• 20 Sep 2018 12:00 AM | Kerry Hallard (Administrator)

    ABSL have announced their jury for the upcoming ABSL Diamonds Awards on the 5th December. The jury has been comprised of four members including President and CEO of the Global Sourcing Association Kerry Hallard and Christian Mertin, Global Advisory Solutions Leader at EY.

    ABSL Diamonds is the most prestigious sector awards, recognizing companies which implemented the most innovative projects enhancing their business and strengthening the business services sector’s position as the powerhouse of the economy. Every year the aim is to identify successful activities in business services sector, promote best practices, encourage and inspire other companies to follow the best ones.

  • 18 Sep 2018 12:00 AM | Kerry Hallard (Administrator)

    UiPath, Romania’s first IT unicorn, tripled its value in six months after receiving $225 million in a new funding round from Sequoia Capital and Google’s CapitalG, the WSJ reports. The Robotic Process Automation (RPA) software provider, currently a market leader, began as a Bucharest-based startup founded by a team of ten led by Daniel Dines, the company’s CEO and Marius Tirca (CTO).

    The new funding round, led by Sequoia Capital and Capital G, comes six months after the company raised $153 million from Accel, Capital G and KP, and saw its valuation shoot to $1 billion, achieving unicorn status. So far, the company has received USD 400 million in funding.

    "After years toiling in obscurity, three startups have suddenly hit the jackpot in a corner of the enterprise-software market sprinkled with artificial intelligence,” the WSJ writes about UiPath Inc., Blue Prism Group PLC and Automation Anywhere Inc. “Now they are racing to one-up each other to appear the market leader.”

  • 18 Sep 2018 12:00 AM | Kerry Hallard (Administrator)

    NewVoiceMedia, a leading global provider of cloud contact centre and inside sales solutions, today announced that SecOps firm Rapid7 has selected the NVM Platform to deliver a personalised, exceptional experience to its globally expanding customer base.

    Rapid7 powers the practice of SecOps by delivering shared visibility, analytics and automation that unites security, IT and DevOps teams. Headquartered in Boston, Rapid7 serves more than 7,100 customers in 120+ countries, including 55 percent of the Fortune 100.

    Rapid7 selected NewVoiceMedia’s cloud contact centre solution for its integration with the organisation’s CRM system, which will enable the service team to instantly access customer engagement histories and personalise each interaction. With service agents located around the globe, Rapid7 is also leveraging NVM’s global call routing architecture, Global Voice Assurance. It will allow the service team to manage its resources across the globe as a single entity, reducing customer wait times while ensuring reliable call quality and service availability for calls in remote regions.

    The NVM Platform will also provide a real-time window into Rapid7’s entire support operation, with automatic call logging, recording and customisable reporting features that will allow the support team to understand where improvement opportunities exist.

    “Rapid7 is deeply committed to providing our customers with a personalised and exceptional experience every time they interact with our organisation, our products, and our services”, says Rajeev Jaswal, CIO at Rapid7. “We needed a reliable cloud contact centre solution that would integrate seamlessly with our CRM, and, NewVoiceMedia met those needs”.

    Chris Haggis, SVP Customer Success at NewVoiceMedia, adds, “We’re delighted to be working with Rapid7 and look forward to seeing the company transform its customer service and business efficiencies. Customer experience is becoming the primary tool for companies to differentiate, and NVM will help Rapid7 outcompete on CX by making every conversation great. Additionally, our true cloud solutions are completely flexible and scalable and will continue to support the business throughout its future expansion".

  • 12 Sep 2018 12:00 AM | Kerry Hallard (Administrator)

    LONDON, Hotellobot (07/09/18)- Hotellobot is an ingenious guest information service software that can be paired with Hotellobot Robot Hardware to make the world’s first and only personal hotel concierge robot.

    Hotellobot Software can be used in conjunction with Amazon Dot Voice Hardware, Amazon Spot Screen Hardware or Hotellobot Robot Hardware to provide an exceptional, user-friendly, guest information system. With a vocal command or touch of the screen, depending on which hardware is used, Hotellobot is able to provide guests with information specific to their hotel stay - including menus and timetables.

