Greg Galitzine : Greg Galitzine's VoIP Authority Blog
Greg Galitzine

Manhattan School of Music Teaches the World

April 14, 2009

Back in a previous life (GG:BTMC) I worked on Manhattan's Upper West Side managing a stationery store that was an outgrowth of a successful private bookstore serving the needs of the students at Columbia University, Barnard College, and Manhattan School of Music (MSM).   It was a fun period of my life and I was treated to a pleasant reminder of that time by a news item that came across my desk today, namely that MSM was leveraging distance learning powered by Polycom's HD Telepresence solutions to extend their classrooms to the world. 
  MSM has reportedly been using distance learning since 1996, allowing approximately 1,700 students around the world to participate in classes, workshops, and clinics to help them master their craft. Currently they are using the Polycom HDX 8000 and HDX 9000 series room telepresence and VSX 8000 series video conferencing systems to reach their audience.   As the technology evolved so too did the opportunity to reach more students, more effectively.   According to composer/conductor Robert Sirota, president of MSM, "Our use of visual communication has changed the way we do music instruction at this school in a very profound way."

"It's effective because it quickly becomes invisible," added Sirota. "After 10 or 15 minutes of using the system, you're less and less aware that you're engaged in a high-tech video call. You're simply working.


WSJ: Obama to Ease Cuba Restrictions

April 13, 2009

Open Source on the Mac - 65k Projects and Counting

April 10, 2009

I came across an item today from MacForge touting the fact that the site now features over 65,000 open source projects for the Mac platform. MacForge is described as a resource that enables interested parties to find open source projects out on the net "that work on the Mac, or are likely to work on the Mac."   According to the release:   "In 2005, MacForge.net was created for not only the experienced open source user, but to introduce the Mac technical community to the wonderful array of projects available.   With the huge availability of open source out there, it can be difficult to find projects most relevant to the Mac. MacForge indexes open source projects that either have already been built for/tested on the Mac, or are likely to run on the Mac, without major porting work."   The site organizes the open source projects into a number of different categories, including Communications, Education, Games/Entertainment, Mobile, Multimedia, Office/Business, Scientific/Engineering, Security, Software Development and more. There's even a category listing for Religion and Philosophy, featuring nearly 20 projects dealing with new age spirituality.   Of interest to frequent TMCnet visitors, MacForge features thousands of open source projects dealing with communications, including Chat (2552), Conferencing (453), Fax (48), Internet Phone (179), Telephony (423) and more.      

Toddler's iPhone Obsession

April 10, 2009

Kara Swisher who writes for the Wall Street Journal's All Things Digital, has a very interesting video showing a toddler's iPhone obsession, and frankly it made me think of a bunch of people I know and how they sometimes let their gadget obsessions get the best of them.   Of course I love a cool tech toy as much as anyone, but I'm a bit of a laggard when it comes to laying my hands on the latest and greatest.
 
Sometimes I think I'm just on a different schedule, that's all. For example I can't wait to accessorize my aging (banged up, with a cracked screen) KRZR with a new handset accessory, like the one from Novophone (pictured).
  There is something comforting about that retro look.   Maybe then I'll consider the iPhone. I wonder if they'll reissue it in the classic Princess form factor... They do have a deal with AT&T, don't they?


Upcoming Webinars Designed to Save You $$$

April 7, 2009

I am privileged to work with a great team at TMC.   One of the things our team does exceptionally well is organize webinars, and I saw two upcoming events to which I wanted to draw your attention.   First on Thursday, April 23rd at 10am PT/1pm ET UTOPY is presenting a real-world case study that will highlight the successful deployment of their speech analytics solution with E-LOAN.   In fact, Michael Miller, VP Customer Care, E-LOAN will be presenting his real life experiences, so it's an opportunity to hear firsthand how that firm has seen a 41% improvement in sales conversion and a $2M increase in incremental revenue annually by deploying UTOPY's speech analytics solution.   Register now for this interactive and informative session!     And then on the 28th of April, Tuvox will be presenting a webinar titled 5 Ways To Stop The Flow Of Money Out Of Your Contact Center. In this economy, you just can't miss the chance to get this type of expert advice when it comes to saving money!   The webinar will take place on Tuesday, April 28th at 2:00p ET/11:00a PT, and there is no charge for this event.   For registration information, please visit http://www.tuvox.com/webcast9/   If you are responsible for customer service or customer care, you need to attend these events to see how you might be saving money.  

