I am reporting live right from the center of the action here in the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Miami, Florida, during the third day of our Internet Telephony Conference & EXPO Spring 2005. This morning’s keynote session, which took place in the Flager room, was headed by moderator and TMC President Rich Tehrani and keynote speakers Ed Cespedes from Voiceglo; and Aspect Communications’ Gary Barnett.
Ed Cespedes’ Keynote Presentation
Cespedes began his speech with a brief explanation of the current state of the VoIP industry. He described the pioneer-crowded industry as one with many challenges to be taken on by organizations willing to invest significantly in the many new business opportunities available in the extensive market.
Cespedes mentioned that we are all used to seeing marketing messages of cellular operators, for example, presenting new features for cellular devices such as camera, video recording, Web browsing, e-mail, and text messaging; however, we hardly see a marketing message advertising VoIP-based calling features, for example, of PCs.
Cespedes also presented the result of an unscientific analysis that found that only thirteen percent of consumers have showed interest in VoIP-based services and products, which could be translated into the general idea that VoIP adoption is real, but measured.
He also went on to listing online companies that were highly popular and public, but eventually failed by filing bankruptcy such as Excite @Home, Webvan, Etoys and Pets.com. He highlighted that most of those companies were seen as startups in the late 90s/early 2000s; just as companies in the VoIP industry are currently.
Cespedes also explained the measuring metrics in the VoIP services world. "Compared to Web site metrics with clicks and unique visitors," he said, "VoIP-based services could be currently measured by the number of calls initiated, completed, terminated, etc. -- and the measurements that we miss are cash flow and key profit numbers amongst other things."
He advised the audience to do their homework to determine which solution better fits their business goals. He warned professionals about solely depending on whatever is posted on message boards, and blog opinions and feedback. He advised to instead conduct a thorough investigation by asking vendors to provide client contact information, so as to contact real clients who know best about the solutions they are implementing.
He expressed his gratitude to organizers of events like Internet Telephony Conference & EXPO, for offering professionals in our industry the opportunity to see these products and services in action. He noted the incredible difference in attendance and participation at these events, compared to two years ago.
Gary Barnett’s Keynote Presentation
Barnett began his presentation by describing how VoIP-based services and products in the corporate contact center sector are shaping the telecom industry. He emphasized the importance of the ability that organizations have when employing home-based contact center representatives in multiple locations all over the world. He said it was a great asset that companies could gain from the ability to outsource services in order to reduce operating costs.
He explained how VoIP-based services and products help businesses such as banking institutions to actually route consumer telephonic inquiry calls to local branches with employees perfectly capable of responding to such requests; this also provides the opportunity of providing access to local information and other necessary data.
Barnett also spoke about the importance of SIP-based products for the enterprise. He predicts that at least sixty percent of businesses will choose to integrate SIP-based products in the corporate telecom environment.
He mentioned that contact centers will definitely benefit from the integration of Web collaboration, e-mail, video and voice services, and sees the integration to be as easy as Microsoft office is in PCs. The integration of PSTN and IP PBX systems will keep getting easier in the coming years.
Barnett predicts that by 2008, most of the contact center representatives will be based at their homes.
This was another fully packed successful session. I will also cover this afternoon’s keynote session featuring Nortel’s Phil Edholm. Wish you were here!
|Johanne Torres is contributing editor for TMCnet.com and Internet Telephony magazine. Previously, she was
assistant editor for EContent magazine in Connecticut. She
can be reached by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.