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

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How Nuance is Powering the Voice Economy

April 16, 2018

It's no secret that voice interfaces have become one of the most successful product categories in recent years. With the price point of smart speakers dropping to the same level as a week's worth of Starbucks, many consumers have filled their homes with such devices.

All of this is great news for Nuance as they have been a leader in the voice recognition space for decades.

As this tech has evolved to become intelligent assistants, the company has invested in organic growth and acquisitions to stay ahead of the curve.

Speaking of acquisitions we remember when past ITEXPO keynoter Steve Wozniak mistakenly mentioned that Apple was going to purchase Nuance. Sometimes you can be correct but just early. This could be the case as Apple is failing in the Smart Speaker market with its overpriced HomePod. It may be forced to buy Nuance for its voice technology.





NewVoiceMedia Brings Salesforce AI into the Contact Center

April 7, 2018

Artificial intelligence is permeating every sector of business including customer contact and NewVoiceMedia is doing its part to help improve productivity as you embark upon digital transformation.



John Eng (pictured above), CMO explained they make Salesforce Einstein real-time... They eliminate the need for batch processing meaning more rapid insights. In addition, built-in Einstein dashboards allow businesses to more easily analyze customer conversations which are automatically made available in Salesforce to unlock valuable insights across contact center and CRM data.

Conversation Analyzer uses speech-to-text to transcribe calls and deliver intelligent content categorization for actionable insights into the business. With built-in Einstein dashboards, businesses can refine how they boost their successes and manage challenges more efficiently, helping ensure every conversation is successful.





RingCentral UC is Eating the Enterprise

March 26, 2018

According to a RingCentral report From Workplace Chaos to Zen: How App Overload Is Reshaping the Digital Workplace, when it comes to communications applications, workers today are using an average of four apps, with 20 percent of workers using six or more. This includes apps for phone calls, texts, web meetings, video conferencing, team messaging, and more. Sixty-nine percent of workers waste up to an hour each day navigating between myriad communications apps, amounting to a waste of 32 days per year.

To counter this app fragmentation, 66 percent of workers want a single communications platform that will bring a sense of productivity to their

 workplace.

Genesys Bought Altocloud Because AI is the Future

March 22, 2018



Genesys has completed the acquisition of privately-held Altocloud Ltd., a cloud-based customer journey analytics provider founded and led by CEO Barry O'Sullivan.

We predicted the sale some years back:

"One last comment worth making is I perhaps have never seen an acquisition candidate so perfectly positioned - assuming the company is even moderately successful. The marketing automation and  communications companies will likely look to grow their organizations into the space in the middle so Avaya, Cisco and Marketo are a few to watch. In the end, it seems to me that Oracle followed by Salesforce are the best acquisition candidates. Time will tell but you read it here first."

Barry told us when he founded this company that "Marketing is eating sales." He continued, "A nurtured lead is a far better prospect than a cold call."



From our exclusive interview in 2014:
By categorizing customers into groups, the cloud-based Altocloud solution makes suggestions on which agent would be best to talk with a specific customer at the time they place a call.








Talkdesk Really Differentiates with Enterprise Contact Center

March 19, 2018



In a short amount of time Talkdesk has amassed 1,400 global customers according to an exclusive interview we had with CEO, Tiago Paiva (above left; Yours Truly on the right).

We've followed his company's progress since inception and through sheer will and a tremendous investment in engineering and development, the company has lured away many customers from not only legacy systems but other cloud providers. They bill themselves as a next-gen cloud using microservices, an API-driven CPaaS communication layer, built-in SMS, omnichannel and many integrations like Salesforce and ServiceNOW. They also have adopted the latest cybersecurity standards and guidelines such as SOCII, BPDR, HIPAA and PCI-DDS.

Talkdesk AppConnect



Tiago explains much of the reason for the company's rapid growth is due to the fact that nobody likes their contact center solutions. By focusing on things like quick set-up (about four weeks), free online training, AppConnect app store, custom dashboards, self-service changes and  data-based routing, the company's commitment to innovation is leading to market share gains.

