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Hannover Re and Tata, CounterPath Bria, SharePoint, YouTube Porn

July 25, 2010

India's Tata Communications has been chosen by German reinsurance company Hannover Re to deploy and run its Telepresence facilities, according to Tata officials. Hannover Re will have Tata serving the group's internal teams in 18 locations across 16 countries, according to Tata officials, who say they'll roll out the Cisco Telepresence high-definition, immersive video collaboration systems to help employees based in Europe, North America, Asia, Middle East and Africa "collaborate with each other on a daily basis."

Under the terms of the agreement, Tata Communications will provide Hannover Re with deployment and installation of rooms, maintenance, management and 
concierge service for scheduling and reservations, the world's first public rooms, the world's first open global Telepresence exchange as well as the Cisco-certified Telepresence network.

Tata Communications' Telepresence services included in the deal have managed private Cisco Telepresence rooms, public Telepresence rooms that can be rented by the hour, and the ability for these private and public rooms to connect with each other.

"We expect that this will allow us to extend Telepresence based communication to business partners in a second phase," says Hartmut Fuchs, Hannover Re, CIO and Managing Director, Information and Technology. Read more here. ... Recently CounterPath announced Bria for iPhone, available for $3.99 at the Apple App store. Are you frustrated by SIP-based connectivity yourself? You may have a friend who can help you out. Industry observer Jim Courtney writes that as far as SIP-based connectivity goes, "my one learning across several attempts over the years to configure SIP-based softphones was that it's not a simple exercise but rather requires a certain level of technical expertise."

Indeed - we haven't even attempted it ourselves, as it appears fairly daunting. But Courtney found that "the team at CounterPath persisted.

Radvision's IP Webinar, NetForensics and Cisco, Ethernet Services Report, Mobile Video

July 21, 2010

Recently Radvision presented a good Webinar titled "Voice and Video over IP Communications: Assessing and Improving User Experience." Video deployment over IP is obviously experiencing a significant boom, but as you've not doubt noticed, the overall user experience does not always live up to expectations.  Radvision experts discussed "unique, no-reference, video measurement and analysis algorithms," according to company officials, passing onto viewers ways to improve the user experience for voice and video over IP communications. 

Webinar speakers discussed factors that can affect video quality, different methodologies to measure video quality, Radvision's offerings in the area and other topics of interest. According to presentations during the Webinar, the "expected Internet traffic volume for video calling in 2015 is 400 million TB." That's a lot of calling. And the market for IPTV video services will reach $26.3 billion by next year, 2011, and that's "not including advertising or value-added TV services." Presenters included Eli Cohen, Radvision's director of product management, and the creator of the Radvision ProLab Testing Suite. Cohen is primarily interested in creating and managing testing approaches for VoIP, 3G and video-quality-measurement algorithms. He's held various project management positions in Israel and France more than 11 years. Read more here. ... NetForensics, a seller in the Security Information and Event Management market, has joined the Cisco Developer Network as a Registered Developer within the network security technology category. Officials of netForensics nFX Cinxi One v4.1 also announced that the company completed interoperability testing with the Secure Borderless Networks system from Security Management. Interoperability testing is designed to simulate typical customer configurations, and does not replace the need for on-site testing in conjunction with actual implementation. This interoperability testing "helps ensure that netForensics nFX Cinxi One software easily interoperates with the following Cisco security products: ASA, IPS, IOS, ESA, WSA and CS-MARS," NetForensics officials say.   The nFX Cinxi One product also works with Cisco ASR, Access Control Server, CSA, CSA , Management Center, CatOS, Firewall Service Module, IDS, IOS, PIX and VPN products. The product is billed as a way to help customers meet security business requirements, particularly around compliance and log management. Read more here. ... Mobile video is on the rise - but how quickly is it being taken up in the United States?  To address this issue, Dialogic's Video Marketing Manager Martyn Davies recently sat down for an interview with TMC's Marisa Torrieri, who was skeptical about mobile video's growth. "I don't see much mobile video in the United States," Torrieri asked during the one-on-one podcast interview.

