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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

Nectar and Plantronics Ear-to-Ear Diagnostics to Boost Call Quality

April 2, 2018



The quality of phone calls varies for a variety of reasons from network congestion to weak headset batteries and wireless interference. This is why Nectar Services partnered with Plantronics to build an Ear-toEar (e2e) solution allowing the enterprise and carrier to track call quality across core networks, the internet/intranet and to agents answering phones.

With this new capability, service providers and enterprises can resolve issues faster, ensure superior call quality across the network and improve customer service. In an in-person interview with Tom Tuttle (right), SVP, UC Strategy & Global Alliances and Tim Armstrong (below), VP, Microsoft Practice at Nectar Services, explained they can measure call quality in real-time throughout the duration of the call.

They explained the increase in BYOD has become an issue which enterprises have to deal with when trying to provide superior call quality to workers and customers.

Nectar looks at the health of the platform, SBCs, clouds, network and endpoints, looking for router or WAN-segment issues.

“Correlation between user sessions and network health has always been our strength," said Tim Armstrong.

“As business communications services continue to evolve, it is paramount that the quality of those services remains superior. The last thing any business wants is to lose a potential customer or sale because of jittery VoIP,” said Jon Arnold, principal analyst, J. Arnold & Associates.











Sharpen adds AI and Cloud to Agent-First Contact Center

April 2, 2018

Sharpen provides a cloud-based agent-first contact center solution with simple pricing and AI-powered in-line training, microlearning, and conversational coaching.

The company hails itself as the solution to these problems:

  • Slow Release Cycles
  • Expensive New versions
  • Clunky/Confusing UI
  • No/Limited API’s
  • Expensive to maintain
  • Monolithic code base

By providing:

  • Fast Release Cycles
  • Free upgrades
  • Clean, efficient UX
  • Open REST API’s
  • No maintenance cost
  • Microservices architecture


Pricing starts at $99/contact center agent/month.

In an in-person interview with Cameron Weeks, CEO (top right) and Bracken Fields, CTO (bottom left), they told me the call center market hadn't been rearchitected for the cloud until they came along. The company has built a HIPAA and PCI compliant cloud in 14 regions with 100 ms replication time and AES 256 encryption. It works on Amazon, Azure and Google Cloud and customers can determine which of these to use if they like. This could come in handy as Walmart has encouraged customers to avoid Amazon AWS.

There is five nines uptime and an average 4.4 MOS score.









NEC Brings Tech Edge to UCaaS

March 27, 2018

NEC has been a technology leader in the communications space for decades and as the market has evolved to UC and UCaaS, they haven't kept up. That however is changing and NEC is bringing the power of it's tech portfolio to assist in sales of its telecom solutions.



In an exclusive in-person interview with Ram Menghani (pictured above), VP Product Management, he explained the company is seeing cloud at around 12-15 percent of revenue. To do better, they are building out their global data centers to remain competitive and perhaps leapfrog some of their UCaaS competitors.

Canada is currently supported via the U.S. In addition, they are building out in EMEA, UK, Germany, Milan and Australia. 





RingCentral UC is Eating the Enterprise

March 26, 2018

According to a RingCentral report From Workplace Chaos to Zen: How App Overload Is Reshaping the Digital Workplace, when it comes to communications applications, workers today are using an average of four apps, with 20 percent of workers using six or more. This includes apps for phone calls, texts, web meetings, video conferencing, team messaging, and more. Sixty-nine percent of workers waste up to an hour each day navigating between myriad communications apps, amounting to a waste of 32 days per year.

To counter this app fragmentation, 66 percent of workers want a single communications platform that will bring a sense of productivity to their

 workplace.

Genesys Bought Altocloud Because AI is the Future

March 22, 2018



Genesys has completed the acquisition of privately-held Altocloud Ltd., a cloud-based customer journey analytics provider founded and led by CEO Barry O'Sullivan.

We predicted the sale some years back:

"One last comment worth making is I perhaps have never seen an acquisition candidate so perfectly positioned - assuming the company is even moderately successful. The marketing automation and  communications companies will likely look to grow their organizations into the space in the middle so Avaya, Cisco and Marketo are a few to watch. In the end, it seems to me that Oracle followed by Salesforce are the best acquisition candidates. Time will tell but you read it here first."

