VoIP and Telecom Quality, IVR and Automated Business Processes, Knowledge Management Challenges, Chat Translation and Ulysses?

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VoIP and Telecom Quality, IVR and Automated Business Processes, Knowledge Management Challenges, Chat Translation and Ulysses?

Industry observer Dan Baker recently conducted a great interview with Neal Axelrad, CEO and co-founder of GCS and veteran of the VoIP industry working with companies such as ITXC (now Tata Services) and Infiniroute (now TNS).


Axelrad talks about how VoIP is now “one of telecom’s greatest success stories.”

Baker himself credits network engineering innovation for much of the improvement, but draws attention to what he feels is “another equally important factor often overlooked: the competitive wholesale telecom market that we have, particularly in the U.S.”

As Baker says, take VoIP provider Vonage as an example. They have “little to no direct engineering control over the networks its traffic rides on,” but they do have purchasing power. And when such providers use their purchasing power to route traffic, “VoIP retailers reward the wholesale suppliers who deliver traffic at the right quality and price points.”

To work so well, Baker says, the market needs Global Convergence Solutions, for automating LCR, and he talks with Axelrad in hopes of “demystifying the art of what GCS calls dynamic route management or next-generation LCR.”

Read more here.

A recent white paper from IVR leader Angel.com, titled “Using Voice Site Technology to Automate Business Processes” is jam-packed with great advice and insight.

The basic idea is that speech applications promise their ROI by automating routine call center tasks. This reduces live operator costs, and if done correctly it can greatly reduce overhead expense. However, the ROI is somewhat blunted by high up-front costs, complex implementations, and lengthy deployment times, as well as industry quirks.

As Angel.com says, the potential of speech apps coupled with recognizable market imperfections has created a market for Voice Sites. They use existing technology infrastructure, and allow the creation, deployment, and management of speech apps that make these applications useful and profitable for automating business processes as the Web.

After discussing the current market opportunity for speech and market inefficiencies in the speech industry, the paper says from a caller perspective, Voice Sites are kind of like the speech apps already in place, but are built, deployed, and managed entirely through a Web browser. Delivered in a Software as a Service model, they can offer superior price and performance for companies already deploying applications, the way SaaS usually does.

Read more here.

There is an interesting article in the Kansas City Examiner, by industry observer Chiedozie Chukwu, a senior IT consultant in Kansas City, on the challenges of knowledge management.

“Businesses must focus on sharing knowledge across the organization,” Chukwu said, “storing it for future, lesser experienced employees, categorizing massive amounts of data, and using or purchasing tools to mine this data. This is knowledge management.”

Chukwu does the valuable service of imparting some words of wisdom pretty much everybody should consider to succeed with a Knowledge Management, whether starting a system or running an existing one: There will be some failure. It’ll happen when the KM effort focuses on the technology side, Chukwu says, to the detriment of adequately addressing the non-technology issues of the organization. Basically, trying to use technology to address what’s essentially an organizational issue is as sure a road to failure as you’ll find in a KM project.

You need to motivate your people to use the Knowledge Management system. Don’t overlook this step, many a perfectly good system has quietly died because nobody uses it. Chukwu says the managers' job will be to introduce “the most useful application and processes first,” as well as cooking up a rewards system to encourage folks to actually share knowledge.

Read more here.

Well, this is a bit like being back in college lit classes we thought would lead to a lucrative, rewarding career as an idiosyncratic novelist living in a London garret. Fast Company has an article about chat translation featuring James Joyce’s modern classic novel, Ulysses.

“James Joyce would have adored Google Translate,” FC says, pointing as evidence to the semi-incoherent Ulysses and the not- even- pretending- to- make- sense- Finnegan’s Wake, and saying Joyce was “first a translator, a student, and teacher of modern languages.”

But last month, FC said, Google started killing off its Translate API, a move which “shocked a lot of people, especially developers who'd baked Google Translate into their products.”

Read more here.


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