Brendan Read : The Readerboard
Brendan Read
TMC
| Contact Center/CRM Views and Analysis

Small Cells are Key to Attracting and Keeping SMB and Large Enterprise Customers

By: Peter Bernstein, TMCnet Senior Editor

To say that operators of macro-cellular physical networks are facing all type of challenges these days would be an understatement.  These range from spectrum scarcity issues, competitive pricing pressures, the need to build out LTE networks ASAP as platforms for new services and to meet the insatiable appetite of users for things like streamed and real-time video, getting ready for the Internet of Things (IoT) etc.  They also are busy figuring out how to keep users, particularly enterprise users on their smart devices always and all ways on their networks in an increasingly fickle world where alternatives abound, including for value-added traffic lost to Over-the-Top (OTT) providers.  

It is to keep enterprise customers on the mobile service provider networks for enhanced services that good in-building wireless solutions are seen as both a powerful business tool and a competitive advantage.  This is particularly true when it comes to retaining small-to-medium business customers (SMBs).

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Changing the SIM game

The iPad Air 2 with Wi-Fi + Cellular models comes with a SIM  that “gives you the flexibility to choose from...

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WebRTC and the Enterprise

I was reading an article titled, “How WebRTC can serve the Enterprise” but when I originally saw the headline I thought...

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Jeff Pulver, Andy Abramson, Craig Walker, Alon Cohen, Mike Tribolet, Andy Voss and Danny Windham at ITEXPO Next Week

Panel to celebrate 20 years of IP communications/VoIP and discuss its future. Next week at the 29th ITEXPO, I get the pleasure...

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Alcatel-Lucent CEO Michel Combes on Importance of Bringing Ultra-Broadband to Africa

By: Peter Bernstein, TMCnet Senior Editor

It may be almost cliché to say we live in a global economy, but many times when globalization is discussed the focus is on developed and emerging markets and not that often, if at all, on under-developed regions.  In fact, in the past few years until the recent drop in oil prices, much of the financial community’s and economic development interests has been focused on the BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa).  This leaves out not just most of South America, but the promising rest of Africa which contains a wealth of rare minerals and other natural resources waiting to be literally and figuratively mined.

However, for most of the African continent countries to move from under-developed status, along with toward political stability and having a educated citizenry, infrastructure needs to be in place which it currently is not. This means not just giving the populace access to clean water and energy, but in a digital world ubiquitous and affordable access to businesses and individuals to high-speed broadband communications is now not just a foundation but a pre-condition that is essential for moving ahead.  

In this regard it is enlightening, refreshing and significant that Alcatel-Lucent CEO Michel Combes recently wrote a corporate blog stressing the company’s interest in working with governments and commercial interests to help accelerate economic development across the continent.  This about not just about the Oscar winning movie of several years ago “Out of Africa”, but is also about around, into and across Africa. 

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ITEXPO will help Explain the Coming Cloud Upgrade

The cloud is changing how technology is bought, sold and used. The very economics of business have shifted as a result. When...

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WebRTC Expo San Jose 2014 Interviews

Are you interested in WebRTC but yet you missed the largest event in the space, WebRTC Expo a few months back in...

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Curing the Pareto Illness

October 12, 2010

One of the most serious illnesses to strike organizations is the Pareto Principle: the notion that 20 percent of customers create 80 percent of the value, which is embedded in CRM methodology. To maximize profits the object is to focus resources on retaining and attracting the top 20 while giving minimal least-cost service to the bottom 80. The Pareto Principle offers firms short-term gains through cost reductions while building greater loyalty and hopefully revenue from elite buyers. Yet it inflicts the medium/long-term pain from rising expenses, shrinking customer bases and individual income and spending declines.

NBC's Outsourced: Amusing, Little Edgy, Mildly Inaccurate, Has Possibilities

September 28, 2010

As one who has covered and worked in the contact center industry for the past 15 years I admit I had my reservations about NBC's new show Outsourced...Yet NBC to its credit balanced these issues that touch on the edge i.e. the bricks being thrown into and collected in the now-vacant Kansas City contact center for Mid America Novelties. It did so by focusing on the cultural clashes in both directions: accents, food, ways of life, interactions and yes humor.

Making The Canadian Census Voluntary Is Ideology Trumping Business, and Privacy

August 30, 2010

Mr. Harper's moves are a triumph of a narrow extremist anti-government libertarian ideology over logic, the public good and ironically (given the so-called free enterprise bent of his party) business sense and needs.

If The U.S. Is Finally Cheaper Than India, Don't Foul Up The Opportunity

August 23, 2010

Is the U.S. finally competitive with India for contact centers and IT? That's the spin on the word from BPO outsourcer Genpact. Company president and ceo Pramod Bhasin was reported in Hindu Business Line saying that his firm is doubling its U.S. workforce to 2,000 in the next two to three years to provide BPO, help desk and other services.

Rethinking Do Not Call

July 16, 2010

in this multichannel/customer in charge era it makes no sense at all to continue with opt-our regimes like DNC and CAN-SPAM. Opt-in, and tough, enforced and integrated legislation is what today's environment calls for to enable consumers to conduct interactions and transactions without being bothered at their cost by scam artists and thieves pretending to be 'marketers'

Making the IVR Ogre Customer-Friendly

June 25, 2010

Customers may not exactly be a fan of IVR systems but if they are programmed right, with their needs in mind, they can actually do some good by enabling them to get the services and items they need with minimal waits: and aggravation.

AT&T Teaches How Not To Respond to Complaints in The Social Era

June 5, 2010

This example of how not to respond to customers' complaints in this social media era, where unless you respond to them quickly and authentically including by the CEOs your rep is DOA, comes courtesy of--and perhaps to no surprise to those of us in or follow this industry)--AT&T, via CNN. CNN reported Thursday that AT&T apologized to one of its customers after a staffer left a voicemail warning that individual had e-mailed the carrier's CEO with complaints.

Don't SLAPP Social Media (or SLAPP, period)

June 2, 2010

Strategic lawsuits against public participation or SLAPPs are the cowards' way of quieting dissent; the legal equivalent of glove-covered brass knuckles. Now comes the disturbing if not unexpected report from The New York Times that firms have been attempting to SLAPP consumers they appear to have annoyed and who have in turn posted comments on social media sites.

Shame On You, Teleperformance!

May 20, 2010

Contact center agents and supervisors are on the front lines of companies' relations with customers, in service, support, loyalty, sales, lead generation, billing and collections. They put on the smiles when they answer and make calls and contacts for their employers and if they are outsourcers their clients, on all manner of shifts. They receive in return more brickbats than bouquets while meeting stringent performance objectives, monitored up the tailfeathers, confined to tiny cubicles except for precisely measured periods. The contact center pay and benefits, while slightly higher and the hours are steadier than retail and hospitality are low yet unlike those fields there is little in the way of advancement, and so accordingly is the status of their work. So when I read the release that Teleperformance USA, a unit of French-owned SR Teleperformance had to pay nearly $2 million in back wages to almost 16,000 contact center workers for overtime violations under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FSLA) my reaction was one of disgust.

The Disinterested Customer

May 13, 2010

most customers: consumers and organizations are not really interested in such engagements. They don't want to be "fans". That they turn off after so much blather on their screen and in their ears. Moreover, customer loyalty is fickle. A product or service that shines in the first instance may stink in the second either in the manufacturing, delivery or price, which means bye-bye buyer... There are still a large number of social and other channels and channel providers to pick from. The smart ones will make enough but are not so greedy so as to drive away the very source of their profits while satisfying or at least not annoying the customers. For it is best to have disinterested customers than ticked off ones.
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