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UMPI, BalanceBPO and TxVia Execute MOU for January Launch of Customer Service Certification Course

Friday, 28 October 2011

The University of Maine at Presque Isle [UMPI], BalanceBPO, Inc. [BalanceBPO], a premium business process outsource service provider, and TxVia, a New York City-based digital payments company, today announced the launch of the Business Process Outsourcing [BPO] Certification Course.

Set to begin in January 2012, the course will encompass 75 hours of on-campus classroom learning that will prepare students for the highly skilled work underway at BalanceBPO and TxVia.

Maine State Governor Paul LePage praised the program saying, "This BPO Certification Course is a shining example of the University of Maine System working closely with private industry to provide the workforce with the tools they need to enhance their careers in Maine. The idea that contact center organizations all over the world could be accessing training materials created in Aroostook County is thrilling, and I applaud the efforts of President Zillman, Tim Lavin, Matthew Nyren, and their respective organizations, for these exciting endeavors."

BalanceBPO's vision is to impact the entire multi-billion dollar contact center industry by changing the way First Contact Resolution ("FCR") is measured and managed. BalanceBPO's "Balanced Service Process," which is currently in U.S. Patent Pending status, ensures that contact center agents have the tools to resolve customer concerns on the first contact, and when that is not possible, root cause trends are almost immediately identified and corrected. The Company's Center of Excellence in Presque Isle serves as a benchmarking facility that will help to guide larger implementations within their client's own contact center enterprises. Therefore, the career path at BalanceBPO will extend beyond wide-scale phone agent work, and, as they grow, the Company will need software developers, consultants, business development professionals and administrators all based in Presque Isle. Similarly, TxVia offers its clients the most advanced electronic payment processing technology available, and they too need similarly highly skilled employees in Presque Isle. TxVia already employs highly skilled individuals in Presque Isle working in diverse areas including identity verification and fraud detection. Additional "high-touch" customer service management work is commencing before the end of the year.

Topics for the new certification course will include, "Contact Center History and Outsourcing Trends," "The Customer Experience," "BPO Operations" (which includes recruiting and HR management, training, operations management, reward and recognition, and sales and technology), and customized curriculum specific to BalanceBPO and TxVia's clients' industries. The course will be open to students currently enrolled at UMPI and the general public, and especially to those seeking employment with BalanceBPO or TxVia. In the near future, the course will be made available online, allowing BalanceBPO and TxVia, and their clients, direct access for use in their own recruiting and training endeavors outside of Presque Isle.

Soon after BalanceBPO and TxVia's arrival to Presque Isle, UMPI President Don Zillman recognized the opportunity for the institutions to work together. "We realized early on that collaborating with BalanceBPO and TxVia could help to create some very exciting educational and economic opportunities for Aroostook County. We envision a wide range of educational needs for present and future BalanceBPO and TxVia employees that will be served by a close working relationship with UMPI. Helping to meet these needs will strengthen UMPI's curricular program, serve as an attractive opportunity for student recruitment and retention, and potentially be an important economic driving force for the region," said President Zillman.

"BalanceBPO is thrilled to be partnering with UMPI to create this unique program which is so relevant to each of our own, and combined, endeavors," BalanceBPO President & CEO Tim Lavin said. "This step further underscores our commitment to highly differentiate BalanceBPO. Those who graduate from this course will be well trained experts, not only in customer service and contact center operations, but also within the industries of the clients that we serve. Similar to our first contact resolution process, the BPO Certification Course is highly targeted and creates immediate value for us and our clients, and represents an amazing game changer in our industry."

Matthew Nyren, Senior Vice President of Managed Services at TxVia said, "The BPO Certification Course aligns perfectly with TxVia's strategy to create a meaningful career path for our employees, and exceptional service to the customers we serve."

The UMPI faculty committed to the course has extensive and diverse experience in business, English and communications, graphics and media, and psychology, each crucial to the development of the teaching plan. UMPI Assistant Professor of Business, Carolyn Dorsey, who is dedicated to the project said, "The BPO Certification Course creates such a powerful avenue of learning for UMPI students, those in the community that want to be a part of this exciting industry, and eventually, BalanceBPO and TxVia clients who wish to access the course online for their own use. A project that could have global reach – and make such an impact on the lives of those who attend, and the businesses that find value in it – is something that I am proud to be a part of."

Lavin and Nyren each possess over 20 years of domestic and international contact center management experience, and their respective teams each bring similarly impressive qualifications. Together with UMPI, BalanceBPO and TxVia are finalizing the curriculum on the run up to the January 2012 launch. Information on how to sign up will be posted on the UMPI website in the coming weeks.