Phone.com, Smartphone Growth, DirecTV's 3D

July 21, 2010

Phone.com officials are announcing a new policy where if people sign up for any Virtual Office Phone.com service plan, they will receive 20 percent off the base price for the first six months. Phone.com marketing managers said that the use of this coupon code: "twentyoff" during the sign up process the customers will get 20 percent off their monthly BASE price of the plan they choose. Advertising that they can "take your business to the next level," Phone.com officials say the service can help present a professional image with an auto attendant, and that users can "use one phone number to reach all locations and staff, anywhere in the world." The service allows users to schedule incoming call forwarding based on their time and check voicemail by Web, e-mail or phone. "No hardware to purchase or maintain," company officials say. Recently TMC had the news that Phone.com's app Mobile Office "allows subscribers to make and receive calls and send and receive text messages from their Phone.com number using their Android phone." Read more here. ... Smartphone shipments are expected to grow 21 percent this year to 224 million, according to the latest forecasts from ABI Research. But what's driving all that growth may not be the phones you expect - or have even heard of. ABI's Vice president of forecasting, Jake Saunders, said yeah yeah, of course the latest iPhone or Android phones will grab the publicity, but that white box, or "Shanzai" handset manufacturers, are "reshaping the low-cost handset segment as they redefine the look and feel of the low-cost, ultra-low-cost segments." And speaking of Android phones, TMC's Raju Shanbhag reported that the mCUE product line from D2 Technologies "now supports the Skype's SkypeKit SDK. With the help of mCUE, OEMs and ODMs can "quickly and inexpensively" release Android OS-based devices to market. SkypeKit, Shanbhag wrote, "is a collection of software and APIs that allows Internet-connected devices or applications to offer Skype voice and video calls.

Babbel.com's Speech Recognition, D2's MCUE, Liguori at TNCI, Super Technologies

July 21, 2010

Babbel.com officials say they have integrated a speech recognition tool into its language learning system.

The feature "encourages practice and gives the opportunity to fine-tune pronunciation skills," they say, adding that the browser-based speech analysis "gives learners an instant evaluation, letting them know how close their pronunciation is to that of a native speaker." The new feature is included in all Babbel courses, and will take effect automatically, company officials say. No installation is necessary beyond the latest Flash Player. Many students of foreign languages can learn to read and write the language, but frequently can't do as much as order a bowl of soup in a restaurant should they find themselves actually in a country speaking the language. No, we're not speaking from experience here, we've just...

On-Board Processing, LiveOps and Flexibility, Alcatel-Lucent LTE, Cloud Computing New Zealand

July 21, 2010

If you're interested in signal gain, double-hop elimination, IP multiplexing and mesh networking without a teleport, check into satellite communications.

"On-board processing has the potential to bring video on-demand, capacity growth and convergence of ground and space networks, thus promising to revolutionize satellite as we know it," says Giovanni Verlini in a piece appearing Satellite Today.
The article tackles the question, "what exactly is on-board processing, and what are the characteristics of the payloads equipped with this technology?" As Jeff Snyder, group vice president, SkyTerra Communications explains the answer, satellite architectures "can be put into three categories: conventional bent-pipe radiofrequency systems, on-board processed bent-pipe systems and on-board digital processed systems." The first type, Snyder says, "is used in fixed service and direct broadcast satellites, the second type in systems such as SkyTerra satellites, while the last type is typical of systems such as the Iridium constellation." And it might not appear so at first, but Snyder assures us that "the differences between these systems are significant. On-board processed bent-pipe systems typically perform frequency channelization of signals by digitally processing them at baseband or near baseband." This means the channelized signals can then be "conditioned and processed prior to up-conversion for retransmission." Read more here. ... LTE networks "offer the promise of supporting the explosion in traffic arising from a new generation of mobile devices and applications," according to a recent white paper on the subject from Alcatel-Lucent. The introduction of LTE has several implications on the transport network. The paper does a good job of explaining six important implications: Higher capacity at lower cost.

Speedflow's AccuCore, Billing Software Options, Spiceworks' Reach, Google Voice

July 21, 2010

Speedflow is offering their AccuCore product, which is described by company officials as 'complex accounting and financial analysis software for all VoIP business processes.' It can be used for accounting of different business activities and has a tool for financial management as well.

Company officials say the product generates reports by IAS and GAAP standards. 'Besides,' they say, 'we have developed our own system of informative and convenient reports, which show all parameters of business processes and simplify financial analysis.'

