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Nuance Brings Artificial Intelligence to the Omnichannel World

The robots aren’t coming, they are here is all I could think of today as I mulled over my notes from a...

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NFV Vendor Challenges Part 2

How will the software in NFV networks interact? Via a Management and Orchestration (MANO) layer.

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Rapport Open APIs Increase Employee Productivity

By: Richard Hatheway, Director, Enterprise Communications Product Marketing, Rapport for Large Enterprise, Alcatel-Lucent

What is one of the biggest factors affecting employee productivity today? Recent studiesby the National Business Research Institute and the Pew Research Center indicate that not having the right technology tools to do their jobs is one of the most critical. From something as simple as having a cell phone to as advanced as having a customized app, having the right tool provides employees with a productivity boost.

Unfortunately though, many large enterprises are unable to take advantage of advances in technology due to old or outdated infrastructure and ICT technology silos. In addition, being locked in to one technology vendor often stymies the enterprise from being able to update the tools necessary to increase employee productivity.

For instance, something as simple as developing and deploying a new app is often a frustrating experience, as the enterprise must submit a request to the technology vendor for a new app to be developed, then wait until the vendor adds it to their development queue before finding out when to expect it. This often takes months, if not longer.

In the meantime, instead of waiting for the new app, many employees take the “shadow IT” route. They download rogue (i.e., non-IT-supported) apps that will allow them to move forward with at least some of the functionality they seek, even without IT support. While this work-around may provide some degree of productivity enhancement for the employee, wouldn’t it be better if the enterprise was able to either plug in existing best-of-breed third-party apps or develop and deploy its own apps without having to wait for a vendor to become involved?

Alcatel-Lucent thinks so, which is one of the reasons our new solution, Rapport™ for Large Enterprise, is generating so much interest. Rapport is a private cloud-based communications and collaboration solution designed specifically for the large enterprise.

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Versay Solutions Moves to Support the Omnichannel World

A company known for professional services in the contact center – Chicago-based Versay Solutions has more recently applied its skills in analytics...

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Splice Software Uses the Power of Analytics to Expand its Product Line

Big data and analytics have had a huge impact on numerous spaces and certainly marketing is one of these areas. Perhaps the...

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Jet.com The .Good the .Bad and the .Ugly

The .GoodI’ve been using Jet.com for a few weeks and so far I have found the selection to be about 20-30% of...

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VoicePIN Voice Biometrics Brings New Tech to Phone and Apps

The biometrics market has been around for decades but never achieved widespread acceptance until after Apple rolled out TouchID. Laptop makers...

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Texting While Driving Laws Don't Work

November 4, 2013





Let me start by saying texting-while-driving is dangerous yet it is something many continue to do. Moreover, government legislators who try to stop bad behavior, as usual think not of the unintended consequences of their actions. Instead they feel good about themselves when they pass laws - even when these regulations don't work.

Here is the challenge... People ideally text by placing their phones high-up above the steering wheel so they can see their device and the road at the same time.





Vertu Rolls Out "Affordable" Constellation

October 31, 2013

Titanium, sapphire and calfskin are what you need to make the most expensive phones in the world according to Vertu who should know as this is what they produce. Each phone is assembled by hand – there are no production lines and it takes about two hours per device. Each craftsman places their name on the inside of the phone and it is not uncommon for customers to come meet them in person. This by the way is not unlike what happens in the supercar world where the craftsman who makes engines for the Nissan GT-R will also place his name on the engine.

FAA Finally Loosens Gadget Rules on Planes

October 31, 2013

The FAA will allow the use of readers and games throughout flights although smartphone and tablet use seem to be at the discretion of the airlines. In all cases it will still be prohibited to connect to the internet below 10,000 feet. As is the case now, voice calls will not be allowed.

Congratulations to ETSI on its NFV Specifications

October 16, 2013

ETSI recently released NFV specifications which show how carriers of the future will be able to work together more closely to serve the needs of customers by sharing resources in a secure manner while allowing users to have more responsive broadband service. In addition, these documents show how communications service providers will more cost-effectively compete with new over-the-top (OTT) entrants who are cannibalizing their business in-part thanks to the same low-cost software-based infrastructure NFV hopes to recreate.

Once locked into hardware which was expensive, not only to purchase but to power, thanks to NFV, a carrier can deploy a new service on a very limited scale and add servers as needed to grow or simply scale in the cloud.

The ultimate goal of NFV or network functions virtualization is in-fact to allow carriers to take advantage of the technology which has allowed the cloud revolution to happen - namely virtualization, open APIs and powerful, low-cost servers.

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.

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