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

Sorry Apple, This is Really Samsung's Month

I find if you write about Android or Apple, you are often a target for people who will flame you on social...

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Rich Tehrani Thoughts From California

I've been on the road in Vegas and California over the past ten days or so. Here are my thoughts. The Venetian...

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GENBAND Kandy Goes Public at Ruby Skye

Last night, GENBAND hosted a gala premiere at Ruby Skye in San Francisco for its official Kandy launch - the transitional solution...

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Peter's View: The Channel Ecosystem

I read CRAIG'S VIEW: THE NEW CHANNEL ECOSYSTEM by Craig Schlagbaum, channel chief at Comcast. My response was too long for...

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2 Ways to Maximize Your Vendor Relationship

As channel partners, we get hammered all the time to sell vendor's stuff - even if it is unreasonable or doesn't...

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The Changing Definition of the Diameter Signaling Controller and Diameter Routing Agent (DRA)

Next week, I will be speaking at the Signaling Focus Day of LTE Asia.  The signaling focus day obviously will have...

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The Cat Video Index: A Simple View of Data Costs

By: Andy Porter, Product Manager in the Payment, Policy and Charging department at Alcatel-Lucent

The Economist has its famous Big Mac index for comparing buying power across countries. But I wanted an index that focuses on the cost of mobile data usage. That meant I had to find a data-charging equivalent of the Big Mac. I needed an item that crosses cultural boundaries, is universally understood and is available worldwide.

I considered many possibilities. But the answer arrived when I saw my daughter laughing at a video of a cat playing a piano. Obviously, the mobile data equivalent of the Big Mac is the YouTube video. It’s a universally available service that is easily measured in quantitative terms, making it ideal for comparing mobile data costs.

In honor of my daughter, I chose the classic “piano-playing cat” as the baseline video. And by the way, this cat video has been viewed over 34 million times, proving its suitability as a baseline.

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Letter: SIP has long been oversold

June 26, 2009

SIP has long been over-sold as something that will enable all kinds of new applications. I strongly believe in the power of IP-based multimedia communications and SIP will play an important role; it's just over-sold and has been for so many years.

Tougher Actions To Save Telemarketing

June 16, 2009

Here we go again...another gang of skels abusing telemarketing and robocalling i.e. automated dialers calling to connive money out of consumers including those with cell numbers and who have gone to the trouble to place their numbers on Do Not Call lists (DNC).When the rights of consumers/customers to be free of fraud and to enjoy their property without trespass and theft are as respected and acted on when it occurs electronically (phone, fax, e-mail, online) as when it happens in-person then perhaps there will be much fewer such incidents with telemarketing and other electronic marketing forms. Shrinking back this specter of illegitimacy will permit companies and nonprofits alike to use these means effectively with true freedom through increased trust by contacted parties,who in turn will be happy to do business via these channels again. .

Ending Charity Fraud, Misrepresentation, and Bad Practices

May 22, 2009

Charities run the risk in today's environment of losing credibility with the average donor, who contributes via telemarketing, and in being restricted in their efforts by further legislation to curb fraud and misrepresentation, such as removing their exemption from Do Not Call lists. In response there needs to be reform of charity fundraising via telemarketing, ideally a combination of stiff penalties including aggressive criminal prosecution to reflect the vileness of the fraud when it takes place, a mandated change in how telemarketers are compensated to remove the temptation of misrepresentation, and a review of practices and costs to increase returns to worthy organizations.

Sage Advice to SMBs on Data Management and Business Software

May 15, 2009

If staying afloat in rough economic waters were not enough, small-midsized businesses (SMBs) are experiencing frustration and inefficiency when it comes to integrating data management and business software (i.e. ERP, CRM) that have been intended to help them manage costs and grow revenues. With the hefty chunk of change those solutions command, at a time where every dollar spent must have the maximum value extracted, these need to start pulling their weight. A new white paper sponsored by Sage and published on TMCnet reveals that customizing applications for particular needs ranks the top--63 percent--of common software problems. This is followed way behind by duplicate data entry points and coordinating software updates each at 32 percent. The white paper makes the case for integrating these solutions. It has very helpful recommendations to help SMBs obtain greater ROI from ERP and CRM.

