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Wednesday
May212014

Group O and OpenSpan Win ICMI Global Contact Center Award

SAN DIEGO — Group O, the leader in business process outsourcing, and OpenSpan Inc., a global
 provider of worker optimization, activity management and automation solutions, won the International Customer Management Institute (ICMI) Global Call Center Award for Best Use of Technology.
Group O won the award for its use of OpenSpan’s Desktop Automation with Agile Desktop. The companies worked together to streamline Group O’s customer service desktop by reducing the number of applications used, and developed an agile desktop for a more efficient and comprehensive view of customer data. The award was presented May 7 at the second annual ICMI Global Call Center Awards Dinner and Ceremony.
The ICMI Global Call Center Awards is a comprehensive award program dedicated to recognizing the achievements of companies, contact centers and individuals in the customer management industry. It honors the leadership, vision, innovation and strategic accomplishments within the industry. ICMI has organized and managed this awards program for over 10 years.
Based in Milan, Illinois, Group O is a business process outsourcing provider that offers strategic marketing, supply chain, packaging and business analytic solutions. As part of these solutions, Group O provides customer care and call center support for clients across a number of industries. Before partnering with OpenSpan, the company’s contact center agents worked in a number of disparate applications and systems to support their many clients. This created the potential for longer call times and lead-time to locate customer information, which impacted call quality and customer satisfaction measures.
OpenSpan automated many of the manual activities that Group O agents were required to perform and integrated the mission-critical customer information into a 360-degree customer view that transformed customer interactions into gold-standard experiences. By automating these activities, Group O agents can handle calls faster, provide better service and engage with the customers in a higher-value interaction.
The Group O/OpenSpan partnership has yielded impressive results. Group O found that the OpenSpan solutions helped to improve its average handle time (AHT), quality and customer satisfaction scores:
  • AHT on calls supported by OpenSpan automations improved by as much as 40%.
  • Overall AHT decreased from 3:30 to an all-time low of 2:54 over a sustained 90-day period.
  • Quality Assurance (QA) scores improved from 94% to 96%.
  • Customer satisfaction scores increased from 91% to 99% in targeted categories. 
 
In addition, Group O was able to reduce new agent training by a full 1.5 days for new hires, thanks to the OpenSpan solution.  This allows Group O to put agents into production sooner, and the transitional ramp-up time to achieving key metrics has dropped by almost 25%.
“We are extremely proud to have won this award,” said Paul Flemr, director of customer care for Group O. “What started as a non-invasive, low-risk project has produced remarkable results. The OpenSpan Desktop Automation project at Group O has had a tremendous impact on improving the overall efficiency in the contact center, as well as other key areas of the business.”
“OpenSpan is very proud of our partnership with Group O, and we are thrilled to win this award with them,” said Eric Musser, CEO of OpenSpan. “Group O is committed to providing customer service at the highest levels. This award is a testament to their drive to go the extra mile for their clients, and the significant results that can be gained with OpenSpan’s Desktop Automation.” 
About Group O
Group O is a diversified business process outsourcing provider specializing in marketing services, business analytics, supply chain operations and strategic packaging solutions.  A Corporate Plus member of the National Minority Supplier Development Council (nmsdc.org), Group O is an NMSDC National Minority Supplier of the Year honoree and is recognized as a Top 5 Latino-owned Business by the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.  Headquartered in Milan, IL, and with major operations in Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota and Texas, Group O is one of the largest Hispanic-owned companies in the United States and employs more than 1,400.  To learn more, visit www.GroupO.com.
 
