systems and transitioning to IS and Genesis, system analysis, and future growth.”

Improving Communications for the Deaf Community

AnswerNet and Connect Direct have partnered to bring the deaf community to the forefront of today’s customer service solutions. With one million deaf and hard of hearing individuals in the United States, it’s astonishing how little progress has been made in customer service communications. While the use of smart phones and video chat has been well-established over the past few years, companies still haven’t taken full advantage of the opportunity to provide the instant customer care expected by most hearing consumers.

With a partnership between AnswerNet and Connect Direct, companies can now allow customer service representatives to connect immediately with their deaf or hard of hearing consumers through video. The agents use American Sign Language (ASL), often the first language of deaf and hard of hearing people, to communicate with the consumer regarding their issue in a quick and efficient manner.

While this innovation is great for businesses, it also is a unique opportunity to employ deaf and hard of hearing people. Forty-seven percent of the deaf community in the United States isn’t in the labor force. However, call centers can now expand their offering to handle live video calls that require ASL.

“The deaf community has lacked the support from corporate America. As consumers, they are not given the chance to speak in their native language [ASL],” says Gary Pudles, CEO and president of AnswerNet. “However, as an owner of many omni-channel contact centers, technology has so greatly opened up the world of communications that we can not only provide better customer service solutions but also provide employment opportunities that didn’t exist before; being deaf should never be considered a limitation, but being unaware of the community and the value they bring to a corporation is.”

Learn more at https://answernet.com/asl/.

Startel and Professional Teledata Successfully Complete HIPAA Assessment

Irvine, CA—June 11, 2018—Startel and Professional Teledata, leading providers of contact center solutions, today announced that the companies successfully completed their Healthcare Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) assessment. This marks Startel’s fourth and Professional Teledata’s first assessment for HIPAA compliance and reinforces the companies’ commitment to protecting consumer data and privacy.

SecurityMetrics, a global leader in data security and compliance, performed the third-party compliance assessment. Following an evaluation of Startel and Professional Teledata’s office locations, data centers and software solutions, it was determined that the companies implemented policies and procedures to fulfill its obligations under HIPAA and Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act (HITECH). Both companies received scores of 100 percent for compliance posture of administrative, physical and technical safeguards as well as organizational requirements.

“We are thrilled with this year’s compliance achievements,” said Startel, Professional Teledata and Alston Tascom President and CEO, Brian Stewart. “HIPAA security and compliance are top priorities for us. We look forward to continuing to deliver contact center solutions and services that help our customers grow their business and safeguard electronic protected health information.”

“Startel and Professional Teledata successfully implemented policies, procedures and safeguards designed to comply with HIPAA,” said Brand Barney, Senior HIPAA Security Analyst at SecurityMetrics. “Throughout the audit, we took into account the size, capabilities, cost and probability of risk when evaluating the security measures implemented by Startel and Professional Teledata.”

The full HIPAA report is available to customers upon request. The companies will also sign Business Associate Agreements with clients who require HIPAA compliance. Next year’s audit will include an assessment of Alston Tascom’s operating environment, data center and solutions.

StartelStartel, Professional Teledata and Alston Tascom are leading providers of unified communications, business process automation, and performance management solutions and services. With a combined ninety plus years of experience, the companies have established a loyal customer base in healthcare, contact centers and a dozen additional industries. Startel, Professional Teledata, and Alston Tascom leverage their unique solutions and industry knowledge to empower organizations to improve agent productivity, reduce operating costs and increase revenues. For more information, call 949.863.8776 or visit www.startel.com.

Startel Announces Unified Product Advisory Board

StartelStartel, Professional Teledata, and Alston Tascom announced the members of the company’s unified product advisory board (PAB). The twelve individuals selected represent each of the company’s three user groups: TeamSNUG, PINetwork, and TUG. Their primary responsibility is to provide input related to the company’s strategic product planning.

