| Contact Center/CRM Views and Analysis

February 2009

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Offshoring and Homeshoring

February 26, 2009

There has been a lot of fanfare lately of contact center work being brought back to the U.S. from other countries, most notably India. Yet unless the additional demand is managed effectively, the result could be higher costs, less service, and more automation and fewer jobs.

The key reason for this return is the apparent inability of offshore agents to provide high quality customer-satisfying-and-retaining service that trumps cost arbitrage.

Wired Best Option For Rural Broadband?

February 20, 2009

Now that some $7 billion+ will be spent on rural broadband expansion, thanks to President Obama's just signed $787 billion economic stimulus package, the interesting question becomes which broadband technologies, wired or wireless should be supported i.e. subsidized to deliver it.

To get at the answers let's look at the two key benefits of this program:

1. It opens the door to truly effective e-commerce to residents and businesses, thereby increasing the availability of competitively priced products and services, and enhancing the economy, and to more information and services like distance learning and telemedicine.

Good News/Bad News from United (and other airlines)

February 12, 2009

There has been some good news on the beleaguered U.S. domestic contact center front, courtesy of United Airlines.

The good news is that the air carrier will be opening 165 seats at its Chicago and Honolulu facilities, reports the Associated Press and carried in BusinessWeek, to handle written (e-mailed/letter mailed) customer commendations and complaints (CC&C): work that had been managed offshore in India. Those positions will, however, be filled internally.

Smoot-Hawley...It's Baaaack! Will It Infest Tech And Destroy The Economy?

February 2, 2009

The ghost of Smoot-Hawley is baaack...and it is a real horror that spread misery worldwide, and could do again unless elected officials have the guts to drive a stake in its latest resurrection.

Smoot-Hawley is shorthand for the infamous tariff brought in the honorable Senator Reed Smoot from Utah and the honorable Representative Willis Hawley from Oregon, both Republicans, signed by GOP President Herbert Hoover in 1930. Infamous because economists then warned the President that that passage would worsen what became the Great Depression, and they were right, for it sparked a zero sum trade war whose net outcome left even those who would benefit with less and in too many cases with nothing.

The spirits of Sen. Smoot and Rep. Hawley appear to have taken over the bodies of North Dakota Senator Byron Dorgan from North Dakota and Representative Peter Visclosky of Indiana, this time both Democrats.

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