The PRWIRE Press Releases https:// 2003-05-28T14:41:00Z Rockwell FirstPoint Contact celebrates 30th anniversary of the ACD - the technology that founded the call centre industry 2003-05-28T14:41:00Z rockwell-firstpoint-contact-celebrates-30th-anniversary-of-the-acd-the-technology-that-founded-the-call-centre-industry On May 24, 1973 Rockwell FirstPoint Contact developed the Automatic Call Distributor (ACD) - the technology that founded the call centre industry. Gerry Tucker, General Manager, Asia Pacific for Rockwell FirstPoint Contact said, "In its 30 year history, Rockwell FirstPoint Contact has an incredible track record of creating technologies that make a real difference." Rockwell FirstPoint Contact's invention of the ACD has made an enormous impact on both the Australia and global economies, leading to the formation and development of new companies and industries and the creation of thousands of jobs. Thirty years later, Rockwell FirstPoint Contact is still leading the way in call centre technology by developing a initiative, called the Seamless IP Program, to pioneer the next evolution in call centre technology - Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP). "By pioneering the introduction of VoIP in call centres, Rockwell FirstPoint Contact will continue to make a real difference by revolutionising they way organisations interact with their customers - providing a greater level of customer service," said Gerry Tucker. ACD creates billon dollar industry in Australia According to Martin Conboy, CEO of Callcentres.net, "Initially a dumb PABX was installed in organisations to help with resource management...not too long after that the ACD was developed as a form of intelligent traffic cop and the call centre industry was born. Today, over 90 percent of Australian call centres have a high-end PABX or an ACD." Callcentres.net estimates that the Australian call centre industry in 2003 employs over 230,000 people across 4000 call centres operated by 1500 companies. Based on these figures, the call centre industry is the fastest-growing Australian industry since the gold rush of the 1850s. This has all resulted in the call centre market being a AUD$10 billion per year market in Australia and NZ$750 million market in New Zealand with continuing growth of 12 percent estimated over the next few years. Gerry Tucker said, "These figures show that the ACD has clearly had an enormous and positive impact on the Australian economy. Regional Australia is now also cashing in on this new industry boom, with Salmat announcing recently that it will become Australia's largest call centre operation with the opening of a 220 seat call centre in Wagga Wagga and a 120 seat centre in Bundaberg." Seamless IP - the next evolution of the call centre Pioneering VoIP as the next evolution in call centre technology, Rockwell FirstPoint Contact has introduced the Seamless IP Program. The Program addresses key sticking points, including business disruption issues, associated with VoIP adoption that cut short many companys' attempts to ramp up the technology for commercial use. Gerry Tucker said, "There is a lot of hype surrounding the migration to VoIP in the industry, but very little focus on what works and what doesn't work. With VoIP, it is important to establish a long term, disciplined approach in which our customers and partners can have confidence." According to the Program, the IP evolution of the contact centre can be implemented in four phases: 1. Multi-channel - integrating multiple web-based channels in the contact centre; 2. Geographic extensions - expanding the existing IP network for location independence; 3. Pure IP - employing IP voice within a managed network; and 4. IP Voice-over the Internet - applying full IP voice-based customer-to-agent contact. "Most Australian companies are somewhere between phase one and two and are thwarted by a range of reliability and interoperability issues. The Seamless IP Program embraces seamless migration to IP with Rockwell FirstPoint Contact's solutions, at a pace that matches a customer's strategic investment plans. It also provides Channel Partners' accreditation and Alliance Partner validation." Rockwell FirstPoint Contact's solutions are differentiated though a unique, open interaction infrastructure. "The Seamless IP Program is integral to Rockwell FirstPoint Contact's ongoing VoIP Strategy and will underpin the way we approach future developments," said Gerry Tucker. From zero to four billion Today, 35 million calls are processed each day with a Rockwell FirstPoint Contact ACD. Companies of all types and sizes operating worldwide use the call and contact centre technology Rockwell FirstPoint Contact first developed in 1973, including: telecommunications, transportation, financial, healthcare, airlines, retail, government, utilities, insurance, travel, telemarketing and entertainment. To date, Rockwell FirstPoint Contact has made more than 2,700 product installations with companies operating more than 250,000 agent positions. This is a pretty good track record for a company that did not exist 30 years ago. Just as impressive is that fact that an industry that didn't exist 30 years ago is now a billion dollar industry. According to market intelligence firm, Datamonitor, the global market for call centre component technologies was worth $4.1bn in 2002 and this is expected to increase to $5.5bn by 2007.1 1 Source: Datamonitor. "Contact Centre Component Technologies to 2007; Six Big Trends", November 2002. R. Goad and A. Kolind. ENDS About Rockwell FirstPoint Contact Rockwell FirstPoint Contact Corporation, a business of Rockwell Automation (NYSE: ROK), provides complete customer interaction solutions supporting a variety of channels including voice, e-mail, web, wireless and VoIP utilizing a unique open interaction infrastructure. The first to develop technology automating call centers, Rockwell FirstPoint Contact has a 30 year global reputation for reliability, dependability, on-time, on-budget delivery and superior customer service. Where intelligent customer contact begins, Rockwell FirstPoint helps organizations leverage data from across the enterprise to fulfill customer relationship management strategies. Based in Wood Dale, Ill., Rockwell FirstPoint Contact's reach extends around the globe with offices in the United Kingdom, Australia, China, Thailand South Africa and Canada. Information on Rockwell FirstPoint Contact is available on the Internet at www.rockwellfirstpoint.com