Big Company IVR Headaches, Soffront CRM Blog, OneStopClick, Amdahl's Law and Multicore Processors

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Big Company IVR Headaches, Soffront CRM Blog, OneStopClick, Amdahl's Law and Multicore Processors

Want to hear about the sort of problems really successful businesses have? According to officials of South Africa’s ASG Performance Solutions, 1.8 million subscribers making 1.5 million calls a day represents a successful business with a big headache.

And yeah, even though companies big enough to have those kinds of problems can afford nice techie toys to help, it’s still a huge problem, because as ASG officials say, even with a best-in-class call center and interactive voice response system, “the sheer logistics of monitoring a system of this magnitude, and reporting at an operational and customer level, can be overwhelming.”

What you need is the right system and processes in place, and that’s Molo Innovation and ASG Performance Solutions’ area of expertise. Molo officials say when the company was approached by one of its top clients in the telecommunications space to provide real-time monitoring and reporting for its IVR, “ASG was a logical partner to bring on board.”

So you can take their word for it: When all is said and done, “reporting should always be underpinned by an appropriate data tool and process.” This means in order to gather information about the status of various IVR systems, they explain, when it came to tackling the project for their top telecom customer, “each client IVR node needed a data gathering application that would report activities on each IVR system to a centralized monitoring server.”

Read more here.

For cloud CRM issues, Soffront runs a pretty interesting blog. Recently they posted an article noting – correctly – that as a small business owner, “you cannot afford to invest in anything unless it provides an answer or grows your business.”

This being the case, small business database software designed for customer relationship management (CRM), they say, “can meet both these needs. CRM systems for small business are affordable and increasingly essential.”

It’s not that CRM systems make you stand out from the herd anymore, even for SMBs. It’s more like not having one identifies you from the crowd. And not in the sort of way you’d want. The good news is that CRM is now available to SMBs in affordable, efficient forms.

One way CRM software pays for itself is with automation. This can reduce the expense of communicating with your customers, Soffront officials say, explaining that by automating responses to customer questions or personalized alerts about sales or new products, “you or your employees are freed to do other tasks. Your customers get faster responses and a higher degree of satisfaction, and you get more time to focus on other aspects of your business.”

Read more here.

OneStopClick, which offers research of hosting products, recently posted an article for, as they say, “companies looking at ways to improve their sales and marketing departments by boosting efficiency and productivity.”

Sound good so far? A good first step towards that would be enabling mobile employees to “collaborate effectively with others within the business,” they say, noting that you “may find that cloud computing technology offers a wealth of different options to help them achieve this.”

Recent figures from IDC cited in the article show that investment in the cloud will expand from 2008’s £850 million to £5.2 billion by 2013, with much of this increase driven by companies looking to get “services such as Google Apps, cloud-based CRM systems and productivity tools such as SharePoint.”

A survey of IT managers at small and medium-sized enterprises conducted by ENISA, cited by OneStop, found that “52.8 per cent of respondents identified this as the IT application most likely to be outsourced to a cloud-based provider.”

Read more here.


Multicore processors – they’re “becoming the norm” in such things as smartphones and data centers, since, among other reasons, “extra processing power is good news for developers.”

That’s according to industry observer Tim Kridel, who notes that yes, like with so much else in this world, “there’s a catch: The real-world performance gains are often held back by old ways of thinking about coding, a caveat summed up in the oft-overlooked Amdahl’s Law.”

Okay, we’ve given you enough time: Remember Amdahl’s Law yet? No, that’s Moore’s Law you’re thinking of. And let’s not even mention Murphy’s Law. We’ll give you a bit more time.

Kridel recently spoke with University of Wisconsin Professor Mark Hill on Amdahl’s Law, how it affects multicore performance, why parallelism is key to unlocking multicore’s benefits and why the computing world could use a new Moore’s Law.

Hill told of an encounter he had with IBM researcher Thomas Puzak, who said that “everybody knows Amdahl’s Law but quickly forgets it,” according to Kridel, and how “harsh” it is: “If you’re 99 percent parallel and 1 percent serial, and you have 256 cores, how much faster do you think you can go? You’d think you get a speed-up of maybe 250 out of 256. The answer is a speed-up of 72. That 1 percent has already cost you that much.”

Read more here.

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