When Customers Speak VEXIS Listens!
Philip Fuller, President
With the close of the 3rd quarter we make the final turn towards the year’s end and I would like to personally thank all of our customers for not only their business but also for their feedback. Many of you have used this newsletter and our customer surveys (post-project and post-support) to send us your comments and opinions on how VEXIS can continue to improve to meet your changing needs. I thank you all for your kind words, encouragement, and suggestions. In this newsletter you will find several areas where your comments and feedback are driving change.
First up is Jacob Martin’s article where he discusses improvements in our Services group, in particular our Extended Application Warranty program which is designed to help streamline your annual budgeting process and help you get more services for less money. Next is David Baker’s article discussing how VEXIS is making it easier for our customers to interact with our Account Consultants and have access to more documents and information to help them make the most informed decision for their business. Then Brian Smith discusses the ongoing innovations in our online Customer Portal. And lastly, we have Richard Wolff’s latest update on how our Envoy® Server puts to use the concept of “resource management” to lead to remarkable performance, flexibility, savings, and feature set for providing solutions to your technological issues.
Please take some time to read the articles as I am certain you will find them informative and helpful.
Also, an important reminder for those who have delayed or postponed their 2009 planned upgrades and minor application changes, we are starting to see the usual rush to get these projects underway. With time running out, I would encourage everyone to get their upgrade orders in as soon as possible, especially since the project queue is beginning to build. For those who may not be aware, all upgrade requests made in Q4 are scheduled on a first come first serve basis, in order to best accommodate the demand. To insure your project makes the schedule for 2009 please return your signed order schedule today. If you need any assistance placing your upgrade order or if you need a quote for an upgrade or any other End-of-Year work please contact one of our Account Consultants either by e-mail (email@example.com) or calling 918-663-8080.
Thanks again for your business and for taking the time to read the VEXIS Voice and we look forward to working with all of our customers to ensure they have a successful end to 2009!
2010 Annual Software Support Renewals Approaching
Blake Cardwell, Manager of Customer Support
As you know, now that we have entered the 4th quarter for many of our customers this means finalizing plans and budgets for 2010. If you haven’t already, make sure you include your annual software license and support to protect your investment by budgeting for continued support coverage of your IVR platform.
Your software support contract with VEXIS Systems ensures that you have access to our highly-skilled, specialized Support Analysts and Developers, as well as assistance from the software manufacturer including access to software patch releases and new releases of VEXIS provided IVR, CTI, and Reporting platforms. Be sure that your critical systems are continually protected by keeping your support contract up to date. The consequences of an outage to your mission critical contact center systems can have a huge financial impact to your company, overload human resources (CSRs), as well as decreased customer satisfaction. We suggest that the platform support coverage of your contact center platforms (IVR, CTI, etc.) be considered a necessity for you and your customers.
To assist you, watch for more information that will be communicated in the coming weeks.
Extended Application Warranty Enhancements
Jacob Martin, Vice President of Operations and Solution Services
As part of our continuing effort to provide high quality service and support that is efficient, convenient, and responsive to our valued customers, we have significantly enhanced our Extended Application Warranty program. Designed with the needs and requirements of our customers in mind, we have designed a program that now includes many additional key benefits.
Platform support is very important to protect your investment; however, it is just as important to protect all parts of the solution including the applications. Self service applications tend to be thought of as a one-time development effort and after the applications are deployed, the systems transition into IT operations mode where only system availability and basic functionality are monitored. If the systems are up and taking calls, little focus is placed on the actual performance of the application functionality.
Much time is spent gathering requirements and designing the self service application. However, it is impossible to forecast exactly how your customers will interact with the application once it has been deployed. A plan for maintaining your self service applications is just as important as the initial design. Just like live agents, self service applications need to adapt. Live agents are constantly trained on how to efficiently and effectively serve your customers. Likewise, applications need to be regularly reviewed and tweaked to make sure task automation and customer experience are optimized. VEXIS recognizes this need and has bundled many of the services our customers need to keep their deployed applications operating correctly and at peak performance into the Extended Application Warranty program.
At VEXIS, we utilize our proven VIP methodology for application maintenance, including application support, system upgrades, application enhancements and speech tuning. Typically, we begin with a full system and application checkup, then corrective maintenance, evolving to adaptive and preventive maintenance. For speech applications, a complete maintenance speech tuning cycle is also included to ensure the existing grammars are optimized and performing at the highest recognition rates. Our years of experience with a wide range of contact center technologies ensures that this methodology works and is adapted to your company’s specific requirements.
