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TMCnet.com publishes original, technology-oriented articles and columns written by industry experts and TMC's own editors.

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I completed a rather rocky purchase at a local retailer. and at the end of the transaction the clerk circled the survey number at the bottom of the receipt and asked me to participate. This move suggested that she thought there was nothing wrong with the poor service she provided and, because I had contacted this store in the past regarding poor interactions, I doubted they would listen to my responses this time around.
12/22/2014 1:23:44 PM
The contact center is a constantly changing division of the company, responsible for so much more than simply talking to customers. Whether yours is a hosted contact center or call center on demand, you've likely been managing multiple channels in a myriad of ways in an effort to best serve the customer. Do you know if you're being effective or simply reactive? Do you know for sure that you have the right IT solutions in place to keep moving forward successfully?
12/22/2014 12:23:48 PM
Startups indicate their most pressing condition within their titles: they are just beginning. While some may have more capital than others, it is imperative that, within their early days of operation, they find ways to a step ahead of the competition. Even if they gain one step that is one more than the market players, which seek to take them down by simply fighting for their customers.
12/22/2014 12:20:44 PM
The unified communications (UC) sector has undergone a massive transformation this year as more and more services and functions make the move to the cloud. Microsoft Lync has traditionally been a major force in the UC space and is also making the transition to the cloud with Office 360 and the Microsoft's recent integration with Skype.
12/22/2014 12:17:28 PM
Online learning is making it possible for students to get educated from virtually anywhere at very affordable price points. The fact that companies are beginning to recognize degrees obtained online also validates the long term viability of getting an education using this platform. As more schools begin to offer this option to students, they are looking for solutions to help them increase student engagement and retention. Colloquy, a provider of online education strategy, consulting, and delivery to higher education, serves more than 20 top universities and it announced the deployment of NewVoiceMedia's Cloud Contact Center technology to give its partners and students a better online experience.
12/22/2014 12:12:50 PM
Haste makes waste, according to the old adage. But so do assumptions that are not backed up by data.
12/22/2014 12:10:34 PM
We have seen quite a few advancements in 2014 in almost every area that involves mobile technology. As is usually the case, developments in one industry potentially have benefits that can be useful for other industries. Concepts can also lead to improvements where you would least expect to see them.
12/22/2014 12:08:00 PM
Does your company ever get stuck in the past? It's not uncommon to develop strategies and stick with them to the point of hurting progress or even putting off the customer. It's also not uncommon to look at industry research and accept it at face value instead of evaluating the source and the impact. For call center management, doing so could greatly affect your outcomes.
12/22/2014 12:01:50 PM
Until very recently, the contact center was considered a sinkhole of cash to the average company. Written off as a necessary evil, the call center existed only to meet the most basic customer expectations, and if a company was lucky, they would break even with their contact center operations.
12/22/2014 11:58:18 AM
Businesses are increasingly going green, and migrating from wasteful paper-based workflows to more efficient, digitized document and records management. Software developers are following the trend, and tapping that opportunity with a range of tools for scanning and manipulating documents. Looking to give them an edge, Dynamsoft has upgraded its software development kit (SDK) for creating document-scanning modules within browsers to support HTML5 WebSocket, JavaScript IntelliSense and 1D barcode reading.
12/22/2014 11:55:34 AM
Today, many contact centers are finding a plethora of benefits by switching over to cloud-based solutions. Often initially attracted by cost savings on up-front capital investment and IT resources, these organizations find - as they take on more cloud-based applications - that the model offers benefits from human resources to customer engagement to data analytics.
12/22/2014 11:53:28 AM
When it comes to managing a call center workforce, what's good for the call center and its employees often isn't the same as what's good for the customers. Too many contact center build schedules and forecasts are based on the convenience of the company and not the best interests of customers. This is often where the huge disconnect occurs between the quality of customer support companies think they're offering and what their customers say they are offering.
12/22/2014 11:50:58 AM
Many companies today will go to great lengths to save money, even when it doesn't really make sense. In a customer support scenario, these efforts can be disastrous. According to a recent study by CareerBuilder and Economic Modeling Specialist International, more than one-third of companies have expressed an interest in replacing human customer service agents with automated system in the next 10 years. While automation certainly has a time and a place - for simple transactions such as checking balances, or for routing phone calls and handling routine inquiries - customers still value live help, and when they can't get it, it's likely they will go where they can get human help.