Attending HIMSS - Healthcare Meets IT

April 7, 2009

Just a quick note to say I'm in Chicago at the McCormick Center, attending the HIMSS conference, which covers IT in the Healthcare space.   I prearranged a bunch of meetings and I'll be jetting from booth to booth starting in about 15 minutes.   For those paying attention to all the nasty windy weather we've been experiencing (and flying in) I have to say today was a smoooooooth flight from the NY area out to O'Hare.   Let's hope tonight's flight back is the same.   Looking forward to my meetings, and I'll keep you updated as time allows.   In the meantime don't forget to stay up to speed on the latest healthcare and related news at our TMCnet Healthcare vertical site. If the intersection of healthcare and technology is your market - bookmark this site today!

Busy Week Inches to a Close

April 2, 2009

It's been quite a good week. The Dow is steadily rising (let's see what Friday brings: profit taking or Dow 8,000) and in less than 10 hours, it's wheels up for this Galitzine, heading home after a jam-packed week of IP communications at a couple of trade shows in Orlando and Las Vegas.   I've posted a few items already, covering some of the companies I met with and I have a few write-ups to go, but the bulk of the content will be coming to you in the form of videos posted to our TMC Newsroom. I can't remember such a busy schedule. I would say I met with well over 80 people this week, each with an interesting story to tell.   Truth be told the general feeling I walk away with after all these meetings is that innovation continues unabated, the economic malaise has to some degree spared a telecom sector that may have been prepared courtesy of the previous financial meltdown, and end users (you and me both) are growing ever more hungry for new apps - check that - new bandwidth hungry apps.   I'll be mostly out of pocket tomorrow as I'm flying back East across 3 time zones, but I look forward to hitting the ground running in short order.    

Nuance Mobile Care Enhances User Experience

April 2, 2009

  I'm at CTIA in Las Vegas today, where I just had a meeting with Nuance senior product manager David Winarsky, who shared his insights into Nuance's latest offering Nuance Mobile Care.   The solution gives end users the ability to self-solve simple problems including customer care and billing directly and instantly on their handset thus eliminating wait times for customer service agents, and allowing customers to help themselves.   Winarsky told me that this creates a large opportunity for service providers to reduce costs and provide a superior customer experience.   Deploying the Nuance Mobile Care solution has reportedly been shown to reduce calls being directed to live agents by over sixty percent. Winarsky cited a statistic that a miniscule shift of just 1% to automation can save large carriers $1 million per month.   He showed me a demo of the solution on a Nokia N-series phone, and walked me through the different options for account management, visual IVR, ease of navigation and the ability to display complex details on the handset.   Subscribers can choose which channel (speech, text...) is best for self service and they can always zero out to an operator   The application also does some diagnostics, helping users determine if there are problems with the device.   One interesting opportunity is that service providers can use this application to send consumers targeted advertisements, and fulfillment takes place right on the device, which is another incredible revenue opportunity for the operators.   The solution is currently deployed with T-Mobile in the U.S. (postpaid) and Metro PCS (prepaid); and with Vodafone in the UK (with a contract to expand to 18 other operators in Europe).   Looking ahead, Nuance plans to add personalization and by continue to enhance the user experience. And while they are addressing wireless carriers today, Winarsky tells me that there are plans in the works to target the enterprise market down the road.

Skype Party - Rich's Photos

April 2, 2009

IBM Unveils Solutions and Partners Around Sametime Unified Telephony

April 1, 2009

IBM heralded the future of enterprise voice collaboration today with a series of announcements addressing new software, new services and an array of business partner offerings.   IBM Lotus Sametime Unified Telephony lies at the center of the company's UC strategy.   As more vendors look to IBM as a partner, IBM took the wraps off an interoperability validation program for the product. This program is designed for IBM and key business partners to test a product's capabilities with Sametime Unified Telephony.   Participants in the Sametime Unified Telephony Validation Program include, IP PBX service providers Alcatel Lucent, Avaya, Cisco, NEC, Nortel, Mitel and Siemens, media gateway vendors Dialogic and NET, and enhanced voice quality providers GN Netcom, Plantronics, Polycom and Psytechnics. Additional partners will be announced in the coming months.   IBM also announced the availability of IBM Converged Communications Services for Sametime Unified Telephony (SUT) a new service designed specifically to enable clients to readily reap the benefits of SUT. According to IBM, the service provides strategy, assessment, architecture, design, integration and implementation for the new solution.      
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