BLOG

What's Going on with E911? by Dan Aylward

What's Going on with E911? by Dan Aylward

We are all familiar with 911 and the simple yet significant value it has for our nation. Behind the scenes is a vast and complex infrastructure. With changes in technology, however, come necessary changes with this telecommunications infrastructure and legislation that pertains to it. Below are ten frequently asked questions to help you understand trends around 911, as well as information that all organizations must understand for compliance purposes. 

E911: What Is It?

Read More

Lessons Learned from the Trenches of UCaaS Implementations by Melissa Swartz

I have worked on several projects recently that involved UCaaS solutions where the end user organization had a need to support both regular business users and a contact center environment. One of the solutions had evolved, starting as a contact center solution first, with support for the regular business user capabilities added later. A second solution I worked with had the opposite evolution -- it was originally designed as a solution for business users and contact center capabilities and support were added after that.

 
Both solutions offered a fairly complete solution as far as their primary development was concerned. But both had some significant shortcomings on the capabilities that were added afterwards. In both cases, they were capabilities that, in my opinion, should be available in every system out there.
 
In both cases, requirements were defined in advance and covered with the selected UCaaS provider in detail. Even so, there were unexpected challenges along the way.
 
Here are some of the issues that we ran into:

Cybercrime & Collaboration: On a Collision Course? by Jon Arnold

Cybercrime & Collaboration: On a Collision Course?

I'm recently back from the annual conference of the Society of Communications Technology Consultants (SCTC), of which I'm the only active analyst member. These consultants are on the front lines for helping businesses make smart technology decisions along with getting good value from those investments, so it's a pretty important community of influencers. Their experiences inform my thinking as an analyst, and I'm going to share some of that here.

Aside from attending, I gave the locknote talk, played a gig with the SIPtones, and even got to play "UC Cookoff" Jeopardy, so there was a nice mix of fun, learning, and networking. One of the learning highlights was a keynote about the state of cybercrime, a topic from which the collaboration space is not immune.

Read More

Can Training Save Your Business from the Next Cyber Attack? by Scott Murphy

Can Training Save Your Business from the Next Cyber Attack?

Read More

UC Evolves to Collaborative Communications by Blair Pleasant

UC Evolves to Collaborative Communications

 Blair Pleasant

Read More

Stopping the Leaky Faucets of Cloud Subscription Costs by Sara Uzel

Stopping the Leaky Faucets of Cloud Subscription Costs by Sara Uzel

By taking an inventory of which subscription-based services your users actually use, and dropping the rest, you can gain significant cost savings.

Cost management of IT subscription services is much like a leaky faucet. It does not seem very significant until you put a bucket under it, and you quickly have a bucketful of water. So, let's discuss how to turn that bucket of water into gold -- by managing your cloud subscriptions.

Read More

Digging In to the Contact Center Obsession by Dennis Goodhart

Digging In to the Contact Center Obsession

Contact centers are in your enterprise future and will be for a long time to come.

For us in the communications industry, not a day goes that you do not hear about or read something related to contact centers or customer service organizations. Whether we're talking about providing exceptional customer experience (CX), following the customer journey, applying artificial intelligence (AI) for self-service and optimal routing, deploying chatbots and Web click-to-chat to round out multi-channel and omni-channel implementations, migrating to the cloud for agility, or applying analytics for deeper understanding of customer interactions and motivations, the business of contact centers has become one of the most dynamic and critical areas of the communications technology industry.

Read More

Running Toward the Edge by Elizabeth English

  
   

 

Running Toward the Edge

Exploring why the industry is moving toward intelligent edge computing

Read More

When Government Buys, the Private Sector Reaps the Rewards by Joyce Osenbaugh

When Government Buys, the Private Sector Reaps the Rewards

Transparency and innovation are the clear winners as government entities look to replace aging infrastructure and hardware, and take advantage of new services.

From mid-2017 to present, there has been a sharp increase in the level of activity that the government sector has been generating in the telecommunications space. From phone systems and telecom audits, to service contracting events, government telecom buying is quickening, and the private sector is only just beginning to reap the benefits.

Read More

Best Practices for Enhancing IVR by Diane Halliwell

Best Practices for Enhancing IVR

From speech recognition to virtual assistants, there are numerous ways to enhance traditional IVR for a better experience.

Many firms are trying to determine the best ways to effectively implement self-service applications. Several have added Web-based tools and mobile apps to their customer- interaction portfolio. However, the IVR remains an important channel, and its effectiveness still has a significant impact on the customer experience. Therefore, it remains as important as ever to get the IVR right. The information contained in this article should be considered to facilitate the achievement of that goal.