Barry told us when he founded this company that "Marketing is eating sales." He continued, "A nurtured lead is a far better prospect than a cold call."



From our exclusive interview in 2014:
By categorizing customers into groups, the cloud-based Altocloud solution makes suggestions on which agent would be best to talk with a specific customer at the time they place a call.








Talkdesk Really Differentiates with Enterprise Contact Center

March 19, 2018



In a short amount of time Talkdesk has amassed 1,400 global customers according to an exclusive interview we had with CEO, Tiago Paiva (above left; Yours Truly on the right).

We've followed his company's progress since inception and through sheer will and a tremendous investment in engineering and development, the company has lured away many customers from not only legacy systems but other cloud providers. They bill themselves as a next-gen cloud using microservices, an API-driven CPaaS communication layer, built-in SMS, omnichannel and many integrations like Salesforce and ServiceNOW. They also have adopted the latest cybersecurity standards and guidelines such as SOCII, BPDR, HIPAA and PCI-DDS.

Talkdesk AppConnect



Tiago explains much of the reason for the company's rapid growth is due to the fact that nobody likes their contact center solutions. By focusing on things like quick set-up (about four weeks), free online training, AppConnect app store, custom dashboards, self-service changes and  data-based routing, the company's commitment to innovation is leading to market share gains.

Talkdesk Data-Based Routing



In addition, the system has an average 4.22 MOS score, greater than 99.99% uptime and six global data centers.

Customers include IBM, MongoDB and companies whose names we can't disclose.













The Real Reason Trump Blocked the Broadcom, Qualcomm Merger

March 13, 2018

U.S. regulators will often stop mergers and acquisitions because they are bad for the public in some way. Too much market control could inflate prices wildly, etc. When deals are killed it isn't always obvious why.

CafeX Sees Call Center Converging with CRM

March 12, 2018

CafeX EVP Sajeel Hussain sees a convergence between the CRM space and contact centers and he's in a great position to know as the company's Live Assist provides omnichannel capability to potentially 10 million Microsoft Dynamics 365 customers via chat co-browse and video capabilities. 




The solution comes out of the box with Microsoft Dynamics 365 and the companies codeveloped the solution and have a Joint roadmap. The Azure cloud-based solution has delivered 4,500 trials in 12 months and has had 65 customer wins such as HP, District M and the NHS in the UK.

According to Sajeel the biggest pain points his company takes away for customers are are as follows. 






3Cinteractive Brings CMS and Orchestration to RCS Marketing

March 8, 2018



Thanks to RCS, rich messaging will be the default on all mobile devices meaning companies will have the ability to provide superior messaging and marketing to all customers according to Brian Heikes, VP, Product Mangement and Solutions at 3Cinteractive.

They recently launched some of the first campaigns on the Sprint network when they announced their RCS A2P deployment. Prior to this change, Sprint just allowed P2P RCS capability or person-to-person messaging. Now with the MAP solution, organizations now have the full power sending rich marketing messaging to all consumers.

In addition to the benefit of having RCS work on all handsets, its use allows companies to avoid needing to go through a BigTech gatekeeper who mines the data to sell competitive advertising.

In other words, if you look at the Facebook business model - the first step was to get companies to bring all their customers to the Facebook network by liking their pages. The next step was to charge companies for access to their own customers via algorithm changes and advertising.







FCC CTO Eric Burger and TMC CEO Rich Tehrani to Keynote Ideacom 2018

March 4, 2018



The pace of change in technology continues to increase and if your company generates its income from helping customers deal with these advancements, it's up to you to stay on the cutting edge of technology. Moreover, you need a general awareness of the regulatory environment and what issues are being addressed by the federal government; now and in the future.

It’s why we’re thrilled to announce that Yours Truly (Rich Tehrani) will be giving a keynote presentation at the Ideacom 2018 conference in Washington DC, April 8-10, 2018. The focus of our presentation will be on what resellers and MSPs need to know to adapt to the changing technology landscape.

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