Jim Machi : Industry Insight
Jim Machi

Why E-Mail Sucks and How to Make it Smarter

Many of us live in email. I get hundreds per day and I need almost every message. I am also a source...

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The Contact Center's Seemingly Oxymoronic Play: How to Decrease Costs Yet Improve Customer Service

I was recently asked to talk to some of our many contact center customers about the new contact center trends.  It...

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The New Facet of Customer Experience Management - Field Service 2.0

By: Rhodo Odysseos, Product/Solution Marketing, Alcatel-Lucent, and Jess Verbruggen, Motive Integrated Marketing Assistant, Alcatel-Lucent

Traditionally, communications service providers (CSPs) have treated the field service aspect of their organization as a cost center. Field technicians engaged in maintenance activities were simply a part of the cost of doing business.  More recently, the communications industry in general and the field service arena in particular, has been disrupted by immense changes in the customer profile, service expectations, and behaviors.

Field service is often the only face of the company that a customer will ever see, so it’s not a surprise that CSPs are striving to make a positive impact on customers in this realm. Achieving full potential in field service saves CSPs a lot of time and money. Productivity and efficiency reviews targeted at field service operations, done correctly, can reinforce other areas of the business by increasing customer satisfaction and improving safety and quality. 

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Amazon Fire Phone Should be a Laptop

I’ve written a lot of headlines in my life but this one is among the oddest. Why on earth does a phone...

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Apple Pay Vs. Google Wallet

Replacing credit cards can likely only be done if the new system is dead-easy to use and it moreover has to be...

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Signaling Offers Great Differentiation for Mobile Value-Added Service Offerings

We’ve all heard that some Value Added Services (VAS) revenue such as Short Message Service (SMS) are starting to decline in...

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Birdstep Improves Wireless User Experience, Reduces Churn

A smartphone user can get tripped up easily when in motion as today’s smartphones look for WiFi networks to connect to and...

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The Changing Face of Emergency Calling

July 26, 2011

The FCC estimates that 70% of 911 calls are placed by wireless callers.  Couple that with the increase in VoIP phone services, and you can quickly see that the majority of 911 calls are no longer coming from wired lines that are associated with specific addresses.  Additionally, with the increased capability of wireless networks, whether 3G or 4G, and with the capability of VoIP networks, one can also see that data, images, and video can also potentially be transmitted in a 911 “call” to a PSAP (Public Safety Answering Point). 

The Internet and FoIP and Fax in the Clouds

July 19, 2011




Faxing is alive and well these days.  The movement of Fax over IP similar to the movement of Voice over IP is occurring.  Fax over IP (FoIP) is a growing trend, expecting to be a $415M business in 2014, according to Davidson Consulting

It may be amazing to some readers that faxing still occurs. 




HD Calling

July 12, 2011

Nope, neither the Home Depot nor Harley Davidson is calling you.  But it is increasingly likely someone will be calling you using High Definition (HD) Voice.  For you Clash fans, possibly even London may be calling since HD Voice is now available in the UK.   In fact, according to a June report from the GSA, HD Voice is now available on 20 mobile networks in 18 countries. 

Skype + Microsoft = Good for Microsoft

July 5, 2011

The Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference is next week in Los Angeles.   I’m sure there will be extreme interest in the Skype deal and whether Microsoft will have something more to say about it, especially given the recent announcement that the FTC has approved it

I see people writing that the main deal driver is to improve Microsoft’s position in the mobile arena, given Skype can work on iPhones and iPads (I’ve seen people in airports holding an iPad to their ears because of Skype!) and Android devices. 

Mobile Backhaul and Revenue Prediction Curves

June 23, 2011

How come seemingly every revenue prediction curve I see has one of two forms – the “scary” curve which I show above, or the “hockey stick” curve which is the opposite of this?  There are options in-between, which in fact are probably more realistic, but people like to show extremes to make a point.  I write this because earlier this week, I attended Light Reading’s Backhaul and Core Strategies for Mobile Operators Conference in New York.  Telllabs put a chart like this up when talking about the mobile operators’ “profit crisis,” meaning that revenue/bit is declining faster than cost/bit. 

Mobile Money is Not a Port-o-ATM

June 20, 2011

In doing research for this blog, the first search that comes up when typing in “Mobile Money” is for a company that provides mobile ATM machines.  Well, let me be the first to tell you that port-o-ATMs are not the entirety of what mobile money is all about.

I have long been intrigued by the prospect of using your phone to pay for services – simply swipe your phone at something that’s near (or part of) the cash register and your phone acts like a credit card. 

Differences in Mobile Value-Added Services Around the World

June 14, 2011

Since I travel around the world quite a bit, I am frequently asked what the differences are in mobile value-added services in the different regions. First of all, there are many, many services and every time I go someplace, I find out about a new one.  Sometimes I write about them in this blog.

The Significance of the FCC Data Roaming Ruling

June 7, 2011

On April 7th, the FCC ruled that facilities-based providers of commercial mobile data networks need to offer data roaming arrangements to other commercial providers of mobile data networks on reasonable terms.  In other words, AT&T and Verizon need to offer data roaming connectivity to the other mobile data network providers, which would include the likes of MetroPCS, Leap Wireless, etc.  As you might expect, the Rural Cellular Association (RCA) gave this ruling a big thumbs up, because now they can strike deals with AT&T and Verizon to allow data roaming.  Marketing “data roaming” would theoretically draw more subscribers to them.

ITW and an iPad App

May 31, 2011

Last week, I attended the International Telecoms Week (ITW) in Washington, DC.  It’s a very interesting and unique show for the global wholesale telecommunications community to essentially trade minutes.  They do this at what they call “bilateral tables,” which are, well, tables where one party sits on one side and the other party sits on the other side.  And there are rows and rows of these bilateral tables throughout the venue.

Open Source + JAIN SLEE: Mobicents Makes Sense

May 24, 2011

Service Logic Execution Environments (SLEE) play an important role in the telecommunications network, especially when creating applications that marry the web and mobile experience.

Now, you don’t have to use SLEE and you don’t have to use Open Source to create applications that marry the web and mobile experience, but if you are apt to use Open Source as your development philosophy and are interested in an Open Source platform, then Mobicents is the way to go, since it’s the world’s only Open Source JAIN SLEE platform.  Mobicents was acquired by RedHat in 2007, and is part of the JBOSS Communications Platform, also part of RedHat, so they have a great track record in the Open Source telecoms world. 

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