How-To: Targeted Routing with Custom ACD

I was teaching a Customer Interaction Center handler developer class recently when one of my students gave me a scenario that had been causing them some head-scratching. The call center in question is not a typical one. In this case, when people call in they are prompted for an identifier (customer/case number). The requirement was that the system should look up the number in a database, retrieve the identity of the agent that “owns” the particular customer and route the call appropriately.

So far so good. If the agent concerned is not available, then the call should be directed to another […]

Strong Passwords Aren’t Really More Secure

In my previous post about password security, I looked at the setting commonly found on password-protected systems, namely the number of incorrect login attempts. In this post, I will look at password complexity.

Most of us, at some point, have had an intended password rejected by the system for not meeting password complexity requirements. But, are so called “strong” passwords really more secure?

Security is, at the end of the day, a function of time. How long would it take to perform a brute-force (keep guessing until you get it right) attack. The more passwords we have to go through, the […]

Here comes the phone-dissing generation

One of the few perks that I have always enjoyed from this travel-intensive job is to wake up at the crack of dawn, open my hotel room door, and find a freshly delivered newspaper within arm’s reach.  I know what you are thinking, but yes, this technology evangelist still enjoys catching up with world events the old fashioned way, with a cup of chai tea and the feel of soft newspaper in my hands.  During one recent trip, I read an article in USA Today by Adam Sylvain titled “State laws let telephone companies end land-line services,” […]

A few UC and contact center products show up at Consumer Electronics Show

This week saw the 2012 installment of the International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas. Most of the buzz is obviously around consumer facing products, but there is some crossover into the unified communications and/or contact center space.

At CES big players in the tech space try to grab daily headlines. Sometimes good buzz around innovative products, other times hilarious buzz around certain speeches. Anyone remember Ballmer as Mr. Monkey Boy? If not there’s a nice blog post to refresh your memory. 

Anyway, there were a few interesting UC and contact center items I found in all the […]

Hear Me Out 2 – a picture blog for ‘ear’ritating issues

I begin by thanking all of you for the tremendous response to my previous video blog titled Hear Me Out.  Based on your feedback I decided to follow up with a sequel picture blog which will introduce us to a variety of tools used to help identify and mitigate VoIP audio issues.  As before, in keeping with the brief nature of this picture blog I will let the pictures do the talking and I will provide short explanations where necessary.  Please note that the screen shots of the tools I have used are one of many ways […]

Is It Still Good to Talk?

So, is it still good to talk?

New research from a popular price comparison website shows that 58% of the British make less than one mobile call a day and 44% make less than one call a day on their home landline. So is the art of conversation really dead, or with the rising popularity of SMS, email and, of course, social media, are we just finding new ways to talk? 

There are over 74 million mobile phones in use in the UK, which is higher than the current population, but rather than […]

Hear Me Out – a Vlog (video blog)

Even though I work primarily on the Pre-Sales side designing and architecting customer solutions, it is not uncommon for me to help with Post-Sales support.  I will usually become involved at that juncture when a customer voices concerns about poor audio quality, and I need to troubleshoot.  However, there is frequently a communication barrier when the end user generically summarizes the symptomotology as “crappy audio” or a similar unscientific description of the actual problem.  A medical doctor has to run multiple diagnostic tests when a patient has a broad or ambiguous set of symptoms in order to narrow down […]

Technology is Not Always the Answer

As with most of you, a major portion of my career and life in general revolves around technology.  Whether it be my iPhone apps, iPad Apps, Microsoft Lync or self-service applications provided by my bank, broker or other companies I do business with.  With the explosion of mobile devices we have all seen this trend toward self-service exploding and along with it a precipitous decline in opportunities to truly touch in a human way those that are providing you the service.  While technology is a wondrous tool it does not hold all the answers, sometimes old-school touchy feely is […]

The Rise & Rise of Video Conferencing

The Rise & Rise of Video Conferencing

So, this week, I‘ve been at a Trade Show in the UK (www.ucexpo.co.uk), and from previous years attendance at this show, I’ve noticed a distinct rise in the number of companies promoting video conferencing services, from either a software or hardware viewpoint. Companies that you may never have heard of such as Lifesize, Vidyo, SMB Solutions were all prominent, as well as the known names such as NEC, Microsoft and Polycom – all with shiny and bright video offerings.

Argyle and Cook (1976) have written the classic on this topic, Gaze and […]

Cloudy With A Strong Chance of Green

2011 is already meeting up to the various industry analysts’ forecasts: it sure is getting cloudy.  That is evident with the amount of new architectures that I am designing for my prospective customers.    From an architecture design perspective, I always believed that hosted solutions evolved directly from the datacenter-centric architectures which we systems engineers have been designing since early 2005.   I always operated under the assumption that from a potential customer viewpoint, the primary reason why some customers are moving to Communications as a Software Service (CAAS) is due to the typical benefits they derived such […]