LOOKING AHEAD with Kevin Beale - Vice President for Software, R & D
This edition of Looking Ahead examines streamlining data entry through automated data conversion and importing. Call centers and hospitals spend significant time entering data into their systems to meet call handling and application requirements. Automating portions of the data entry process offers significant benefits in reducing costs, reducing errors, reducing implementation time, streamlining processes, and improving customer satisfaction.
One of the major challenges call centers face is keeping their application data current, given all of the changes taking place in the industry, and advancements in software. A good example of this is the challenge of converting AMTELCO Infinity based application data to Intelligent Series (IS) based application data. Most of this conversion is done manually, one client at a time. This can take years since it is generally blended in as part of the normal day to day operations.
The need to convert Infinity application data to IS application data continues to grow as AMTELCO moves forward with introduction of new platforms such as MergeComm, Genesis soft switching and Soft Agent. These platforms are IS based and require a customer to have their application data converted to IS.
Another challenge that hospitals face is to synchronize their employee data with the call center. Hospitals are very focused on employee directories being the foundation for employee information, call transfer handling, and messaging. Hospitals typically have thousands of employees which makes manual entry of employee directory listings impractical.
How can AMTELCO help? We can help by making the manual data entry process as simple as possible. We can also help by offering automated data conversion tools that can help reduce manual data entry. This article focuses on automated data conversion.
AMTELCO offers a number of tools to automate data entry and conversion. The tools include the IS Transformer and the IS OnCall Schedule Importer. The IS Web API also can be used to facilitate automated data entry through a programmatic interface.
The IS Transformer provides automated data entry and conversion for IS Directory data, IS Agent data, and IS Client data. The IS Transformer enables importing and exporting of data. Multiple IS Transforms can be created with each having unique settings to specify the source and destination for the data. IS Transforms can be scheduled to run automatically using the IS System Schedule.
IS Directory data importing can be used to automate the conversion of Infinity Directory Listings to IS Directory Listings. This can help facilitate the migration to IS Contact Based Architecture and MergeComm. This migration is key for a call center to prepare for the future migration to Genesis soft switching and Soft Agent.
IS Directory data importing is used by hospitals to import hospital employee listings into IS Directory. The hospital employee listings typically originate in an HR data source such as Microsoft Active Directory or PeopleSoft. IS Transformer is able to obtain employee listing data from a database, a delimited file, or using the Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP). The IS Transform of employee data is typically run on a scheduled basis each night. The IS Transform can accept a full replacement of employee listings or just the listings that have been added, updated, or deleted that day.
IS Agent data importing is used to facilitate automated importing of hospital employee listings into IS Agent identities which often are used for enterprise IS Web access in a hospital setting. The data imported into IS Agents typically originates from the same HR data source used for IS
Directory importing. The IS Agent Transform can be scheduled as a separate job and typically is run each night.
IS Client data importing can be used to automate the conversion of client data from third-party systems to IS data as well as converting Infinity Clients to IS Clients. This conversion includes creation of the IS Clients, creation of IS Info Pages, and creation IS Scripts.
The creation of IS Scripts can be used to streamline the process of converting from Infinity messaging to IS messaging. The IS Script created from the transform contains Script Elements matching the fields contained in the Infinity Message Form. Transform options enable tailoring the attributes of the script to match each site’s preferences.
Using IS Transformer to create IS Scripts can quickly enable a site to take advantage of the benefits of IS Scripting such as spell checking, phone number formatting, case conversion, and postal code lookups. Another key benefit is creating a consistent interface for agent call processing and messaging, minimizing training and errors, and avoiding situations where some clients use Infinity Message Forms and other clients use IS Scripting.
The OnCall Schedule Importer can be used to automate the creation of on-call schedule assignments in the IS On-Call Scheduler. This enables importing of on-call schedule assignments from third party systems and Infinity OnCall Schedules. This is another tool that can help facilitate migration to the IS On-Call Scheduler.
The IS Web API a SOAP or REST interface that can be used to update IS application data programmatically. This includes updating directory listings, directory statuses, on-call schedule data and assignments, and accessing and creating messages and initiating dispatches.
AMTELCO is focused on helping call centers streamline processes and minimize the labor required for system administration and updates. The IS Transformer and IS OnCall Schedule Importer are tools we believe can have a big impact on these processes. We are committed to helping sites enable IS applications. We encourage anyone interested in IS Transformer or OnCall Schedule Importer to contact Field Engineering or Training to get started.
Kevin Beale is vice president for software, research and development at Amtelco, a manufacturer and supplier of call center solutions located in McFarland, Wisconsin. Contact him by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.