Tag Archives: Vendor Profiles

Vendor Profile: Startel

Startel contact center software that delivers happiness to your customers

In July of 1955, Tomorrowland opened at Disneyland in Anaheim, California. At the time, Walt Disney, an enthusiastic futurist, said “Scientists today are opening the doors of the Space Age to achievements that will benefit our children and generations to come. The Tomorrowland attractions have been designed to give you an opportunity to participate in adventures that are a living blueprint of our future.”

Startel started in 1980 just down the 5 freeway from Disneyland. It’s hard to know if the company name was influenced by the opening of Space Mountain just three years prior, but it reflects the passions of another notable futurist, Don Berry. From its start, Startel has been a company dedicated to looking to the future.

They’re founded on researching the new opportunities afforded to the communications industry by advances in technology, identifying which ones have the most long-term viability, and then putting those into customers’ hands. Part of that has always been helping customers understand—and even get excited about—what’s next.


Startel has a web-based agent interface, in beta, named StartelNow. This interface can be used by current customers with the CMC platform and is provided to them as part of their software assurance.

StartelNow is a platform where an agent anywhere in the world can log in from a website on any device with an internet connection and start handling interactions without any specialized training on software. Agents will not have to know special keystrokes to send an email or secure message to a client, and no one will need to teach them how to interpret complex relay instructions.


Startel’s CMC RestAPI can improve agent efficiency by securely providing the data collected from callers directly to the applications clients use every day. Rather than the agent needing to learn the client’s specialized software to manually re-enter that information, the RestAPI allows automation to synchronize data behind the scenes without agent intervention.

This reduces the need for manual dispatching. Rather than agents making lots of quick decisions in real-time to ensure individual messages end up where they should be, make deliberate, focused decisions to redirect the flow of data en masse according to the client’s requests.

Beyond just the data collected from callers, the RestAPI can also retrieve call statistical data, manage clients’ on call schedules, or track agent status in real-time, as well as make that information available to customers to integrate with their own tools.

The capabilities of Startel’s CMC RestAPI are expanded even further through integration with Zapier. Zapier is a do-it-yourself solution that allows users to harness the power of the RestAPI without requiring expensive development or on-staff programmers. This web-based platform empowers that automation of work across more than 5,000 popular apps without writing a single line of code.

Startel PocketVantage


Startel’s mobile app for Android and Apple devices is PocketVantage. This app provides clients a vantage point to view and update the on-call schedule, review and manage IntelliForms, and access their team’s contacts right from the convenience of their smartphone.

Users of the app can also be given access to update their own contact information or create their own status updates and emergency notifications that display right in the CMC flexible agent interface.


Startel developers continue to make this customizable agent interface more intuitive, which supports faster on-boarding, putting agents on the system quicker than ever before.

Flex can be adjusted to suit a contact center’s environment preferences. The screen can be designed to have a similar look and feel to an existing interface. Message forms, client information pages, on call schedule, and other elements can be moved to different areas of the screen.

The various elements can even be split into multiple windows so that the agent can better use a multi-monitor environment. Even further customization can be done by selecting different fonts and colors that can be saved as part of the agent layouts.

Startel’s agent scripting and scripted dispatching reduces the need for agents to read information or instructions, improve efficiency, and minimize errors.


Startel seeks to balance allocating customer resources today with the development of the solutions they’ll need tomorrow.


Since its founding in 1980, Startel has established a loyal customer base from a variety of industries, including contact centers, education, government, healthcare, insurance, telephone answering service, and utilities.

Today, Startel has customers in forty-five states across the United States, as well as Canada, Central America, New Zealand, and Switzerland. Customers depend on Startel’s solutions and services to increase business efficiencies, identify performance opportunities, and deliver quick, secure, and accurate communication 24/7/365.

To discover more about Startel, visit www.startel.com or call 800-782-7835.

Vendor Profile on Amtelco

Amtelco Cloud-Based Platform Solution

Amtelco has been a well-known name in the telecommunications industry for over forty-five years providing call center communication systems, software applications, and telephone switching technologies. Amtelco and its other divisions (Telescan and 1Call), offer innovative technology solutions to meet the needs of call centers, contact centers, and healthcare organizations.

Prioritizing All Members of the Amtelco Family

Even as a family-owned business, both employees and customers are considered part of the Amtelco family. Amtelco is proud to have participated in and received a Top Workplaces award three years in a row. This award is based solely on employee feedback offered through an employee survey.

Under the leadership of Tom Curtin, CEO, Amtelco continues to grow and add new products and services to support their customers’ needs. “Customer support is a top priority. Our workforce has increased by 15 percent in the past year to keep up with the needs of our customers,” said Tom Curtin, Amtelco CEO.

Their priority to providing five-star service to customers is evident in their customer testimonials: “Our partnership with Amtelco spans forty years. Every move we have made with Amtelco’s products have been positive as they have helped us grow our business. Amtelco’s product offerings are great, and they are always responsive to our clients’ requests. We can always count on Amtelco being a phone call away,” said Sharon Campbell, president of Answer Direct.

Encouraging Creativity and Innovation

Considering and fostering new ideas from all members of the Amtelco family is one of Amtelco’s guiding values. Amtelco works closely with their customers by providing an online forum for customers to submit their ideas for new products and make suggestions for improvements to existing products.

Customers can also search, view, and rank the ideas submitted by others. Amtelco’s software department reviews the ideas and suggestions and decides which ideas to implement.

Creating Reliable Products that Empower Others to Communicate Quickly and Securely

Amtelco’s call center technology is entirely software-based and virtualized, with cloud-based capability. Their Genesis system offers flexibility and growth, which is imperative in today’s ever-changing environment.

Skills-based automatic call distribution (ACD), built-in speech recognition, text-to-speech, and voice services are available to improve call routing and management. Database-driven call scripts automatically guide agents through even the most complex calls. Prompts, searches, and navigation are used to improve accuracy and caller satisfaction.

Their latest advancement is a web browser-based telephone agent interface that can transform a personal computer into a professional telephone agent station.

