As Traditional Media Consumption Shifts, So Do Trends in Social Media Engagement Strategies

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A recent study by PQ Media, a market research agency focused on competitive intelligence as it relates to some of today’s top media and technology organizations, disclosed findings that highlight the future of traditional media and how the shift is being led by a highly social Gen-X crowd. Their reports show that 2.1 percent of all traditional media consumption is sure to decrease by 2019. Of course, this figure is conservative.

Millennials are known for influencing tech innovations in the workplace. But, the Gen-X audience is the true leader in digital media interests. They spend more than 25.3 hours a week on average, consuming “doubled-up” digital media content. This consumption overlaps social media engagement and online collaboration.

“Increasingly, online and mobile media usage is being driven by the digital brand extensions of traditional media, driving up overall media as more content is re-purposed for digital devices, such as internet and mobile video streaming of TV programs and movies; online radio stations; web-based multiplayer editions of console video games; and mobile newspaper and magazine apps,” said PQ Media President and COO, Patrick Quinn.

The combined consumption of digital media and traditional media is totaled on average at 64.7 percent of our waking hours. This number is set to rise to 67 percent, even with the decline in traditional media consumption – especially with social impact playing a hand at the deck.

Acknowledging and adopting this concept, NetShow.com’s social streaming network and WebRTC ecosystem “buys in” to what is said to become a trillion-dollar market segment and mobile streaming lifestyle.

Realizing a gap in media consumption and identifying opportunity, NetShow.com introduces a bidirectional and highly interactive platform that allows us to engage our friends in shared social media consumption.

A membership-based portal is open to all networks and content providers from OTT media giants and independent media sources, as a platform engage audiences in shareable media content. Studies show that 90% of consumed digital content will be video-based.

Combining trends in the mobile experience, NetShow has developed systems that integrate various media types, including news, sports, entertainment, virtual reality and IoT interactives, further creating an engaging experience for two-way conversation within the media space. This is totally contrary to linear media sources we are accustomed to.

According to The Digital Facility, “NetShow has engineered the first “mobile living room” mobile broadband entertainment and interaction anywhere, any time. The platform empowers an interactive, immersive social viewing experience with friends and family around the world via face-to-face virtual conferencing overlay and its power isn’t limited to traditional media.”

Soon, you won’t need to screenshare in Skype to have a long distance date with your significant other. Platforms will now accommodate real-time viewing and interactivity, while you share screams and laughter.

“At NetShow, we feel we are the best investment opportunity for local TV and cable broadcast networks, along with film studios, for broadcast streaming distribution,” explains CEO Michael Evingham. “Social, connected streaming is the media of tomorrow; a way for audiences to build true relationships with each other and the content they enjoy. Networks can leverage the power and insight of social to deliver precisely what viewers want and expect. Rather than building isolated, non-social platforms of their own, NetShow provides a powerful, far-reaching solution for the future of streaming media in all its forms.”

While Gen-X consumers are the heaviest consumers of digital media consumption, our early adopters are their children. The iGen or Generation Z crowd and the Millennial professional are set to be the first adopters of NetShow’s innovative platform.

Unlike the Gen-X crowd, younger generations don’t mind sitting through ad-supported videos, which will in turn contribute to advertising effectiveness. To effectively engage universal audiences, NetShow is set to embed mobile streams that allow conversation to start amongst strangers, based on specific interest and popular discussion, related to the media being consumed. And that, my “friends,” is how the face of media will never be the same. 

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Mitel Seeks to Enhance Mobile Productivity

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Aimed to meet the growing requirements of a mobile-first world, Mitel has revealed new mobile solutions for real time communications.

The new Mitel Mobile Cloud Suite is empowering stronger communication and more productive collaboration amongst enterprise businesses, project teams and small firms. In fact, the suite allows Tier 2 and Tier 3 mobile carriers to provide more effective, rapid and cost-efficient hosting to VoLTE, ViLTE and VoWiFi technologies, in addition to advanced messaging services.

