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Unified Communications

Call Center Flash Demo

October 4, 2007

Over a decade ago I came across Interactive Intelligence, a company who looked at the call center space as an area ripe with opportunity. They decided to market products which did exactly the opposite of what others were doing at the time.   While most companies were focusing on pushing box after box after box -- one for the ACD, another for the dialer, workforce management, etc… Interactive Intelligence decided to unify the communications mechanisms and deploy software as opposed to hardware. Their solution was to have a single configuration interface, navigation menus, etc.   I was thinking about the past decade in communications as I came across this interesting Flash demo from the company. It seems like more and more companies are now doing with Interactive is doing.   This demo talks a bit about the company and the Customer Interaction Center solution they provide.

Reselling VoIP

October 3, 2007

Calling all consultants, VARs, systems integrators and other resellers… Be on the look out for information on how you can make money selling IP communications. Specifically hosted communications. Now that I have got you looking, please indulge me as I give s shameless plug to a web seminar sponsored by Speakeasy, Polycom and TMCnet.   Here are some of the details. As always the webinar will be archived for future viewing if you miss it live.

Unified Communications Gaining Momentum

October 3, 2007

In less than two weeks the communications market will be bolstered by the announcement of Microsoft officially entering the unified communications space in a major way. As a show of their support for the market, Microsoft chairman Bill Gates will be speaking about the opportunity to a live audience.   To get an idea of what Microsoft will be rolling out be sure to read my recent article on the company.   The significance of this news cannot be underestimated as Bill Gates is not used by the company to push technologies which are not core to Microsoft’s strategy. If you need proof that Microsoft is serious about unified communications, imagine at a time when Microsoft is rolling out new music players and some of the most popular video games in the world, Bill Gates is taking time to talk unified communications instead of video games or music players.   I would imagine if there is nothing to slow the momentum down, 2008 will certainly be the year of unified communications. This will hopefully be good for the entire communications industry and give more choice for corporate customers.

Phil Hill

October 2, 2007

Welcome Phil Hill to TMCnet as a columnist. Phil’s column is titled Hosted Hearsay and his first article is titled Small Business VoIP: Is it an Elephant or Gorilla? Where he discusses the reason why all SMBs are lumped together.   Here is a salient part of the article:   Small Business is a Big Market While similarities between eating five-toed pachyderms and the small business market may seem a stretch, let’s remember that they have one thing in common: they’re both very large. According to U.S. Census data, there are 5,083,750 businesses in the U.S.

HTC Phones

October 2, 2007

It is times like this I get jealous of the smartphones the Europeans get. HTC makes a pretty good device in the 6700 and these devices are likely better as they are newer and have better processors and in some cases form factors.   The new smartphones—HTC Shift (available November), HTC S730 (available this month) and HTC P6500 (available November)—are aimed at the business user, featuring mobile computing features such as souped-up mobile messaging. HTC also announced a line of headsets intended for use with the new smartphones.   HTC described its Shift smartphone as a device that combines “the power of Windows Vista with always-connected 3G/HSDPA connectivity.” It features HTC’s new SnapVUE technology, which provides users with access to calendar, e-mail, SMS messaging and contacts without needing to boot up—thus extending battery life.

Response Point

October 2, 2007

For at least a decade PBX manufacturers would speak to me off the record about their trepidation regarding Microsoft entering the phone business. For those companies who hoped the day would never come, they should probably avoid reading this article from TMCnet’s Greg Galitzine detailing the availability of Response Point.   Microsoft has partnered with a number of companies to bring these systems to market. Some of the partners consist of Quanta Computer, D-Link and more recently Aastra. The cost for the systems is between $2,500-$3,000 for 4-5 users.   I have used Microsoft’s Response Point phone system both in TMC Labs and in Microsoft’s Redmond office.

Ixia’s New President and COO

October 2, 2007

Loyal TMC readers and visitors are likely aware of Atul Bhatnagar who was a keynote speaker about two years back at ITEXPO in Los Angeles, CA. The year Atul spoke was the first time Internet Telephony Conference & Expo was in the Los Angeles Convention Center and this was also the first time we had Michael Powell and Carly Fiorina as speakers so apologies in arrears to Bhatnagar if these two other speakers may have received excessive promotion by me at the time.   Lately though it hasn’t been Fiorina or Powell making headlines. If you haven’t been paying attention, Bhatnagar has been making some big news of his own as he is now the new President and COO of Ixia. I recently had some time to catch up with him and I was able to learn about his new position at the company.   Although he isn’t ready to preach strategy to me yet he is doing quite a bit of analysis of the business and is spending a great deal of time with current customers. So far he sees lots of opportunity in the business.

Hyperconnected

October 1, 2007

About a decade or so ago I ran across Tony Rybczynski (Tony Ryb to those who know him and/or cannot pronounce his last name) at the COMNET trade show in DC and was so blown away by him that I thought he would be a great writer for TMC publications. Over the past decade, Tony has written many columns that always captivated the TMC community and made me think. Tony spends much of his day trying to figure out what’s next. In my opinion, Tony really gets it and while I don’t agree 100% with everything he writes, I always stop and think when his point of view is different than mine.   More recently, Tony has been invited and has accepted to blog on TMCnet. We could not be happier.

Trixbox Training

October 1, 2007

If you are looking for open source communications training, Fonality Trixbox training is going worldwide and is likely coming to a city near you. If you are looking for a discount on this training, be sure to click on the links below to save $50 per person. This can add up to quite a substantial savings and shows TMC’s commitment to open source. It also shows Fonality’s generosity to help the TMC community get less expensive access to the vital training needed to become a reseller of these very popular solutions.

Wes Hayden

October 1, 2007

Let’s congratulate Wes Hayden who was just appointed to the role of President, Nuance Enterprise Division. Hayden will report to Paul Ricci, Nuance's chairman and CEO.   As Nuance focuses more on selling integrated solutions I expect Hayden’s skill sets to come into play. After all, as President and CEO of Genesys Telecommunications --his former position, he had to deal with integration on a regular basis.   As you may recall, in the nineties, Genesys Labs (That is what they used to be called) was known as the middleware company and was a leader in the CTI space. If you wanted to integrate a Rockwell ACD (remember them – they are now Aspect) with an SER dialer – or were they EIS back then?
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