Next Generation Communications Blog

AirHopper: Even Air-Gap Networks are Not Secure

It’s a good time to be in the Cybersecurity business. Quite often, highly secure computers are disconnected from the outside world so...

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The era of the hardware-based media server is over -scaling software-based media servers

As the telecom world moves closer and closer to software- based infrastructure, many questions are being asked about scalability of these...

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Brochures

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10 Reasons Why Microsoft is Winning

With new CEO Satya Nadella at the helm, Microsoft is changing and into something it needs to be. A company embracing a...

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Recognizing the Similarities Between WebRTC and VoIP

Next week I’ll be giving a keynote at the WebRTC Conference and Expo V.  When I last gave a keynote at...

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Invisible is Good Design

The whole idea of being a technology provider is that you make the technology invisible to the customer. They just have...

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VDSL and Vectoring are Important Parts of Broadband Deployment

By: Wendy Zajack, Dir. Product Communications, Alcatel-Lucent

From original on Alcatel-Lucent corporate blog

A few months ago our home WiFi slowed to a crawl. At first we thought it was a temporary thing, but after my son ran a diagnostic there was a problem with our high-speed broadband.  

While the technician was fixing it, he mentioned that for an extra $10 a month we could get a faster plan.  Living in the US we already (in my opinion) pay enough for our monthly broadband package so I immediately said ‘no.’ But I told my kids that IF they wanted to pay for it … we would consider it.

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Alcatel-Lucent's 'Digital Life' Delivers on the Promise of a Truly Connected Home

By Beecher Tuttle

Recent technological innovations – like Web-enabled TVs, file sharing solutions and unified communication applications – have given consumers a feel for what integrated connectivity can bring, and they have developed a taste for it.

With this in mind, Alcatel-Lucent's research wing, Bell Labs, developed a concept called Digital Life Service, a home networking service that enables consumers to connect, share and control a home's appliances and infrastructure. Digital Life allows users to integrate heating, lighting, home monitoring and entertainment – and control these services remotely.

Alcatel-Lucent recently conducted a market research study in China to assess consumer appeal for the service. The survey included residents of eight Chinese cities and focused on identifying projected demand, key target segments as well as drivers and barriers to service adoption.

How Workforce Optimization Strategies Can Improve Quality Management, Scheduling and Employee Performance

By Beecher Tuttle

To succeed in the current economic climate, enterprises need to make customer service a top priority. This task is complicated by the myriad of new channels that today's customers use to contact companies, including social media, email, phone and corporate websites.

In addition, organizations today often maintain a dispersed workforce, making it even more difficult to track and assess communications between employees and customers. In this complicated environment, enterprises need to find ways to evaluate the performance of customer-facing employees, influence their engagement levels with clients and develop routing rules for accurate employee scheduling.

Maximizing employee potential can be aided by a workforce optimization (WFO) strategy that brings training, quality management, customer survey tools, job scheduling, job forecasting, quality assurance, career development and analytics all under one roof.

A WFO strategy, also known as an Employee Effectiveness Model, helps companies identify workforce needs before they become serious while also providing insight into employee gaps and profiles. WFO solutions can also recognize passively engaged employees, giving management the knowledge necessary to filter out lower-tier employees while motivating top-tier workers.

The Customer Experience Disconnect

By Jeremy Melville, Senior Analytics Manager, Market and Consumer Insight, Alcatel-Lucent

There is a big gap in customer experience perception between Service Provider Employees and Business Customers. “So rarely does a customer have to wait more than a minute or so”, said one Service Provider Employee. “My impression of them [the Service Providers] is of a long time sitting on hold”, said a business customer. One theme came up in our research time and again – we were getting almost polar-opposite messages.

Alcatel-Lucent Market and Consumer Insight conducted focus groups and telephone interviews in major cities in India and the United States with Service Provider Employees and Small/Medium Enterprise (SME) Customers in June 2011. Our objective was to better understand the key drivers that lead to delivering a great customer experience on both sides of the coin; from a front-line Service Provider Employee’s perspective and an SME Decision-Maker’s perspective. What we found is astonishing.