The Multi-ID, for example, allows users to easily attach all contact numbers and means of communication to be streamlined into a single device. Users are able to open a native application on any mobile device to make calls, listen to voicemail, send and receive text messages.

Evolving to meet the ongoing needs of today’s Executive and Project Lead, Mitel has established the Embedded Communications solution, the first product to emerge from the Mitel Accelerator, allowing businesses to integrate voice, video and messaging directly into mobile business SaaS applications. This streamlines mobile communications by allowing team members to stay in one app, as opposed to many, while communicating and collaborating in real-time without delaying, missing or overlooking very important details.

The Embedded Communications tool was created to enhance the FieldAware experience, already adopted by many field service organizations around the world for field-service scheduling.

Other tools include the Mi-Team portfolio solution that allows collaboration between a team with the mobile-first mindset. This solution includes real-time voice and video meeting, in addition to mobile whiteboarding and integrations of business applications. This method of communication claims to drop the average need for e-mail engagement by 40 percent. This could mean a great deal for enterprise businesses that connect thousands of employees at once. Virtual conference rooms allow for topic-based discussion, corporate meeting space and project-centered meetings.

Within the Mi-Team solution, team members will also be able to approve and sign documents, voice tag archived meetings and integrate file sharing from external cloud storage. Integrating project management workflow into the Mi-Team solution, Mitel allows users to assign tasks within virtual rooms, screenshare and schedule future meetings.

Finally, the Mitel Mobile Cloud Suite presents the mobile workforce with a solution that expands new cloud services and enables productivity within business itself, arming both enterprises and small businesses with enterprise-level tools and resource to expand business initiatives and streamline daily tasks. This solution is called the Mitel Global Cloud Expansion. It’s what brings all solutions full circle and helps Mitel to reach its strategic vision. 

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Empire Access Ditches Legacy Systems, Implements GENBAND

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GENBAND, provider of real-time communications solutions, recently announced the release of a Network Transformation solution through Empire Access, a state-of-the-art provider of fiber optics. The Network Transformation tool, a software-based solution, has implemented the GENBAND C15 Call Controller in maximizing and upgrading Empire’s communications systems, taking them into the new generation of telecommunications capabilities.

The C15 Call Controller has made a name for itself in the past, supporting a variety of standard protocols, interfaces and features that enable both IP and legacy servicing for its Class 5 predecessor that have allowed for better clarity, innovative video calling and call logging abilities and even mobility.

With the implemented Network Transformation rollout, Empire Access now finds itself with better network efficiencies and the ability to offer clientele advanced communications servicing. The addition of the C14 Call Controller allows the Network Transformation solution to consolidate network infrastructures and enhance all previous IP-based technologies.

Empire Access would now be able to facilitate applications servers, webRTC, wireless access gateways, intelligent messaging and session routing. They will now be able to engage virtualizing networking functions and implement cloud-based “as a Service” options. We all know the power of the cloud, especially on telecommunications in a globalized world.

In a world that relies on rich media content, the Network Transformation solution delivers rich communications servicing that “blend voice, video messaging and presence.” This solution allows previous tools and solutions to be integrated in order to facilitate an easier migration to the new system.

The GENBAND integrations will allow Empire Access to offer businesses with more complex and reliable scalability. They will now be able to offer new services to both residential and business customers, opening doors for new market potential for the company, as it enters a new playing field. Empire Access will also find that energy costs will be reduced through improved power saving efficiencies.

With the ability to provide customers with the latest in IP-based solutions, they can now ditch the dinosaur-based technologies and really ensure customer satisfaction through stronger connections, longer connection times and remote troubleshooting capabilities.

Because many clients are shifting from outdated systems, it has been important for GENBAND to focus on the improvements to current systems, while shifting to a totally new system altogether. The transition allows clients to protect previous systems and investments, while extending into new territories and making a complete shift in technologies. This is done while minimizing service disruptions to the end customer.

Less downtime means less impact on financials. It also keeps the customer from jumping ship at a time where companies are merging to offer the latest in technologies at more affordable pricing. For Empire Access, this was an important investment. It will pay off quickly, as previous expenses are replaced by savings.

