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| Communications and Technology Blog - Latest news in IP communications, telecom, VoIP, call center & CRM space

10 Reasons why CurrentC Will Lose the Mobile Payment War

By now, most of us have heard that retailers such as CVS allowed NFC-based payments for a few days via Apple Pay...

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Why E-Mail Sucks and How to Make it Smarter

Many of us live in email. I get hundreds per day and I need almost every message. I am also a source...

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The Contact Center's Seemingly Oxymoronic Play: How to Decrease Costs Yet Improve Customer Service

I was recently asked to talk to some of our many contact center customers about the new contact center trends.  It...

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The New Facet of Customer Experience Management - Field Service 2.0

By: Rhodo Odysseos, Product/Solution Marketing, Alcatel-Lucent, and Jess Verbruggen, Motive Integrated Marketing Assistant, Alcatel-Lucent

Traditionally, communications service providers (CSPs) have treated the field service aspect of their organization as a cost center. Field technicians engaged in maintenance activities were simply a part of the cost of doing business.  More recently, the communications industry in general and the field service arena in particular, has been disrupted by immense changes in the customer profile, service expectations, and behaviors.

Field service is often the only face of the company that a customer will ever see, so it’s not a surprise that CSPs are striving to make a positive impact on customers in this realm. Achieving full potential in field service saves CSPs a lot of time and money. Productivity and efficiency reviews targeted at field service operations, done correctly, can reinforce other areas of the business by increasing customer satisfaction and improving safety and quality. 

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Amazon Fire Phone Should be a Laptop

I’ve written a lot of headlines in my life but this one is among the oddest. Why on earth does a phone...

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Apple Pay Vs. Google Wallet

Replacing credit cards can likely only be done if the new system is dead-easy to use and it moreover has to be...

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Signaling Offers Great Differentiation for Mobile Value-Added Service Offerings

We’ve all heard that some Value Added Services (VAS) revenue such as Short Message Service (SMS) are starting to decline in...

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xCom Global's International Wireless Solution is Fantastic

March 2, 2013

Perhaps the best part of my trip to Barcelona, Spain to visit Mobile World Congress 2013 was not having to worry about wireless broadband the entire time I was there. You see I was sent a review unit of the XCom Global wireless broadband device which allowed me to stay connected the entire time I was in the country without having to worry about roaming charges, overage charges and heaven knows what other sorts of fees and taxes one deals with when leaving their home country.

The company sent me a used Novatel Wirelss MiFi 2372, instructions, an extra battery and a case of adapters for various outlets throughout the world. They gave me a SIM for Spain and I was off and running.

Metaswitch Asks: Are You Ready to be a Software Telco?

March 2, 2013

Virtualization has made the IT world much more efficient and cloud technology allows applications to scale up and down at will in a far more cost-effective manner while requiring little to no CAPEX. There is hardly an industry which hasn't been affected as software and hardware vendors have worked together to make sure they are ready for this new world where a single server can run multiple instances of an application on servers which are flung far around the globe. Even the PBX-world has gotten into the game with many vendors - especially those doing business with Fortune-class companies supporting virtualized software communications servers.

In a recent conversation with Steve Gleave (pictured) and Carol Daniels of Metaswith at Mobile World Congress 2013, I learned the company is taking the move to virtualization seriously and their recent product launch of 19 months ago - the SBC, was developed to run in a such an environment.

IPgallery Helps Carriers Become Social Hub and More

March 1, 2013

Communications service providers once the center of the customer's world have awoken to the new reality - social and apps are the new hub. In fact, Facebook, Twitter and a wave of other social networks have fully overtaken the telephone number as the primary method of communicating among many - especially younger users. Then there are the the OTT VoIP and video vendors such as Skype. The telephone number has gone from being a protected client relationship to an afterthought.

Telenity Enables M2M, Location Based Ads at MWC2013

February 28, 2013

The big news out of Monroe, CT based Telenity at Mobile World Congress 2013 is the company's new M2M and LBS solutions. On the M2M front the company has announced m2mConnect which handles connectivity management of m2m devices. The idea here is to auto-provision, activate, monitor and diagnose M2M solutions in the lowest-cost way possible. As Dr. Gurol Akman, VTO and EVP of R&D explains, M2M customers are very low ARPU and you have to ensure you minimize your support cost.

