First Coffee for 18 March 2006

David Sims : First Coffee
David Sims
| CRM, ERP, Contact Center, Turkish Coffee and Astroichthiology:

First Coffee for 18 March 2006

By David Sims

david@firstcoffee.biz

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is “Delta Dawn” by Tanya Tucker, whose career was one of the most stupendous voices pressed into service of some of the most underwhelming material in history. But not here, baby, not here:

According to a new study by analyst firm Dittberner, three categories of Fixed Mobile Convergence services will be the most popular in the near future, potentially competing with “all mobile” solutions (Fixed mobile substitution).

Specifically, Dittberner likes:

Services based on dual-mode terminals (3G and WLAN),

Set or programmable automatic call forwarding (“Follow-me”), and

Home-zone pricing schemes.

Dittberner addresses the various business and marketing issues pertaining to fixed-mobile convergence in this comprehensive study, which concludes that “FMC services are unlikely to generate any sizable incremental revenue particularly for full service carriers.”

For example, carriers advertise services based on dual-mode handsets as providing convenience to users (i.e. one phone, one number, one address book, one voice mail box, one bill, one point contact), but “remarkably also emphasize the cost benefits to clients because calls made and received via the home, or office WLAN will be billed at the fixed wireline tariff, which is usually lower than the mobile tariff.”

Dr. Alain Thiney, vice president at Dittberner says that in his estimation, “revenues to be derived by full service carriers from converged fixed-mobile services will probably pale in comparison to fixed and mobile video services revenues for example.”

He added that the development of IP-based high value-added services delivered via fixed and mobile broadband access networks “will be the real revenue generators, as FMC provides added convenience for which users will not be willing to pay a premium.”

However, the study concludes, FMC could provide integrated fixed-mobile carriers a significant competitive tool to maintain or increase their market share, helping customer retention, and even helping capture new mobile customers.

The report includes a comprehensive FMC revenue simulation model and several business cases illustrating the positive impact of FMC on revenues.

Yes! Finally! The PoguesIf I Should Fall From Grace With God is available on iTunes! ‘Bout time! Now get Abbey Road, guys.

Thinking of whether or not you should go with Microsoft Dynamic CRM 3.0 or not? I.B.I.S., Inc., a Microsoft Gold Certified Partner helped DMB Financial, LLC, a debt settlement and credit restoration financial services vendor, do so.

DMB Financial recounts that it was “struggling to manage its day-to-day operations” using antiquated systems and methods. Daniel Kwiatek, Chief Operating Officer for DMB Financial, said they had no visibility into their sales pipeline and “forecasting was nearly impossible.”

They knew they wanted a tool to help improve operational efficiencies, and Kwiatek says installing Microsoft’s Dynamics CRM helped them to “immediate improvement in our telesales, leads tracking, and management reporting operations.”

Prior to the installation of Dynamics CRM, the company was investing significant marketing dollars to generate leads that could not be effectively tracked, compiled, or reported upon. Any reporting that was in place was being managed through diverse Excel spreadsheets requiring extensive manual intervention.

Calling all call centers.

Business research firm Prosci Research is announcing the launch of its 2006 Call Center Best Practices Benchmarking study. The online study is sponsored and conducted by Prosci Research and co-sponsored by Strategic Contact.

The companies are undertaking the study with four primary goals: to uncover the most effective management practices in call centers today, to understand how companies are using today’s technologies, to reveal the most current performance objectives and results for call centers by industry, and to identify the operational and technological changes that have the greatest impact on customer satisfaction, call center efficiency and revenue contributions.

Participation is free, and each participant will receive a free copy of the published study results report.

The 2006 study is the fourth in a series of research projects Prosci has conducted in the call center field. In its 1999, 2001 and 2004 Call Center Best Practices Benchmarking studies, the company collected data from over 650 organizations in 50 countries.

“This study is our most comprehensive to date,” said Jeff Hiatt, president of Prosci. “The data collected will provide managers with a wide view of the changing call center environment and how to optimize their performance.”

The 2006 Call Center Best Practices Benchmarking study has two components, the Call Center Management and Operations study and the Call Center Technology study. Participants can contribute to both.

Participants in the Call Center Management and Operations study will contribute information on their management practices, including performance objectives and results, workforce management, hiring and recruiting, training, outsourcing, agent motivation and other relevant topics.

The Call Center Technology study focuses on technology changes and their impact on performance.

“We believe this study will drive out important information contact centers everywhere are craving – what works and what doesn’t, what is hot and what isn’t and what they can learn from other centers – to help optimize their technology and operations,” said Strategic Contact president Lori Bocklund.

Japanese hardware firm NEC Corporation’s unit NEC Solutions Brasil aims to grow 30 percent to $37.8 million in 2006 over 2004, NEC Solutions Brasil managing director Silvio Kiyoharu Maemura told BNamericas.

NEC Solutions Brasil, a subsidiary providing IT and communications, will be boosted by demand for new technologies such as VoIP, IP and data services this year, Maemura says.

The operation aims to grow around 70 percent in the VoIP segment and IP telephony in relation to 2005, Maemura said. Two years ago, the company’s revenues were split 90 percent voice and 10 percent data. In 2005, the profile switched to 75 percent voice and 25 percent data solutions.

In 2006, NEC Solutions Brasil aims for an even split, with 50 percent voice and 50 percent data, such as VoIP and IP telephony. “We have competence in voice and data,” Maemura said.

NEC already has a 12 percent share in the market for medium-sized and large companies and has a base of 4,000 enterprise clients. Of these customers, over 150 have VoIP networks and close to 30 will implement IP telephony convergence projects, according to Maemura.

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