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Communications and Technology Blog - Latest news in IP communications, telecom, VoIP, call center & CRM space

Published: 2017-03-21T18:43:57-05:00


Vidyo Expands its Service into Banking

Tue, 21 Mar 2017 18:43:57 -05002017-03-21T18:43:57-05:00

Read to the end to see why future call center agents may need to start hitting the gymWe've covered Vidyo news before - the company has video solutions serving numerous industries with powerful solutions which work over a wide-range of of bandwidth situations. Recently they have been focusing more on banking solutions as research has shown the timing is good. In fact, 90% of banking industry respondents expect video collaboration to positively impact customer satisfaction, and 80% are planning on deploying a video collaboration tool in the near future.To learn more, we spoke with Eran Westman, CEO of Vidyo.The chief executive sees financial as a natural extension of the company's success in healthcare. He thinks using video when getting a mortgage, establishes trust with the customer and will become more common. He says they had some early banking adopters and now have six of the top 25 banks and think they have their seventh closing this month.He continued, saying they landed RBC and have been fortunate that the bank speaks about the relationship publicly. He said that although there is competition, in order to do the job correctly you need resiliency, scale and stability while being able to integrate into the corporate workflow.For example, RBC integrated video into the workflow by allowing agents to send a link for a Vidyo call and also by providing for instant escalation from voice or chat to video through Genesys call center software. One Vidyo customer saw 20% of their customers agree to a video call after starting the conversation on chat or voice.Eran said they are working with Nice and Verint on recording solutions for compliance - which obviously is becoming more important as time goes on and is crucial in the financial sector.Westman cites more differentiators such as scalability, quality and the ability to handle worldwide deployments. In addition, they are bringing best practices to their customers. For example, making sure agents are ready to make the transition from a voice call to one which includes showing your face and part of your body throughout the communications session. The company is also continuing to make progress with their CPaaS,, where they provide APIs to developers so they can video-enable other solutions. The beauty of the approach is the developer pays on consumption, when the app goes live as opposed to making a huge up-front investment. Or OPEX vs. CAPEX.In the future, we can expect them to continue to grow in numerous areas as well in the credit union space where they are already touting a successful case study and video.If you want to learn more - here is a hybrid case-study, testimonial, commercial from the company.One closing comment - there are two megatrends in the contact center space - the growth of bots or AI which will eliminate humans from customer communication and video which requires it. What does this mean? Call centers will likely favor the agents which look better on camera as bots take over more of the call center seats. In other words, being attractive may be as important for call center work as it is in the world of news anchors and TV personalities. Speaking of bots, AI and APIs... Communications 20/20 will be held July 18-20, 2017 at Caesars Palace, Las Vegas, Nevada and will focus on the next wave of technology and innovation that will transcend the importance of person to person contact, disrupting the future of the entire communications industry. Communications 20/20 will provide vital knowledge and insight through unique programming, hands on training, live demos, keynotes, exhibits and networking events. This unique conference will allow for individuals and companies entrenched in the traditional communications ecosystem that want to understand how to adapt and profit from the new software-defined communications trends that will permeate through all industries and enterprises. Tags: api, banking, collaboration, conferencing, healthcare, paas, uc, ucaas, video, vidyo Related tags: video collaboration, video, com[...]

Why Apple's Dropping its Pants With New iPad Price

Tue, 21 Mar 2017 16:48:24 -05002017-03-21T16:48:24-05:00

This new device is a dramatic departure for the company... Here's whyIf you look at the innovations of the iPad over the years, the device has gotten significantly more powerful as well as lighter with each iteration. The company pioneered a Smart Cover and a Smart Keyboard and even launched a pencil - although, they didn't pioneer that... In fact it was avoiding the use of a stylus that got the company to where it is today... Ironically.Prices too increased with better processors and more functionality. The first iPad with 16 GB cost $499 or $548 in 2016 dollars. The largest iPad Pro at 12.9 inches starts at $799.The question you might be asking is why is Apple now dramatically lowering its price on its new iPad to $329? This is the same price it used to charge for the iPad Mini and $70 less than the iPad Air 2 which it replaces. For less money, you get a better processor, the A9, also contained in the iPhone 7.Here are the reasons: Phones are getting bigger, making a tablet less important to have. Many people just can't justify having an expensive iPad when a large phone is just about big enough for their full-time computing use. Chromebooks are taking the coveted spot in the education market and entry-level PCs aren't doing to poorly either as they start around the same price of about $200. the iPad has been overpriced - especially when compared to Android tablets. It's tougher for schools to justify the extra cost. Service Revenue continues to increase and growing the size of the ecosystem means more money over time. Yes, Apple is finally realizing it can discount the razor and make money from the blades. Nothing to lose - really, the company sees so few relative dollars (see below chart from Business Insider) from the iPad - why not try lowering the price to gain share? As Ars Technica points out, this device is not only cheaper, in many ways it is inferior to the device it replaces. The LCD is no longer laminated to the front glass, as it is in all iPad Pros, the Air 2, and the Mini 4. Some repair advocates will like this, but the air gap between the glass and screen can noticeably affect contrast and color. The tablet also lacks the anti-glare coating that the Air 2, the Mini 4, and both iPad Pros have. This tablet is definitely an offshoot of the original iPad Air design, while the 9.7-inch iPad Pro has more in common with the Air 2. Oh, and it's heavier, something we aren't used to coming from Cupertino.This new, lower cost device with inferior features shows Apple has decided that being the super-premium brand means less than market share. It's a continuation of the company's strategy to go downmarket with the iPhone SE. Both devices will allow faster growth in developing countries as well as low income customers everywhere. But the new iPad is the same size as the device it replaces, with a superior processor, at a lower cost, which is a big deal.We are happy with the move - we think Apple did the right thing and we argued in 2012, Apple simply cannot afford to be absent from any sectors of the market which consumers want. At the time we were talking about Apple making larger phones but now that they have - competing across the spectrum of consumer electronics makes more and more sense... Especially when you consider the value of services to the future of Apple's profitability. Tags: amazon, android, apple, google, icloud, ipad, iphone, itunes, services Related tags: device replaces, lowering price, apple, device, company, price Follow me: Facebook Profile Google+ Profile Twitter Profile Related Entries Skype Shows us Closed Can Win - Dec 03, 2010 As Predicted: Apple Pays Less For Components and Charges More for Devices - May 31, 2012 Gadgets to Have Integrated Welcome Ads Soon? - May 18, 2012 Is Apple the Biggest Facebook Threat? - Jan 13, 2011 Mobile Banking and Payments the Next Frontier - Nov 03, 2010 iPad's Lack of Flash and Openness a Blow to Publishers - Jan 28, 2010 Dell Tablet Ad Takes on Apple and Android - Dec 03, 2013 [...]

