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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South Africa and Bandwidth Optimization Techniques

March 22, 2011

Last week, I was in Johannesburg for the Mobile Network Optimization Africa conference, where I spoke on techniques for removing bottlenecks from wireless networks, specifically in the backhaul part of the network.  South Africa is interesting in this regard since if you look at the latest Cisco Visual Networking Index (VNI) report from February 1st, South Africa is expected to be one of the leading countries (in a few years) when measuring average mobile network connection speeds, which means the mobile network can handle more data, which is good, but may also mean trouble for congestion within the network.

The conference was interesting since it looked at optimization of all aspects of the network, from the backhaul part as I mentioned above, to the optimization of the spectrum, optimization of the antennae technologies, optimization of network performance and coverage, load balancing, WiFi offload, and of the new networks such as LTE. 

Prepaid Mobile Internet Services

March 15, 2011

I will be going to Singapore in a few weeks for the Telco Strategies 2011 conference, and I always like going to Asia since the mobile market is different than the US market.  For instance, one difference that’s important to understand is how people pay for the usage of their phones.  In the US, people predominately pay by monthly fee subscription.  And outside of Korea and Japan in APAC, people predominately pay in a prepaid mode. 

N-1-1 Services and Their Evolution

March 8, 2011

Why am I writing about “boring” N11 services?  Well first of all, I used one a few weeks ago that I hadn’t used before (511) and it proved really useful.  And it got me thinking about them and where they could go.  Some of these N11 services are forms of  value-added services and mobile value-added services, and have good growth potential.

Where Do I Stand with Net Neutrality?

March 1, 2011

In last week’s blog, I explored the “free” part of the Net Neutrality issue.  In this week’s blog, I want to explore the wireless internet, since as the wireless capabilities increase, we are getting more and more of a broadband experience wirelessly.

In the wired broadband world, a throttling of content would be frowned upon. 

What's Going on with Net Neutrality?

February 22, 2011

Net Neutrality is a hot topic in the United States.  Essentially, it means “let the internet be open” and let whatever it’s used for, whatever is connected to it, etc. happen as long as it’s lawful.  The FCC has rules regarding the internet and they are designed to prevent content discrimination on the Internet. 

Mobile World Congress Overview

February 17, 2011

On February, 1st, I wrote a Mobile World Congress preview blog and said I expected to see Mobile Backhaul at the show.  Here I am at the last day of the show, and I want to tell you about the major themes I’m seeing.

First and foremost, the major theme is mobile broadband optimization, which includes mobile backhaul as one of the improvement mechanisms.  

ENIAC - The Face of Innovation from 2 to the 6th Years Ago

February 15, 2011

As the computer engineer reader knows, 2 to the 6th is a key number in the binary numeral system.  It also happens to be the number of years ago (plus 1) on February 14th that the first digital computer, the ENIAC, was born, at the University of Pennsylvania.  When I went to Penn many years ago, the ENIAC was sort of there, or shall I say, pieces of it were there, strewn in a room that we all passed by pretty much everyday on our way to classes.  You could have gone in there and taken the leftover vacuum tubes, which were the size of Starbucks Venti cups

The Future of SMS - Rich SMS

February 8, 2011

Two weeks ago, I gave some opinions about why SMS will continue to grow.  I also think SMS will, over time, fundamentally change from today’s 140 character experience.  We’ll start to see video incorporated into SMS, making it more of a “rich” SMS experience.  For instance, I’ve written in the past about location-based services and context aware location-based services

Mobile World Congress Preview - Expect Mobile Backhaul

February 1, 2011

In just two weeks, the key global wireless show will be upon us.  Let’s hope the weather holds out and it looks like the picture below, as opposed to last year when it actually snowed for a bit.





Every year, I have an expectation of what I might see at the show. 

Why Does SMS Continue to Grow? Personal Communications, Social Networking and M2M

January 24, 2011

Many consumers view SMS as an essential function of their phone.  From a service provider perspective though, it is one of the more highly utilized and profitable value added services, with an estimated over 6 trillion SMS’s sent in 2010.  What’s going on with this seemingly basic function?

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