Benefits of an Extended Application Warranty
- Increased predictability and performance of applications
- Significant reduction of application maintenance costs
- Takes the guess work out of budget planning
- Lowered risks of extended system and application outages
- Faster deployment of moves, adds and changes to existing applications
- Opportunities for new self service applications and technology are uncovered
A VEXIS Extended Application Warranty provides the most cost-effective method for maintaining your applications.
By budgeting for and including the Extended Application Warranty as part of your annual support plan, not only can you ensure your applications are functioning correctly and free of defects, but you can keep your applications up-to-date and properly tuned.
According to our most recent customer support audits, we discovered many customers may have inadvertently let their application support coverage lapse, so please be on the lookout for more information from your VEXIS account team.
VEXIS Customer Portal Improvements
Brian Smith, Director of Strategic Initiatives
Since the inception of the VEXIS Customer Portal last year, we’ve received great feedback and feature requests from our customers as well as our support staff. Our continued goal is to provide thorough and efficient service and support to all of our customers, and Management Escalation, our newest feature enhancement to the VEXIS Customer Portal aims to do just that.
Everyone here at VEXIS, from project managers to programmers, and designers to support technicians strive to ensure that your IVR or CTI solution is reliable and efficient. When an issue arises that affects the usability of your system, VEXIS’ objective is to solve your problem in a timely manner that is consistent with the assigned priority level when you open the support ticket. If the response goals are exceeded and you are unhappy with the response that you are receiving, the issue should be escalated to the next level of VEXIS management. One level of escalation is accomplished by one phone call to the Customer Portal or Support Line.
To escalate a Support Ticket, call 888-588-3947, when prompted, state that you are calling about an existing issue, enter the ticket number, and then ask to escalate the issue. The IVR will escalate the issue to the next level of management.
Please allow enough time for each escalation to take place before escalating the issue to the next level. The order of escalation is as follows:
1. Manager of Customer Support – Blake Cardwell
2. Vice President of Operations – Jacob Martin
3. President of VEXIS Systems, Inc. – Philip Fuller
The new Management Escalation feature is available now on the VEXIS Customer Portal, and should be used per the terms of your VEXIS Customer Support Agreement. If you have any questions regarding your support agreement, or would like additional information, feel free to contact your VEXIS Systems account manager at 918-663-8080 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
VEXIS Implements NEW Communication Tool
David Baker, Vice President of Sales
In order to make your VEXIS Account Team more efficient and effective in their day to day communications with you we have implemented the Landslide P3 System (www.landslide.com). Although there are many advantages to implementing such a system, I want to especially highlight one advantage that should be of particular interest to you our customers, partners, and prospects.
At the heart of strong customer relationships are a number of intangibles that total up to a unique experience that you cannot get anywhere else. These are the type of experiences we strive to create on a daily basis to make it productive and enjoyable for you to work with VEXIS. Landslide’s P3 System helps us to create valuable one on one experiences by providing our customers, partners, and prospects a private, dedicated collaborative relationship portal for each company that allows sending and receiving documents easily and securely.
Over the coming weeks and months your Account Team will be utilizing what is called the “iO Channel” from Landslide in order to share literature, documents, Statements of Work, and Quotes with you on a dedicated website for your company with both the VEXIS Systems logo as well as your own. For your convenience, your Account Team will use the iO Channel to:
- Provide a centralized repository of all documents that will be accessible by all individuals who are involved with a particular customer project or potential engagement. All individuals can access this portal 24/7 and remained informed on any documents that are shared.
- Avoid file delivery issues associated with emailing large documents and spam filters. Your VEXIS Account Consultant will just post the documents to the iO Channel once and each member of the group involved in the project will receive an alert that relevant documents are available for review and comment.
This will enable you to know, not wonder whether or not your Account Consultant has sent you documents that you need or have requested. No more scrolling through your Inbox of emails to try and find the latest version of a Quote or Statement of Work. You will simply receive an alert to tell you that there is something posted to your company’s dedicated website that needs to be downloaded. It’s as easy as that!
I welcome your feedback on the iO Channel and if you feel it has improved the overall communication between VEXIS, you, and your company. As always, thank you for your continued business and the opportunity to be your premier contact center solutions partner.
Enjoy the Fall season!
Envoy® Updates – Envoy® Server Resource Management
Richard Wolff, Director of Software R&D
In this issue we will explore how Envoy® Server puts to use the concept of “resource management” in several ways that lead to remarkable performance, flexibility, and feature set.
