Synergy Solutions

Synergy Solutions Inc., a premier provider of leading-edge outsourced customer contact solutions, announcede the opening of its first customer contact center in Phoenix, Ariz.

In January, Synergy Solutions began operations with the opening of a fully automated state-of-the-art customer contact center. The 200-seat center currently implements outbound teleservices and customer acquisition programs on behalf of several Fortune 1000 companies, with future plans to expand into web-based customer contact and support. The center is expected to employ up to 500 professionals – most of them will be full-time customer contact representatives. The company offers competitive compensation with bonus potential, and an outstanding benefits package that provides medical, dental, vision, 401K, short and long term disability, and life insurance coverage.

![][1] Synergy Solutions was strategically built from the ground up to combine visionary leadership, experienced management, leading edge technology, and industry-proven processes. This enables the company to offer true multi-dimensional customer support solutions in a dynamic web-architected environment. Synergy Solutions’ mission is to utilize proven acquisition and retention techniques to solidify and expand customer relationships through the use of intelligent people and emerging technology.

Synergy Solutions’ leadership team combines the award-winning industry talent and experience of an impressive group of key players, many of who have been working closely together for as many as 10 years. Most of the leadership team held senior management roles at ProMark One Marketing Services Inc., a leading provider of outsourced teleservices solutions. Under their leadership, the company grew from a being a small start-up company to being consistently ranked as a top 10 service agency and an Inc. 500 Hall of Fame award winner for appearing on the Inc. 500 list of America’s Fastest Growing Private Companies for five consecutive years. ProMark One was re-capitalized in 1996 to form IDRC (International Data Response Corporation), and was subsequently acquired by Telespectrum Worldwide in 1999.

Steve Moak, former CEO of ProMark One, serves as Chairman of the Board for Synergy Solutions. Moak has over 20 years of direct marketing experience and a proven track record as a successful entrepreneur. Moak has won several awards and has been a featured speaker at many industry conferences.

Lori Fentem has been named President for Synergy Solutions and is responsible for the company’s overall strategic direction, including service offering initiatives, financial performance, business development, contract negotiation, and revenue generation. Fentem has over 19 years of call center experience, nine of which have been within outsourced teleservices. Fentem served in the role of SVP Sales and Marketing for ProMark One and IDRC USA’s outbound division. As such, she was responsible for the management of the outbound sales force as well as a revenue stream in excess of $100MM. Fentem was also credited with the initial launch and development of ProMark One’s Client Services division, and for directing the company’s corporate marketing efforts and client relationship development. Following ProMark One’s acquisition, Fentem served as SVP of Business Development for Telespectrum Worldwide.

Fentem remarked, ‘I am excited about the challenges of my new position and the opportunity to have a pivotal role in such a dynamic and visionary company. We have assembled a team of world-class professionals that truly have the ability to deliver outstanding results today while building the foundation for the future of fully integrated customer contact solutions’.

Corey Conklin has been named SVP of Operations. In this role, Conklin is responsible for the development of Synergy Solutions’ operational infrastructure and the growth and development of the Operations Management team. Conklin is also responsible for the operation of Synergy Solutions’ founding facility and is driving the company’s growth initiatives for expansion into other geographic markets. Conklin has over 13 years of operations management experience. Previously, Conklin served as SVP Operations for ProMark One/IDRC USA Outbound, with responsibility for as many as 23 North American call centers. Following ProMark One’s acquisition, Conklin served in the role of SVP Operations Western Region for Telespectrum Worldwide.

Other members of the leadership team include Craig Despres, VP of Information Technology. Despres is responsible for the management of the company’s team of information technology professionals, as well as the development of the foundation for the company’s technology infrastructure. Additionally, Despres plays a critical role in the design and execution of the company’s technology vision and future initiatives. Despres has over 12 years of experience in the field of information technology, concentrating on process development and implementation. Most recently, Despres served as the Manager of Application Development for ProMark One/IDRC USA Outbound. As such, he handled a multitude of complex programs for large, high profile clients, as well as the overall process flow of the company’s information systems. He successfully reduced the average time to market for new programs, and helped build a world-class Information Technology division.