    It is the combination of Hotellobot Software and Hotellobot Robot Hardware that provides an altogether unique concierge assistant to guests and staff alike - the first of its kind worldwide. Hotellobot Robot Hardware can be connected to a network of staff smart watches, allowing guests to request concierge services from the comfort of their room. The conservation of resources and staff time as a result of the communication between Hotellobot Software, Hotellobot Robot Hardware, and staff smart watches will be unprecedented.

    Data collected from this unique network will produce invaluable information regarding guest requests, and assist hoteliers in projecting and implementing the most economical direction of employee and resource.

    Hotellobot is a multifaceted, unique software and robot hardware, that will provide support to guests, staff, and hoteliers alike. Hotellobot will bring an adroit, previously unchartered dimension to concierge and guest services. Technology in hotel rooms is a step towards a more efficient, cutting-edge business model. The 24 - hour, unlimited nature of Hotellobot’s functionality will transform the accessibility of guest services, as well as eradicate unnecessary calls to reception desks.

  • 12 Sep 2018 12:00 AM | Kerry Hallard (Administrator)

    Arvato CRM Solutions has been named as a ‘Leader’ in an extensive vendor evaluation report for Digital Customer Experience Services from NelsonHall, the leading business process services and IT services research and analysis firm.

    The NelsonHall report evaluates global outsourcing vendors on their ability to deliver customer experience improvements, optimize costs, manage volume and scale, and generate revenues. Arvato CRM Solutions is one of a small number of companies that NelsonHall recognizes as ‘a leader’, based on their overall ability to deliver immediate client benefits and meet future customer service requirements.

    NelsonHall identifies cost optimization and customer experience improvements as particular strengths of Arvato CRM Solutions - including offshoring and nearshoring, operation consolidation, improvement in turnaround time through process optimization and automation, increase of customer satisfaction, reduced customer effort, and process improvement. Other highlights include the company’s proprietary conversational AI framework, strong technology and CX innovation partnership network, and mature self-service offering.

    Andreas Krohn, CEO at Arvato CRM Solutions, said: “Being identified as a leader by NelsonHall is a testament to our delivery of truly market-leading customer service for many of the world’s best-known brands. It’s our combination of technology, people and deep experience that makes the real difference and means we can deliver great customer service that our clients value, now and in the future.”

    Ivan Kotzev, CX Lead Analyst at NelsonHall, said: “Arvato CRM Solutions is well positioned to meet the key current and future client requirements for digital self-service. The company’s NLU capability and proprietary analytics and conversational AI frameworks, as well as domain experience, are fundamental to achieving cost optimization and improving the customer experience.”

  • 6 Sep 2018 12:00 AM | Kerry Hallard (Administrator)

    The Board of TSB Bank Plc has today announced that after 7 years as CEO, Paul Pester will be stepping down from his position and leaving the company.

    Richard Meddings, current Non Executive Chairman of TSB, will take on the role of Executive Chairman with immediate effect in order to enable a full public search to commence for a new CEO.

    Whilst there is still work to do to achieve full stability for customers, TSB’s systems and services are much improved since the bank’s IT migration earlier this year. Paul and the Board have therefore agreed that this is the right time for Paul to step down and to appoint a new CEO for TSB.

    Commenting on the changes, Richard Meddings said:

    "Paul has made an enormous contribution to TSB. Thanks to his passion and commitment, TSB is today one of the UK’s strongest challenger banks, serving over 5 million customers across the UK. On behalf of the TSB Board, I want to thank Paul for everything he has achieved as CEO and pay tribute to the contribution he has made in bringing greater competition to the UK retail banking market.

    "Although there is more to do to achieve full stability for customers, the bank’s IT systems and services are much improved since the IT migration. Paul and the Board have therefore agreed that this is the right time to appoint a new CEO for TSB. Our goal is therefore to allow a full search to commence, without any distractions, enabling TSB to build for the future.

