DHT and InVision, PilotFish and SAP, CEVA, BlueAnt, HomeFinder.com, BVS, Catalyst and ScanSource

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

DHT and InVision, PilotFish and SAP, CEVA, BlueAnt, HomeFinder.com, BVS, Catalyst and ScanSource

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is... folks, it's just a Rod Stewart "Big Bayou" kind of day -- crank up the Chuck Berry riffs, the pounding honky-tonk piano, the Muscle Shoals horns, the good-time Southern-fried songwriting and let 'er rip:

Dependable HomeTech, a Canada- based provider of technology support services for residential and business customers, has selected InVision Enterprise WFM for scheduling its call center agents.
By implementing the technology from InVision Software, a vendor of enterprise-wide workforce management tools, DHT officials said they're trying to improve the efficiency of their disparate service departments - "This will result in a better service at the appropriate times for customers and a reduction in labor costs."

DHT employs 500 people in total, with 150 of them working in the DHT headquarters-based call center. They get calls from residential and business customers, provide technical support and premium support over the phone or online.
The company's decision to purchase InVision's software was influenced by "several factors," DHT officials say, "besides economic reasons and InVision's competitive pricing."
Evidently DHT required one single platform for planning across disparate departments in order to achieve "flexibility in staff planning," company officials say, adding that they liked InVision's optimization engine and the module AutoScheduler: "Now, the planners at DHT can create requirement-driven and optimized schedules at the push of a button while meeting all scheduling constraints."

Founded in 1995 and based in Ratingen, Germany, InVision employs more than 210 WFM specialists and has offices across Europe, North America, and South Africa.

PilotFish Technology officials say they've enhanced their XCS eiConsole to support the SAP IDoc formats.
The XCS eiConsole is a graphical Integrated Development Environment for developing, deploying, managing, and maintaining interfaces "between any system and any other system regardless of platform, operating system, database, data format, or communications protocol," company officials claim.
The XCS eiConsole, with support for SAP IDoc integration, is being marketed as a way to get capabilities designed to slash the time required to parse, produce, and map IDoc data formats - it "address the subtleties of working with SAP IDoc."

In addition to supporting the SAP IDoc formats, the XCS eiConsole supports all major XML standards, EDI formats, and connectivity options, such as database, file directory, e-mail, FTP, HTTP, JMS, RMI, SOAP Web Service, what have you. This would make integrating SAP systems a whole lot easier.

You can get a free 90-day evaluation download of the XCS eiConsole with support from the PilotFish site linked above. Yes, there's an on-line tutorial with step-by-step instructions on how to build, test and deploy a sample SAP IDoc interface.

Based in Middletown, Connecticut, PilotFish provides software and services to enable the integration of disparate systems using XML standards.

CEVA, a licensor of silicon intellectual property platform tools and DSP cores, and Gennum Corporation's Snowbush IP Group have announced a partnership to deliver a Serial Attached SCSI (SAS) 2.0 IP product optimized for embedded storage applications.
The offering combines Snowbush silicon-proven 6.0Gbps PHY IP with CEVA's SAS 2.0 Controller IP.

"SAS-enabled storage tools are one of the biggest drivers for the enterprise storage industry and we have worked closely with Snowbush's Storage IP Group," said Aviv Malinovitch, vice president, operations at CEVA, noting their suite and the "flexibility of our SAS offering" is good for deployment in embedded SSD controllers, "removing the need for discrete bridge chips."

With ever-increasing requirements for higher performance and higher reliability, the enterprise storage industry is evolving from parallel SCSI to Serial Attached SCSI. SAS 2.0 doubles the line rate to 6Gbps compared to the previous generation, and by offering a licensable SAS 2.0 product, CEVA and Snowbush officials see themselves as positioned to "exploit the growing demand for embeddable SAS 2.0 IP, particularly for Solid State Drive applications," where CEVA and Snowbush have experience.

Ewald Liess, General Manager of the Snowbush IP Group for Gennum, said that by integrating best-of-breed technologies from both companies, "we can offer a PHY plus Controller SAS 2.0 IP to our customers, further shortening the time to market for SAS 2.0 products."

Come January 1, Oregon drivers will face a fine for talking on a handheld communication device while driving.
If you're under 18 you're banned from using any type of cell phone device behind the wheel, if you're over 18 you'll be allowed to use a hands-free device. And if they catch you, well, you could be looking at a ticket and a $90 fine.

BlueAnt Wireless has an idea: The company's encouraging Oregon drivers -- First Coffee's sure they wouldn't mind if non-Oregonians also did this - to consider its line of Bluetooth headsets and car speakerphones with voice control technology.
Voice control technology takes a lot of the hassle out of hands-free, as it eliminates the need to pick up the phone to check caller ID or dial a number, or remember button sequences to adjust volume or other settings on a hands-free device.

BlueAnt Executive Chairman, Taisen Maddern, explains that the voice control technology "announces incoming calls and in turn, the user can talk back to answer or reject calls, eliminating the need for drivers to take their attention off the road."