Web agent is accessible through a web-browser so remote agents can work from anywhere with an internet connection. A VPN connection is established to ensure the connection is secure. Updates are completed via a web server, which eliminates the maintenance of loading and maintaining software on devices.

Reliable and Encrypted Messaging Solution

The use of secure messaging apps and integrated personal devices has become even more important in our increasingly remote, work-from-home world.

While it’s a requirement to utilize a secure messaging solution in the healthcare industry, it’s not just for healthcare alone. It applies to any industry that deals with sensitive information, such as law, government, banking, mortgage lenders, credit card processors, and financial services, where it’s just as important to ensure the security of sensitive information.

Amtelco’s miSecureMessages application offers reliable communications with end-to-end encryption for communications. Various integrations are available to help streamline and simplify an organization’s communications needs. A highlight of some of the new features now available in miSecureMessages include:

  • The high availability solution provides continuous uptime during some server upgrades and prevent downtime due to a single server failure.
  • Single sign-on authentication with integration for SAML (security assertion markup language) or AFDS (active directory federation services).
  • Genesis protected dialing settings which enable phone calls placed from the miSecureMessages app to be routed through Genesis, which displays the organization’s phone number instead of the device’s phone number.
  • Shared devices enables different users to log into a device and retrieve messages without having to share logins or an inbox.

The Future is Bright (and Green) for Amtelco

As Amtelco grows they remain committed to developing innovative technology solutions to streamline communications and increase efficiency for their clients. New web and mobile solutions and artificial intelligence (AI) features are just a few items currently in development.

They are also excited to announce they’ve recently gone green by having solar panels installed at their office, which are estimated to offset their energy consumption by 59 percent.

Vendor Profile on TAS Marketing

When you think of TAS Marketing, the thought comes to mind of a husband-and-wife team, Steve and Christine Michaels, who have been serving this industry since 1979. Known then as TAS Consultants, they sold all types of ancillary equipment such as the ACI remote printer, TAStrix, the AVI training system, and a DC-7 billing system. 

Steve and Chris Michaels

To really know your customers, Steve and Chris felt that they had to meet them face-to-face by travelling to every state or attending all the ATSI conventions and regional meetings. “I have seen a lot over the years but seeing the birth of a baby lamb in Joanne Milton’s kitchen up in Maine topped the list,” says Steve. 

Getting to know these people created a family of sorts and Steve is usually the one they call when bubbles are stirring in the industry. Steve has taken out several individuals who were scamming his classified clients out of equipment and in some cases an entire service. With Mr. Michaels help and the FBI, these individuals are now behind bars.

Raymond Baggarly said, “Every time I see Steve, he has a new system, product, or business for sale . . . and at seventy-three he is still working; wish I had his energy and inspiration.” His other job is tending to the Hobbits and running the trolls off, when necessary, along with being the curator of his new photographic art gallery. 

The brokering segment of the business came about when RJ Chaffee, the broker at the time passed away. Steve called RJ’s son who is also named RJ, to see if he was going to take over for his dad. RJ said he wasn’t. Thus, a new business was born. TAS Marketing has sold over 500 services in over forty years. Steve had been called him the ”answering service expert” by the Business Reference Guide.

Steve first got his feet wet when he started an answering service himself. He charged $145 for an 8-5 service, Monday through Friday. No weekends. Not knowing what others were charging, they were getting a premium even in 1986. 

Besides selling equipment, the Michaels helped spearhead and start ATMS (Association of TeleMessaging Suppliers) and presented several TAS Conventions hosted by the vendors. The first keynote speaker was the noted Dr. Norman Vincent Peale who packed the convention hall with a standing ovation.

Steve and Chris moved several times from Palo Alto to Ft. Bragg, CA. They moved to Colorado for two years and ended in Montana where they live on a 100-acre ranch and offer a world-renowned getaway called “The Shire of Montana.”

Steve and Chris Michaels

Steve mentioned that he is now working with the kids of parents he sold equipment to many years ago. “If he did such a good job selling my equipment then,” said one satisfied client, “then I trust him to sell my answering service [now].”

Some TAS owners have the foresight to provide Steve’s phone number and email address to their CPA and attorney in case of an accident or sudden death, which happened to an individual in Illinois while out jogging. His estate left instruction regarding liquidating the business, alleviating that extra burden from his wife.

 Mr. Michaels was also the founder and publisher of the Connections magazine for ten years until selling it to its current owner.

Starting out as TAS Consultants, Steve attended his first trade show in New Orleans with a new briefcase (he still has it today) and a tape recorder where he interviewed all the vendors and compiled a book entitled, The TAS Equipment Analysis Report. The book gave those with switchboards an idea of how the computerized equipment worked. At the time, 87 percent of the industry used the old dependable cordboard from Ma bell. Moving to new technology was a big step for these answering services.

TAS Marketing’s vision to put buyers and sellers came together in a very fruitful way since Mr. Michaels knows most of the sellers in the industry and can make the transaction a win-win experience.

Learn more about TAS Marketing or contact the Michaels at 800-369-6126 or tas@tasmarketing.com.

Vendor Profile on Amtelco

Amtelco Cloud-Based Platform Solution

Amtelco, a family-owned business located in McFarland, Wisconsin, has been a trusted name in call center communication systems, software applications, and telephone switching technologies for forty-five years.

Amtelco and Telescan, a division of Amtelco, offer a unique breadth and depth of technology and service to meet the needs of call centers, contact centers, and enterprise environments. Processing millions of telephone calls every day, Amtelco and Telescan software applications are in operation in all fifty of the United States and more than twenty foreign countries. 

Amtelco’s guiding values are:

  • Prioritizing all members of the Amtelco family (customers and employees), providing five-star service.
  • Creating reliable products that empower others to communicate quickly and securely. 
  • Growing and improving thoughtfully, evaluating what elements meet long-term needs. 
  • Embracing members of the Amtelco family with compassion and transparency.
  • Encouraging creativity and innovation, considering and fostering innovative ideas that come from all members of the Amtelco family.

