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Rich Tehrani
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| Communications and Technology Blog - Latest news in IP communications, telecom, VoIP, call center & CRM space

Call Center

Call Center Wait Times

October 3, 2006

I have been reading more and more about companies who neglect customer service and get punished by losing customers and/or losing share price. Sure the two are generally related but a company like Dell has been slammed so many times for hiring Indian call center reps that it is likely their P/E multiple has been affected as well.

But it isn’t just accents or call center agents with lack of training that upset customers. Another pet peeve many customers have is long wait times. I could go on for pages actually about all the items that upset customers -- like not answering e-mail.

Pika Introduces Skype VoIP to Asterisk

October 3, 2006

Two of the biggest trends in IP communications are Skype and Asterisk. There is just something so compelling about the free model --consumers and enterprises can't seem to get enough of either of the products these two companies offer.

But what if there was a way to bridge the Asterisk community with Skype users. What a great world that would be. Imagine allowing customers to Skype into your call center or imagine allowing remote workers to calling via Skype and stay connected to the Asterisk system where they could use IVR and speech recognition to navigate to the right mailbox or person.

My friends that day has arrived and it is courtesy of PIKA Technologies a company playing in the communications development space for over a decade.



Art Rosenberg

September 30, 2006

I have been getting Lots of constructive feedback from Art Rosenberg for many years; probably longer than a decade. Way back to when we launched CTI Magazine in fact. As you may know Art is widely accepted as the person who coined the term unified communications. Art always has a great deal to say and I though this letter worth sharing.

ITEXPO Special Attractions

September 28, 2006

There are officially 11 days until Internet Telephony Conference & Expo West 2006 so I thought it made sense to let my readers know everything that is going on at the show. There is just so much fantastic content and the most amazing speaker list we have ever had.

Our biggest challenge at this year’s ITEXPO is the fact that we have more in-depth content than ever before and letting people know about it has become a tremendous challenge. The people who take the time to understand the content offering are truly blown away so I thought a brief summary of many of the exciting things happening at the show would help you understand the magnitude of this event and moreover it is my hope you se this unique content offering as a reason you must get to San Diego to be part of this event.

If I had to describe the education at ITXPO this year I would have to equate it to a full PHD in IP communications in less than week.

Where else can you learn about the quintuple play, SIP trunking, voice peering and so much more under a single roof?

To paraphrase Lee Iacocca, if you can find a conference with a more comprehensive, in-depth and objective content offering, go there.

One final point: After 2 years, ITEXPO remains the only conference program in the communications space with a guarantee.



Here are the details:



First off you should be aware of the new collocated IMS Expo & Call Center 2.0 events. These are conference offerings as well as exhibit areas on the show floor.

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Here are some other content areas in list format for easy reading:


New!














Spanlink and Workforce Management

September 26, 2006

If you have ever driven to TMC’s headquarters in Norwalk, Connecticut from I95 North you know about congestion. You see there are two exits that are a stone’s throw away from each other – 14 and 15 - and just before exit 14 is an on-ramp. Let’s just say that there is always some hold-up at this area of the Connecticut turnpike. People from the left lane are merging to get off exit 14 and 15 while others are merging.   If you aren’t careful you will have an accident and the whole mess pretty much delays the entire highway.

MetaSwitch, Cisco and Juniper Gossip

September 26, 2006

I spoke at a seminar hosted by Interactive Intelligence like I have been doing more and more lately. Today I was in Detroit, MI, a city and state I have never been to. I was a huge fan of Ford and GM cars in my teens and at that time I had a good friend who used to be from this area. I used to hear lots of great stories about this city and the great cars that were created here.

Of course we have all been hearing stories about the turmoil at Ford, GM and Chrysler as of late and I knew the economy here isn't great.

Primal Solutions

September 25, 2006

Consider a typical tax return. If you own a home and have a mortgage you may be able to deduct interest payments -- at least in the US (oh and by the way this article is not meant to provide you with advice on doing your taxes. Please don't expect it to help you with the IRS at your next audit). If you made interest you must pay tax on it and of course on other income.

Bandtel

September 25, 2006

Out of the many areas in the IP communications space worth watching, I think SIP trunking (see TMCnet's SIP Week in Review for lots more info on the SIP trunking market) is among the more interesting. I say this because for as long as PBXs have been around so have hardware-based PBX interfaces.

SIP has changed this (subscribe free to SIP Magazine to learn more) and now telephony has a lot less proprietary hardware and a lot more flexibility. Ironically as so many IP-based call centers and IP-PBXs are being sold worldwide, they aren't all connecting to SIP trunks -- they still use the PSTN. By some accounts less than half of IP PBXs are connected to SIP trunks.

So the benefits of putting voice over IP are only partially taken advantage of.



Lower Broadband Customer Service Costs

September 19, 2006

Sorry for the self-promotion here but I haven't had a chance to share this with you --the news of a webinar teaching service providers how to lower the costs of broadband customer service. It takes place tomorrow so feel free to forward I to colleagues now so they don't miss it.

Rolling out new technology to your customers is great but you need to make sure that if you are deploying new triple play services you are aren't taking a bath on support costs.

As the complexity of services increases so does support cost. This webinar will help you lower your costs over time by planning early. Enjoy.

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Keeping a Lid on Broadband Customer Service Costs

Date: Sept. 20th (tomorrow)
Time: 11:00am PDT (2:00pm EDT)
Register

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Customer support costs can balloon quickly when rolling out new broadband services.














ITEXPO Attendance Update

September 12, 2006


I had a chance to look at the attendees from the last 2 days who signed up for ITEXPO and remain amazed at the global reach of this event. As you know TMC has a global reach with a North American trade show strategy meaning we believe in having large US-based shows ad inviting the most important decision makers from around the world to come join us.

The strategy has been extremely successful and – surprise!! – it turns out the international market likesto come to venues like San Diego and Florida :-)

Here are the countries represented in the registration database from just today and yesterday:
Germany
Philippines
USA – Obviously but didn’t want to leave it out
Taiwan
Canada
France
Korea
Trinidad and Tobago
Brazil


Here are some of the titles:
Network operations Manager
Chief Strategy Officer
Dir IMS Solutions
Chief Architect
Senior Applications Manager
CTO
Network Specialist

Hope to see you next month in San Diego at ITEXPO: October 10-13th.





























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