Cara Casper, Director of Business Development, is responsible for the direction and development of the company’s account management team, client relationship development, and client satisfaction. Casper plays an instrumental role in building the processes that integrate Account Management with Information Technology and Operations Management. Casper has over five years of experience in account management and business integration. In her previous position as Client Services Manager with ProMark One/IDRC USA Outbound, she successfully managed large volume, high profile, complex campaigns with outstanding customer satisfaction results.

Synergy Solutions specializes in providing innovative customer contact solutions on behalf of Fortune 1000 companies. Synergy Solutions programs target both businesses and consumers in a variety of industries, including e-commerce, financial services, telecommunications, retail, and entertainment, among others.

[1]: /graphic/dynamark/fentem.gif


ATM Box Office? Inc. and ATM Tix Inc. will launch a new service in Las Vegas this month to distribute live entertainment event tickets through selected bank ATM locations throughout the city. Thursday’s agreement will turn bank ATM machines into virtual box office ‘will call’ windows and enable Las Vegas consumers to collect tickets 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

To order tickets, customers log on to the website or via a toll-free number, where they select the event, price category, seating location, quantity and method of payment. In as little as 60 seconds after purchase, the tickets will be ready for pick up at the select bank ATM locations, with the customer’s identity verified through the credit card number.


BEA WebLogic Server

BEA Systems, Inc. announced that Syntellect Interactive Services (SIS), a division of Syntellect, Inc., has selected BEA WebLogic Server(TM) and is standardizing on the end-to-end BEA E-Commerce Transaction Platform(TM) as the basis for its expanding line of automated e-services offerings. SIS outsources call-center solutions that provide an easy, “self-service” method for ordering pay-per-view events, enrolling for human resources benefits, and reporting utility outages, among many other applications. With the implementation of BEA WebLogic Server, SIS can extend its existing telephony-based services to the Net, offering its business customers a variety of e-commerce capabilities including online credit card processing.

Telephone “self service” applications — for banking, checking the status of orders, and many other purposes — are familiar conveniences on the job and at home today. These applications are attractive to businesses because they handle routine requests, freeing customer service representatives to solve more complex problems. Recognizing this, corporations and businesses in the utility, media and advertising, and catalog industries, among others, turn to SIS to help them put automated applications in place, including those that feature such advanced capabilities as Interactive Voice Response (IVR). SIS has long relied on BEA Tuxedo(R) as the foundation for its wide range of telephone-based, customer self-service applications, including IVR, order and credit card processing.

Because SIS recognizes that the e-generation — the 250-million-strong population of online users — prefers the convenience of online services, the company has responded by expanding its call centers online. The growing e-generation expects Web services that are easy to use, highly reliable, available around-the-clock without fail, and personalized to meet their individual needs. According to David McCampbell, vice president of engineering for Syntellect Interactive Services, the implementation of an integrated end-to-end BEA solution means that SIS can fulfill these expectations and bring its success in customer self-service into the e-commerce arena.

“Businesses turn to us for a comprehensive set of services, including order and credit card processing, messaging, bill payment, and database reconciliation. With BEA WebLogic Server, we have put another vital piece in place: now this powerful range of services can be accessed from any location, using any device — phone, laptop, or PDA. This “single source” convenience sets SIS far apart from the piecemeal call-center offerings in the marketplace today,” said McCampbell.

SIS evaluated IBM WebSphere and BEA WebLogic Server and concluded that BEA platform independence and superior integration to legacy systems presented a clear advantage in terms of cost and time to market, according to McCampbell. “BEA WebLogic Server was the hands down choice for getting us to market quickly and for protecting our existing investment because it supports HP-UX and Informix. Customers want solutions yesterday and need them to do everything, so speed was a driving force. Our entire infrastructure is based on BEA Tuxedo, and BEA WebLogic Server integrates into BEA Tuxedo with connection pools that make the programming quick and easy.”

Another key factor in SIS’ decision to select BEA WebLogic Server was the products demonstrated capability to ensure constant availability, especially during periods of extremely high transaction volume. “Many of our customers’ applications involve sharp spikes in demand. They outsource their needs to us, and can’t settle for anything less than 24×7 dependability. BEA Tuxedo is rock solid — that’s proven — and we chose BEA WebLogic Server for its reliability and scalability in a Web environment,” said McCampbell.