Startel, Professional Teledata, and Alston Tascom will work with the unified board to help set future product direction. Feedback generated from the PAB will assist the company in building the next generation of products. The following members will serve on the 2018–020 unified PAB:

  • Ryan Ambs, Ambs Call Center, Jackson, MI
  • Kevin Bachelder, Ansaphone Services, Quincy, MA
  • Luis Bedoya, Answering Service Care, Margate, FL
  • Matt Bogan, King’s Telemessaging, Shreveport, LA
  • Kristal Fye, Ace Answering Service, State College, PA
  • Ken Goldenberg, Direct Line Tele Response, Berkeley, CA
  • Jodi Gregory, Clementine, Harper Woods, MI
  • Peter Gross, Sunshine Communication Services, Inc, Coral Gables, FL
  • April Kasza, Allgood Communications, Inc., Pueblo, CO
  • Ray Shaw, Business & Professional Exchange, Beverly, MA
  • John Vaughn, Honest Answering, LLC, Houston, TX
  • Jeffrey Wood, Contact One Call Center, Tucson, AZ

“Our vision for the PAB is to have customers share how they are using our products in the real world and the three companies to share with PAB members our current plans and future directions,” said Brian Stewart, President and CEO of Startel, Professional Teledata, and Alston Tascom. “We are thrilled with the amount of interest we have had in this program and are very pleased with the members who have been selected to assist us in building our unified contact center platform.”

Overseeing the board is Wayne Scaggs, director of corporate strategy. The unified PAB will meet three times during the next twelve months.

Startel Announces New Chief Customer Officer

Startel, Professional Teledata, and Alston Tascom added a new senior-level management position to their leadership team. Effective immediately, Renita Dorty will begin the new role of Chief Customer Officer (CCO) for the three companies.

This new position will be responsible for all aspects of the companies’ customer service strategies and will provide a comprehensive view of the user experience to create initiatives focused on maximizing customer retention, developing more efficient processes, and facilitating client communications.

Dorty has thirteen years of experience in the contact center and telephone answering service (TAS) industry, most recently, as the executive vice president of Nationwide Inbound Inc., a full-service customer contact center that provides professional telephone services and live customer support for companies across North America and Canada.

In her role at Nationwide Inbound Inc., Dorty oversaw the growth of the company from a small telephone answering service to a contact center serving hundreds of companies representing over fifty industries. She is well-versed in all aspects of the contact center industry and has served as president of the Startel National User Group, TeamSNUG.

“I’m thrilled to welcome Renita to our senior management team,” said Brian Stewart, president and CEO of Startel, Professional Teledata, and Alston Tascom. “Renita is uniquely qualified for this new role. She is a highly skilled management and operations professional and has a strong background in the customer service industry. We are thrilled to have her join our team at this exciting time in the development of our unified companies.”

StartelStartel, Professional Teledata, and Alston Tascom provide unified communications, business process automation, and performance management solutions and services. The companies have a loyal customer base and use their solutions and industry knowledge to empower organizations to improve agent productivity, reduce operating costs, and increase revenues. For more information, call 949-863-8776.

Call Center Vendors Launch Marketing Resources Center

Startel, Professional Teledata, and Alston Tascom launched their new marketing resources center, making custom-branded promotional materials available to their customers. The marketing resources center is a web-based repository housing a variety of promotional videos, flyers, infographics, and user guides that can be branded for use by the companies’ clients to promote the solutions and services provided by their telephone answering service, call center, or contact center.

The digital collateral is designed to assist with promoting the key features and benefits of stand-alone solutions such as Secure Messaging Plus, Secure Messaging Gateway, IntelliSite Web Portal, The Payment Portal, and more. “We are excited to offer this needed and value-added service to our customers,” said Startel, Professional Teledata, and Alston Tascom president and CEO, Brian Stewart. “One of the requests that I have personally heard from our customers is for us to help them sell their services and to provide them with tools to assist them in doing so.” The marketing resources center can be accessed directly by visiting shop.startel.com.

