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.]

Alston Tascom’s ADAM Available for General Release

Alston Tascom believes data, and the control of data, is the most powerful tool in the world. ADAM (Alston Designed Asterisk Machine) gives call centers power over all their call routing and the data associated with the call. This new soft-switch allows users to control all aspects of any call on the call center switch. Because the switch is software-based, users not only dictate how the call is routed but also know the status of the calls at any given moment. ADAM has completed its beta testing and is deployed at eight locations, with more orders on the way.

ADAM provides call centers with a SoftSwitch and office PBX, which accommodates TDM, SIP, fax, remote office, remote agents, and any combination of tools needed for a call center and office.

Contact Alston Tascom at 909-548-7300 or info@alstontascom.com.

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

Alston Tascom: A Vision of Today’s Reality

The compelling story of Alston Tascom is one of leadership, vision, engineering, and customer satisfaction. It is the story of one man’s desire to make a positive difference. Because of Alston Tascom, an entire industry has choices. Alston Tascom decided to make its own way, step out, and believe that users could have the latest in technology; as it turns out, that is possible – and Alston Tascom is making the transition a reality. Alston Tascom designs, develops, and sells call center solutions, including the Tascom Evolution Systems, with both premises-based and hosted cloud-based options.

A privately held corporation headquartered approximately thirty-five miles east of Los Angeles in Chino, California, Alston Tascom is a true American success story. In December 1971 Wayne Scaggs arrived at LAX with thirty-five dollars, one friend, no education, and no family. Like many, the bright lights of the big city, big houses, and fancy cars were overwhelming. To stay in Los Angeles, Wayne knew he would have to go back to school and get a job. There were many challenges along the way; what he remembers most is that he was willing to do what no one else wanted to do.

Eventually, Wayne gained enough education and experience to be hired in 1979 by Conrac Alston (now Alston Tascom). The company sent him to Malaysia for a year to install a countrywide billing system in their government-owned telephone company. Upon his return from the successful installation in Malaysia, the company told him they didn’t have any more oversea projects for him. However, they did have a new product called Tascom, and they offered him the opportunity to work on it. Wayne said, “It was one of the best decisions I have ever made, because – as you know – I said yes.” The next major event came in 1994 when he was given the opportunity to buy the company; he named it Alston Tascom.

Corporate History: Alston Tascom, Inc., traces its company roots to the early 1950s. Telecommunications pioneer Russell Alston developed the “Blue Alston Box,” a call accounting system that became a standard in the telephone company industry, installed in telephone companies’ central offices around the world. The system also was used to measure call activity in many major hotel facilities and other institutions.

In the late 1970s, executives from AT&T approached Alston and asked the company to develop a “paperless” messaging system, because AT&T planned to expand its services to include messaging for its business customers. After significant development on the product, AT&T decided not to enter the messaging industry and released Alston from its proprietary development obligation.

Tascom Legacy Introduced: Alston continued to develop the messaging system independently, and the Tascom product was released in 1979. “Built to Bell Company specs” became the hallmark of Alston’s entire product line. The Tascom Legacy System was installed at sites throughout North America and the Caribbean. Considered by many to be the “Cadillac” of the industry, the Tascom product line continued development throughout the 1980s into the early 1990s. With its “Bell Company standards” design, the product was often referred to as bulletproof and considered to be the workhorse of the teleservices industry.

A New Beginning: In 1994 Wayne Scaggs, longtime Alston employee, announced his acquisition of the company to the Tascom Users Group. At that meeting, Wayne Scaggs pledged to reengineer the Tascom product from the ground up. With his intimate knowledge of the system and the teleservices industry, Scaggs added a number of “next generation” engineers to his team of existing Tascom engineers. He also retained the services of several of Alston’s key employees.

During the transition process, Tascom’s primary competitors continued developing their products, which also were built using their own proprietary hardware, proprietary operating systems, flat databases, and early 1990s PC technology. Tascom was dormant in the marketplace during the mid-1990s, and competitors gained key market share with new installations. Almost every Tascom user, however, remained with the company and their Tascom system. This dormant development period worked to Tascom’s advantage as a new era in PC operating systems, servers, and development tools became available.

Open Development Strategy: Tascom’s engineering staff made an early, strategic choice that would propel the product to the industry forefront. The Tascom team chose to build the entire system on the newly introduced open source soft-switch and Microsoft SQL database operating system. Tascom’s development strategy was focused on three important principles:

  • Open source software
  • Open database: all information stored in standard ADO-compliant databases
  • Standard off-the-shelf hardware: no proprietary hardware required anywhere in the system

Tascom also claims the title as being the first in the telemessaging industry to implement the following technological advances:

  • TCP/IP network
  • Windows workstations
  • Windows NT server
  • Microsoft SQL server
  • Delphi development front-end
  • Microsoft Development Partner
  • Intel Communications and Dialogic Partner
  • Point-and-click account scripting and forms design
  • Visual Basic Scripting for sophisticated scenarios
  • Billing interface to QuickBooks
  • Interactive voice response
  • Hosted TAS

The Tascom Evolution System, featuring ADAM’s open source soft-switch architecture, was developed for the exclusive use by the telemessaging operations by engineers from Alston Tascom, Inc. The Tascom Evolution system replaces the Tascom Legacy switch. It significantly expands agent and telephony capacity, while introducing multiple new system capabilities and features.

The Tascom Evolution system supports SIP trunking, digital T-1 spans with both DIOD (Direct Inward and Outward Dialing), and ISDN-PRI (Primary Rate Interface) signaling protocol. Analog loop-start lines are also supported by ADAM.

Primary features of the Tascom Evolution system include:

  • Database controlled automatic call distribution (ACD)
  • Fully programmable interactive voice response (IVR)
  • Speaker hold (increase operator productivity)
  • Unified voicemail
  • Unlimited accounts, voicemail boxes, greetings, and messages
  • Email (with mp3 or wav attachment), alpha pager, and digital pager notification
  • Unified call recording both voice logging and trunk logging
  • PBX functionality with SIP phones and all standard 2500 type phone appliances
  • Inbound, outbound, and blended agents
  • Preview, progressive, manual, and speed dialers
  • Pre-set and programmable report generation
  • Ring to on-hook call reporting and billing data
  • Single site (standalone) and multi-site (distributed) configurations
  • Single and multiple server configurations
  • Scalable to over 200 agent stations
  • Scalable to twenty T-1 spans
  • Group and team response notification
  • Conference bridging
  • Redundant configuration
  • Dynamic remote operator login
  • Open source operating systems, open database, and off-the-shelf hardware

Tascom’s Future: The success achieved by the staff at Alston Tascom has made the company a recognized player in the contact center industry. The company has adapted – and even thrived – under competitive market conditions. The drive to turn vision into reality continues in the company’s unyielding spirit to succeed. Tascom’s engineering staff is constantly developing innovations to fulfill the dreams of visionaries throughout the industry.

Contact Information: 909-548-7300 or 866-282-7266; info@alstontascom.com, www.alstontascom.com.

[From Connection Magazine March 2013]