Despite a rough year for the economy, and across many business sectors, there are some companies that pulled themselves above the fray and recorded solid growth despite the turbulent times.
As another year comes to an end it is once again time to take stock in the things we have accomplished and the things we anticipate for the year to come.
I recently had the opportunity to ask Richard Marcia, marketing director of Coordinated Systems, Inc., about the Call Center space, the past year and what is to come.
The Connecticut-based Coordinated Systems, Inc. offers a range of products and solutions that are built around the philosophy of being "simple, effective and affordable.” The company’s core business provides quality assurance technology and workforce optimization for call centers. This solution includes call recording software, an evaluation component, server hardware, and professional installation and trainings services. Above all, our support is world class.
Looking back at 2008, how would you characterize the year for your company?
We had a very solid year in closed business, Web visibility and lead generation, partner channel growth, and the continued evolution of our software solution. We've added support for multiple new phone systems including ShoreTel (News
), several key technology partnerships which expand our number of available integrations and we have several other exciting, strategic technological alliances in the works.
What were the key trends that impacted your business?
More and more of our customers and potential customer require 100 percent call loggers with enhanced security. We had to make sure our customers' compliance needs are met, and hands down, we introduced the most secure features possible, including 256-bit encryption, credit card number removal -- granular security control on every level. Avaya's (News
) CMAPI/DMCC recording methodology represented a whole new method of recording. Cisco, ShoreTel, etc. also provide direct integrations with their phone systems, allowing for recording without boards. Of course, we still did an awful lot of traditional call recording in 2008.
What was your company’s biggest achievement in the past year?
There were many great achievements, including some successful implementations which had extremely aggressive timeframes which we had to meet, and did. One new customer was installed, trained and recording in two business days. That's not an uncommon scenario with our professional services team.
What are your customers looking for in the coming year?
Customers are looking for even greater value from their investment -- and that's why we keep introducing new features which are part of the base bundled solution. Partners are looking for feature-rich call recording solutions they can bundle without pricing themselves out of the phone system sale they are trying to close. Even more so, partners want to know their customers are taken care of. My sales and implementation teams make sure to make each project a glowing success.
What can we expect to see from your company in the next 12 months?
Look for some pretty aggressive feature enhancements. I know our engineers are readying the release of a revolutionary speech analytics/PCI compliance feature. One I can definitely tease you with is an amazing "Dashboards" feature which gives supervisors and management real-time performance snapshots.
Do you think a new administration in Washington, D.C. will be good for the communications industry? If so, how? If not, why not?
Without getting overly political, I think the communications industry will embrace change -- anytime there is increased competition, it's a good thing.
In your view, please describe the future of the Call Center space?
We're seeing it today, but even more of tomorrow's call centers will take advantage of a distributed architecture where agents in multiple locations are both of human and artificial intelligence. They can all be evaluated, and even customer self-support can be measured. The entire customer experience will be recorded, performance will be measured, and with increasing real-time improvements. My opinion.
If you had to make one bold prediction for 2009, what would it be?
The Patriots may have been almost perfect last year, but this year they are hungrier, and may surprise people with a deep playoff run.
Tim Gray is a Web Editor for TMCnet, covering news in the IP communications, call center and customer relationship management industries. To read more of Tim�s articles, please visit his columnist page.
Edited by Tim Gray