Both employees and customers are treated like family. Amtelco received a Top Workplaces honor in 2020 and 2021. Gerald Brosseau, president of Always On Call, an Amtelco customer, states, “Moving to the Amtelco system, and really the Amtelco family, has been the best decision we’ve ever made as a business. The relationships are invaluable, and you feel like you are a partner within their company.”

System Designed for Flexibility and Growth

Genesis is the latest advancement in Amtelco’s extensive line of call center solutions. This technology is entirely software-based and virtualized, with cloud-based capability. Genesis provides skills-based automatic call distribution (ACD), built-in speech recognition, text-to-speech (TTS), and voice services to improve call routing and management. Agent training happens quickly and easily using prompts, lookups, and navigation built into database-driven call scripts to automatically guide them through even the most complex calls.

Technology that Simplifies Remote Agent Deployment

Web Agent is a web browser-based telephone agent interface that makes working from home easy. This fully functioning call-handling web application can transform any personal computer into a professional telephone agent station. Web Agent is accessible through a web-browser so remote agents can work from anywhere with an internet connection. Establishing a VPN connection ensures the connection is secure. With no software to load or maintain on devices and updates completed via a web server, Web Agent is easily configurable and convenient for the remote workforce.

Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) to Increase Efficiency

Amtelco’s Service Level reports specifically monitors agents’ interaction with callers, traffic patterns, agent abandons, and system abandons. Visual warnings can indicate if agents are reaching the requirement settings configured in the parameters. Various reports are available that show calls or agent statistics that do not meet the service level criteria. This allows managers and supervisors to easily spot when an agent abandoned a call, how long it took for the agent to answer a call, and how long a call sat on an agent’s station.

View real-time call handling data with the miTeamWeb Dashboard. The miTeamWeb Dashboard provides call center staff and clients with real-time information about automated call distribution (ACD) activities, agent call handling statistics, and Intelligent Series dispatching tasks in both graphic and text formats. Sounds and visual thresholds help monitor KPIs. An emergency call alert setting can play a siren sound when an emergency client call comes into the system but is currently in queue. Calls waiting for longer than the number of seconds specified can display highlighted in yellow. 

The IS supervisor dashboard displays historical data and live data to help monitor call center analytics. This user-friendly dashboard displays various charts of call data including total calls, calls per agent, calls per station type, calls per call type, calls per client, and service level performance. Tables, bar charts, and pie charts make it easier for supervisors to spot performance issues. 

Easy and Encrypted Messaging Solution

The intuitive design of miSecureMessages ensures fast, reliable communications with end-to-end encryption for communications. All types of industries who need to ensure their communications are secure use the miSecureMessages business text messaging tool. These include call centers, healthcare, and enterprises.

Track the progress of messages, increase agent efficiency, improve security, and reduce errors, while providing audit logs, reports, and client accountability.

Some of the new features that miSecureMessages version 6.8 offers include:

  • Prevent downtime with the optional high availability feature to allow miSecureMessages configuration for multiple servers, with automated failover from one server to another when the primary server goes down.
  • Phone number masking allows phone calls placed from the miSecureMessages app to route through Genesis. This displays the organization’s phone number instead of the device’s phone number.
  • Shared device licenses allow device registration for use by multiple miSecureMessages users.
  • Convenient single sign-on authentication allows miSecureMessages administration logins and user login configuration for one of two authentication modes: 1) the miSecureMessages server keeps track of passwords and performs authentication and 2) the single sign-on identity provider keeps track of passwords and performs authentication.

Reliable Five-Star Service and Support 

Amtelco has a reputation for complete, professional system support, offering training, installation, and technical staff on call on a 24-hour basis. When customers need assistance, Amtelco’s customer support staff provides fast and reliable service.

Amtelco’s customer support staff includes implementation specialists, installers, project managers, and technical support staff. The customer support staff has an average tenure of sixteen years, which is unheard of in technology and IT businesses. All support staff members reside in the United States. 

Looking into the Future

Amtelco and Telescan work closely with their customers and continue to develop innovative features and products that empower call centers, contact centers, and enterprise environments to operate efficiently for their clients. New web and mobile solutions, miSecureMessages capabilities, and artificial intelligence (AI) features are just a few items that are in development. Watch for future updates.

Vendor Profile: Startel

Startel contact center software that delivers happiness to your customers

For forty years, Startel has been providing cutting-edge solutions to the answering service industry. Including Alston Tascom, also celebrating forty years, and Professional Teledata (PTD) at thirty-seven years, they have a combined 117-year history of serving the market. Yes, they were not around when the telephone was invented in 1876, but in the last forty years, they have seen some major changes in the industry.

When Startel was founded in 1980, the world was connected by copper wire, all controlled by AT&T and Ma Bell. Every single answering service needed to be near or within a quarter of a mile of a phone company’s central office. Today they have thousands of providers and can have agents working from anywhere in the world. With 2020 being a year that everyone will remember, they are thankful for the huge strides telephony and their software platforms have made in the last forty years.

While technology and telephony have shaped the design of their software, founder Don Berry’s vision and passion for the industry and their customers is still alive today at Startel. His desire was to create a system to connect the world and keep the needs of the customer as the beacon that guides them. Don made sure that everyone on his team was aware that gaining customers and maintaining lifelong relationships with them and meeting their needs in a timely and professional manner were the keys to the future success of Startel. 

Flagship Platform—Startel CMC

With the acquisitions of PTD’s PInnacle and the Tascom platforms in the last few years, they experienced many “Wow, I wish our platform did that” moments within their company and from their customers. As a result, they have taken those “wow” features and incorporated them into the Startel Contact Management Center (CMC). With their upcoming CMC 16.0 release, customers will be presented an entirely new way to manage actions—or as some call them, priorities. Dispatchers will be able to see a live view of all the actions in queue and how long until the next dispatch step will be completed. Many more enhancements and must-have features are packed into the 16.0 release, so stay tuned for details.

Flex Agent Interface (FAI)

They took their four-square classic agent interface and converted it to be flexible. This new design allows agents to process calls easily and quickly by allowing them to move vital information where they need it. Designed with dockable windows, FAI allows agents to take full advantage of large and multiple monitors. Join the FAI revolution and design a screen layout that gives agents what they need to see when they need to see it. 

