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Monet AnyWhere, Bridgewater and Sandvine, Network Intercept, Mobile Web

October 19, 2010

Monet AnyWhere is a product company officials are touting as a tool for "efficient agent and supervisor communication." Because who doesn't want that?
  Fast, real-time and effective communication between agents and supervisors, as anybody who's in the business knows, is "important for managing schedule adherence and exception planning." Monet AnyWhere provides an avenue for this communication through Web-enabled self-service applications.   "Agents are empowered to be more directly involved in the scheduling process by entering exceptions or bids and viewing their schedules at any time," company officials say, adding that supervisors aren't left out of the fun, as they can "save time spent manually entering agent requests and have access to key reports from outside the office," as well as "review agent schedules, approve or decline agent exceptions, schedule bids, and view critical reports."   Agents can use Monet AnyWhere to request changes to their schedule, since the requests are immediately sent to the agent's supervisor, who can approve or decline. In either case the agent is notified and the request is kept for future reporting. The product can also present unfilled shifts to agents on which to bid.   Read more here.
...   Mobile personalization company Bridgewater Systems and Sandvine, which sells network policy control products for fixed and mobile operators, have announced integration and interoperability testing enabling intelligent policy control tools for 3G and 4G mobile operators.   More specifically, officials of both firms announce interoperability of Sandvine's Policy Traffic Switch, which "detects network conditions, counts usage and enforces network and subscriber policy decisions defined by the Bridgewater Policy Controller to manage mobile data growth and deliver new services."   The testing included the PCRF Gx and Gy usage metering interfaces for 3GPP-compliant Policy Control Enforcement Points.   The joint policy tools let mobile operators deliver tiered services by applying policies that, for example, give Bronze subscribers 500 megabytes per month of data, with no peer-to-peer services or parental controls, while providing Gold subscribers with one gigabyte per month of data including peer-to-peer services and parental controls.   They can also be used to personalize application usage by applying policies such as allowing unlimited social networking for a fixed monthly fee, offering usage restrictions during school hours, and ensuring fair usage by applying policies based on subscriber service plans and real-time network congestion levels.   Read more here.
...   Network Intercept has announced a new partnership with Doozy Cards, as the e-card company selected Network Intercept's Keystroke Interference to secure and protect customer data when entered into the Doozy Card database, according to officials of both firms.
Doozy Cards, company officials say, "proactively responded to the possibility of keystroke-logging threats in their systems by installing Network Intercept's Keystroke Interference to secure all information in their databases."   They said this was necessary since "hackers continue to search for new modes to steal vital personal information, more often using keystroke-logging software to pry on unsuspecting victims."   Network Intercept's Keystroke Interference offering will be used to protect against this existing threat, rendering keystroke-logging software useless by "inserting randomized characters into every keystroke," according to Network Intercept officials, who explain that Keystroke Interference "ensures that any information collected by hackers is unusable, leaving personal information protected."   Read more here.
...   The mobile Web gained increasing momentum in August, according to officials of Opera Mini, who say page views increased by more than 14 percent and data transfers increased by almost 10 percent from July.   More than four million new Opera Mini users contributed to the jump," company officials say, "which is the largest gain in six months."   Some trends noted by the producers of the widely-used mobile browser:   In August 2010, Opera Mini had more than 66.5 million users, a 6.8 percent increase from July 2010. Since August 2009, the number of unique users has increased 108.3 percent.   Opera Mini users viewed more than 33.9 billion pages in August 2010.

WAN Optimization, Virtual Private Servers, Cloud Communications, Wireless Headsets

October 19, 2010

"A tech-support call starts it all," says industry observer John Brandon, who certainly sounds like he knows what he's dealt with a few of these perennial questions: "Why is my application running slow? What happened to my spreadsheet data? Is HQ using a 56K modem to handle traffic for my branch office -- again?"
  And then, as he says, "the number of calls suddenly increases, and network analysis reveals unforeseen usage spikes at a new marketing location. The dream of data-center consolidation turns into a nightmare."
  So what to do?

Digital Content Market, Mitel's IP, Recording Call Benefits, Bria and SMBs

October 19, 2010

According to a new report by market research firm the NPD Group, there is "a large and untapped market" for devices that offer connected capabilities and the digital content played on those devices.   Russ Crupnick, vice president and senior entertainment analyst for NPD, said "what we learned in our research is that while some people already experience the world in a connected way, most do not."   Hard to imagine any sector of the digital content or devices market being virgin, pristine wilderness, untapped in some way, but evidently that's the case. According to NPD's report, as the industry grows consumers are beginning to access a broader array of content and services, and they are doing so from more devices.   Read more here.
  ...   Mitel, which sells unified communications software, has announced that it will provide the IP Telephony System for the 2010 Ryder Cup, taking place Oct. 1 to 3, at the Celtic Manor Resort in Wales.   "The Ryder Cup's quick build up and tear down make it a unique challenge," said Graham Bevington, EMEA managing director of Mitel. "The technology has to be ready to go, perform flawlessly, and connect many locations and functions." Indeed, in order to pack hunt Tiger Woods across the course as if he's the only golfer in existence, quick communications are essential.   Mitel's solution supports onsite event staff, media, and hospitality facilities across the site. Not like there'll be any undue coverage of Tiger Woods at this year's event, of course, but it never hurts to be prepared.

