Contact Centre Expo

Written by Steve Walker

Had a chance over the weekend to reflect on what was a fantastic two days at Contact Centre Expo in Docklands on Wednesday and Thursday. Trade shows are always difficult, with exhibitors torn between harassing passing footfall or watching on as potential clients walk past, avoiding eye contact. Fortunately for us (and our partner M12 Solutions) we had a world exclusive in the first public outing of v6 of the Hermes Omni-channel contact centre platform. I know beauty is in the eye of the beholder but after a few years of being brilliant functionally but a bit of an ugly duckling, the new front end provides some real eye candy and managed to attract a lot of attention.

The next challenge when someone does express interest is not to completely overwhelm them by attempting to sell the solution and close the deal on the spot. With over 100 stands to get round, no-one has a couple of hours spare to go through all 723 features of the system, though that didn’t stop one over enthusiastic exhibitor from trying exactly that with me when I had a walk around! We chose to have a pre-built, canned demonstration which illustrated the main points just enough to whet appetites and book more in depth meetings as a follow up.

I must also say a big thank you to Nigel Cannings, CTO of Intelligent Voice, who after a quick intro from me gave a very engaging talk on how to use Speech Technology to help reduce the almost £5bn per annum in fraud within the insurance industry (other industries experiencing fraud are also available). Nigel’s company has teamed up with some ex-Scotland Yard detectives who have many years’ experience in identifying speech patterns which are indicative of dishonest behaviour. The system is programmed to search all call recordings (and other media types) for these tell-tale signs and flag any conversations which may be suspect for further investigation. As the system is machine based it can perform in a few minutes what takes a person several hours and can thus be applied across all conversations. Once flagged, one possible next step is to then use voice biometrics to compare callers to known fraudsters.

I love the way in which abstract technology can be applied to solve real world problems and reducing the fraudulent activities in the financial services sector will benefit all of us with reduced premiums and faster handling.

With 15 serious expressions of interest the show was worthwhile, and we will be back next year, hopefully we will see you there!

Steve, Managing Director Ciptex

Steve is Head Honcho at Ciptex. He has over 25 years’ experience in Telecoms and IT and has held senior positions in public, private and VC backed companies in both the UK and Ireland.

At the age of 27 he started his first business, Direct Voice & Data Ltd and was a semi-finalist in Entrepreneur of the Year 2000. The business was acquired in late 2000 by Convergent Communications Plc where Steve became Sales Director, before becoming Divisional Director for Azzurri Communications. In his last role, Steve was MD of Avaya partner and Systems Integrator IP Integration, specialising in Enterprise and Contact Centre solutions. Along the way Steve has also founded and sold a telecoms business specialising in Contact Centres in Ireland.

In addition to competitive sports and Motorsport, Steve is passionate about the benefits that Hosted Solutions can provide when correctly designed and implemented.

“People are the greatest asset of any business; I seek to put the interests of my colleagues above my own and will do all I can to help them achieve their goals, and to feel proud and fulfilled in their roles. I always deal openly and honestly with my supply chain partners, appreciating their needs and working collaboratively to achieve common goals. With that in mind I am very excited about the future of Ciptex.”