    "Meanwhile I have been asked by the Board to take on the role of Executive Chairman on an interim basis. Together with the Executive Committee, we have three immediate priorities: to complete the work of putting things right for customers; to enable the bank to achieve full functionality – including the availability of all product services and launch of a leading Business Banking offer; and appointing a CEO for the next chapter of TSB."

    Paul Pester said:

    "Five years ago, on 9 September 2013, we launched TSB back onto high streets across Britain. I vividly remember standing in our Baker Street branch, waiting to reveal TSB above the door. But it wasn’t just a sign we were revealing – we were revealing a bank with a clear mission to bring more competition to UK banking and ultimately make banking better for all UK consumers.

    "Thanks to the fantastic work and commitment of all TSB Partners, we have achieved real success in creating a bank which is truly consumer-focused, attracting customers from the UK’s established banks, and growing TSB’s balance sheet from c.£18bn to c.£31bn today. The last few months have been challenging for everyone at TSB. However, I want to thank all my colleagues across TSB for their dedication and commitment during this period and for their focus on putting things right for TSB customers.

    "It has been a privilege to lead TSB through its creation and first five years. I look forward to seeing the next stage of our bank’s history evolve."

  • 3 Sep 2018 12:00 AM | Kerry Hallard (Administrator)

    London, 03.09.2018: Intelenet® Global Services, a renowned global Business Process Services player today announced that the company has set up a centre in Jordan with the inauguration of its latest global delivery centre. The state-of-the-art centre with a capacity of 200 seats will help the company expand its operations across all sectors and provide low cost Arabic delivery based on emerging client demands.

    Intelenet has four centres in the Middle-East catering to clients across travel, logistics, telecom, financial services and public sectors with cost optimal BPS service offerings in English and Arabic. The Jordan centre is a stepping stone which will allow Intelenet to provide hybrid onshore and offshore delivery locations. The centre is in the process of expanding to a 500-seater facility and will be a pivotal centre for driving growth in the GCC region.

    Piety Gonsalves, Managing Director – Middle East, Intelenet Global Services said, “Jordan is a strategic low cost nearshore delivery location for us and this centre underscores our intent to grow aggressively in this region leveraging local talent. We see significant opportunities to grow across sectors. With this strategic presence in Amman, our continuous endeavour is towards operational excellence and delivering customer satisfaction by providing digital transformation based new age innovations.”

    Intelenet® has a global footprint with presence in eight countries with a combined strength of 40+ service centres and 55,000 employees to meet the growing requirements of businesses from various corners of the world in multiple languages.

  • 3 Sep 2018 12:00 AM | Kerry Hallard (Administrator)

    London, 3 September 2018 - Powered by Deezer and UMG Live, AFest is AfricaCom’s official stellar networking event, and will bring 1000s of industry leaders together in one of Cape Town's hottest venues - Shimmy Beach Club at the V&A Waterfront, Cape Town - on Tuesday, 13 November 2018.

    AFest, now in its third year, is always a popular event on the AfricaCom agenda. 2018 will be even more so with the announcement of a partnership with Internet-based music streaming service, Deezer. All AFest ticket holders will now be eligible for a 3-month subscription to Deezer, activated when attending AFest (entry costs $40/ticket). Ticket holders will be able to experience Deezer’s innovative leading functionality, including the extensive local catalogue, data optimisation, offline features, the signature FLOW feature and content curation for Africa.

    Gillian Ezra, Head of African Operations for Deezer commented, “The partnership between AFEST and Deezer works so well. As the streaming service with the largest footprint on the African continent, it makes perfect sense to partner with this incredible event and the AfricaCom event overall. We look forward to a great night with fantastic artists”.

    In the wake of last year’s AFest headliners - AKA, Black Motion and Mr Silk – along with celebrating AfricaCom’s 21st show and now with a turbo boost Powered by Deezer and UMG Live, AFest 2018 is set to make a splash. The phenomenal line-up will include TRESOR, The Muses and Swing City, with more acts to be announced.

