2003 SNUG Convention Summary

The sixteenth annual SNUG (Startel Network Users Group) convention was held in downtown San Antonio, February 2 through 5, at the Hyatt Riverwalk Hotel, two short blocks from the Alamo. SNUG president, Donna West, welcomed the hundred plus attendees and introduced Startel president, David Chuchinsky, who opened the day devoted to Startel presentations. David confirmed that, by design, Startel had been quiet during 2002. This was to allow them to devote their time and energies to optimizing their operation and responding to the current economic conditions. The result of this is that Startel is now positioned to be more responsive to its customer’s needs. This also produced a year of moderate profits, all of which was done while increasing its cash reserves. He concluded by saying that Startel is strong and poised for the future better than ever before.

Tom VanOuse covered many of the Startel system features, most notably “auto mic,” “auto disconnect,” and “wrap-up,” which allow the system to match important call center ACD functions. (To everyone’s delight, Tom gave an update on the ongoing saga of the Wilson family.)  Steve Verberg followed with a demo of Startel’s voice logger. After lunch, Brian Beatty communicated the steps Startel has taken to make their systems HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) compliant. Following this was an overview of version 4.5. After an evening reception, attendees were treated to a Mystery Dinner Theatre, co-sponsored by SNUG and Startel.

Tuesday opened with “30 ideas in 60 minutes.”  Presenters included Dennis O’Hara, Beth Cooper, David Gardner, and Aaron Boatin. JoAnn Browne, of Speed-E’z Physician Exchange took members on a virtual tour of her office. Presentations on call monitoring followed from Herb Chinoski, Michelle Netzer, Denise Batchelder, and Gary Cooper. Vendors were then introduced and gave short presentations. They included Almond Hill Enterprises, NextGen Tek, TAS Biller, TASBill.com, and Record/Play Tek. The business meeting was after lunch, followed by committee reports. Alice Waters demonstrated the new SNUG marketing CD, which highlights the benefits of SNUG members. Chris Bell then showed excerpts of a Startel technical CD, which was produced by Tom Sheridan for SNUG. Gary Pudles concluded the day’s presentations by sharing success stories of Web-based scheduling. After which, he led an impromptu discussion on HIPAA compliance.

The final day began with Aaron Boatin and Ken Goldenberg sharing more ideas about the uses for Voice Net. ATSI (Association of TeleServices International) president, Tedd Smith, gave an update on ATSI, encouraging everyone to attend the ATSI convention in Orlando this June. Technical committee chair, Kelly Weiss, reviewed the enhancement list. Darlene Campbell, ATSI immediate past-president, shared the exciting progress in ATSI’s partnership with the American Blood Centers. The conference concluded with the awards luncheon, where the Don Berry Award was given to Barb Willis.

Convention chair Beth Cooper and executive director Dan L’Heureux are to be commended for an excellent and well-attended convention.

[From Connection MagazineMarch 2003]

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