No Slowdown in Collaboration

Hipbone, SiteScape and eDial all announce new collaboration offerings.

2002 was the year of collaboration right up until the very end as three companies--Hipbone Inc., SiteScape Inc. and eDial Inc.--announced new collaboration offerings Monday.

Hipbone introduced Synetry 3.5, the latest release of its Internet-based customer service platform. New in this release are extensions to the Synetry Chat+ text chat application, including a new Supervisor Console that permits real-time queue monitoring against response-time thresholds and allows customer service supervisors to drill down into sessions being handled by a specific agent.

Supervisors are also given the ability to coach agents by sending private chat instructions to an agent during a customer service session or creating a three-way session with the supervisors chat comments visible to both the agent and the customer.

In addition, supervisors are able to re-balance agents across queues in response to spikes or drop-offs in inbound requests for live assistance.

The Synetry FileShare application in this release provides users with a wizardlike environment that converts and uploads Microsoft Office documents including PowerPoint, Excel and Word to a secure repository for online collaboration using Synetry Cobrowse or Synetry Chat+.

Converted documents can be viewed by individuals who have permission and only within the bounds of a Synetry Cobrowse session.

Synetry 3.5 has been developed specifically for security-conscious environments, including the financial services, insurance and health care industries, according to Hipbone officials in San Carlos, Calif.

Also on Monday, Maynard, Mass.-based SiteScape released Forum Program Management, an add-on to its SiteScape Enterprise Forum 7.0 collaboration application.

The new add-on brings project management capabilities to Enterprise Forum, giving users the ability to drill down into multiple projects from a dashboard interface.

Forum Program Management creates a searchable record of project or program activities, including meeting history, agendas, action items, and calendars for reuse or reference at a later date.

It uses Enterprise Forums underlying framework of threaded discussions, document management, calendar sharing, workflow, chat, instant messaging and real-time conferencing.

Finally, eDial, of Waltham, Mass., announced Audio Presenter 4.0, an audio conferencing appliance with integrated Web presentation capabilities.

Audio Presenter 4.0 installs into a companys existing telephone and data networks.

New features in this version include record and playback of conference calls, support for "hand-raising" to allow questions to be asked during conferences, shared control of PowerPoint presentations, password protection, support for up to 96 call participants, and bulk generation of dial-in access codes.