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Rich Tehrani
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Polaris IP

August 29, 2007

Polaris IP is a company you probably never heard of but they have a patent on an e-mail routing system and are using it to sue the Internet’s largest companies. In particular, Google, Yahoo!, Amazon, A9, Borders, AOL and IAC/Interactive Corp among others are named in a suit claiming infringement on patent 6,411,947.   With ITEXPO just around the corner I haven’t had the time to delve deeply into this patent. Here is the abstract:  
A method for automatically interpreting an electronic message, including the steps of (a) receiving the electronic message from a source; (b) interpreting the electronic message using a rule base and case base knowledge engine; and (c) classifying the electronic message as at least one of (i) being able to be responded to automatically; and (ii) requiring assistance from a human operator. The method for automatically interpreting an electronic message may also include the step of retrieving one or more predetermined responses corresponding to the interpretation of the electronic message from a repository for automatic delivery to the source.
  This patent seems to apply to a number of advertising related companies as they all use a machine to determine which ad will be served based on web page content.   The original patent claim was applied for by a company called Brightware.

Inter-Tel

August 28, 2007

Inter-Tel executives Aron Aicard (Director of Product Marketing), Jon Young (Director, Softswitch Technology) and Rick Ringel (Strategic Solutions Engineer), gave me this exclusive interview. They talked to me about Inter-Tel’s new corporate initiatives, the impact of SIP technology, and the future of the market in general.   Recently merged with Mitel Networks Corporation, Inter-Tel is a high-profile provider of business telephone systems and related software products.   It will be interesting to see how Inter-Tel/Mitel does under the leadership of the capable Mitel and Inter-Tel management. This includes of course Sir Terry Matthews who seems to turn everything into gold.   Please outline your new corporate initiatives.   Now that its merger with Mitel has been concluded, Inter-Tel is working closely with its colleagues at Mitel to broaden its collective suite of solutions to deliver seamless, advanced IP platforms, applications and services to businesses ranging from large enterprises to SOHO environments.        How has SIP changed communications?   We are only in the early stages of SIP acceptance, but Inter-Tel sees SIP—and other industry standards—as integral to the evolution of business communications.

Virtual Customer Interactions

August 25, 2007

This is my next Customer Interaction Solutions High Priority column. If memory serves it will be the October, 2007 issue. As often happens this will be the unedited version. If this is of any interest be sure to subscribe digitally to the magazine so you don’t miss an issue.   -----   On a blustery day at a Virginia Beach hotel a decade or so ago, a group of call center decision makers gathered to hear Rich Tehrani, Group Editor-in-Chief of TMC speak on the topic of evolving customer service and technology.

VoEX

August 24, 2007

VoEX, Inc., is a VoIP managed-service provider offering global peering infrastructure, network interoperability, industry-leading quality of service, and advanced applications capabilities for top tier carriers, mobile operators, cable operators, voice service providers, academic institutions and enterprises. VoEX maps the world’s phone numbers to resolvable IP addresses by combining an advanced carrier-grade VoIP peering infrastructure with the world’s largest carrier ENUM registry — now totaling over 250 million phone numbers — to interconnect IP, TDM and hybrid-network service providers.   I recently had the opportunity to discuss industry trends with Cyril N. Matthews, Director of Registry and Network Services at VOEX. For more on the company be sure to check out a March 30th, 2007 discussion between Cyril and Russell Shaw.     RT: Please outline your new corporate initiatives. CM: Our company has built our network on IP at the core and we are working with our customers and vendors to push IP to the edge of the network (using ENUM and other technologies) to provide a base for the development of applications that can take advantage of the IP-based environment to drive convergence.   RT: How has SIP changed communications? CM: SIP has opened up communications to the level of flexibility and innovation previously seen in personal computing… creating the ability for personal communications such as Instant Messaging (text, voice & video), as well as other presence- and location-based applications.   RT: What is the biggest request coming from your customer base? CM: Give me something to help me differentiate what I do from my competitors.   RT: How are you answering their demands? CM: We are working with our customers to develop solutions   RT: What do you think the future of the market is? CM: Applications that seamlessly blend voice, video and data with real-time (inter)personal communications.   RT: How does the U.S.

Oaisys Update

August 22, 2007

If you live vicariously through my travel schedule then you were with me in Arizona during that muggy and super-hot trip I took a while back to see Oaisys and learn about their Talkument voice appliance.   As you may recall, Talkument makes voicemail as useful as e-mail with the ability to annotate them or even pieces of these voice messages.   Here is a full feature list:  
  • Voice Document Sharing — Allows users to share voice documents with other authorized users and temporary guest users.
  • Highlighting — Selected segments of the voice document can be highlighted so whoever is authorized to review the file can simply listen to the pertinent segment and not have to wade through the entire file. 
  • Commenting — An annotation feature helps the user tag certain documents for future retrieval. These comments are visible for other authorized users to facilitate collaboration and communication. 
  • File Management System — Talkument also allows users to store the voice files in its file management system, which contains folders that can be custom-configured and personalized to make it easy to find files at a later date. 

Skype Retracts Microsoft Blame

August 22, 2007

In previous posts it was mentioned that Skype blames Microsoft for the recent outage it had last week. More recently Skype has issued a statement saying it does not diectly blame Microsoft for the problem but instead it clarified the Microsoft update patches caused a chain reaction which caused their network to fail.   Here are the details:

1. Are we blaming Microsoft for what happened?
We don’t blame anyone but ourselves.


Level 3 Communications

August 20, 2007

Level 3 Communications, Inc., an international communications company, operates one of the largest Internet backbones in the world, connecting 180 markets in 18 countries. The company serves a broad range of wholesale, enterprise and content customers with a comprehensive suite of services including: Internet Protocol (IP) services, broadband transport and infrastructure services, co-location services, voice and voice over IP services, content delivery and media distribution services.   Recently the company announced that it has been selected by Joost to support its Internet television service, providing Joost with network solutions including high-speed Internet access and co-location services in North America and Europe.   I had the chance to catch up with Cary Tengler, Level 3’s director of partner development who told me about the company’s latest initiatives and a bold prediction for where the industry will be in five years.

Tissot High-T Discontinued

August 20, 2007

Sadly, the Tissot High-T has been discontinued. This is terrible news as when the watch worked, it worked very well. It connected with the Microsoft Spot network which is now called MSN Direct. It had a touch screen and vibrate function which made it an exceptional watch as it could remind you of appointments without any sound.

IP Communications Education

August 20, 2007

Listen, I don’t want to overdo discussion of ITEXPO in my blog but the fact of the matter is this recent e-mail sent by my marketing team is a great document discussing what is important at the show. It is a good guide for you. What to see, where to go, where to be, etc.   You can see below the various aspects of Internet Telephony Conference & Expo which make it unique and the most imitated event in IP communications.

Call Center CRM Stories August, 17 2007

August 19, 2007

While technology has a bewildering effect on the medical industry it seems one of the areas ripest for improvement and change is that of the interaction of patient and doctor. A recent article on TMCnet details how HD videoconferencing is improving patient care.   Another area of change in contact centers is that of outsourcing. A recent article from TMCnet’s Susan Campbell talks about this change. Specifically it discusses a new study by Duke University and the management consulting firm, Booz Allen Hamilton which found that companies are increasingly moving sophisticated, mission-critical functions to China, India and other offshore locations primarily because these countries are providing the individuals with the necessary skills and education.   Speaking of changes in outsourcing, did you know Egypt is trying to be a major player in this space according to an article from TMCnet’s Brian Solomon?
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