  • 3 Sep 2018 12:00 AM | Kerry Hallard (Administrator)

    Only one third of senior executives in UK organisations admit their company insurance currently covers them for a security breach and for the financial impact of data loss, despite the fact that 81 per cent agree that it is ‘vital’ their organisation is insured against information security breaches. This is according to the latest Risk:Value report from NTT Security, the specialised security company of NTT Group, which also reveals that less than a third (29 per cent) of firms have dedicated cyber security insurance in place.

    The 2018 report, which looks at the attitudes of 1,800 global senior decision makers from non-IT functions to risks to the business and the value of information security, reveals that UK businesses would have to spend on average £1 million to recover from a breach.

    While the UK compares poorly to other markets like the US and Singapore (53 per cent) when it comes to insuring against both information security breaches and data loss, it still fares better than Benelux (27 per cent) and the Nordics (23 per cent in Sweden; 28 per cent in Norway). The UK also ranks second from last for having dedicated cyber insurance, alongside Germany (29 per cent) and just above Benelux (27 per cent).

    Just six per cent of respondents in the UK say their company insurance covers only for information security breaches, while 11 per cent are covered only for data loss. However, the fact that nearly half (45 per cent) of those surveyed do not know if their company insurance covers either of these is a concern, given that it is the highest figure for any of the countries in the report and well above the global average of 23 per cent.

    Kai Grunwitz, Senior VP EMEA, NTT Security, comments: “With estimated annual losses from cyber crime now topping $400bn (£291bn) according to the Center for Strategic and International Studies, you would hope more organisations would be beating a path to insurers’ doors. But while the insurance sector is certainly seeing growth in the number of policies being taken out to cover such losses, it’s an issue that many senior decision makers are not on top of."

    According to figures, the number of insurers now offering cyber insurance via Lloyd's of London has leapt to more than 70, nearly double the number a few years ago, while insurance giant Allianz predicts that global cyber insurance premiums will grow to $20bn by 2025, up from around $3-4bn currently.

    According to the 2018 Risk:Value report, half of respondents in UK organisations believe that the failure to maintain or apply updates to existing IT systems would or could invalidate their company insurance, while 37 per cent point to lack of compliance with industry regulations, including the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which came into force in May. While 63 per cent of respondents in the UK say they have an incident response plan in place, and another 18 per cent are in the process of implementing one, 38 per cent agree that lack of an incident response plan could or would also invalidate their company insurance.

    Incident response is a basic requirement of best practice security and is even more important with the GDPR mandating 72-hour notifications following a breach. The GDPR and NIS Directive both require organisations in one way or another to follow best practices in cybersecurity, threatening huge fines of up to £17 million or four per cent of global annual turnover for non-compliance.

    NTT Security’s Kai Grunwitz adds: “While cyber risk insurance should be put in place to help mitigate the potential fallout of a data security breach, a policy must not be seen as a ‘get out of jail free' card. Cyber insurance must be complementary to an effective risk-based information security strategy, not a replacement for it. You wouldn't expect your house insurance provider to pay out if you were burgled when the doors and windows are left unlocked. So don't expect a payout – or indeed an insurance policy – if you haven't put in place the right processes and policies.”

  • 30 Aug 2018 12:00 AM | Kerry Hallard (Administrator)

    Thomas Cook is to outsource its contact centre operation in Falkirk from October.

    As part of the agreement, all 300 staff will keep their jobs and remain in their current premises.

    The travel giant says the agreement is consistent with its strategy to “streamline operations”. It follows a partnership with Expedia for the online travel agent to provide Cook’s booking platform for city break and hotel-only sales.

    A larger contact centre at its headquarters in Peterborough will remain under Cook’s management, a spokesman confirmed.

    The Falkirk contact centre underwent a multi-million pound refurbishment in 2016. It has been based in the Scottish town since 1997.

    Ingo Burmester, chief of UK source market, Thomas Cook, said: “By using the expertise of a provider like Webhelp for our contact centre in Falkirk, we can keep improving our service while focusing our business where we can create the most value for our customers.”

    David Turner, chief executive officer Webhelp UK, said: “We’re delighted to have been selected to help deliver world class customer experience for Thomas Cook’s holiday customers and proud that our record of excellence in customer service, technology and IT capability and long term commitment to Falkirk made us the right partner for the brand.”

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