Aspect's Award, Ufone, Sybase and IPhone, Mobile in Emerging Markets, New Global Telecom, BlackBerry in Indonesia

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

Aspect's Award, Ufone, Sybase and IPhone, Mobile in Emerging Markets, New Global Telecom, BlackBerry in Indonesia

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is R.E.M.'s Lifes Rich Pageant. One of First Coffee's favorite albums, but we get this sneakingly guilty feeling we should like R.E.M. more than we actually do:

Chelmsford, Massachusetts-based Aspect, a unified communications products vendor, has won the 2009 PilotHouse IP Contact Center Award based on a customer survey report from Nemertes Research
Companies responding to the survey "praised Aspect's customer service as the highest in the call center industry," research officials said.
"More than 1,300 individuals participated in the survey," according to Nemertes officials, who said Aspect garnered a 4.48 overall score on a five-point scale, bettering whoever was in second place in the IP contact center market by more a half-point. 
Katherine Trost, research analyst, Nemertes Research, said the results can be seen to "validate the company's unified communications strategy and direction. More than half of the IT practitioners we work with plan to bring unified communications capabilities into their call center operations."
Customer comments in the report singled out Aspect's unified communications vision as noteworthy, Nemertes officials said, adding that the company's product integrations with Microsoft Office Communications Server and Aspect's UC services practice also impressed users. 

Jim Foy, president and chief executive officer, Aspect, said "from virtualization capabilities, to unified communications tools, to system integration services, our customers' feedback is evaluated and incorporated into our product road map and corporate strategy."

Ufone -- which of course you recognize as PTML, or Pakistan Telecom Mobile Limited -- has signed an agreement with Teradata Corporation to expand its Teradata Active Enterprise Data Warehouse.
Abdul Aziz, chief executive officer, Ufone, said they want the Teradata technology to "better understand our customers and gain insight into their needs, and to be able to respond with matching services and offerings at competitive prices."

Since 2001 Ufone has used analytical products from Teradata to store information and analyze their information reserves.

Khuram Rahat, managing director, Teradata Pakistan said the agreement with Ufone should help the telecom "carry out detailed analysis and to make strategic and timely tactical decisions that better serve their customers while achieving optimal efficiencies in their operations."

PTML is a wholly owned subsidiary of Pakistan Telecommunication Corporation that started its operations in 2001 under the brand name Ufone. With PTCL's privatization, Ufone became a part of the Emirates Telecommunication Corporation Group in 2006.

Ufone has a subscriber base of over 20 million, network coverage in 10,000 locations and across all major highways of Pakistan. It currently caters for International Roaming to more than 260 live operators in more than 150 countries,and offers Pakistan's largest GPRS & BlackBerry Roaming.

Dublin, California-based Sybase 365 has announced the release of its mobile banking application for the iPhone available to financial institutions worldwide through the Sybase mBanking 365 platform. 
The app is intended to serve as a turnkey mobile banking product for financial institutions, helping them roll out banking capabilities to their customers "with Sybase 365 managing the entire infrastructure," vendor officials say. 
Sybase 365 also announced BBVA Compass as one of the first adopters of the app.

"It was most efficient for us to turn to Sybase 365 to manage the entire project and deploy all of the technologies," said Chris Causey, Vice President, Internet Banking Department BBVA Compass.

With the app BBVA Compass customers can now check balances, view posted and pending transactions, transfer funds between accounts, and interact with bank representatives using their iPhone. The Sybase 365 works with 800 mobile operators around the world.

"Mobile banking allows banks and financial institutions the ability to interact with their customers on the one screen they carry with them all day - their mobile device," says Matthew Talbot, vice president, mCommerce for Sybase 365. 

BBVA Compass is a subsidiary of Compass Bancshares, a wholly owned subsidiary of BBVA, a financial services group with more than $750 billion in total assets, 48 million clients, 8,000 branches and approximately 108,000 employees in more than 30 countries. BBVA ranks among the top seven largest financial institutions in the world based on market capitalization and 13th in Global Finance magazine's list of the "World's 50 Safest Banks" for 2009.

Yes, admittedly it's still a small portion of the total mobile market, but according to ABI Research practice director Dan Shey, business customers offer between 20 percent and 80 percent greater ARPUs than the average mobile consumer in emerging markets. 

The research firm also thinks mobile business customer revenues will grow over the next five years "from one to four percentage points more than the overall mobile services market."

But in what ABI officials say is "one of the most important statistics from analysis of the mobile business customer in emerging markets," about 72 percent of all mobile business customers are self-employed or work in businesses of fewer than 100 employees. 
This, they say, "presents great opportunities for mobile operators." As Shey explains, smaller businesses in emerging markets "still have relatively simple computing and connectivity needs, but these will evolve and become more sophisticated as the regions' economies grow. Operators in the emerging markets have the opportunity to become the primary providers of telecommunications and data services for a vast majority of companies in these regions."

The analysis also found that data services for emerging market mobile business customers will command an even greater portion of revenues than those in developed region markets, "growing to as high as 59 percent of total mobile services revenues by 2014."
Mobile broadband services connecting computing devices such as laptops, the study found,  will in most emerging market regions provide more revenue than messaging services by 2014.

New Global Telecom, a vendor of wholesale hosted IP Telephony Communication products, has certified the Cisco SPA500 series of IP phones "for use in conjunction with NGT's managed VoIP services," company officials say. 
NGT and Cisco plan to jointly market Small Business VoIP services and equipment to partners and end user businesses.

John Guillaume, senior vice president of sales and marketing for NGT, said Cisco's phones and "approach to the SMB space" were attractions for NGT, saying his company would "promote a series of Webinars, field events, and co-marketing engagements for potential resellers and agents."

The Cisco SPA500 phones comes with full duplex speakerphone and enhanced speech technology including support for HD voice (G.722). The phones are Cisco XML enabled for integration with applications to the device.

NGT provides cable operators, VARs, agents and resellers with tools for adding hosted and trunk-based VoIP and communications to their service offerings. NGT's Private Label and Agent offerings are turnkey, company officials say, and include the "elements to deploy VoIP and unified communications." 
Interested partners may sign up for the agent program and training.

And from Jakarta, Indonesia comes the news that Smart telecom, a national cellular operator, and Research In Motion have launched the EVDO-enabled BlackBerry Curve 8330 smartphone in Indonesia.

Smart will offer the BlackBerry Curve 8330 smartphone with two service plan options, Smart officials say -- Smart BlackBerry Hemat monthly for IDR 140,000 and Smart BlackBerry Hemat daily for IDR 5000.

The subscription allows customers unlimited Internet and e-mail access on Smart's network. The service also allows subscribers unlimited video streaming, access to instant messaging services such as BlackBerry Messenger, Yahoo! Messenger, Windows Live Messenger and Google Talk, and social networking sites such as Facebook and MySpace.

Activating BlackBerry service from the BlackBerry Curve 8330 requires users to send an SMS to 2233 with the text "ON Hemat30" for monthly service or "ON Hemat1" for daily service. To deactivate, users can send an SMS with the text "OFF" to 2233. 
Smart officials say there is "no condition on subscriber type, prepaid and postpaid customers" are welcome.

CDMA customers "in our country, for the first time," will get the BlackBerry platform "on our network," says Tom Alamas Dinharsa, Head of Device Technology & Special Projects, PT Smart Telecom.


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