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Reply To: VoIP managerial issues

Phone Guy

Depending on how you define the market, almost everyone is playing there in one form or another. If I had to pick one, it would be the ubiquitous CISCO, but Lucent and Nortel are also strong players in the network and router components.

The CRM market is just beginning to be tapped. To be truthful (for the one and only time) that is an area where I have only tangential knowledge.

I can address it from the traditional call center vantage point. First (and perhaps foremost) call centers are established to centralize resources and gain some economy to scale. Historically they were measured statistically on how well (quickly) they handled the calls and how few calls were lost (abandoned) due to wait time. More recently (in this kindler and gentler world) there has been a push to improve customer satisfaction with the process and the results (ergo a new buzz word, customer relationship management. One only has to attempt to call some of the larger operations (just try Microsoft) to see how long and ineffectual call centers can be. Enter the web to add another door (portal) into the call center for customers to gain information. Fed Ex and UPS for example have done a good job of off loading tracking of shipments to their customers (outsource your work to those who pay you to do it, PT Barnum would be proud!)with web tools. Adding a link to now allow the web browser to opt out for real time agent handling is where we are now, and where you are heading. I like the concept, as it impersonalizes the process. The bigger call center systems (Lucent{}, Rockwell{} and Aspect [www.aspect] would be good references as well.

For alls of youse guys just getting started in this “wild and crazy world”, here are two reference forums that are good for getting information. The first is (or that has a tutorial section on a lot of these applications. These are only semi-techncial and are perfect for marketing purposes, or old dogs like me. The tutorials are posted by companies in the business (and therefore tooting their own horns) but offer a lot of good basic information. The second is that has a look up with abbreviated tutorials and links to other information sources.

And finally trivia for the masses, why are man hole covers round? The real answer is, that is the only geometric shape that can not be (accidentally) dropped into the hole (and atop a coworker)

Professor Dial Tone