Secure Messaging Solutions

In today’s mobile and fast-paced world, the use of secure messaging applications has become the preferred channel of communication among business and institutional professionals as well as technicians in the field. It’s quicker, more efficient, and less invasive than a phone call. Startel offers two solutions to meet their customer’s secure messaging needs. 

Accessible from the web or an application downloaded to one’s smartphone or tablet, Secure Messaging Plus (SM+) offers a secure, HIPAA-compliant way to safely exchange sensitive information via text. SM+ users can maintain HIPAA compliance with data encryption in transit and at rest. Users can also control message expiration, send attachments, track message status, forward messages, and reply to an entire group. 

The Secure Message Gateway (SMG) allows users to send and receive electronic protected healthcare information to the most popular messaging providers. They have deployed integrations with TigerConnect, Halo, and pMD, with more being added in the future. The SMG provides the opportunity to work with healthcare organizations that have a secure message platform they prefer to keep. Agents can seamlessly dispatch to these other secure messaging providers without having to access a third-party solution. 

SoftSwitch 2.0

Their second generation SoftSwitch continues to be installed and deployed across all three of their platforms. SoftSwitch has solid stability due to their years of coding and development expertise. They are developing new features and functionality to the SoftSwitch, and as their clients’ teams get comfortable with the interface, they’ll be able to handle some of the programming themselves. The SoftSwitch is a native SIP platform, enabling the integration of SIP-trunking and utilizing the latest VoIP protocols while allowing the use of analog, T-1, and PRI circuits.

SoftSwitch routes calls based on skill level, queue priority, and user-defined scenarios. It also provides real-time status of contact center activity via the Startel dashboard. SoftSwitch 2.0 boasts a new call return feature that allows callers to opt out of queue and request a callback when an agent becomes available. Upon the request, a call is generated to hold the callers place in queue. When the agent answers, the agent is asked if they will accept the callback call. If accepted, the agent is connected to an outbound call to the number left by the caller. If the agent does not accept, the call goes to the next available agent. 

Total Billing Solution 3

Total Billing Solution (TBS) has had some enhanced features added this year. The pandemic has pushed consumers and companies to look for increased options for paying bills online and collecting payments more efficiently. Last year they rolled out ThePaymentPortal.com as a hosted, online, secure e-commerce site where a company can access statements, view invoices, and pay bills at their convenience. Many TBS customers incorporate the payment portal into their billing process.

This year they rolled out USAePay autopay integration. This streamlined interface eliminates the need for clients’ staff to learn their organizations’ banks’ ACH transaction process. Most importantly, USAePay has lower card transaction processing fees than the existing interface, which puts more money in their customers’ pocket.

What’s Next?

In August they held their first virtual Startel user group event and were joined by almost 300 of their customers. They shared many new products currently in development, including a first look at their cloud-based solution, Startel365. They are excited to have a new and innovative cloud solution being released. More details will be coming in 2021.


Learn more at Startel.com.

Vendor Profile on Amtelco

Amtelco Cloud-Based Platform Solution

For forty-four years Amtelco has focused on providing call center solutions that meet or exceed customer expectations, backed by top-notch service and support. Amtelco systems and software process millions of telephone calls every day by operations in all fifty US states and more than twenty other countries. 

Amtelco president Tom Curtin states: “We truly believe that our customers and employees are extended family, and that culture is what fuels our business success. Each employee clearly sees how their work contributes to our business objectives, which ensures that all employees feel connected to one another and to our mission.” Amtelco has always been family-owned and managed through multiple generations who care for and understand their customers’ business.

This dedication is evident in the average length of service of Amtelco employees. Of the more than 130 employees, 37 percent have more than fifteen years of experience, and 17 percent have more than twenty years of experience at Amtelco. In nine of Amtelco’s eleven departments, the average length of service is eleven or more years, and three departments have an average length of service of almost twenty. Amtelco recently received a Top Workplaces 2020 honor and a special award for work/life flexibility by the Wisconsin State Journal

By working closely with customers, Amtelco continues to develop innovative features and products to provide the best communications solutions.

Effective and Versatile Application

The Genesis Intelligent Series and Genesis Spectrum is an entirely software-based solution that provides a seamless integration of social media, websites, mobile communications, reporting, voicemail, and secure messaging. 

The key to the Genesis Series is the simplified administration and management of all call center applications within the Intelligent Series Supervisor. This reduces errors, administration, new client activation time, and maintenance overhead. Users can increase revenue through reduced labor and faster client activation. 

The Genesis Intelligent Series enables deployment in a virtual machine environment. This provides simplification of server utilization and maintenance to improve reliability and reduce overhead costs. The Genesis Series is perfectly suited for cloud applications. This enables deployment of the solution in cloud environments. Cloud implementation reduces premise-based equipment and overhead and provides flexibility and reliability by capitalizing on the cloud provider infrastructure.

Productive Remote Agent Solution

Communications software and virtual operator applications, such as Amtelco’s Genesis web agent, make working from home easy. The web agent application makes any personal computer a professional telephone agent station. 

Genesis Web Agent enables agents to process multichannel calls through desktop computers, laptops, and tablets from a web browser. The application uses WebRTC to provide agent audio in a secure, multimedia environment. All agent functions are available for remote agent connections, which allows for a smooth transition. For callers, the fact that the agents are remote is transparent.

Secure and Efficient Messaging

Businesses and healthcare enterprises use miSecureMessages to keep their communications secure. They trust miSecureMessages for communications security. The secure messaging app sends encrypted text, photo, audio, and video content.

MiSecureMessages has benefits for anyone using call centers for receptionist and messaging services to save time, increase efficiency, and improve security. It offers easy and encrypted messaging that’s perfect for small, medium, and large organizations. MiSecureMessages is an integral part of a complete secure messaging system. 

