Jim Machi : Industry Insight
Jim Machi

Nuance Brings Artificial Intelligence to the Omnichannel World

The robots aren’t coming, they are here is all I could think of today as I mulled over my notes from a...

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NFV Vendor Challenges Part 2

How will the software in NFV networks interact? Via a Management and Orchestration (MANO) layer.

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Rapport Open APIs Increase Employee Productivity

By: Richard Hatheway, Director, Enterprise Communications Product Marketing, Rapport for Large Enterprise, Alcatel-Lucent

What is one of the biggest factors affecting employee productivity today? Recent studiesby the National Business Research Institute and the Pew Research Center indicate that not having the right technology tools to do their jobs is one of the most critical. From something as simple as having a cell phone to as advanced as having a customized app, having the right tool provides employees with a productivity boost.

Unfortunately though, many large enterprises are unable to take advantage of advances in technology due to old or outdated infrastructure and ICT technology silos. In addition, being locked in to one technology vendor often stymies the enterprise from being able to update the tools necessary to increase employee productivity.

For instance, something as simple as developing and deploying a new app is often a frustrating experience, as the enterprise must submit a request to the technology vendor for a new app to be developed, then wait until the vendor adds it to their development queue before finding out when to expect it. This often takes months, if not longer.

In the meantime, instead of waiting for the new app, many employees take the “shadow IT” route. They download rogue (i.e., non-IT-supported) apps that will allow them to move forward with at least some of the functionality they seek, even without IT support. While this work-around may provide some degree of productivity enhancement for the employee, wouldn’t it be better if the enterprise was able to either plug in existing best-of-breed third-party apps or develop and deploy its own apps without having to wait for a vendor to become involved?

Alcatel-Lucent thinks so, which is one of the reasons our new solution, Rapport™ for Large Enterprise, is generating so much interest. Rapport is a private cloud-based communications and collaboration solution designed specifically for the large enterprise.

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Versay Solutions Moves to Support the Omnichannel World

A company known for professional services in the contact center – Chicago-based Versay Solutions has more recently applied its skills in analytics...

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Splice Software Uses the Power of Analytics to Expand its Product Line

Big data and analytics have had a huge impact on numerous spaces and certainly marketing is one of these areas. Perhaps the...

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Jet.com The .Good the .Bad and the .Ugly

The .GoodI’ve been using Jet.com for a few weeks and so far I have found the selection to be about 20-30% of...

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VoicePIN Voice Biometrics Brings New Tech to Phone and Apps

The biometrics market has been around for decades but never achieved widespread acceptance until after Apple rolled out TouchID. Laptop makers...

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The Next Wave in Communications Convergence

August 23, 2011

Last week, I wrote about the pro and cons of convergence.  But what does the future hold because of convergence?  Due to the capability of the converged networks, hosted offerings have morphed into cloud computing offerings and we have seen communication-based cloud computing offerings emerge.  Cloud computing is about a $100B business, split between SaaS, PaaS and IaaS, with VoIP/UC accounting for $5B. 

Challenges and Opportunities Abound When it Comes to Convergence

August 16, 2011

In my last blog, I discussed the history of convergence and how it’s affected the telecom industry.  Now, I’d like to talk about the pros and cons of convergence.

Let’s start with the cons.

A Little Background on Communications Convergence

August 9, 2011

Communications convergence has taken many forms, some of which are still going on today.  One key convergence from the 1980’s involved the converging of open-systems based computing with telecommunications.  The computer-telephony integration (CTI) industry was born, and from that, Dialogic emerged as a key player.   The economics of commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) hardware in the form of servers and communication boards, with the open-systems, open API approach yielded best-of-breed applications and solutions. 

Outbound Notification in the IP World

August 2, 2011

We’ve all had experience with some kind of outbound notification system – maybe a machine calling to inform you that your childen’s school has been closed due to a snowstorm, or some IT triggered alert about your website, or a very sincere recorded voice calling you right at dinnertime during election season.  Generally, there are two types of outbound notification systems – the commercial ones such as above, or an emergency notification, which includes crisis alerts.  The crisis alerts form a part of the Public Safety segment, which I recently wrote a blog about.

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. 

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