Shock! IBM Reverses Telecommuting Policy. Here's Why

Tue, 21 Mar 2017 13:39:06 -05002017-03-21T13:39:06-05:00

It's mind-boggling. It's incredible. The biggest news in tech culture is without question  the reversal by IBM regarding a telecommuting policy which will affect thousands of people.This is staggering because IBM was actually famous for letting and even pushing people to work from home. I've been at the company's headquarters and asked management about how they do it - over a decade ago, before the trend was common and they told me they have a set of technologies and management procedures to ensure it works well. In short, they were on the leading edge of collaboration - allowing them to do what most companies couldn't.The last time we were in their Somers campus, they told us they believed the future of communications was unified communications avatars. We agreed - we thought the technology had lots of promise. The general idea is our avatars get together in virtual rooms and have the meetings for us while we potentially lounge in our P.J.s and headsets  while we rest our feet on the desk. We were obviously both very wrong.Now, 5,500 IBM workers have to start coming to work or look for other jobs. Offices are located in Atlanta, Raleigh, Austin, Boston, San Francisco, and New York. Why? The general idea is you can perhaps be more productive outside the office but there are many benefits to in-person collaboration, tough to replicate from home.A great article from Quartz has the details on how a few companies are reversing their trends towards telecommuting - calling people back into offices.Its actually pretty shocking because it comes at a time when Slack is super-successful - as are solutions like Basecamp and Trello which allow groups to more easily manage tasks while Slack allows rapid-fire communications between people, groups and subgroups.What perhaps is most interesting is companies who embraced digital 3-D avatars all seemed to blossom and then see years of pain. For example, Nortel's Web.Alive really pioneered the tech for business as I detailed frequently over the years. Then there is the company Second Life who had a virtual world for consumers.Nortel went through not one but two bankruptcies - first, its own and now Avaya's. Second Life really went from being the hot tech company to obscurity and IBM really got clobbered because they somehow missed cloud - even though you could say they invented cloud 1.0 via their mainframes.Obviously if these moves become a big trend, it could be bad for a slew of collaboration vendors. So let me put in perspective what is happening.Without a doubt the amount of communication - in many cases because of collaboration tools like Slack have decreased productivity more than increased it. It is not unlike the challenge of adding more programmers to a project or more processors to a system. The communications between the processors or programmers becomes so great that performance doesn't increase, it gets worse.This is why there is a "two pizza rule" relating to programmer productivity. Don't hire more programmers than you can feed with two pies.In other words we are at a point where people can spend all day in tools like email, Trello and Slack - but not doing any actual work... Strategizing, formulating, determining how to stay ahead of the next business-changing curve.There is no real solution - the problem is part art and science... For smaller companies, it isn't as much of an issue but as you grow, you need silos to ensure people don't choke on their interactions. With the IBM news, expect large companies to reconsider their work-at-home policies. This could have drastic implications for the tech workforce not located in major U.S. cities.TMC is working to raise awareness of such issues as well via its Tech Culture Awards program. It's dedicated to bringing this kind of important information to light and recognizing those companies that are effecting positive change in the workplace. We invite you to explore and participate in the TMC Workplace Excellence Award program incl[...]