First things first though – what is resource management? Well, it is management of one or more resources, of course. Hmmm, let me try that again. If a “resource” is something that you have in limited supply, and if demands for that resource outnumber the resource count, you must then in some way “manage” the exposure of the resource in order to satisfy the demands in an efficient manner. So for instance, you may have plenty of people with coffee mugs but there is only one coffee pot. In this scenario you might want to make sure the coffee drinkers “take turns” retrieving their drink so that everyone has a chance to access the “resource” of the coffee pot. Now you could take ordered or random turns, enforce “one cup only” rules, or let the thirstiest get the most coffee. Regardless of the implementation, employing resource management allows one coffee pot to be used by several different people that want to have a drink; otherwise, without management, a rush on the single coffee pot could get ugly with no one receiving any coffee – truly an office nightmare. Note that while the coffee is being poured, it cannot be accessed by a different consumer; the next drinker has to wait until the previous is done pouring – this is called “locking” a resource. Resource locking basically means we do not break any “rules” associated with the given resource – in our example the coffee pot only pours in one mug at a time. Good resource management makes the locking imposed upon the requestors occur as little as possible or even completely disappear; in our example locking is reduced by adding a second pot, so one pot is brewed while the other one is being poured out…
So what are the resources that Envoy® Server has to manage?
- Memory is something that most software providers no longer pay much attention to because it is considered “inexpensive” so the vendor application is programmed based upon the premise that memory is just “allocated on demand” as needed. But wait a minute – doesn’t a piece of hardware have limited memory on board? And doesn’t the owner of the hardware still need to buy that memory? Yes!! Envoy® Server manages memory carefully – it not only is written to be very memory efficient, it also has some built-in memory allocation and heap management routines. These advanced memory resource management techniques lead to more efficient use of memory while also improving performance and reducing fragmentation. Going back to our example above – if there are three available coffee pots and the “brew on demand” (i.e. need a clean pot for each brew) model were used, we would hit a hard limit of three brew cycles. Compare that with a managed approach on the other hand that used a routine where pots are “recycled” (i.e. cleaned when not in a pour or brew cycle); in this scenario we can keep reusing pots very efficiently as they are emptied. The employment of memory resource management makes the Envoy® framework very efficient, which in turn will keep you from having to deploy as many separate hardware servers.
- Network connections is another area where many vendors’ applications use a model of “allocation on demand” whenever there is a need to communicate with a new destination. Sure, the connection has to be made, but why incur a performance hit associated with creating a new connection to the destination every single time? If the application provides connectivity services, then connections are needed constantly – so why create and destroy them repeatedly? Again through the use of resource management, the connections can be “recycled” at a much lower performance cost than a build / tear down iterative process. Envoy® Server uses many allocation strategies as well as the concept of shared connections (pooling of similarly tasked connections) in order to make very efficient use of network connections. Inbound connection requests to Envoy® Server are handled in a highly optimized manner that eliminates processor overhead associated with “waiting” for potential requests and instead targets processor cycles only for inbound requests that have already presented themselves to the server. Outbound connections are pooled and therefore allow multiple different plugins to use the same connections rather than every plugin establishing its own set of connections. The resource management of connections within Envoy® Server maps closely to the memory resource management, with the result again being more performance at a lower overall penalty to the machine. As a solution scales, these performance efficiencies present themselves in terms of less hardware requirements.
In addition to the physical resource savings detailed above, there are strategic savings to be had by using the Envoy® framework as well. Envoy® Server can dynamically manage a pool of backend system connections for interested desktop applications; this becomes extremely important when connectivity involves expensive per seat licensing. Envoy® Server can also be used effectively to throttle demand on backend resources in the event this amount of granular control is a requirement. Finally, time investment can be a huge savings by using generic XML messaging – the simple and portable protocol used by the Envoy® framework – to do all your application data access and resource monitoring activities. The Envoy® framework is completely vendor neutral so developing on one platform and deploying to another – or having to upgrade in the middle of development to a new platform – becomes a much less costly affair when code can be moved rather than designed and written again. Pour yourself a “cup of joe” and think about the potential savings!
Stay tuned for additional “Envoy® Updates” in the next issue of the VEXIS Voice.
This newsletter is designed to provide you with useful support, technical and key topics of interest to you in a fast and efficient manner.
Let us know what you’re interested in seeing future issues. The goal is to make the results you get reading this as worthwhile as possible for your time.
How to Reach Support
Call 918-663-8080 and say “Support”.
How to Reach Your VEXIS Account Manager
Call 918-663-8080 and say “Sales” or email email@example.com