Version 6.7 of miSecureMessages includes the following enhancements: 

  • Android and Apple users can select different sounds for high-priority notifications versus normal-priority alerts. This allows users to know the priority of an incoming message.
  • When miSecureMessages users turn off their notifications, they have the option to enter their own away message or choose a preprogrammed message. The away message sends automatically to contacts who send them a message and appears on the contacts screen to other users in the same group. Away messages can be set in advance for a specific start and end date and time.
  • Messages can be sent with three different reply modes: allow replies to all recipients in the thread, only allow replies to the sender, or not allow any replies.
  • MiSecureMessages users can create their own personal quick phrases for use in composing and replying to messages. Each user’s personal quick phrases display in that user’s quick phrases menu, along with the group and system level quick phrases, if enabled.

Enhancing Quality Assurance and Productivity

The Genesis IS agent assessment feature is a customizable survey and scoring tool for assessing agent performance on individual calls. Supervisors can easily create new assessments, add, edit, and remove questions, customize the weight of questions, specify which assessments apply for which clients, and set a default assessment if a client doesn’t have one assigned. 

Data about recent assessment scores include the name of the agent assessed, who evaluated the agent, the client name and number, the score the agent received, the date of the call, and the call length. 

The call tracker analytics feature of the IS Supervisor dashboard displays charts of call event data. Displayed data includes total calls, calls per agent, calls per station type, calls per call type, calls per client, and service-level performance. The data can automatically refresh at configurable time intervals. 

The service-level charting widget provides a visual representation of activities related to specific target goals. Data grouping can cover the year, month, week, day, hour, or quarter hour. A variety of displayable data includes the average answer time, service-level answer time, agent and system abandons, total calls, calls per agent, and calls per call type. Users can configure target levels for the service level answer time, agent abandons, and system abandons, with the option to display the target levels. 

For more information, visit www.amtelco.com.

Vendor Profile: Szeto Technologies

Szeto Technologies is a manufacturer specializing in equipment for telephone switching, voice, and data communications. For over thirty-three years, it has been providing technical solutions for the TAS industry to automate and enhance call center service offerings.

As telephony, computer, and internet technologies evolve, Szeto relentlessly experiments and develops new features and functions for its products. These capabilities help Szeto users streamline operations and diversify revenue streams. Sometimes this results in custom fits to a user’s specific requirements. Other times they produce separate modules that create new service offerings. This means that Szeto offers turnkey solutions to its customers.

The technology behind telephone answering services has changed in the past thirty years. While answering calls, taking messages, and delivering messages continues to be the basic services offered, the nature of how this service is handled has changed considerably. 

The engineering team at Szeto Technologies is committed to keeping their clients steps ahead in this ever-changing industry. Szeto firmly believes that every piece of equipment its customers use should be oriented to their unique business needs. All Szeto products are customizable and flexible. They have a simple-to-use, smart-in-function, and cost-effective design.

Their customers can best describe what Szeto means to them. Here are three examples:

Select Call

It’s no secret that top call centers have strong connections between the technology they implement and the training they provide their staff, which is why this profile looks at the award-winning combination of Alberta’s Select Call Centres and Szeto Technologies.

Select Call has utilized Szeto Technologies hardware and software for over two decades to run its operations. Throughout that time, it has grown from a single office located out of Grande Prairie to represent five award-winning offices throughout the province with remote employees located all around Canada.

“It does everything we need, and it does it well,” says Vicky Dawson, operations manager at Select Call Centres. “It’s so easy working with the Szeto team to implement new features and enhancements we request. It’s so easy to train operators to use Call Linx. We can train operators to be fully up-to-task within two weeks of starting training. That’s pretty much unheard of in the industry.” 

As a testament to their success, Select Call Centres across Alberta Canada took home the following awards at CAM-X 2019:

  • Award of Distinction (eight years running)
  • Award of Excellence – Edmonton location (twenty-one years running) with a top ten score
  • Award of Excellence – Red Deer location (sixteen years running) with a top score 
  • Award of Excellence – Calgary location (sixteen years running) with a top ten score
  • Award of Excellence – Grande Prairie location (nineteen years running) with a top ten score
  • Award of Excellence – Brooks location (four years running) with a top ten score

“This success is thanks in part to Szeto Technologies,” say Garrett Bidewell, CEO of Select Call Center


MSTAS LTD, dba Stat Medical and Awake Communications, provides business hours, after-hours, and 24/7 emergency dispatch to the medical and healthcare industry. The healthcare industry requires specific and individualized service and most importantly, the service must be efficient and reliable. MSTAS also provides virtual office business services and virtual secretaries to small, medium, and commercial businesses in many industries including transportation and logistics, law, construction, and insurance.

“We have been using Szeto Technologies equipment since 2002. Our business needs and services have evolved since then, and Szeto has provided us with all our answering system changes,” says David Kube, CEO of MSTAS Ltd. 

“In March of this year, with very little warning, our New York office, along with many other tenants of the building, were forced to move. The building owners needed the space to accommodate a large corporation. The phone company could not transfer our services to the new location with such little notice. We found ourselves in a business bind. We could not provide services to our clients without phone lines. 

“The Szeto team quickly intervened to provide a solution. They had our calls temporarily rerouted through our Virginia office and in turn redirected to our new office in New York for our local operators until the phone company was able to install our new lines. The transition to our new office was seamless. Our services weren’t interrupted, and we continued to provide our clients with all their business needs, including fax, email, SMS, and secured messages. 

“The Szeto team has always provided us with reliable and powerful equipment that meets our unique needs. MSTAS continues to depend on Szeto’s skills for consultation and execution of work.” 

Maximum Communications

Maximum Communications is a small business call center that fits their clients’ needs by providing 24/7 live customer service to help them support and grow their businesses. 

“A few weeks ago, our SMS cellular carrier T-Mobile was down, and it was estimated it would be out of service for eight to ten hours. We were devastated at the fact that our customers would have no text messages for over eight hours. 

“We called Szeto for suggestions and help. They immediately routed our SMS mobile transmissions transparently to one of their other systems in Pennsylvania. Our service was uninterrupted, and our clients were unaware that there was even a problem. This could have been a complicated issue had Szeto not stepped in to rectify,” says Kristine Pierce, manager of operations, Maximum Communications.

Szeto Technologies provides an ever-evolving platform developed by passionate people for TAS experts big and small. What more could you ask?