The program can be integrated with external billing systems of VoIP business. It also allows for automatic data handling, the minimization of possible operators' mistakes, complete history storage of all data modifications, useful reports for financial analysis and 'simple parameters adjustment according to your requirements,' Speedflow officials say.

One module available is for comparison. 'CDR comparison is a frequent necessary measure in VoIP,' company officials say.

Intelestream CRM, Enterprise Voice, World Telecom Report, 911 Enable, ESET Cyber Crime

June 28, 2010

Intelestream recently issued a good white paper on ten considerations when purchasing a CRM system. Naturally there are more than that, but these ten, some of which are summarized here, give you a good head start on the process. Call them the Ten CRM Commandments, if you will. Before you buy your CRM, make sure that your company's decision makers, top executives, and stakeholders understand and embrace CRM as a business strategy. Just as important as embracing your CRM application as a business strategy, is calculating your CRM's return-on-investment. Make no mistake: CRM is costly. Calculating exactly how much you need upfront, for maintenance and for growth are key factors. Read more here. ... Synergy Research Group has recently published the Q1 2010 Enterprise Voice market shares, finding that the worldwide market for Enterprise Voice totaled $2.4 billion in Q1 2010. Latin America and APAC posted the largest increases.

NICE Blog, NetSuite CRM, IVR's Angel, Neustar, Lambeth Service Center

June 28, 2010

"Optimizing your Customer Dynamics," according to a recent blog post from the NICE blog, "gives you the ability to not only serve your customers via the communication channel preferred by them in a cost-effective manner, but to act upon the voice of the customer to improve business performance."  Tapping into the VoC, the blog notes, requires "the capacity to collectively analyze content from all sources of customer contacts, including telephone calls, emails, surveys, and web-based chats, or, in short, from cross-channel interaction analytics." The key is to transform the wealth of unstructured customer interaction data into a strategically useful form via speech and text mining algorithms, NICE officials say, "which will fuel drastic improvements in business performance and customer experience." Read more here. ... Kardia Health Systems had a challenge: They wanted to maximize their performance management, and the healthcare startup also needed to integrate accounting with forecasting and planning functions while improving customer support by integrating support with sales and billing information. Oh, and on top of that, reduce IT costs and increase functionality over existing fragmented systems. With fries, please. So after looking around at their options, they replaced the Microsoft Dynamics (Great Plains) with NetSuite's cloud-based CRM software. Among the reasons given by Kardia officials were that the NetSuite dashboards give managers visibility into complete company operations workflow speeds financial information gathering to optimize adaptive planning. Great. So how did it work out? Read more here. ... IVR vendor Angel.com has announced the success of its customer experience lab at Massachusetts Institute of Technology's School of Engineering, according to a recent report by TMCnet's Anshu Shrivastava. Through a course titled "Engineering Innovation and Design," MIT students were tasked with identifying a real-world problem to solve using voice applications.

FurstPerson, CivSource, DMC on CRM, Knowlagent, Schumer's Call Center Tax

June 28, 2010

Call center hiring solutions provider FurstPerson has produced a list of the seven best hiring practices: 1. Defining the Job. Carefully define the job by understanding the competencies that drive successful job performance. Typically, this is accomplished through a job analysis. For an organization seeking to improve new hire retention, the critical starting point is a job analysis for each major call type.

DruTelecom, AT&T Quality, Plantronics, SlingPlayer Mobile, HyperStratus

June 28, 2010

So nice to hear success stories, companies who've done well with their projects.

Dario Martini, CEO of Drulana Limited, or "DruTelecom," recently reported that "Mediacore Softswitch was implemented by our company about two months ago. We purchased Mediacore Softswitch in full packaging arrangement: softswitch, billing, transcoding, monitoring system of the VoIP connection quality Guardian." Mediacore, Martini said, is "the first softswitch for wholesale traffic we've owned. Of course, we studied the market of VoIP softswitches before we made our choice."

According to DruTelecom officials, the main Mediacore feature that had an effect on their decision-making was "this system's simplicity of use. Mediacore is efficient and multifunctional, an ideal modern instrument for VoIP operators, and at the same time it is supportive of users."

Martini explained that when he complimented Mediacore's being supportive of users, he meant, "the user-friendly interface, the tunability." In explaining "tunability," he noted that while most routines can be automated, what he called "the great number of useful and informative reports," in many cases system operative algorithms "can be more effective than manual control.

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