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FTC Success Elusive In Enforcing National Do Not Call Registry

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Every two years, the FTC (NewsAlert) is required to report to Congress on the use of a National Do Not Call Registry. This includes complaints and utilization by both businesses and consumers. Gauging how well companies are adhering to guidelines and finding loopholes surrounding current laws, Congress will have a better understanding on which laws are working and which need to be amended in eliminating telephone spam and fraud.

The checks and balances system aims at bringing the average American a little more peace of mind at the start of their work day and when sitting at the dinner table.

Based on reports covering the last two years, as submitted on December 31, the lawmakers on Capitol Hill have given the thumbs up, as the FTC has demonstrated satisfactory efforts in enforcing telemarketing rules within the business world. Many of us may disagree, especially if we are continuously hounded by those companies texting and calling us at all hours of the night, telling us to “stop what you’re doing…” and trying to get us to spend more on student loan forgiveness programs than we would be going directly to Navient (formerly Sallie Mae) ourselves.

In contrast to those pirates that seem to break all the rules when it comes to telemarketing etiquette and compliance, the FTC has been taking a strong stance against illegal telemarketing practices and undertaking initiatives to combat technologies that allow these lawbreakers to hide their true identity. Robocalling has been a huge priority to the FTC in the most recent of years. The Federal Communications Commission has also adopted this concern as a major priority for enforcing ethical business practices in telecommunication.

Every five years, consumers and businesses must relist their most recent number into the registry database in adding protection to their “Do Not Call” requests. Within this time, callers won’t necessarily stop, but efforts to keep them from calling will keep them at bay. Because everyone does not play fairly, the FTC and FCC (NewsAlert) are consistently trying to combat offenders, while allowing telecommunications companies to operate within the boundaries of the law.

Timothy P. Tobin, a partner at law firm Hogan Lovells recently disclosed affirmations to DataGuidance, stating, “The real problem is where either the FTC or FCC, or private plaintiffs under the TCPA, go after legitimate businesses who are making good-faith efforts to comply with the law. For example, the FCC has made a total mess of the TCPA restriction on auto-dialed calls to cell phones with an overboard interpretation of what constitutes an autodialer and with unduly rigid consent requirements. This has had the effect of being extremely burdensome on many legitimate businesses, putting them at risk of multi-million dollar judgments and settlements for many types of calls and text messages that should not be restricted.”

Within each five year period, the FCC admits that they do scan phone numbers in prompting updated databases, ensuring newly listed numbers are adapted per request – and releasing those numbers that no longer belong to registered users. While it is easier having new numbers listed, because users tend to enforce this on their own, very few people are returning to the registry to remove their number once it is no longer theirs … prompting the five-year rule. After five years, numbers are automatically released from the registry.

Whether or not an uptick in unethical and illegal telecommunications practices subside, consumers are becoming more weary of answering telephones that are LAN line-based – if they even have one anymore. Consumers are also becoming weary of numbers that are not familiar and more hesitant to provide information on the Web that involves telephone number collection. This is one loophole that telemarketers have found in breaking the registry laws.

According to an undisclosed law firm, some of these numbers are hard to trace. And while many of them are able to be sued for upwards of $1500 a call, it may not be enforceable if you have filled out a form online and included your number for contact. Because filling in your number with a verified phone number is becoming increasingly required in submitting long, drawn-out forms. We are finding that even requesting a quote for a specific insurance company will return calls from multiple insurance companies that we have not permitted to solicit our phones.

Our data is being sold and the law is permitting it, because these unethical companies are asking our permission and requiring you to give up your rights to privacy in receiving information. While the FTC and FCC are doing a “good job” in enforcing the laws, the battle continues with these unethical companies. With new practices and the required two-year report, decision-makers in Congress will be able to find ways to continue helping our fight to enjoy dinner just one more day in peace.

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Smaller Devices and Motion Sensing: Is This the Future of Smartphones?

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Every so many months, we see the release of the “newest, best phone on the market.” The only problem is that they are almost never better than the most popular phone on the market and they will cost some outrageous prices, additionally locking you into a 2-year contract with a major carrier.