10 Seismic Communications Trends Creating Billions in New Value

Mon, 20 Mar 2017 17:44:54 -05002017-03-20T17:44:54-05:00

People need not apply in our brave new communications future Communications was once a person-to-person mechanism allowing individuals to collaborate or share information with others. The move from traditional phone networks to VoIP, from wired to wireless, from voice to chat all involved two or more people at the ends of conversations. The next wave however will represent the largest shift in our lifetimes - the most important communications innovations in the next decade will transcend people. This software-defined future will uproot corporations, contact centers, developers and service providers. Those who understand this wave will be able to harness it. Those who don’t, risk drowning as their competitors leapfrog them. Digital Transformation allows you to run your business more effectively with less people according to Mitel CEO Rich McBee. He mentioned that quite often, collaboration solutions play a big role in this evolution.  Admittedly, this is abroad term and it’s not complete without consideration of the following technologies shaking things up as well. Chatbots  Siri, Google and Alexa have trained the public to speak with machines instead of humans. Likewise, IVR systems with speech recognition have allowed people to receive self-service support from companies using the phone. Every customer-facing corporation will have to adapt. New business models are being invented which leverage this technology and finally, soon, bot to bot communications will be commonplace. AI/Machine Learning AI/Machine learning gives computers the ability to learn without being explicitly programmed. It’s employed in a range of computing tasks where designing and programming explicit algorithms is infeasible. Example applications include spam filtering, detection of network intruders or malicious insiders working towards a data breach, search engines and computer vision. Predictive Analytics Predictive Analytics in corporate communications allow organizations to predict human interactions and take action as needed... Companies and carriers can use it to get information on hold times, the most common words being mentioned on calls and call volume between departments. According to 8x8 CEO Vik Verma, "Communications data with raw context is coming together.” He added emphatically, “Whoever controls this platform for communications, wins." The transformative power for companies to continually mine their verbal streams for problems and opportunities will create immense opportunities. 5G 5G technology will be exponentially faster than 4G and works as devices travel 310 MPH! in addition, it will provide a tremendous decrease in latency, allowing autonomous cars traveling at 60 MPH to receive important messages relating to surrounding obstacles in centimeters, not feet (like 4G). Finally, it will allow a minimum level of service to one-million devices in a 2.6 square mile area, making it IoT’s best friend. Bottom line – instant communications will allow industrial IoT to flourish and create many billions of dollars of opportunity via cost savings and new business models. HetNets A HetNet is a network with complex interoperation between macrocell, small cell, and in some cases WiFi network elements used together to provide enhanced coverage, with handoff capability between network elements. The increased need for data access by myriad devices make this technology a must for the connected enterprise – and an absolute necessity for carriers to provide. NFV Network function virtualization allows traditional fixed-function hardware to be replaced by software running on typical servers and computers found in data centers. The idea is software is more efficient than hardware. Carriers are using it to transform their operations and corporations are using it to purchase services from carriers as opposed to buying ever-more boxes to solve problems. SD-WAN SD-WAN allows packets to be transported over various networ[...]

Excited to Judge #AARPInnovationAwards for Caregiver Solutions

Mon, 13 Mar 2017 11:27:13 -05002017-03-13T11:27:13-05:00

I’m excited to be part of a new AARP initiative! I will be on a panel of distinguished judges for the AARP Innovation Champion Awards which will recognize and reward ageless innovation in technology with a focus on caregiving.Nominate/submit your own company, an individual or other companies—for FREE— developing products and services to benefit and simplify the lives of caregivers. Awards submissions will be accepted in six categories: daily essential activities, caregiver quality of life, health and safety awareness, care coordination, social well-being and transition support. Submissions will be accepted until April 15 and winners will be announced in June. (More information):Show us what you got! Tags: aarp, awards, entrepreneur, innovation, technology Related tags: Follow me: Facebook Profile Google+ Profile Twitter Profile Related Entries Why Less Investment Can be Good - May 07, 2009 Bill Gates on Innovation - Mar 14, 2008 Forward This Post to Employees To Protect From Hackers - Feb 22, 2017 PRVibes: IoT Evolution, The Enterprise IoT Event - Feb 20, 2017 Congrats to Broadvoice on Worker Benefit Expansion - Jan 30, 2017 Most Successful Woman in Tech Earns $41 Million! - Jan 16, 2017 TMC is More of a Lead Gen Company than You Thought - Jan 12, 2017 How TaskRabbit's CEO Can Help Diversify Tech - Dec 19, 2016 2017 Predictions From Rich Tehrani - Dec 09, 2016 $4B Wireless Repair Market Event Comes to ITEXPO - Dec 01, 2016 TrackBacks | Comments | Tag with | Communications and Technology Blog - Home | Permalink: Excited to Judge #AARPInnovationAwards for Caregiver Solutions Copyright Communications and Technology Blog - Sponsored by Apex Technology Services, a leading IT Services company[...]

