CT-based Call Center Monitoring Software Firm Celebrates 40 Years of Innovation

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Pardon this disruption: Coordinated Systems, Inc. (CSI), a veteran-owned technology company, was started in 1972 and continues to thrive, innovate and disrupt the contact center space with their bundled, scalable quality optimization solution, Virtual Observer (VO).

Coordinated Systems, Inc.

Coordinated Systems, Inc.

The global footprint will continue to be flattened, as will our customers’ cost of ownership

Many of the people at CSI have had long tenures within the organization. Nearly half of the current staff started there pre-1995, when the company began reinventing itself from a manufacturing control software development company to one which focused on the growing call center industry. The younger people on CSI’s staff are creating their own tenured careers gained from valuable experiences.

Disruption #1: “With our manufacturing control software, we actually were very ahead of our time: we had come up with a model to “rent” the software and make most of our revenues from customization. It was kind of a precursor to the "freemium" marketing model which so many technology companies use today, especially in the SaaS world,” said Rich Marcia, Director of Marketing for CSI.

Challenges have been aplenty in the 40 years of CSI. Remaining positive despite the recessions was especially important to CSI management. CSI’s owner. a storied Vietnam veteran, remembers the toils of war as well as the turbulence of an economic downturn. “If you’re to remember anything about CSI, it’s that we are survivors,” he exclaims.

During the hurricane of 2011, the company forged on while battling power outages and telephone interruptions. Having faced numerous “emerging” competitive threats who eventually seemed to become less and less prevalent, it became easier to stand in the footsteps of the giants of the industry and win, because CSI has always been more nimble, more cost effective, yet also more open to specific customer requirements and their diverse needs.

Disruption #2: In the early to mid-90s, CSI looked to the call center space as an emerging market. The call recording industry had few competitors, most of whom were call logging companies or quality monitoring specialists. None seemed to do both very well, and if they did, they were so over-priced, CSI sensed they could make some noise in the industry. CSI went on to create the first blended Call Logger / Call Monitoring model by offering the ability to record every call with audio and a random sample with audio and screens, thus pioneering a new marketplace which merged the “Legal, Liability Recording” and “Quality Assurance” industries.

CSI designed the previous version of VO from the ground up to be an enterprise application. Architected using .NET services allowed for the scalability and framework to support multi-location demand. It helped the company win several enterprise projects, including a leading call center outsourcer, with over 4000 phones and over 18 locations sharing an Avaya platform. VO centralizes all the calls and quality monitoring back to their main hub. The robust solution also helped win over a number of the nation’s best channel partners, who not only bundle VO with their phone system sales, but also use VO as a standalone application sale for a foot-in-the-door with prospects who may otherwise not be ready to buy.

“CSI also has a wonderful ability to be very successful in the hiring process, finding people with unique skills and a desire to “go the extra mile” to contribute to the company’s success. It is this, above all else, that I feel has allowed us to continue to be a company that has been able to adapt to changing times,” Dennis Vincent, training manager, said. One of our employees is nearly at “half-life” as he calls it. Our director of development, Dan McGrail, started at the company fresh out of college at age 22 and says, “three more years and I’ll have been here longer than I haven’t,” Dan added.

CSI’s development team has been busy – evolving the enterprise-class VO system from a client-server architecture to a web-based architecture with Version 4.0. It made the solution fresh and extremely user-friendly with a reinvented web interface and a dizzying array of new features, including “Call Insight” for integrated speech analytics, “Agent Portal”, for bringing the front line agents directly into the process.

Disruption #3: CSI is readying another wave of important feature announcements, extending the level of integrations and scope of what we can provide the modern day contact center. “We’re certainly researching the cloud, social and mobile spaces also to see where we can provide value to our customers. I see VO being in a great position to extend and transform -- thanks to our agile development process and our ability to stop on a dime and make the changes needed,” added Marcia. “In the recent years we’ve seen VO move swiftly to leverage virtualization in many environments, and we’ve created a web-based interface. The global footprint will continue to be flattened, as will our customers’ cost of ownership.”

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Rich Marcia
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