About OpenSpan
OpenSpan is a provider of activity intelligence and desktop automation solutions that improve performance, drive revenue and increase efficiencies in contact center, back office and retail storefront environments. Activity Intelligence provides actionable, real-time activity and performance insight used to make informed decisions about people and technologies. Leveraging the critical insight from desktop analytics, organizations use desktop automation to streamline worker activity, simplify critical service processes and remove technology barriers as means to deliver a gold-standard customer experience. OpenSpan solutions are deployed on more than 300,000 desktops across the world, and are optimizing billions of transactions in the banking and financial services, insurance, telecommunications, retail and technology industries. For more information, visit www.openspan.com.
Monday
May192014

Asian-Pacific Islander American Business Leaders Convene in Nation’s Capital for Historic Meeting

Since 1977, the month of May recognizes the achievements and contributions of Asian Americans, Pacific Islanders and Native Hawaiians to the American story. The legislation honoring the significance of our Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) heritage was introduced by some of the finest Asian Americans in U.S. history: Congressman Norman Mineta, Senator Spark Matsunaga, and Senator Daniel Inouye.
On May 5th, the White House Initiative for Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander (AAPI) heritage hosted a business roundtable at the U.S. Department of Commerce, where representatives from the Small Business Administration, International Trade Administration and the Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA), met with more than 50 AAPI business leaders from around the country.
During the meeting, the participants discussed ways to raise awareness of the needs, interests and aspirations of entrepreneurs, business owners and corporate leaders of AAPI heritage. Some of the issues discussed during the meeting were including AAPI in the opportunities for small businesses, international trade and the process for collecting and analyzing statistical data pertaining to AAPIs.
“AAPIs are the fastest growing consumer segment in the U.S. and represent just over six percent of the total population,” said Sach Takayasu, president and chief executive officer of the Asian/Pacific Islander American Chamber of Commerce and Entrepreneurship (ACE), a national Washington-based organization focusing on advancing the business interests of AAPIs throughout the country. “For many years, AAPIs have not had a strong and credible business voice in the halls of government, and we are here to fill that void.”

 

Wednesday
May072014

Church of God In Christ (COGIC) Leadership Encourages Dialogue and Engagement with The Republican Party and Welcomes RNC To Memphis

Shared Values .... Shared Goals


By: Bishops E. Charles Connor and David Allen Hall, Sr

As the Republican National Committee descends upon Memphis, Tennessee, the home of the

International Headquarters of the Church Of God In Christ, Inc. We welcome the RNC to Memphis and look forward to dialogue and building relationships. 

Some if not many would wonder why the Church Of God In Christ would want to engage and have dialogue with the Republican National Committee (RNC)? Over 100 years ago our denomination was founded when Black people were predominately Republican and today we are the largest Black Pentecostal faith organization with over 5 million members. The Church's leadership is concerned about the Black Community, in fact, concerned about the entire nation. 

We do not deny or shy away from the fact that our members are largely conservative, however in the 21 st century we have not had much of a relationship with the Republican Party. Said plainly, the issues are racial in nature but education on both sides would be appreciated, and possibly bring clarity. 

A little over a year ago RNC Chairman Rience Preibus, released the Growth and Opportunity Project, which set out an aggressive agenda to engage the Black community. Immediately after its release the RNC reached out to Church leadership, to begin a dialogue of mutual respect and understanding of our Shared Values and Shared Goals. The RNC has made it clear it wants to strengthen its position within our community and wipe away perceived racial divides. 

Under the leadership of our Presiding Bishop, Bishop Charles E. Blake, Sr, the Church Of God In Christ unveiled our Urban Initiative which focus on the following: 

1. Education
2. Economic Development 3. Crime Prevention
4. Family
5. Financial Literacy

 It is upon these key pillars that the Church would promote dialogue to advance opportunity, hope and healing to the Black community. As leaders in the Church Of God In Christ, both of us understood that this undertaking could not be done with just having a relationship with the Democratic Party alone. 

A recent Harvard University white paper stated that Memphis was the most economically segregated community in America. All politics is local and South Memphis, Whitehaven, North Memphis and Hickory Hill are proof of the following statistics. Obviously, the RNC meeting in Memphis would bring the facts to light in a larger way, with Black unemployment at 16%, Black youth unemployment at 47%, Black Female unemployment at 12% and only 1.7% of SBA loans lent to black business as well as the recent rule change at the Department of Justice that would eliminate black organizations to compete for grants. 

