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: 

  • 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.

Ruminations on Cloud-Based Contact Center Technologies

Professional Teledata


By William Lane

There has been much press about Amazon Connect, a self-service cloud-based contact center solution offered by Amazon Web Services (AWS). There was a huge protest on various industry listservs about how this might affect the various business models of vendors and users within the telephone answering service (TAS), contact center, and related industries. When considering new information, it is best to take a deep breath, step back, and consider a broader view of the situation to evaluate the impact.

The purpose of this article is not to analyze Amazon Connect or other online cloud-based services currently available from other vendors, but instead to present some observations I believe are applicable to determine if this new offering, or any other much-touted cloud-based contact center service, is relevant to you and your business. I will ask pertinent questions to focus on what you may or may not need from your chosen technology vendor. To do so, I am going to assume you are in the business of servicing your customers’ clients from a TAS or contact center perspective.

First, does speed matter when interacting with your customers’ clients? This question is key to understand whether a particular cloud-based solution suits your business needs. Amazon Connect and many other cloud-based services utilize WebRTC exclusively. With WebRTC, the effective solution is completely browser-based. A solely browser-based solution means that the provider has implemented a mouse-driven versus a keyboard-driven business model. While this may be acceptable for many businesses, the impact is no shortcut keys or macros, resulting in a loss of efficiency and speed for agent-client interactions.

Second, is your business transaction-heavy? In a browser-based environment, the transactional logic resides on the cloud-based server. If your business model calls for intensive usage of message-scripting transactions, the agent is going to initiate commands via the Internet to a database server located at another destination numerous times per client contact. Even if there is an acceptable level of latencywhich often there is not due to Internet connectivity issues—efficiency will suffer. This may be why few cloud-based solutions include message-scripting functionality.

Third, does your company have in-house professional services staff? If not, who will develop the necessary third-party integrations and additional features and functionality you need to differentiate yourself from your competition? Amazon Connect, and many other cloud-based contact center solutions, provide only self-service solutions. They may or may not offer tools you can use to build unique offerings for your customers. Therefore, it will be necessary for someone to utilize the provided tools to create the solutions that will attract customers to you as opposed to your competitors. Does utilizing a one-size-fits-all cloud-based solution, where price may be the only differentiator available to you in a global market, square with your business model? 

Fourth, would your business model tolerate multiple hours of periodic downtime? It is no secret that AWS, the backbone for the new Amazon Connect service, has gone down several times over the last twelve months. The February 28, 2017, outage affected some customers for nearly eight hours. Many cloudbased providers make no guarantees of uptime in their service level agreements (SLAs). It is simply not an imperative element of their self-service business model.

Fifth, does your business model require validated HIPAA compliance? Many cloud-based solutions, including Amazon Connect, do not address HIPAA compliance. They do not provide proof of annual HIPAA assessments, audits, and the resultant scores provided by third-party auditing firms. Many cloud-based solutions leave all compliance adherence to the user and absolve themselves from any regulatory responsibility by claiming they are merely conduits providing a service, thus leaving you to fight the regulatory battles.

Ensuring that your business model matches your chosen vendor’s business model is imperative to achieving business success. If HIPAA compliance, platform reliability and robustness, third-party integrations, customized features and functionality, and agent speed are important to your business model, then many of the oft-hyped cloud-based contact center solutions available may not be for you.

Professional TeledataWilliam Lane has nearly forty years of experience in customer service and software development. He is president and CEO of Startel and Professional Teledata.

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John Freire Recognized with Allen Kalik Award

Professional TeledataJohn Freire of Direct Line Tele Response received the 2016 Allen Kalik Award. The announcement was made during the annual PINetwork User Group Meeting in Manchester, New Hampshire. The Allen Kalik Award was implemented in 2011 after the passing of industry leader and Professional Teledata’s late president, Allen Kalik. Honoring Allen, this award recognizes individuals whose unselfish dedication and leadership have led to the advancement of PIN.

“It was a personal honor and pleasure to be able to present the Allen Kalik award to John Freire,” said Phyllis Shaw, education committee chair of the PINetwork User Group. “John gives so much of his time to our group and is always available to share his knowledge with us. He is someone who thinks outside the box, and pushes us all to the next level.”

“I am honored and humbled to receive this award,” said Freire. “Allen was always giving back to PIN and eager to share his expertise and knowledge with anyone who was interested in learning.” Freire is the IT director at Direct Line Tele Response.

