Choices and Consequences


Alston Tascom


By Wayne Scaggs

Events in our lives seldom just happen to us, regardless of what we tell ourselves or our friends. Somewhere along the way, we made a decision that caused certain events to happen. We make choices every day that put us on the path that leads to the events that occur in our lives. We go to school, get a diploma, and find a job or start a business. Somewhere along the way, we have a family.

Believe it or not, we made all the choices that guided us along the way; things did not just happen to us. Some of our choices were excellent (sheer genius), and we stick our chest out for a while. And then some of our other choices . . . well, let’s just say they did not make us, or anyone else, proud, and we won’t say any more about that.

Some may say we are lucky, although in most cases luck is a by-product of desire, choice, and continual productive efforts that pave the way for opportunity to cruise by. If we are aware, we can latch on and ride opportunity (luck) as far as it will take us. Choices affect not only us but others in the process, so the choice should be the very best one. Click To Tweet

My choices along the way have given me the opportunity to write this column and express the delight in knowing I have made a positive difference in the lives of many people. Some I know, and others I don’t.

Being part of this industry, which is people-oriented and service-driven, has allowed me to fulfill a childhood and adult desire. Deep within myself I know that through the choices I’ve made, I have helped more people than I will ever know in more ways than I can imagine. One of the ways came from someone who told me I was the reason they could start their own business, feed their family and, on top of all that, provide employment to others who were also able to feed their families. There is no substitute for the feeling we get when we help someone fulfill their dreams.

Few times in our lives do we get to make such monumental choices that affect not only us but others in the process, so the choice should be the very best one. Choices of this magnitude take time, forethought, and many restless nights weighing the pros and cons. In the end, when we are offered an opportunity that only comes along once in a long while and it is all that we wanted it to be, we take it. We jump at the opportunity and make it better than we thought it could ever be.

The recent merger between Alston Tascom and Startel Corporation is the very best possible next step for Alston Tascom, Tascom Systems, and the industry. This merger has answered questions most wouldn’t ask, such as “How long will Wayne be around?” “Is he getting up there in age?” “What is going to happen to Tascom?” Or more specifically for some people, “What is going to happen to my Tascom System and my business?”

Startel and Alston Tascom share the same technology. The biggest challenge ahead is not the competition. The elephant in the room is the speed of changing technology. The company’s road map is to bring the best minds in our industry together, sit down at the same table, and combine our talents to evolve what we have into the best-in-class system needed to stay in front of our customers and the competition. Staying ahead of what your clients need to be competitive in their market is the target. We are all in this together, and my desire is that we will be better than we were yesterday.

Alston TascomWayne Scaggs is the president of Alston Tascom, provider of call center database information and network telephony systems.

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.

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.

Alston Tascom Hits Ten Year Milestone of Providing Hosted Solutions

Alston TascomAlston Tascom, in its thirty-sixth year of serving the industry, has hit another milestone by celebrating ten years of providing hosted systems for the answering service industry. March 22, 2016 marked the tenth anniversary date for the Tascom hosted system.

Alston Tascom’s hosted system companies range in size from one position to over forty. Together they process over 1.7 million calls per month. No company is too large or too small for the Tascom hosted system.

Some of the key features of the Tascom system include:

  • Tascom’s client web interface allows management to offer their clients the ability to pick up their messages through a secure message portal. The selectable options are messages, if-messages, add and edit their locates, add and edit their on-call schedule, and retrieve voicemail messages.
  • Tascom’s ADAM web interface allows management to have quality control by listening to operators during a call, view calls waiting in queue, and logged-on operators.

Learn more about Alston Tascom and the Tascom hosted system at www.alstontascom.com.

[Posted by Peter DeHaan for Connections Magazine, a contact center publication from Peter DeHaan Publishing Inc.]

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Alston Tascom releases Adam 1.2 & Tascom SQL 4.0

Alston Tascom announced the release of Adam version 1.2 and Tascom SQL 4.0.

Notable feature updates in Adam 1.2 include:

Alston TascomWallboard: Using a web browser users can sign on to the site’s wallboard from anywhere, via computer, tablet, or cell phone with Internet access, to see what’s happening in real time. Wallboard displays who is logged in, who is on a call, who is ready, how many calls are waiting, length of the longest call in queue, which accounts have calls in queue, which agents are connected to calls for which accounts, how many electronic delivery jobs (SMS, email, alpha, or fax) are in process or failed, and how many recalls, reminders, alerts, and dispatches are waiting.

Listen In: This tool is great for training and quality assurance. Use a web browser from anywhere to listen to agents and their calls live.

Dynamic Remote Operator: With dynamic remote operator an agent is not locked into a specific position. The system will assign each agent to an available position, resulting in a more efficient use of system resources.

Coupled with Alston Tascom’s release of Adam 1.2 is Tascom SQL 4.0. Key enhancements to Tascom SQL include:

Operator Companion: The operator companion feature allows managers to have assurance that the agent on duty is responding to items in the queue in a timely manner. When a preset threshold is reached an SMS message will automatically be sent to one or more cell phone.

