Overview

Are you a “Phony”?

 

7:30AM: I open half an eye-lid, snooze the alarm and grab my iPhone. As I sit up in bed, my fingers are automatically unlocking the phone; searching for new mail…YES…my day has begun!!

I answer some email as I brush my teeth (pardon the typos in my early morning emails, please).

8:30AM: Listening to radio and catching up on news as I try to decide what to wear to work. (Casual dressing at work makes it harder, not easier, people!! Too much choice and there [...]

Top 5 Reasons Desktop Apps are better than Web Apps

Top 5 Reasons Desktop Apps are better than Web Apps

Desktop Apps…

1.       Can conveniently run in the background and pop windows or notifications in a friendly manner

Have you seen web apps try to pop windows or notifications?  They are not always very user friendly.  Gmail chat as a web app tries this.  If the browser is in the background, the window title on the task bar changes to show the name of the user that sent you a message.  It is a decent attempt at a notification, but if you install a Desktop version of a instant [...]

Video IVR – Hot or Not?

While Joe Staples has been spending time in Japan, I’ve been visiting Turkey, specifically in Istanbul. Here video IVR is an increasingly popular application for the contact center. 3G phones open up the opportunity for consumers to visually navigate IVR menus while on the move: browse their accounts, transfer funds, review their insurance policies, check the status of requests, change appointment times, etc. Proponents of video IVR claim it will improve success rates in completing IVR functions. It is easier to understand the options when you can read the choices all together, instead of frantically trying to remember whether option [...]

Healthcare reform and call centers

President Obama will be signing the new healthcare reform bill into law on Tuesday.  Agree with the new legislation or not, this massive reform bill will have a major impact on most individuals and companies.  As I scanned through the legislation, news articles, and opinion pieces, I considered what impact these reforms could have in the contact center industry (think of the impact of HIPAA or PCI and multiply it by a LARGE number).  Some provisions of the law kick in right away while others don’t have to be in place until 2014, so some of these impacts will be felt right away [...]

Know your customer — a lesson from two cultures

I’ve just left Japan after a few days meeting with partners, press, and vendors (writing my post at 38,000 feet). I think the Japanese country and culture are amazing. It constantly amazes me how differences in culture can have such a profound effect on business success. Specifically, look at the outbound telemarketing segment.

In the U.S., you can call a company and typically get to a receptionist who will give you the name of an individual if you ask. For example, “Can you tell me the name of the person who runs your HR department?” In Japan, the receptionist [...]

Cloudy, with a chance of hosting.

Is there any hope left for premised based technology? I’m starting to wonder. At the beginning of the year one of my fellow bloggers, Joe Staples, listed ‘The Cloud and CaaS’ as his number one hot topic of 2010. Ahead of even business process automation, which has been a big focus around here. In the first quarter of 2010 it seems to have gone from a hot topic to the only topic.

I just got back from attending our 2010 APAC partner conference. We had about 100 attendees representing about a dozen countries in the region. The conference covered 2 [...]

Deploying VOIP via the Internet

Over the past few months we have been seeing a larger and larger portion of our customer base inquiring on the feasibility of running agents over the Internet for voice.  This is being further driven by ultra high speed connectivity provided by FIOS or the one getting all the press this week which is Google’s high ultra high speed internet project which has communities across the country begging to be a guinea pig.  A good example of this in the contact center comes from this arictle on Pizza Pizza which is the largest pizza company in Canada.  They are successfully deploying at home [...]

Agent Schedule Preferences: The softer side of scheduling.

We recently released the Agent Preferences feature for Interaction Optimizer so I thought it would be appropriate to blog about some of the benefits of using preferences as a scheduling method.  In addition to preferences, there are several methods of assigning schedules in the contact center including skills-based scheduling, shift-bidding and random assignment.   Regardless of which one you use, schedule assignment can be a very sensitive subject and if done poorly, it can even cause employee dissatisfaction and attrition.  At the end of the day, there will always be a business need to be met and not everyone can [...]

Six Degrees

Last weekend I was helping my niece research the history of telecommunications for a school paper.  The following is my attempt to present some interesting historical facts in a way that would make even Kevin Bacon proud.

Alexander Graham Bell and his partner Gardiner Hubbard formed Bell Telephone Company in 1875.  They formed the company after receiving a challenge issued in a memo from the company who was originally offered and declined the same telephone patent.  Part of that company’s memo read, “… the idea of  ‘telephone devices’ is idiotic, why would [...]