Downers Grove, ILL. -- Rockwell, the company who invented and patented the first digital automatic call distributor (ACD) over two decades ago, announced the sale of a networked call center system to its first customer, Continental Airlines. The sale of a Rockwell Galaxy ACD to Continental in 1973 was actually the beginning of the call center industry. The Switching Systems Division, originally part of the Collins Radio Co. at the time of the initial sale, is replacing the world's first ACD reservations center with a Spectrum ACD and supporting information systems for Continental's current reservations system located across four states. "This sale is noteworthy for two reasons," said Larry Goodwin, vice president, reservations for Continental. "First is the fact that we selected Rockwell once again as our primary vendor of choice, and second is that we have decided to replace the original Galaxy serial no. 001 ACD system that has served us faithfully for 23 years so we can take advantage of new capabilities and move our customer service business into the next century." The current sale involves five Spectrum ACD systems to be installed at Continental's five reservations centers located around the country. The five systems will be networked to provide Continental with call-by-call routing by integrating all locations directly into the public network. This will allow customer calls to be evenly dispersed among multiple sites by automatically identifying call load volume at each location. In addition, Continental will employ tie lines to internetwork sites and utilize intelligent overflow and call diversion when conditions warrant. In contrast to the original Galaxy ACD of 1973, today's Spectrum system provides Continental with multiple Real Time displays on which to manage agent schedules, work shifts and agent groups. Real Time management will assist Continental in making decisions that impact the business immediately. All systems are expected to be networked and operational for the late summer. Rockwell Switching Systems designs, manufactures and services a family of call processing, computer-telephony integration, information collection and management, workstation applications as well as offering systems integration and consulting.