Elliptic Labs is setting out to change the mobile marketplace with their new BEAUTY Ultrasound Proximity Software. Not only does this software aim to replace extra sensitive hardware-based sensors, but it will do so while causing the price of smartphone manufacture tot drop significantly. This would cause the pricing model of smartphones to change exponentially and marketplace competition to really get dirty.

An added value of this BEAUTY software is that it will also cause mobile devices to be much sleeker than they are at this point and allow manufacturers to add additional features to the internal guts of each smartphone device.

Many of our smartphones today include smart motion and motion gesture technologies. In fact, many of our devices – period – include this technology. This is a very similar to what the BEAUTY software actually powers.

One problem with most motion gesture technologies, however, is that so very often, they will drain our batteries very quickly and rarely capture motion at 180 degrees. What makes it worse is that actual proximity is in continuous need of calibration. And, when they go haywire, sometimes your phone finds itself “butt dialing” every body you haven’t spoke to for the last five years. 

In fact, hardware-based sensors have been designed to turn off touch functionality when a user holds a device to their ear to speak on the phone. But, very often this actually becomes more sensitive, allowing our “fat faces” (cheeks and ears) to attempt three-way calls and pull up apps that we rarely use. With so many apps allowing in-app calling, themselves, there’s no telling the damage that can be done with a hardware sensor that isn’t working properly.

With more accurate touchless gesturing, Elliptic has been working to create alternative methods for user navigation and how users access their content. Beaming in high-resolution and across several platforms, the BEAUTY product users operates under low power and is able to be integrated into anything from PCs to televisions to the latest wearables.

Focused not just on how the software operates, Elliptic also focuses on how this software makes an end product look. This ultrasound software eliminates the multiple sensors we have toted on our smartphones since inception, which means that our smartphones will not only be more attractive, but they will also be able to withstand more torture.

Those finding themselves constantly replacing that glass face on their smartphones will find that their sensors won’t take so badly to the change.

Elliptic’s software uses the earpiece and microphone from the smartphone to decide proximity based on sound, in addition to a plethora of other motion triggers and detection.  This means that software sensors are non-dependent of light and won’t rely on lighting to work.

One source speaks about this software’s ability to pick up notes made via paper and pen nearby the device. This almost tells us that this software will be able to sense 360 motion around the device. This is going to be interesting.

Optical sensor has been known to fail on devices, causing expensive smartphones to require repair. They are also unreliable in the cold or on rainy days. Much similar to the duraTOUCH technology in many of today’s top devices, Elliptic’s BEAUTY was also created to withstand certain weather conditions. Although one is all for touch, and the other is eliminating it, it would be interesting to see what the two companies could create in collaboration with one another.

Looking forward to adoption by many OEM manufacturers in 2016, we just may find ourselves holding a much more BEAUTY-ful device in the near future. Whether smartphones drop their price or not is something still to be said. Until then, we have something to be hopeful for. 

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Revolutionary Trends Shift the Customer Experience, Increasing Brand Loyalty for 2016

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As the year ended, multiple technologies and integrations signified that this is a great time to be a tech or customer service professional. We are now living in a time when you can read social media posts on the sides of your shoes, while simulating a walk on the moon. As a tech professional, you might be striding through your day, because in our lifetime, we have seen technology evolve from prehistoric to futuristic – and it isn’t anywhere close to stopping.

As businesses adopt newer technologies and are able to increase quality and productivity they are learning that, just like in traditional business models, the customer experience is everything. We now have a host of new innovations making our day just a little bit better. Think of how far AI and mobile has come in just the last five years – and little over a year ago, there were a lot of people still confused over what IoT actually was.

According to the Interactive Intelligence (NewsAlert) Group, Inc. There are five trends that we need to look out for in 2016. This cloud services group, diligently works to improve customer engagement, communications and collaboration for its many global clientele. They have done their research, and we’re here to give you the breakdown.

