VOLUME 11, NUMBER 4
VOLUME 11, NUMBER 4
HOW CAN I GET
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Startel National AMDEV Communications Corp. 717 Kathryn Street • Nixa, MO 65714
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Connections Magazine • www.connectionsmagazine.com MAY 2003 • 3
By Peter DeHaan
On-call scheduling software can help
telemessaging call centers better manage
their clients’ on-call schedules. When
this software is extended to the Internet,
it can even become the clients’ own
From the Publisher .........................7
“How Can I Get More Sales?”
Vendor News ................................27
Press Releases ..............................29
Advertiser Listing ........................43
4 • MAY 2003 www.connectionsmagazine.com • Connections Magazine
Contact Management Software ............10 Prison Call Centers May
By John Ratliff Re-Launch in Canada............................34
A contact management program is a tool By Nicole Davis
for gathering, tracking, analyzing, and The idea of incarcerated criminals working
distributing client and prospect data. It in call centers is shocking to many people,
can be one of the most valuable assets your yet there can be societal benefits. Before you
company will ever have. When used effec- reject this notion, read this insightful report.
tively, contact management software pro-
vides a record of the past, a picture of the Amendments to the
present, and a schedule for the future. Telemarketing Sales Rule ......................38
By Mike Wilson J.D.
Contact Management If you make outbound telemarketing
Software Vendors ...................................12 calls, be sure you are up-to-date on the
latest requirements, including do-not-call
How HIPAA Affects You:.......................19 lists and rules about using predictive
By James M. Ballard dialers. Ignorance is not an excuse for
Call centers that handle protected health non-compliance; fines can be expensive!
19 information must take reasonable steps to
avoid the accidental disclosure of such data.
This is required to meet the government
security and privacy mandates of the Health
Insurance Portability and Accountability
CEO Convention Coverage...................41
By Steve Michaels
Act (HIPAA). Here is what can happen when your
employees haven’t signed
Axon User Group Meeting Report .......22 a non-compete
Vendor Profile: CadCom .......................24
How to Manage More Creatively .........31
By Stephen Manallack
If you say, “I just can’t be creative,”
read these tips to help you manage more
effectively and with greater flare.
PIN Convention Coverage.....................32
On the Web
Read these new white papers just added to our Web site at
• Amtelco Infinity On-Call Scheduler, presented by Amtelco
• Dangerous Interpretations: Improper Survey Methods
presented by Dr. Jodie Monger, Customer Relationship Metrics.
• Sample Business Associate Agreement (BAA) for HIPAA,
presented by Chris Bell, MedCom Professional Services.
Connections Magazine • www.connectionsmagazine.com MAY 2003 • 5
f you are considering selling your business,
PROMPT… I we would welcome the opportunity to discuss
your needs and the direct purchase of your
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IF YOU ARE If you’re ready to explore
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including fixtures and equipment or account
TAS OR VOICE
MAIL BUSINESS John Sophocles
Toll Free: 1-888-558-2726
BUYING E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Connections from the
Volume 11, Issue 4
Display/Classified Advertising ...............Valerie Port How Can I Get
E-Mail..............email@example.com More Sales?
Fax .....................................................866-668-6698 Peter DeHaan, Ph.D.
lmost every day, someone asks me, “How can I get more sales?” In fact,
48955 West Hickory Lane • Mattawan, MI 49071
A for my clients and prospects, increasing sales is usually a primary concern.
Rarely does anyone tell me that their company is making all the sales they want.
I wish they would ask me easier questions, like “How can I improve quality,”
Upcoming Insertion Deadlines: “How can I increase revenue,” or “How can I reduce turnover?” All of these I
Issue Deadline Featuring
have successfully dealt with, but the sales issue is a bit trickier. It seems that
Jun May 2, 2003 Outsourcing
Jul/Aug Jun 6, 2003 Hosted solutions people are looking for a quick fix, a simple strategy. It’s as if they are
Sep Aug 1, 2003 Headsets expecting me to say, “Invest X dollars in Y process to produce Z sales.”
Oct Sep 5, 2003 Internet But alas, there is no magic secret. If there were – and I knew it – I would start a
Nov Oct 3, 2003 UPS sales and marketing business. My clients would merely tell me their sales goals for the
Dec Nov 7, 2003 Buyer’s Guide
Jan/Feb 04 Dec 5, 2003 Message Taking Systems
month and I would fill their order. But it is not that simple. Consider the following list:
• Direct mail • Referrals
To be the principal clearing house of relevant and • Outbound telemarketing • Yellow page ads
practical information for the teleservices industry. • Direct mail followed by a phone call • Print media
Distribution: • Cold calls • Web sites
Connections Magazine is distributed monthly (with • Trade shows • Internet advertising
combined Jan/Feb and Jul/Aug issues) to the teleservices • Networking
industry including: telemessaging and outsource call
centers, executive suites, hospital call centers, alarm These tactics have a proven record of producing sales in the teleservices
monitoring companies, voice mail service providers, industry. Unfortunately, these same methods have been repeatedly demonstrated
and industry professionals who actively buy and sell to be total failures. Campaigns that have consistently generated high sales numbers
products and provide service to this industry. The
distribution list is continuously monitored and updated for one organization have proven to be colossal flops in others. Therefore, it is
via the Connections Web site, industry sources, reader not the strategy that is important, but what surrounds that strategy. Here then, is
requests, and the change of address service from the the ultimate – yet elusive – formula for sales success:
U.S. Postal Service. Any suggested additions to the
circulation database are welcome.
Personnel + attitude + execution + management = sales success
Connections Magazine is sent free in the United States
to individuals and companies in the teleservices industry. Personnel: This is the critical element in the formula. Without the right
Canadian subscriptions are $25 (USD) and International people in place, nothing else matters. This starts with finding the right person
is $35 (USD). Subscriptions can be processed on-line:
www.ConnectionsMagazine.com and click on for the job. Over the years, I have hired many sales people. Some worked out,
“Subscribe.” but many didn’t. (My main problem was that I was reluctant to pay enough to
Notice to Advertisers and Readers: attract the best people.)