Mitel Analyst Day 2017 Live Blog

Tue, 07 Mar 2017 08:16:07 -05002017-03-07T08:16:07-05:00

Past live blog 2015. Here are the complete slides.8 am: CEO Rich McBee takes the stage. The company won’t overpay for a company but will look for strategic acquisitions. Digital transformation is a key element of their strategy – they will provide software and services to their installed base. Digital connects things – transformation is the realignment of the business – “How I operate my business.” UC and collaboration will be a great enabler. Mitel too is transforming – they are reducing their CRM solutions to a single vendor – likewise for ERP. Digital transformation allows you to run your business more effectively with less people and that’s what we enable. They will have more vertically-oriented channels in the future as they grow.The company will expand into IoT and business productivity. They will continue to embed communications as an application. The mobile business they acquired was not part of the core consolidation strategy. They are soley focused on UC&C.They have 540,000 cloud seats and a total of over 3M seats. They are number 1 in cloud seats. "Every customer will move to some kind of cloud." They are making everything they make, cloud capable - public, private, hybrid.Summary: Everything is going to the cloud Vertical applications will differentiate companies They are the strongest financially they have ever been They are well positioned to lead digital transformation Bob Agnes EVP takes the stage "We are at a very interesting place in the evolution of Mitel as a company and the market. Our competitors are falling apart to some degree."Our vision of the future is tied to how customers are changing - with younger people coming into the workforce and tech - in the form of cloud are converging to create new opportunities and cause customers to change workflows to take advantage of these changes and how Mitel plays in the space.Discussion of how the company is best-positioned for the future with a global footprint and a breadth of solutions from public to private cloud as well as hardware of various sizes.The future differentiator will be the applications which allow companies to be more efficient and productive.Applications will be consumed on a recurring revenue basis like on an iPhone.Competitors have spent up to billions to develop dedicated solutions with a few apps. Mitel doesn't just provide an API - they have an API platform, client SDK, business logic and UX.They were able to cut over 60k Unify phones in a private cloud deployment in the UK - all in one weekend. They let the customer keep their legacy devices while positioning them for the future - now they get to sell them new applications.John Brinton takes the stageReiterated that small, medium and large organizations have different requirements - medium companies might want a private cloud for example.Multinational companies are an interesting area of growth for them - due to the single plane of glass Mitel provides, their management and administration burden is reduced.We provide recurring cloud solutions and service provider channel-based solutions. We have hosted retail, hosted wholesale for carriers and MSPs as Service Provider-build wholesale."Mitel will win in cloud transition by expanding footprint - service provider relationships and capabilities through innovation."Jim Davies VP Advanced ApplicationsProduct demo: mass notification. Started with Alexa demo. He showed emergency notification broadcast throughout school by just speaking with the digital assistant. Now we are are off to real demos in another location. More to come.Mitel DemosConnected Guests showed the integration between reservations, in-room WiFi and phones. A centralized system allows hotel management to communicate with guests in real-time via text messages. For example, a welcome message can be sent to guests as they check in. Fully automated check-in could be possible but dep[...]

650 IBM Blockchain Workers Look to Save us Billions

Sun, 05 Mar 2017 10:40:47 -05002017-03-05T10:40:47-05:00

IBM was early to Linux - one of the first major companies to promote the open-source OS and as a result they had years of growth, riding on its coat tails. Now, blockchain is the hot area for the company. Another bet on the future like the $100 million spent on advertising consulting in 2014.With the blockchain investment, IBM isn't getting into virtual currencies per se - they are looking to instill trust in transactional data as the technology allows all parties to have their own live version of this information and can ensure there has been no tampering.The low hanging fruit for this technology - pun sort of intended, is shipping, where dozens of people are involved in getting a shipment to leave or enter ports. A single missing document can delay a shipment enough to spoil millions of dollars or more of inventory. There is also the issue of fraud which can cost shipping companies many millions. Blockchain tech can effectively allow all parties to trust in the transactions while simultaneously speeding them up.According to IBM: Ninety percent of goods in global trade are carried by the ocean shipping industry each year. A new blockchain solution from IBM and Maersk will help manage and track the paper trail of tens of millions of shipping containers across the world by digitizing the supply chain process. They then describe their approach: The blockchain solution based on the Hyperledger Fabric and built by IBM and Maersk, the global leader in transport and logistics, will be made available to the shipping and logistics industry. The solution will help manage and track the paper trail of tens of millions of shipping containers across the world by digitizing the supply chain process from end-to-end to enhance transparency and the highly secure sharing of information among trading partners. When adopted at scale, the solution has the potential to save the industry billions of dollars. The challenge for IBM is their control of the software - many companies are wary of being trapped in the Big Blue ecosystem. As a result, Microsoft and a rival group is making progress with ethereum - a "rival" virtual currency to bitcoin. Furthermore, Microsoft has high hopes for its blockchain as a service. IBM's response was to open-source their technology into the above-mentioned Hyperledger Foundation.In other words, blockchain is expected to continue as an important technology to watch. At first, it will be implemented by logistics companies who can save a lot of money using it, From there, it will expand into money-transfer (where it has proven itself already) and numerous other spaces.If you want to be on the leading edge and part of what will likely be a multi-billion dollar market, learn about blockchain. The next few years will likely be super-lucrative as the players in this space will make a lot of money playing the arbitrage of the savings the logistics companies will enjoy.The question now is how do you learn more about this market and where its headed? It's a bit self-serving but we can say without hesitation, the Blockchain Event which TMC is a part-owner of is one of the best educational events on the market - it has a consistent buzz and is growing. The next one takes place in Las Vegas, July 17-20 2017 and we hope to see you there! Tags: bitcoin, blockchain, consulting, etherium, hyperledger, ibm, maersk Related tags: millions shipping, manage track, supply chain, shipping containers, containers world, blockchain Follow me: Facebook Profile Google+ Profile Twitter Profile Related Entries Yes, Bitcoins are Gold 2.0 - Mar 02, 2017 How ITEXPO Has Transformed into THE Communications Event - Jan 19, 2017 2017 to be the Year of Blockchain, Bitcoin and Fintech - Jan 03, 2017 PayPal CEO: More Change in the Next 5 years than Last 30 - Jan 20, 2016 And Then it Hit Me, Open Always Wins - Dec 02, 2010 IBM Brocade Relationship T[...]

