Mozilla MWC 2014

Here’s Why MWC 2015 will be so much better than 2014

As I started packing for MWC 2015, which will take place next week in Barcelona, it got me thinking about what will be the main trends at the show this year.

Mozilla MWC 2014

A year ago, MWC 2014 was really amazing. A lot of attention was focused on Facebook following their keynote address and announcements on their “Internet for Everyone” concept, which plans to connect 5 billion people to the web by through their Internet.org project. Their early discussions on WhatsApp voice support (first real competition to Skype?) also drew interest. Most of the major consumer brands announced their new wearable and IoT devices (from a connected toothbrush to smartwatch!). Huge Tablets, five-inch screen mobiles on the one hand and very cheap smartphones on the other, were widely discussed (huge potential in emerging markets). And mobile advertisements (mostly in the App Planet hall) were not neglected.

What should we expect to see and hear in MWC 2015? Many questions are still open… we will need to wait until end of next week..

Will we learn of new mobile devices? Of course we will. We expect to hear announcements from Samsung (Galaxy S6), HTC (One M9?) and LG (G4 – too soon?). What about Sony?

Smart watches? (Samsung code name “Orbis”? LG G watch? Something new from Motorola? Will we see HTC entering this hot market as well?)

What do you think will be the hottest announcement in MWC 2015? I promise to post soon after the event with my observations.

One thing is for sure, though. AudioCodes will be making some very interesting announcements concerning its VocaNOM solution. Designed to make enterprise contacts always live and accessible, VocaNOM is an innovative cloud-driven mobile app that allows simple voice dialing by just saying the name of the contact. Whether at office, while driving or even abroad, VocaNOM improves productivity and makes phone communication easy like never before!

Are you going to be at MWC 2015? If so, I’d love to meet you. Enjoy the show!

Click here to schedule a meeting with us.

Super Bob

An Introduction to an IT Superhero

One of the great parts of my job is seeing first hand many of the incredible things our end-customers and partners do to bring the power of UC and contact centers to businesses.   Full Lync voice deployments, remote employees, integrated voice mail, SIP trunking and more…virtually all of the projects improve end-user productivity and reduce operating costs.  We feature many of these incredible projects in written and video case studies, but not all of our customers can get past their own or corporate “stage fright” and don’t want to see their name put in the spotlight.  In other cases, the solution is a small effort with much larger implications – the kind of accomplishment that just doesn’t fit the typical case study.

At the same time, it has become clear to us that most of the decision makers in our customer base are bombarded by marketing messages – a drumbeat of whitepapers, webinars and case studies to the point where they all start to look alike.  How can we get our customers accomplishments to stand out amongst all the other noise?

During our annual market summit, held in our headquarters office in Tel Aviv, we did some brainstorming on the issue – trying to find a way to put a spotlight on our partners and end-customers.   And from this, an idea was hatched to create a character that is an amalgam of all the great things that our partners and end-customers have been able to accomplish.  In a creative and graphic way that jumps out from the typical case study, it was decided we needed an IT super-hero.

And with that, we here at AudioCodes are proud to introduce you to Robert Sipman (you can call him Bob if you like) and his comic strip “The Adventures of Super Bob”.  Bob is a regular IT guy that using the tools at his disposal can do some pretty superhero-like things (well, for an IT guy).   For the next few months, we’ll be releasing weekly episodes showing one of the feats that Super Bob has accomplished while on the job.

Super Bob

The real twist come from the source of his adventures – many of his acts are based on real-world situations and stories that our customers have shared with us.  Some will be attributed, while others prefer to remain hidden behind the mask of anonymity. Be sure to follow along – who knows, you may recognize yourself in one of the episodes.

And if you are lucky enough to be headed to Enterprise Connect during March 16-18th, you’ll get a chance to meet Bob at the AudioCodes booth #1129.  Bob can be a little shy, but he’s generous and will be handing out “I met Bob” tee shirts and other goodies during the event – be sure to stop in and snap a selfie with Bob.

SIP based Contact Center

Migrating to a SIP Contact Center

With every year, SIP is becoming more and more common in unified communication solutions in general, and contact center applications in particular, as companies increasingly recognize the benefits that an all-SIP environment can provide. Legacy contact centers have become expensive to maintain and upgrade and harder to integrate with new and high-value applications. Companies with limited in-house resources can especially benefit from SIP which can support a more dispersed work force including home agents or those working from remote locations.

The SIP based contact center allows companies to leverage new capabilities without pouring more resources into management or IT, infrastructure and applications. These capabilities can be deployed quickly, they are easy to deliver to remote agents and as the companies grow, the solutions can grow with them.

SIP based Contact Center

For many organizations, SIP is an integral part of an upgrade, while for others, SIP is part of a telecom cost reduction strategy.

Consider the following migration paths and best practices:

Step 1: Disconnect the PBX from Contact Center trunks

By disconnecting trunks from the PBX, calls can go directly into the contact center, enabling the introduction of new features not supported by the PBX. Data centers can be centralized, routing calls to dispersed contact centers and sending calls to agents that may be company-based, remotely-based or home-based.

Step 2: Computer Telephony Integration (CTI) Migration

Moving to SIP removes some major pain points that have limited contact center efficiency improvements in the past. In particular, it removes the dependency on the PBX. With traditional PBXs, the link between the PBX and the contact center is via a proprietary CTI link. If the CTI link does not support a certain function or does not provide the data necessary for a specific operation, nothing can be done to overcome the limitation. However, in a SIP environment the flexibility is significantly increased because calls can be directed to the contact center application directly.

Step 3: SIP trunking

Consolidation of telephony trunks into SIP trunks saves a considerable amount of money and is far more flexible and scalable. In addition to the estimated cost savings that can be achieved by using VoIP calls, SIP offers the ability to introduce a whole range of additional services to make the customer service operation more effective, ranging from high definition voice to video and more. Contact centers can save considerable expenses by cutting back on toll-free numbers, as VoIP enables click-to-call, which customers can initiate from their PCs or smartphones. Also, with domestic calling being free, VoIP provides another option for agents to make outbound calls to customers, allowing them to be more responsive or even proactive. In terms of enhancing the customer experience, SIP trunking also enables HD audio, providing a high quality call which can be a real differentiator for many companies.

The Key: Seamless Migration

A seamless migration from legacy infrastructures to SIP is key for organizations making the move, many of which are deeply invested in their legacy equipment. In moving to a SIP-based contact center, there is no need for “rip-and-replace” or discarding earlier investments. Customers can choose to convert to this architecture at their own pace and the SIP solution can grow in line with business needs.

Of course, an open architecture like SIP does have some pitfalls: there is no guarantee that two SIP devices will seamlessly operate together out of the box. Basic functions will work but enhanced functions may need to be tested first. AudioCodes provides a complete end-to-end solution consisting of gateways, SBCs, IP phones and other devices that have already been extensively tested and documented in the contact center environment to ensure full functionality out of the box, considerably reducing risk and professional service requirements in a SIP installation.

TCO Reduction

Ultimately, the result of the move to SIP is a significant reduction of TCO.  This is reflected in the considerable savings generated by a reduction of infrastructure costs including the consolidation of telephony trunking and the elimination of separate infrastructure at each location. By virtualizing the resources through the provision of centralized administration, enterprise-wide resources are better put to use, and the company benefits from the flexibility to support multi-channel interactions with customers and a distributed contact center structure which can consist of multiple sites, home agents and hosted services. Additionally, SIP future proofs new media and applications. All this leads to increased agent satisfaction and a better customer experience which also saves costs.

See what AudioCodes has to offer for your Contact Center.