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

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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Birdstep Improves Wireless User Experience, Reduces Churn

A smartphone user can get tripped up easily when in motion as today’s smartphones look for WiFi networks to connect to and...

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VocalTec Service Platform

February 10, 2005

I spoke with Ari Rabban at VocalTec and he was telling me about his new BAX Broadband VoIP Access Platform that encompasses a softswitch and a service platform that allows service providers to deploy new services rapidly. They can do much of what a Broadsoft or Sylantro solution can do but their feature server is coupled with a softswitch that can scale due to its distributed architecture.

This is a new product for VocalTec and while they are competing with some larger companies in this space, it is interesting to point out to those of you new to VoIP that VocalTec is the company that started the VoIP market. They invented the software and gateway.

Mitel’s Navigator and More

February 10, 2005

I had a chance to play with Mitel’s latest creation the Navigator… It is a sleek, silver device that is designed to fit neatly under a flat screen (or other monitor). It is much nicer than other traditional corporate telecom devices… Not as nice as something from Bang & Olufsen but better design than 90% of IT equipment you will see in an office.

Photo 1: Mitel Navigator

So what is the device? A telephone replacement. You see if you take the functions of a telephone… The primary ones anyway – you know the keypad, speakers, microphone, etc and were to integrate them with your computer monitor, voila, you would have the Mitel Navigator.

What is interesting about the device is the 9 programmable keys that can be used for a variety of applications and functions from telephony to computer.

VoIP in 67 Countries

February 10, 2005

The pace of VoIP growth quickens. Case in point, attendees from 67 countries are now signed up to attend Internet Telephony Conference & Expo making ITEXPO the world's largest global VoIP Event! Registration is amazingly, still tracking at 100% growth over last year. Here are the countries:

Argentina
Aruba
Austria
Bahamas
Bangladesh
Bolivia
Brazil
Bulgaria
Cameroon
Canada
Chad
Chile
China
Colombia
Costa Rica
Dominican Republic
Ecuador
Egypt
El Salvador
Finland
France
Germany
Ghana



























Guatemala
Haiti
Honduras
Hong Kong
Hungary
Iceland
India
Ireland
Israel
Italy
Jamaica
Japan
Kenya
Kuwait
Liberia
Malaysia
Mauritius
Mexico
















Monaco
Morocco
Netherlands Antilles
Nicaragua




Norway
Pakistan
Panama
Paraguay
Peru
Poland
Puerto Rico
Qatar
Saudi Arabia
Singapore
South Africa
Sri Lanka
Sweden
Taiwan
Tanzania
Togo
Turkey
Ukraine
United Arab Emirates
United Kingdom
USA
Venezuela




















Verizon and MCI

February 10, 2005

The Wall Street Journal reports today that Verizon is going after MCI as well with an informal bid of 6.3 billion dollars, similar to Qwest’s offer. According to the journal, Many of MCI's shareholders prefer a deal with Verizon over a tie-up with Qwest, in part because New York-based Verizon ranks as one of the nation's strongest and largest phone companies, with a market capitalization of more than $100 billion. Denver-based Qwest, by contrast, is seen as the weakest of the regional Bell companies and has a market value of roughly $7.8 billion.

Qwest has $17.2 billion dollars in debt already and such an acquisition certainly would put ever more pressure on the company. A Verizon deal obviously is the more logical for MCI if all else remains equal.

Ebbers, Drugs and Coffee

February 10, 2005

The chief witness against ex-WorldCom CEO Bernie Ebbers took the stand recently, touching on drug use and coffee filters at the once high-flying telecom giant. What is interesting about this New York Daily News story is that Ebbers claims not to know anything about the accounting fraud yet the star witness for the government, Scott Sullivan said that Ebbers counted coffee filters and coffee bags and when the latter were in shorter supply than the former, he deduced that the employees must be taking coffee home. The point of course is he seemed pretty involved in accounting at some level.

Interestingly I ran into Ebber’s old boss a few days ago, a fellow by the name of Alan Peyser, who was the Chairman and CEO of Cable & Wireless. Al told me he knew Ebbers well and actually Ebbers worked for him at on point and he worked for Ebbers at another point.

McDonald's Credit Cards

February 9, 2005

I went to McDonald's today and something interesting happened. The location I chose to go to was on I95 which is located in Darien, CT. I am told these two McDonald's, one on either side of the highway are some of the busiest restaurants the company has. While I don’t know if this is true, the restaurant is always busy.

I don’t go to this location too often and when I do I always give them my credit card and they always reject it. I always persisted.

SBC, AT&T and Lobbying

February 9, 2005

A Safe Landing on Song

February 9, 2005

We got back from Orlando this AM and I was blown away at how Song Airlines has altered the behavior of my entire team. Most of us hate flying and have an allegiance to American Airlines. For whatever reason and I assume it is cost-related our travel person booked us on this airline for the first time.

The flight down was flawless and the flight back was even better. We had leather seats and TV and ample leg room.

Breaking News: IBM Search

February 8, 2005

OK, I may be fibbing a little about the breaking news but IBM has been hitting TMCnet with some sort of bot we can only surmise is the beginnings of a search engine. Whether this is a lone person just having fun behind the big blue walls of the company's wintery Armonk headquarters or is a new corporate initiative to join Google, Microsoft and Yahoo! remains to be seen.

The question is... They are taking a great deal of our bandwidth and slowing down our site -- Do we shut them off or let them keep searching?

What's Hot at VoiceCon

February 8, 2005

Rest assured I am back and ready to tell you all about my trip... But first, the top 2 things I am seeing in the enterprise VoIP market are mobility applications as well as ad hoc conferencing and collaboration. many vendors were pitching these ideas -- from Microsoft to Inter-Tel.

Mitel had a couple of category killer products or better yet category starter products I will share with you soon.

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