Yes, Bitcoins are Gold 2.0

Thu, 02 Mar 2017 11:47:47 -05002017-03-02T11:47:47-05:00

We weren't too surprised to see that a bitcoin is now worth more than an ounce of gold... Coming in at a record, $1,251.32! After all, in 2013 we shared 15 reasons bitcoins are better gold. Here are just a few of the bullets from that post: Bitcoins are gold 2.0 Customs Transaction fees Gambling No commodities correlation Bottom line - the virtual currency is now more valuable than the physical. When we asked some months back if bitcoins will crash gold - the idea seemed silly. Perhaps it still is but you can't deny what a big deal this news is. Everything we've been taught is now at risk... Many people use gold as a shelter from governments printing endless amounts of paper money. But what if even more people realize there are benefits to virtual versus physical monetary hedges?Of course the GLD does something similar to bitcoins but still, there is "physical gold" backing every "virtual" ounce.Of course, this piece is not an endorsement of any investment, virtual currency or anything else. Prices are able to fluctuate widely - gold could overtake bitcoins in price at any time. Moreover, virtual currencies can be stolen, perhaps more easily than a metal.But getting back to the sunny side of bitcoin life... When we predicted 2017 will be the year of blockchain, bitcoin and fintech, we were likely was right. Bitcoins potentially are, gold 2.0.The question now is how do you learn more about this market and where its headed? It's a bit self-serving but we can say without hesitation, the Blockchain Event which TMC is a part-owner of is one of the best educational events on the market - it has a consistent buzz and is growing. The next one takes place in Las Vegas, July 17-20 and we hope to see you there! Tags: bitcoin, blockchain, commodity, gold, investment Related tags: virtual currency, bitcoins, virtual, bitcoin, physical Follow me: Facebook Profile Google+ Profile Twitter Profile Related Entries 2017 to be the Year of Blockchain, Bitcoin and Fintech - Jan 03, 2017 15 Reasons Why Bitcoins are Better than Gold - Aug 09, 2013 650 IBM Blockchain Workers Look to Save us Billions - Mar 05, 2017 PayPal CEO: More Change in the Next 5 years than Last 30 - Jan 20, 2016 Bitcoin and Beyond: The Dawn of Currency 2.0 - Mar 06, 2014 Ruling Clears Way for Bitcoin Regulation - Aug 08, 2013 How ITEXPO Has Transformed into THE Communications Event - Jan 19, 2017 Will Bitcoins Really Crash Gold? - Dec 25, 2016 The Opportunities of the Dark Web - May 13, 2016 CloudGenix Gets Funded to Fuel SD-WANs - May 12, 2015 TrackBacks | Comments | Tag with | Communications and Technology Blog - Home | Permalink: Yes, Bitcoins are Gold 2.0 Copyright Communications and Technology Blog - Sponsored by Apex Technology Services, a leading IT Services company[...]

Uber News Involves Sexual Harassment While Waze Competes

Wed, 22 Feb 2017 19:03:55 -05002017-02-22T19:03:55-05:00

The news of the week wasn't great for Uber as a result of sexual harassment claims by workers via a blog post from Susan Fowler. USA Today reported that hours after the blog was posted, Uber opened an investigation led by Liane Hornsey, the company’s new chief of human resources and former Attorney General Eric Holder.There is never a good time to have news like this take over the collective consciousness but when a Google-funded company, Waze decides to make noise about its ride-sharing competition... You know the stars aren't aligned for you.We first broke the news about the ride-sharing plans Uber had up its sleeve last August but just today, the company says it will expand this service to new cities. Waze's prices also differentiate it from Uber and Lyft. According to the Journal, a ride from downtown Oakland, Calif. to downtown San Francisco costs a mere $4.50, where the same trip using either UberPool or Lyft Line is $10.57 and $12.40, respectively. To prevent drivers from using Waze as their main source of income, notes the Journal, riders only pay drivers $0.54 per mile, which is the current IRS reimbursement rate. The Fowler blog could be an example of why we’ve seen a decline of women in computing. There have been reports that the male-dominated world of tech is often inhospitable for women. And that’s not good for women or for the economy or the workplace as a whole given that there’s a dire shortage of skilled professionals in tech.TMC is working to raise awareness of such issues as well via its Tech Culture Awards program. It's dedicated to bringing this kind of important information to light and recognizing those companies that are effecting positive change in the workplace. We invite you to explore and participate in the TMC Workplace Excellence Award program including the Tech Culture Award, the Tech Diversity Award, and the Social Responsibility Award. Tags: eric holder, google, hr, human resources, lawsuit, legal, lyft, sexual harassment, uber, waze Related tags: sexual harassment, award, women, company, workplace Follow me: Facebook Profile Google+ Profile Twitter Profile Related Entries Not So Fast - Yes We Should Protect Innovation - Aug 20, 2012 Paris Peeved at Google - Feb 07, 2006 Yahoo! Should Buy Waze - Jun 04, 2013 Google Birthday Reminders: Is Google+ Pushing Too Hard? - May 13, 2013 Microsoft, Facebook, Apple and Google: France's War With US Tech Firms - Mar 13, 2013 Michael Robertson's New - Dec 11, 2012 Are Apple's Patent Lawsuits Dead Right? - Aug 30, 2012 Google+ Growth, Dropbox Killer: Google IS the Tech News - Feb 09, 2012 Google: Can it be Everything to Everyone? - Jan 27, 2012 Innovation Speed = (Moore's Law*Metcalfe's Law)/Patent Lawsuit Activity - Jan 25, 2012 TrackBacks | Comments | Tag with | Communications and Technology Blog - Home | Permalink: Uber News Involves Sexual Harassment While Waze Competes Copyright Communications and Technology Blog - Sponsored by Apex Technology Services, a leading IT Services company[...]