Reply and Deliver: If you email or SMS messages to clients, they can mark the messages as delivered when they reply. Their reply will be saved in the message itself.

Client Web Access: Using any web browser clients can view their messages, if-messages, locates, and on-call messages. They can also deliver messages as well as put in new locates, new if-messages, and new on-call messages. System administrators control which of these things each client is able to do.

Secure messaging on Auto Deliver: On the client configuration tab of the client manager, the option for “auto deliver” now include secure messaging.

[Posted by Peter DeHaan for Connections Magazine, a contact center publication from Peter DeHaan Publishing Inc.]

Alston Tascom Releases ADAM v1.2

Alston TascomAlston Tascom released ADAM version 1.2, which provides the foundational structure for the Graphical User Interface (GUI). The GUI allows management to view the system activities pictorially, such as graphically viewing all their pools (queues) and seeing how many agents and how many calls are in each pool (queue).

The GUI also allows for listen-in capability, so managers and supervisors may listen to agents’ conversions in real time, with multiple supervisors able simultaneously listen-in to multiple agents.

[Posted by Peter DeHaan for Connections Magazine, a contact center publication from Peter DeHaan Publishing Inc.]

Tascom User Group Holds Annual Meeting

The annual TUG (Tascom User Group) meeting was held November 6-7, 2014, at the Los Angeles County Fairplex grounds in Pomona, California. At this user meeting, they celebrated the Tascom product’s thirty-five years of providing workhorse systems to the industry, which includes twenty years of stewardship by the existing ownership, Alston Tascom, Inc.

The meeting started with a pre-conference day of touring the hosted system datacenter in downtown Los Angeles, having lunch at California’s famous In-N-Out Burger restaurant, and concluding with a tour of the Tascom office and development lab in Chino, California.

Day one of the conference brought many old friends and some new friends, together for the first time. Owners and managers of premises-based systems joined with the hosted platform owners and managers. Ideas swirled around the building, which continued into the second day.

They also had another reason to celebrate: the switch, ADAM, has been in production for eighteen months. “We are very proud of the fact that after the first installation, we have not looked back,” said Alston Tascom’s Wayne Scaggs. “ADAM is a soft switch with the capability of handling a call in any fashion you can imagine.”

[Posted by Peter DeHaan for Connections Magazine, a contact center publication from Peter DeHaan Publishing Inc.]

Alston Tascom Promotes Richard Fung and David Wong

Alston TascomAlston Tascom announced the promotion of Richard Fung to general manager. Richard is a graduate of UCLA with a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science. He has eighteen years of service with the Tascom client base.

Alston Tascom also announced the promotion of David Wong to director of engineering. David is a graduate of UCI (University of California Irvine) with a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science. David has been with Alston Tascom for eleven years.

“We thank both Richard and David for their many years of service and we look forward to the exciting times ahead,” said Wayne Scaggs, president of Alston Tascom.

[Posted by Peter DeHaan for Connections Magazine, a contact center publication from Peter DeHaan Publishing Inc.]

Tascom-Express System Implemented at Alston Tascom

Alston Tascom is the first location to implement Tascom-Express. They replaced their previous Fluency system with the brand new Tascom-Express, which is a complete system in a virtual server. Alston Tascom is using the system as it will be used in a call center. All options are available, including email, SMS, paging, faxing, PRI, operator pools, reporting, call recording, voicemail, SQL database, softswitch, and alphanumeric.

In other news, the Tascom users’ meeting was held at South Point Casino Hotel in Las Vegas on November 7-8, 2013. The main discussion centered around their new softswitch Adam, which several sites have already installed. The discussions also compared traditional individual servers verses virtual servers verses hosted servers. The meeting ended with plans for next year’s Tascom user meeting and the celebration of thirty-five years of service to the industry with twenty years of ownership by Wayne and Joanne Scaggs.

For more information contact Alston Tascom 866-282-7266 or sales@alstontascom.com.

[Posted by Peter DeHaan for Connections Magazine, a contact center publication from Peter DeHaan Publishing Inc.]

Alston Tascom’s ADAM Softswitch with Dynamic Operator

Alston Tascom’s ADAM softswitch and Evolution MS-SQL database will dynamically assign an operator to an available position when they sign in for work. The knowledge is already in the system as to which positions are available, so the system decides which position to assign. This is especially useful for remote operators because it eliminates the need to coordinate which position should be used for login.

In other news, Tascom announced it is enters its thirty-fifth year in serving the telemessaging industry. The first Tascom system was installed in 1980 in Alaska; it was a 32-position system. Tascom was one of three product lines for Conrac Alston, a company noted for building billing systems for large central offices throughout the world. In 1986, Mark IV Industries acquired Conrac Industries and renamed the company to Alston, a Mark IV Company.

In 1994 Wayne Scaggs, employed since 1979, acquired Alston and renamed it to Alston Tascom, Inc. Alston Tascom, Inc. is entering its twentieth year. Mark your calendar for a big celebration in November 2014, and celebrate with them.

For more information, contact Alston Tascom at 866-282-7266 or info@alstontascom.com.

[Posted by Peter DeHaan for Connections Magazine, a contact center publication from Peter DeHaan Publishing Inc.]