Convergys Ups CEO Orr

Cincinnati-Billing and information-management company Convergys Corp. has given the title of chairman of the board to James Orr, who is already president and CEO.

Orr, a veteran of the billing operation, succeeds Charles Mechem Jr., who retired as chairman.

Convergys' software processes more than 1 million bills each day for industries including wireless telephone and cable. Its 38 call centers also handle more than 1 million inquiries per day.

The company has expanded its offerings through expanded alliances with key vendors. Convergys and NARUS Inc.-a leading provider of Internet business-infrastructure solutions-are testing a product for Internet-protocol-usage collection and rating.

Benchmark testing on the product has demonstrated a throughput rate of nearly 6,000 IP-usage-based billing events per second. The benchmark replicated traffic loads equivalent to those generated by 50 million subscribers on a carrier-class IP-services network.

"The completion of this testing proves that IP billing using comprehensive customer-usage information taken off the network in real time is not only possible, but scalable to the carrier-class needs of leading IP-service providers," NARUS president and chief operating officer Mark Stone said in a prepared statement.

In another partnership, Convergys has allied itself with Neuromedia Inc., which deals in automated natural-language sales and customer service solutions for the Web. Convergys will market Neuromedia's virtual-sales and customer-service-representative software, "vRep," to customers worldwide.

Neuromedia's vReps are automated "personalities" built around specific knowledge bases that interact with customers in real time with natural-language dialog. They can aid electronic-commerce customers in real time when they need help during the shopping process.

The vReps allow companies to extend their brand personalities onto the Web and promote repeat usage by engaging customers while they are online.