“It’s clear that companies are making customer interaction experiences a priority, and the trends we’ve identified will be critical if businesses want to stay competitive,” said Dr. Donald E. Brown, Interactive Intelligence founder and CEO. “Of note is that all these trends rely heavily on the cloud, analytics and big data. These now form the underpinnings of nearly all things customer experience-related and will continue to be key components of any successful customer engagement strategy.”

  • Customer-Centricity Breaks the Ice and Creates Unity

Focused on an optimized customer experience, there is no one department instrumental in the success of customer relations. In fact, everyone — from the contact center to the external stakeholder — is to be held accountable for the experience and satisfaction of each customer, individually. Customers need to find ease in using a product, and if they can’t they need to be able to find someone, who can explain it to them.

How customers interact with the brand is extremely important. Whichever method they choose for interaction will stand as the mouthpiece for that brand. For this, digital workstreams powered by integrated user engagement, communications and collaboration – most communications platforms will also be powered by cloud technologies.

This will encourage better cross-department and multidisciplinary communications – both inside the workplace and externally. Everyone will be brought up to speed at once; and everyone can gauge needs for improvement – immediately.

  • IoT will Continue to Expand the Omnichannel Experience

One-third of companies are reporting to use IoT within their 2016 operations planning. Using always-connected wireless technologies has brought a ton of efficiency to the workforce. But, in 2016, organizations are using them as an additional means to interact with customers, internal groups and partners.

Companies are using this technology, as coexisting with locational-based prompts. Many of these prompts will direct customers to one-on-one interaction with a live person, social media, documentation and exclusive offers. The customer will continue to the forefront of office place efficiency and continue to improve the customer experience in 2016.

  • We Will See Artificial Intelligence Like Never Before

As every day objects begin to take life, we are literally seeing teddy bear’s learning our every move and having full-blown conversations with a non-existent person. But, how can this help the customer experience? As machine learning hits its prime, advanced speech analytics are able to trigger alerts and specific messaging. Companies can further identify patterns and predict customer behavior.

Engaging with machines directly, the customer will experience better self service options than in the past, as AI can intelligently identify a customer’s need and break down methods of utilization, repair or expansion. Algorithms are leading AI to understand not just what a customer is saying – but also what they are not saying. In cases where after-hours leave no customer service agent available and where customer service agents are unnecessary, AI is becoming increasingly prominent. Many times, customers do not know the difference.

  • Sophisticated Do-It-Yourself Customer Service Empowers Customers

While this goes hand in hand with all other methods, “do-it-yourself “ customer service is becoming more convenient, timesaving and preferred, especially amongst the tech savvy millennial crowd. Brands are also learning that providing DIY methods saves the company on staffing costs and keeping wait times down in the contact or call centers… also benefiting traditional customer service methods in keeping customers satisfied, who do not want to be on hold for longer than average periods of time. Customers are empowered when they feel good about their ability to use your product effectively and save time  and money on repairs.

 Brand loyalty and niche networks are actually being built upon DIY platforms, this would obviously attract more finance to the company, as well. Web, mobile and SMS platforms are excellent ways to reach millennials, as they regularly search for content based on their direct needs. Not only will this be a larger trend in 2016, but it will also be a great tactic for many companies, who are including it into their overall marketing plan.

  • Every “Take-Out” Ready Through Mobile

With the traditional business structure broken and many more professionals are entering the work-from-home revolution, remote access to company infrastructures is proving more beneficial to the business structure than previous methods. Millennials, leading this movement, are always on the go. They want to spend more time traveling and with family.

Mobile technologies have allowed a complete office space to travel with us; cloud technologies allow us to access the office. Collaboration, communication and productivity, are again, improving. Mobile apps are going to be more mandatory in the past. Not having an app for your business may actually leave your organization in the dust.

Allowing customers to interact with the brand, especially live, is extremely beneficial to every organization, which instituted into their 2016 operations action plan. In fact, conference calling, white boards, tech support and other forms of customer and client interactions are at the forefront of 2016 and one of the most integrated technologies of the year.