Comverse Gets Social at MWC2013

February 28, 2013

Comverse showed me their Share solution at Mobile World Congress 2013 which allows carriers to deliver a Facebook app giving the user a portal into their subscriber account. Once you enter the app, you are prompted to enter a phone number and are subsequently sent a text message allowing you to get a code which enables authentication.

At this point you can check your account balance, send notes to customer care and more. The operator benefits as well because they can mine the user likes and preferences allowing them to determine for example if they may be a candidate for a bundle or special offering.

NICE Systems at MWC2013

February 28, 2013

At Mobile World Congress 2013 in Barcelona NICE had a very compelling story regarding its multiple product lines which are generally analytics, security, financial and the contact center. In a conversation with Yaniv Zukerman and Eyal Kirshner I learned the company will be focusing more on its multi-channel analytics solutions across its product lines. Moreover, we will see more cloud solutions from them as well - including in the anti-fraud space. This technology will be rolled out across product lines - and used to allow for CFPB compliance.

Smith Micro Extends MDM Standard to Chipset Level

February 28, 2013

Smith Micro's main message at Mobile World Congress 2013 was that wirelss broadband connectivity is going to become easier. Carla Fitzgerald, VP Marketing Wireless & Mobility explained how the company has worked with chipset vendors to get its QuickLink MBIM Middleware installed at the chip level in various computer systems.

She said, "Connectivity originally started as an application where the user was once forced to be an IT administrator." She continued, "But now with standards like MBIM and Smith Micro working with chipset vendors, connectivity will be automatic regardless of operating system."

The benfits for users will be the ability to have backward and forward compatability across not only operating system versions but operating systems as well meaning you could take a USB stick modem and seamlessly have it work regardless of your system. Currently the middleware supports just about anything you would want to use such as Windows 7, Vista, XP, Mac OSX and Linux.

Dialogic Fuels Networks, Augments WebRTC

February 27, 2013

Having covered Dialogic for about two decades I can tell you they were an integral player in the converging world of communications and technology. When you leave a voicemail, call into a call center or benefit from a telecom advancement quite often a Dialogic product is involved by providing an interface and performing some sort of processing behind the scenes.

After rolling up much of the competitive space and other telecom vendors as well, the company found itself in a situation where much of its core business was being eliminated as many of the tasks you once needed proprietary boards to handle could be taken care of through software on ever-more powerful Intel CPUs.

If this challenge wasn't enough of an issue, Asterisk made it easy to have a standardized base of solutions to build on top of when looking to solve the problems you once had to rely exclusively on Dialogic to provide.

In response to this pressure the company has relaunched itself with a new branding campaign titled "Network Fuel" which is designed to remind carriers the company can help it solve a myriad of networking challenges for them.

Napatech Focuses on Analytics at MWC2013

February 27, 2013

 

A few big trends at Mobile World Congress 2013 had to do with helping carriers make money - quite often through analytics. Spending some time with Daniel Barry at Napatech shows his company is certainly in line with trends at the show.

By utilizing an array of hardware adapters, the company uses off-the-shelf servers to enable carriers and the suppliers who they purchase from to build scaleable applications for big data analysis. Such solutions could help operators deliver new services rapidly to respond to an ever-changing market.

Teoco Shows Predictive Geotargeting at MWC2013

February 27, 2013

At Mobile World Congress 2013 Teoco explained how they have carved out a niche in the market focusing on BSS and OSS analytics while taking advantage of geolocation to ensure operators not only serve their customer with greater profitability, they can also capture new revenue models.

The Virginia-based company has provided carrier solutions in the past such as service assurance such as capacity planning, managing network congestion, etc. They also provide network optimization like suggesting what direction a tower should tilt. Finally, margin assurance is a big area of focus - which in one case they say saved a customer half a billion dollars in five years through a variety of analytics projects such as reducing access charges, modifying contracts with suppliers, fixing uneven roaming scenarios, tower location analysis, network routing and other projects.

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