Read More

E-911: Understanding the Basics for UC by Howard Feingold

E-911: Understanding the Basics for UC

An overview of necessary considerations and complications that can arise with E-911 configurations.

It seems safe to state that everyone is familiar with the basic concept of 911 services: A special number is called and a contact center mediates the emergency response. Many of us in the telecommunications field also are familiar with the basic challenges of 911 when dialing through a multi-user system in which dialing "9" is the common method for reaching an outside line.

Read More

Chasing the Perfect Customer Experience by J.R. Simmons

 

Chasing the Perfect Customer Experience

You may never find perfection in customer service, but excellence just might do.

Several surveys have shown that customer experience is the most important component of client satisfaction with a provider, exceeding low prices and other brand-enhancing actions. The total customer experience is created through a collection of interactions over the life of the relationship, beginning with the sales cycle, continuing during the installation, and extending to post-implementation when service is required.

Read More

SIP Trunking Implementation: A Systems Approach by Ivan Sindell

SIP Trunking Implementation: A Systems Approach

Given opportunity for design errors when implementing SIP, extensive design planning and communication are critical to ensuring success.

Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) is inherently simple. It is readable, meaning that with a probe you can follow the session initiation by simply reading the messages as they travel between two devices. The protocol does not establish the route the content will traverse, nor its quality. After the session is established, SIP, as a protocol, is only responsible for ending the session.

Read More

SIP Trunking... Not Your Father's Carrier Service by Elizabeth English

SIP Trunking... Not Your Father's Carrier Service

Successful SIP trunking implementations start with organizational planning and effective communication.

The promise of SIP trunking has been touted for years: You'll save money! It's easy to manage! It's flexible! It offers better business continuity! While this all may be true in theory, the reality is that an integrated approach and careful planning are required to achieve these results. It's not as simple as order it and call it a day.

Read More

Impact of Data Protection Legislation by Scott Murphy

Impact of Data Protection Legislation

Organizations need to get out in front of new data protection legislation like GDPR, giving special consideration to communications technology.

2018 will usher in a new era of data protection as the European Union General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) comes into effect on May 25. How does this impact a business based in North America?

Read More

Understanding the Evolution of Endpoints by Barbara A. Grothe

Understanding the Evolution of Endpoints

From desk phones to softphones, mobile UC clients, and headsets, endpoint options abound.

It has been five years since our first "no desk phone" deployment with a 750-user client installing Microsoft Lync 2013. The enterprise was forward-thinking and the CIO was adamant that this deployment would be heavy on "collaboration tools" and light on desk phones. Obviously, five years ago this was a bold move, but its dictum from the top meant that employees would 'play along.' The word was out -- employees would receive headsets only and desk phones were "gone." The result? Only two out of the 750 employees retained desk phones; 748 Bluetooth headsets were deployed and the cultural shift to UC was underway.

Read More

Smart Campuses Are Here by Howard Feingold

Smart Campuses Are Here

A key benefit of smart campus investment is that it helps to position the property for the future -- communications included.

You have a smart phone and possibly a smart watch. You understand smart buildings. But are you aware of smart campuses?

Read More

3 Technical Issues to Consider for a Cloud Move by Melissa Swartz

3 Technical Issues to Consider for a Cloud Move

The sales pitch makes a cloud migration seem easy, but the devil's in the details.

If a move to the cloud is in your future, hopefully you've been able to do some advance preparation, as I've previously recommended. In addition, you'll need to keep in mind a variety of technical considerations.

Read More

How to Keep Communicating When Cell Service Fails by Art Yonemoto

How to Keep Communicating When Cell Service Fails

Turn your smartphone into a node in a peer-to-peer communications network, and keep the conversation flowing.

The recent tragic events of the North Bay fires in California and Hurricane Maria's devastation in Puerto Rico highlight issues that arise when cell towers go down. In the aftermath of these disasters, we heard many stories about the difficulties of finding people in the affected areas.

Read More

Designing a Design-Driven Organization by Scott Murphy

Designing a Design-Driven Organization

Organizations that use cross-disciplinary teams, lead with customer-focused design, and share knowledge effectively will rise quickly to the top of their sector.

In the current technology ecosystem, many organizations have assumed that agility and innovation can only be achieved at the expense of design, security, and reliable operations. Many startups take this path. But as the startup begins to scale, there are often bumps in the road. Perhaps a company grew its solution organically with limited big-picture design or documentation; or maybe the customer experience begins to falter when customers demand reliability but the solution cannot deliver as changes get implemented too quickly.

Read More