Contact center solutions provider Altitude Software devices growth strategies

Infotech Lead India: Altitude Software provides unified customer interaction solutions, managing dynamic contact centers across the globe. It has about 1100 customers in 80 countries. Teresa Botelho Jose, product marketing manager, Altitude Software headquarters and DJ Dutta, country head, Altitude Software India, talks about the latest technology trends in contact centers in an online interview.

What are the latest technology trends in contact centers?

Teresa Botelho Jose:

Contact center organizations are constantly looking at technology innovations to improve their performance.

During 2012 we have seen customer service organizations using the contact center as the heart of their social network. Agents receive Facebook posts, or Twitter messages just like they were receiving emails, or phone calls.

The increasing popularity of smart phones is making mobility an important trend to consider. So besides routing interactions that came from social networks it is also important to incorporate Apps as a customer service channel, bypassing IVR, providing chat and voice interactions.

Cloud computing is also playing an important role in helping the contact centers to operate more efficiently.

DJ Dutta:

APAC is aligned with worldwide trends and has a huge adoption on social networks and mobile applications. With Altitude uCI our customers can add one channel leveraging all previous developments. This agility has been recognized by our partners that know we have the fastest ROI in the market.

A business trend is also to integrate business processes with the contact center. Companies are making an effort into minimizing training times, ensure regulatory and company policy compliance while controlling costs. Focusing on the end-to-end process and guiding agents through the resolution process ensures an increase on productivity and customer satisfaction.

Has mobility (employees working from homes and on-the-go) increased the complexity of contact center infrastructure? How do your solutions support these latest trends?

Teresa Botelho Jose:

The complexity of managing the contact center infrastructure has decreased a lot with VoIP. Companies that operate fully on VoIP no longer need to manage two networks. Plus voice has real-time demands that channels like email do not have. We have agents and supervisors working from home for a long time. What changed recently more in this respect was organization mentality but VoIP also made this technically easier and cost-effective. Nevertheless this has been a reality for decades in some niches like traveling or volunteering (Red Cross) and in countries like UK or US.

In terms of staff on-the go we have examples of contact centers using safari or apps to access real-time management information. We can transfer calls (or interactions) to an employee on-the-go, but we do not see contact center agents on-the-go.

Mobility at the contact center for Altitude is handled at the customer level, and at the management, senior staff level. In other words integrating the contact center with customer Apps and giving mobile access to management information.

How does your contact center software meet compliance and regulatory requirements?

Teresa Botelho Jose:

Altitude uCI is built to be fully compliant with industry and government regulations and legislations Worldwide.

Altitude’s outbound dialer comprises all pacing modes, including powerful predictive dialing algorithms with accurate call classification, that enable with the most demanding compliance and regulatory requirements such as OFCOM, FTC.

For that, the solution has built in DNC lists (do not call) and the configurable nuisance ratio is observed.

What is the one thing that is lacking in today’s call centers (if you think any)? Will you be able to provide that?

Teresa Botelho Jose:

Unification and consistency is still missing. A customer calls in and talks about an email sent and the agent doesn’t have access to it.

A true multi-channel contact center solution is a key differentiator for companies that can offer consistent interactions in a cost effective way.  The phone still plays an important role, but customers won’t care about how complex it is for the organization to handle all the channels. They see the company as a single organization that must handle interactions effectively and consistently in all the channels they’re using.

DJ Dutta:

Agents often do not have the tools or the knowledge they need to be effective.

Companies must focus on deploying agile knowledge management solutions, in line with customer demand, that allow agents to quickly access consolidated information and provide a consistent and unified service.

Simplifying the agent working tools and space is vital. A user friendly interface, free of meaningless and irrelevant information is crucial for agents easily view the information that does matter and not get lost in the middle of too many distractions.

What are the biggest challenges facing call center solutions providers like Altitude? How do you tackle them?

Teresa Botelho Jose:

We do interaction management solutions. People have not changed much over the years. What changed is the environment they live in. Technology evolution affects customer behavior. Since technology is changing in an extremely fast pace contact center solutions must accommodate this changes.

In India I would say Altitude uCI is one of the best kept secrets. We are very well known in other markets, considered leaders in Europe and Latin America, but our main challenge is to reach more people, to increase our market awareness.

DJ Dutta:

I agree. In a market like India where we entered late the lack of market awareness is our main handicap. Although our product is very competitive and once used by our Indian customers they value the solution and prefer it to established solutions. I would say that this interview will be one step towards making us aware and getting fame.

How flexible is your software? How does it get aligned to the needs of your clients from different verticals?

DJ Dutta:

Our software is very flexible. This is one of the main reasons we are the chosen solution by leader CRM and BPO providers. Our customers include company’s likeSitel, Tech Mahindra, Infosys, Club Mahindra, Policy Bazaar, Hero BPO, IBM Daksh, Cleartrip, Sterling, Caliber Point, etc.

Teresa Botelho Jose:

Altitude uCI is independent from the platform and infrastructure allowing companies to leverage previous investments. Altitude uCI leverages existing technology investment by abstracting our code base from specific servers, operating systems, databases and switch platforms thus giving the flexibility without unsettling prevailing investment.

Altitude uCI is used in over 1100 customers in 80 countries, on different industries. The suite offers solution for every type of contact center including Customer Service, Action Request Systems, Telemarketing, Debt Collection and Banking Services.

Who are your major channel partners? How do they contribute for your growth?

DJ Dutta:

Altitude has a vast important network of value added partners like Wipro; Orange Business Services; FutureCalls Technology; AGC Networks; These partners sell, install, and provide first level support to our solutions.

Our partners have a strong presence spread across all over APAC in the contact centers industry. Altitude cost effective application suite works hand in hand with the partners enabling them to be desired provider in the contact centers. Our strategy in India is to grow through our partners. These partners help us to reach out to the relevant customers. It helps in increasing our brand loyalty as well as reducing the operating cost, identify the revenue opportunities & competitive advantages and boost profitability.

Any major expansion plans in India?

DJ Dutta:

We have identified few IT companies who offer complex solutions to global enterprises and government. We are working with these companies to enable them to build expertise on Altitude uCI platform and bundle as part of the overall solution. This is likely to increase local skill pool on Altitude uCI and also increase our reach to large organizations and government.

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