Want to see how Szeto can help your company? Call them at 877-697-9386 or email info@szeto.ca.

Vendor Profile – Startel

Startel contact center software that delivers happiness to your customers

The Unification: Startel, Professional Teledata, and Alston Tascom

It was only two years ago when three companies with long, rich histories in the evolution of software for telephone answering services were united. Startel and Alston Tascom’s resumes go back to 1980, while Professional Teledata started in 1983.

Since the merger in September 2017, Startel, Professional Teledata (PTD), and Alston Tascom (Tascom) have expanded their product offerings and expertise. Here’s a look at some of their latest innovations.

Secure Messaging Gateway Powered by Startel

As messaging technology has grown and evolved, healthcare organizations have been presented with many secure messaging applications from a wide variety of providers. In some cases, a single organization may have multiple platforms used in various departments and locations.

The secure messaging gateway, powered by Startel, allows users to send and receive electronic protected healthcare information, or ePHI, to the most popular messaging providers—OnPage, TigerConnect, DocbookMD, Twistle, Mediprocity, DocHalo, pMD, HipLink, Telnyx, Imprivata, TelmedIQfrom one HIPAA-compliant application.

Secure Messaging Plus 

In today’s mobile and fast-paced world, the use of secure messaging applications has become the preferred channel of communication among business and institutional professionals as well as technicians in the field. It’s quicker, more efficient, and less invasive than a phone call. Because of that, Startel offers Secure Messaging Plus.

Accessible from the web or an application downloaded to one’s smartphone or tablet, Secure Messaging Plus (SM+) offers a secure, HIPAA-compliant way to safely exchange sensitive information via text. Users experience all the benefits of texting, but in a secure manner and environment. With Secure Messaging Plus, users can:

  • Maintain compliance: Stay HIPAA, GLBA, and SOX-compliant with messages and attachments that are encrypted in transit and at rest on devices using SM+ as well as on the servers which house the content prior to expiration. Startel also undergoes an extensive annual HIPAA audit to ensure it has met or exceeded compliance standards.
  • Control message expiration: Set messages to expire at a predetermined time or when marked as read or filed. Messages that do not have a defined expiration will expire within the originating subscriber’s default number of days, not to exceed thirty. This feature offers users an additional layer of security.
  • Send attachments: Securely send and receive attachments such as voice recordings, audio, and image attachments for better collaboration with colleagues. This is a key feature for physicians and staff to consult on patient files.
  • Track message status: Subscribers can know when a message from their device has been sent, viewed, read, and filed. Using SM+ in conjunction with the Startel CMC, messages and their content are fully tracked, archived, and encrypted. Administrative personnel can generate real-time reports based on several criteria, including duration of time and subscriber use.
  • Forwarding of messages: Prior to sending a message, users can indicate which messages can be forwarded. Administrators can also enable certain accounts to not allow message forwarding.
  • Group response and messaging. When replying to a group message, users can choose to reply directly, either only to the sender or to the entire group.

Flex Agent Interface 

Startel took their agent interface to the next level with Flex AI (FAI). This new design allows agents to process calls easily and quickly by allowing them to move vital information where they need it. Designed with dockable windows, FAI allows agents to take full advantage of large and multiple monitors. 

Startel recognizes the continued need for simplicity and efficiency within their community. Classic AI will still be available in future CMC versions to support the needs of those call centers who choose not to transition to FAI.

SS 2.0 Deployment

The Startel softswitch routes calls based on skill level, queue priority, and user-defined scenarios. In addition, it also provides real-time status of contact center activity via the Startel dashboard. The softswitch resides on a Linux server and uses software to route calls, eliminating the hardware needed in legacy switches and creating a more reliable platform with fewer points of failure. The softswitch includes Startel’s embedded voicemail and voice logger solutions, eliminating the need for separate servers and expensive cards for integration.

In Startel Softswitch 2.0, a new call return feature allows callers to opt out of a queue and request a callback when an agent is available. Upon the request, a call is generated to wait in queue. When the agent answers, the agent is asked if they will accept the callback call. If accepted, the agent is connected to an outdial attempt to the number left by the caller. If the agent does not accept, the call goes to another agent.

The Startel softswitch is more reliable, because it uses servers with redundant drives and power supplies, and there are fewer points of failure. A second softswitch server provides redundancy and disaster recovery for the switch, voicemail, and voice logger, and it can even deploy at a second location, giving additional options to enhance business continuity.

The dashboard gives an organization a real-time view of traffic and SLAs via a PC on the network, a remote PC, a smartphone, a tablet or even a large flat-screen TV mounted in the contact center.

Organizations now capture more accounts by offering services that their competition cannot. The Startel softswitch uses open architecture software protocols, which enables companies to develop integrations into third-party software.

Secure web access to voicemail, voice logger, and system dial plan provides easy access for programming and enables remote diagnostics, soft fixes, and software uploads.

The Startel softswitch is a native SIP platform, enabling the integration of SIP-trunking and utilizing the latest VoIP protocols while also allowing the use of analog, T-1, and PRI circuits as well.

TBS Payment Portal

ThePaymentPortal.com is a hosted, online, secure e-commerce site where a company’s accounts can access statements, view invoices, and pay bills at their convenience. It is an optional feature for Professional Teledata’s accounts receivable billing system, Total Billing Solution 3 (TBS3). The system requirements to run ThePaymentPortal.com are:

• Total Billing Solution version 3.1

• Advantage Database Server version 11.1

• An updated TBS3 license, one for each database

• A USAePay account for each TBS3 database to collect payments online

The Customer Spot 

The Customer Spot (TCS) is the self-service customer portal where Startel, Professional Teledata, and Alston Tascom users can create new cases, track existing cases, access the knowledge base for relevant company and product resources, and stay up to date with company news and announcements

Custom Branded Resource 

Need some marketing materials to help grow your brand? Startel has created a variety of marketing materials that they will brand for customers to grow their contact center, call center, or telephone answering service. This is possible because Startel knows they are not just a vendor to their customers—they are a valued partner. Startel recognizes that their customer’s success is tantamount to their own success.


