Jim Machi : Industry Insight
Jim Machi

Why Aren't You My Customer?

COMPTEL had a sales training session for attendees with Stephen Schiffman. Schiffman has written 50+ books in his 35 year career...

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How Imagine Communications is Bringing Video Distribution to the cloud and Beyond

At the end of 2014 I declared Imagine Communications one of the companies to watch in 2015, specifically stating: The video industry...

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The Race to Gigabit is About Business

The cable companies racing to Gigabit networks isn't about delivering ultra-fast broadband to consumers. The Gigabit announcements get them good PR...

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Four Ways Cable Operators Can Boost the Customer Experience

By Mae Kowalke, TMCnet Contributor

The customer experience has always mattered, but its importance has grown in recent years. This has been driven by increased global competition, including the almost instant availability of alternations, and the rising expectations by fickle and informed consumer. Yet, cable operators have a long way to travel if they want to deliver the customer experience (CX) that consumers demand.

The Temkin Group’s Q3 2014 survey of 10,000 US consumers’ opinions about goods and services registered the lowest ranking average Net Promoter Score (NPS) for pay TV providers, a telling statistic. Internet service providers did almost as poorly, coming in only one position higher.

“As technology innovations drive shifts in consumer behavior and open new service opportunities, operators must start eliminating pain points,” stressed Alcatel-Lucent’s Nicholas Cadwgan in a recent TechZine article, Cable MSOs transform the customer experience. “This includes any obstacles that will impede their ability to launch and provide adequate care and quality assurance for those services.”

Cadwgan lays out four customer experience management (CEM) areas that cable operators should focus on.

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HP Can't Compete in Public Cloud as Amazon Machine Learning Launches

There are long-term trends in technology we all know are happening. Computers will get more powerful. More devices will be connected. Finally,...

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Citrix and Grasshopper Make a Good Pair

Citrix has many products - DaaS, NetScaler, ZenApp, SingleSignon and the GoTo suite of products: GoToAssist, GoToMyPC, GoToMeeting, GoToTraining, GoToWebinar, Podio...

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Despite Carriers' Views, OTT is Not the Enemy

October 22, 2013

Last week an interviewer asked me, “How will the carriers combat OTT?” Well, from a certain point of view, OTT apps aren’t the enemy. They drive traffic on the data part of the mobile network, which drives revenue for the mobile network operators. It’s the pricing plans that are the enemy.

However, I think the root of the question was really about OTT players taking revenue away from carriers.

The SBC evolution toward media

October 15, 2013

As networks grow, session border controllers need to do more in order to keep pace. There’s no reason why SBCs shouldn’t incorporate the functions of a media server. SBCs came into their own as edge devices that could insulate one IP network from another. This applies to both enterprise IP-IP networks, service provider IP-IP networks, and enterprise/service provider IP networks. 

The PSTN is dead. Or is it?

October 8, 2013

The PSTN is dead. We all know this because all we hear about is IP and government-backed PSTN sunset requirements. Right? If that is actually the case, then when Dialogic sells a softswitch, why do we also still usually sell media gateways as part of the overall solution?

Location Insight Could Yield Different Kinds of Revenue

October 1, 2013

A few weeks ago, I first heard the term "Location Insight Services," or LIS, from Telco 2.0’s recent research. LIS basically take location-based services (LBS) to the next step. Location-based services involve tracking your cell phone, for instance (with your consent). Mobile service providers can determine your whereabouts and know where your phone is because of the tower it’s connected to or because of GPS.

The Interworking Protocols Mobile Users Don't Know They Need

September 24, 2013

The proliferation of LTE networks is making life pretty sweet – and fast – for mobile users right now. Consumers are spending more time watching videos from their smartphones and tablets, all the while never knowing the complex signaling protocols that are giving them a seamless experience, regardless of whether they’re roaming in and out of 3G and 4G territory. LTE’s signaling protocol, Diameter, makes the interactions with other networks possible, and it might be the most important enabler mobile consumers never heard of.

Let’s say you walk into a Starbucks.

Where is the 4G?

September 16, 2013

Last week, I was in the U.K. and I had a bit of a frustrating experience. I have 4G service in the U.S., and I own a 4G-capable smartphone. I know there is 4G service in the U.K., yet I couldn’t get the service working.

How the Rise of LTE is (Quietly) Changing User Behavior

September 10, 2013

One of the big, glittering bright spots in the mobile industry right now is shining straight out from LTE. Global deployments are ramping up – there are about 200 commercial LTE networks right now – and subscribers are signing on in huge numbers. Rapid growth always carries consequences, but some of the most significant repercussions are those that users barely notice, even though they are directly affected by them. Because of its speed, LTE delivers an attractive mobile on-ramp to the Internet, which is changing the way smartphone and tablet owners use their devices. 

IT Expo Gets Down to Earth

September 3, 2013

Last week, I attended IT Expo in Las Vegas, which is the last real horizontal communications tradeshow in the U.S.  The show covers a variety of topics and does it well. I would say the theme of this show was “getting down to earth,” which is a weird theme considering the show was in Las Vegas, which is about as fake as it can get. But the show did a very good job of covering the implementation of topics, such as WebRTC, mobile video, UC and cloud.

Is WiFi Withering Under LTE?

August 27, 2013

The August 19th edition of Mobile World Live featured a survey from EE saying “LTE is knocking public WiFi usage.” The article went on to say that WiFi usage among LTE users has decreased by 37 percent since April.  At a high level, this makes sense. Since LTE has speeds that make it equivalent to a mobile on-ramp to the internet, and assuming a relatively flat monthly data rate, then why not just stay on LTE if it’s fast enough and if it costs the same? You would too, right?

Part two: Choose your own endpoint for the best conference experience

August 20, 2013

As different endpoints come into play and different types of networks come into play, the mixing of the different codecs and the robustness of the underlying media server become even more important. As WebRTC begins to take hold, adding yet another type of codec and signaling into the conference, the mixing gets even more complicated. Sometimes, this mixing results in weird-sounding conferences, with such technical difficulties as echoing, differing loudness of participants, or some participants’ lines being dropped. 

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