All advertising is subject to publisher approval; the What is true for all candidates is even more valid for sales applicants: you see them
publisher reserves the right not to accept any advertisement. at their very best during the interview. In fact, even mediocre salespeople know that they
The publisher makes no claims as to the legality or
condition of any goods or services advertised in must give their best sales performance during the interview. If they can’t convincingly
Connections Magazine. Neither the advertisers nor the sell themselves to you, how can they possibly sell your service to someone else? To cut
publisher will be responsible or liable for misprints, through all of this, I have a few key questions I like to ask sales candidates:
misinformation, or typographical errors within this
publication. This is the sole responsibility of the How much did you make at your last job? If they made six figures, but can
advertiser who agrees to indemnify the publisher of only expect half that at your firm, they are unlikely to work out. They will be
Connections Magazine for any and all claims, actions unhappy, develop a negative attitude, and leave as soon as a better paying job
an expenses arising therefrom. Opinions expressed in
this publication are those of the authors and not comes along. Conversely, if they barely cracked the poverty level at their last
necessarily those of the Connections staff. (Continued on page 8)
Connections Magazine • www.connectionsmagazine.com MAY 2003 • 7
(Continued from page 7) Tuesday and Thursday in the mid-afternoon. It should surprise
job, they may be out of their league to produce at the level you no one that he sold nothing and his time with the company was a
expect. Ideally, their prior compensation should be 5 to 25% less record in brevity.
then what you expect them to make with you. Another self-defeating attitude is negativity. Consider, for
How much would you like to make at this job? The example, the salesperson who says, “Direct mail? That won’t
response to this is most telling. Why? Because if it is unreason- work!” And of course, with that attitude, it won’t. Or how about,
ably high, they won’t be satisfied working for you. On the other “That didn’t work last time and it’s not going to work now!”
hand, if it is lower then what you are prepared to pay, then they Lastly, are they willing to try new things? If they are open
will start coasting once they hit their target compensation. to new ideas and plans, then they have a much greater chance of
Again, you are looking for a salary expectation that is consistent success than if they are closed-minded. Strangely, all too many
with what you can deliver, but is still motivating to them. salespeople would rather continue to do what has failed in the
Would you like to work straight commission? I don’t past than to try something new.
advocate that anyone be paid straight commission, however this Execution: Closely linked to attitude is the proper execu-
question is designed to throw them off track and see how they tion. In fact, without the right attitude, successful execution is
respond. To make this work, you can’t ask the question directly, impossible. I have seen ideal marketing plans flop because of
but need to back into it. If they are at all good with sales, they poor or haphazard execution. Conversely, I have seen the most
will have already regaled you with their accomplishments, ill-conceived and contrived strategies succeed famously because
assured you that they will be your best sales person ever, and they were diligently, steadfastly, and consistently implemented.
promised they will produce at a level beyond your wildest Quite simply, there needs to be a plan. The plan needs to be
expectations. And, if they have moxie, they may even say you’d meticulously followed. And those involved need to be held
be foolish not to hire them or suggest your company will fail accountable for their work. This brings up the fourth element:
without them. (Yes, I have been told this – many times.) Given Management: The glue that holds all this together is
all of this, they assert that you must pay them top dollar. management. Good management starts with hiring the right
At this point, you are in a position to say, “I don’t normally salespeople, giving them excellent training, providing them with
offer this, but based on your track record and past performance, I appropriate compensation, and motivating them effectively. This
think you’re worthy of special consideration. I suggest that we con- must be followed by a sound marketing plan and a supportive
sider a compensation plan where you will be highly rewarded for environment in which to implement it. Lastly, sales management
your results and given an open-ended opportunity to exceed your means investing time, on an ongoing basis, to encourage, observe,
compensation goals.” Then pause, lean forward, and confidentially teach, and adjust what they do. Put more succinctly, the right
whisper, “How would you like to work for straight commission?” management keeps them on task and holds them accountable.
First, watch if they can quickly and smoothly react to an There is nary a salesperson who can be truly successful
unexpected turn of events. Next, you want to see how they without attention and oversight. They need to be lifted up when
retreat from their prior boasting. Often a more realistic picture they are down and celebrated when they make a sale, held
emerges. Lastly, you will quickly get a true idea of what they responsible for their schedule and made liable for their results.
expect for base pay and how much they are willing to put on the This takes considerable time and effort. As such, proper sales
line in the form of commissions, incentives, or bonuses. management is not just one more hat to wear, but a full-time job.
In the event that they are shocked or hurt by this question, Successfully managing salespeople is hard work. It takes
simply apologize and indicate that, based on what they were time, perseverance, determination, and dedication. But then
saying, you thought this idea might appeal to them. don’t all things that are worthwhile? n
Attitude: Having the right sales staff, however, is just the
beginning. They also need to have the right attitude. How many Connections Magazine Needs You!
times have you seen salespeople talk themselves into a bad Would you be willing to invest a few minutes a month
month? The thinking goes like this, “Last August was bad. I to provide input, ideas, and clarity about the articles in
wonder if August is always bad? I better brace myself for a bad Connections Magazine?
month.” It becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy and they have a The process will be simple. Once or twice a month, I will
bad month. send out a broadcast e-mail message about an idea or topic we
Or, how many times has a sales person said something like, are considering. If you have feedback, simply reply to the
“I don’t set any appointments for Monday because everyone is e-mail. If you don’t have a comment, or even if you happen
always too busy.” Then they add Fridays to the list because too be busy at the time, just delete the message. Because of
prospects are focused on wrapping up their week. The first thing the power and efficiency of e-mail, we can have hundreds of
in the morning doesn’t work, nor the end of the day. Before and readers participate and help shape the future of the magazine.
after lunch is bad, too. I once had a salesman use this logic and If you are willing to help please contact me at
he actually concluded that he could only successfully sell on Peter@ConnectionsMagazine.com. Thank you.
8 • MAY 2003 www.connectionsmagazine.com • Connections Magazine
allow for smoother, more cost effective call handling while
minimizing operator error.
grow with Technology to meet changing needs and
requirements allowing for increased customer retention.
automatically conduct sophisticated database searches
and import requested data directly into a message slip.
provide seamless processing, programming and
management of call traffic.
allow room for entering new markets thus creating new
increase the quality of service and balancing workload
thus minimizing call wait time.
have full support, 24 x 7 x 365 availability.
If you would like information on how JoAnn Browne, from Speed
E-Z Physicians Exchange, made her system pay for itself almost
instantly....call 1.800.STARTEL. We have the answers...call NOW!