What’s Next? 

Stay tuned for Project Nova and more exciting innovations from Startel.

OnviSource Vendor Profile

Evolution Timeline of OnviSource

Over the last ten years of conducting business, and after integrating three acquired companies, OnviSource has demonstrated a series of progressive product strategies and an evolving market position. Its journey started with the offering of workforce optimization (WFO) solutions, including call recording, quality assurance, screen capture, and teleservice/answering service CRM. 

With the introduction of speech and desktop analytics products, OnviSource later extended its market solutions to include customer experience management (CXM). In 2017, OnviSource further expanded its business strategy and product solutions to offer intelligent automation (IA) solutions to all major functions of any enterprise, including WFO, CXM, business process management (BPM), and enterprise content management (ECM).

Thus, the company’s digital transformation vision now extends to “intelligent automation everywhere.”

OnviSource’s IA solutions, called ia.Enterprise™, are powered by three essential innovations in artificial intelligence (AI), analytics, and robotic process automation (RPA). Using the company’s own AI engine and RPA, ia.Enterprise enables custom workflow solutions via a no-code platform with advanced, automated, and multichannel analytics. 

In order to broaden the use of ia.Enterprise solutions by plug-and-play users, customers who desire to create their own custom workflow solutions, or systems integrators, OnviSource delivers ia.Enterprise as packaged solutions (plug-and-play), custom workflow solutions (via a no-code service platform), or open API solutions (using a service platform for integration with third-party products).

Finally, all ia.Enterprise solutions are available as on-premise software, SaaS or cloud services, managed services, or any combination of these.

Essentials of Intelligent Automation (IA)

There are three major advanced technologies essential to delivering IA solutions. OnviSource empowers ia.Enterprise with all three technologies developed and owned by OnviSource. 

1. Artificial Intelligence: OnviSource’s AI technology, called iMachine™, offers machine learning and deep learning. OnviSource has used recurrent (or recursive) neural network algorithms, optimized by short-long-term memory, to form a computational, nonlinear model based on the neural structure of the brain that is able to learn to perform tasks such as classification, intent analysis, discoveries, prediction, and decision making just by considering examples and training data. As a result, iMachine powers ia.Enterprise solutions such as advanced analytics, intelligent virtual agent, and RPA.

2. Automated Multichannel Analytics: OnviSource’s advanced and multichannel analytics, called Intellecta™, utilizes iMachine to significantly increase its analytics power. It offers multichannel analysis by providing analytics for speech (audio), email, chat, desktop, and structured or unstructured documents. It also includes a decision-making engine to launch user-defined actions based on the results of its analysis, automating a variety of processes.

3. Robotic Process Automation: OnviSource’s process automation, called Automata™, delivers automation in desktop transactions, workflow automation, business process management, and real-time call routing. Intellecta and iMachine intelligently performs Automata’s process automation. 

OnviSource ia.Enterprise Solutions

Ia.Enterprise offers a broad range of solutions in WFO, CXM, BPM, and ECM. All ia.Enterprise solutions are offered as on-premise or cloud services.

OnviCom™ Teleservice Customer Engagement Management: OnviCom delivers an all-inclusive, next-generation, software-based, affordable teleservice solution. It provides a fully featured IP-PBX and business telephony system, interfacing with networks via PRI, T-1, VoIP, or SIP-trunking.

Its CRM offers teleservice applications such as answering service, dispatch, help desk, and multimedia messaging (email, fax, and SMS), as well as HIPAA-compliant secure messaging. It also offers call recording, screen capture, and agent quality assurance (QA). OnviCom fully integrates with OnviSource’s Intellecta analytics and Inspecta survey, notification, and response management. 

OnviForce™ WFO: OnviSource’s WFO suite of solutions offer multimedia capture, recording, and monitoring of calls and desktop screens. Users can record and monitor 100 percent of their calls, create custom reports, and automatically distribute recordings and information. They can also manage media files and recorded calls, remain PCI-compliant, and integrate with telecom products and telephony platforms. A final feature is QA evaluations. 

Intellecta Automated Multichannel Analytics: Intellecta can analyze multiple channels of speech (audio), email, chat, desktop, and structured or unstructured documents. It provides:

  • Multichannel, analytics-driven, and automated QA for 100 percent of calls, audio, chat, emails, and surveys
  • Compliance management
  • First-call resolution improvement
  • Big data management through transcription and topical categorization
  • Multichannel analytics and business intelligence delivering subject discovery, topical categorization, trend analysis, sentiment analytics and voice of customer, name entity recognition, and discovery of most-mentioned topics.
  • Automatic decision making and the launch of user-defined actions

Intellecta can interface with call recording systems from OnviSource or other vendors.

Inspecta™ Feedback, Survey, Notification, and Response Management: Inspecta provides enterprise feedback, customer surveys, notifications, and response management, including:

  • Enterprise feedback management for customers and employees
  • Automated notifications and response management
  • Deliver surveys and notifications through inbound, outbound, or blended channels, and as audio through IVR or web-based via SMS
  • Integrates with third-party products such as PBX, CRM, ERP
  • Notification and response management features include multi-brand and customized notification templates, scheduled and automated notifications, emergency override of notifications, analysis of responses, and the launch of user-defined actions

Liaa™ Intelligent Virtual Agent: Liaa uses iMachine and is an AI-driven, automated chatbot. It allows a significant reduction in payroll expenses, faster response and resolution times, and a reduction in employee stress and burnout. It is a self-learning system with unlimited and rapid access to knowledge, predictive and proactive support, and interaction via text or voice. Liaa increases the productivity of customer service teams.

When combined with Inspecta and Intellecta, Liaa provides a major differentiator due to its intrinsic AI model. An important aspect of an AI engine is its ability to learn through examples. Like the human brain, the more relevant examples provided to an AI engine and its learning machine, the better. This delivers a more intelligent performance.

Automata™ Process Automation: Automata provides automation in three major areas: real-time call routing, transaction and workflow automation, and RPA.

