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Call Center E-Learning

February 22, 2006

Here is an article I came across that talks about e-learning, call centers and service providers. I thought it was good and decided to pass it along. It will run in a future issue of Customer Interaction Solutions Magazine.

The issue of customer satisfaction is important and when you think of the Vonage IPO you realize that customer churn is a major factor in the success of going public, being sold or doing business in general.

As you may have read in my most recent Vonage blog, 11% of new Vonage customers come from referrals. Anything a service provider can do to increase customer satisfaction rates is important.



No EVDO VoIP

February 20, 2006

In case you missed it, Fred Goldstein's article on network neutrality makes the point that LECs aren't thrilled with much of the Internet freedom we all enjoy and love to lock you into using their services. I never noticed that the EVDO terms of service (TOS) have onerous restrictions. For example Verizon's TOS state the following:

Unlimited NationalAccess/BroadbandAccess:
Subject to VZAccess Acceptable Use Policy, available on www.verizonwireless.com. NationalAccess and BroadbandAccess data sessions may be used with wireless devices for the following purposes: (i) Internet browsing; (ii) email; and (iii) intranet access (including access to corporate intranets, email and individual productivity applications like customer relationship management, sales force and field service automation).


Nokia Predicts Massive IMS Growth

February 17, 2006

According to this article Nokia thinks the IMS market will be huge. There are a number of reasons including the need for more revenue creation opportunities and services. Services like mobile video and fixed mobile convergence are discussed in the article.

Here are some excerpts:

IMS has been a focus at this year's mobile industry trade show in Barcelona, with announcements from firms such as TeliaSonera, Ericsson, Vodafone and Nokia on plans for the technology.

IMS is a platform that allows telecoms providers to quickly rollout new services, such as video calling, and it allows consumers to use one phone which automatically switches between mobile and fixed-line networks.

"The IMS market is not big yet, but it is of strategic importance," said Kai Konola, head of strategy at Nokia's networks unit.

"In 2006 I would expect it to be in the ballpark of 100-200 million euros. In 3-4 years time it will be an over 1 billion market," he said.

Electronics manufacturer Flextronics said in a statement more than 200 fixed-line and mobile telecom operators were running trials using IMS.

Every major technology firm, including the world's top network maker Ericsson and U.S.













IMS Forum

February 12, 2006

The IPCC announced they will be changing their name and altering their coverage to IMS becoming the IMS Forum. Michael Khalilian and his team at the IPCC have done an amazing job for the VoIP industry. The association started as the Softswitch Consortium and has now evolved into the IP Multimedia Subsystem. This is huge news and is great for those companies looking to get into IMS as this association should further the needs of service providers and equipment providers alike.

For more information check out the IPCC website until the new IMS Forum site is up and running.

VoIP Trends

February 2, 2006

I have now been asked three times in one day what the trends were from the last Internet Telephony Conference & Expo last week in Ft. Lauderdale, Fl. I would have to say that the fixed mobile convergence and IMS conference tracks had a tremendous amount of energy and were standing room only. These sessions were just about as exciting as it gets and conferees and speakers seemed to feel that the audience was thirsty for more information. We have been asked by more than one speaker to dedicate more time to these sessions just to allow for the large amount of Q&A.

At the opposite end of the VoIP spectrum is IP contact centers where the sessions were also standing room only. The contact center market had seemed to slow for a few years.

West Buys Intrado

January 30, 2006

TMC's Customer Interaction Solutions (CIS) Magazine has been ranking the teleservices outsourcers for more than two decades bestowing the coveted Top 50 award to these companies. Another of our business units is the Internet Telephony brand. Sometimes these two brands cross over. This happens in the case of IP contact centers or hosted contact center solutions or call centers dedicated to telecommunications carriers.

Now we have yet another example as West Corporation a world leader in teleservices outsourcing has purchased Intrado a world leader in 911 solutions.

SIP Magazine is Here

January 25, 2006

Asterisk's Mark Spencer Speaks

January 24, 2006

The keynotes at Internet Telephony Conference & Expo keynotes kicked off today, the first day of this four-day event, with Mark Spencer of Digium/Asterisk to a huge audience.
 Mark started his talk by saying that his company runs VoIP on a network that is as he calls it "the the worst case scenario" and doing so allows them to find out if products are broken before others find problems. As developers they are thrilled to run on a network not designed for perfect voice delivery but not everyone in the company is as excited by this strategy (for obvious reasons).

Spencer says he also has to be sensitive to customer calls as people associate telephone quality with the products you make. Mark mentioned that his phone system was recently inundated by callers looking for a very funny message (Mark indicated the sound clip is available on CD and did not explain how you could hear it if you missed the conference). The message is a funny take off on a busy call center.


Bush to Nominate Robert McDowell to FCC

January 23, 2006

President George W. Bush is expected to nominate telecommunications lawyer Robert McDowell to fill the third Republican seat on the five-member Federal Communications Commission according to a story from Reuters. This news is crucial to the future of telecommunications because McDowell serves as senior vice president and assistant general counsel at Comptel, a group representing companies that primarily compete against big telephone carriers like AT&T Inc. and Verizon Communications.

It may not be common knowledge that AT&T was a powerful lobbying force against the incumbent telephone companies and the acquisition of the company by SBC has reduced the competitive lobbying burden on all LECs proportionately.

It goes without saying that if McDowell is nominated it will be a big win for consumers in 2006 as I expect McDowell to be pro competition. Not faux competition with concepts like tiered-Internet services being thrown around in an effort by incumbent providers to hold content providers and consumers hostage.

In the worst case scenario McDowell will be outvoted repeatedly but at least will ensure the American people have a strong ally in the FCC. Comptel has been perhaps the most vocal critic of FCC Chairmen Michael Powell and Kevin Martin and as such it may be a bit awkward to have McDowell as a commissioner at all.

Still, I hope the commissioners and the Bush administration realize that putting a pro competition pro CLEC representative on the commission is exactly what we need to ensure we have balanced dialogues in the FCC and the interests of the average Joe are always represented.







Interesting Reading

January 23, 2006

I am flying down to Ft. Laderdale for ITEXPO now and read some things worth sharing. Currently I am reading the Janary 2006 issue of Poplar Science magazine.

We will see the first 4G networks in 2010 and they will transmit at 1 Gbps. One wonders how much such a connection will cost.

The Gennum nXZEN bluetooth headset has great noise canceling techology but is expensive and uncomfortable.



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