Call Center Times – In Interview with Northwinds Contact Solutions SVP, Steven Cramer

Next month our friends at Call Center Times will be publishing an interview with the SVP of Operations for Northwinds Contact Solutions, Steven Cramer.  While I am biased, I felt the interview contains some great information and thought I would share it with you in advance of its being published online.  I would also like to recommend Call Center Times and hope you will get the chance to visit them at

Interview with Steven Cramer, SVP of Operations at Northwinds Contact Solutions; a provider of a hosted/managed Virtual Call Center and hosted Outbound IVR solution.

From the articles you have written and your posts on LinkedIn, you appear to be very passionate about call centers moving to managed service providers (hosted, virtual solutions).  Why are you so passionate about the Virtual Call Center model?

My background in the Client Service industry goes back to the mid 80’s with United Parcel Service and then with Verizon Wireless and Verizon International through the early 2000’s.

I have directly managed the installation and restructuring of domestic and offshore call center locations to enhance the service offerings to my organizations. Along the way, I experienced many equipment based challanges and limitations. We were always looking for an option that is better than the equipment based platforms and have developed it in Northwinds Contact Solutions virtual platforms.

From my experience with Corporations, the objective is to provide the highest quality service at a reasonable price with great performance.   Historically that meant that organizations needed to either invest in telecom equipment, facilities, and staffing or outsource to third party organizations.  The options with Virtual Environments have changed the game.

The Virtual Call Center Environment now enables organizations to virtualize or spread the work load over multiple sites or work from home offices. This relates to hard cost reductions of facilities, reduced labor costs, and increased performance.  These opportunities directly impact the bottom line utilizing the same knowledgeable team from your organization.

You have some large, well known competitors in the market such as Five 9, Contactual, Angel and InContact.  What makes you different from these other companies?

Our team works to customize solutions to each client, not a cookie-cutter approach. We provide a full service solution, not just a product offering. We feel, as so do our clients, that our approach is the best fit to a changing market place.

A few examples of this can be found in our platform structure, we are Server based vs. PBX/IP. This provides a tremendous advantage to our clients since we can be flexible to their business needs and provide the scalability to meet the volume requirements. This is a HUGE ADVANTAGE over PBX/IP platforms as they are restricted to the original platform design and structure, unlike the Northwinds Platform.

Your platform is not only a hosted solution but a managed solution as well.  What exactly does a “managed” solution provide that a company does not get with a “hosted” solution?

The Northwinds Team provides each client the focused support required to make THEM successful in their business.

We support the full call center experience from procuring the toll free numbers and setup of the call center environment to supporting Work Force Management, Quality Control and our exclusive Certified Work From Home Program.

Our Team provides the Managed and Hosted package to organizations of all sizes: small, medium, and large. What does this mean to an organization? “Managed Support” enables companies to leverage professional client support teams (Work Force Management, Quality Analysis, or Performance Management teams) with Fortune 100 expertise. This expertise enables our clients the ability to compete on quality and performance within their industry.

Our solution gives them not only a dynamic, robust call center platform but the management support they will need to run their call center effectively. In other words, Northwinds provides a comprehensive solution to each client.

Many companies have purchased equipment and software in order to have an Outbound IVR/VRU solution.  What are the key benefits of your Outbound IVR and why should a company consider a hosted/managed solution instead of purchasing and managing an on-premise solution?

Our Virtual Platform requires no maintenance contracts, automatic platform upgrades are included, expert IT support, knowledge of the call center platform all with no capital expenditures!

Our clients are excited about our product because our platform is flexible to our clients needs! The Northwinds platform provides the opportunity to communicate with tens of thousands of clients within hours, with a rated survey, and the opportunity to leave a voice mail message!

Why wouldn’t an organization virtualize?

Written by Jennifer Wing, independent writer and editor at

To learn more about Northwinds Contact Solutions contact:

Darren Prine
Director of Strategic Partnerships
Northwinds Contact Solutions
Office: 602-515-0395
Cell: 480-251-9160

~ by Darren Prine on October 15, 2009.

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