Everything You Need in a Phone…And Nothing You Don’t

With any good purchase, you want to include the functions/features you need, but exclude the functions/features you don’t. Otherwise, you either miss out on things you need (under buy) or pay too much for things you’ll never use (over buy). As an example, when buying a car, do you really need the super-duty, hydraulic, self-aligning towing package built strong enough to allow you to move a house? No, because the chances of you moving a house by hitching it to your car are pretty remote (okay, keep reading, I do have a point here).

The same is true with the purchase [...]

Do you “deserve” some time off?

As we approach the holiday season, time off from work always comes to mind.  In many contact centers, the days and weeks around the holidays are some of the most coveted choices when it comes to getting time off from work.  I myself am getting ready to take a vacation next week and as I finalized my plans, I started thinking about all of the various methods used to schedule time off. 

While there are certainly many ways of evaluating and approving time off in the contact center, one of the more common ones is vacation bidding.  Similar to [...]

Who Says You Can’t Find Love on the Phone

Everyone these days has either a George Costanza sized wallet or a keychain the size of a small dog filled with reward cards from every business around.  These programs give you some great perks such as 10 cents off gas, some good coupons in the mail or 10% off your purchase.  For example, a day in my life as an American consumer goes something like this.

Stop at Speedway (our local gas station) to buy some coffee and gas for the car.  Got your Speedy Rewards Card? Check. Head over to Marsh for lunch with Abi.  Got your [...]

Voicemail, the next generation thinks it’s ‘totally big’…

I was recently tasked with presenting our current voicemail strategy, market numbers, products, etc, to an analyst firm compiling a report on the voicemail market. Why me?  Because I have a good knowledge of our messaging products and little authority to pawn the task off on someone else. Why now? Isn’t voicemail being made obsolete with email, chat, SMS, Tweets, etc, etc.  

It seems certain technologies/functions/processes become part of the fabric of the way business and even social life is conducted. And like industries that go through cycles, those technologies can also ebb and flow in their importance.

Case [...]

Video Enabled Contact Center–The other VoIP

“As broadband connections grow and penetrate the market, more IP video services will be consumed. By 2011 more than 60% of contact center traffic is expected to be video traffic resulting in higher customer satisfaction”

As I read the above statement in a product brochure from a well known telecommunications company, I couldn’t help but think, could that possibly be true?  I had my doubts, but maybe I was missing the boat somehow.   Don’t get me wrong, I do think IP based video is cool.  It was cool when we first saw it [...]

SIP Softphone versus SIP Hard Phone

SIP Softphone

Pros:

Cost.  In some environments a USB headset might be all that is required.  The cost of the SIP Softphone software is small (~$50) or included with desktop call control software. Easy to deploy with almost no configuration required. Zero footprint. Takes up no desk space. Works with Software VPN Client. This makes deployment to home users easier if you can work out the quality/reliability issues. Intuitive expandable interface with long lifecycle. Using a full monitor, keyboard, and mouse the feature set can be expanded through software.  In the same way, the feature set can be [...]

Why you will never take away my desktop phone

I just don’t get it.

By now you must have heard the news, right? It has been circulating around the internet for some time and has proliferated with the advancement of the smartphone, that one day soon, your trusted desktop phone will disappear. Vanish. Go "bye-bye."

Even the analysts think so. In February of this year, Gartner announced, "Enterprise Mobile Phones Will Replace Desktop Phones in North America by 2011."

Replace my desk phone with my mobile phone? As my daughter would say, "I mean, seriously?"

Well, I’m here to tell you, I just don’t see it happening.

And [...]

Measuring What You Manage

I think we’ve all seen the phrase “You can’t manage what you can’t measure”. This phrase really came home to me recently when speaking to customers planning on adopting communications-based business process automation (CBPA).

In some organizations, employees and managers spend a considerable amount of time tracking work that has been done or still needs to be done—entering it into spreadsheets, generating manual reports to show progress, and handholding in order to verify progress.  I’ve had a few customers describe it as taking more than half a manager’s work week where a high volume of items have to be [...]

The Name Game

A big part of my job as a Product Manager is to talk and discuss and gossip in the office (ok, so I’m bending the truth a little bit, but when my boss asks me about this next week, I can easily attribute it to a typo :)). So yesterday, some of us colleagues were just passing time by chatting (in between coffee breaks, I might add). Pete had a new product coming out and wanted to throw out some possible names for it and get our opinion. I won’t get into the dirty details, but the surprising thing [...]