Unisys Corp. has teamed up with Tandem Computers Inc. in Cupertino, Calif., to develop a call center system for banks.
The two companies will build a system that combines Unisys' system integration services and Customer View software and Tandem's Himalaya series of client/server data base technology. They will jointly market the system through Unisys' information services group.
Demand for soup-to-nuts call center systems is growing as banks refocus their attention from cutting the costs of back-office operations toward the development of alternative sales channels, said John Higgins, a partner in the Dallas office of KPMG Peat Marwick, which just established its own call center consulting practice group.
"Call centers were low on bank priority lists as they went through reengineering and technology upgrades," said Mr. Higgins.
"But they are finally starting to really think about them. Banks want to build comprehensive centers that handle telemarketing and sales as well as customer service."
The Unisys Sales and Service Call Center Application is centered on a data base that collects information to compile customer profiles.
Calls into the center are routed instantly using software by Alta Vista.
Windows-based computer terminals used by the agents in the center will pull information from the data base when the call gets routed to an agent. Unisys software highlights for the agent new marketing or sales efforts that could interest the caller.
The system is designed to allow banks with multiple call center sites to operate them as if they were one, said Joel J. Knight, director of retail banking at Unisys.
"The call center has rapidly emerged as the banking customer's virtual bank of choice," he added.