Moreover, Black Veterans unemployment is at 10%; therefore, the Church Of God In Christ leadership has recognized that the needs of the Black community were not being addressed and that wecouldnolongerbetakenforgrantedbythe DemocraticPartyandignoredbytheRepublican Party.

Connor and Hall might not agree all the time; however we are proud that the Church Of God In Christ leadership is leading the way to ensure that both parties will compete for the Black vote. Speaking generally and specifically in an ecumenical way we hope that other Black organizations will do the same because our community needs to work with those who truly work with us! 

Monday
May052014

Dr. Mirta Martin named new president of FHSU

05/02/14 br/kb local, statewide

NOTE TO NEWS EDITORS, DIRECTORS: Print quality photos are available for download through the Dr. Mirta Martin link on the page at http://bigcat.fhsu.edu/currentevents/news_photos.php

Dr. Mirta MartinHAYS, Kan. -- Today, the Kansas Board of Regents announced Dr. Mirta Martin as the ninth president of Fort Hays State University. The Board voted to approve the appointment and officially introduced the new president during a special meeting in the Fort Hays Ballroom of the Memorial Union on the FHSU campus. Martin will begin her presidency on July 1.

"Selecting a president is about identifying the person that fits the university. In assessing the candidates, we focused on who would embrace and enhance the traditions and achievements of Fort Hays State University," said Fred Logan, chair of the Regents. "The Kansas Board of Regents is fully supportive of this new president and the direction she will lead Fort Hays State University into the future."         

Mirta M. Martin, Ph.D. (first name pronounced MEER-tah), has served as dean of the Reginald F. Lewis School of Business at Virginia State University since 2009. She has also held various higher education leadership positions throughout her career such as special assistant to the chancellor, executive vice president and associate dean, among other positions. Dr. Martin received her Ph.D. from Virginia Commonwealth University, a Master of Business Administration from the University of Richmond, Richmond, Va., and a Bachelor of Science from Duke University.

"The future of the nation lies in the pursuit of academic excellence," said Martin. "Progress is not possible without vision, leadership, and trust. As your president, my priority is to enable you to become your best self."

She continued, "I believe my selection as president is an affirmation of the Regents’ and Fort Hays State University’s commitment to entrepreneurial leadership, opportunity, diversity, and innovation.”

"Dr. Mirta Martin is the personification of the American dream," said Logan. "She has been successful in every challenge she has ever faced. She will be successful at Fort Hays State University."

Following the Board's announcement, Martin and her husband, John, were introduced to members of the FHSU and Hays communities during a reception.

The announcement of Martin comes after five months of work by the FHSU Presidential Search Committee. Members of the committee received public recognition for their efforts.

"A special thank you to the members of the FHSU Presidential Search Committee," said Logan. "These individuals made a commitment to help the board find the best candidates from around the nation to lead this fine institution and we recognize that commitment today in naming the ninth president of Fort Hays State University.”

For more information, contact Breeze Richardson at 785-291-3969 or brichardson@ksbor.org, or the Fort Hays State University Office of University Relations at 785-628-4206 or universityrelations@fhsu.edu.

About the Kansas Board of Regents:
The nine-member Kansas Board of Regents is the governing board of the state’s six universities and the statewide coordinating board for the state’s 32 public higher education institutions (seven public universities, 19 community colleges and six technical colleges). In addition, the Board administers the state’s student financial aid, adult education, GED, and career and technical education programs. The Board also authorizes private proprietary schools and out-of-
state institutions to operate in Kansas, and administers the Kan-ed network, a program for facilitating and promoting distance learning and telemedicine in schools, libraries and hospitals. Visit the Kansas Board of Regents online at www.kansasregents.org.

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