“With the BEA end-to-end e-commerce solution in place, SIS is a poster-perfect example of how the BEA E-Commerce Transaction Platform can transform companies to help them participate profitably in the Internet economy,” said Joe Menard, president of the BEA E-Commerce Server Division. “As a BEA partner, SIS is helping us bring to reality a number of projects that will eventually benefit both SIS and BEA customers. For instance, SIS and BEA have designed an e-component that does authorization for credit card purchases, and we’re looking at creating more components for use in a number of other front-line e-commerce applications.”

BEA WebLogic Server is part of The BEA E-Commerce Transaction Platform, which provides the foundation for building highly reliable e-commerce systems. In addition to BEA WebLogic Server, BEA WebLogic Enterprise(TM), and BEA Tuxedo — e-commerce transaction servers for rapidly building, deploying, and managing e-commerce applications – the BEA E-Commerce Transaction Platform includes: BEA eLink(TM) for integrating new Web applications in real time with back-office systems and with other businesses across the Web; BEA WebLogic Commerce Server(TM), an integrated set of industry standard, out-of-the-box commerce building blocks that provide the time to market and adaptable business logic required for next generation e-commerce systems; and a wide range of education, customer support, and professional services to help small companies and large corporations get e-commerce initiatives off the ground and up on the Web.

About Syntellect, Inc.

Founded in 1984, Syntellect, Inc., [][1], is a leading provider of comprehensive software and hosted service solutions for enterprise customer contact centers. Products and services include Vista open standards-based Interactive Voice Response (IVR), Interactive Web Response (IWR), Advanced Speech Recognition (ASR), and Computer Telephone Integration (CTI), as well as Syntellect Interactive Services (SIS) — a leader in the hosted services industry. SIS provides a full range of high volume automated services, including: Internet hosting, e-commerce processing, and IVR automation. The company is headquartered in Phoenix, Arizona.

BEA Systems, Inc.

BEA Systems, Inc. is the E-Commerce Transactions Company(TM) powering many of the world’s most innovative companies that serve the “e-generation,” companies such as, DIRECTV, E*TRADE, Federal Express, Kaiser Permanente, Nokia, Qwest, and United Airlines. The e-generation relies on the Web to conduct their everyday business, demanding richer, more personalized experiences and the guarantee that your Web site is always available — every minute of every day. The award-winning BEA E-Commerce Transaction Platform(TM), coupled with BEA consulting, education, and support services, helps companies launch reliable e-commerce initiatives quickly. BEA solutions help companies of all sizes build e-commerce infrastructures that leverage existing investments and provide the foundation for running a successful integrated e-business for the e-generation. BEA has more than 50 offices in 24 countries, is headquartered in San Jose, Calif., and is on the Web at [][2].



Mobile Phone E-Commerce

Gemplus and VISA announced a strategic partnership to develop standardized solutions for secure mobile electronic commerce. Under the terms of the partnership, the two market leaders will carry out joint marketing and business development activities as well as the market testing of payment solutions with mobile phone operators and participating financial institutions. The partnership will focus on developing a range of turnkey payment solutions based on current technologies, such as the ‘SIM ToolKit’ and ‘S@T’, and developing technologies such as ‘WAP’ and ‘WIM’. The finished payment solutions will be available through Gemplus’ ‘GemXplore CASE’, the software factory for SIM application development. With ‘GempXplore CASE’, drop-in design modules enable mobile operators to easily include industry standard payment mechanisms in the service proposition to subscribers. GSM operators and participating banks will be able to offer their customers mobile VISA services before the end of the year.


Local VISA Cash

ICL and VISA U.S.A. announced a joint agreement to develop a software application enabling VISA’s member banks to locally manage the collection and processing of ‘VISA Cash’ purchase transactions. ICL will launch and market the system direct to VISA member banks globally in mid-2000. The ability to manage transactions locally offers member banks a number of benefits. One benefit is the ability to produce customized reports for local merchants on the purchase activity of their ‘VISA Cash’ card customers.