Professional Teledata Announces Commercial Grade SMS Solution

Professional TeledataProfessional Teledata announced the launch of its enhanced short message service solution, PInnacle cloud SMS. The new, cloud-based text messaging solution is commercial grade, developed specifically for the high volume, high availability usage requirements demanded by customers.

The PInnacle cloud SMS solution enables users to communicate with clients faster, and with higher throughput, via text messaging. Throughput and availability are achieved by maintaining direct connections to major wireless carriers that are not subject to rate limits, monthly usage thresholds, or cell towers. Now, PInnacle Cloud SMS users can easily and reliably exchange messages each month without worrying about service interruptions or rate limiting. Key features of the PInnacle cloud SMS solution include: 100 percent software-based, fully redundant system, built-in disaster recovery, and comprehensive reporting.

“Since installing the PInnacle cloud SMS solution, we have had no service interruptions for our customers,” said Ken Goldenberg, president of Direct Line Tele Response. “The process to move customers to the new system was seamless and simple. The tight integration with our existing PInnacle system was well executed and we are now experiencing much faster delivery times and delivery responses.”

“We are thrilled to offer our customers with an enhanced, commercial grade SMS solution,” said Jim Graham, director of special operations for Professional Teledata. “By leveraging Startel’s current SMS infrastructure, we are able to provide our PInnacle customers with a more robust text messaging solution that meets their clients’ expanding needs and enables them to focus on growing their business.”

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

Angelo Celesia Receives the 2015 Allen Kalik Award

Professional TeledataProfessional Teledata announced Angelo Celesia as the 2015 Allen Kalik Award recipient. The announcement was made during the annual PIN user group meeting in Baltimore, Maryland.

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, this award recognizes individuals whose unselfish dedication and leadership have led to the advancement of the PINetwork group.

“We are thrilled to recognize Angelo with the 2015 Allen Kalik Award,” said Pat Kalik, director of customer relations for Professional Teledata. “Angelo truly embodies the award, and everything that it stands for. We thank him for his time, dedication, and continuing commitment to our organization.”

“It is an honor to receive this award,” said Angelo. “Allen tirelessly devoted himself the TAS industry and the PINetwork. I am humbled to be included among such esteemed company.” In 2013, Angelo served as president of the PINetwork board of directors. Angelo is also an avid runner and coaches cross-country running for a local middle school.

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

Startel and Professional Teledata Announce Merger

Professional TeledataStartel Corporation, a provider of unified business communications for contact centers and telephone answering services (TAS), announced its merger with Professional Teledata, a pioneer in order entry, billing management and hosted and premise-based solutions for call centers. Effective September 2, 2015, Professional Teledata is now a wholly owned independent subsidiary of Startel.

The companies have a relationship that dates back more than 30 years, serving the TAS industry and many of its joint customers. With this merger, the combined organization expands its product offerings to broader markets while enhancing overall technical expertise, increasing customer service availability and adding depth to the leadership team. This merger is a win-win for both organizations, as well as its combined customer base and the entire TAS industry.

“We are very excited about Startel and Professional Teledata coming together,” said Bill Lane, president and CEO of Startel. “We look forward to joining teams, and leveraging the resources, capabilities and technical expertise of the combined companies to provide a higher level of customer support and greater breadth of product offerings to the marketplace.”

“Given our long relationship and shared vision of providing telephone answering services and contact centers with solutions to improve efficiency and increase revenue, combining companies seemed like a natural fit,” said Pat Kalik, president of Professional Teledata. “We are thrilled with the merger; it is a positive development for both organizations, customer bases and employees.”

The companies’ offices will remain open in Irvine, California and Manchester, New Hampshire. Three principals of Professional Teledata, including Jim Graham, Alan Hartmann and Pat Kalik, will join the senior management team of Startel to lead the combined company.

[Source: PRweb]

Professional Teledata Announces New Credit Card Interface For TBS

Professional TeledataProfessional Teledata announced that a new cloud-based option for processing credit card payments directly from TBS3 is not available. Professional Teledata has created a new Total Billing Solution 3 interface to Authorize.Net’s Customer Information Manager (CIM) product. With the interface you can:

  • Process credit card payments directly from TBS3 using Authorize.Net’s cloud-based services. Third party software packages are not required.
  • Simplify PCI compliance efforts by “tokenizing” your account’s sensitive card data and storing it on the Authorize.Net’s secure servers.
  • Process pre-authorized credit card payments faster and more efficiently with the streamlined TBS3 interface.
  • Maintain and track multiple account card profiles.
  • Securely process card transactions from any TBS3 workstation.
  • Settle transactions immediately instead of waiting to the end of day for the settlement capture.
  • Improve your merchant rate discount by using optional card security code, address verification, and cardholder verification features not available in the legacy credit card interfaces.

