Bell Atlantic Jump Starts Entry into Call Center Business
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Bell Atlantic Jump Starts Entry into Call
Company Brings Call Center Experts into the Fold with
Customer Management Automation
June 24, 1999
NEW YORK -- Bell Atlantic signed an agreement today to acquire
Customer Management Automation (CMA), a privately held nationwide
leader in the growing call center business. Terms of the deal were not
The acquisition -- by Bell Atlantic Data Solutions Group -- expands the
company's suite of services for large businesses and enables Bell Atlantic
to participate in the $2 billion dollar call center market, which is growing
nationally by more than 25 percent per year.
Automated call centers use advanced technology to integrate data and
voice communications to more efficiently route inbound and outbound
calls. Call centers are a powerful tool that businesses can use to improve
customer satisfaction and cut costs.
"This acquisition supports our strategy of aligning with industry
leaders to provide large business customers a complete set of data
networking products and services," said Joe Farina, president and
chief executive officer of Bell Atlantic's Data Solutions Group.
"In this case, we're gaining intellectual property. We're tapping the
extensive knowledge of the experts at CMA to bring our nationwide
client base superior call center systems and support."
CMA is a systems integrator that delivers total, integrated call center
solutions which are based on technologies such as CTI (Computer
Telephony Integration), IVR (Interactive Voice Response) and
Workforce Management. In addition to designing its own software,
CMA works with other software and hardware companies to create call
center solutions that best meet the needs of customers.
"More and more businesses view their call centers as critical
customer contact points where they can improve customer satisfaction,
increase revenues and create new business opportunities," said
Farina. "Our aim in acquiring CMA is to help our business
customers achieve all these."
CMA -- A Perfect Fit
Since it was formed last year, the Bell Atlantic Data Solutions Group has
introduced a comprehensive portfolio of data networking solutions.
Some services were developed internally, while others were brought to
market through partnerships. The acquisition of CMA is the latest
example of Bell Atlantic's commitment to provide end-to-end managed
"CMA's product set and expertise fit perfectly with our
strategy," said Maureen Piche, vice president of business
development for Bell Atlantic's Data Solutions Group. "Our
customers look to us to provide a total package of products and services
that help them better manage their business. This acquisition enables us
to immediately add call center services to our product line."
Bell Atlantic and CMA have been working together over the past three
years to design and deliver call centers to enhance Bell Atlantic's ability
to effectively handle customer calls. The relationship has worked so well
that melding the companies was a natural next step.
"This is the right move at the right time," said CMA
President James Tiller. "Our employees will have an opportunity
to grow with a leading edge data solutions company, our customers will
have access to a broader set of products and services, and we will be able
to offer our expertise throughout Bell Atlantic's extensive sales
Advanced Technologies Provide Powerful Call Routing Tools
Founded in 1995, CMA, based in Dallas, Texas, has quickly established
itself as a leading systems integrator that develops creative and effective
call center solutions. CMA managers are recognized in the industry as
experts in CTI systems integration, one of several key elements of a call
CTI software manages inbound and outbound calls between a company's
automatic call distributor, which routes calls, and the desktop. With
CTI, customer data is sent simultaneously with an inbound call and
automatically appears on the computer screen of the next available agent,
which drives efficiency and improves customer service.
For instance, when a customer calls an 800 number to order merchandise
from a mail order catalog, the call goes to a call center, or collection
point, where data and voice is integrated and the call, as well as
information about the customer, is automatically routed to an agent. The
data -- such as the caller's phone number, address and most recent
purchases -- pop up on the agent's computer screen, enabling the agent to
better serve the customer.
Another call center component, IVR, enables callers to access
information from a database without talking to an agent. For example,
with IVR software, bank customers can find out their savings account
balance by calling the bank and entering their account number.
In addition, Workforce Management software helps companies manage
resources more efficiently by collecting information about daily work
schedules and calling volumes and forecasting how many agents are
needed in the office each day to handle calls.
CMA's set of solutions is known as Enterprise Telephony Integration
(ETI), which is open and non-proprietary and based on a client's call
center architecture. ETI makes it easier and less expensive to link
multiple call center technologies and existing systems and to integrate
new technologies, as they become available.
Piche said CMA has been delivering some of the highest quality products
available today including its flagship product, Infoview, which received
the 1998 product of the year award from Call Center Solutions
magazine. Infoview is an innovative database that enables companies to
store call detail information, provision CTI applications and generate
comprehensive reports on the performance of call center operations.
About Bell Atlantic Data Solutions Group
Bell Atlantic Data Solutions Group (DSG) www.ba-dsg.c is dedicated
to providing globally integrated network solutions that seamlessly
connect businesses with their customers, partners and employees. DSG
provides all aspects of data networking from the management and
operation of customer networks and network integration, to network
transport and advanced IP services such as intranets and extranets, virtual
private networks, web hosting and multimedia services.
About Bell Atlantic
Bell Atlantic is at the forefront of the new communications and
information industry. With 43 million telephone access lines and nine
million wireless customers worldwide, Bell Atlantic companies are
premier providers of advanced wireline voice and data services, market
leaders in wireless services and the world's largest publishers of directory
information. Bell Atlantic companies are also among the world's largest
investors in high-growth global communications markets, with operations
and investments in 23 countries.
About Customer Management Automation
Customer Management Automation (CMA) www.cmaeti.com is a call
center solutions provider focused exclusively on computer telephony
solutions for the Fortune 500 market. CMA's strength is in bringing
"best-in-class" call center products together into one seamless
solution to meet corporate business objectives. CMA is a national
company, headquartered in Dallas, with regional offices in New York,
Cleveland, Raleigh, Denver and San Francisco.
CMA partners with the call center industry's "best-in-class"
providers including Genesys Telecommunications Laboratories, CMA's
primary provider of CTI, as well as Periphonics, IEX, HP, Sun and
Oracle. CMA also maintains a comprehensive professional services
organization that provides applications development, integration,
implementation and product support services.