Smart Card Digital Certificates

CardBASE Technologies announced their collaboration with Baltimore Technologies to facilitate the bulk issuance and management of digital certificates on personalized smart cards. CardBASE Technologies will integrate Baltimore UniCERT Certificate Authority system in particular the Advanced Registration Module with its flagship card management system CardBASE. Digital Certificates generated by Baltimore UniCERT are passed to the CardBASE Card Life Cycle Management module, which prepares the smart cards for the personalization of the chip and the personalization of the printed surface of the card. An institution may choose to personalize a single smart card or many thousands through a simple preparation process. Information can be collected from remote users via the Internet, consolidated into a processing file, which is then passed to a dedicated smart card printer.


ATM Attacks

NCR and UK-based Spinnaker International announced Thursday they have teamed up to launch the first ‘Intelligent Cash Security’ solution that could make physical attacks on ATMs a thing of the past. ICS provides complete end-to-end protection for cash during transit and replenishment of the terminal. This means that the cash is constantly in a safe environment. In the event of an attack, cash or any other valuable media in a currency cassette is permanently spoiled using colored liquid dye. This reduces the need for greater physical protection and cuts transport costs, as cash is protected without the need for armored trucks and multiple armed guards. The system also provides end-to-end recording of the amount of cash in the currency cassette throughout the delivery cycle, simplifying reconciliation and allowing better scheduling of cash deliveries to ATMs. The system uses a range of internally mounted sensors which have been carefully developed to detect any brute force, cutting, or explosive attack whilst providing a high degree of stability against false alarms. Any genuine attack will set off the note degradation system housed on the ATM dispenser, permanently marking the notes with indelible ink. Other parts of the ATM are not affected and the machine can be put onto service following an attack.


AMEX World Golf

American Express today announced that it will provide a variety of special activities and customer services at the first event of the 2000 World Golf Championships, including a live webcast this week of the Tiger Woods Exhibition. In addition American Express cardmember services include, the American Express experience which is a concierge service, cardmember club hospitality tent on the tenth hole and a free gift with a $40 purchase.


Smart Card Signatures

CyberSafe Corporation and Certicom today announced that they have formed a joint venture.

The new company will develop and market turnkey solutions that secure the payment systems for e-business applications by combining smart card-based user identity systems with digital signatures, using the existing payment system infrastructures. These solutions, available Q3 of this year, will benefit e-commerce merchants and customers by virtually eliminating the opportunity for on-line fraud and ensuring consumer privacy when using the Internet. Each company is contributing key technology, management expertise and start-up funding.

“This year, we expect to see a significant growth of smart card solutions in the market,” notes Steve Van Fleet, a senior vice president at First Data Corp, a leading electronic commerce and payment services provider internationally. “The latest smart card technologies and standards allow transactions to be communicated securely over the existing networks while ensuring the privacy and identity of the consumer. The combination of transaction security and identity protection should enable many new applications.”

The new e-business security solutions to be provided by the joint venture feature improved technology based on “real-world” business examples and are expected to be the first widely deployed implementations of on-line identity in payment systems. Specific expected benefits include:

— Ease of deployment because the approach uses as much of the existing payment infrastructure as possible —

Rapid start-up phase because enrollment uses the same process for account registration as that currently used in issuing credit cards

— Fraud reduction benefits which outweigh the cost of deployment

— Low cost smart cards, less data to transmit, and smaller signature size for storage based on the Certicom encryption technology used

— Options for `virtual smart cards’ which enable transition to hardware and lowers the per-user cost of on-line IDs and payment vehicles

— Limited infrastructure investments as compared to that of many public key-based solutions.

“The joint venture gives CyberSafe an opportunity to combine our strength in identity management with Certicom’s leadership in elliptic curve cryptography (ECC) and cost-effective smart cards to address a critical market need,” stated Jim Cannavino, CyberSafe Chairman and CEO. “Our customers in the financial industry have asked us to develop this technology, based on our activity in the X9 standards arena, as a solution to the fraud potential associated with current on-line use of credit cards.”

The products developed within the joint venture will be based on the draft ANSI X9.59 digital payments standard, and provide strong authentication, authorization, and accountability for financial institutions, internet service providers (ISPs) and application service providers (ASPs) and e-Commerce merchants. The technology also will provide easy to deploy and manage identity management systems, for privacy and integrity to on-line transactions.