Professional Teledata provides systems and software products for the telemessaging and call center industries. For more information or set up a demo tailored to your interests, contact Karen Black at 800-344-9944.

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

Professional Teledata Welcomes David Screeton

Professional TeledataAs Professional Teledata continues to grow into an influential national technology firm, they take pride in selecting the right individuals to their team, welcoming David Screeton to the Manchester office as telephony engineer.

David brings thirty years of expertise, knowledge, and experience in the telephony arena with him to Professional Teledata. His duties will include support for the eQueue phone switch, the Manchester co-located equipment and network as part of the Freedom infrastructure, the in-house eConn phone switch and network infrastructure, phone and network equipment for remote employees, premise installed eQueue and Millenium phone switches, and network infrastructure at customer sites.

“David Screeton brings vitality and perspective to this position that fits perfectly with our vision for the future at Professional Teledata.” said Pat Kalik, president of Professional Teledata. “David understands what we are all about. His experience and expertise make him the perfect person to join our telephony team where he will continue providing quality and support for our valued customers.”

David is certified on Nortel Meridian PBX systems, Executone and Samsung Key systems and has much experience with IBM blade servers, HP and Nortel Switches and routers and POS systems.

In other news, Professional Teledata will unveil several new features at the Spring 2015 PInnacle Upgrade at the PIN User Group Meeting in Baltimore, Maryland May 46. “It’s been a long cold winter in New England and we all made the best of our time stuck indoors adding new features to an already powerful and flexible platform to make it even more robust and feature rich,” said VP Jim Graham. “We are excited to put our hard work on display to our users in Baltimore.” Timed auto actions, rotating on-call and template driven locates with current on-call support are just a few of the new features that will be presented.

Professional Teledata provides systems and software products for the telemessaging and call center industries. For more information or set up a demo tailored to your specific interests, contact Karen Black at 800-344-9944.

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

PInnacle Freedom Processes 100,000,000th Call

Professional TeledataProfessional Teledata announced a milestone: PInnacle Freedom, the hosted TAS system, has processed its 100,000,000th incoming call. Saturday, December 20, 2014 at 10:21:13 a.m. came and went with little fanfare. There were no fireworks or pomp and circumstance when a caller from area code 717 became the 100,000,000th call to be processed through PInnacle Freedom. The hosted TAS system sat quietly at the co-location doing its job connecting hundreds of agents to millions of callers around the country and the world.

“Well, to be truthful there was a small celebration at the Professional Teledata corporate offices in Manchester, NH that consisted of a few ‘high fives’ among the hard working staff that make it all happen,” said VP Jim Graham. “After taking a moment to savor the milestone, we all returned to work growing the Freedom Platform and making it even more robust. Cheers to Answer Phone Tulsa for taking the momentous call!”

Professional Teledata provides systems and software products for the telemessaging and call center industries. For more information or set up a demo tailored to your specific interests, please contact Karen Black at 800-344-9944.

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

Shawn Griswold and Christian Vargas Join Professional Teledata

Professional TeledataAs Professional Teledata continues to grow and develop into an influential national technology firm, they take pride in selecting the right individuals to make their team shine. They are pleased to welcome Shawn Griswold and Christian Vargas to the Manchester office.

Shawn Griswold, senior software quality assurance engineer, spent fourteen years working in software quality assurance, five of them as a software systems engineer for the Telecommunications Division of Compaq / HP where he designed and ran test environments in SS7/TDM and SIP/VOIP platforms. Shawn’s duties are testing and verifying software releases, including functional, boundary, and load testing. He also handles attempting to reproduce customer issues for diagnosis and is working on improving a development process including bug tracking and test case management.

Christian Vargas, technical support specialist, a bi-lingual graduate of Lincoln Technical Institute, is enrolled at Southern New Hampshire University where he is earning his degree in Software Development. Christian’s background includes customer support and troubleshooting workstation and network related issues. His duties begin with technical support of both PInnacle and Freedom clients.

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