The future of video in the contact center

When I was on the phone recently with my website provider, I really would have liked to have had a video connection. I am certain that I could have gotten more out of the call if it was video. At least it was a real time call and not through e-mail. The voice inflections gave me enough doubt to go ahead and pursue an alternate provider. Then again, video might have given my web site provider the ability to instill the confidence necessary for me not to pursue and alternative provider. And that is the point. Sometimes the best way to communicate is through video.

Someday our one on one communications will be mostly video. Pinpointing that exact time is difficult, but my proposition is that it will be sooner rather than later. Once the transition is in full swing, contact centers will already be fully video operable. Even today, there are some trends that will make video communications between callers and agents viable for many. Some of the trends are:

  • Inexpensive Video Services Available on any Computer
  • Smartphones and Tablets with Front and Rear Cameras
  • Push Technologies to Computers and Mobile devices
  • A Growing Comfort Level with Video Communications
  • The Greater Collaborative Experience with Video
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TalkingPointz research reports offer fresh views on UC vendors

Dave Michels is an UC nut. And I mean that in the most complimentary way. That’s why he’s capable of writing these very comprehensive research reports on UC vendors (Mitel Networks and NEC reports are currently available), and I’m grateful that he gave me a courtesy copy to read over. (Disclosure: I do not receive any compensation for this pseudo-review blog post; neither do I receive any sales commission or collect any fees from the sale of TalkingPointz reports.)

I don’t know about you, but in reading most industry analyst research reports I often find myself skipping through a lot, primarily because a lot of the parts read like marketing material from the vendors, plus sometimes I simply want more specifics pertaining to one or two vendors instead of seeing quadrants and waves of leaders and losers (yes, there I said it). Granted, these papers are useful when comparing vendors at a cursory level, and managers stretched for time would appreciate them, but what about for the rest of us information junkies?

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Alcatel-Lucent CEO rules out deep job cuts

In an interview with the French daily Les Echos ALU CEO Ben Verwaayen ruled out deep job cuts similar to the scale of Nokia Siemens which in November announced eliminating 17,000 positions. According to Verwaayen:

“There’s no way we are cutting our staff by 25 percent. We are in a different situation because we have quickly turned towards the network technologies of the future.”

So like any proper CEO he left himself some wiggle room: it could be anywhere between zero and 24%.

In the end of 2011 The Motley Fool happened to publish an year-end review of the stock. If you had spent $1,000 to buy ALU stocks in the beginning of 2011, by December 30 (the last trading day in the U.S.) your ALU position would only be worth $520. Or as the Fool says, 2011 was the year Alcatel-Lucent lost its mojo. The company’s revenue also declined by 1.3% in the year.

It did sell off Genesys for over a billion dollars so after that transaction completes ALU would have a bit of financial cushion. But historically ALU’s operating expenses pretty much erase what it makes in revenues. And with today’s worldwide — especially in North America and Europe — depressed economic condition, it’s harder to increase revenue but a bit easier to trim operating costs.

There’s no doubt that Verwaayen and the ALU board face tremendous pressure from shareholders going into the new year. Let’s hope the company can be turned around without having to go down the Nokia Siemens route…