Mobile Multimedia Services, Managed Services, Ooma for Calls, Mobile Video Profit

October 16, 2010

Ooma provides free home phone service "once you purchase our device for a one-time fee," company officials say. Sound good? Let's see how it works:   Plug your high-speed Internet and existing home phone into Ooma and call anywhere in the U.S. for free.

Customer Best Practices, Smart 4G Backhaul, Customer Loyalty

October 16, 2010

Your contact center, Alcatel-Lucent officials say, provides "the most powerful way for you to dynamically engage customers and create superior customer service experiences."   The Alcatel-Lucent OmniGenesys Contact Center is based on the integration of the Genesys Suite call center software and the Alcatel-Lucent OmniPCX Enterprise enterprise communications product. This enables high-end, multimedia customer interactions that increase your competitiveness and profitability.   Using the dynamic contact center and your communications network, the OmniGenesys offering "allows you to continuously adapt your contact center to your business environment to make the most of your communications and contact center investments, " company officials say.    "It extends the reach of your customer interactions beyond the traditional borders of a contact center by integrating collaboration tools, network performance management that monitors customer interactions, and a series of solutions that connect your entire organization to customer service."   Read more here.
  ...   A Webinar titled "Enabling 4G Backhaul without Breaking the Bank," was presented Wednesday September 15.   Advances in wireless technology have exceeded the expectations of consumers and network operators alike, as Webinar officials pointed out, saying as 3G networks feel the strain of users' insatiable demand for mobile applications and the migration to 4G networks approaches, Webinar organizers say, the demands on backhaul transport are becoming acute.   A good example of this is the impact AT&T & Verizon have felt on their networks from devices like the iPhone and the HTC Droid. The remedy to this challenge, according to the presenters, is enhanced base-station coverage as well as deployment of 4G next-generation networks. These activities will require a dramatic expansion of backhaul capacity and coverage.   Presenters included Paul Obsitnik, with more than 17 years experience in sales, marketing and business development positions and a proven track record in technology companies.

Euronet and Expand, Mobiglobe IP, Call Center Schedules, VoIPSwitch

October 16, 2010

Monet Software officials recently posted a blog entry noting that in a recent survey and study by ICMI, one of the top challenges mentioned by call center managers was "consistent adherence to schedule."

Nobody who's worked as a call center manager is in the least surprised by this, of course.
  The blog mentions that in another study by DMG, over 30 percent of call center managers indicated that agent adherence is a key challenge. Again, no surprise at all to anybody in the business.   In fact, Monet officials say, "In December 2009, we did a workforce management survey and asked call centers (non customers) about their practices regarding forecasting and scheduling. One question was related to schedule adherence. We were surprised that 50 percent did not monitor schedule adherence.

IVR Doc on Call, VoiceXML and Asia, Cisco Best Practices, Call Center Analytics

October 16, 2010

The CSI Call Center blog recently posted -- what? No, not that CSI. This is Coordinated Systems, Inc., the blog "assembles tips for improving the call center agent performance and helping teams evolve into world class call centers." If you find a body in your back yard you'll have to call, um, those other guys.
  "It's a given," the blog says, "that Speech Analytics has good buzz, but let's step back a second before we assume everyone understands what Speech can do for you. Different people interpret Speech technologies in different ways.

Gigamon Tools, Satellite Optimization, Effective Cold Calling

October 16, 2010

This just in -- Cold calling is not dead. Good news? Bad news? Sales guru Ken Murray thinks there are five reasons why this is good news.
"More companies than ever have increased their efforts with good old fashioned cold calling," Murray says, adding that "the challenging economy has pushed companies to reduce their more costly outside sales efforts and replace them with cold calling...

Cloud and Metaswitch, Managed Provider, Automating Network Management

October 16, 2010

Is automation the right path for improving network management capabilities?   According to industry expert Pam Snaith, a product marketing manager in the enterprise systems management business unit of CA Enterprise Systems Management, "one decision to make regarding network configuration and change management is what solution you are going to deploy -- a niche stand-alone application or one incorporated into your fault and performance management solution."   The more tools you have, Snaith says, "the less integrated the management of various technology domains and the less efficient your IT staff will be." As she explains, a niche tool only exhibits its excellence in its native environment: "With many different vendors and platforms, the amount of manual correlation is significant and you lose the opportunity to speed up and clean up change processes."   A single tool has the advantage of allowing administrators to have control of who has viewing access, Snaith explains, "or can perform configuration tasks, further reducing errors. The combination of a single tool, plus automation, will bring clarity to change management." So for a change of pace, she says, try automation.   Read more here.
...   Choosing a managed network services provider? There are five things you should consider.   Service Offerings. The MSP should focus on understanding your unique service needs, and meeting them with a business orientation that goes beyond offering all customers a "cookie cutter" solution.

Metaswitch and IP, ECaTS Drivers, IVR Industry Changes, Three Messages Per Lead?

October 16, 2010

Phone tag? Oh please. It's much worse than that.

"Somehow, the memo hasn't reached salespeople that their prospects hide behind voicemail," says the much put-upon blogger for the Soffront blog. "Here in Silicon Valley, the birthplace of voicemail, people have become adept at ignoring the phone."

According to this writer, who speaks from experience the way survivors of jet crashes do, "it takes an average of 8-14 phone calls to reach a potential prospect, and salespeople must juggle hundreds of contacts who require daily follow ups.

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