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Rich Tehrani
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Why Aren't You My Customer?

COMPTEL had a sales training session for attendees with Stephen Schiffman. Schiffman has written 50+ books in his 35 year career...

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How Imagine Communications is Bringing Video Distribution to the cloud and Beyond

At the end of 2014 I declared Imagine Communications one of the companies to watch in 2015, specifically stating: The video industry...

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The Race to Gigabit is About Business

The cable companies racing to Gigabit networks isn't about delivering ultra-fast broadband to consumers. The Gigabit announcements get them good PR...

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Four Ways Cable Operators Can Boost the Customer Experience

By Mae Kowalke, TMCnet Contributor

The customer experience has always mattered, but its importance has grown in recent years. This has been driven by increased global competition, including the almost instant availability of alternations, and the rising expectations by fickle and informed consumer. Yet, cable operators have a long way to travel if they want to deliver the customer experience (CX) that consumers demand.

The Temkin Group’s Q3 2014 survey of 10,000 US consumers’ opinions about goods and services registered the lowest ranking average Net Promoter Score (NPS) for pay TV providers, a telling statistic. Internet service providers did almost as poorly, coming in only one position higher.

“As technology innovations drive shifts in consumer behavior and open new service opportunities, operators must start eliminating pain points,” stressed Alcatel-Lucent’s Nicholas Cadwgan in a recent TechZine article, Cable MSOs transform the customer experience. “This includes any obstacles that will impede their ability to launch and provide adequate care and quality assurance for those services.”

Cadwgan lays out four customer experience management (CEM) areas that cable operators should focus on.

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HP Can't Compete in Public Cloud as Amazon Machine Learning Launches

There are long-term trends in technology we all know are happening. Computers will get more powerful. More devices will be connected. Finally,...

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Citrix and Grasshopper Make a Good Pair

Citrix has many products - DaaS, NetScaler, ZenApp, SingleSignon and the GoTo suite of products: GoToAssist, GoToMyPC, GoToMeeting, GoToTraining, GoToWebinar, Podio...

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Jabra Sport Wireless+ Review

October 14, 2013

It’s truly amazing how many people still use “legacy” corded headphones when the bluetooth variety has gotten so good. Case in point is the new Jabra Sport Wireless+ headset. I was immediately familiar with this headset as it is the new version of the Jabra Sport Wireless headphones which I have used for at least 1,000 hours.

The Problem is Not Twitter, It's That Engineering is Nerdy

October 14, 2013

There have been many stories circulating about the lack of women at tech companies and especially in the leadership ranks. Recently Twitter CEO Dick Costolo was beat up severely by academic Vivek Wadhwa for not having enough women, blacks or Hispanics on the board of the company as it prepares to go public. He further says that Silicon Valley is a boy’s club.



Let’s explore this idea for a moment.

NFV Roadmaps Are Affecting Carrier Purchases Now

October 12, 2013

The view from Asia

I had the chance to catch up with a top exec at a major Asian telecom equipment manufacturer and he told me customers are asking for NFV and they are busy working with a number of carriers in Europe to provide suitable solutions. This exec thinks that NFV will have the greatest impact in the gateway space. He went on to say he doesn’t believe the technology will have as much impact beyond the gateway because interoperability may become a problem – meaning whose throat is there to choke if things don’t work properly?

SimpleSignal and gUnify Brings Lync-Like Power to Google Apps

October 12, 2013

I’ve had a few conversations recently with analysts and resellers about how Microsoft Lync is getting trials in many of the largest global corporations and this has traditional telecom equipment providers getting nervous. From these discussions you might surmise that the future of telecom is going to be dominated by Redmond. We know however there is also a major competing force in the market… Cloud-based services. Moreover, Microsoft’s dominance as an operating system seems to be coming to an end due to the onslaught of Android, iOS and Chromebooks.

Vonage buys Vocalocity: Better Late Than Never

October 10, 2013

For a good part of this past decade businesses have been moving rapidly to cloud-based communications… Especially small business. Bryan Martin, 8x8 CEO – his company is one of the leaders in the hosted VoIP space, told me in 2009 – around the time of the financial crisis that the situation was good for his business.