“The solutions being developed through this venture are new products that will leverage the benefits of public key technology and smart cards with a practical approach to interfacing with legacy payment systems,” said Rick Dalmazzi, president and CEO of Certicom. “The partnership enables Certicom and CyberSafe to develop digital signature solutions that are extensible to the Internet, traditional point-of-sale environments, and the emerging world of wireless e-commerce.”

CyberSafe and Certicom were joined by First Data Corporation, Compaq Computer Corporation, Transaction Systems Architects (TSA) Corp., and InterWorld Corporation in announcing support for the Accredited Standards Committee (ASC) X9 digital payments standard in December. Formation of this joint venture is an important step towards commercial products and services in this area. Specifics from the joint venture on customer deployments, product availability and pricing are expected to be announced later this spring.

About CyberSafe

CyberSafe is a privately held corporation founded in 1991. Its award-winning TrustBroker(TM) Security Suite, Defensor(R), and Centrax(TM) product lines are designed to enable secure electronic business, while reducing administration costs. Leading investors in the company include Accel Partners, Deutsche Bank London, Financial Technology Ventures, OAK Investment Partners, and Polaris Venture Partners. CyberSafe is headquartered in Issaquah, Wash., and is on the World Wide Web at [][1]. For additional information, please send requests to

About Certicom

Certicom is a leading provider of mobile e-business security technology used to build strong, fast, and efficient security solutions. Major computing and communications companies, such as 3Com/Palm Computing, BellSouth Wireless Data, Hewlett-Packard, Motorola, Pitney Bowes, QUALCOMM and VeriFone, incorporate Certicom’s technology into electronic commerce software, wireless messaging applications, and smart cards. Certicom is a leading source for a complete range of OEM security products and services, including cryptographic toolkits, custom implementations, and security integration services and consulting. Certicom’s worldwide sales and marketing operations are based in Hayward, California, with cryptographic research and product development in Toronto, Canada. Certicom shares are traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol “CIC.” For more information, visit Certicom’s Web site at [][2].

CyberSafe, Defensor and the CyberSafe logo are registered trademarks of CyberSafe Corporation and its wholly owned subsidiaries. TrustBroker and Centrax are trademarks of CyberSafe Corporation and its wholly owned subsidiaries. Certicom, SSL Plus 3.0, and Security Builder are registered trademarks of Certicom Corp. All other companies and products listed herein are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective holders.



EVIA 2000

Trintech Group PLC announced the launch of eVia 2000, the company’s latest range of electronic payment appliance designed for mobile payment environments. By incorporating wireless technology, the eVia 2000 meets the payment needs of a new breed of mobile merchants such as Taxis, Home Delivery operators, Public Transport carriers and Airlines.

The eVia 2000 includes the following features:

Payment Mobility: With its compact design, eVia 2000 is designed to allow merchants to accept transactions payments from any remote location.

Range of Communications: eVia is designed to accommodate the multitude of existing and next generation communication channels available to merchants, including standard telephony, ISDN, DECT (wireless-LAN environments), GSM and via the Internet.

Contemporary Design: Style matters. eVia 2000 is one of the most stylish ePOS appliances on the market with a variety of color options to meet the aesthetic requirements of each merchant location.

Multiple Card Types: eVia 2000 is designed to accept all payment card types, including credit, debit and smart cards, in one ergonomic unit.

Powered by PayWare Inside: eVia is powered by PayWare allowing the merchant to integrate a range of rich payment applications such as multi-currency, fuel and fleet, restaurant and tax options, mobile phone payment , etc.

Internet Enabled: eVia design is capable of Internet access with a micro-browser display and connection over standard Internet networks to the payment processor or specialized web services.

Compact size: The eVia 2000 offers merchants the most comprehensive range of payment applications with an ergonomic design that does not compromise the device’s key functions, such as card reading, graphic display, fast paper roll change and power management.

International Support: The PayWare Inside software solution is supported by a software development kit for international partners allowing them to certify the technology for local market use.