12/22/2014 11:48:53 AM
Companies, eager to find ways to save money and cut expenses, have been turning to video conferencing for a variety of different purposes, like spurring the growth of a mobile workforce or as a replacement for business travel. But one point that hasn't been so often considered-yet increasingly is-is the concept of using videoconferencing in business training. The Costarican Times took a look at this concept more in-depth, and noted there were several key benefits to putting such technology to work in the field.
12/22/2014 11:46:07 AM
There are a number of metrics that call center management examine in assessing the performance of the customer service division. Criteria like number of abandoned calls, number of calls per hour, absenteeism, schedule adherence, First Call Resolution, call escalation and so much more are examined on a regular basis. If you don't have the right agents in the right place at the right time, however, these metrics may not matter.
12/22/2014 11:42:51 AM
Network-based security and malware detection software can protect customers, drive network efficiency and create competitive advantage.
12/22/2014 11:21:16 AM
Multiple researchers in Germany have discovered that SS7 technology, designed in the 1980s, has several serious vulnerabilities which could allow interested parties to break into the system and listen to phone calls.
12/22/2014 11:17:29 AM
With the right software and professional services maintaining optical networks can be greatly simplified.
12/22/2014 11:15:34 AM
Yealink, the No. 2 global SIP phone provider, announced today that it has signed on to become a Platinum Sponsor of ITEXPO Miami, held January 27-30, 2015 at the Miami Beach Convention Center in Miami, Florida. At this industry-leading business technology event, Yealink will present brand new products to the global audience - the ground-breaking conference phone system CP860 and foundation-level gigabit IP Phone T2 Series. The high-selling, ultra-elegant T4 Series and DECT phone will also be on display. Visitors will also have the opportunity to experience at first-hand Yealink full series solutions.
12/22/2014 10:54:03 AM
A year after being deployed in several live networks the 9500 MPR long-haul platform has maintained expectations.
12/22/2014 10:37:51 AM
Cloud contact center systems is a technology that's been gaining ground for some time now thanks to its ability to offer special tools to contact centers, and allow for fairly easy expansions as needed.
12/22/2014 10:33:49 AM
As a contact center manager who is passionate about your job, chances are you've read more than a few articles containing tips for improving customer satisfaction. Unfortunately, many of these pieces provide only vague guidance and, after a while, they may begin to blend together.If you've been looking for more specific suggestions about how to step up your customer service game, you've come to the right place. The following is a road map for improving customer relationships, complete with step-by-step directions to your service destination.
12/22/2014 9:20:08 AM
One of the fastest-growing startups offering an SSD storage solution is SolidFire, and as the company looks to increase its global customer base and channel partners, it has been receiving a large amount of funding and acquiring new talent.
12/22/2014 9:19:25 AM
With the last few days before Christmas closing in, and Hanukkah already in full swing, there are plenty of people out there making travel plans, assuming said travel plans aren't already in play. Suitcases packed, boarding passes checked, and preparations made to run the gauntlet of airports ahead of long trips on airlines to get back to home, hearth, and happy holidays, hopefully. But at least one airline will be paying a little closer attention to its customers, thanks to a program from United called Voice of the Customer, a program which has already had an impact on the way United does business.
12/22/2014 9:00:00 AM
Sometimes we have to use the type of communications that others need. Being rigid is not always an option.
12/22/2014 8:40:08 AM
With the end of one year upon us and another beginning, many sales organizations turn to a little housecleaning and goal setting.
12/22/2014 8:26:39 AM
Instead of accumulating more physical things, my immediate family just began planning a trip to Europe, which we'll consider as our collective Christmas present. And rather than running around buying and shipping a bunch of presents to Chicago this year, I did all the Christmas shopping for extended family through two websites for which there was free shipping, or at least free shipping when you spent a certain amount.
12/22/2014 7:23:00 AM
About a year after officially launching its Internet of Things business unit, Intel is working hard to define its strategy and get IoT technology into the hands of consumers.
12/22/2014 6:00:00 AM
Salespeople are consumers at heart, and the goal of winning something is a great motivator. There are some simple steps your organization can take to ensure contests yield the desired results.
12/22/2014 6:00:00 AM
This past year has been one of tremendous innovation. With the Internet of Things growing at an exponential rate, new data streams are constantly being created to unlock significant value for both the technology companies that must evolve to stay ahead of the curve - but also their customers whose lives and businesses benefit from these new products and services.
12/22/2014 6:00:00 AM
2014 is nearing its end. For the tech world and enterprise space, the year has been a great one - full of advancements that make working intelligently and more efficiently possible. But sad as it is to say goodbye, there is so much promise in the year ahead for innovation building on the many happenings we're already excited about.
