Contact Center Trends in 2014: Can the Pace of Big Change Continue?

Ken Landoline
Ken Landoline

Summary Bullets:

  • It’s that time of year again – time to talk about what is coming next year.  So many fundamental changes have occurred in the contact center world in the past few years in terms of the cloud, mobility, Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) and multichannel customer care, it is hard to imagine what else will happen next.
  • I believe that so many big changes have occurred in technology, standards and business processes that for the next year or two contact center managers will focus on ensuring they are taking advantage of everything available to them to optimize agent workloads, customer satisfaction and center effectiveness.

Now that we have just entered into the last calendar quarter of the year, it is a natural time to start thinking about the top industry trends we expect to see developing in the coming year or two.  I have been thinking about the developments in the contact center areas that have recently changed the industry.  As a start, I looked back over the trends that had been predicted by many over the past five years.  These included broad industry-changing standards, technologies and business approaches such as the moves from hardware to software, from time-division multiplexing (TDM) to Internet Protocol (IP) and Session Initiation Protocol (SIP), and from single mode (voice) to multimode customer service. Continue reading “Contact Center Trends in 2014: Can the Pace of Big Change Continue?”

M2M Security, Revisited

Kathryn Weldon
Kathryn Weldon

Summary Bullets:

  • Back in April, I wrote a blog on the growing problem of M2M security and how, in spite of the huge amount of data expected to be collected, transmitted and analyzed over the next five to ten years via a multiplicity of network access technologies, few vendors or service providers had put a stake in the ground with a set of security solutions devoted to M2M.
  • Six months later, there seems to be growing awareness of the problem: M2M data is just as likely, if not more likely, to suffer from malware, breaches of corporate data stores, SMS phishing (or use as a medium for malware), denial of service, ‘botnets,’ and stolen confidential company and personal information to be used for a variety of malevolent purposes (including corporate competitors, intrepid hackers, or those looking to sell information for financial gain).

Imagine billions of unmanned sensors and machines with little or no supervision and with no built-in intelligence (or potentially built using an insecure OS).  Left to their own devices (pun intended), these sensors and machines amass and transmit vast quantities of information to remote servers in the cloud or behind the corporate firewall, without device and in-transit data encryption, or other traditional forms of security such as VPNs, personal firewalls, remote data wipe, intrusion/malware detection, or anti-virus software.  Should this be the future of M2M/the Internet of Things? Continue reading “M2M Security, Revisited”

If You Want Enterprise Networking to be More Responsive, You Have to Give IT the Tools

Mike Fratto
Mike Fratto

Summary Bullets:

•      IT’s virtual networking goals are far less lofty than what vendors, analysts, and commentators want you to believe but those goals are no less important.

•      Enterprise IT simply isn’t prepared for the breathlessly stated goal of delivering applications on demand in 5 minutes or less.

If you only listened to the selling points behind software defined networking (SDN) and the software defined data center (SDDC), you’d get the picture that enterprise IT is on the cusp of delivering complex enterprise applications at the drop of a hat. You’d think that business line managers are technically savvy enough to define what they need and fill in templates with the correct information. Continue reading “If You Want Enterprise Networking to be More Responsive, You Have to Give IT the Tools”

Enterprises Should Not Yet Turn Their Backs on BlackBerry

Gary Barton
Gary Barton

Summary Bullets:

  • BlackBerry’s travails mean that enterprises should consider preparing a migration strategy to other platforms.
  • BlackBerry’s enterprise solutions such as BES 10 and BB IM remain compelling solutions with a future.

What to do with a problem like BlackBerry?  With losses of $965 million (USD) for Q2 2013, revenues down 49% year-over-year and an announcement that 45% of its workforce will be laid off, it seems like the end is nigh for the Canadian firm.  The obvious conclusion is therefore for ICT managers of companies utilising BlackBerry hardware (handsets or servers) to begin working out their migration path to Android, iOS or Windows Mobile.  Similarly, when considering BYOD solutions, there seems no need to make long-term plans for BlackBerry devices.  Certainly, the dominance of Android and iOS-based devices means that these two operating systems should be at the forefront of mobile application design and mobile security policies.  BlackBerry’s future in the mobile device market does indeed seem bleak. Continue reading “Enterprises Should Not Yet Turn Their Backs on BlackBerry”