Mexican Call Centers Will Steal Jobs Thanks to Deported Workers

Wed, 22 Feb 2017 18:49:05 -05002017-02-22T18:49:05-05:00

We'd like to start this post by mentioning we aren't taking any politician position - only pointing out that Mexico will use new workers who are deported from the U.S. to steal jobs from American workers. In other words, the jobs will go with the talent in many cases and unless we add a tariff to phone calls, they will be able to easily interact with U.S. consumers and business just fine.It's just one facet of a complex problem worth considering. For more, this article has some interesting thoughts such as this: “That’s a huge pool of talent for us,” said Joe Andere, executive vice-president of Americas Survey Company (ASC), which with its sister company, Voxcentrix, has 450 call center stations in Tijuana. “We’re looking for people at the moment. All the companies are.” Employing native English speakers who understand US culture gives Mexican call centers an edge over rivals in India and the Philippines in a competitive, billion-dollar global industry. Call centers in Tijuana already employ thousands of people deported under former US president Barack Obama’s administration. They do market research, sales and technical support for companies such as McDonald’s Corp, Coca-Cola Co and Toyota Motor Corp. Their English can be so fluent and idiomatic that customers assume they are in the US. Luis Vargas Salazar, 53, a former marine deported in 2014 after 51 years in the US, is due to start a call center job this week. “I aced the tests,” he said. “I scored so high on all the English exams they signed me up straight away.” Tags: call center, mexico, tarriff, trump Related tags: deported, english, centers, workers Follow me: Facebook Profile Google+ Profile Twitter Profile Related Entries Call Center Stories Week of July 20, 2007 - Jul 20, 2007 Call Center Mexico - Mar 24, 2006 Trump, Obama and Other Topics I heard at ITEXPO - Feb 10, 2017 Broadsoft CEO Not Happy with Trump Immigration Policy - Jan 31, 2017 8x8 CEO Discusses Communications 2.0 and Going For the Win - Jan 15, 2017 ERICA Wants to be Your Contact Center Agent, All of Them - Jan 12, 2017 Mobilize Hopes to Boost Contact Center ROI - Dec 12, 2016 President Zuckerberg? The Top 28 CEO Choices for U.S. President - Dec 12, 2016 2017 Predictions From Rich Tehrani - Dec 09, 2016 Foxconn Plays the Trump Presidency Brilliantly - Dec 08, 2016 TrackBacks | Comments | Tag with | Communications and Technology Blog - Home | Permalink: Mexican Call Centers Will Steal Jobs Thanks to Deported Workers Copyright Communications and Technology Blog - Sponsored by Apex Technology Services, a leading IT Services company[...]

Forward This Post to Employees To Protect From Hackers

Wed, 22 Feb 2017 18:35:52 -05002017-02-22T18:35:52-05:00

Although there is no guarantee you can be 100% protected against hacking, there are some basics you can share with workers to reduce the chance you will be hit by a cyberbreach such as malware or cryptolocker ransomware. Without further ado - here are the 5 Habits That Could Cause a Data Breach at Your Company. 1. Clicking on random advertisements: Cybercriminals have been using fake advertisements to disguise malicious software for decades. But now, infected advertisements are becoming much more prevalent, and harder to recognize. They’re also becoming more dangerous, too. Many, for instance, are now embedded with ransomware which is a type of malware that can encrypt a machine and holds its assets until a fee is paid. Such advertisements have been found on popular websites like the New York Times, AOL, the BBC and the NFL. If you enjoy clicking on digital advertisements, and you don’t want to give up the practice, then you should at least be vigilant for fake links. Always hover your mouse over an advertisement before clicking on it, and check to see if you recognize the URL. If the URL looks suspicious, try searching for the promotion in Google instead of clicking on the link. It may take an extra second, but it sure beats accidentally clicking on an infected website. 2. Forgetting to lock your accounts: We’ve all done this at least once: You get up from your desk and walk away, leaving your computer and its files open for anyone to hijack. What’s wrong with doing this? It only takes a minute for someone to insert a malware-laden USB stick into your computer, or to steal your machine altogether. But it takes no time at all to set up a strong physical lock for a laptop, or a digital lock like a password or biometric security technology such as a fingerprint or voice scanner. By taking basic security precautions like these, you could wind up sparing yourself from a great deal of pain down the road. 3. Sharing information too freely: Oftentimes, data breaches will occur because random employees have unrestricted access to sensitive data on the network. So think about all of your shared accounts that you use to collaborate with other workers, and make sure that only trusted sources have access to them. Otherwise, you could be at risk for an insider data breach. You should also consider setting up a Cloud Access Security Broker (CASB), which can send detailed reports when end users try to access shared information on your network. For example, a CASB can be configured to send a notification if someone tries to access shared information after work, or from another country. A business may instruct its CASB to deny access to certain geographical areas. You can use a CASB to thwart an illegal data dump, or illegal spying. This is very important when working with third party vendors, where you typically have limited visibility into who is accessing your account on a regular basis. Here is the full post which we suggest you forward to your team - in fact we'd suggest sending it out quarterly or more often. We obviously suggest you invest in cybersecurity training for your team but even if you do, these sorts of reminders can be very helpful. Tags: casb, cloud, cryptolocker, cybersecurity, ransomware, technology, training Related tags: shared information, access shared, access, clicking, advertisements, security Follow me: Facebook Profile Google+ Profile Twitter Profile Related Entries Ransomware Fog Rolls over SanFran Muni, SFMTA - Nov 28, 2016 You Can Get Fired for Choosing Dropbox: A True Story - Sep 01, 2016 Aricent: How to be Digitally Durable - Jun 20, 2016 Politically Motivated Hackers Hit Nissan, Are You Prepared? - Jan 15, 2016 MatrixCloud: It's Time To Re-evaluate Cloud Deployment and Manag[...]

