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Rich Tehrani
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Call Center

TMC Covering Cloud, 4G and Open-Source This Week

October 24, 2011

Quite often at industry events I hear people say they can’t believe how many events TMC goes to each year and moreover,  they ask just how many conferences we cover each year. I haven’t done the math but it’s a lot. But since I was thinking about it, I figured I would share our schedule this week… To me the amount of money a company invests into the markets they serve is an important part of being successful. In other words, in order to keep our readers and viewers informed, we have to be able to cover all the important conferences in the market.

Gary and Mary West: Improving Healthcare Through Disruption

October 19, 2011

For years, Americans have prospered like people in no other country on earth because our class-free society allowed virtually anyone with a good idea to launch a company, hire, prosper and keep the majority of the fruits of their labor. A competitive entrepreneurial culture further fostered an environment where successful businesspeople went from being entrepreneurs to serial entrepreneurs.

Even more impressive, so many of these successful businesspeople seem to reach a point in their career where they don’t feel satisfied helping society through their inventions and hiring, they want to focus on problems with society and fix them directly.

Such is the case with Gary and Mary West – two legends in the call center space as founders of West Corp. As you may know,in 1982 TMC launched the first magazine in the world in the call center space and at the time we called it Telemarketing (now Customer Interaction Solutions).

New Interactive Intelligence Quick Spin Cloud Contact Center Trial Portal

October 17, 2011

Coming off the first six months of 2011, Interactive Intelligence enjoyed cloud-based revenue growth numbers of 58% while orders increased a whopping 146% during the same period. Moreover, the cloud accounted for 26% of the company’s total new order dollar volume in the first half of 2011. Company CMO Joe Staples said the following to me in a meeting in New York, “We are seeing a huge shift towards the cloud.” He continued, “It is talked about in every single deal we are in.”

As a refresher – the company started selling a hosted solution in 2005 but relaunched its cloud-based communications as a service or CaaS solution in 2009.

The Turnover Epidemic and the Toll it Takes

September 23, 2011

As I look out at the technology landscape I find it surprising that replacements of marketing personnel whether initiated by the company or people resigning seems to be near an all-time high. As I have stated before, the job of marketers is tougher than ever – they have to deal with online and offline media, social, search, events, web seminars, community building, landing page creation, testing, email marketing, article writing, blogging and public relations on a daily basis. We are at the point where marketers should be injecting Red Bull into one arm while injecting Maalox into the other.

To make matters worse, the scrutiny marketers have to deal with is at an all-time high meaning investors, CXOs and presidents are demanding accountability for every cent of spending.

Benbria Evolves into Social CRM

September 22, 2011

Marketing has never been so complicated and social media has only taken something which was difficult and added levels of complexity. Recently at ITEXPO in Austin, Texas, TMC hosted its first CMO Summit and the consensus at the event was that complexity is out of control. How do I deal with the physical and virtual world while adequately communicating with customers the way they want to be contacted was a common theme.

At the expo I met with Andrea Baptiste President and CEO of Benbria, a company which got its start in the outbound notification space.

ITEXPO: 8x8 Buys Contactual

September 12, 2011

Breaking news from ITEXPO West 2011 in Austin, Texas.

Hosted communications, video and VoIP pioneer 8x8 has just purchased Contactual, formerly known as White Pajama. I have been visiting 8x8 for about 15 years and when you enter their HQ the first thing you notice is the patents hanging everywhere. They now have about 75 of them. After the tech bubble crash the company turned their leading-edge technology into a customer focused business which you could call a business Vonage.

Why Blocked AT&T, T-Mobile USA Deal is Good for Growth

August 31, 2011

Critics might say, in the history of M&A, it is difficult to recall one instance where more jobs were created as a result of two companies coming together. Yet this is the argument AT&T has been making for just less than three months after the merger announcement with AT&T and T-Mobile USA was announced. In part the argument was reinforced by the company's commitment to bring remote call center jobs back to the states.

Moreover, AT&T’s claim that this merger would be good for consumers is an interesting one as critics might say it is fairly easy to argue either side.

Is Your CRM a Bigger Disaster than Hurricane Irene?

August 26, 2011

Want successful CRM? Its the empathy, stupid.

A recent experience reminded me of the importance of handling customers well, especially in times of need. Case in point, I was scheduled to go to the Salesforce Dreamforce event next week and I should mention seeing Marc Benioff speak is one of my favorite things to do. He is passionate and enthusiastic and always on the leading edge.

But it became abundantly clear to me this morning that I am not going to be able to leave this Monday morning from a New York airport to get to San Francisco for the event because of Hurricane Irene.



ITEXPO West 2011 Austin Highlights

August 23, 2011

Before all ITEXPO events I do a final proofread of the show directory and this one may be the biggest ever at 132 pages with tabs (just doing our part to support the economy). We will post a PDF version soon so you can see what’s in it but until then, here are some highlights that caught my eye:

Keynotes & Exhibits Tuesday, September 13th at 9:15 AM we have Ian Pennell from Cisco and at 4:30 PM-5:30 PM we have keynotes from Siemens and IBM followed by a Grand Opening Networking Reception sponsored by Interact from 5:30-7:30.

Wednesday, September 14th at 10:00 AM – 11:00 AM we have keynotes from Polycom and DHL followed by exhibits from 11:00 AM- 4:00 PM. Then at 4:00 PM there is a Cocktail reception sponsored by Rackspace Hosting and at 4:45 you could win a pair of mountain bikes from Mellow Johnny's Bike Shop - an Austin Institution ( I am told).

Got Big Telecom Data? You Need Infinity Ear from Empirix!

August 16, 2011

OK, this isn’t a real product name – yet but you could potentially help pick it – be sure to let the company know if you have a name for their new product line.

I sat down with Tim Moynihan and Gordon Eddy of Empirix at SpeechTek and was happy to hear the company has been experiencing double-digit growth. Testing companies like Empirix are a great barometer for the markets they serve as they grow with the percentage of deployments in the spaces are in. In this case, the company is seeing increasing orders as a result of the migration to IP so SIP trunking and SBC deployments have really helped the bottom line.
Moreover, companies are seeking out testing services from Empirix before they deploy CRM, call center and UC services.

Mergers have been another positive factor in the company’s growth as companies have to ensure their disparate systems can interop smoothly before they go live as part of a more seamless network of communications systems.

An interesting area of expansion will be introduced this fall – analyzing “big data” for the telecom space. The point here is big data is being scraped and analyzed with positive results in data centers but there has been a lack of tools to do the same in the telecom space.






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