Genesys: Good Citizen — Usually

By Baselinemag  |  Posted 2004-12-01 Print this article Print

Genesys' prime selling point is that its software speaks with just about any technology in the data center.

One of the best things going for Genesys Telecommunications Laboratories, customers say: It's happy to speak to just about anything else in the call center. The company's Inbound Voice software, for instance, works with five databases and telephone switches from 19 different vendors, including Avaya, Cisco Systems and Nortel Networks.

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"Genesys plays very well with other technologies. That was one of the primary reasons we picked them," says William W. Hanby, vice president of information technology at Jefferson Pilot Benefit Partners, an Omaha, Neb.-based life insurance provider. Jefferson Pilot has a Nortel phone switch in its 100-agent call center and uses Oracle databases running on Hewlett-Packard Unix servers. Last year, it deployed Genesys Inbound Voice for call routing. "We haven't found any shortcomings in the product," Hanby says. "It's lived up to the billing."

Reader's Digest needed call-routing software that would fit in with its Nortel phone switches and Edify interactive voice response system. "After looking at a couple of different options, Genesys came out as the easiest to integrate," says John Delgado, manager of customer care at the Pleasantville, N.Y., publishing company.

But sometimes Genesys' broad support of heterogeneous environments can backfire. J.B. Hunt Transport Services, based in Lowell, Ark., links its Genesys call-center system with an IBM DB/2 database, which it uses to track 15,000 truck drivers. Brad McBride, contact center team lead, says Genesys' weekly product updates—to provide new features or fix bugs—occasionally introduce problems with access to DB/2.

"I don't think they're really able to test all the combinations of systems they support," he says. Genesys acknowledges it regularly issues software updates but says it is unaware of issues with patches introducing compatibility problems. McBride, though, says he's "waiting for the flow of hot fixes to die down" before upgrading from version 6.5 to 7 of the Genesys software.

Still, Genesys' code is more solid than it used to be, says Chris Reimers, director of client service technologies at Merrill Lynch. When Alcatel acquired Genesys in 1999, he says, the French telecom equipment maker brought "software engineering discipline that was sorely needed." —

Call-Center Software

2001 Junipero Serra Blvd.,
Daly City, CA 94014
(415) 437-1100

Ticker: Subsidiary of Alcatel (NYSE: ALA)

Employees: 1,100

Wes Hayden
President, CEO
In June he replaced Laurent Philonenko, who left after four months as CEO. Hayden previously headed North American sales and has held sales roles at Informix Software and Sun Microsystems.

Paul Segre
Promoted to chief operating officer in August, after joining the company in 2002 as chief technology officer. Prior to that, he was general manager of Alcatel's wireline access business unit.

Inbound Voice routes incoming calls based on real-time statistics such as agent availability or other rules; it also provides "screen pop" features that present customer data at an agent's workstation when an incoming call is transferred. Voice Platform is interactive voice response software that provides speech-activated self-service features. Workforce Management forecasts call-center staffing needs and can manage agent schedules.

Reference Checks

J.B. Hunt Transport Services
Brad McBride
Contact Center Team Lead
Project: Trucking and logistics firm uses Inbound Voice to route and log calls to 630 agents, based on either a driver-entered code or Caller ID.

Jefferson Pilot Benefit Partners
William W. Hanby
VP, Information Technology
Project: Life insurance provider in Omaha, Neb., uses Inbound Voice to route calls into the call center, replacing Nortel's Symposium call-routing system.

Reader's Digest
John Delgado
Mgr., Customer Care
Project: Publisher uses Genesys' Enterprise Routing software to distribute calls to about 125 agents at an outsourced call- center provider in Canada.

Merrill Lynch
Mark Addeo
Mgr., Computer Telephony Integration Team
Project: Uses Genesys software to route 120,000 calls per day to four locations based on agent availability, account type, frequency of calls and other factors.

Tampa Electric
Debby Kane
Project Manager
Project: Tampa, Fla., electric utility uses Genesys software for inbound and outbound call management and interactive voice response at its 120-agent call center.

BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee
Hugh Hale
Dir., Technical Services
Project: Health insurance firm uses Genesys for call routing and providing screen pops, linked to a Nortel phone switch.

Executives listed here are all users of Genesys' products. Their willingness to talk has been confirmed by Baseline.

Est. product sales, 2003: $76M, for North America only
Customers: 2,700 worldwide

Regional Offices
45 worldwide, including offices in Berkshire, England; Munich; Sydney; Taiwan; and Tokyo

Key Marketing Partners

Accenture, Alcatel, IBM, PeopleSoft, SAP, Siebel Systems

Key Customers
Financial: Merrill Lynch, Mutual of Omaha, New York Life Insurance, St. Paul Travelers Cos., T. Rowe Price

Health Care: Harvard Pilgrim Health Care, Kaiser Permanente

Manufacturing: Konica Minolta, PepsiAmericas

Retail: 1-800-Flowers.com, Bausch & Lomb, Home Shopping Network

Telecommunications: MCI, Qwest, SBC, Sprint, Verizon

Utilities: Oklahoma Gas & Electric

Sources: company reports; Gartner (Sales est.)


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