“The eVia 2000 mobile appliance addresses a significant and growing sector of the card payment market,” says John McGuire, CEO of Trintech. “Banks, merchants and consumers using eVia 2000 have few restrictions about payment locations and the product further exhibits Trintech’s capability in bring solutions to all locations of the cashless society.”

Trintech invites all to take an online multi-media tour of the eVia 2000 at

Availability & Pricing eVia 2000 will be available Feburary 2000. Pricing for the eVia 2000 is available on request.

About Trintech

Founded in 1987, Trintech Group PLC is a leading provider of secure electronic payment infrastructure solutions for card-based transactions in the physical world and over the Internet. The company offers a complete range of payment software products for credit, debit, commercial and procurement card applications, as well as being a world leader in the deployment of payment solutions for Internet commerce that are fully SSL and SET? compliant. Trintech’s range of scalable open systems architecture solutions for UNIX® and Windows NT? platforms covers consumer, merchant and financial institution requirements for physical payments and the emerging world of electronic commerce. Trintech can be contacted in the U.S. at 2755 Campus Drive, San Mateo, CA 94003 (Tel: 650-227-7000) and in Ireland at Trintech Building, South County Business Park, Leopardstown, Dublin 18 (Tel: 353-1-207-4000). Trintech can be reached on the Web at


TSYS Redesigned

Total System Services, Inc.announced the launching of its redesigned company Web site ( ). Unveiled officially on February 21, the improved format offers visitors an interactive look at one of the best companies to work for in America.

“We are excited about our new Web site because it offers our guests a more revealing look at who we are, what we do, our vision for the future and why we remain an industry leader,” said Philip W. Tomlinson, TSYS President. “We wanted the Web site to be a reflection of our company and our people in addition to providing information about our business.”

One major site improvement is the comprehensive investor relations section. The new investor relations pages includes stock quotes, detailed financials, archived news and SEC filings, all updated frequently. Using PR Newswire’s Virtual IQ, TSYS offers guests the latest interactive push technology. Visitors can register to receive TSYS press releases, closing stock prices, daily high and low stock price ranges, and current news headlines via email. Additionally, the new site has built-in navigational code that gives handicapped persons the ability to retrieve information into a text reader.

“On average, TSYS receives more than 9,000 hits to our site everyday, with our investor relations section being a major attraction. We feel the new Web site allows us to do a better job of sharing TSYS’ strong strategies for success with current and potential investors, as well as the entire investment community,” Tomlinson said.

Guests may access the investor relations section through the TSYS homepage at [][1] or directly by typing [ nance/index.htm][2].

About Total System Services, Inc.

TSYS provides global commerce solutions. With more than 207.9 million accounts on file, TSYS facilitates the payment exchange between buyers and sellers for 291 million consumers. Our systems capture and deliver more of the right information to our clients allowing them to make wiser business decisions yielding portfolio growth more than twice the industry average. TSYS and its family of companies offer a full range of business services from credit application to collections, allowing our clients to focus on building their brands while we focus on safety, security, ease and convenience. Based in Columbus, Ga., TSYS ([][3]) is an 80.8 percent-owned subsidiary of Synovus Financial Corp. (NYSE: SNV) ([][4]), No. 5 on FORTUNE magazine’s list of “The 100 Best Companies To Work For” in 2000.



MPS Buys Cartel

Fifth Third’s MPS subsidiary yesterday signed a definitive agreement to purchase NY-based IDTI and its ‘Cartel Network’. ‘Cartel’ was established in 1994 and processes for 73 member financial institutions and their 3.5 million cardholders nationwide. Through various reciprocal interchange, processing and marketing agreements, over 700 financial institutions have access to the network which is available at approximately 17,000 ATMs, POS terminals and point-of-banking terminals bearing the ‘Cartel Network’ logo at over 10,000 locations nationwide. Additionally, ‘Cartel’ has a strong ATM placement business with multi-location retailers, including Tops Friendly Markets, Wegmans, Price Chopper, Drug Emporium, Stewarts, Shoprite and Delta Sonic. ‘Cartel’ processes over one million transactions per month. MPS processes more than four billion ATM, POS and e-commerce transactions per year for more than 65,000 retail locations and financial institutions worldwide, including Federated Department Stores, The Kroger Co., Circuit City, Office Depot, and CompUSA. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.