The Drone Wars Have Arrived

Wed, 22 Feb 2017 15:42:01 -05002017-02-22T15:42:01-05:00

An army of good drones will protect our high-value targets at all times. In February 2014 we warned of the impending urban drone wars: The police department after dealing with this incident is forced to develop a policy which entails the deployment of drones which can’t fire weapons but are capable of interfering with other drones by knocking into them. After all, few municipalities will be like this one in Texas which is OK arming its drones. I predict most police departments will be concerned about lawsuits resulting from drones killing someone inadvertently. Criminals will soon realize a single flying gadget won’t help them so much and will be drawn into a drone arms race requiring each side to ramp up their drone numbers in order to win any encounter. Moreover, once criminals discover the drone is a near-perfect murder weapon, they will start to invest in these devices and subsequently pull off murders without getting caught. Once again, police will have to counter with more drones which are constantly surveilling the air. Finally, many of the drone-based murders will likely take place as night as these devices have night-vision and humans do not.Gang and mob warfare will be taken to the next level as drone hits on one group will be retaliated with counter drone attacks and we’ll potentially see drone wars in the streets between sparring groups. This future which may seem farfetched - is not, as it is possible to develop drones with virtually all of these capabilities today. As battery and drone technology gets better, I am 100% certain virtually all of these scenarios will take place around the world. Within a few months of this piece being written, a terrorist in Bridgeport, CT - a 10 minute drive from TMC HQ in Trumbull planned on bombing a federal building and was thankfully thwarted.In 2015, the drone wars hit the White House and thankfully no one was hurt. We've also detailed how drones can threaten our industrial systems and how lasers are one way to take them out.Now the reality has hit home as ISIS is using' drones as attack weapons fairly regularly. According to the Washington post: The incident was among dozens in recent weeks in a rapidly accelerating campaign of armed drone strikes by the Islamic State in northern Iraq. The terrorist group last month formally announced the establishment of a new “Unmanned Aircraft of the Mujahideen” unit, a fleet of ­modified drones equipped with bombs, and claimed that its drones had killed or wounded 39 Iraqi soldiers in a single week.“A new source of horror for the apostates!” the group’s official al-Naba newsletter declared. Terrorists now know the incredible power they have to easily attack from the air. In other words - protecting an open-air stadium has become near-impossible by just using back checks and metal detectors as the terrorist can just fly their payload up and over. Flying vehicles are now easily attacked - as are any moving vehicle for that matter which is near the drone's path.Remember the airplane that landed in the Hudson River - it was geese that took it down.U.S. Special Operations Forces members inspect a drone used by Islamic State militants to drop explosives on Iraqi forces, in Mosul on Jan. 25. (Muhammad Hamed/Reuters). Source: Washington PostWhat is the realistic defense against drone attacks in a free and open society? There really isn't one which is as effective as current measures are to stop traditional attacks. Drones represent  a new attack vector but more importantly, they allow malicious persons to utilize an inexpensive and easy to assemble device to attack their targets with a very high level anonymity.It will indeed become an increasingly scary world to live in...[...]

Avaya Bankruptcy Really Doesn't Bother Buyers

Tue, 21 Feb 2017 14:28:47 -05002017-02-21T14:28:47-05:00

At this month's ITEXPO we hosted a panel on Cloud UC with RingCentral, 8x8 and Broadsoft and one of the first questions I asked was what is the end-result of the Avaya bankruptcy on the mind of people making purchasing decisions. While the panelists and I were quick to point out that cloud and debt helped do Avaya in, the audience wasn't particularity concerned.Out of about 500+ people in the room at the time one a few hands said the bankruptcy would affect their decision.One would have expected it to be much higher - we would have guessed north of 15% but instead the number seemed to be similar to what the company's typical annual churn rate is.Perhaps people have seen enough in their careers to know that Avaya products will still be maintained and serviced and likely invested in, regardless of what the bankruptcy courts decide.That's what happened with the Nortel assets after all.The funny thing is even though much is moving to the cloud, phones were everywhere at show... Peter Radizeski pointed out just how many phone vendors were exhibiting at the show. In addition, Sangoma drew much attention with their new phones. BTW, although I'm not officially allowed to tell you this, Sangoma phones are apparently solid enough to be getting resold by at least one Asian vendor I am aware of - one looking to enter the U.S. market in a more pronounced way.Getting back to Avaya, we're looking forward to more formal surveys of the market to see what purchasing decision-makers will do when time comes for them to make a decision on a new phone system. Purchase the latest from Avaya? Switch to Skype for Business? Vonage, Broadsoft, etc? Tags: 8x8, avaya, broadsoft, itexpo, ringcentral, ucaas Related tags: avaya bankruptcy, avaya, bankruptcy, people, decision, cloud Follow me: Facebook Profile Google+ Profile Twitter Profile Related Entries Broadsoft UCaaS Leader - See Them Live @ITEXPO - Jan 23, 2017 Cloud and Debt did Avaya in - Jan 24, 2017 How ITEXPO Has Transformed into THE Communications Event - Jan 19, 2017 ITEXPO West 2009 Expo Update - Aug 24, 2009 How to Make/Save Money With Communications Today - Jan 08, 2009 SIP Trunking Article - Sep 11, 2008 Packet8 SIP Trunking Rumor - May 17, 2008 ITEXPO Discount – Act Fast - Nov 07, 2007 ITEXPO Returns to Fort Lauderdale Tomorrow! - Feb 07, 2017 ShoreTel Connect Brings its Signature Simplicity to Hybrid Cloud Communications - Mar 24, 2016 TrackBacks | Comments | Tag with | Communications and Technology Blog - Home | Permalink: Avaya Bankruptcy Really Doesn't Bother Buyers Copyright Communications and Technology Blog - Sponsored by Apex Technology Services, a leading IT Services company[...]