12/22/2014 6:00:00 AM
There is no doubt that marketing has risen in prominence. The rise of the internet has driven new behaviors in the customer base. In the B2B world, every buying center will research information online and it is the job of marketing to entice those buyers and bring them into their environment. Strategically, marketing are now the conduit for all business - yes, I did say all business. Tactically, this means driving inbound marketing programs, proactively working with sales on outbound initiatives and raising the brand of the company.
12/22/2014 6:00:00 AM
New York's Fordham Road Business Improvement District recently launched a native app to communicate with its audiences and enhance business for retailers in the area.
12/22/2014 6:00:00 AM
Hosted PBX and unified communications (UC) services are a growth market that has moved well beyond early stages, with revenue on track to grow 13 percent this year.
12/22/2014 6:00:00 AM
For all contact centers, a new year is an opportunity to turn over a new leaf. While many may not ultimately meet all their goals for the New Year, at the very least, most companies should be striving to make small improvements.
12/22/2014 6:00:00 AM
This week in the IoT connectivity Solutions Community the IoT felt the warm embrace of adoption as well as the chilling threat of unprotected data. It was another exciting week, and now it's that time again-time for the week in review.
12/20/2014 7:12:00 AM
With every passing day embedded M2M solutions are becoming more intertwined into our lives. Whether it is a connected car, interactive kiosk or a smart home the future is now for M2M. On that note, it is that time again-time for the week in review!
12/20/2014 7:00:00 AM
This past week in the Next Generation Communications Community certainly had a little bit of everything. In fact, from rumors to marketing to new technology capabilities in various areas this week really highlighted once again the diverse nature of community activities.
12/20/2014 7:00:00 AM
There was a flurry of new this week in the network functions virtualization and software-defined networking arena. That included the introduction of yet another industry consortium addressing NFV, the publication of a new report on the platform market, and the acquisition of a consulting and research firm that has been closely tracking the NFV and SDN space.
12/20/2014 7:00:00 AM
The end of the year is a time for reflection from industry thought leaders in the contact center analytics space. It's been a busy year, with many new solutions, upgrades to existing ones, company acquisitions and more. Looking at the year ahead, there are many aspects of analytics that businesses should consider when mapping out their plans and priorities. Let's take a look at some of the contact center analytics highlights from the week.
12/20/2014 7:00:00 AM
It was an interesting week in the conferencing field, with companies making new announcements about joint efforts and new ways to make conferencing easier. Here are some highlights.
12/20/2014 7:00:00 AM
Unified communications bring together myriad channels to make collaboration and outreach a streamlined, no-brainer process for businesses. And as the world increasingly goes mobile, and more and more companies rely on wireless technologies to stay connected, unified communications (UC) solutions have really stepped up to the plate. As the UC market gears up for another busy year, let's take a moment to recap some of highlights from the industry in the final stretch of 2014.
12/20/2014 7:00:00 AM
This time of year typically brings a rush of business to call centers, and this year is no exception. We have the details on highlights from the past week.
12/20/2014 7:00:00 AM
With 2014 drawing ever nearer to its inevitable completion, the flow of news in the real time communications field carries on unabated. Plenty of developments have emerged covering a variety of fronts, and keeping track of it all can be a tall order. But with a weekend afoot, it's a great time to take stock of the week and get ready for the shortened week ahead, which we'll do now with our Week in Review coverage!
12/20/2014 7:00:00 AM
With the Christmas holiday less than a week away, it's been busy week in the world of mobile technology. Here are some of the top stories we've been following.
12/20/2014 7:00:00 AM
The Contact Center Solutions Community this week had a case of the pre-holiday need to spend a little time going shopping, literally and figuratively. However, the pre-holiday season by no means meant a lack of some seriously interesting news from the industry.
12/20/2014 7:00:00 AM
Two primary themes have taken over call centers in these late fall and beginning winter months: the Affordable Care Act and holiday shopping.
12/20/2014 6:00:00 AM
A number of companies are utilizing Lync Voice, and we have all the details
12/20/2014 6:00:00 AM
Calient Technologies Inc. and the Center for Integrated Access Networks, Calsoft Labs and WebNMS, and Dell and Midokura all announced new partnerships this week aimed at expediting network infrastructure transformation.
12/20/2014 6:00:00 AM
It's a good time to take a step back and consider the wider impact of the week that was with our Week in Review coverage!
12/20/2014 6:00:00 AM
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