While the business market kept improving, the consumer space got tougher as competition from Skype and MagicJack rapidly reduced margins in the space.

It has always been odd to me that Vonage ignored the business market. The branding of the company made so much sense to apply to small and medium size telecom purchases.

IBM: Digital Darwinism May Kill You

October 8, 2013

In a candid IBM interview, Carl Ford of Crossfire Media spoke with Blair Reeves who said companies should spend less time on advertising and worrying about various channels and instead focus more on putting customers at the center of their business. He went on to explain that everything is part of big data – there is so much data going out there not only on the marketing side but related to how people are buying and selling he said. Another interesting point was this coupled with social information can be used by companies to serve their customers better.

Some types of data he mentioned are as follows:

  • What customers create: what they post to Facebook about their likes and dislikes
  • What/where/how customers buy and what they do with their purchases
  • How do they engage with brands and companies – through stores, kiosks, contact centers, mobile apps, etc

What he said was these are not discrete experiences, they are part of a larger omnichannel experience.

Amazing Self-Organizing Robots from MIT

October 7, 2013

Wow - it feels like you are looking at the future when you watch these self-organizing robots designed by MIT researchers work together to form different shapes. Each M-block is a marvel of technology - about the size of a few ice cubes, they contain a process motor controller, flywheel, braking mechanism, electronics, radio, battery and numerous magnets.

Moreover, these modular robots are unique because they are able to jump - its truly fascinating to watch them jump as they connect with one another while making different shapes - thanks to angular momentum.

If you start to think about these devices getting smaller - it may not be long before these robots can form a number of objects which you may need in your home like a stepping stool, temporary nightstand and more. One wonders how this technology may actually evolve and somehow merge with 3D printing tech to allow the creation of even more temporary objects.



The bottom line is the future seems to be getting closer by the day and self-organizing robots may be a huge field which changes the way we think about many of the fixed objects we rely on today.







Silk Road: Why Bitcoin Value has Dropped 20% Today

October 2, 2013

If you haven’t heard, the value of Bitcoins has plummeted by 20% so far today because the Silk Road website has been shut down according to sources who also say the founder of the site has been recently arrested. Silk Road has become an underground site which allows illegal transactions which often involve Bitcoins. The value of the virtual currency has decreased potentially because investors fear future government regulation of Bitcoins and other online currencies.

Ross William Ulbricht, a 29-year-old graduate of the University of Pennsylvania School of Materials Science and Engineering known by the online alias “Dread Pirate Roberts,” was in fact arrested by the Federal Bureau of Investigation yesterday for his alleged involvement in the Silk Road online marketplace, according to court papers published this week.

Does Microsoft Need to Fire Bill Gates?

October 2, 2013

Steve Ballmer and Bill Gates are synonymous with Microsoft’s management and for many years the duo did a fantastic job creating value for customers, shareholders and employees. While the company is far from in trouble, possessing huge amounts of cash and cash flow, it has flopped in many areas which they saw as important. Phones and tablets are a few of these spaces and you may want to add search in as well. Unfortunately these are the products of the future.

Thanks PopSci: Web Page Integration may be the next Social Frontier?

September 30, 2013

You may have heard that Popular Science has shut down its comments citing studies which show comments can influence the readers perception of a story.

Specifically:

Another, similarly designed study found that just firmly worded (but not uncivil) disagreements between commenters impacted readers' perception of science. If you carry out those results to their logical end--commenters shape public opinion; public opinion shapes public policy; public policy shapes how and whether and what research gets funded--you start to see why we feel compelled to hit the "off" switch.

They go on by explaining there are still lots of ways to interact with the company – social media, etc. Response from readers was mixed and to me it seems that shutting down comments is a bit like soft-censorship; people will still comment on the content but much of it will be hidden from readers.

This is echoed by a commenter, jasonthibeault who says:

Okay, so I am going to take a little different stance.

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