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Call Center/CRM Stories August 3, 2007

August 3, 2007

Here are the call center/CRM stories for the week of August 3, 2007. Enjoy. I really don’t have a favorite but if you press me I might say the Argentina and Central American call center stories are of interest.   Report Shows Contact Centers Still Fighting High Attrition The Unified Agent Desktop: An Inside Look Call Center Furniture: How to Buy the Right Chair Report Shows Growth Expected in Argentina Contact Center Applications Market Implementing CRM Software the Right Way Study Examines the Contact Center Market in Central America Phone Systems in Today's Business Predictive Dialer for the Small Business Research Indicates UK Companies Not Ready for New Year OFCOM Change Loquendo TTS to Power Voice Messaging Solution for Ontario Systems

WiFi is not Secure

August 3, 2007

George Ou has an excellent write-up about how insecure Web 2.0 applications are over WiFi. The problem? Unencrypted traffic which can be recorded, analyzed and used against you. He starts with a basic example of a Gmail account getting hijacked. Even worse, using this technique you can potentially have your home address and your e-mail known to others who are lurking nearby and recording your traffic.

iPhone, U-Phone, Everybody G-Phone

August 2, 2007

This year has been the absolutely most tumultuous ever in terms of wireless communications and these changes can and will have a dramatic effect on your business. You can’t go anywhere these days without seeing Apple’s iPhone in action. Kids have them, Mac loyalists have them and most importantly, your coworkers have them.   The question is… How do you support them and what policies and procedures do you need in place to ensure you are ready for the onslaught of questions and interoperability issues this phone will bring to the market.   What about security? How will we deal with the potential for these devices to get lost without the ability to remotely wipe confidential corporate data?   If a single-industry changing phone wasn’t enough for telecom and IT managers to deal with, we now have Google’s G-Phone (or it could be called Google Phone… Time will tell) looming in the telecom wings just waiting to disrupt the service provider business model and potentially the way you plan and negotiate your wireless telecom contracts.   Then there is the 700 MHz spectrum with it’s potential to enable an army of devices on new wireless spectrum.

Mitel/Inter-Tel Finally Merge

August 2, 2007

Mitel's proposal to acquire and merge with Inter-Tel has been approved by Inter-Tel stockholders. Here are the details:  
  • US$723 million merger
  • Creates a market leader in SMB IP communications industry with the scale to strengthen and extend its reach in the enterprise market
  • Anticipated revenues of over US$800 million
  • Once the transaction is completed, Mitel will have approximately 3,400 employees in the Americas, Europe, Middle East and Africa and Asia, and count an active worldwide distribution channel some 1,500 value-added resellers, distributors and systems integrators covering over 90 countries.
  My take on this is the deal is good for shareholders and customers as they will get the benefit of two strong technology-focused communications companies working synergistically. This does not mean the integration will be smooth as lately we have seen a number of larger telecom acquisitions causing indigestion and poor earnings.   In this case however, the deal size is not so big and the corporate cultures are very similar so I don’t see “M&A indigestion” as a major challenge.

IP communications Earnings Strong

August 2, 2007

Let’s give a round of applause to 8x8, the parent company of Packet8 VoIP service. They have just announced a profitable quarter. For the first time since the Company launched its Packet8 VoIP service in November 2002, 8x8 posted GAAP net income of $508,000, or $0.01 per share, compared to a net loss of $2.9 million, or ($0.05) per share for the previous quarter and $1.8 million, or ($0.03) per share for the same period of fiscal 2007.   This news is important as the company had far fewer dollars to spend on marketing their service when compared to many others in the market; they still beat many others to this important milestone.   The company has focused on a methodical system of results-driven marketing and moreover recognized early that the hosted SMB space has plenty of promise.   This news is a great counterbalance to the management problems at SunRocket which caused their demise. The fact that SunRocket didn’t sell its company is somewhat mind-boggling actually.

Nokia N800 Question

August 2, 2007

I received the following question today regarding the Nokia N800:   I'm seriously thinking of purchasing the Nokia N800. Since it is strictly a wireless device is there really enough free public wireless to make the purchase worthwhile. I'd be using it in Central Florida (Daytona Beach, Orlando, Tampa)and Louisiana (New Orleans Metro)areas mostly. Also, along Interstate 10, between Jacksonville, FL and New Orleans.

Google Phone

August 2, 2007

SpinVox and Skype

August 1, 2007

Voicemail transcription otherwise known as voicemail to text has come to the world’s most popular IP communications software package, Skype. SpinVox technology will be used to convert voicemails to text in the following languages to start: English, Spanish, French and German. More from TMCnet.   I just had a lunch with James Siminoff the Founder and CEO of SimulScribe this past Monday and we got to talking about the voicemail transcription market. James is pretty low key when it comes to estimates and it seems I am more enthusiastic about the potential in this market than even he is.   What we did agree to as a baseline is that the market for these services should be as big as the smartphone space.

Behavioral Targeting at Google

August 1, 2007

Google has recently begun using behavioral targeting to help it display more relevant ads based on keywords.   According to Nick Fox, Google's group business product manager for ads quality. Fox said the new feature, aims to capture a more robust understanding of user intent and thereby deliver a better ad.   "The current query the user is issuing is pretty useful, but in some cases it misses the context of what the user is doing," said Fox. By studying the larger context of queries relating to a consumer's "overall task," he said, Google can boost relevance.   ClickZ has good analysis on the news.   None of this is unexpected to anyone who has read The Search, How Google and Its Rivals Rewrote the rules of Business and Transformed Our Culture, a book by John Battle.   Behavioral targeting has the potential to really reshape how marketing is done. If you are looking to learn more about this space be sure to read my behavioral targeting entry from April of this year.   This is really interesting stuff and hopefully will result in more targeted marketing. The result?

SunRocket and Star Trek

August 1, 2007

If you like VoIP and Star Trek do I have a blog entry for you. TMCnet’s Tom Keating writes up (turn down your speakers) what is happening with the shut down of SunRocket. Somehow he gets numerous Star Trek references in the post.   One issue he discusses is how the company is or is not notifying customers. I personally don’t know any of the company’s customers so I am unaware of what the company has done in this area.
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