Ming-Ho's Blog

Workterm at Genesys Telecommunications Inc

September 24, 2010

If you’ve ever dealt with call centres, it probably wasn’t a very pleasant experience. Maybe you were put on hold for long periods of time. Maybe the line disconnected and you had to call back. Maybe the agent wasn’t qualified for your specific issue, and tried to transfer you to somebody else, who in turn transferred you to another person. Wouldn’t it be nice if the entire experience was better?

This was what my co-op job at Genesys was about: developing a proof-of-concept application to demonstrate that speech analytics could be leveraged to improve the customer experience at call (or contact) centres.

Before I get too far, I want to clear something up. I worked at Genesys Telecommunications Laboratories, which is owned by Alcatel-Lucent. Genesys itself acquired a start-up called VoiceGenie. These three names may appear in various places, though the VoiceGenie name has been mostly phased out.

Working at Genesys was an interesting experience. The first thing that comes to mind is how large the company (well, Alcatel-Lucent) is, and how spread out it can be. In fact, of the team I worked with, the only person who was in the same office as me (or Canada, for that matter) was the other co-op student. My manager was based in California, and I worked very closely with somebody in Ohio. Teleconferencing quickly became a part of my daily routine. It was very different at first, but I adjusted to it fairly quickly.

In terms of what I worked on, almost all the technologies I worked with were new to me. At first, I worked with creating and deploying Interactive Voice Response applications (telephone applications; press 1 for x, press 2 for y, and so on). This involved using the Genesys software, VoiceXML, JSON, learning about audio codecs, converting and editing audio files, and eventually SCXML. I also did a fair bit of web development, working with HTML, HTML5, CSS, jQuery, JavaScript, XML, XSLT, Java, and the Google Chart and Visualization APIs. Along with these two areas, I used tools/applications such as Eclipse, version control (ClearCase), and SoX.

There were also several presentations I attended. Content included Google Wave, the concept-knowledge theory of design, Android development, programming in medical imaging, and CSS. I also attended meetings with two third-party vendors; one was for a transcription engine, and the other was for emotion detection engines.

Overall, I learned a lot of new things. Of the entire list, I have only had prior experience with HTML and CSS. There was a lot to learn and not very much time, but I managed, and I really enjoyed it. In my opinion, co-op is about gaining experience and learning new things. I think this means my first workterm was a huge success.

blog comments powered by Disqus