1. Automata Real-Time Call Routing: Automata adaptive, intelligent, real-time routing optimizes service routing by first capturing critical data from all entities engaged in the service routing. This includes network routing elements, ACDs, IVRs, PBXs, and service center capacity, skill sets, or capabilities. It analyzes these key performance indicators in real time using analytics and decision-making engines. This provides actionable knowledge on how and where to route the customer service request. Finally, it automatically routes the customer service request to the most optimized supplier of the service.

2. Automata Transaction and Workflow Automation: Automata DTA provides intelligent process automation for a variety of desktop transactions, including:

  • First-call resolution improvement
  • Regulatory compliance (PCI-DSS and sensitive data management)
  • Agent/employee work compliance
  • Transaction and workflow QA automation
  • Real-time critical event detection and notification
  • Automated coaching and next-best action
  • Sales and customer service improvement

3. Automata RPA: Automata RPA enables users to create their own custom solution workflows by offering a no-code platform called Orchestra™. Orchestra features a drag-and-drop interface that allows users to create their own custom workflows of applications. Using a broad range of services contained in ia.Enterprise service libraries, they can capture media and data from a variety of sources, unify, organize, and manage the big data, make data compliant to the business rules, analyze the data, make decisions, and launch actions.

Advantage Plus Program

OnviSource understands the complexity and challenge customers face when applying analytics and automation to their operation and generating a true return on investment (ROI) while meeting all aspects of their needs. To this point, OnviSource offers Advantage Plus, a customer-centric program consisting of free consultation, free proof-of-concept, flexible delivery model of solutions as on-premise software or cloud services, and free thirty-days operation assistance.

OnviSource Equipment Owners Association 

OnviSource is a proud sponsor of the OnviSource Equipment Owners (OEO) association user group. OEO members use OnviSource products and seek to strengthen their investment in OnviSource’s solutions in a true member-vendor partnership. This relationship continues to increase the company’s ability to serve its customers with their technology needs. OEO also sponsors training webinars and an annual association event.

Vendor Profile: Amtelco

Amtelco Cloud-Based Platform Solution

Amtelco’s mission statement reads: “Working together to provide the very best communication product solutions, backed by the best support available. Listening closely to the needs of our customers provides the inspiration for Amtelco’s innovative solutions.”

Amtelco’s success can be attributed to several things. For more than forty-three years, Amtelco has been “on call,” developing reliable systems and applications backed by the company’s dedication to customer support. Amtelco has always been family-owned and managed through multiple generations who care for and understand their customers’ business.

This dedication is evident in the average length of service of Amtelco employees. Thirty-seven percent of the company’s 130 employees have been with Amtelco for more than fifteen years, and 17 percent have been with the company more than twenty years. In nine of Amtelco’s eleven departments, the average length of service is eleven or more years, and three departments have an average length of service of almost twenty years.

What’s New at Amtelco

Genesis IS Web Agent

The Genesis IS web agent application is a scalable client app that makes any personal computer a professional telephone agent station. The web agent can integrate with both hardwired legacy systems and Session Initiation Protocol (SIP)-based Voice Over IP (VoIP) networks. The web agent is an integral component of the Intelligent Series (IS) call center system.

The web agent application is a fully functioning call handling application that performs directory searches, answer and transfer of calls, scripted messaging, dispatching, and on-call handling, all with the portability of being accessible from a web browser.

Preparing for Genesis

In response to the growing need for call centers to quickly have access to the newest Amtelco software features, Amtelco offers contracted 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.

To simplify the transition to Genesis soft switching, the Intelligent Series (IS) Transformer is a set of tools that transform information from external sources to the IS database and from the IS database to external destinations.

The IS Transformer Directory/Data tools create Intelligent Series directories using exported data from Infinity and other call center platforms. They also can be used to import data into IS scheduling applications.

Genesis IS Social Media

The Genesis IS social media monitor translates popular social media posts, messages, and notifications into IS dispatch jobs for agents to manage on behalf of clients.

The social media monitor polls the client’s social media accounts for incoming activity on the client accounts and then presents the resulting notifications to the IS server MergeComm web API triggers.

Genesis IS Predictive Intelligence

Predictive intelligence saves time by forecasting who is calling and why they are calling. On incoming calls, predictive intelligence checks its specialized database and uses the ANI to identify previous callers. When predictive intelligence finds a previous caller, it displays the caller’s information to the operator along with a drop-down list that shows the reasons this caller has called before, in order of frequency. Operators simply select the reason for the call from the list, thus saving time and helping to ensure error-free information.


Businesses and healthcare enterprises who need to keep their communications secure use miSecureMessages. All kinds of businesses trust miSecureMessages for communication security. The secure messaging app sends encrypted text, photo, audio, and video content.

The miSecureMessages app has benefits for anyone using call centers for receptionist and messaging services to save time, increase efficiency, and improve security. It offers easy and encrypted messaging that’s perfect for small, medium, and large organizations. MiSecureMessages is an integral part of a complete secure messaging system from Amtelco. This streamlines communications by choosing the integrations that meet the specific needs of each call center team.

Version 4.2.0 features enhanced functionality with the Apple Watch. Apple Watch Series 3 and Series 4 users with Watch OS 5 or later can now read and reply to secure messages from their Apple Watch. Apple Watch now has an added menu that displays which accounts contain new messages.

Amtelco president Tom Curtin stated: “We are very excited to release this highly anticipated app update and would like to thank our customers who enthusiastically volunteered their time to test the update to ensure it would meet the needs of all of our customers. This new version will greatly improve business and healthcare communications for our customers.”

Customers using miSecureMessages may either manually or automatically update the app from their iPhone’s app store. New documentation is available on Amtelco’s TechHelper website for additional support.

The miSecureMessages Apple app provides secure messaging and paging services for iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch. The miSecureMessages Apple app receives notification of secure messages sent from the miSecureMessages web service via the Apple Push Notification Service. Users can view, respond to, and initiate messages to other miSecureMessages users within an organization.

Amtelco’s five-star service includes the online TechHelper and resource library. By building one of the largest research and development and field engineering departments in the industry, Amtelco provides its customers with greater expertise and guidance on planning and building the latest technology into their call centers.