Added: (Tue Nov 28 2000)

Pressbox (Press Release) - With the help of intelligent telephony from Cambridge-based NetCall Telecom, thousands of children worldwide will be answering their phones this Christmas to have a one-to-one with Santa and hear that the reindeer are ready, the sleigh is laden with goodies and he’ll soon be on his way.

Parents, friends and relatives are already logging on to the www.Santa-Claus.com website to pre-book a telephone call from Santa to a child anywhere in the world on any fixed or mobile phone. Anyone with Internet access can arrange a call by clicking the link for ‘Santa Calls’ on the website and filling in a simple on-screen booking form that asks for the child’s name, telephone number and time to ring.

At the designated time, NetCall’s Alert service automatically makes a call to the nominated telephone number, asks for the child by name and plays a Christmas message from Santa. The combination of proactive delivery and personalised, interactive content sets it apart from ordinary telephone message services – for example, Santa asks each child if they’ve been a good girl or boy and pauses for a response before continuing the festive dialogue – amid many merry ‘Ho, ho, ho’s’.

There are six interactive messages to choose from, tailored to children of different ages – plus one designed for adults who want to fire off a tongue-in-cheek message to their boss asking for a Christmas bonus and more time off.

Commenting on the service, Stephen Bottomley of Santa-Claus.com says, “We had an excellent response to the pilot trial of Santa-Calls last year and were highly impressed with NetCall’s ability to generate multiple personalised, interactive phone calls. NetCall’s technology is first class and they’ve been a supportive partner in planning the full-scale roll out of the service – we’re looking forward to a successful Christmas.”

David Rothschild, Chief Executive Officer of NetCall comments, “We’re delighted that NetCall Alert is being used in this imaginative way. Santa won’t get tired dialing all the numbers because NetCall Alert will automatically generate the outbound calls automatically and play his greetings on schedule. So with a little help from NetCall, he will yet again defy belief and continue his annual tradition of multi-tasking!”

As well as providing entertainment services, NetCall Alert is being used across diverse market sectors for real-time alerting in all sorts of scenarios, for instance: to alert support staff of critical application and system failures; to inform people immediately when online documents deliveries arrive; to automate sales follow-up calls and to deliver time-sensitive content to mobile subscribers.


For further press information please contact Adrian Smith or Joanna Bateman on
01223 314545 or email AdrianS@warban.com

Notes to Editors

NetCall Telecom
NetCall Telecom’s intelligent telephony services enable businesses to improve the quality and efficiency of their response to customers, whether the prompt for their call comes from the internet, by email, WAP, digital broadcasting (iDTV), telephone, or the printed page. New techniques eradicate wasted call time and missed calls when the customer cannot be connected immediately to the right member of staff. NetCall services are low cost, require no hardware or software investment, and work with all existing telephone and internet systems. NetCall also develops bespoke applications supplied as a complete hardware and software solution.

NetCall is ranked second for innovation in the current Management Today e25 index of leading UK e-businesses. Netcall plc is listed on the Alternative Investment Market (AIM) of the London Stock Exchange. In April 2000 Freeserve plc, the UK’s largest internet service provider acquired an 8.6% shareholding in the company. NetCall’s European headquarters and R&D centre are based near Cambridge UK. NetCall’s North American HQ is in Boston, USA.

For further information and news about NetCall visit: www.netcall.com

Despite the rush for memorable ‘.com’ web addresses, the name Santa-Claus.com remained unclaimed until 1998 when Newmarket-based entrepreneur Stephen Bottomley realised its potential.

Two years on after gaining financial backing, advertising commitments and consumer tests, Santa-Claus.com is being officially launched. Judging by the 5 million page impressions on the test site in 1999, Santa-Claus.com looks set to be the first port of call for many online Christmas shoppers this year.

As well as being the place to book a call from Santa, Santa-Claus.com offers toys, gifts and games. To take some of the load off of Santa's sleigh this year, the company will be using fulfillment company Total Direct Ltd to arrange logistics and Barclays Secure Payment Services to provide shoppers with peace of mind when making online payments.

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