Next Generation Communications Blog

Smart Cities Will Make Our Lives Better

By: Anthony Trinh, Integrated Marketing Assistant, Alcatel-Lucent

The Internet of Things (IoT) is enabling the world around us to exchange data via a common network. This data will actually help us to understand the ‘things’ (objects and devices) in our lives and make sense of it. But how does the IoT improve our lives?

By 2020, the IoT will connect more than 26 billion devices and almost anything – your connected car, your dog’s collar, and even your entire city – will be able to communicate with each another. Cities are getting bigger and there are a lot of opportunities to streamline operations and manage scarce resources with IoT technology. Innovations in IoT technology are helping public and private organizations gain in-depth insight into the needs of their communities. Cities will become smart – developing strategies to improve their infrastructure, plan for long-term growth, create more energy-efficient environments, and keep people safe.

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Big Data for Better Operations - The Use of Analytics in the Connected Home

By: Alan Marks, Senior Product Marketing Manager, Alcatel-Lucent’s Motive Customer Experience Solutions

The increasingly competitive broadband market has service providers facing new challenges as they deliver services to today’s Internet-connected home. One challenge is delivering technical support for the rapidly increasing number of Internet-connected devices in the home. Consumers are now connecting gaming consoles, smart phones, tablets and other devices to their residential gateway, and their broadband Internet service. In light of this increasingly complex and dynamic technological landscape, it is no surprise that service providers have turned to analytics to better understand their customers’ needs.

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How to Choose Between iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus

For the first time ever, Apple introduced two phones of different sizes at once. This is a huge deal for the company...

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Sorry Apple, This is Really Samsung's Month

I find if you write about Android or Apple, you are often a target for people who will flame you on social...

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Rich Tehrani Thoughts From California

I've been on the road in Vegas and California over the past ten days or so. Here are my thoughts. The Venetian...

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GENBAND Kandy Goes Public at Ruby Skye

Last night, GENBAND hosted a gala premiere at Ruby Skye in San Francisco for its official Kandy launch - the transitional solution...

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Peter's View: The Channel Ecosystem

I read CRAIG'S VIEW: THE NEW CHANNEL ECOSYSTEM by Craig Schlagbaum, channel chief at Comcast. My response was too long for...

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Creating and Managing a Single Virtual Resource Pool to Simplify Staff Workflow

By Susan Campbell

A staff with a complicated workflow is costing your organization too much money. This is true whether you are operating a customer-centric contact center or a company that has outsourced its customer care. The operations of the customer service center are extending to other elements of the enterprise and transforming knowledge workers into on-demand experts. In taking this approach, innovative companies are leveraging their tools today to drive results tomorrow. These companies are creating and managing a single virtual resource pool to simplify staff workflow and deliver a better overall experience for all involved. 

How Can Service Providers Improve Service Delivery by Leveraging Application Enablers?

Image by noway via Flickr

By Susan J. Campbell

The industry is changing rapidly as users throughout the mobile service segment are demanding richer content and innovative applications on a number of different devices. The information they want must be delivered on any device at anytime and anywhere or the service provider runs the risk of chasing a customer to the nearest competitor.

To improve the delivery of service, which is a priority for any service provider expecting to thrive in a tight market, they must leverage application enablers. This is to ensure they can keep up with the current demand, deliver the solutions the consumer today wants, and create new and innovative solutions that will meet the demand over the long-term.

Service Providers Gain Edge with Multimedia Smartloading

Image via Wikipedia

By Ed Silverstein

As a leader in fixed and mobile broadband, Alcatel-Lucent can ensure users adopt an optimal approach for distributing media to consumers, focusing on business models that ensure the highest level of subscriber uptake.

In addition, Alcatel-Lucent has a clearly-articulated multimedia strategy. Alcatel-Lucent enables service providers to deliver a range of multimedia services — including live video, VoD and PVR content — to today’s connected devices, unlocking new revenue opportunities.

Expose Network Capabilities to Facilitate Innovation on a Smart Network

By Ed Silverstein

In a Web 2.0 world, explosive growth in demand "has created an environment dominated by third-party application and content providers," according to an analysis from Alcatel-Lucent. These ACPs, company officials say, "are not only delivering the applications and content generating the huge increase in traffic, but are also benefiting from the associated revenue." Mobile network providers want to take advantage of the money being generated. TMCnet's David Sims says that to meet end user expectations and get a piece of the new application and service revenue pie, a recent Alcatel-Lucent study found, "mobile network providers must find new ways to use their network assets to work with third-party partners." The Alcatel-Lucent Open API Service, company officials say, might be a way to accomplish this. The service provides a hosted, cross-carrier application mediation environment network providers can use to "expose valued network assets to multiple third-party partners to improve time-to-market with new applications and multimedia content for targeted end users." In other words, as a network provider, you'll stand out for the value you add, instead of being replaceable. Most any network providers can effectively manage relationships with one or two key third-party development partners.

Creating New Revenue Ecosystems by Leveraging M2M Generated Data

By Susan Campbell

In this new consumer-driven, technology-based environment, it is no longer enough to offer a single source service and expect it to satisfy your customers. Even if you still have the best customer service in the industry, you have to able to extend out your offerings to meet current demand or you will find customers will quickly tire of what you have to offer and move on to the next best thing. The key focus for you is to always be the next best thing so you can protect your base.

New revenue ecosystems can be created by leveraging M2M generated data. You already know that the demands on your bandwidth and network have exceeded your original intentions and current, flat-rate pricing and operator gross margins for data services are already becoming unsustainable.