Oh Canada: eBay Closes B.C. Contact Center

May 7, 2009

In what cynics say is another death knell for nearshore contact centers in Canada, and one more piece of evidence that beneath globalization is headquarters nationalism, online auction giant eBay is closing its Canadian contact center, which is located in Burnaby, British Columbia; Burnaby is part of the Metro Vancouver area. Yet this move is one more illustration why traditional bricks-and-mortar centers are obsolete. For the future of contact centers is not in bricks-and-mortar facilities but in agents' homes where more can be accomplished for less: today's business mantra. Home agent programs i.e. telework can achieve gains of $10,000 to $20,000 per agent/year. That may be the way forward for eBay, and for other companies caught up in the financial squeeze of both the downturn and a strong Canadian dollar. When Convergys shuttered operations in Alberta, it hired a number of the laid off staff as home-based agents. eBay should do likewise, which may enable keeping some if not all of its Canadian workers while maintaining its presence in Canada. It can get help from TransLink, Metro Vancouver's transit agency whose buses and nearby rapid transit line serve the eBay site can help. It offers an online telework kit.

A College Education for Contact Center Work???

April 29, 2009

A two-or four-year degree just to answer and make calls and handle chats and e-mails in a contact center? Is this overkill or what? Then again, given too many reports about how poor the American--and to a lesser extent the Canadian--public education system is, such employers may sadly be onto something. There are two options for contact centers: making sure that they locate their sites where there are good high schools whose graduates are not all college-bound, and, more likely, tearing down the bricks-and-mortar and going home-based. The latter is far more doable and likely than the former. Study after study continue to demonstrate that home agents are the ideal contact center workforce because they have higher skills, better work ethic (they tend to be ages 40+), are more productive, and are not career minded. Because they know a little bit of the world unlike the fresh-out-of-college 20-somethings they can easily answer sales objections and solve problems. And they don't need the constant supervision nor require workplace socialization. They know how to work and have their own lives outside of work.

Handling The Next Telemarketing Regulations

April 27, 2009

To ensure that the next set of regulations that will be coming down the pipeline from legislators are fair and effective the telemarketing industry needs to devise some solutions of their own, use their self-regulatory mechanisms to test them and build consensus and at the same time sit down with lawmakers to go over these issues. That the industry is already taking proactive steps to come up with answers that could offer them guidance acknowledges the pain the lawmakers are getting from their constituents, which gets them onside.

The Missed Lesson Of Outsourcing to India, and Ireland

April 23, 2009

One more company, this time Primus Telecommunications Canada is repatriating its customer care from an unnamed outsourcer in India back home. There is irony in this news. New Brunswick, and Ireland, helped begin the move to nearshore/offshore contact center operations from the U.S. and other countries like the U.K. by offering their communities as berths with plenty of willing, able, educated, and low-cost labor. Unfortunately, New Brunswick, and by extension much of Canada (and other countries) that sought out contact centers had missed the lesson of Ireland, and that is to aggressively capitalize on them as gateways to higher-value/higher-paid IT jobs, a lesson that India has learned well.

Three Must Attend/Participate Webinars

April 13, 2009

Here are three Webinars coming up over the next two weeks that promises to be in this league: in timely information, knowledge, and insight

Rx For Organizations and the Economy: Axe The Incompetent Managers

April 3, 2009

The hard reality is that in many organizations is that there too many managers who drive performance down because they make lousy decisions and who waste scarce resources. These personnel lack the abilities for their jobs. What typically happens is that they get hired or recommended because they were good at their production tasks: which has nothing to do with how they will perform in supervisory rules. That sets up the "vortex of incompetence": bad longer-time managers bring on board underperforming newbies--they would never approve someone who is equal to or who outperforms them--who when they get promoted selects the next generation of nincompoops.
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