The Skype Hype

Skype means business this time…and that is why it is now available for businesses. The “Skype for SIP” has its beta program open for businesses. This program also reinforces the notion that SIP is the de-facto standard for the IP Telephony industry. Based on open standards, SIP is already being used by millions of users across the globe…in call centers, in hospitals, in banks and schools and small businesses.

The feature I like the best in Skype is the click-to-call, which means you can just click on phone numbers on websites you visit, and a call is placed using […]

“Big Brother” Is Monitoring Your Work

A recent article in The Economist titled “Big Brother Bosses” commented that more and more companies are using software to monitor their employees’ behavior. According to the article, in these days of financial stress, there’s been a communications breakdown between management and employees, and managers are turning to new tools to combat “presenteeism” – a syndrome where employees show up for work every day, but then get very little work done.

For those of us from the contact center, the need to see how employees are performing isn’t that radical. We’re used to an environment in which everybody can be […]

Answering Machine Detection Accuracy – Facts and Myths

I’ve discussed this topic so many times over the years that it reminds me of stories I would tell my kids only to have them say "yeah, Dad, we’ve heard this one before".  But one thing is for sure, there is a bunch of myth and misunderstanding in the world of outbound dialing around the topic of Answering Machine Detection (AMD) accuracy. 

An automated outbound dialer (sometimes referred to as a "predictive dialer" or just a "dialer") works to keep agents busy by placing multiple calls in parallel and analyzing each call to figure out what, if anything, answered.  Once a phone is […]

Measuring Customer Satisfaction in the Contact Center

Alright, I’m going to apologize up front for this post, though I really question the need for an apology since in my posting of non-Joe Staples material, I am giving full attribution to the real author.

Over the past few months I’ve posted a number of times on capturing the "voice of the customer." I see this a such a critical element of a well-run contact center. On that subject, Gina Clarkin, a product manager for Interactive Intelligence, has written a practical guide to measuring customer satisfaction in the contact center. If you’ve got responsibility for this area within your center, I see […]

Realizing the benefit of Workforce Management: It’s all about balance.

Workforce Management (WFM) programs can provide a significant return on investment (ROI) if executed correctly.  Like many of the other programs in the Workforce Optimization space, the success or failure depends not only on the technology itself but the ability to achieve that perfect balance between people, process and technology. 

Yes, we’ve all heard the "need to balance people, process and technology" phrase before but there is a great reason why we’ve all heard it before…it’s true!  Not only is it true, it’s essential.  If you don’t have a balance between all three of these components, you will not realize the full benefit of your WFM program and you could end up with […]

Avaya Buys Nortel — What’s it All Mean?

Avaya is the winning bidder for the Nortel enterprise business unit. $915 million later (plus another $15 million to try and keep key employees) and now what does it mean for the communications industry? Depends on what chair you’re sitting in.

If you are Cisco: Your primary competitor in this space just got a whole lot bigger (actually passing you up in market share percentage). Your focus on them intensifies (but don’t lose sight of Microsoft either). If you are an existing Nortel customer: At least you now know your fate. Or part of it. You still have to wait […]

Careful out there contact center managers, someone is stealing agents

I recently presented at a conference on features available for today’s remote contact center agents. A routine talk you’ve probably seen about functions like recording, coaching, multi-channel queuing and other contact center centric items that were once only available to office bound agents and supervisors. During the session I offered a few stories on different ways we’re seeing organizations use remote agents to further the reach of their contact center.

The audience was mostly contact center managers and the following story got more reaction than I had planned.

During a trade show a gentleman (we’ll use Smith to protect […]

Audio Cassettes, Laser Disks & H.323

My wife had been anticipating this long Labor Day weekend for a while.  On Thursday, she gave me an ultimatum:  clean out the basement of all of my old IT books, training manuals and the veritable graveyard of technology products or she’ll do it for me.  In working on the task, I happened across the notes from the first lecture I attended on an upcoming telecommunications technology of the future called “Voice over IP”.

While fondly perusing through some of the pages I was aghast to see what I had highlighted more than […]

F1 Please

F1 = the universal keyboard shortcut for "Help" in an application. 

How often do you read documentation on a new product? How would you classify yourself?A) Someone who always reads or scans documentation firstB) Someone that reads documentation only after trying to figure it out firstC) Someone who never reads documentation

I suspect that most of us fall into the "B" classification.  Now if we break down the question into product type our classifications may vary greatly.  For instance, consider the following product types and how you would clasify yourself for each type:

1) End user software application2) End user hardware […]

SIP Carriers in the Contact Center

A large number of Interactive Intelligence folks were out at the ITEXPO event in LA this week giving presentations and I’m sure soaking in some nice California sun.  In reviewing the presentations and the agenda being delivered I was pleasantly surprised to see the amount of coverage on SIP based carriers.  It appears that SIP based trunking is finally starting to gain some real world traction outside of the early adopters.  This is being driven by the roll out of services from name brand carriers like Global Crossing and AT&T in an aggressive manner, often bundling these in as […]