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Convergys, Microsoft Partner on New Smart Communications Suite

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February 12, 2010

Convergys, Microsoft Partner on New Smart Communications Suite

By Brendan B. Read, Senior Contributing Editor

Convergys (News - Alert) is partnering with Microsoft to create the Convergys Smart Communications Suite powered by Microsoft. Currently under development, the solution will reportedly be the first pre-integrated and pre-configured billing and customer care platform. A release date for the new product has not yet been set.

Aimed at communications providers and utility firms, the Smart Communications Suite will enable them to rapidly deploy and launch new and business and consumer services, says Convergys. By combining Microsoft (News - Alert) Dynamics CRM and Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2 with the modular business support system capabilities of Convergys, the solution “supports a shared vision of enabling service providers to rapidly deliver a wide range of new and differentiated services.”
The Convergys Smart Communications Suite is scalable and interoperable with existing systems and third party applications, as well as with varying deployment models. It has open and well-defined architecture that Convergys says will help companies achieve faster-time-to-market for new services with reduced implementation time and automated workflows for most common business processes. Additionally, the suite has low cost licensing options and maintenance costs associated with it that can rapidly reduce cost-to-market for new services.
The integration of Microsoft Dynamics CRM into the Convergys Smart BSS Solutions portfolio will bring the well-known and easy-to-use customer care tools based on Microsoft Office, Outlook, and SharePoint across all service providers’ customer care channels. Contact center agents will benefit from a simplified user interface, helping ensure that they can move customers quickly and intuitively between sales channels and promotions, to deliver the best possible customer service and reduce call-handling times. There will be a single catalog that enables easy bundling of new products will help agents with more targeted cross/up-selling opportunities that have a positive impact on the service provider’s revenue, profitability, and churn.
The power underlying Smart Communications Suite is illustrated in performance results gathered in July 2009 and reported by Microsoft that showed Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0 scale to more than 50,000 concurrent users and more than 2.9 million daily transactions. These were obtained from hardware that cost less than $35,000 or $0.70 per user, reducing hardware costs by nearly 80 percent. By comparison, says Microsoft, an October 2008 performance test for Oracle (News - Alert) Siebel Release 8.0 (1) scaled to 14,000 users and 1.6 million daily transactions leveraging Sun hardware that cost more than $150,000.
With the inclusion of SQL Server 2008 R2 in the solution, Convergys can offer customers and prospects the best commercial database from a performance and pricing perspective. Delivering excellence in data compression, partitioning, availability, and encryption at no extra cost, SQL Server will enable communications providers to centralize and manage critical customer information.
“Microsoft’s value added services and strong internet delivery platform combined with Convergys' communications-focused billing and customer care provides a unique solution for new entrant and established communications service providers to introduce new services and rapidly gain new revenue,” said Larry Goldman, head of Subscription Research at Analysys (News - Alert) Mason.
“We are delighted to be working closely with one of the top vendors in the communications industry to offer a truly flexible billing and CRM platform,” said Austen Mulinder, corporate vice president, Communications Sector, Microsoft. “Our relationship signals greater choice for service providers looking for a more agile, cost-efficient platform that can support the delivery of the next wave of differentiated services.”
“As leading companies in our fields, Microsoft and Convergys have come together to help our customers grow faster and provide a better customer service experience and alleviate communications industry pain points,” said Bob Lento, president, Information Management, Convergys. “Working together, we are providing new capabilities to service providers to launch new services faster, provide superior customer service experiences, and create new or enhance business growth plans at a total cost of ownership that simply can’t be matched.”
“The result is a solution that ushers in a new era of affordable innovation and customer-centricity,” Lento added.

Brendan B. Read is TMCnet’s Senior Contributing Editor. To read more of Brendan’s articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Kelly McGuire

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