In wrapping up the list, improving customer engagement and experiences should absolutely be at the forefront of concern this year. Restructuring the face of your customer service methods can be life or death for many companies. Interactive Intelligence holds a weekly live webinar that can help your organization gauge your current customer service methods, as well as show you how to integrate these growing customer engagement trends into your own business plan. Find out how to attend by visiting this page.

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Cloud-based e-Discovery Creating Efficiencies for Law Firms

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Bloomberg (NewsAlert) and many other news outlets are questioning whether or not 2016 is the “year of cloud-based e-discovery.” This makes sense, given that 2015 was the year cloud-based innovations erupted into the mainstream. Experts are predicting that e-discovery will soon adopt and completely immerse itself into the cloud universe.

Law firms especially have taken to hosting secure servers externally, eliminating security concerns by hosting on internal servers or breach of privacy in confidential information through access by local IT professionals, who might be tempted to manipulate files and change details in local cases.

External cloud servers have become unbiased custodians for cases that may last several years on end. Concerned with the security related to accessing clouds through the Internet, there are some law firms that are quickly realizing that external sources are indeed more secure than hosting in-house, although completely against the move in previous months. External sources are becoming more secure as technology is being strengthened to meet the growing concerns for secure portals.

In meeting cost efficiencies, legal teams are also finding that hosting on external servers is cheaper to maintain than hosting internal machines and hiring the operators to engineer them.  Firms are aligning with their exact needs by finding providers that can meet those exact needs, thus eliminating the need to create these needs in-house. They are also learning that external sources allow for a more concrete “uptime” than they have experienced through proprietary servers.

Lack of resources and a full staff of necessary professionals to operate systems under a set budget is one thing that sets internal servers apart from external clouds. They are now able to integrate programming and the ability to provide access to attorneys while out of the office. With increased security and lower costs for e-discovery systems, clients will also save in service prices, ensuring long-term relationships with clientele.  

Cloud-based e-discovery solutions aren’t one-size-fits-all solutions to e-discovery tools for law firms, however. Some smaller law firms may realize that they don’t need such a complex server to meet their immediate needs. Likewise, larger firms, who have put a CISO, Chief Information Security Officer, in place to ensure security at all times, may also realize that they can efficiently do everything in-house, especially in the situation where their caseloads are enormous and that migrations would be extensive. This includes the need for large storage solutions.   They still face concern of internal data breach.

Larger firms, who may choose not to make e-discovery available through a cloud, may still institute a system that includes cloud technologies, whether through integration or through a separate system altogether. Because many enterprises are realizing the need for “always on” connectivity, remote access of the work environment continues to provide further documentation and control of cases from outside the office place. This benefits firms, whereas external contributors or remote personnel are associated with a specific case.

Through this they have systems in place to ensure proper communication, internal collaboration and – of course productivity… the ongoing theme of cloud innovations. 

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Linux Foundation Executive Details 5 Virtual Networking Predictions for 2016

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Open source projects have always been in demand, but they have become even more so since our top technologies have allowed for more integration, as opposed to previous “as is” programming. That said, we are seeing one of the biggest growths for open source software development in the area of Networking. Here, network functions virtualization (NFV) is allowing networking to be transformed and is being impacted by open source projects at record speed.

As Heather Kirskey, Director of NFV for OPNFV, the Linux Foundation, in a recent blog provides five virtual networking trends to keep an eye on in 2016 as the pace of virtualization innovation really is accelerating.  In fact, Kirskey cites a recent report by the researchers at IHS Infonetics who are forecasting a fivefold increase in the NFV/SDN market by 2019 with more than $11B in revenue.

Plus, it is noted that when it comes to NFV, activities are moving beyond telecommunications. The Linux Foundation is deeply involved in accelerating NFV having created a collaborative project over a year ago to fan the innovation flames. They launched a “carrier-grated, integrated, open source platform” aimed at accelerating the innovation of new products and services from over 56 separate companies who have come together in the Open Platform for Network Functions Visualization (OPNFV) project. It plans a second, more evolved launch later this year with increased functionality, testing and interoperability.

Kirskey provided five predictions regarding this substantial infrastructure technology shift.