A few points of difference include…

Employees feel they deliver a good experience, and SME Customers feel Service Providers need great improvement. Employees believe they take ownership of problems and resolve issues, while SME Customers believe that Service Providers don’t take responsibility for problems and aren’t forthcoming about what’s really going on. Employees feel they answer calls quickly, while SME Customers find they sometimes have to wait a long time in calling queues. Employees believe they transfer customer calls efficiently, and SME Customers are frequently frustrated by having to repeat who they are and why they’re calling.

Alcatel-Lucent: Enabling the Customer Experience Transformation

By Susan J. Campbell 

As a customer service provider (CSP), you are in a considerably advantageous position to capture, mine and analyze data about your network and your subscribers. You have multiple touch points that provide valuable information and as you gather insights regarding your customers’ preferences, experiences and predicted behaviors, you’ll be in a much better position to transform the customer experience.

An Alcatel-Lucent white paper, Customer Experience Transformation via Analytics, explores this concept in depth, focusing on the fierce competitive environment that exists for CSPs in a dynamic market. Service providers today have to work harder than ever to keep customers happy.

Dynamic Communications Essential for Railway Transportation

By Susan J. Campbell 

The concept of innovative next generation communications does not always address the potential in railway telecoms infrastructure; but by ignoring the potential in this space, opportunities for unexploited synergies between the railway telecoms infrastructure and passenger communications are lost.

A recent Alcatel-Lucent white paper, Dynamic Communications for Innovative Railway Transport, explores the business case for adopting new systems as it changes by the maturing of enabling technologies. The migration to an LTE-supported wireless backbone offering multiple services leverages key technologies that are already being tested and validated. Initially, this offering was used for innovative applications; soon it will be capable of acting as the data bearer for signaling systems in the future.

Building Effective Business Ecosystems Through Open Innovation

By Mae Kowalke

Many visions exist for what the next generation of business communications technology will look like. The potential for resources like 4G LTE networks get a lot of talk time these days. But what will it take to actually turn all these visions into reality?

Alcatel-Lucent’s stance is that there are four vital elements to driving the development and adoption of faster, better communications technologies:

4G Technology: Benefits for First Responders

By Mae Kowalke

Quick: in an emergency, what’s helps the most to save lives?

No, it’s not food, water, or shelter. According to George Ed Ryan, Director of Communications for the State of Maryland’s Department of Natural Resources, the most vital element related to public safety is: information.

This is especially true when it comes to preventing terrorist attacks.

Leverage the Cloud in the Back Office

By Susan J. Campbell

Taking a platform to the Cloud is a strategy that is gaining more and more attention in the enterprise segment, yet the network back office stands to gain significant value from this migration. It’s no longer enough for the enterprise to drive innovation through cloud-based applications on the customer side of the service provider business; it’s time to take it to the back office.

A recent Alcatel-Lucent Enriching Communications article, Bridging the Cloud to the Network Back Office, explores the fact that cloud services that deliver end-to-end Service Level Agreements (SLAs) to cover the network and IT will differentiate. At the same time, dynamic management for the cloud incorporates a flexible data model and the automation of OSS/BSS.

Tools and Techniques for Securing Data in the Cloud

By Mae Kowalke 

The acronym CIA is probably associated most commonly with the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency. But, in the realm of security for cloud services, CIA stands for Confidentiality, Integrity and Availability. These lie at the core of how to most securely store and transport data in cloud.

End-to-End Security for the Smart Grid

By Mae Kowalke

Around the world, electricity distribution infrastructure is being transformed using "smart grid" technologies. Although this is happening more quickly in some areas than others, the purpose is the same: secure energy supplies and ensure they remain viable.

This goes beyond security, of course, to profits – as such things always do.

“The bottom-line benefit is more efficient use of energy,” noted Peter Johnson, Vice President of Alcatel-Lucent’s Smart Grid division, in a GridTalk e-zine article, “Protecting the smart grid with today’s solutions,” about smart grid security.

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