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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.

Tech Growth: It's all about the Arbitrage

October 15, 2011

Wikipedia defines arbitrage as the practice of taking advantage of a price difference between two or more markets and I’m amazed at how it’s helped the world of tech grow through the decades. Now before I continue I should point out productivity and flexibility are also crucial reasons for tech growth. For example, the PC spreadsheet made it possible to not only perform financial calculations more quickly but more importantly to perform calculations you just couldn’t afford to have humans do.

But really, arbitrage is the hidden gem in the market because quite often it fuels the use of a new technology with paying customers who can justify the expense because they are saving money elsewhere.

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.

Suzanne Bowen Moves to AstraQom

August 25, 2011

Electronic Health Records Only as Strong as Weakest Link

August 24, 2011

It is becoming commonplace to find that organizations of virtually all sizes are getting hacked and their data compromised. Sony and the CIA are just some of the latest we have heard of.

Let's be clear, these are some very high-profile sites and if they are hackable, it may be safe to say virtually all sites and are potentially vulnerable. Of course we know security is a journey and not a destination meaning companies need to install the latest patches and updates and monitor their code carefully for potential buffer overrun and related attacks.

One of the most recent areas of digitization is electronic health records and candidate and President Obama has discussed the potential benefits of going digital in the past. Then again, it isn't like the average consumer who has used LPs, tapes and MP3s doesn't understand that the digital format is the best for multiple reasons.

So when politicians finally read the Obamacare bill and start implementing it - we can bet there will be a heavy, heavy focus on electronic health records (EHR).

But wait, the EHR of 300,000 Californians have been floating around the Internet according to a story on TMCnet's HealthTechZone.







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).

M2M Asset Tracking Takes Off with OnAsset

August 15, 2011

Until now, end-to-end asset tracking of items which used airplanes couldn’t easily be done because there was no device capable of meeting the requirements of US regulators and airlines. However, a recent breakthrough, three years in the making by OnAsset Intelligence will improve the tracking of many high-value shipments on more than 3,400 daily Southwest Airlines Cargo flights. Specifically the OnAsset’s SENTRY 400 FlightSafe device can now provide location, environmental sensing and monitoring of temperature-sensitive and high value cargo.

This news is fantastic for companies who need to track items such as electronics, pharmaceuticals, medical devices and life science products.

Apple Market Cap, Cisco Earnings Beat and Amazon Sidesteps Apple

August 11, 2011

I am up in Mass visiting some companies in the area and doing a presentation on the state of communications and tech markets - so while I am offline feel free to visit other parts of the TMC network to check out the latest news and analysis.

But before I sign off - some of the most interesting stories recently have to be Apple becoming the most valuable public company in the world, Cisco beating lowered expectations and Amazon leveraging HTML5 to allow Kindle reader access via web browsers.

Let's start with Cisco first - the company has put out so much bad news lately, the fact that this bellwether had a beat actually helped the entire stock market regain confidence.

If you missed it this morning, it seems hedge funds and others who are short the markets are pushing rumors of European banks having tremendous problems. This is exactly what happened with the Lehman Brothers collapse in 2008. Markets have the ability to drive companies into insolvency by stoking the flames of fear, uncertainty and doubt. The good news for those who are looking for stable financial markets is that as of this writing, the networking giant is up over 16% to $16.02.

The other two news items are huge as well - Apple, a company in the hardware space - an area we all consider a commodity has used a combination of leading-edge supply-chain management, a massive cash horde and brilliant design and usability to become more valuable than any other company in the world.

And with their locked-in ecosystem, the amount of revenue it will continue to generate via its music and app stores will continue to grow for years.









Adobe HTML5 Tool, Edge: What You Need to Know

August 8, 2011

An in-depth interview with Paul Gubbay, VP of, Design Web and Interactive at Adobe Systems

The move to HTML5 is one of the most exciting developments I have seen in tech as it ties together cloud, mobile and the concept that programmers should be able to write once and have their programs run anywhere. Moreover, the hundreds of millions of Apple iOS devices that do not support Adobe Flash do/will support HTML5 and as websites slowly begin the transition to this new web standard, every tablet should for the first time be able to view most every webpage.

It’s no wonder HTML5 is being credited with allowing a 15-year post Internet boom mega-cycle.

A few potential casualties of the HTML5 revolution are app stores who have a lock on the real innovation taking place on their platforms and of course Adobe – the company behind the Flash standard which has made the web a much more robust and creative place.

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