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Rich Tehrani
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Call Center

Call Center Outage

August 28, 2007

A call center outage could be disastrous for your business. Some of the largest call centers sell millions of dollars worth of products and services each hour so an outage of minutes can be devastating to the bottom line. According to, NStar the Boston gas and electric utility had a four-hour outage in their call center due to AT&T cable failure.   This outage on top of the recent Skype outage written about last week are both wake up calls for any business looking to ensure they can communicate effectively at all times.   Even if you do not have a contact center in your company, dhow would you like to be the person explaining to the CEO why his call to your company’s top client was dropped unexpectedly.   These wake-up calls should be heeded and you should definitely be at ITEXPO in a few weeks to ensure you are aware of the latest technology which can help your company avert communications downtime.   Here are some parts of the event worth noting:  

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.


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.

Use Skype, go to Jail

August 24, 2007

OK, I have been writing about Skype almost continually and this is not intentional. There is just a great deal of news about the company lately. For example, George Ou discusses today how a man in the UK was arrested for using a neighbor’s WiFi network. He went on to say he was reviewing a Skype phone which automatically connected to an open WiFi network in an unfamiliar area.

SIP to Skype

August 23, 2007

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.

Cell Phone Contract Cancellation

August 21, 2007

Skype Outage Article

August 21, 2007

Jon Arnold and I were both quoted recently in a San Francisco Chronicle article titled Skype reveals outage source, tells customers it won't happen again. The article is extremely well-written, gets perspective from a number of people and weaves each viewpoint into a cohesive whole.   My quote follows below:  
The technology relies on user computers to route phone calls and handle some of the call authentication. There are thousands of computers and servers that are tapped to act as these supernodes in the Skype network.   That reliance has allowed Skype, owned by San Jose's eBay, to keep phone calls free between members and extremely cheap for calls to nonsubscribers. But an outage like last week's reveals the inherent vulnerability in the system when a large number of computers are affected within a short span of time, said Rich Tehrani, chairman of the Internet Telephony Conference and Expo and president of TMC, a communications and technology media company.   "The fate of the users is not in the control of one company, and that's the problem," Tehrani said.


August 21, 2007

I recently had the opportunity to speak with Erin Bolton, marketing manager of Acredo Technologies Inc, about IP communications, the company’s customer base and the upcoming ITEXPO.   Acredo Technologies delivers hosted IP phone service to the small business market and the company’s mission is to "Build and manage a recognized brand in the hosted IP-Centrex space for small business in North America.”   This past February TMC chose Acredo Technologies as one of the winners of its prestigious “Best of Show” at its Internet Telephony Conference & Expo. Please read more about it here.   Please outline your new corporate initiatives.   Acredo Technologies will provide a hosted IP phone service that small businesses can afford and manage. Acredo's offering is a bundled solution integrating technology from our best of breed partners including Avaya, AT&T, HP, Cisco and Oracle. The partners we have chosen will allow us to create the most reliable and highest quality calling experience with VoIP technology.
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