05/05/03 - Customer Profile Shepherd Center

Today in Atlanta, Georgia, at the world renowned Shepherd Center, the largest rehabilitation hospital for brain and spinal cord injury in the United States, Instant Technologies' Instant Agent Framework ("IAF") is being used by the Center's Information Services group to ensure that important information is instantly available to the Center's staff. In a recent on-line interview, Adam Abell, The Center's Senior System Programmer, talks about the Shepherd Center decision to purchase IAF, the Center's implementation of IAF and the Center.

On what the Center is doing with Instant Agent Framework:
Adam: Currently, we are using IAF to supplement our Information Services' Help Desk by making important internal information instantly available to them.

As a deceptively simple, but very powerful example, our Phone Directory Look-up Bot gives our Help Desk instant access to employee numbers. We have also created an Information Services' Documentation Bot which allows us to quickly check our in-house knowledge base when troubleshooting a problem. By adding a redirection database I can have the bot output an URL with a link to the notes document so that the user can open it in the full notes client if needed. We are building more bots as we speak, next up is our Acronym Bot, which will explain the thousands of medical acronyms to our staff.

The fact that the Instant Technologies license allows us to build as many bots as we like (at no additional cost) which can be accessed from anywhere thanks to Sametime makes assisting our users much, much easier.

On why the Center chose Instant Technologies over its Competition:
Adam: I decided on Instant Technologies IAF for two big reasons,

First and foremost was the pricing. IAF was priced very reasonable, especially when compared to the bot pricing of other companies we considered.

Secondly, it makes creating Lotus Sametime bots easier than I ever could have imagined. Instead of a day or two, at the very least, to create a Lotus Sametime bot from scratch, I created the two mentioned above in one hour! The time it saved in creating these bots more than paid for it.

On how the Center viewed working with Instant technologies:
Adam: Working with the Instant Technology folks couldn't have been a more pleasant experience. When demonstrating the product and looking things up on the website I was often pleasantly surprised to have one of the Instant's guys start a chat session to ask if I required any assistance. When I wanted to further discuss pricing options they promptly contacted me. When I offered some ideas to help enhance their product and website, Instant was very open to suggestions. I have worked with a good many companies but very few come anywhere near the level of service I received from Instant Technologies.

On what the Center sees as the ultimate value proposition of Instant Technologies:
Adam: The true value is being able to easily leverage your existing Lotus Domino databases and Lotus Instant Messaging in order to put information instantly at the fingertips of your users. The faster users can access critical data, the faster they can do their jobs. I think IAF has and will continue to help our Information Services staff provide a higher level of customer service. I look forward to pushing Lotus Instant Messaging to more users here so that we can further improve their ability to perform their duties as well.

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