Obtained with permission from Computer Telephony Magazine, September, 1997.
BUFFALO'S PREDICTIVE DIALING MAKES VARs SING
By Rick Luhmann
While it's true that Buffalo International's (Valhalla, NY - 914-747-8500) ebullient David Friedman dragged me into their booth, he dumped me quickly on one of their VARs - a company called Drextec (Marlton, NJ - 609-596-8285).
"Here," David chirped. "If you don't believe that we make the finest open predictive dialing platform in CT, talk to somebody who's using the technology. I did.
The rep's name was Chris Brown. He took me through Drextec's end-user product- their Prospecting and Telemarketing System (DPTS). He showed how it handled multiple predictive dialing campaigns, how those campaigns could be managed from a single supervisor app and how things were quickly customized. You could muck with dialing rates, callback intervals, agent staffing, etc. Very nice.
It all works on Buffalo International's Open Architecture Predictive Dialing Engine (OAPDE), which is really a technology platform that's made up of two parts.
On one hand, Buffalo sells VARs a full-fledged "Un-Predictive-Dialer" that comes in an industrial PC with the SCbus humming and necessary Dialogic hardware (usually - you can buy erector-set "kits" too). It can also integrate with existing network / database systems via TCP/IP, NETBIOS or OCX.
But besides a CT box, the real value of the OAPDE is its underlying software algorithms - for tricky predictive and outbound dialing, digital voice logging, some media-processing and ACD call control - and the API that makes that software accessible to VARs. Both have companies like Drextec in love with the OAPDE. Said Chris: "It really is an open book. We could never even think of doing the things we do with it on a closed, proprietary system. We just communicate via TCP/IP to the API and it takes care of the rest."
Drextec has worked with both "complete" Buffalo engines and the erector-set pieces. "With the construction kits," said Chris, "you do have to write a lot more code. But because they're so open, it's not difficult. The good news is you can craft the system exactly the way you want. The key in both cases is leveraging their predictive dialing algorithms."
Sounds good to me. They win a Best Of Show for making the best open Un-Predictive-Dialer at CT Expo. Actually, they're the only ones doing it, essentially taking the same hardware that many of the UnPBX vendors are using and focusing it for a very specific call-center niche.