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David Sims
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REVE Mobile VoIP, Home Control Software, Anritsu and LTE, Envivio's Growth

October 12, 2010

Recently TMC's CEO, Rich Tehrani, had the opportunity to interview Evivio's President and CEO, Julien Signes. The company makes infrastructure for video processing, allowing operators to deploy video services on any device, such as the iPhone, iPad or an HD set, all together in one network offering.   In terms of adoption and growth, Signes agreed with Tehrani that yes, these are interesting times, given the uptick in video evolution for IP.   "We see new devices such as the iPhone, the iPad, and the new smart phones and PCs--video's a big part of the consumer attraction to these devices. This is a big component of our success," he noted.   Understanding the need of the consumers for all these devices is "very exciting" for us, Signes said, adding that his company has to be aware of new evolutions of protocols. "Our company promise is we will deliver video in the optimal way on any network and any device."
Read more here.
...   Recently TMC's CEO, Rich Tehrani, had a chance to interview the product marketing manager of Anritsu, David Bolan.   Bolan explained that he was with the microwave measurements division of Anritsu, which makes high-end handheld products, one of which he brought along for the interview.

Skype ROI, SAP's Stiles, Cloud Computing, Virtualization Challenges

October 12, 2010

Recently TMC's CEO, Rich Tehrani had the opportunity to sit down and interview Alex Henthorn-Iwane, Vice President of Marketing at Packet Design, which is a network management company focused on helping clients understand the complex dynamics of their IP networks.   The aggregation of media, specifically more real time media, such as video and voice, has made the company's services "more critical," he said. "The wave of video and interactive media made business and consumer communications more real time, more critical."
If you're a retail provider you realize data is more sensitive and you have to build more redundant networks to get the data there, but that makes them more complex to manage and understand," he pointed out.   Henthorn-Iwane further noted that the company is seeing trends that tend to increase network complexity. The move to MPLS, from a management position, is a thorn in their side, he said. It's been going on for over a decade, and now that companies have outsourced their WAN to Verizon or to AT&T or whoever, "they don't have insight into their networks, they can't tell how things are working."   Read more here.
...   As the title of a good white paper from Pace Harmon issued in Aug. puts it, "Cloud Computing: Where does it fit within your Enterprise IT plans?"   The paper has a good overall discussion of the topic, and lists some good reasons why you would -- and why you wouldn't -- use cloud computing.

Turner's Top 5, Pulse VoIP Billing, Kentucky Call Center, Voice XML

October 8, 2010

Thank Paul Turner, COO at New Voice Media, for a good list of "five ways that technology can make life simpler for contact center agents:"
  1. Routing calls. Ensuring that calls go through to the right agent is one of the most crucial functions of a contact centre, as both callers and call handlers can get frustrated when calls are misplaced. One common criticism is that it is rare for a caller to speak to the same agent more than once, even though the technology is in place to facilitate effective call routing.

Telemarketing Lesson, Avaya E911

October 8, 2010

Here are three lessons learned the h-a-r-d way, folks: When you're making calls -- or training a telemarketing group in a call center making calls -- on behalf of a technology company, keep these three principles in mind:   Don't ask for the person you think is the decision maker. Everyone is the decision maker.
  Don't limit your solution sale to what you think they need; that biases and limits possibility. Let them explore the full range of possibilities and you can sell them more.   At the front end of the buying journey, you don't need to know a lot of detail about what you are selling. But you need to know the elements involved in their buying decision journey.   Those are compliments of Sharon Drew Morgen, author of Selling with Integrity and other books.

Overstock Credits, 4G Wireless, Expand Networks, Android Webinar

October 8, 2010

Online retailer Overstock.com was incurring unnecessary expenses due to inaccurate and incomplete customer data provided by customers during checkout. And the bad data resulted in wasted time, money, and unsatisfied customers.   This was a problem. But according to a recent white paper from Experian QAS, there was also a solution on the horizon.
  So company officials decided to implement QAS ProWeb in Overstock.com's checkout process to verify customer addresses, automatically correcting minor mistakes and prompting customers to fix critical errors, to ensure order deliverability and improve customer satisfaction, according to the paper.   The results were worth it. "In the first year of using address verification software tools from Experian QAS," Experian officials say, "Overstock.com reduced its logistical and customer care costs by close to $1,000,000.

Avoiding KM Fails, CallFire's Growth, Customer Feedback Webinar, Capture Addresses

