InForm Reports 360°

  1. Introduction – Good afternoon, my name is Chuck Cuggino of Forerunner Technologies, and I would like to speak about our open development platform, InForm.  Among the many application and integration options InForm offers, contact center reporting and analytics delivers significant benefits in customer servicing, resource optimization, and cost control.

Contact Center is a business discipline which continues to evolve from the early days as a call center, servicing customers via inbound and outbound telephone calls, to today’s multi-media (omni channel), integrated data environments.  

Throughout its development, the basic goals of contact centers have remained constant: 

  • Improved customer service. 
  • Streamlined functioning of staff, procedures, and technology utilization; and 
  • Cost containment.  

Today’s contact centers offer 24/7/365 service, combining:

* Direct access to live agents. 

* Self-service automated applications. 

* Inclusion of “at-home” and remote workers;

* Integration with web site and other information sources; and 

* Internally launched outreach to customers

In the current contact center environment, reporting and analytics have never been more vital to high-quality operations.  But there are other factors pushing end-user organizations to consider an upgrade to their reporting system.

  1. Challenge – “Cloud-based” Communications Systems:

Over a decade ago, in response to the ubiquity, power, and flexibility of data networks, voice systems – primarily PBX’s – were conceived to become an application in the data world.  Forced to accept the inevitable, PBX technology began the evolution which emphasized hardware platforms and resulted in software-based communications.  In conjunction with the reengineering of PBX technology, manufacturers began reconsidering their long-term strategies and viability.  The result for customers was the eventual discontinuation of their premise-based voice systems.  The black-and-white narrative being put forth said that the only path forward was to the cloud regardless of the impact on the end-user.  Proposals for “fork-lift” replacement of PBX’s ignored the realities of financial planning, systems and data security, information management, and internal processes.  Many companies are asking for an alternative.  Forerunner’s InForm platform offers many such opportunities; InForm Reports 360° is one of these.

  1. Opportunity – Flexible System Topology:

In order to continue with your existing premise-based communications environment, despite the ongoing withdrawal of voice manufacturers, and without limiting future opportunities, consideration of our InForm platform can serve you well.  In addition to delivering solutions such as reporting, InForm can be positioned as “middleware’, functioning between voice and data systems.  Having established integrations in the voice and data worlds, and, most importantly, as an open development platform, InForm can:

  • Replace discontinued systems and applications; and
  • Act as the hub to hybrid, hosted, and even cloud system elements.

Thus, the opportunity is to deploy existing and new technology as:

  • On-Premise, wholly or in part;
  • Distributed between different of your sites;
  • Centralized (hosted) in one of your sites;
  • Centralized at a third-party site (NOC); or
  • Cloud, wholly or in part.
  1. Solution – InForm Reports 360°

Forerunner Technologies, Inc. has expanded operations and offers InForm Reports 360° to replace NEC’s discontinued Navigator Reporting application.  Forerunner’s Software Development organization conducts ongoing applications development and systems integration solutions for our customers in premise-based, hosted, and hybrid environments.  Forerunner solutions can even extend the functionality of “cloud’ based systems.  As the ‘manufacturer” of InForm Reports 360°, Forerunner provides all related services and support including continuing development and maintenance of the Platform and its software.

Overview:

InForm Reports 360 provides “cradle-to-grave” reporting on contact center activities in both historical and real-time formats.  Access to raw data and finished reports is available to contact center supervisors and agents but also to interested parties outside the contact center such as business management.  Permission based access ensures confidentiality and security.  Data management, including the means of transmission and storage location(s), ensures that you “own the data” for current use and future retrieval.  

