Alan Percy : The SIP Invite
Alan Percy
| Observations by Alan D. Percy on VoIP enabling technology, industry and our personal reach for success.

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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Call Recording and UC - the missing Lync

November 29, 2011

Many vertical markets have requirements to record and retain their interactions with customers and clients.  Financial service brokers and agents need to take telephone orders from their clients and keep a record of the call to resolve any potential disputes.  Medical staff need to record doctors orders, protecting both the doctor and the hospital staff.  This type of recording a not an option, but a mandated compliance issue that has blocked potential deployment of Unified Communications in these markets. 

A Tour of the ScanSource Distribution Center

October 7, 2011

This week I was fortunate to be invited to speak at the ScanSource Communications Partner Conference, held in Memphis, TN.  The event brings together the strategic reseller and vendor partners that work with ScanSource Communications to create leading communications solutions.

Since the event was hosted in Memphis, the attendees had the unique opportunity to visit the ScanSource Distribution Center, located just outside the city limits.  Being a big fan of "How It's Made" programming on TV, I was sure to attend and soak up the noise and mass movement in the 600,000 square feet facility.

Housing close to $30M in inventory with an order fulfillment accuracy rate of 99.9% is no small task.

While at the facility, we were lucky to see a truck-load of AudioCodes media gateways in the receiving area.

The facility features a technologically advanced “picking, packing and shipping” conveyor system with 40 lanes. 







"Not so fast" - T-Mobile and AT&T merger hits the brakes

September 1, 2011

Image via CrunchBase


It seems that many of the market watchers were surprised with yesterday's announcement that the US Justice department filed suit to block the planned merger of t-Mobile and AT&T.  Honestly, I was not surprised that the merger is going to court. 

With the US down to four national mobile carriers (Verizon, AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile), competition is at risk.  Outside the major metro areas, not all four carriers are ubiquitous, meaning that choice often falls between two or three carriers.  


Getting Started with SIP Trunking

August 22, 2011

The First Step Toward Unified Communications If you've been following me over the last few years, you know that the transition of communications to SIP Trunking is something that I've been tracking/advocating.  It seems a natural next step in the evolution of business communications and only one part of an migration to Unified Communications.

However, taking the step can be a challenge for many businesses - especially in a shaky economic environment.  A major swap out of a corporate PBX can be very disruptive, requiring retraining of already over-worked employees.  A flash cut to new technology can be risky. 

Contact Centers - Expanding and Saving with SIP Trunking

August 8, 2011

Say you manage a global contact center business - offering valuable customer contact services to a range of companies.  One of those companies offers you an opportunity to dramatically expand your business with them, but where do you find the educated and hard working employees to staff your expanded contact center?
 
We just wrapped up publishing a very intriguing customer case study with VXI Global Solutions, a business process outsourcing firm based in Los Angeles that was facing that exact challenge.  How did they expand their workforce in a cost effective way?  Their plan calls for opening new facilities in Nevada, Texas and Ohio giving them access to the staffing, but how do you connect these new employees to the contact center in a cost effective manner? 

8 Steps to Unified Communications - Step 8

July 22, 2011

Going mobile

So far, we’ve unlocked the power of Microsoft Lync for unified communications in your customer’s head office and branch offices – now there’s only one frontier left to tackle before we can call this solution complete: mobility.

While many businesses today leverage mobility to provide access, communications and connectivity to their highly-mobile employees, many of them do so without integrating it into their unified communications environment. That means that mobile workers are missing out on the many advantages enjoyed by their office-bound counterparts, including presence and instant messaging. Not only are they working blind, they’re paying more for the ability to do so – using up minutes from their expensive monthly allotment and almost inevitably being driven into fees for overages.

8 Steps to Unified Communications - Step 7

July 22, 2011

Survivable Branch Appliances

So far, we’ve brought your entire customer’s organization into the unified communications world.

But what about businesses that have many branch or remote offices – retail locations, bank, insurance companies and others that are spread out over the country or even the world?

In this penultimate step, we bring those remote offices into the scope of the solution. What these remote locations need is the ability to get through to Lync and use SIP phones and trunking, but with some back-up survivable trunking to make sure they’re not taken down by outages.

8 Steps to Unified Communications - Step 6

July 14, 2011

Moving to SIP Trunking

Over the last few step in our eight-step guide to unified communications, we’ve introduce da lot of new capabilities and functionality that will not only make sure the deployment is a success, it will drive end users to demand access to the new tools.

Now it’s time to start making this deployment just as exciting to management – and if there’s one thing the C-suite can behind, it’s the idea of saving serious money. To make that happen, it’s time to introduce SIP trunking and downsizing or eliminating traditional PSTN trunks. In reality, this is a step you can take at an earlier point, should you choose to do so, or should getting those cost savings on the table earlier be of prime importance for customers.


8 Steps to Unified Communications - Step 5

July 14, 2011

Moving off the PBX

In any big project – and let’s face it, going from a traditional telephony system to a fully-integrated unified communications system is a big project! – there’s a step at which the point of no return is past – where the hardest work is done, the old system is just about retired, and everything you do from there on in will add more and more value to the overall solution.

In step five, we cross that Rubicon. It’s time to get rid of the PBX.

8 Steps to Unified Communications - Step 4

July 14, 2011

Adding SIP Phones

At this point, we’ve addressed voicemail via Exchange, IM, presence and collaboration and voice and video, and structured your client’s network for the new converged workload through the first three steps of our journey towards complete unified communications.

You may notice that we haven’t touched phones yet. Now, with the trunk line connected to the AudioCodes Mediant media gateway, it’s a good time to think about phones. Because although the hype around unified communications is all about communicating via softphones and using just about any device an end user wants to use to stay connected --- there are still are a lot of people that want to or have to use a phone, whether it’s some of the time or all of the time.



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