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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Nortel's Poisoned Chalice?

September 16, 2009

Nortel has been the walking dead, its heroic and dedicated engineers like the still-vital organs struggling with weakening condition to produce and support IP-oriented quality products as they were drained with layoffs. Little wonder that in the contact center field at least, reported Interactive Intelligence's Joe Staples--whose firm has seen competitors like the 'old' Aspect, Davox, Rockwell et al disappear and many others fade into insignificance--Nortel's product line was aging with little new to get these buyers excited. Then again IP-from-the-ground-up companies like Aastra, Cisco, Fonality, Interactive Intelligence, and ShoreTel, to name but a few, didn't have the legacy TDM/PSTN baggage to lug with them. For these companies there is no need to 'migrate' customers to IP; they are already there.

Nortel's Pending Demise Reminder Why Open Source (And Hosting) Is Way To Go

September 9, 2009

The impending demise of Nortel's enterprise division--which it will be unless it is won at the ironically dated/located September 11 auction in New York City by a bidder that is willing to keep it as an independent corporate entity, and that appears unlikely---is a stark reminder of that open source virtue. Anyone who owns Nortel proprietary software, and hardware, will have to plan for end of life, and buying replacement products

Triaging the Healthcare Debates

August 25, 2009

Is it in the employers' best financial interests to collectively pay huge sums for administration, back office, and overhead, including marketing, customer care, and billing/collections contact centers and their underlying technologies? Dollars shelled out by them and their employees that could have gone instead to keeping employees and families well and keeping their costs down?

A Tip of The Hat to Radisson YVR (Vancouver)

August 18, 2009

There is great customer care and then there is great customer care. Service that is delivered by companies and staff that assists not only existing customers but who goes out of their way to help those individuals and businesses who are not but thanks to their four-star treatment could well be in the future and if not them their family, friends, and associates. Radisson Hotel Vancouver (B.C., Canada) Airport (a.k.a. YVR), which is located in the suburb of Richmond, falls into that category. For service alone I recommend staying there, along with being very convenient for both the airport and the downtown, including the Olympics venues.

Lack of Vision Nortel's Downfall

August 11, 2009

If you want to get somewhere then you have to see how to get there. And if you can't see where you're going you'll stumble and fall. And that's exactly what happened with Nortel. This lack of vision: both foresight and on the immediate environment led it to crash.

The Flexible Revolution

July 30, 2009

With a recovery that promises to be slow and painful firms that are encumbered by expensive fixed objects: buildings or hardware, processes, and thinking are unlikely to make it and if they do they will struggle. Companies that have embraced flexibility: opex not capex, leasing and hosting software, hardware, and hardware only if necessary, video/web conferencing not travel, and telework not bricks-and-mortar, are more likely to shine through.

O' Nortel, O' RIM, and O'Canada

July 27, 2009

until Canada's business/government culture changes, encouraging and supporting entrepreneurship and innovation and making the country more competitive there will be more sad stories like Nortel, and the Arrow--and more leaders who have and can make a difference shut out--resulting in fewer, highly-trained and paid workers that should be the bedrock of its economy.

A Salute To The U.S. Army, InfoCision, and West, for PaYS

July 21, 2009

So it is with the deepest respect that I salute our veterans. And that I salute the U.S. Army for devising and InfoCision for becoming one of the latest participants in the Army PaYS (Partnership for Youth Success) program for taking proactive action to ensure a future for them in civilian life.

Memo to Canada's CRTC: Shame the Telemarketers, Release the Names

July 13, 2009

The CRTC's reasoning--or in the view of critics, excuse,--according to vice-chairman of telecommunications Leonard Katz is that the "'intent here is to promote compliance,' not punish the companies by publicizing their names right away." Nonsense. The only way you get these characters to clean up their acts is by shaming them in front of the very people that they have been seeking as customers, but chose to violate their rights by breaking the rules designed to protect them. IOW hurt them where it counts in sales and reputation.

The Honduras Mess and Nearshore/Offshore Risks

July 8, 2009

The recent military coup in Honduras illustrates one of the risks of locating contact centers and other operations in other, and poorer countries where there are great income and other social disparities between classes, and that is political instability. It is truly unfortunate in Honduras's case that the political situation had deteriorated thought not well to begin with. The country, which has nearly 8 million people, could stand to benefit greatly from the nearshoring trend, and the many well-paying high-status BPO jobs it can bring, which has boosted the economy of next door Guatemala.
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