17661 Cowan Avenue
Irvine CA 92614
by John Ratliff
n today’s fast-paced business environment, successful the specifics of each package but they can all perform the
I companies know their customers and quickly respond to
their needs. To react to these interactions with clients and
prospects must be tracked. This requires the organized
So we know what contact management is, but
what constitutes a contact? When someone interacts
collection and distribution of a large quantity of data. A solid with your business it is a contact, regardless of who
contact management program is a tool for gathering, tracking, initiated the interaction. It can take the form of an
analyzing, and distributing this data. Such data can be one of inbound phone call, e-mail, a fax, a letter or even a
the most valuable assets your company will ever have. It is customer visit. Outbound calls, e-mails, faxes, and letters
also one of the most underutilized. are also contacts. As a result of these contacts, your
What is contact management? It’s a systematic way company will have a significant amount of information to
of managing all interactions between your business and keep track of. Contact management software can help you
the outside world. It’s performed through a single database do this.
that contains detailed information about all past interactions Implementing a contact management program can
and scheduled future interactions. Used effectively, change your business, but it must be done carefully.
contact management software provides a record of the past, Effective contact management requires a tremendous
a picture of the present, and a schedule for the future. attention to detail, dedication by all members of your team,
Tracking these interactions can be done any number and an organized approach. If your company is dedicated to
of ways but here we will deal specifically with software- this effort, it’s likely to bring positive results, but a haphazard
driven contact management. There are three software approach can be damaging.
packages at the forefront of effective contact management: There are three key areas where a contact management
Goldmine, Act!, and Maximizer. We will not deal with program can bring immediate benefits to your company:
10 • MAY 2003 www.connectionsmagazine.com • Connections Magazine
New customer leads are critically important. They
should be managed and nurtured as a valued asset. A contact
management program can help you do just that, enabling you
to track leads from start to finish. It also lets you see which
opportunities are in the pipeline, where leads are coming
from, and how your salespeople are doing in their follow-up
work. The ability to get an overview of your sales and
marketing efforts can in itself justify implementing a contact
Such details come in the form of contact management
reporting. Reports can be run on any pre-determined parameters.
For instance, a report can list all new sales leads generated in a
given time period that resulted in new customer wins.
To effectively track sales staff effectiveness you can run
reports that show outbound calls to potential customers. For
instance, a report can show how many calls Joe Salesguy made
between February 2nd and 6th to contacts labeled “hot
prospect.” You’ll be able to determine whether your
salespeople are making the proper effort.
Contact management software also offers the ability to
see an overview of your sales pipeline. This feature typically
requires the most effort and is often underutilized, but it helps
companies gain a wider perspective on how to improve their
business. Each incoming lead is assigned a potential dollar
value and a percentage chance of becoming a customer. As
the prospect moves through the sales cycle, probabilities and
dollar values can be adjusted, giving an accurate prediction of
potential new sales.
If a sale is lost, contact management software tools provide an
accurate history of all interactions with the prospect, so the user
can determine the reason for losing the sale. Often you can spot
trends in missed steps in the sales cycle or long response times
that may indicate problems. This provides the ability to deter-
mine, and then script, a sales cycle that will be most effective
for your organization. The ability to schedule future interac-
tions makes your company better positioned to meet your goals.
One of the largest expenses in some organizations is
advertising, yet advertising tracking seems to be a lost art.
Contact management software is the ultimate advertising tracking
tool. With the ability to run custom reports and set your own
parameters, advertising can be tracked in many ways. It allows
advertising programs to be as specific or as broad as needs
dictate. For instance, companies that advertise in one or two
directories may only need to know if a lead was directory
generated, or came from word of mouth. Organizations using
ten directories may need more details, and the flexibility is
built into the software to track those details. Advertising
spending can then be evaluated by return on investment.
Managing the sales and marketing process through a
contact management program will greatly increase your
chances of success. A few extra clients a year that would
have otherwise slipped through the cracks is likely to more
than cover the cost of the program.
(Continued on page 12)
Connections Magazine • www.connectionsmagazine.com MAY 2003 • 11
Contact Management Software
(Continued from page 11)
CONTACT MANAGEMENT SOFTWARE VENDORS
As mentioned in the Contact Management Software article, three popular contact management software
packages are Goldmine, Act!, and Maximizer. There are countless other contact management programs as well, but three
that are noteworthy are QuickNotes 2003 from FigmentSoft, Eden Sales Manager from Eden Communications, and
People™ from Brewster Software. Details on these programs follows:
QuickNotes 2003 from FigmentSoft is a Linux- • Automatic pop-up alarm reminders
based single or multi-user networked software that runs • Complete Internet compatibility
independently on a laptop or networked in a client/server • Full user guide
environment. In a client/server mode, one computer must be Pricing varies depending on configuration; per user pricing
designated as the server. It contains typical contact manage- is $750. Eden provides live telephone support on a 24 hours
ment features such as tracking leads and correspondence, basis. “Eden exceeded my expectations,” said user Matthew
scheduling and calendar functions, report generation, and Gardner, vice president of Transchannel.
customized reporting. Enhanced features include multiple For more information, visit the company’s Web site
contact lookup, e-mail sorter and message filters, Star Office www.edensales.com, or contact it at firstname.lastname@example.org or
integration (to read and modify Word, Excel, and PowerPoint 518-580-0760.
files), and integration with Netscape.
The main strengths of QuickNotes 2003 are: People ™ from Brewster Software is a single-user
• Fast and easy installation package for Macintosh computers. It is a full-featured personal
• Simple user interface information manager (PIM) for Macintosh that offers tools for
• Scalability and network access. organizing client, personal and calendar information. People
• Low cost of ownership software is $29.95 per copy. Technical support via e-mail is free.
