Telstra, Rockwell Ally in Call Center Deal

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Telstra Inc., the U.S. arm of Australian telecommunications marketer Telstra Corp., and Rockwell Electronic Commerce have joined in a cooperative marketing deal to serve the U.S. customer contact call center market.

Both marketers will target Fortune 500 companies as well as small businesses to help them improve customer relationship management and service. As part of this non-revenue-sharing relationship, Telstra and Rockwell will market each other's technologies and services in the local market.

The move marks Telstra's increased commitment to the U.S. market. Telstra, based in Sydney, Australia, expanded its U.S. headquarters in San Francisco a few months ago and opened a New York office to offer a wider range of voice and data products.

"Basically, we pick out partners that either complement or create a strategic service for both our clients in North America and around the world," said Franco Carida, vice president of sales and customer operations at Telstra Inc., San Francisco.

"Many times companies view telecoms as merely an expense item," Carida said. "What we're trying to do is work in partnership with partners that we've developed like Rockwell, so that it's a way for us to deliver a complete package to our end customers."

The terms of this partnership require both companies to jointly market Rockwell's Spectrum Transcend and 3CS customer contact center platforms, Contact Integration Manager, and the Call Center Studio application for computer desktops.

Rockwell Electronic Commerce is part of Rockwell International Corp., a $7 billion electronic controls and communications company based in Wood Dale, IL.

Karl Weydig, strategic channel manager at Rockwell Electronic Commerce, said the call center is evolving from an isolated island of information cut off from the enterprise into the nerve center of the organization. Businesses are increasingly demanding integrated customer contact and CRM solutions as opposed to point solutions.

"A key component of Rockwell's competitive strategy is the formation of industry alliances, both distribution and technological," Weydig said. "By partnering with Telstra, Rockwell has a significant new channel to market and access to a wider potential customer base."

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