SAI Develops Software for Vision Impaired to Aid Call Center Operators Supporting SynergyMMS

  • Systems Associates, Inc.
  • 11.06.12
Systems Associates Inc. (SAI) is dramatically enhancing the customer service process for hotel Call Center operators who are visually impaired. Recent software enhancements to its SynergyMMS maintenance management system are giving employees with disabilities the tools they need to better capture and distribute critical maintenance issues.

SAI customized the SynergyMMS application so that when integrated with the Freedom Scientific screen-reading Job Access With Speed (JAWS) program commonly used by the vision-impaired, these agents can easily navigate through SynergyMMS.

SAI is a cloud-based provider of building automation systems for energy management and hotel maintenance. SynergyMMS is a Software as a Service (SaaS) solution designed to enhance asset life and longevity by creating "synergy" between front office, engineering and housekeeping staff for enhanced workflow and communications.

"Call Centers are proving to be an ideal employer for people with disabilities," said John Clark, SAI director of sales and marketing. "Advances in technology, such as Braille computer keypads and  screen readers, are making customer support a viable career, especially since those without sight typically develop acute listening skills. Understanding from our customers that the Call Center is a place of extreme activity and heavy call volumes at certain times of the day, it is imperative that vision impaired users are not hindered by the software they use to do their jobs."

SAI sent a team to visit a hotel Call Center to observe how employees with disabilities performed their duties in a "point-and-click" environment. The examination resulted in the recent SynergyMMS software enhancements.

"Our software is engineered to make data entry fast and simple," Clark said. "Accuracy and thoroughness are key when capturing work, but speed-of-entry is crucial to meeting the needs of our audience as they struggle to keep up with the call volume during those busy times. This became particularly important at several of our properties where vision impaired employees took calls and entered work into SynergyMMS. To better support their need for quick and accurate data entry, we added features to SynergyMMS that are transparent to some users while being essential to users who are vision-impaired. Our custom keyboard shortcuts enable vision-impaired users to quickly, accurately and effortlessly use SynergyMMS to perform all required tasks.

"We hope that by enhancing our software, we are helping to open new career opportunities for those who are visually impaired and seeking employment," Clark said. "As an industry, hospitality software developers should work together to develop enhancements that get more people with disabilities working. Not everyone who loses 'sight' loses 'vision' to be a productive and employable member of society."




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