Her first prediction is that “containers become a key technology component in any NFV platform.” She sees it changing how we uses guest operations in virtual machines, because we will now be using applications instead of actual containers. This will provide easier to use – yet customizable – solutions to previous container features. This usually means that more will get done in a shorter amount of time. And, who doesn’t love productivity?

Next on the list is that “NFV” and “SDN” will be the top skill sets amongst telecom job seekers.” She feels that this shift in virtualization will not only impact how we use technology but also how we hire for technology. As explained, productivity is a key driver going forward.  Many organizations will most likely work to either integrate better virtual functions through networking, or they will simply switch over completely. This will mean expertise on how to optimize new capabilities will be at a premium.  

Third, Kirskey is looking at the first round of limited production deployments in OPNFVs beta stage tol go live. This is exciting on its own, because it is estimated that over 38 new products are getting ready for release. And, with implementation will come the use cases where ROIs become validated.

Fourth on the list is that with the new releases we are going to see the first non-telecommunications end users. And, OPNFV as a result will begin to see diversity in membership.

Finally, Kirskey predicts that an even higher caliber of NFV-related service outages will occur. This will be the “signaling of a turning point in adoption.” New issues will manifest, as several new audiences begin to access and manipulate the programming. These are what Kirskey characterizes as unfortunate but predictable “growing pains” which according to her are a “silver lining,” the logic being that any large scale outage signals that the technology is maturing.

The good news is that despite the last point about bumps on the road, realities are that the silver lining assessment is not off base.  NFV is maturing quickly, the results are going to become readily apparent in the not too distant future and open source solutions are going to be the fuel that keeps the engines of innovation and deployment running optimally.

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HTML5 Continues to Transform Traditional Print to Scalable Interactive Experiences

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We have been seeing publishers, such as ISSUU, distributing independent magazines across platform via HTML5 since as early as 2010. But as PUB HTML5 crosses this threshold, it reminds us how important it is to create efficiency for our audiences. As mobile platforms continue to be our choice window into the outside world, it becomes ever so necessary to keep our media responsive in ensuring its consumption on the go.

Allowing magazines to be circulated within a global world, many publishers, such as PUB HTM5 and ISSUU are enjoying the potential that HTML5 can bring to their catalog of material – both commercial and independent, as they create “flipbooks,” magazines, catalogs and other publications.

Thanks to HTML5-based platforms, we are granted access to a plethora of devices, including smartphones, tablets and now wearables. We are able to deliver animated transitions, while keeping our content optimized to search engine visibility. We are further able to build large audiences that can now subscriber to push and e-mail notification once a new issue has been published.

Without the need for flash, companies such as PUB HTML5 have found ways to keep responsive content scalable in meeting visibility and aesthetic requirements of each deliverable. Publishers can now expand the potential of their published content by adding video, audio and slideshows. A traditional magazine now becomes an interactive experience.

For publishers, who have gained reputation through newsstand success and are now seeing a rapid decline in subscription and readership, there is hope – and even more opportunity than before. They are given wings and are able to directly engage their brand loyalists in amazingly new interactive instances. Instead of discussing a musician’s new album, they could, indeed, give access to exclusive tracks from that album to audiences all over the world.

The ability to shift our platforms and shift our content to suit our personal needs for consumption is almost spoiling.

Catering to our audiences through scalable media and browser responsiveness, we can ensure a positive, eye-catching – and addicting – experience every time. As we build mobile applications to supplement what the physical world can’t offer and our browsers to provide a means of access without the need for download, HTML5 continues to bring excitement and potential into the world of digital media content and delivery.

Brands are finally adopting the “content is king” mentality. But, we’ve been saying this for years. Taking that content and delivering it in new ways is what it will take to stay ahead of competition and gain in brand loyalty throughout the decades.

What PUB HTML5 and ISSUU are doing is giving brands a voice, whereas they would have lost it otherwise. Giving us delivery potential through their digital newsstand, we now have the opportunity to gain a new monetization strategy. Through their existence, we give our audiences new options… options that allow for online and offline consumptions through a mobile platform and the option to be printed in the physical form.  