October 8, 2010

According to Helium.com, a knowledge management information system "is put in place with a particular objective, to capture knowledge where it is being created within the organization." Sounds fair enough.   As the author, PeterHann, explains, "the system should be designed to ensure that the relevant knowledge, whether created internally or externally, is made available to the relevant people in the organization at the relevant time."
This is because, as Hann says, there are two main elements to the knowledge management information system: "These are firstly the people, who create the knowledge and use it in their projects, and secondly the information technology system used as a tool to receive, classify, store and distribute the information."   So where a knowledge management system fails, Hann thinks, "it is likely to be a consequence of a failure either of the people who are involved in the process, or of the information technology system that is being used. Failure is particularly likely at those points where the human users of the system interact with the information technology - the interfaces between people and software."   Read more here.
...   According to CallFire officials, Inc. magazine recently ranked the company number 285 on its 29th annual Inc. 500, an exclusive ranking of the nation's fastest-growing private companies.
For specific placements, CallFire came in as the #2 cloud computing service and #18 overall company in the Los Angeles region.   The list, according to CallFire officials, represents "the most comprehensive look at the most important segment of the economy--America's independent-minded entrepreneurs. Companies such as Microsoft, Zappos, Intuit, GoDaddy, Zipcar, Clif Bar, American Apparel, Oracle, and many other well-known names gained early exposure as members of the Inc. 500."   Within the telecommunications industry, CallFire ranked #15 among companies like ClearAccess and Xirrus.   Dinesh Ravishanker, CEO of CallFire, attributes the strong growth to "economic circumstances requiring SMBs to leverage cost & time saving technologies like CallFire." He adds that "CallFire also released our Phone Tree product (a powerful inbound and oubound IVR utility) which has been adopted by thousands of businesses which drove 20-30 percent of our revenue growth in less than a year," CallFire officials say.   Read more here.
...   A Webinar titled "Transforming Feedback into Profits: Best Practices for Capturing and Acting on Voice of Customer Feedback in the Contact Center" will be presented on Tuesday, September 14, 2010 2:00 PM EDT / 11:00 AM PDT.   As a critical customer touch point, your contact center is an ideal place to capture customer satisfaction information, Webinar presenters say. The challenge lies in making it easy for customers to provide the right level of feedback at the right time, and ensuring that feedback is acted upon on both an operational level (fixing their individual problem) and a strategic level (evaluating your business processes and determining whether changes are needed).   Webinar attendees will get real-world examples of how companies are transforming contact center feedback into competitive advantage.

United Video Communications, Mobile Advertising, Single-Chip Control

September 28, 2010

 If you're interested in "Creating an Effective Mobile Advertising Ecosystem," you're in luck -- Alcatel-Lucent has recently produced an excellent study of the subject.   "The mobile advertising space is poised for growth," the study finds, adding that however, "the promise of significant revenues has predictably caused a meteoric rise in the number of companies jockeying for position, muddying the waters and making it increasingly difficult for companies across this emerging business ecosystem to work together to achieve positive results."   The study finds that meeting each stakeholder's needs is absolutely crucial. It identifies the key stakeholders, and gives useful advice in meeting their needs, observing that "an effective mobile advertising solution serves the needs of three distinct groups: mobile operators; brands, marketers, media buyers and sellers; and subscribers."   Mobile operators. Most mobile advertising is delivered over the top of their networks by application and content providers (market rivals including Google and Apple). As a result, mobile operators are providing the pipes (for advertisers to communicate with their subscribers), but not getting a great return on that investment.   Read more here.
...   A recent white paper from Alcatel-Lucent takes a fine, in-depth look at the issue of, as the title would suggest, "Improving Business Operations with Unified Video Communications." The entire paper is well worth a read, it goes into useful detail on this complex topic.   Basically, Medium and large enterprises are finding new opportunities to reduce costs and improve team collaboration and customer service by deploying the latest enterprise video solutions.

Online CRM, Voxeo's Portal, Moshi Voice Control, BMC's Remedy Service Desk

September 28, 2010

A helpful recent study by David Tabor in CIO kicks off with "CRM systems are where the richest data about customer relationships is supposed to live, and most CRM systems provide a report-writing system as well as dozens of canned reports."
  Reports, he notes, "immediately expose data quality problems and some of them can provide dangerous misinformation... reports really do make a difference in managing your business. But first, let's look at the foundation: meaningful data."   Ay, there's the rub. Data hygiene.

Ooyala's $22 Million, Google and Cyberbullies, Hosted VoIP for SMB, Aptela's VoIP

September 28, 2010

Large, international investors are finding the online video space an attractive place for investment these days. In the most recent news Ooyala "has announced a $22 million Series D round, led by the CID Group, a Shanghai-based venture capital firm and ITOCHU Technology Ventures, the venture unit of the Tokyo-based ITOCHU," according to TechCrunch.   Industry observer Jim O'Neill notes that "Ooyala CEO Jay Fulcher said online video in the APAC region is expanding rapidly and having CID and ITV aboard as investors would help Ooyala grow in the area. CID, which has more than $1 billion under management."   Ooyala is in online video technology, including video analytics and monetization. With Ooyala's online video platform, content owners can get viewer insights for increased video engagement and better monetization.

Blackboard Alerts, Amie and Amazon, Robot for Software, Tellme's Shirk

September 27, 2010

On the morning of January 27, 2010, Northwestern University Police were notified that a man with a gun had been seen in a campus building elevator. According to a recent white paper written by Blackboard, after the threat was deemed credible, university police began searching the building and adjoining buildings while University Relations, the university's communications office immediately began informing students, faculty and staff of the potential danger.   Most important was ensuring that constituents had the opportunity to either take onsite safety precautions or avoid the area altogether.   "In a crisis, we have the challenge of trying to reach our constituents all over the Chicago metropolitan area, regardless of the time of day. And the Chicago metropolitan area is a big space," said Alan Cubbage, vice president for university relations.   Administrators used the Blackboard Connect service to warn stakeholders of the danger.
  "Blackboard Connect allowed us to do so in a timely manner. It has been a valuable addition to our emergency communications systems," Cubbage said.
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