PRVibes: IoT Evolution, The Enterprise IoT Event

Mon, 20 Feb 2017 20:26:34 -05002017-02-20T20:26:34-05:00

We were just reading the wrap-up from Calysto Communications. PRVibes of IoT Evolution Expo Florida 2017, a few weeks back on Fort Lauderdale. We are humbled by the nice comments - thanks to all of you for making the show a success... Sponsors, speakers, attendees, the TMC team and Crossfire Media.Here are a few of the nicest comments worth sharing (emphasis added by us): The real value of IoT, in our opinion and that of many of the analysts that we speak with on a regular basis, will be found in the enterprise. With that in mind, for enterprises looking to understand how to develop and implement IoT solutions, the IoT Evolution Conference and Expo, which took place February 7- 10, 2017, in Fort Lauderdale, is an event to have on the calendar.  This show is aptly named because it has is truly evolving. First, it revamped from M2M Evolution Expo to IoT Evolution. But now what sets it apart now is its focus on how IoT impacts enterprises across all markets and where implementation initiatives fit within a company. Companies can no longer assume IoT belongs to IT. Discussions covered who does IoT belong to in the enterprise, how should CEO’s plan for AI and more -- all the good stuff. Calysto views this Forum (which we were proud to help organize) as an important contributor to the industry, so stay tuned for future developments!  Carl Ford, CEO, Crossfire Media and executive director of content, IoT Evolution and his team have done a great job with this event. As the 17th event, and the first true M2M/IoT conference, it continues to evolve! Tags: conference, florida, iot, iot evolution, m2m, technology, trade show Related tags: crossfire media, evolution, event, enterprise Follow me: Facebook Profile Google+ Profile Twitter Profile Related Entries Thank You IoT Evolution Community! - Feb 14, 2017 ITEXPO and IoT Evolution Show Brochures now Available - Feb 02, 2017 How ITEXPO Has Transformed into THE Communications Event - Jan 19, 2017 ITEXPO Austin 2012 Show Guide and More - Sep 26, 2012 Need a New Car? Win a Mustang at ITEXPO in Miami Next Week - Jan 27, 2012 ITEXPO Honored as One of Top 50 Fastest Growing - Jan 19, 2011 Google Gmail VoIP, Cloud Computing and Other News August, 25 2010 - Aug 25, 2010 Good Morning, Quick Shout Out to IoT Evolution Sponsors - Thanks! - Jan 20, 2017 ITEXPO Offers Displaced Carnival Workers Special Offer - Dec 25, 2016 ITEXPO 2016 Overview Video - Jan 22, 2016 TrackBacks | Comments | Tag with | Communications and Technology Blog - Home | Permalink: PRVibes: IoT Evolution, The Enterprise IoT Event Copyright Communications and Technology Blog - Sponsored by Apex Technology Services, a leading IT Services company[...]

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai Wants Your Startphone FM Radio to Work

Sat, 18 Feb 2017 17:49:29 -05002017-02-18T17:49:29-05:00

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai thinks many of the smartphones sold in the U.S. should have their FM radios enabled for public safety and other reasons. He pointed out that only 44 percent of the top-selling smartphones in the United States have the FM chips activated compared to 80 percent in Mexico. The interesting news is he doesn't plan on trying to force companies to do what he thinks - quite refreshing.He hopes the free market sorts things out. What do you think of Ajit Pai as a result of this news - do you like him more? Less? Do you think he should force companies to do what he thinks is in our best interests? Tags: ajit pai, fcc, fm, government, radio, smartphone Related tags: force companies, thinks Follow me: Facebook Profile Google+ Profile Twitter Profile Related Entries Video is the Recurring Star - Jan 29, 2013 Sonos Wireless Dock Review - Oct 26, 2010 Sonos iPad Remote Control - Sep 29, 2010 Sonos Nearly Perfects Home Audio - Jun 27, 2010 A Slacker Weekend - Apr 20, 2008 Sending out an SMS - Apr 11, 2008 The Merger Satellite Radio Needs - Jun 03, 2007 Bill Gates Thinks Robots that Steal Jobs Should be Taxed - Feb 18, 2017 Surprising 2017 Tech Searches - Feb 13, 2017 NYC or France, Where Would You Locate Your Company? - Jan 07, 2017 TrackBacks | Comments | Tag with | Communications and Technology Blog - Home | Permalink: FCC Chairman Ajit Pai Wants Your Startphone FM Radio to Work Copyright Communications and Technology Blog - Sponsored by Apex Technology Services, a leading IT Services company[...]