Business are now given the potential to create packages for strategic partnerships and in delivering proposals in a new light. HTML5 has not just changed the face of how we present written materials, but it is slowly changing how we interact with documentation, marketing materials and educational platforms. The world is evolving – and so is our content. 

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Time for an SaaS Update?

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PREVIOUSLY PUBLISHED TO TMCNET’S CUSTOMER SUPPORT SOFTWARE

It’s no secret – and definitely nothing new – a good help desk is necessary in allowing the corporate world to flourish, one business professional at a time.

At smaller companies, Help Desk Support and IT may, in fact, be the same department. But, at larger firms, they are as much the same as night and day. Help Desks are responsible for serving their own internal clientele in the best way possible. They also may serve as the company’s Tech Support department for external customers with incoming concerns with a company’s product lines, services or website functionality. They are often the first point of contact with tech concerns – and many times the only point of contact.

Susan J. Campbell recently discussed how your days are numbered if your differentiation isn’t based on quality service. No matter which audience you’re serving, if you are the first point of contact or the last – your focus better be on quality and maximized performance.

But, how can you do this when your desk isn’t organized and files are thrown all over the place? How can you do this when your own team isn’t on the same page, or when it takes 20 steps to complete just one task? How can better communication take place with your customers if support tickets are continually getting lost?

This most recent shift in cloud technologies and integrations has been teaching us that there are so many new and amazing tech options, helping us do our jobs better and with greater efficiency. Productivity is key. If your time behind that desk is not maximized, you are wasting your own potential.

In a Help Desk setting, we are also able to benefit from the potential that clouds bring to our communications and collaboration activity. Not to mention, cloud technologies are cutting costs to department budgets and are improving speed within the organizations over all infrastructure. Using software environments from 1999 is not going to cut it. In order to evolve your business model, you must evolve the way you are handling business.

If your team hasn’t yet discussed the need for a new direction in Help Desk SaaS (News – Alert), perhaps it’s the right time to start that conversation. Continued improvements to processes are what make a business run more effortlessly and with greater productivity. As the first line of defense, it is your responsibility to provide the company with better support to the outside world.

Everyone’s input is important and everyone on the team makes a difference. Include your team in the discussion for department needs in improving the Help Desk environment. Together, you will want to discuss whether the company needs new customer support software, integration or a whole new environment altogether. Discussing department needs will bring awareness to issues that have been avoided for a long time. Notes should be taken. Processes will be improved. Perhaps solutions such as TeamSupport would actually be an option in helping teams to continue this necessary dialog and eliminate miscommunication. Find out. Start the conversation. 

All stakeholders should feel a sense of ownership. Give everyone the chance to list their needs and which features they would most benefit from in their day-to-day work routine.

Prioritize the items on the list. Eliminate what is not important. Vote on which are the most important and why. These are all tips shared by Information-Age.

Help Desks can consist of both expert and intermediate abilities. What may have been mastered by you 10 years ago may be something new to someone else. Communicate these differences. You may find compromise to be an important factor in this part of process. You may find communication to be an even larger part of that process.

Come to the meeting armed with options. This will allow the team to weigh out benefits and costs of these technologies. Encourage everyone to research solutions beforehand.

In some cases, a business SaaS with a great reputation of updates and integrations is a better solution than a do-it-all platform. Then again, the opposite can be true. What are your needs? Do not pay for what you aren’t going to use.  Focus on the services you need to provide better service to your own customers.

Discuss a minimum feature set and select a solution that will provide you with a better feature-to-budget ratio. Factor in whether or not there is compliance or licensure necessary in using each option. Are there security requirements? What security is included?

Preparing your case to decision-makers will often allow your department to go outside of their budget if the external decision makers find it a good investment.

Always know what you want to do and why you want to do it. Continuous monitoring of system performance will help to validate adoption down the road. It will allow you to enrich the support off your clientele, both internal and external. Process improvements will strengthen this ability and allow your team to better succeed in support. Customers will continue to be satisfied; and your support team will, too.

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