Contact Center and Service Provider Similarities
In his VoIP blog, Rich Tehrani writes:
I have been seeing an interesting trend in the communications space. In the last 2-3 years, more and more companies who used to focus on service providers have expanded their focus into the call center space. Acme Packet and NextPoint are a few examples of such companies. This is not so surprising mind you when you realize how remote agents resemble service provider customers and the theing they have in common is the need for an SBC.
In addition there has been growth in the hosted contact center market and as more service providers have become interested in providing such services worldwide they need to work with call center vendors who can supply them with the solutions they need. Virtual ACDs and hosted IVR solutions are just a few of these products.
There is more of course. In some cases, call center solutions need to be so big they actually require more switching power than is needed by a small city. This is why West Corporation -- a company in the outsourcing and other spaces is a Sonus customer.
One of the reasons there is a collocated Call Center 2.0 event at ITEXPO September 16-18 2008 in Los Angeles is so global decision makers -- whether they are enterprise, service provider, contact center or reseller can come together in one place and see the entire world of communications products and services.
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The IP-PB X Energy Wars... In his VoIP and Gadgets Blog,
TMC (News - Alert)
In his VoIP and Gadgets Blog, TMC CTO Tom Keating writes:
So today I get a new report from the Tolly Group stating that the ShoreTel
Unified Communications (News - Alert)
system is significantly more energy efficient than the Cisco Unified Communications Manager. ShoreTel apparently topped Cisco in using less energy to drive VoIP communications in specific large, medium and small enterprise-class scenarios.
Is that what it’s come down to? Instead of feature-to-feature comparisons we’re going to have to start comparing energy consumption? I’m not against the idea, I just find it kind of humorous that everyone is jumping on the enviro-green bandwagon.
I have to wonder if an IT manager, CTO, etc. might purchase a more efficient IP-
PBX (News - Alert)
over a less efficient one that has many more features? Well, certainly in San Francisco and other uber-green areas that might be the case. Green trumps everything when you’re a greenie - not that there’s anything wrong with that.
I should point out that the IT Manager or CTO often not held accountable to what the electricity costs are. Many businesses see their electricity bills just as one of the costs of running their businesses. Other than instructing their users to turn off their radios, monitors, and computers at night, most businesses don’t delve into purchasing energy efficient computer or phone equipment. That is changing due to high energy costs - albeit slowly.
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End of Line for Toll-Free Numbers?
In his Readerboard blog, Customer Interaction Solutions’ Brendan
B (News - Alert) Read writes:
July 31 was the ‘last run’ for the toll-free number connecting New Jersey Transit, the third largest transit agency in the US, with its customers.Could this be the beginning of the end for toll-free numbers in North America?
NJ Transit has since June been switching callers from 800-772-2222 to 973-275-5555. It abandoned toll-free to cut costs. The technology environment is finally right for ending toll-free service. NJ Transit, like many public agencies along with private companies, has been diverting calls away from live agents through the Internet, including a mobile-enabled site, and with proactive means such as automated outbound text alerts.
New Jersey residents, like many others across North America, have been switching from TDM to IP, which makes long distance charges irrelevant. My son, who lives in the central part of the state, bought IP with a package from his cable company. Also, North Americans are becoming used to paying per contact, as their counterparts in other parts of the world have long done, through their text messaging rates.
Who will be the next to follow in NJT’s path? Do I
hear any roar from the airlines?
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In his "On Rad’s Radar?" blog, Peter Radizeski of RADINFO, Inc. writes:
PCI DSS is like HIPAA in a lot of ways: buzz but no one has a handle on it. There’s more myth than fact, but who is going to sift through the hundreds of pages of law?
In most of these laws (HIPAA, PCI, SOX) it is a matter of securing data. Not encrypting it, but securing it - even in the physical form like file folders and paper. For example, if someone walks away with my yellow file folder filled with patient info is that any different that someone walking away with a PC (or server or laptop) with patient records or a DVD back-up copy? Not really. And we have had some doozy events lately including TJ Maxx, Sweetbay Supermarkets, and AT&T (News - Alert) laptops.
PCI DSS - Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard - is a compromise by VISA, MC, AmEx, DiscoverCard, and JCB Int’l to standardize the disparate security requirements. It is "intended to provide a baseline for best practices in card security". That’s the best way to describe it really. MasterCard has the SDA - "Site Data Protection" Program and VISA has its CISP - "Cardholder Information Security Program".
Firewall, software patching, and password security are three main ways to stay on top of this. CIO.com has a series of articles to help you get up to speed, since the PCI Compliance deadline just passed. VISA has 12 Steps to Compliance on its site.
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