PeopleSoft monitors CRM performance

Aiming to offer customers a way to measure and monitor their call-center-based CRM (customer relationship management) deployments, PeopleSoft last week struck a deal with quality-assurance software vendor Witness Systems.

PeopleSoft will integrate Witness' multimedia customer interaction recording and analysis technology, eQuality, into its CRM suite. Using predefined business rules, eQuality's monitoring technology allows contact centers to record sales as well as service representatives' contacts with customers and other external parties.

The goal is to allow companies to capture critical customer contacts as well as enable managers to gather information about the effectiveness of their business processes, with an eye toward implementing new training initiatives or streamlining the flow of information, according to Robb Eklund, vice president for CRM product marketing at PeopleSoft.

"They have a very cool product that maps well to a space in CRM that is hugely important to PeopleSoft: support for call centers," Eklund said. "Most large call centers are looking to add these sorts of abilities to monitor the quality of interactions."

Witness already has integrated eQuality with offerings from other leading CRM vendors such as Siebel Systems Inc., Nortel Networks Corp., and Quintus Corp., which was acquired by Avaya Inc. earlier this year.eQuality "really fills a void in the integrated CRM/call-center solution," said Ken Landoline, vice president and director of telecom research at the Westport, Conn.-based Robert Francis Group Inc.

"Seventy [percent] to 75 percent of the cost of running a call center is human resources -- a [turnover] rate of 25 [percent] to 30 percent is not unusual," Landoline said. "Things like training people, keeping morale up, making sure reps don't walk across the street for an extra 15 cents per hour are significant challenges for many corporations. This is a suite that can cater to those needs -- training, the [employee] selection process, weeding out poor agents, or identifying areas for improvement will ultimately save corporations money."eQuality includes technology to sample screen-navigation sequences, automatically capture system use, and enable complete analysis of recorded interactions. Companies can build a customized integration through the suite's open-API middleware component, eQuality Connect.

"It's used most commonly to evaluate each different customer experience, but we're seeing more and more interest in using the application even before the [CRM] rollout begins," said Nancy Treaster, senior vice president of marketing at Witness. "It's a great help in justifying the return on investment."

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