HATTIESBURG - The
University of Southern Mississippi will position itself as the leader
in resource information and services for the call center industry
when the university hosts the Gulf South Call Center Conference
Sept. 19-21 in Gulfport.
At the conference, university officials will announce
the formation of three entities at Southern Miss focusing on the
industry, including Information Incorporated, or I2, a Southern
Miss Mississippi University Research Act company, the National Association
of Call Centers and the Call Center Research Laboratory.
"Our goal is to not only professionalize, but
also to raise the visibility of this industry and its importance
to our global economy," said Dr. David Butler, director of
the Southern Miss International Development doctoral program and
the world's leading expert on the call center industry. Butler,
the author of "Bottom-Line Call Center Management: Creating
a Culture of Accountability and Excellent Customer Service,"
will be the featured speaker at the conference, which includes the
theme "Staying Competitive in a Globalizing Industry."
I2 will be a leading company, providing university-created
products and services from academic research and transforming them
into high value-added products and services for the call center
industry, and the NACC will be the only membership organization
that's sole purpose is to promote the full call center industry,
raise its visibility and value nationally, and lobby on its behalf,
The Call Center Research Laboratory is designed to
serve the call center industry nationally and internationally by
evaluating products in this industry, providing large-scale research
and associated reports that will set the tone, tempo and trajectory
of this valuable industry. "This will be the only research
lab in the world dedicated to this industry," Butler said.
I2 will take products and processes created at the
university that are often never seen in the private sector and transform
these products and processes into valuable and competitive tools
for the industry. It will also be the medium through which Butler
will interface with communities and companies on a one-on-one consulting
NACC, a nonprofit organization, will be the professional
organization for the call center industry, ranging from small, 10-person
centers to megacenters that employ as many as 2,000 representatives.
Membership in NACC will include equipment makers, vendors, outsource
companies, consultants and anyone who is tied to the value chain
of the industry, as well as those who lobby at the state and national
levels on behalf of the industry, Butler said.
"Today's global environment has affected everything
we do," said Ann John, a former call center director and current
managing director of Leading Edge Consults, LLC. "In these
times of change, it's even more important to stay on top of what's
happening. While ours is a global industry, important relationships
are still made by meeting people one on one, and the Gulf South
Call Center Conference will be a great way to share ideas, understand
trends and make new contacts."
The conference will be held at the Grand Casino Gulfport
Conference Center and will be hosted by the Southern Miss Office
of the Vice President for Research and Economic Development and
the Center for International and Continuing Education. For more
information, including registration and conference schedule details,
call (601) 266-4186 or visit www.usm.edu/cice/ce/prodev/call/.