Gotham Technology Group and Pivot3 Partner in the Hyper-Convergence Space

TRANSFORMING NETWORK INFRASTRUCTURE | TMC Net, Technology Marketing Corporation

PREVIOUSLY PUBLISHED TO TMCNET’S HYPERSCALE DATA CENTERS

Gotham Technology Group is known for its dedication to the build and performance of agile and innovative mobile infrastructure solutions for a, primarily, Fortune 500 customer base. Most recently, they teamed up with Pivot3 to announce a partnership that will optimize the mobile workforce as we know it. Pivot3 provides a dynamic, scalable and hyper-converged solution to software-defined data centers, eliminating big bulky equipment and improving the cost of operations to client businesses within various industries.

Together, the partnership aims to create enhancements to existing tech infrastructures and storage solutions. In some cases, existing infrastructures will be replaced altogether.

Leveraging the power of flash, HCI and hybrid-cloud technologies, mutual customers will now be ale to apply the best infrastructure solution to each project in their ongoing workload. They will not only be able to mark each solution project with priority, but through this partnership, they will additionally have the capability to provide solutions directly within their application architecture and in conducting business services.

Optimizing infrastructures to become software-centric, costs are automatically lowered within the operating space. They are also made more productive through speed and organization. Because Gotham is dedicated to providing security within data, application delivery and mobile platform solutions, this partnership really comes as no surprise.

Partnering with outside vendors is actually nothing new to Gotham; its reseller network is continually expanding. Partnering with Pivot3, however, Gotham not only has access to their fully patented solutions, but they are also authorized to sell, service and support those same solutions. The mobile workforce becomes more efficient and more productive through virtualization and application development – both of with Gotham has demonstrated a high level of expertise within.

“Hyper-convergence is the next wave in the virtualization of the IT landscape and Pivot3’s unique architecture enables this transformation,” states Ken Phelan, CTO of Gotham Technology Group. This exclusivity will allow Gotham to be at the forefront of that wave.
 

Pivot3 allows stronger defense in protecting data, while allowing complex functions to take place very in a very simple interface. Big data, for example is collected within the system, saving weeks on end in just the planning and configuration of data collection processes.

Even while collecting so much data, in addition to storing it, software-solutions ensure efficiency in accelerated back up and recovery. Together, these processes save IT departments precious time that would be better spent focused on delivery, rather than setup.

In the case of a remote and mobile workforce, the ability to control infrastructure from a central location eliminates so many problems that businesses currently face.

Cloud technologies have opened the door for so much, but so often incompatible devices and connections interfere with certain elements in the system. Allowing an actual center to control this technology and make changes, virtually, businesses are finding better unification and stability in infrastructure, such as what Pivot3 offers.  With Gotham’s added services, customization of infrastructure and application builds will be a force to be reckoned with.

Pivot3 was recently in the news for acquiring NexGen Storage, as it shifts the hyper-converged market towards more dynamic solutions.

Continue Reading

Where is Mobile Content Management Headed?

Call Accounting, Telecom Cost Management, Telecommunications, ISI

ARTICLE PREVIOUSLY PUBLISHED TO TMC NET’S CALL ACCOUNTING

We are consumers. Whether for work or play, we know exactly where to go to get the content we need to get the job done. We create. We embrace. We indulge. We share. So, is it really that hard to believe the 2016-2020 Global Mobile Content Management report forecasted a 21.8 percent CAGR growth in mobile content management, driven by mobile accessibility? By swiping screen to screen, we are leading rapid trends in the corporate world and forcing the mobile workforce to stay productive.

Flexibility in our schedules, cloud computing and a millennial workforce has proven a great mix for the corporate realm. Not only does it allow businesses to stay open past business hours, but it allows for a more productive organization. Better communication is cultivated and collaboration is easier to manage thanks to mobile solutions.

Because we can access our desks from the beach, we tend to be more proactive in getting work done. We no longer have to wait until 9 a.m. or rush around to make a 6 p.m. deadline. Furthermore, we no longer have to call in a favor just to have someone meet us at the office and let us in because we forgot something.

Thanks to integrated solutions that allow us to connect our work stations to our mobile devices, our documents are not only accessible at all hours of the night, but they are also safe and secure – shareable with only those that we allow to see them. There’s very little printing and scanning going on these days. Budgets are no longer sacrificed for unnecessary printing and shipping costs. Documents are quickly deleted, limiting the need to shred and discard once they are done for. These are actually the key drivers within the market.

By the end of 2020, ReportsnReports has predicted that cloud-based content management segments will become the largest segment in the market by the end of 2020.

Healthcare technologies, one of the fastest growing industries in today’s mobile IT revolution, have almost all implemented some form of cloud-based technology. Also, the world of marketing is not just utilizing the cloud for standard business operations, but they are also optimizing the cloud for platform delivery of content deliverables. This is especially true as adblocking continues to evolve.

Native and Content Marketing are quickly becoming the way of the world.

In fact, Facebook just announced the decision to allow all publishers to utilize the Instant Article platform, starting in April of 2016.

Originally making noise last May, Facebook (NewsAlert) strategically hit the “book” with a solutions that would allow publishers to implement their new and existing news content directly into a Facebook app without the need to visit another browser, ensuring speed and performance.  The current version of Instant Article is only available on iOS, and content is limited. In April, this will all change.

Because content management will become more social, and publishers are set to receive revenue from traffic on the site, the presented 21.8 percent growth prediction for mobile content management may actual find itself far exceeded.