Paula Gilthorpe of Crom Financial Services said, “I appreciated The organizer offers plenty of room for details, using
the fact that I did not need to spend additional time and money intuitively placed contact management features and Internet
on ‘help’ to actually use QuickNotes.” integration. Some advanced features include the ability to
The retail pricing for QuickNotes is $99.99 for a single receive and send e-mail (with attachments), do e-mail merge,
user license (retail) and $49.99 from Lindows.com Click N build e-mail address lists from received e-mails, fax, mail, link
Run Warehouse; volume discounts are available. other application documents to contact cards, and upload
Technical support is available via e-mail, a Web forum contact information to Palm devices. Key features include:
where users can get help from other users as well as from • The ability to organize up to 100,000 contacts
engineers, and phone (pay per-incident). • 15-field profile area
For more information about QuickNotes, go to • Sales-oriented daily follow-up lists
www.figmentsoft.com or contact FigmentSoft at • Alarms
email@example.com or 416-499-0755. • Auto-dial phone
• Search all text areas
Eden Sales Manager from Eden Communications • Calendar
uses runs on the Lotus Domino platform and is a Web-based “I am especially thrilled. Creating lists using filters and
multi-user product. The software provides control over the using them to send out mass e-mails is quite easy,” said user
complete marketing and sales pipeline and process, including: Ursula Soyez of the Friedrich-Ebert-Foundation. “I have been
• Unlimited contacts with notes and history looking for a good contact management software for a while
• Consolidated account activity and history now, and yours is definitely the most advanced and intuitive
• Integrated marketing library I’ve come across so far.”
• Sophisticated knowledge base For more information about People e-mail the company at
• Processes to automatically schedule activities firstname.lastname@example.org or visit it on the Web at
• Creation of letters, faxes, memos, e-mail and www.brewstersoftware.com.
other documents on the fly
12 • MAY 2003 www.connectionsmagazine.com • Connections Magazine
Existing Customers: It is also valuable to do an exit interview when clients
Using a contact management program to manage leave and track this information in your contact management
interactions with your existing customers may be the most system. Reports can be run to spot trends in client
powerful change you can make to your business. It will also cancellations and solve any quality control problems. What
yield the most immediate benefit to your bottom line. Think was formerly done through intuition can now be supported
how many customer interactions occur each day in your through hard data.
business. Now think where all those interactions are tracked, Former client reports can also be used to track lost
if they are tracked at all. An effective contact management revenue. This gives the ability to get a better picture of the
program gives you a complete history of every interaction. costs associated with client retention, the value of each client,
The software can also prompt proactive customer contacts to as well as the client lifecycle. It is valuable information to
get ahead of problems before they start. share with frontline staff to show the potential revenue
Customer service problems can be coded in your contact damage from each client cancellation. This makes a great
management system and reports can then be run against those motivator to increase quality levels.
codes. For instance, the software can tell you how many There can tremendous benefit in implementing a contact
customers called during a given month and complained that an management system in your company. By capturing current
agent misspelled a name. Again, the ability to spot trends in and prospective client information, your company can be
customer service complaints can be an early indicator of service positioned to respond quickly to your marketplace with
delivery problems that must be addressed. Previously this was information on demand. This information will allow you to
done by intuition but now there is hard data to give a true picture. spot trends to create and improve your service offering. A
There is also tremendous goodwill to be gained from well-executed contact management system will improve your
contacting customers on a proactive, rather than reactive customer service level, reduce your time to market with new
basis. Contact management software allows the opportunity service offerings, and potentially help you reduce labor cost
to schedule interactions in the future, serving as a reminder to by working smarter instead of harder. n
call customers whenever necessary. You may want to make a
proactive contact every three months, or six months, or even two John Ratliff is the owner of Appletree Answering Service in
weeks depending on your size. This can all be prescheduled by Wilmington, Delaware. John is a member of ASTAA and NAEO
the contact management software package. There is also a and is currently on the board of directors of ATSI. Appletree
way to capture some details of these interactions, which can Answering Service has been serving its marketplace since 1995.
then be used to show trends in customer satisfaction.
Such packages also offer the ability to sell new features
to existing customers. By using a contact management
program to track which customers are using certain features,
your sales team can look for selling opportunities in the existing
client base. The mail merge features available, both for
e-mail and direct mail, provide the ability to keep your client
and prospect bases up-to-date on new features in which they
may have interest.
Losing a client is always tough on your business, but
contact management gives you a systematic way of trying to
win back those clients. Often when clients leave they are
forgotten, but that does not have to be the case. Using the mail
merge features of contact management software, along with the
scheduling features, you can create a customer win-back
program that is handled automatically by your software.
An automated process can be triggered by changing the
client status, in this case from “client” to “former client,” and
a whole chain of events is set in motion. For example,
assume you want to e-mail former clients a copy of your
newsletter once a month and send an offer to return to the
service at a discount every six months. This can all be built
into an automated process that starts the instant the status is
changed, and will continue in the background without any
additional interaction until the process is complete.
Connections Magazine • www.connectionsmagazine.com MAY 2003 • 13
by Peter DeHaan
V irtually all telemessaging operations and many inbound
teleservice companies have an outbound component to their work. In
the broadest sense this is “information dissemination.” Sometimes
this means sending orders and messages to clients via e-mail, fax,
wave file, or voice mail. In other instances, timely communications is
essential and information is paged or relayed to a cell phone. This is
dispatching. It is a frequent activity with clients in the medical field,
property management and service sectors, and technical support lines.
While one key element of effective dispatching is timeliness, another
essential factor is accuracy. In other words, the correct on-call person
needs to be contacted in the manner they specify.
14 • MAY 2003 www.connectionsmagazine.com • Connections Magazine
Various means are used to effectively record and track themselves. This eliminates any chance for input error on the
on-call schedules: part of supervisors or data-entry personnel at the call center.
Paper: The manual paper method can be effective when In fact, clients can completely plan their on-call schedule
only one or two agents need to reach a relatively small with these Web-based programs and most allow printing of a
number of on-call personnel. Methods range from posting the master schedule and individual schedules. Why would clients
on-call information on a bulletin board in each cubicle to want to enter their own on-call schedule? There are several
using an on-call book where schedules (or reasons. One is control. When clients enter
on-call calendars) are organized and inserted. their own information, they can be assured that
However, as the number of agents or the
number of on-call schedules increase, the
…clients it is communicated the way they want it
communicated. Second is flexibility. The
manual paper method quickly becomes
ineffective. The primary limitations to the can enter client can, at any time, update or change his or
her on-call schedule and the changes are
manual paper method are ensuring that all immediately available to call center agents.
agents are aware of updates and are using the
same information. Add to this the reality that
their The third, and perhaps most compelling,
enticement is that when properly presented to
many on-call schedules are faxed to the call
center by clients, which results in clarity and
on-call the client, the Web interface can become their
scheduling software program. This eliminates
Computerized: With today’s computer- schedules the need for clients to buy, maintain,
troubleshoot, and upgrade their own software;
ized call processing systems, it’s easy to enter they merely use what the call center provides.
