By David Sims
The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music
is a Guilty PleasureSM, ABC’s The
Lexicon Of Love:
A good BusinessWeek
article this morning by Burt Helm argues that the splashy SBC move to offer high-speed broadband at
$14.95 is a gamble for SBC but a no-brainer win for Yahoo!. It is that, and First
CoffeeSM thinks it’s also a big step towards ubiquitous VoIP among
normal, ordinary non-tech geek consumers.
You’ve heard that yesterday SBC Communications cut its price
by a quarter to $14.95 for DSL, and that Yahoo! will provide SBC’s customers
with “services like e-mail, instant-messaging, and Web-hosting” for an undisclosed
fee, as Helm writes. SBC is clearly looking for an edge over cable with high-speed
broadband Internet and VoIP.
The way Helm sees it – and First CoffeeSM agrees,
otherwise Mr. Helm’s opinion wouldn’t be here – that while the lower prices will
hook more subscribers on high-speed, “Yahoo will pick up a significant amount
of new business with very little effort,” even though “already, ‘the vast
majority’ of SBC’s 5.6 million DSL subscribers use Yahoo!’s services, according
to an SBC spokesperson.”
So SBC takes the risk, potentially lowering their profit
margins, while Yahoo! risks almost nothing yet stands to gain more fees for
usage of its site by Internet providers, a fast-growing revenue stream for
Yahoo!, as well as higher ad rates.
In the end, although Helm doesn’t say this, VoIP could be
the real key here. He quotes Mike McCormack, a Bear Stearns analyst who says
SBC’s move is “a market-share grab,” since “by using [aggressive pricing] as a
tool to take broadband share, it means one less voice-over-IP customer for a
It’s First CoffeeSM’s opinion that VoIP will
become much more valued to the millions of red state, flyover land American
consumers than fast Web surfing. VoIP will be what they’re really paying for,
and they’ll take the online as a bundled option.
LingoMexico.Com, the U.S. Internet phone
service provider, today became the first
VoIP provider to offer unlimited phone calling to Mexico.
The new LingoMexico.Com “Unlimited Mexico” VoIP plan lets customers use their
broadband Internet connections and phones for unlimited calls to Mexico for
$29.95 per month. The plan also includes unlimited phone calls in the U.S. and
Digisoft Computers Inc. is announcing Snake River Correctional Institution’s
successful implementation of their flagship call center software,
Telescript. There’s a new market – not outsourcing, slammersourcing.
The Oregon Corrections Enterprise facility houses a
state-of-the-art call center with nearly one hundred inmates on multiple
calling campaigns manning the agent positions. With a low agent turnover rate –
except for parole – high demand for the positions and salary / benefits “less
of a concern than at a typical call center,” as Digisoft officials delicately
put it, OCE thinks they’ll “prosper” in this niche of the call center industry.
OCE handles the call center operations for numerous state
agencies, such as the DMV, the Department of Human Services and the Department
of Education in addition to acting as a service center for clients in the
private sector. Plus inmates get job training.
“We can compete with offshore call centers on price and
regularly exceed their service levels,” says Mike Reagan, SRCI General Manager
(i.e. “warden”). The Snake River Correctional Institution – look, there goes
Evel – records every call and tracks overall campaign and individual agent
performance and effectiveness.
First CoffeeSM thinks prisoners should work to
pay for their keep instead of taxpayers footing the entire bill. Training them
to work call centers is actually a pretty good idea.
reporting this morning that British Telecom is partnering with Nortel
to provide managed IP services to the
Ministry of Defence “that could, they say, result in improved security
around emerging VoIP technology.”
The partnership is part of the about $2 billion Defence
Fixed Telecommunications Service between BT and the MoD to build and manage a
coordinated communicated infrastructure for the Army, Royal Navy and RAF.
John Anderson, director of BT Government, is quoted in
Silicon.com as saying that any innovation in security of IP communications – particularly
voice traffic – could be passed on: “The fact that the lab has been set up for
the DFTS means there will be benefits from security and reliability for VoIP.
The MoD requirements for security could cross over into the commercial world
and have benefits for the financial sector for the instance.”
Britishmarketing services specialist Ion Group asked marketers to rate locations according to call-handling quality, and South African call centers received a score of 51.1 percent for attributes such as high-quality call-handling standards, a strong technological infrastructure and linguistic capabilities. India hit under 50 percent in each category.
Eastern European countries and former Soviet nations were
found to offer a lower standard of call handling, while the Philippines was
downgraded for a “sweatshop ethic.”
EdGenuiti Worldwide, a producer of
enterprise software designed specifically for higher education was chosen by American Graduate University.
It’ll be implemented by High Voltage Interactive.
After “years of experimenting and jury-rigging with other
CRMs,” according to the worst-written press release First CoffeeSM has seen – there’s a lot of competition for
that title – installing edGenuiti is a “too good to be true” answer to AGU’s
The American Graduate School of Management, part of the
American Graduate University established in 1976, provides advanced education
and career development programs for employees in government and private
industry. It has full institutional approval from the State of California
Bureau for Private Post-secondary and Vocational Education to grant advanced
has “Top 10 Mistakes Made by New and Expectant Dads:”
1. Criticizing mother’s abilities. Talk about concerns when she’s rested and calm.
2. Sitting back and letting her do it all. You’re just setting the groundwork
3. Ignoring signs of depression and anxiety. Extreme or subtle ones.
4. Trying to fix everything. Wives often want husbands simply to listen and
5. Ignoring your partner’s feelings. Just asking lets her know that you care.
6. Clamming up about feelings. Let your wife know she’s not the only anxious
7. Losing track of time. Ask your wife what she would like to see happen and by
8. Playing dumb. Especially when it comes to changing a diaper or giving a
9. Avoiding parenting classes and magazines. First CoffeeSM
recommends dads read What To Expect When
You’re Expecting and What To Expect
The First Year.
10. Pretending you’re asleep when the baby awakens at night.
If read off-site hit http://blog.tmcnet.com/telecom-crm/ for the fully-linked version. First CoffeeSM accepts no sponsored content placement, so after much deliberation and consultation with his 7 and 6-year old sons has concluded that the coolest animals are definitely owls, dolphins and snow leopards.