Monday, December 16, 2013

Our Next Contact Center Webinar - the Holy Grail for Increasing Personalization and Engagement

If you follow me, you'll know I've been writing a lot lately about Amazon's Mayday button, and that has been a springboard for thinking about how to elevate you contact center to connect better with customers.

Last month, I spoke on a webinar about Mayday, and the turnout was tremendous. That particular event was sponsored by software giant SAP, and hosted by our good friends at TMCnet. Well, we're reprising that combination again with another webinar on January 21, at 2pm ET.

Clearly, there's an appetite to learn more about what all this means and what contact centers should be doing, and that's what we'll be talking about. The title tells the story pretty well - Search for the Holy Grail - Increasing Customer Engagement with Personalization in your Contact Center.

Joining me will be colleague Neal Shact, CEO of CommuniTech Services, and the discussion will be ably moderated by Rich Tehrani, CEO and Editor-in-Chief of TMCnet.This should be another strong event, and we hope you can join us. I'll be socializing the webinar off and on, and if you're ready to register now, here's the landing page.

Friday, December 13, 2013

My New White Paper - "VoIP Security - More Than Just IT Risk"

My blogging frequency is not a good barometer of what I'm up to, as some projects take months to complete, while other work is done on a daily basis. As you may know, I write a lot of white papers, some of which you can access from my website - along with other work samples.

VoIP security is a hot topic, and while the urgency to address it seems to come and go, the fundamental risks haven't changed. In fact, they're beoming more numerous and serious, and in my books, it's just a matter of time until some form of NSA-scale breach happens. These things do happen, but we just don't hear about it, as businesses don't generally like to acknowledge them. In the main, the thinking is typically "this won't happen to me", "we have adequate security in place", or "I don't believe those threats are real".

You can take your pick, but this misguided thinking is going to backfire sooner or later. As VoIP - and UC - gains mainstream traction, they will become attractive targets for the bad guys, who will always be at least one step ahead of most good guys.

Without oversimplifying things, that's the thesis I addressed in my latest white paper. The project was sponsored by Ottawa-based VoIPshield Systems, and if you don't know them, they've been at this game a long time, and believe the time is right to educate the market and help IT take more responsible measures.

To support that, they needed third party validation on the state of VoIP security, and that's what I was brought in to do. My research was broad-based across the value chain, and let's just say that the deeper you dig, the more there is to be concerned about. Of course, there's lots of technology out there that can mitigate the risks, and VoIPshield falls squarely into that category.

The white paper was recently posted to their website for download, and the press release to support the launch went live yesterday. VoIP security touches more bases than you may realize, and even if you have a mild curiosity, I think you'll find the paper a good read. To learn more, as well as download the paper, here's the link to press release. Comments are most welcome, and if you have war stories to share, I'm all ears.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

What Millennials can teach us about collaboration

Just back from a 9 day trip to Florida, and let's just say it's a little cooler up here in Toronto. Now I remember why I like Florida so much. Anyhow, back to work and lots to catch up on.

My latest Rethinking Communications column is running now on the digial edition of Internet Telephony, which is TMCnet's flagship publication. As the title of this post implies, I think those of us looking at VoIP and UC can learn a lot from Millennials, especially when trying to work in teams.

Collaboration is easier said than done, and you simply have to start from the foundational idea that the younger generation works differently that my peer group. I'm not here to judge, so you're best off saying it's different - not better or worse.

Once you accept that, tools like UC can be used very effectively if they support the way Millennials like to work. This generation is pretty independent, not to mention tech-savvy, so their expectations may not match yours. You might even learn a thing or two if you're willing to listen, but I'll stop there and hope you read my article - here's the link.

I think this is a fascinating topic, and once you digest that, feel free to share your thoughts - after, isn't that what collaboration is all about? Finally, if you like my thinking, you might want to read my other columns and thought leadership pieces, which you can find links to here.