Enterprise Connect 2015 – Day 3 #EC15

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With Day 1 and Day 2 under wraps, Wednesday’s keynotes are the software heavy hitters: Microsoft and Google. Thanks to these two rivals one-upping each other, we get to enjoy the best productivity tools they have to offer.

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Enterprise Connect 2015 – Day 2 #EC15

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The first day of Enterprise Connect is a bit mellow and slow, you have folks streaming in to get registered, plenty of smalltalk and pleasantries among attendees, New England residents taking time to bask in the Florida sun.

Day two, however, is the start of vendor propaganda (ahem, keynotes), onstage demos to impress the audience, and occasional zingers from vendors.

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Enterprise Connect 2015 – Day 1 #EC15

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Goodbye, Old Man Winter! Hello, Enterprise Connect 2015!

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Like many other government agencies, they seem to have this need to fix something — anything — as if to justify their bureaucratic existence.

Recently, it’s the Federal Communications Commission. The “problem”? Your Internet.

First, to digress a little… Since we all know Al Gore invented the Internet, is this  FCC claiming there’s something wrong with Gore’s awesome invention? Tread cautiously, FCC, because it’s proven that everything about Mr. Gore is perfect, especially his hair. In fact, parts of the Internet is probably made up of some of his magnificent mane.

Okay, back to the FCC neutralizing the net…

Our beloved access to the Internet is now classified as a public telecommunications utility (think POTS — that’s “Plain Old Telephone Service” for you Millennials), among other things. This is under Title II of the Communications Act of 1934. Yes, that’s a law passed a long, long time ago, but it still applies today. The FCC wants to ensure the Internet remains universally open and accessible to Americans. Also, it wants to stimulate innovation and investments in the networks.

Pardon me, but has it not been that way for decades without government intervention?

You’re probably reading this while sitting on the living room couch not paying it any attention because you’re binge watching House of Cards in the background and simultaneously chatting with mom on FaceTime. Think of all the magic involved: cable/DSL modem, WiFi, HD television, notebook computer, data centers, cloud computing, smartphones, and that’s not even the end of it.

The magic happened because of entrepreneurs, engineers, geeks, hackers, and companies willing to take care of their customers. Really, when was the last time you had trouble getting on the Internet? The last time your broadband went down you tweeted about it from your smartphone over 4G wireless.

And broadband access is more affordable than ever today. By regulating it under Title II, consumers can expect the price to go up. Why? Here are a couple of reasons: 1) The government can now impose regulatory taxes on broadband access, just like it does on telephone service; and 2) Service provider has to recoup the cost of compliance somehow, and guess how that cost is passed down? Compliance will be expensive — just Title II has nearly 700 pages!

So, somebody please return Chairman Wheeler’s AOL dial-up CD immediately! He needs to get online to clear his inbox.

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What started out as a Web search company now has its hands in almost anything high-tech. Cloud software, Android, Google Glass, self-driving cars, Google Fiber Gigabit broadband, balloon-powered Internet, robotics (it acquired Boston Dynamics), smart homes (Nest acquisition), …

And now it will join a global consortium to build and operate a new trans-Pacific cable costing $300 million.

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in Internet

The contact center is the frontline where customer meets company. In a perfect world if you can capture 100% of contact center data in order to run some analysis on anything, you’ll find out quickly what customers are complaining about, what products are hits, and what internal processes are broken.

Or, if the on-hold music is crap and tarnishes your corporate brand. For example, Apple. Do you expect to hear distorted on-hold music when calling the birthplace of the iPod, MacBook Air, iPhone, and iPad? Of course not. Because consumers have come to expect near perfection and attention to details with the Cupertino company.

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Trouble at Unify

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When was the last time you heard any company CEO announce a plan to slash 50% of headcount?

That’s what Dean Douglas of Unify (formerly Siemens Enterprise Communications) said recently:

The restructuring plan, which is the subject of discussions with multiple stakeholders, will streamline the company’s operations. It is expected to result in an overall reduction in headcount of approximately 3,800 people out of a workforce of nearly 7,700 worldwide, with Central Europe accounting for 50% of the reduction.

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After years of development and hype, the promise of unified communications remains partially fulfilled. Yes, there are some nice UC implementations today…if you buy more vendor software and maybe even hardware. Yes, UC works great…if you only use the company issued devices.

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Attending NICE Interactions 2014

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Lucky me… I get to go to my first NICE global customer conference next week!

I will be one of the many Verizon folks in attendance. Big Red is a Gold Sponsor this year, which means Big Red can bring a big crowd. Please stop by the booth to say Hello!

I am fairly new to the NICE landscape so definitely looking forward to all the workshops and sessions, and meeting NICE folks as well as their other customers. Bonus: Steve Wozniak and Tony Hsieh are general session speakers!

So hope to see you in person at NICE Interactions 2014 next week, or if you cannot make it maybe follow you on Twitter via #nicei2014.

Now you can order Avaya with a side of Fonolo

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Congratulations on the partnership with Avaya, you’ve certainly come a long way.

Fonolo was started to solve a problem we all have endured — phone in hand, listening to on-hold music, waiting for service. More importantly, it’s one of the more recent telecom startups to realize the disruptive force of the cloud.

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