the details of on-call schedules into the themselves. A side benefit in this is that the client then
network. The same information for the enjoys greater value from the call center and
appropriate client is available to any agent at any may become a more loyal client. This is
time. There is no fear of old information being used or concern perhaps the most compelling reason to implement an Internet-
that all agents may not have received the updates (which is accessible on-call scheduling database.
particularly problematic when agents work from multiple Several companies provide on-call scheduling software.
locations). In this approach, the on-call schedule is organized Some offerings are platform specific, some can be interfaced
in a free-form text box or window. The agent needs to scan to multiple systems, while others are platform independent:
the text box to find out who is on call at that moment. There
are benefits to this approach, but there is also the risk of an Almond Hill Enterprises: Turbo-On-Call™
agent reading the wrong day or selecting the wrong time. is a simple and inexpensive way to handle clients’ on-call
Database: The next level of computerized on-call schedule schedules. It provides monthly, biweekly, weekly, and daily
tracking is to enter the data into a structured database. Again, views along with reporting features. It allows real-time
information is consistently and readily available to all agents, access by the call center and clients and integrates fully with
plus it can be presented in a much more controlled format. TurboSchedule™ calendars to provide a unified scheduling
The database method can also automatically query the schedule system. Like TurboSchedule, Turbo-On-Call requires no
by day and time, presenting the schedule to the person who is capital outlay, special hardware, or software to load or
on call at that point, rather than presenting the entire schedule maintain. It is Web-based and can work with any
for the agent to scan. This reduces error and speeds dispatch. Web-enabled or Web-ready call-processing platform. It costs
Common features of database on-call software programs are $19.95 per schedule per month or $9.95 per month as an
that agents can edit the schedule, update contact numbers, and add-on to TurboSchedule.
add personnel. For more information, contact Almond Hill Enterprises
These benefits are confirmed by staffers at call centers at 800-398-6100 or email@example.com.
using database on-call scheduling software. “With automated
on-call scheduling, we can display time and date sensitive Alston Tascom offers two on-call scheduling
on-call information when a call is presented to a coordinator,” options. The first is its on-call scheduler, which is integrated
said Betty Brashear, call center operations manager at into the Tascom Evolution system. It automatically indicates
Vanderbilt University Medical Center. “Our coordinators can who is currently on call, along with their contact information.
also view schedules by calendar, individual, date, or period The call center agents can speed-dial the appropriate person
profile.” directly from the on-call form. Also, if the person on call has
These on-call databases can be configured to be accessible an alphanumeric pager programmed into the Tascom system,
via the Internet and reside on password-protected or secure an agent can initiate the page. Authorized agents can also
Web sites. In this case, clients can remotely add, delete, and look ahead to determine who is on call in the future and can
edit personnel, as well as change contact numbers. With make temporary adjustments as needed.
these options, clients can enter their on-call schedules (Continued on page 16)
Connections Magazine • www.connectionsmagazine.com MAY 2003 • 15
ON-CALL SCHEDULING SOFTWARE on the notify window for each account page. It provides the
option of dispatching the message to the client manually or
(Continued from page 15) setting up the message for automatic delivery. Schedules can
be implemented up to a year in advance. It includes a notify
scheduler to quickly set up new account schedules through
Alston Tascom’s other offering is AppointmentsOnCall.com. time and calendar boxes and saves set-up time on lengthy
It is completely Web-based and is platform independent. schedules with the repeating schedule feature. Also included
Contact Alston Tascom at 909-548-7300, info@ is schedule log, which provides detailed information
alstontascom.com, or www.alstontascom.com. regarding changed or modified schedules.
For more information about CadCom’s AccuCall system
Amtelco: The Infinity on-call scheduling module is and on-call scheduler, visit www.cadcom.com or call
flexible, easily adapting to meet a call center’s call handling 800-422-3266.
needs. On-call scheduling is automated, making it easy to see
who is currently on call for a particular client. On-call Startel’s on-call scheduling product increases
personnel are automatically placed on and taken off calls at productivity through features such as time/date sensitive
designated days and times. on-call information display, auto-population of key account
The companion feature, Web On-Call, allows clients to information for messages, drop-down menus, scheduling up
create and maintain their own schedules. Agents see this to a year in advance, and an automatic audit trail. The
information immediately and have secure access to add or schedule can reside on a LAN so each department can
edit schedules as necessary. Reports include a daily and maintain its own schedule, record notes on changes, and
monthly report and an individual’s schedule detail, as well as access historical views. Schedules are password protected.
a month display in calendar format. The on-call schedule with Internet access maintains all of the
Contact Amtelco at 800-356-9148, firstname.lastname@example.org, or local application functionality.
callcenter.amtelco.com. “It is so easy to maintain complex database
information which can include names, specialties, account
CadCom Telesystems’ AccuCall system has an number, alpha pager number, home phone, hospital
on-call scheduler that automatically rotates the on-call person relationships,” said user JoAnn Brown, RN at Speed E-Z
For more information, call
Startel at 800-782-7835 or visit its
Web site at www.Startelcorp.com.
Telescan: Spectrum on-call
scheduler helps call centers track
clients’ complex on-call schedules
so that messages can be relayed
accurately and effectively. Spectrum
on-call scheduler drastically reduces
the time to manage these client
schedules. It allows clients to enter
their own daily, weekly, monthly, or
yearly schedules, along with contact
information using any Windows-
based PC or laptop. The client
sends the schedule electronically to
the call center where it is instantly
available to agents who are
processing calls. After agents take a
message, they then click the
appropriate contact method, which is
presented in a time sensitive pop-up
Contact Telescan at 800-770-
7662 or www.telescan.net.
(Case study on page 18)
16 • MAY 2003 www.connectionsmagazine.com • Connections Magazine
ON-CALL SCHEDULING SOFTWARE COMPARISON CHART
Company Almond Hill Alston Alston Amtelco CadCom Startel Telescan LLC
Enterprises, Inc. Tascom, Inc. Tascom, Inc. Telesystems Corporation
Product name Turbo-On-Call™ Evolution On-Call Appointments Infinity On-Call AccuCall Startel’s On-Call Spectrum
Scheduler OnCall.com Scheduling module On Call Scheduling On-Call
Platform Platform Tascom Evolution Platform Amtelco CadCom Startel Spectrum
independent System independent Infinity AccuCall (workstation
Hosted Hosted Installed at Hosted Hosted or Installed at Installed at Installed at
(Web-based) or call center installed at call center call center call center
installed at call center
Pricing $19.95 per Included with $500 one time Monthly fee for Included at Dependent on Priced per
schedule system setup fee hosted option no extra charge! the customer schedule or
per month (for call center) and or purchased configuration per seat
($9.95 per month $35/month/on-call for Infinity (Some options
add-on to account include a server)
• 4 to 16 D.I.D. Trunks
• 800 Client Records AVAILABLE
• Internal Patching
• Works with Any KSU
• Easy to Install
• 24/7 Customer Support
The Identifier Plus Dealer Inquiries Invited.
