In A Software-Defined Network, Does the CLI Even Matter?

Mike Fratto
Mike Fratto

Summary Bullets:

  • The main benefit from SDN is that managing devices via the CLI will come to an end.
  • Putting the final nail in the CLI coffin will require vendors and administrators to think differently.

Whenever I talk to Arista Networks’ Doug Gourlay, I always ask when the company is going to make a GUI manager for their networking gear.  It’s something of a running joke, because Arista doesn’t have one, preferring to focus on making its products integrate with others; let someone else make a GUI manager.  Other vendors such as Alcatel-Lucent, Avaya, Brocade, Cisco, Dell, Extreme, HP, IBM and Juniper have a similar strategy, which is to make their switch products controllable via APIs and make their network managers capable of much more robust command and control processes. Continue reading “In A Software-Defined Network, Does the CLI Even Matter?”

UC Take-up Is on the Verge of Critical Mass, but Pricing Models Remain Negotiable

Gary Barton
Gary Barton

Summary Bullets:

  • Uptake of unified communications solutions is growing, and enterprises that are not alert to this trend may be at a disadvantage.
  • Utility pricing looks great on the surface, but enterprises should work with providers to achieve pricing models that deliver genuine value for money.

Research released jointly by Cisco, SFR and Telindus to coincide with SFR’s recent launch of its hosted Cisco HCS proposition has suggested that 39% of French large enterprises are currently involved in ITC projects that involve the deployment of hosted unified communications (UC) services for their employees, whilst 15% of French large enterprises already have deployed a hosted UC solution of some sort.  Research also shows that the numbers are similar or slightly lower in other Northern European countries. Continue reading “UC Take-up Is on the Verge of Critical Mass, but Pricing Models Remain Negotiable”

iPass Tackles High Cost of Roaming with New Index

Kathryn Weldon
Kathryn Weldon

Summary Bullets:

  • Global voice and especially global data roaming remain expensive and confusing to consumers and business travelers in spite of recent EU caps and launches by global operators and alliances (such as FreeMove) that offer more reasonable zoned and pay-per-use tariff options.
  • While WiFi provides some relief, coverage is still spotty and unpredictable.  WiFi aggregation leader iPass has come out with a new report that helps companies price out various roaming scenarios for their traveling employees and offers suggestions about how to use iPass WiFi services to take out some of the pain and uncertainty.

T-Mobile USA’s new unlimited global data roaming packages, announced in October, were an exciting move that should be appealing to its business customers, but the carrier is not completely alone in its vision.  Other operators such as Telefonica and Vodafone, and operator alliances such as FreeMove, have also helped their business customers with zoned and usage-based roaming options which make the cellular costs less expensive and more predictable.  Voice over WiFi is often free and readily available in Europe.  However, although WiFi continues to be used as a way to eliminate or greatly reduce the cost of global roaming, it remains unpredictable, with security and performance issues added to the spotty nature of WiFi coverage, making it a less than perfect solution. Continue reading “iPass Tackles High Cost of Roaming with New Index”

Tis the Season for Contact Centers: Give Agents the Tools for a Happy Holiday

  • Cindy Whelan
    Cindy Whelan

    The contact center is a critical element in building customer satisfaction and improving the customer experience; agents’ ability to respond to customer requirements effectively can set the tone for future business or sour the relationship.

  • A recent survey from Dimension Data highlights declines in customer satisfaction and first call resolution rates.  Contact center operators need to ensure coordination across contact center operations and provide agents with the tools and processes to resolve an issue or escalate that first call as frequently as possible.

Dimension Data recently completed its annual Contact Centre Benchmarking Report, a global survey of 817 contact centers.  The Summary Report included some interesting findings in the area of customer satisfaction and first contact resolution:  customer satisfaction scores have declined from 82% to 77% from 2011 to 2013, and first contact resolution rates have dropped a whopping 12%, from 85% to 73% from 2009 to 2013. These declines are surprising given increased enterprise focus on the customer experience during these time periods, the growth in customer data collection, and the improvements that have been made to contact center tools and multi-channel agent contact options. Continue reading “Tis the Season for Contact Centers: Give Agents the Tools for a Happy Holiday”