From a conservative space, this number makes sense. But, the question should be how much more will this number be exceeded by. The power of social is often underestimated. And, once Instant Pages are unleashed, we will see LinkedIn’s Pulse (NewsAlert) step their own game up even further.

In fact, large enterprise firms are teaming up with smaller organizations and forging partnerships that will ensure better content creation and more impact in content management solutions. Will this mean potential competition for Instant Article or Pulse? Will these platforms employ partnerships to keep consumers hooked in to their content and content delivery tools?

With newly adopted entry into the mobile and cloud arena, traditional industries are now also joining forces with technology to meet the consumer where the consumer spends a majority of their personal time.  This is also not factoring in the European countries, who have faced barrier issues with lack of mobile connectivity that are now skipping 4G capabilities altogether and going straight for 5G. This adoption rate will continue to increases drastically.

High-definition (HD) content marketing will also drive innovation and demand for content management solutions.

Timeliness is key in content generation. Thanks to mobile capabilities and with rapid adoption of content management solutions, documents are quickly and immediately dispersed in mass. Reports are generated instantaneously based on personalized information. And, the workforce is now optimized. 

Continue Reading

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

WebRTC World | TMCNet

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. 

Continue Reading

Mitel Seeks to Enhance Mobile Productivity

WebRTC World | TMCNet

PREVIOUSLY PUBLISHED TO TMC NET’S WEBRTC WORLD

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. 

Continue Reading

Empire Access Ditches Legacy Systems, Implements GENBAND

Healthcare Apps, Unified Communications, WebRTC, IoT, RFID, Healthcare Solutions

PREVIOUSLY PUBLISHED TO TMC NET’S REAL TIME COMMUNICATIONS

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.

Continue Reading

Study shows Gen-X to lead 2.1% decline in traditional media consumpion by 2019

PQ Media | 2019 Media Consumption Trends in Mobile, Digital Media

THIS ARTICLE PREVIOUS APPEARED ON EXAMINER ON FEBRUARY 2, 2016.

According to a Feb. 2nd disclosure by PQ Media, a leader in competitive intelligence and market research for some of today’s top media and technology organizations, traditional media consumption is declining and is predicted to be consumed 2.1 percent less by 2019.

We have already seen a 2.4 percent decline in 2015, leaving us consuming traditional media at a rate of 46.8 hours weekly – down 10 hours from 2009. Television makes up over 50.2% of this figure with 32.4 hours spent consuming media, weekly. This factor does not differentiate between smart TVs and traditional television sets.

Reflected through a 7.3 percent rise in digital media consumption for 2015, users were often engaged in customized, interactive experiences, leaving traditional media platforms less desirable and often kicked to the curb – literally.

Intelligence has been collected between the five consumer types, 15 leading global markets in three broad categories and within 22 specific media channels. Digital media usage accounts for 27.7% of our media consumption in the United States.

While Millennials are known for their dependence on technology and the impact on evolving business models, 2015 showed us that it is actually the Gen-X crowd that most heavily consumes digital media interests. In fact, they spend almost 25.3 hours a week on average in digital media consumption. Even the iGen crowd, the youngest group of media consumers, is only spending 39% of their time in front of an electronic device — and this is evenly spread amongst multiple digital media channels.

The Gen-X crowd is spending almost as much time consuming multiple digital media channels simultaneously, as the average hours are spent working a part-time job!

With 2016 birthing a plethora of technologies related to health and fitness, targeting baby boomers and the elderly, it is also expected that the average consumption of digital media will boost substantially, increasing the weekly average from 13.2 hours.

In 2015, as a whole, the average American spent 23.9 hours a week consuming digital media in some way, shape or form. Contributors include access and adoption of smartphones, tablets and wearable technologies. It is also reflected through launch consumption of new market gaming consoles, in additio to political and sporting events.

Despite controversy in the recording industry, surrounding digital music piracy and media consumption, it continues to be the fastest-growing outlet for digital media to date. In 2015, it has made up 33.5% of total media consumption in the US. Benefiting the Music Industry and advocating for the recording artist, this was achieved through a sharp increase in music subscription services.

Digital media music consumption often overlaps time spent on social media and collaborating online. This number does not depict consumption of digital downloads and solely reflects access through a connected device.

“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.

Combined digital media usage and traditional media consumption totaled 64.7 percent of hours consumed by the average American on a weekly basis. This number is expected to increase to 67 hours in 2019. Increased availability of user-generated content will replace traditional media and content produced in-studio.

Continue Reading

FTC Success Elusive In Enforcing National Do Not Call Registry

elemarketing software, telemarketing, software, software telemarketing, lead distribution, auto-dialing, auto dialing, branch scripting, call productivity, list-based sales, list based sales

PREVIOUSLY PUBLISHED ON TMCNet’s TELEMARKETING SOFTWARE SITE

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.

Continue Reading

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

Information Technology, InfoTech, IT, Technology News, Tech Information, Application Performance Management, Defrag, Application Performance Monitoring, BPM Software, Cloud Communications,Cloud Computing, Cloud Storage,Data Center Network, Data Center Power, Environmental Montioring, Infrastructure as a Service, Load Balancer, Managed Networks, Network Access, Private Cloud, Projector Lamp, Virtual Tap

PREVIOUSLY PUBLISHED TO TMCNET’S INFOTECH SITE

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. 

Continue Reading

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

PREVIOUSLY PUBLISHED TO TMCNET’S INSURANCE TECHNOLOGY SITE

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.

Continue Reading