Please call for free color brochures
& complete dealer packet.
Connections Magazine • www.connectionsmagazine.com MAY 2003 • 17
ON-CALL SCHEDULING SOFTWARE month. Every time a change is made, there is potential for
errors that can adversely affect service delivery. By using the
(Continued from page 17) on-call program we know who made the change and when.
Lastly, we have made the on-call program accessible to our
clients so they can input and update their own information on
On-Call Scheduling Case Study a regular basis.”
by Gary DuPont MSI takes advantage of Xtend Enhanced On-call to
accurately and efficiently contact the person on call at a given
Masco Services Inc. (MSI) offers a full range of telecom- time. Enhanced On-call is paging-status-aware, with the
munications services, including centralized attendant and main system tracking up to 99 customer defined paging states.
number answering, radio-paging and cellular dispatch, and Typically, an organization relies on ten status types. These
traditional message center services to the medical community. may include “in-hospital on-page,” “in surgery – messages
MSI uses a multi-tasking call processing system integrating stored,” “covered by – (where another pager ID is receiving
the Avaya ACD and the LAN-based system provided by the paging messages on their own pager),” “available – long
Xtend Communications for directory, paging, on-call, and range pager” and “unavailable for page.” Including the status
telemessaging functions. Gary DuPont, Director of information within the on-call software quickly notifies
Telecommunications at MSI said, “The On-Call application, agents of the paging status of that staff member or allows
an integral part of the Xtend paging and answering service staff members to carry “job” pagers. Job pagers are commonly
module, maintains accurate coverage schedules enabling passed between on-call members and are sometimes used in
those individuals on call to be reached efficiently. The lieu of a true on-call product.
program is an extremely flexible and powerful tool used by Enhanced on-call is an important tool at MSI. It also
our customer care representatives and clients daily.” includes multiple report formats and allows schedules to be
“The problems with on-call schedules are manifold,” said built years in advance. The company asks clients to submit
Mary Gaughan, senior customer care supervisor at MSI. their schedules at least one month in advance. MSI is currently
“The volume of data can be enormous. Some of our clients working on moving the responsibility of maintaining the
keep hundreds of separate schedules for multiple individual on-call schedules back to the individual departments
sub-disciplines. This can mean hundreds of changes per they represent using Xtend’s WebXchange application. n
18 • MAY 2003 www.connectionsmagazine.com • Connections Magazine
by James M. Ballard You
Call centers that handle protected health information
need a strategy for meeting the government security and
privacy mandates of HIPAA (the Health Insurance Portability
and Accountability Act), which was signed into law in 1996.
HIPAA is an evolving government mandate that sets
standards for the security and privacy of protected health
information. HIPAA security and privacy rules require
covered entities, such as hospitals and health care centers,
along with business associates of covered entities, to institute
policies and procedures that reasonably safeguard such
information, whether it is exchanged verbally or electronically.
To meet the various HIPAA requirements, many health
care companies have created their own HIPAA task force.
These groups are responsible for keeping up with the ever-
changing HIPAA requirements and for determining how
their company’s purchases of hardware, software, and
outsourced technology solutions are affected by these rules.
Companies rely on vendors to provide hardware and software
solutions that will comply with the HIPAA rules and to
enhance the products and solutions to maintain compatibility
with future changes.
It is critical to stay up to date on the changes to HIPAA
regulations. Some vendors, such as my company, Startel
Corp. of Irvine, Calif., have assembled a strategic team of
software engineers and HIPAA attorneys to continue to
review HIPAA requirements and implement necessary
changes in software platforms. Customers should look to
their vendors to provide solutions that will enable them to
cost-effectively implement the modifications to remain
(Continued on page 20)
Connections Magazine • www.connectionsmagazine.com MAY 2003 • 19
How HIPAA Affects You
(Conti ued from page 19)
and time it was accessed, and by whom. The audit information
How will HIPAA compliance affect you? If your call itself should be protected to reduce the risk of sensitive information
center takes and forwards messages that contain protected health being revealed. Each time a message is viewed, saved, printed, or
information, such as patient messages to health care sent to a client, that information should be recorded in this log,
practitioners, HIPAA requires you to take reasonable steps to along with details about when and by whom the action was initiated.
avoid the accidental disclosure of these messages. Some steps are Audit trails help you to comply with access rules by recording how,
simple to implement. For instance, depending on the and by whom, messages and other patient data have been handled.
environment, operators may need to speak softly and limit the Information transmitted by most e-mail systems is vulnerable
amount of personal information they include in patient to interception. HIPAA security regulations require call
messages. Other strategies require technical safeguards, and that’s centers to encrypt or otherwise safeguard protected health informa-
where a vendor’s add-on “HIPAA features” become critical. tion that is transmitted over the Internet. HIPAA software helps
One of the most important HIPAA regulations affecting call you to meet this requirement by adding a simple encryption mech-
centers is the safeguarding of protected health information that is anism to your e-mail system. Upon receiving encrypted e-mails,
electronically stored. One easy way to protect patient information clients use a standard key for decryption.
is to require a secured, password-based login, which effectively Fax transmissions of patient data must also be handled with care.
blocks unauthorized access to such information. The system HIPAA software should provide a confidential cover sheet
should be designed to automatically log off unattended workstations explaining that the fax contains sensitive material. Ideally, the cover
after a certain amount of time, and require a password for accessing sheet should automatically be attached to the fax prior to being sent.