StartelFor more information, call 949-863-8776 or visit www.startel.com

Startel, Professional Teledata, & Alston Tascom Unify Brand; Revamp Website

Startel, Professional Teledata, and Alston Tascom revealed their new unified brand to users of all three of the companies’ software platforms at their first combined user group conference in Denver, Colorado.

The new branding follows the 2015 merger of Startel and Professional Teledata and the subsequent September 2017 merger with Alston Tascom. These moves further expand the companies’ product offerings, broaden markets, and enhance technical resources and expertise.

The new brand is visually represented by uniting all three company logos and includes the addition of “Powered by Startel” to the Professional Teledata and Alston Tascom logos.

In conjunction with the new visual branding, content previously found on the three separate company websites is now located on a revamped and unified site, startel.com. The website includes all company product information, a timeline of the combined company history, an overview of the three user groups, and a newsroom of compiled press releases and news features.

The website also includes access to a new self-service customer portal called The Customer Spot, allowing clients of all three companies to open and track cases, access a knowledge base of product information, and order co-branded marketing resources.

Startel“We were thrilled to reveal the new branding to our clients at our first ever combined user group conference,” said Startel, Professional Teledata, and Alston Tascom President and CEO, Brian Stewart. “We have been making great strides working together as a unified company to enhance the user experience and improve our product offerings and services. This new look will go a long way to reinforce and communicate our efforts.”

Dan L’Heureux and Renita Dorty Receive Awards

Startel, Professional Teledata, and Alston Tascom recognized Dan L’Heureux and Renita Dorty during the companies’ first combined user group conference in Denver, Colorado. Dan L’Heureux is the recipient of the 2018 Allen Kalik Award and Renita Dorty is the recipient of the 2018 Don Berry Award of Excellence.

Allen Kalik Award

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 PInnacle Users Group (PIN), this award recognizes individuals whose dedication and leadership have led to the advancement of PIN.

“PIN would not be where it is today without Dan’s commitment and dedication to the group,” said Nate Gefvert, systems administrator of Towne Answering Service and the 2017 Allen Kalik Award recipient. “The merging of the three user group conferences has not been without challenges, but Dan has served as a bridge between the user groups and has helped guide us through the process. I have no doubt that as our community grows, Dan will continue to be an invaluable asset.”

L’Heureux has more than forty years’ experience in the industry. He has served as the executive director of both PIN and the Startel National User Group (SNUG) for fourteen years and twenty years, respectively. Previously, he was the president of A-Alpha, Incorporated from 1977-1997.

“I am humbled to accept this award and join past recipients who I have long admired and respected,” said L’Heureux. “Serving as the executive director of both PIN and SNUG has provided me with a rich network of friends, and the opportunity to stay connected to the TAS industry. With the addition of the Tascom Users Group, I am thrilled to see the three groups come together and happy to have played a role in this year’s combined conference.”

Don Berry Award of Excellence

The Don Berry Award of Excellence was created in memory of Startel’s founder, Don Berry. Individuals who receive this award exemplify excellence in the advancement of SNUG and its members.

“The quality I appreciate most about this year’s recipient is her sense of teamwork,” said John Carey, senior systems engineer of Startel and the 2017 Don Berry Award of Excellence recipient. “Renita is a great teammate but an even better team builder and leader. Our user group is stronger because of Renita and her contributions.”

Dorty served on the SNUG board from 2009-2013 and again from 2015-2018 in a variety of roles, including conference, and membership chairs. She also served as the president of SNUG from 2016-2017. Most recently, she led focus groups aimed to review product wishes and recommend enhancements of the Startel Contact Management Center.

“I am truly honored to receive this award and to be recognized among previous esteemed recipients,” said Dorty. “I have thoroughly enjoyed being a part of this incredible group and serving our membership.”

StartelStartel, Professional Teledata, and Alston Tascom leverage their solutions and industry knowledge to empower organizations to improve agent productivity, reduce operating costs, and increase revenues. For more information, call 949-863-8776 or visit www.startel.com.