Napkins are FANTASTIC!
You’re probably thinking – that’s an odd sentiment to have toward a dirty piece of cloth. But hear me out.
First off, napkins save you the embarrassment of wearing what you ate for lunch.
Secondly, think of all the tasty things that end up on napkins—like excess rib sauce from your face.
Sometimes, great things start on napkins.
Actually, that was an envelope.
That’s right. The inspiration for IAT’s smart dialing technology was first recorded on a napkin.
Twenty-six years ago, Scott and Kent Sorensen were deep in conversation about the prospect of computer telephony integration (CTI) and jotted down notes on the only semi-paper-product around…a napkin.
Since then, IAT—and dialing technology—has come a long way. In honor of IAT’s birthday this week, I sat down to chat with our favorite dialer company.
Jenna: Happy Birthday IAT!!!
IAT: Thank you, Jenna! It’s been a great year. But let me tell you, I’m starting to feel old—I’ve been around for over a quarter of a century.
Jenna: Wow! That’s a long time.
IAT: It sure is. But I feel wisdom comes with age.
Jenna: Your customers probably benefit from your long-time industry experience.
IAT: Yep, they also appreciate my personal and attentive support team. We pride ourselves on being honest, ethical and up front with our customers—giving them accurate information and not hiding things.
Jenna: Sounds like a great way to build lasting relationships with your customers.
So, what was dialing technology like when you were just a young business?
IAT: You know my founding fathers were really ahead of their time. When they started out, the concept of telephones accessing computer information was pretty hard to understand. They had to convince people that the technology was even possible.
I remember my very first collection-specific product. It was called Client Hotline. And that’s just what it was—a hotline for clients to call and check an account status.
Jenna: That’s a nifty tool.
IAT: It certainly was— but that was just the beginning. From there I developed SmartTalk—my first form of broadcast messaging—which evolved into the beginnings of the predictive dialer, which I called SmartDial.
Jenna: Wow, all of a sudden those names make sense! SmartTalk for the pre-recorded messages sent out to debtors and SmartDial for the predictive dialer that keeps agents on the phone talking to accounts.
IAT: Funny how history has a way of making sense of things.
Jenna: It’s enlightening. What’s your most exciting development?
IAT: Definitely hosted dialing systems. The ability to remotely log onto a dialer is remarkable. But what I find really exceptional is running a site-premised system in conjunction with a hosted dialer. That is a truly efficient and productive dialer.
Jenna: A hybrid—all the benefits of a site-premised system with the added resources of a hosted dialer. That’s impressive.
Well, what are you looking forward to in the next 26 years?
IAT: I’m looking forward to a lot. There will undoubtedly be new technology that doesn’t exist yet. I’m imagining video-conferencing with debtors—that will be kind of weird.
Jenna: That’s interesting to think about. Well, it seems you have a lot to be proud of for 26 years in business. Thanks for sharing with me!
IAT: You’re welcome. It’s been a pleasure chatting with you.
Jenna: Happy Birthday IAT!
**A special thanks to Jeryl Smith who played the part of “IAT” in this dramatization.
This article was written by Jenna Bowman