workstations and central databases. Privacy screens can also be By using Health Level 7 data transfer protocol, the
used to darken the screen if there has been no activity for a given movement of patient information to online directories is
amount of time. The operator can reactivate the screen with a controlled by the sender, so that sensitive patient information is
mouse click or may be required to re-enter his or her password. protected. The directory used by the operators needs to be flexible
The user should be able to determine the timing and the required enough to restrict viewing of patient information, while enabling
steps to re-enter the system. operators to provide sufficient information to callers for efficient
HIPAA regulations also require call centers to restrict and effective call processing.
unnecessary access to electronically stored patient information. It is critical for companies required to comply with HIPAA to
An audit trail of who has accessed this information is critical. This work with vendors that have studied the legal aspects of the regulation
audit trail should show the message number or identifier, the date and that understand the implementation issues. Many vendors are
struggling with HIPAA and only a few have employed legal and
engineering experts to safeguard your implementation of HIPAA
compliant software. Before purchasing a product that will be gov-
erned by HIPAA standards, be sure to review how the vendor
arrived at its solutions and whether it meets your company’s
HIPAA task force standards. HIPAA regulations will continue to
change and your vendor must have the capability and knowledge
to change with the rules, so that you and your company can
maintain a HIPAA-compliant environment. n
James Ballard is director of sales at Startel Corp. For
further information on the Startel Corp. HIPAA compliance
standards, please e-mail email@example.com.
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20 • MAY 2003 www.connectionsmagazine.com • Connections Magazine
What do over 1000 users of Amtelco,
Axon, Cadcom, Glenayre, Startel,
Tascom, and Telescan have in common?
Order Entry: PI-2000 - the Billing Software: TBS - the most
leading order entry and inbound comprehensive billing package in the
call processing software. industry.
Outbound Telemarketing: Appointment Scheduling:
Pro-Dial - the perfect solution TimeTrade Systems and PI-2000
for outbound campaigns. combine for the industry’s best
web-based scheduling system.
P.O.W.E.R: PI Online Web Export
and Report System. Lets your clients Web Connector: Transfers orders
access their data directly on the web. taken on PI into your clients’ Web
Professional Teledata, Inc. 175 Canal Street Manchester, NH 03101
800.344.9944 www.proteledata.com firstname.lastname@example.org
The Axon User’s Group (AUG) held their 2003 spring
meeting in Las Vegas, April 4 and 5. Approximately 50 people
attended, exceeding early expectations. The attendees were
warmly welcomed by AUG vice president, Diane Sounders
and heard opening remarks from president, Rose Nigro.
This was the first AUG meeting since the announcement
of Telescan’s acquisition of Axon, as reported in the March
issue of Connections, and members were interested in
meeting Roger Young, Bobby Riggs, Patty Anderson, and
Mary Stuckey from Telescan.
Mike Truelock called the meeting to order and introduced
Telescan president, Roger Young. Roger reviewed the
similarities between the two companies including their history
of providing reliable products and offering personal service.
Their two product lines, however, are complementary,
addressing adjacent segments of the telemessaging industry;
Axon offers cost-effective solutions for 2 to 8 position systems
and Telescan specializes in 6 to 12 positions platforms. An
invigorating Q and A session followed, allowing questions and
concerns to be addressed. The bottom line is that Telescan
will continue to serve and support Axon system users.
In addition to Axon and Telescan, other vendors present
were TASBill.com (providing bill printing and distribution
services, plus general printing and call center services), DB
Masters (billing software), and ICG Communications (a
CLEC serving more that 20 major markets in the United States).
April Otto, from TASBill.com, discussed her company’s
services, which include bill printing and mailing, profitability
and billing software, and outsourcing outbound calls to Asian
Call Centres. Craig Pierce, with ICG Communications,
shared ideas on disaster recovery and options to reroute calls.
Ron Kritzman, from DB Masters, concluded the day with an
informative discussion on using an Axon remote position,
how to better manage the Axon system’s database, and his
billing software. Telescan sponsored the evening’s activities,
featuring dinner at Billy Bob’s in Sam’s Town.
The Saturday session opened with Peter DeHaan
presenting a two-year “plan for success,” detailing steps for
attendees on how to grow their business, improve quality, and
increase sales. Patty Anderson, from Telescan, followed with
an informative session on the HIPAA regulations which are
now in effect. The business meeting was after lunch, which
was followed by round table discussions on topics of interest.
Rose Nigro thanked attendees for their participation and
support of AUG and adjourned the conference.
22 • MAY 2003 www.connectionsmagazine.com • Connections Magazine
Connections Magazine • www.connectionsmagazine.com MAY 2003 • 23
Cad Providing Telemessaging Solutions for Buisness Success
The Beginning: enclosed campus environment that translates into an enjoyable
Now headquartered in Enid, Okla., CadCom Telesystems work environment. There is even an independently owned
was founded in 1984 by a group of Lockheed Aerospace answering service that is located in the building.
development engineers in Marietta, Ga. Building on the computer In October 2000, CadCom’s new product offering,
science background and business talents of its founders, company AccuCall, was installed at its first beta site. In February 2001,
officials set out to develop products specifically for the AccuCall was formally introduced at the CadCom Equipment
telephone answering service market. Their idea was to supply a Owners (CEO) Conference in Las Vegas. AccuCall features a
suite of products providing improved automation and top-to-bottom call flow design that provides the ability to handle
integration to services of all sizes. CadCom went on to pioneer large volumes of calls with minimal staff. New automation
several technological advancements. The LineMaster system tools include an on-call scheduler which takes over the message
was the first digital integrated switch to be aimed specifically at dispatch process from the time the message is saved, ensuring
answering services. FaxMaster was one of the first internal the correct person is paged every time. Other innovations
faxing devices to operate without the need for an external system. include Web page screen-pops, internal voice logging, and
The Transition: alarm reports for managers. If an agent goes out of rotation
In an effort to become a leading supplier, CadCom looked early or a sudden spike of incoming calls occurs, the supervisor
to sales agents to supplement its direct sales efforts. One of can be alerted to ensure that no calls are missed.
those was Communication Services, owned by Jack Baldwin. CadCom Users Group:
Communication Services was formally established in 1985 as a The CadCom Equipment Owners Association, Inc. (CEO)
sales distributorship for Axon answering service equipment is a volunteer organization comprised of telemessaging services
throughout the U.S. and also operated its own answering and call centers that use CadCom’s telemessaging equipment.
service. The Axon 4V paper-based product line was ultimately CEO was formed in 1991, with about 40 users attending the
purchased by Communication Services and moved from first meeting. Since that time CEO’s membership has expanded
California to Oklahoma. By 1987, customers, including to more than 100 users. The national user group meeting occurs
Baldwin’s own answering service, demanded advances in every February with regional meetings held in the fall.
