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

IBM, Mitel, Wearable Tech round out Latest ITEXPO News

Its been an amazing ITEXPO so far - wow. In case you missed some of the happenings from day 1, here are...

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3 Reasons UC Deployments Fail

Just getting ink on a Unified Communications deal is just the beginning. So many deployments go wrong or worse the company...

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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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Tune In, Call in (And Donate), 'Hope for Haiti Now' Tonight 8pm

January 22, 2010

Here's an important way to help relieve the distress and suffering of the Haitian people from the recent earthquakes, The "Hope for Haiti Now: A Global Benefit for Earthquake Relief" telethon to aid the victims will air tonight at Friday, January 22, 2010 at 8:00 p.m. ET/PT. Helping to make the telethon a success is TeleTech. It will be providing technical infrastructure and 5,000 employees from around the globe to take calls from telethon viewers who wish to make donations to support the people of Haiti.

The warnings of (and responses to) Haiti

January 15, 2010

The almost incomprehensible destruction and loss of life and immense suffering from the earthquake that struck Haiti--alas another disaster amidst the economic and political turmoil that for decades if not centuries that have ravaged the people of this nation--also serves as a warning for companies in their site selection decisions: wherever they locate. The message is this: if you want your contact centers and other back offices to survive disasters in locations whether offshore, nearshore, or onshore then be prepared accordingly because the chances are increasingly excellent that no one else i.e. governments will protect you beforehand, during, or afterward. IOW you're on your own. To change and correct that last situation is--where politically feasible--up to you: to make sure that the authorities are doing their jobs in protecting your firm, staff, and their families.

9-1-1 Operators' Jobs Secure With New Car Infotainment Systems

January 7, 2010

The tough, dedicated professionals who staff the 9-1-1 contact centers, and those equally stressed pros who handle claims calls for health insurers who have been worried that the distracted driving laws being rolled out in the U.S. and Canada will result in fewer calls--and possible layoffs--can breathe easy. That's because the automotive and tech geniuses have managed to come up with exciting new ways for motorists to maim and kill themselves and others that should compensate for the fewer injuries and deaths resulting from the new regulations.

My Top Trends For 2010

December 31, 2009

This is the time of year for predictions and trends forecasting in the coming year, so before the famous lit bill drops in New York City's Times Square I'll offer a few of mine for 2010 and beyond:

Can Social Media Influence Sales? Just Ask Simon Cowell

December 21, 2009

If there is ever a demonstration that social media can make or break a product--and why enterprises should wrap tools and training with CRM strategies to effectively tap this new channel via their contact centers as presents to themselves-- then a recent U.K. Facebook-organized campaign to deny the debut single from the recent winner of Simon Cowell's X Factor reality show the hallowed position of Britain's top Christmas pop song should be it...And that's the lesson with social media. If individuals can topple the best efforts of an industry giant like him--with the lovely touch of beating the musical equivalent of saccharine with Semtex--imagine what those who believe or dislike other products and firms can do if they can gain support for their campaigns via the social channel.

Thinking Twice About Loyalty Programs

December 14, 2009

Developing customer loyalty through card/membership programs is a good idea, in theory and for the meantime in practice. Yet is this a short-term gig, about as effective cash/gifts/other goodies-based performance incentives, with the same inherent flaw? If companies spent more time and resources on the latter--delivering rightpriced items and experiences--reinforced by quality customer care including easy-to-navigate web sites and IVR menus and well-trained and attentive contact center and in-person i.e. retail, ticket counter, checkin staff--at the right price than on gimmicks like the cards, cutting out the programs' expenses and profits to the middlepeople--they may amaze themselves in seeing how loyal customers can be.

May Nortel Execs' Stockings Be Laden With Coal

November 30, 2009

Canada's CBC reported Thursday that Nortel's management approved a plan earlier this fall to reward themselves with salary increases, investments or bonuses. An internal document obtained by the broadcaster outlines a new compensation scheme for 72 Nortel executives that will see them get a total of $7.5 million on top of their current salaries in 2009. This greedy self-serving, yet not surprising move given Nortel's record of incompetent, questionably ethical management--one whose stupidity is matched only by its board who failed in its duties to properly oversee this outfit--comes out at a time when those that actually did their jobs well--its pensioners and long-term unemployed--are being denied what is rightfully theirs.

Who Needs Telemarketers? Pay People To Tweet and Post Instead

November 23, 2009

Here's a budding new and potentially more profitable and much less costly option to those hated (and in turn heavily regulated) cold-call telemarketing callspaying people to pitch goodies from their social networks i.e. Facebook, Twitter, etc.

Want To Make Money? Shape Up Your Voice Self-Service

November 18, 2009

managers and execs, here's a winner of a tip to make money and not leave it on the table: clean up your automated voice a.k.a.

Make Customers Smile? Give Them Low Priced Half-Decent Products

November 13, 2009

A Nov.11 Los Angeles Times column by David Lazarus makes more kicks at the commonly stated (if not truly believed, and for good reason) assumption of organizations, their contact centers, and their suppliers that customers really give a rat's hindquarters about customer service especially in this tough economy.
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