InForm Reports 360° has revolutionized contact center reporting in several important ways:

  1. Data collection – Acting as a “middleware” solution, any application or database used by your organization can be incorporated as part of data collection.  This means that the entire customer transaction – not just the voice component – becomes part of the call record.  You now have comprehensive data on everything happening in the customer interaction.
  2. Database access is provided directly to you – aside from report generation – to facilitate export to other processes such as analytics and more general business activities.
  3. Desk-top Report Generation – InForm Reports 360° includes a desk-top reporting tool which can be used by any interested party.  Easy point-and-click access and use of search windows makes this tool a snap for any user.  Users create their own reports from the many data elements collected and stored in the reporting database.  Pre-scheduling of reports, including regular generation and delivery, and pro-active alerts of critical events ensure effectiveness without disruption to regular business activities.
  4. Management – Access to data and use of reporting tools is 100% controlled by management so that staff and other interested parties can receive the historical and real-time information they need without disruption of their job functions.
  5. Expansion of reported systems and applications – An integral part of InForm Reports 360° is the capability of incorporating outside systems, functions, and data into the reporting solution.  Beginning with voice communications, any activity initiated within the contact center transaction can be collected and propagated to the reporting database. For example, agents may access customer information on their desktop, stored on your network while interacting with a caller.  That information as well as other computer actions taken on the desktop can be included.  The location and extent of data collected is unlimited.  Access to network-based and internet information is defined by your requirements.  System’s access, information exchange, and security protocol is dictated by your IT practices and strictures.
  6. Incorporation of Attendant Console functionality within the contact center – Often, particularly in small to medium contact centers, the Attendant Operators can become a destination within routing schemes.  InForm Attendant Console is fully integrated with the reporting package.  Additional attendant features include:
  • Simultaneous connectivity with multiple, even disparate, PBX/ACD systems;
  • Integration with “911” transactions; and
  • Interface with external databases such as “Active Directory”.
  1. Reporting compatibility with multi-site, multi-system environments – Regardless of the topology of your voice and data systems and of the make and manufacture of systems, InForm reporting can capture data from any system for incorporation into the reporting database.  Since you “own the data”, that database can be parsed, exported, combined with other databases…anything you like…in addition for use by our desktop report generator application.
  2. Desktop Reports Generator – InForm Reports 360° includes desktop report generation capability via dynamically allocatable licenses.  Users may be contact center agents or supervisors, however, licenses can be used by anyone, regardless of assignment in the contact center.  Interested parties from within or without the business can receive reports, receive proactive alerts, create and schedule unique personal reports, and access the report database directly…all controlled by management via permissions.  Because the user environment defines the data elements to be collected, there truly is an unlimited number of reports, as designed by the users.  Management can allow full feature access to any user or can configure the entire report application, disseminating reports and alerts to indicated users via any available communication medium such as desktop display, wallboards, email, messaging, etc.  The creation od proactive alerts can utilize multiple criteria so that very specific events and status can be monitored.  Indee, any data collected by the reporting application can be used in defining alerts.
  3. Expansion and Future Plans – In acquiring and rebranding the InForm Platform and establishing Forerunner as a software development company, we have acquired a mature, established system, with many years of successful operation by over 700 organizations.  We speak of InForm Reports 360° as an immediate opportunity for NEC PBX/ACD users because of the end-of-life of NEC systems, however, InForm is a fully featured communications system delivering solutions such as:
  • Automatic Call Distribution (ACD) – Compatible with NEC, Mitel, Avaya and other leading PBX/ACD environments.
  • Voice Messaging
  • Call Recording.
  • Property Management System integration;
  • Healthcare-specific communications protocols such as HL-7’
  • Contact Center enhancements such as:
    • Automated Callback. 
    • Screen Pop; 
    • Skills-based and Enterprise Routing. 
    • Blended Inbound/outbound communications.
    • Omni-Channel (multi-media) communications; and
    • Web Site and Internet integration.
  • Automated Applications such as:
    • Interactive Voice Response.
    • Scheduling and Appointment Reminders; and
    • Transaction and Payment Processing

……to name just a few.

  1. Conclusion – To conclude, Forerunner and The InForm Platform can restore to you the control, options, and flexibility to maximize communications technology in support of you business with you in control of overall direction and financial investment.