technology that resulted in Communication Services becoming CEO provides an excellent resource for gathering ideas on
a dealer for CadCom Telesystems. CadCom’s LineMaster how to improve operations, get new accounts, and keep staff
series provided larger growth options, paperless messaging, motivated. Today many services provide more than a messaging
automatic paging, and new faxing options. taking function. Many take orders, handle order fulfillment,
In 1995, Communication Services had grown to 15 provide delivery services, or resell mobile phone and pagers.
employees and become the main sales and service agent for CadCom works to keep products at the forefront of the
CadCom. As a result, Baldwin was able to purchase CadCom ever-changing face of business, relying heavily on feedback from
and move it from Georgia to Oklahoma. Communication members of CEO to guide product development and generate new
Services remained the answering service name while CadCom ideas on how to help the end users to operate more profitably.
Telesystems became the name of the company’s manufacturing Other successes:
and equipment sales division. In becoming a one-stop-shop, The company’s Business Solutions division was initially
CadCom had diversified its product offering to answering services created to help end the finger pointing between vendors during
including digital voice recorders, order processing software, equipment installations. In November 2000, CadCom spun off
voice mail systems, and phone systems. CadCom also began its Southwestern Bell agency and started Business Solutions.
reselling Southwestern Bell services as an authorized agent. By By the end of 2001, Business Solutions was the second-largest
2000, CadCom had grown to become the third largest reseller out of 495 agencies for Southwestern Bell Telephone in
manufacturer of answering service equipment in North America. its five-state region. By January, Business Solutions grew to 74
By the spring of 2000, growth had caused a space problem employees and it now is the top “retention and acquisition
and as a result CadCom moved from a 12,500 sq ft facility to a agent” for Southwestern Bell, servicing more than 115,000
70,000 sq ft building. This facility is state-of-the-art and allows businesses in Oklahoma, Kansas, Texas, and Missouri. In
for larger research and development efforts. A dedicated addition, with the recent consolidation of SBC, Business
training room, two conference rooms, and a cafeteria ensures an Solutions can place orders for service in nearly all SBC
24 • MAY 2003 www.connectionsmagazine.com • Connections Magazine
At A Glance
territories stretching from California to Connecticut. • Founded 1987 Marietta Georgia
The demand for voice logging in diverse industries gave • Presently located in Enid, Okla.
the company an additional opportunity. In February 2001, • Industry: Telephone answering
CadCom spun off its “voice recording” product and formed
service equipment provider
VoiceLogger. Starting with four employees from CadCom and
funding from an Enid Angel Investment Group, VoiceLogger • Offers 24/7 service and support
has emerged as one of the top 15 call logging companies in the 365 days per year
U.S. In less than two years, VoiceLogger grew to a base of • Main contact number
more than 300 customers, which include USAF, the U.S. Postal 800 4 CadCom (800-422-3266)
Service, Conoco/Phillips, Time Warner, Bell South, Dell, and Jack Baldwin: President & CEO
Northrop Grumman. VoiceLogger has been named “Innovator • Web Site: http://www.cadcom.com
of the Year” in 2001 and 2003 by The Journal Record. It was • Products offered:
also named to the “Million Dollar Hall of Fame” by the -AccuCall (answering service system)
Oklahoma Technology Commercialization Center in 2001. -AccuScript (order entry / scripting)
Both moves allowed CadCom to keep its core concentra-
-Portal (unified communications / voicemail)
tion on the telemessaging industry.
Today: • Executive staff:
Today, CadCom is focused on providing solutions for -Jack Baldwin: President & CEO
teleservice companies through a series of diversified product -Sherry Pippin: Vice President of Human Resources
offerings: AccuCall, AccuScript, and VM3. AccuCall has -Jerry Hill: Vice President of Business Development
evolved into an enhanced CTI telemessaging platform offering
-J.R. Criner: Vice President of Sales and Marketing
off-the-shelf hardware with a standard client server application
in a traditional computer network environment. Customers can
have the bulk of their hardware and computer network needs Company History Timeline:
handled through local resources and the scalability provides Company introduces the LineMaster series
enough flexibility to handle large service needs or start up 1989 Expanded paperless system introduced
configurations with tools to help end users successfully attract
1991 CEO group started by users
and retain customers.
The Future: Company purchased by Jack Baldwin
CadCom understands that its customers’ businesses ComMaster, providing Batch Paging and E-mail
revolve around their clients, who expect first-rate service. message delivery introduced.
CadCom is continuing to expand its research and development 1998 VM3 Voice Messaging System with IVR, Auto
operations to provide new ways for its customers to create
Attendant, and Alpha Transcription introduced.
revenue from their existing customer base, along with targeting
new customer bases. In the next year, CadCom plans to 1998 DigiVoice1 digital voice recorder introduced
continue to provide a suite of products and services that will 2000 AccuCall released for beta testing
help customers continue to expand their revenue stream and AccuCall Windows 2000 server system released
grow their business. The first step in this direction will be to 2001 AccuScript Order Entry and Scripting software
introduce Portal, a unified communication system that will
incorporate traditional unified messaging functionality with introduced
customization options. Portal’s integration with AccuCall is 2002 On Call Scheduler for AccuCall released
expected to provide increased services offerings. 2002 Internal VoiceLogger for AccuCall released
About Jack Baldwin: 2002 Installed AccuCall at first hospital client
In 1985, Baldwin founded a telephone answering service
2002 Completed first overseas sale of AccuCall in
called Communications Services to serve the needs of his
Oklahoma-based insurance agency. He then began the Tanzania
purchase and consolidation of equipment manufacturers within 2003 Released AccuCall Web server for remote access
the industry. His first product was the AXON 4V, which was
purchased from AXON Corp. in 1990. In 1995 Baldwin For more information on CadCom, visit www.cadcom.com
purchased CadCom, which he then moved to Oklahoma. or call 800-422-3266. For more information on the
Baldwin was named by the Enid Chamber of Commerce in 2001 CEO user group, call 800-311-3550 or visit
as the Enid Businessman of the Year and was appointed to the www.cadcom.com/CadcomEquipmentOwners.htm.
Connections Magazine • www.connectionsmagazine.com MAY 2003 • 25