Still, when you're considering the wide variety of devices on the market, consider where will you use your hands-free device? If the answer is while driving only, a car speakerphone may be best. This is also something to think about if you switch or rent cars frequently, as you will be better served with a sun visor speakerphone that can clip on and off to move with you.
People looking to use their hands-free device in the car as well as while walking, working and multitasking throughout the day should lean towards a headset.
Do you want something simple and safe to use? Voice control provides a safe means of operation, as well as a simple set up process. This is probably the good option for the technophobe on your Christmas list.

Think about phone compatibility as well - you'll most likely want something with Bluetooth technology. And, BlueAnt officials advise, "if you use more than one mobile phone, such as a personal and a work phone, or if you plan to share your hands-free device with another person, look for hands-free devices that support multipoint technology."

Headquartered in Melbourne, BlueAnt also has offices in Silicon Valley and London.

HomeFinder.com, which connects home buyers, sellers and real estate professionals locally and nationally, has announced the launch of "Open Houses," which company officials describe as an iPhone app for helping home buyers find open houses and connect with a qualified local Realtor.
As one company official remarked, "Mobile applications are best when they focus on one thing very well. Home buyers will always want to tour homes, and sellers and their agents will always want to be found. Our Open Houses app makes that happen without the clutter that plagues so many mobile real estate applications."
The free app can be downloaded from the iPhone App Store, and it'll run on the iPod Touch too. Company officials say HomeFinder.com's listing database has over 3.5 million homes for sale, so if you can't find anything you like maybe you should re-examine your checklist.

It already has partnerships with 130+ local newspapers across the country, which gives it a lot of listings: "The Open Houses app will be marketed aggressively to active home buyers," company officials say.

It features one click access to open houses around a user's location through the iPhone's native location-aware technology, plus search filtering to pinpoint the areas, price range and property types for a particular search.
And as you no doubt guessed, there's access to contacting selling agents via e-mail or phone about a specific property from within the application, integrated mapping and point-to-point driving directions through Google Maps.

Berkeley Varitronics Systems, which sells wireless products and products to the domestic and international wireless telecommunications industry, has announced the release of a hand-held cell phone detector -- fittingly -- called the Bloodhound.
And why is it called the Bloodhound, we hear you ask: Friends, this will enable security officers to "scan real-time for unauthorized cell phone activity in correctional facilities and detect the precise location of the caller using a Direction Finding Antenna."

Evidently "more and more contraband cell phones are being smuggled into correctional facilities in order to conduct criminal activity," according to Texas State Senator John Whitmire. He should know: He received threatening calls from a death row inmate with a cell phone.
Here's just what we know about the problem: In 2008 correctional officers confiscated 847 contraband cell phones in Maryland prisons, 2,809 cell phones in California prisons and 1,861 cell phones in Mississippi prisons. Federal prison officers found 1,623 cell phones. Those are just the ones we know about.

The FCC has been petitioned to allow cell phone jamming, BVS says. However, according to Steve Largent, President and CEO of CTIA - The Wireless Association, and a Hall of Fame former wide receiver for the Seattle Seahawks, cell phone jamming will not fully address the growing problem.
Largent instead proposes a cell detector technology to let security officers locate a cell phone inside a correctional facility "without interfering with citizens' or public safety communications."

BVS would like to offer just such a product: The Bloodhound is designed to track down and pinpoint contraband cell phones without interfering with authorized communication channels: "Unlike most systems that require an entire network infrastructure of wireless sensors hard-wired throughout a facility, which is expensive and difficult to deploy, the mobile Bloodhound has a high speed scanning multi-band receiver harnessed to a DF-Direction Finding Antenna."
This antenna lets security officers sniff out the RF energy, and the device's algorithm can trigger on to a cell phone while in use. An onboard pulsating laser will ID the target with a blinking laser dot while in the DF mode.

Catalyst Telecom, a sales unit of ScanSource and value-added distributor of voice, video and data convergence products, has signed a distribution agreement with Sipera Systems, which sells communications security appliance hardware and maintenance services.

Sipera's products secure voice, video, collaboration and other real-time communications in converged IP networks to any endpoint. "By offering these, resellers can assure users that the VoIP and Unified Communications they are offering are secure, company officials say.

John Black, president, Catalyst Telecom, noted that oftentimes, "end users are hesitant to implement UC because of security concerns."

Dean Roth, vice president of Sales, Central Region, Sipera Systems, agrees, saying that "technology analysts have reported that security is one of the chief concerns that can inhibit an enterprise from adopting VoIP and UC."

Sipera also offers VIPER Lab professional services, available through Catalyst, which include vulnerability assessments and architecture consulting. Resellers can use the service to ensure that their end users' VoIP and UC projects support compliance with security mandates, such as student or patient data privacy, as well as financial transaction and consumer information confidentiality.
The result is billed by company officials as "faster, more confident adoption of new UC applications, expansion to new network segments and users, and greater project success."

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1 Comment

Voip Business Phone Systems may cost higher initially than a traditional phone system but should save you money on calls in the long run so companies need to decide if the investment is worth it. The option of starting small and building out is an option for companies who are not ready to invest in the entire service.

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