Talkdesk Data-Based Routing



In addition, the system has an average 4.22 MOS score, greater than 99.99% uptime and six global data centers.

Customers include IBM, MongoDB and companies whose names we can't disclose.













Disintermediated News Companies Get Government Help

March 7, 2018

Disintermediation often is described as "taking out" the middle-man between buyer and seller but when if comes to news, the Big Tech companies such as Google and Facebook and perhaps even Twitter have taken the essence of news content - perhaps a title, snippet and photo and provided it for free to their users.

Of course quite often, newspapers and magazines provide their information for free as well but use advertising as a monetizing vehicle. Big tech companies have disintermediated the advertisers and the eyeballs.

The Democrats in the House of Representatives have gotten involved and introduced a bill today that would allow media outlets to band together to negotiate for better terms with giant tech platforms.

Rep. David Cicilline's (D-R.I.) Journalism Competition and Preservation Act would grant a temporary antitrust waiver for news publishers to collectively negotiate with companies like Facebook and Google.






Mitel Analyst Day 2018 Live Blog

February 26, 2018

We will be blogging away bright and early in the AM, tomorrow, Feb. 27, 2018 but for now congrats to the Mitel team for inking this deal with the MLB. Mitel gear will be in every dugout and bullpen as the season begins March 29th!





Also follow my tweets at @rtehrani.

8:00 am Feb 27th, 2018



CEO Rich McBee takes the stage and immediately discusses the MLB deal - they will be at every event up to the World Series. The new theme is Make the Right Call.

We sold the mobile division and purchased two companies focusing on UC&C - especially cloud migration. Accelerated UCaaS strategy.









Dongles: The iPhone Weakness Samsung Begins to Exploit

November 6, 2017

Apple used to abuse Microsoft in its Mac Versus PC ads. They hired a chubby Bill Gates looking actor John Hodgeman to represent the PC while they hired the hip, cool and young Justin Long to represent the Mac.

One of the most compelling ads focused on the lengths PC users needed to go to to connect a camera to their systems.



The ad below shows the PC having a camera literally duct taped to their head.



Frankly it was embarrassing to use a PC after seeing these ads.

Apple however has unwittingly made itself a target of the same type of attack ad.

The minimalist designs Apple releases are gorgeous but they drastically reduce functionality. The Mac laptops and iPhones have this problem - thanks to reduced ports for things like headphones.

Users need multiple adapters if they want to use a 3.5 headphone with their iOS phone.

See the screen shots and video below Samsung is using to take on Apple. If they were to take the dongle concept and really focus on it in TV ads, it could put a dent in the Apple halo.





























Scott Galloway Nails it on Key to Apple's Success

October 10, 2017

Scott Galloway is one of the few college professors you'll hear that actually understands branding in technology and he is able to articulate his vision masterfully. We never feel like we are wasting time listening to him speak and we envy his students.



His thoughts on Apple's largest creator of shareholder value is that it's the stores, not the phone.

It makes a lot of sense. 

He goes on to say Samsung spends double on advertising than Apple while Apple has invested in leases.

He also points out the company has between $5-$6 billion in store leases which help customers consummate the relationship with the brand.



If we had to argue with the point at at all, we'd have to say that Apple was able to early on take the premium spot in the phone market. Their packaging, pricing and branding all screamed premium.

In fact, Apple's packaging has changed virtually all of the packaging in the entire market of products.















The Genius VR Marketing App from KLM

October 6, 2017

One of the most novel uses of tech in marketing comes from KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, they are handing out branded VR cardboard and passengers can download their app (iOS, Android) onto their phone and insert it into the cardboard.

The passengers then get to experience the KLM difference.

The company is targeting budget airline passengers. Even though some are unimpressed with this tactic, we think it is one of the best marketing ideas of the year.



Why? It's bold. It's fresh and its ice-bucket-challenge new in its thinking.







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