First Coffee for 7 March, 2006

David Sims : First Coffee
David Sims
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First Coffee for 7 March, 2006

By David Sims

The news as of the first coffee this morning, which in my case this morning is iced coffee, simply a more efficient caffeine delivery system, heck you can ingest three times the amount of liquid in iced form than you can hot in half an hour, and the music is Neil Young’s Ragged Glory, one of the more appropriately-named albums ever released:

Cingular Wireless is announcing today the immediate availability of Cingular Video on-demand streaming video service with a large selection of popular mobile content.

You can now watch video clips of TV shows, sports, news and weather, entertainment and “premium content” if you’ve got a high-speed 3G capable Cingular phone.

Demand for wireless video and other data services continues to grow with the proliferation of wireless broadband networks, so to make the most of that, Cingular Wireless has partnered with media and entertainment vendors for a wider variety of mobile content than might be available elsewhere.

In fact, Sam Hall, vice president, Mobile Browse and Developer Program, Cingular Wireless goes so far as to say that “Cingular Video offers the highest degree of personalization and the widest selection of desirable content in the U.S. market.”

Cingular Video does offer exclusive content, such as Fox News clips, and a comprehensive sports coverage package including ESPN, Fox Sports, FUEL and SPEED. It also has local weather forecasts in 100 cities across the country, “three times more cities than any other service provider,” Cingular officials point out.

For families, basic Cingular Video service includes more options and, later this month, NCAA basketball fans can watch NCAA men’s basketball video highlights.

Other highlights:

From the Cartoon Network there’s “The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy,” “The Powerpuff Girls” and “Dexter’s Laboratory.” From something called Adult Swim there’s “The Brak Show,” “Aqua Teen Hunger Force” and “Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law.”

CNN offers content from Now in the News, updated hourly, and programming offered from categories, including Top Stories, Business News, Sports, Politics and Entertainment. There’s a lot from the Disney Channel, including Playhouse Disney, Disney Channel’s curriculum-based programming for preschool-age kids. One wonders what they’re doing playing with Mommy and Daddy’s high-speed 3G capable Cingular phone, of course.


There’s also Disney Mobile Studios offering “The Muppets,” Disney Classics, and Disney Originals 2D and 3D animated shorts. Hey, call me when you get the original Bugs Bunny and the TV show cartoons.

Lots of sports, too. Lots.

Thanks to The Writer’s Almanac for pointing out that “it was on this day in 1876 that Alexander Graham Bell received patent No. 174,465 for the telephone.

He filed for his patent on the same day as a Chicago electrician named Elisha Gray filed for a patent on basically the same device, TWA writes: “Bell only beat Gray by two hours. Bell offered to sell his patent to Western Union for $100,000, but Western Union turned him down.”

Also today, in 1933, a man named Charles Darrow trademarked a board game called “Monopoly,” which allowed people during the Great Depression to imagine they were rich by wheeling and dealing in Atlantic City real estate.

Nuasis Corporation has announced the availability of NuContact Center 3.0 software.

This release supports agents located anywhere, higher system scalability, and advanced conditional routing based on customer intelligence and business analytics, according to Nuasis officials, who say “NuContact Center 3.0 features continue to highlight the extensibility of the software-only product architecture.

With this release, the product extends functionality to customer service agents beyond the formal call center and uses customer intelligence from multiple enterprise software applications to improve routing decisions.”

Practically speaking, NuContact Center 3.0 supports the use of any hard phone device for remote or home-based agents, a capability which allows customers to quickly address call center staffing challenges that include limited recruiting pools, commuting issues, and business continuity, since customers can deploy agents at low cost within hours without the need for the proprietary phone sets required by other vendor products.

Agents simply download the NuContact Center desktop software over the internet and sign onto the system from any available phone set.

Kevin McPartlan, vice president of product direction, Nuasis said the company’s focus with NuContact Center 3.0 was “to simplify deployment requirements and lower the cost of supporting home-based agents while assuring business quality voice.”

NuContact Center 3.0 provides remote agents with the same feature set that is available to agents at major call center operations. Call center supervisors also have the full set of management features available for monitoring remote agents, viewing real-time statistics, and reporting on remote agent status and performance.

This new capability extends the product’s Enterprise Routing Architecture beyond the physical confines of formal call center locations. Customer contacts are routed to a single virtual pool of agents who can be distributed physically across the system regardless of geographic location. This same capability can also be used to extend call center functionality to customer service personnel stationed in the field who are not normally part of the formal call center staff.

In related news, Nuasis is also announcing the signing of a major contract with Southwest Gas Corporation.

The Nuasis NuContact Center was chosen by Southwest Gas in part because of “its ability to manage multiple contact center sites with a single software application,” according to Nuasis officials. The system will be used to apply common rules, policies and resources across Southwest Gas locations, they say.

Southwest Gas is engaged in the business of purchasing, transporting and distributing natural gas to more than 1.6 million customers in Arizona, Nevada and portions of California. The company is one of the fastest-growing natural gas distribution companies in the country (excluding mergers and acquisitions).

Nuasis itself delivers call center products such as Nuasis NuContact Center, which “intelligently routes customer inquiries via phone, e-mail, and web to self-service or live agents located anywhere,” according to company officials.

It’s marketed as an alternative for mission-critical call centers over legacy ACD, IVR, and CTI systems, and competes against contact center products offered by companies like Aspect Software, Avaya, Nortel Networks and Cisco.

CRM vendor Parature would like you to know that contact management marketing vendor SharperAgent has implemented Parature’s Customer Support Solution, and saw a decrease in the overall number of tickets submitted by clients from a daily average of 370 to approximately 100, due to an increase in the use of self-service tools.

So be honest here, guys: It’s Anna Nicole Smith vs. Pamela Anderson. What’s that? You’re waiting to see what the Supreme Court says? Buncha geeks.

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