By David Sims
The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music
is John Mellencamp’s 1994 Dance Naked.
If read off-site hit http://blog.tmcnet.com/telecom-crm/ for all links:
First CoffeeSM had an interesting conversation
Friday evening (Antalya time) with Adeeb Shanaa and Amit Desai, CEO and Vice
President Products respectively for Voxify. The company is launching ten automated speech-recognition agents
this morning, using a new patented technology that renders obsolete the old practice of
hard-coding responses to questions.
Voxify Automated Agents, according to technical
descriptions, differ from other speech automation systems in that they are “imbued
with the intelligence needed to follow a customer’s conversation, gather data,
and complete a transaction – even when only incomplete information is available,”
as opposed to other approaches that hard-code expected responses and stall when
they encounter a response not in their database.
It always impresses First CoffeeSM when someone
puts their money where their mouth is, and “we tell them to hold us responsible
for concrete numbers and deliverables, we’re paid by a percentage of calls
successfully handled,” Shanaa says. In other words, if you don’t have any
success with Voxify’s agents they don’t get paid. First CoffeeSM
wishes other businesses – the Washington Redskins, say – worked the same
Desai says in the reservations area, for example, “our
metric of success is completion rates of reservations. For Continental Airlines
we handle 100,000 calls and get an 88% completion rate. For Windham Hotels we
achieved over 90%.”
Industry averages are 15 to 20 percent lower – “Industry
averages are 38 percent automation completion rates, 40 to 60 is pretty good,”
The heart of the technology is Voxify’s patented Conversation
Engine, which “imbues the Automated Agents with advanced conversational skills,
enabling them to engage callers in sophisticated dialogue, and understanding
multiple pieces of information in a single response or adjusting to unexpected
information provided by the caller,” according to product descriptions.
“The results are tangible, measurable, we know what happened
on every single call. Since we’re a partner we’re equally incentivized to hit
those numbers. Agents are fully-managed
service, we’re paid by our completion rate,” Shanaa explains.
Voxify’s new Automated Agents include a shopping agent,
order-taking agent, order status agent, catalog request agent, inventory check
agent, lead capture agent, store locator agent, loyalty program/account agent,
welcome agent and gift card agent.
Is Vonage offering mobile soon? Reports suggest mobile VoIP is moving
closer, as “Vonage is testing wireless routers, a sign the company is on the
verge of debuting a mobile offering,” according to Edittech International.
Reports say ongoing customer
trials involve “a new Linksys Wi-Fi router that Vonage could market along with
its calling plans, according to an e-mail sent to customers and seen by CNET
News.com.” Vonage has in the past acknowledged that its customers are also
testing a handset equipped with a Wi-Fi antenna and radio, Edittech says:
“With the special router and handset, individual customers would be free to
roam about their home or office, untethered from a modem or phone jack and
without a connection to a laptop or desktop computer. Vonage could also market
the routers to hot spot providers such as Boingo Wireless for installation in
airports, coffeehouses and other such locations where wireless hubs have slowly
begun to appear.”
enhancements” to its Internet Protocol telephony software announced today,
including new automatic call distribution, support for silent
monitor/whisper/barge-in, account code dialing and verification and support for
two cordless IP phones for retail and small office applications, 3Com
now offers a total of eight IP phones to complement the 3Com NBX system.
Pass-thru ports on 3Com IP phones also allow users to
conserve LAN switching ports. For example, users can connect a personal computer
to the 3Com IP phone, which is connected to the Ethernet port in the wall.
Details at Bios.
Dutch global communications provider Equant has requested the suspension of the trading of its shares
on both the New York Stock Exchange and the Euronext Paris at the close of
business today, since it’s selling all of its assets and liabilities to France
Telecom S.A. in a deal announced February 10.
Equant works with thousands of companies, has an extensive
portfolio of communications services and network solutions as well as the IP Virtual
Private Networks used by nearly 1,300 global businesses.
Surfing around First CoffeeSM ran across a piece
titled “Sony’s PSP = Portable VoIP and IP Videoconferencing?” picked up on Addict3d:
“Looks like Sony has their crosshairs clearly focused on
providing a feature-full portable communications and entertainment system,” Erik Lagerway
writes on his blog SIPThat.com.
“Since we can browse the web on this thing, and it has a USB port, Wi-Fi and a
TCP stack you would think we should be able hack together a softphone for VoIP. Video will come later, camera
The Addict3d piece has a cool picture of how it might work.
Fast Search & Transfer, a developer of
enterprise search and real-time alerting technologies, today announced an OEM partnership with EMC Corporation,
a provider of enterprise content management products.
Under the terms of the agreement, FAST InStream will be
integrated into the recently released Documentum 5.3 platform, an ECM offering
based on a completely unified architecture.
Supporting both structured and unstructured data, FAST
InStream can be used with different types of software applications, including
enterprise portals and intranet sites, ECM systems, Customer Relationship Management products,
Enterprise Resource Planning, Business Intelligence suites and applications, as
well as storage and archiving.
That’s right, EMC Corp. offers ECM. It confuses First CoffeeSM too.
Acom Solutions, Inc., a cyber store dealing in inkjet and laser
printer supplies, printing paper and blank security check stock has created a program to recycle used
cartridges and reduce their presence in landfills. Free packaging, labels
and shipping are available at the website.
Long Beach, California-based Acom said the program recycling
used laser printer and inkjet cartridges is open to customers and
non-customers. According to Gregory T. Church, vice president of marketing and
communications, they’ll accept all printing supply cartridges.
“We re-use them wherever possible, but never more than once,”
Acom will send whatever shipping supplies you need to send
in your used cartridges – boxes, bags and labels that can be downloaded for
printing – at “no cost whatsoever.” Postage is prepaid and there is no charge
for shipping, Church said.
Readers keep asking First CoffeeSM when a Giant Madagascan Hissing Cockroach will be used to control a robot’s movements. Finally Garnet Hertz has found a way to do this, with his “Control
and Communication in the Animal and the Machine.”
According to the description, “The system uses a living
Madagascan hissing cockroach atop a modified trackball [i.e. a ping-pong ball]
to control the three-wheeled robot. Infrared sensors also provide navigation
feedback to create a semi-intelligent system, with the cockroach as the CPU.”
The pictures at http://www.conceptlab.com/control/
must be seen.
First CoffeeSM can assure readers that the United
States military is not funding the project.
First CoffeeSM accepts no sponsored content placement, and uncompensated recommends ‘72 VW Beetle ragtops, dark roast coffee, monogamy, T.S. Eliot and Moose Drool Beer.