Content is King - For Multi-Screen Advertisers, Too

By David Sims
"Content wants to be free from platform restrictions; free to move around and follow the consumer." So says industry observer Jon Gibs, adding for good measure that "it's a fallacy to compartmentalize consumers into mobile, TV or Internet users." Gibs points to Nielsen studies, which, he says, show that "high-consuming individuals remain high-consuming individuals, regardless of the device or platform they're using." Makes sense, some people just have to have it, and they'll take it any way they can get it. Plus you have to figure that heavy users of content will have diversified their addic- sorry, their consumption means. Therefore, Gibs concludes, content and service providers "need to look at content and delivery from the consumer's perspective rather than categorizing consumers by platform... Customizing content for as many screens as possible will allow content and service providers to enhance the multi-screen experience and retain the attention and loyalty of consumers." Alcatel Lucent has published a recent post by Connie Torres, arguing that in tandem with this trend, "advertising helps drive multi-screen innovation and new business models." Multi-screen, Torres says,"can expand the reach, impact and effectiveness of digital advertising. Service providers can profit from understanding what multi-screen services users want." Young people today, those prized by advertisers, "no longer simply want to be connected," Torres finds: "They want rich, Web 2.0, interactive multimedia experiences that can be enjoyed according to their needs, and on whatever device they are using - PC, TV or mobile. The Alcatel-Lucent Market Advantage Youth Lab was created "to understand the wants and needs of this important consumer segment," Torres reports. "The Youth Lab provides unfiltered access to the perceptions, attitudes and behaviors of 13 to 26-year-olds from around the world. In one recent study, Alcatel Lucent officials say, "answers were sought to key topics relating to the three devices (PC, TV and mobile) used as multi-screen services endpoints."

Alcatel-Lucent's New Ethernet Switch Outperforms Enterprise Core Market

By Ed Silverstein

There is now global availability of a new 10 Gigabit Ethernet (10GigE) enterprise switch from Alcatel-Lucent that the company says sets a powerful standard in non-blocking switch capacity, port density, low-power consumption and price-per-port. The OmniSwitch 10K Modular LAN Chassis is the first of a generation of network infrastructure offerings that exemplify Alcatel-Lucent's approach to enabling Application Fluent Networks, the company says. By leveraging the intelligence in the OmniSwitch 10K, enterprises benefit from a network based on user, application, device and location - resulting in better services as well as streamlined operations, and lower management costs for IT. Businesses also save on capital expenditures because the average price per non-blocking port of the OmniSwitch 10K is one-quarter of its nearest competitor, the company said. In addition, Alcatel-Lucent unveiled its Application Fluent Network approach for its next-generation network infrastructure products.  

Real-Time Visibility of Performance and Productivity Empowers Employees

By Susan J. Campbell 
A balance between performance and cost is a true challenge for contact centers to find. When that contact center is mission critical to the business, it must be able to achieve differentiation from competitors in the market, while also meeting increasing service demands set forth by customers. To complicate matters, the combination of the two must be integrated with a strategy to drive efficiency in operations.  
Technology has always played an important role for these companies. The right technological solutions can help the organization to achieve goals and leverage contact centers as a strategic asset.

Leverage Communication APIs to Create High Value Enterprise Service and Web 2.0 Application Mash-ups

By Ed Silverstein

The growth of broadband has helped to shift user focus from voice and personal communication to multi-media and content communication, and that's just the beginning for a smart network that makes application enablement a reality.

The increase in data traffic has network providers racing to keep up with the demand for bandwidth -- a continuous demand for bigger "pipes."  The challenge is to do so at a profit and in a way that leverages the intelligence of the network. This race isn't just for more bandwidth or greater coverage -- it's about creating sustainable business models that allow for the combination of high value network capabilities with the speed and innovation of the Web to provide consumers and enterprises a richer and more trusted Web experience -- what Alcatel-Lucent calls application enablement. With Web 2.0 enablement, Instant Messaging (IM) and Social Networking have led to wide-spread yet close-knit communities while viral spread of content and news happens at such a pace that people face 'information overload'. Consumers are now bringing their new tools to the office expecting them to work seamlessly as they do at home. In the consumer market, a driving force behind much of the growth is youth and young adults. They are still asking "why" "what if" and "why not" questions. Alcatel-Lucent's Market Advantage research shows an overall interest in higher quality of service and centralization. • Users believe the technology will make their lives better • Users want to do more with TV, phone and PC • Storing and sharing information are more important • Mobile shopping provides value; • and Market trends align with research. A recent report on App Store's top grossing applications shows the top pick by consumers is a new social networking app, the second most popular is entertainment, third and fifth are mapping/GPS apps, and fourth is -- yes -- a shopping tool.  At CTIA Spring 2009, three new apps stores were launched by major vendors.

Top 5 Aspects of Customer Engagement: How They Create Brand Loyalty

By Beecher Tuttle

To experience success in today's economy, companies need to provide their current and prospective customers with an unmatched level of service and support. For growing enterprises, this can be a very trying task.   Due to the size and complexity of some companies, a customer may be forced to interact with an automated system, an at-home agent and a sales support worker during a single engagement. Enterprises that fail to put forth the time and resources to refine their customer service solutions are bound to suffer from poor retention rates.   On the other hand, companies that properly engage their customer base are much more likely to improve their revenue streams. Engaged customers are more prone to purchase additional products and services, make brand recommendations to their friends and remain loyal to the company. This type of customer is also the least expensive to service.   When putting together an integrated customer service strategy, enterprises should take into account five key customer engagement ingredients that can help them create brand loyalty: interaction, resources, infrastructure, processes and performance.   The majority of enterprises today still have legacy infrastructure and disparate hardware and application systems that make it difficult to create a synergistic customer engagement experience.

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