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Rich Tehrani
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CRM

Call Center E-Learning

February 22, 2006

Here is an article I came across that talks about e-learning, call centers and service providers. I thought it was good and decided to pass it along. It will run in a future issue of Customer Interaction Solutions Magazine.

The issue of customer satisfaction is important and when you think of the Vonage IPO you realize that customer churn is a major factor in the success of going public, being sold or doing business in general.

As you may have read in my most recent Vonage blog, 11% of new Vonage customers come from referrals. Anything a service provider can do to increase customer satisfaction rates is important.



Oracle in SIP Market

February 18, 2006

I am pretty surprised by the news of Oracle entering the SIP market. 'The addition of Hot Sip's technology will allow Oracle to build on its leadership in middleware and in carrier-grade communications infrastructures,' said Thomas Kurian, senior vice president, Oracle Server Technologies.

Oracle is in just about every other business so why not VoIP and SIP. This is a big deal in my opinion and more importantly it signals that Oracle is serious about telephony. I have had 2 people drop hints in the last two weeks about Oracle looking into acquiring an open-source PBX company.

I don’t know if these hints were just me reading into casual comments or not but this announcement certainly sets the stage for more acquisitions by the software titan.

In the CRM market Oracle made a few acquisitions so I would not be surprised to see further M&A activity in VoIP as well.





Salesforce.com Downtime

February 9, 2006

VoIP Trends

February 2, 2006

I have now been asked three times in one day what the trends were from the last Internet Telephony Conference & Expo last week in Ft. Lauderdale, Fl. I would have to say that the fixed mobile convergence and IMS conference tracks had a tremendous amount of energy and were standing room only. These sessions were just about as exciting as it gets and conferees and speakers seemed to feel that the audience was thirsty for more information. We have been asked by more than one speaker to dedicate more time to these sessions just to allow for the large amount of Q&A.

At the opposite end of the VoIP spectrum is IP contact centers where the sessions were also standing room only. The contact center market had seemed to slow for a few years.

Google Buys TellMe

February 1, 2006

One of the predictions The Deal made on CNBC today is that Google will buy voice portal pioneer Tellme. This is a logical acquisition as Tellme is a very strong player in voice portals and as a bonus is profitable. The acquisition would allow people to access Google's services from telephones almost as easily as they do on the web. As a bonus, their office is not too distant from Google's.

IP Telephony Trends

January 31, 2006

I got a hold of this trends piece and thought it worth passing on. I like it. It is kind of a mix between article and advertorial but is still educational:

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SOS Spots Hot Trends in IP Telephony for 2006






By Gia McNutt, chief executive officer, SOS

Don't you wish you had a crystal ball to foresee the path of IP Telephony in 2006? You're in luck.


West Buys Intrado

January 30, 2006

TMC's Customer Interaction Solutions (CIS) Magazine has been ranking the teleservices outsourcers for more than two decades bestowing the coveted Top 50 award to these companies. Another of our business units is the Internet Telephony brand. Sometimes these two brands cross over. This happens in the case of IP contact centers or hosted contact center solutions or call centers dedicated to telecommunications carriers.

Now we have yet another example as West Corporation a world leader in teleservices outsourcing has purchased Intrado a world leader in 911 solutions.

Just in Time Marketing

January 30, 2006

I spend at leas 30% of my time traveling. Quite often I receive e-mails from travel companies while on the road. I am on the mailing list for many hotels and airlines. What I find interesting is that while staying at hotel brand X, I receive e-mail from the same hotel brand telling me about specials in other hotels the company owns.

The one missing ingredient in my opinion is a thank you.

Suggestion Engines

January 23, 2006

It would seem that software that uses the tastes of large number of people to help suggest products based on your past experiences can significantly increase sales. If the technology is not implemented correctly or nut not implemented at all, it can potentially create problems.

Just ask Wal-Mart who suggested "Planet of the Apes" and "Ace Ventura: Pet Detective" as movies whenever customers ordered Martin Luther King, "I have a Dream." (article).

Back in 2000 a company called NetPerceptions was doing a great deal of innovative things in this market. They had a suggestion engine that seemed very useful. I wrote about them at least once.



Homeshoring

January 22, 2006

There was a great article in BusinessWeek a while back titled Call Centers in the Rec Room focusing on how companies are beginning to recognize the problems associated with outsourcing to countries that have agents witch accents. Apparently companies are beginning to realize the cost of losing customers and acquiring new ones.

There was another equally good article on TMCnet titled A Victory for the Home Agent Business Model that focuses on Willow CSN and their contribution to the industry. Having known Willow for about a decade or so I can say without hesitation that this company had the vision to espouse home agents before the industry was an industry. Hats off to Willow CSN for being ahead of their time and more importantly lasting long enough to reap the rewards of being first.

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