Business Mobility & Telecommunications Blog

Top IP Telephony News: February 2013

Posted by carlos lahrssen on Fri, Mar 8, 2013 @ 08:30 AM

The new year is off to a roaring start in the world of telephony. This month’s top stories include a backlash against Yahoo!, sizzling growth in international Skype traffic and the top 7 contact center trends you can’t afford to miss.

Home Is Where the Office Is

February saw an imbroglio erupt over a decision by Yahoo! CEO Marissa Mayer (@marissamayer) to eliminate the company’s work-from-home arrangements. The move aimed to improve the company’s culture, but drew plenty of flak, too. Check out this synopsis of the furor by GigaOM’s Mathew Ingram (@mathewi). 

Mayer’s decision misses an important point: business is global and mobile now.

Having a communications infrastructure that’s lean, efficient and effective means workers are always in touch—no matter where they are across your global operations. Check out Nexogy’s recent blog posts about the call center, and new UC offering—nexo®—for easy, efficient ways to keep your workforce mobile.

A Top-Notch Year for OTT Telephony

OTT telephony providers continue to march forward, and international phone traffic is struggling to cope. A report by analyst firm TeleGeography details the growth of international phone traffic and international Skype traffic in 2012. While international phone traffic grew 5% last year, it also faces some serious challenges. 

From the report:

“International migration, the rapid uptake of mobile phones in developing countries, and steady reductions in international call prices—especially in the form of flat-rate (and even free) calling plans—have contributed to traffic increases. Nevertheless, recent growth rates are well below the 13% average that carriers could count on to offset price declines over much of the past 20 years.”

Compare that to TeleGeography’s estimate that “cross-border” Skype video and call traffic jumped 44% in the same year.

And Skype isn’t the only provider with strong OTT prospects. More players are entering the space: Facebook launched VoIP capabilities through its Messenger app in January, but has now extended those features to the “flagship Facebook app,” according to Apple Insider.

For another in-depth look at the topic, Mike Dano at FierceWireless (@FierceWireless) has a good analysis of the trend here.

Contact Center Trends

2013 could be the “Year of the Contact Center.” DestinationCRM.com (@CRM) outlines the opportunities and trends that contact centers need to watch in the coming year. Read closely, as these insights could supercharge your business.

If you’re in a hurry, here are some of the key takeaways from the article:

  1. Customers are the focus. “According to Harris Interactive, 72 percent of adults who ‘had a memorable product purchase, use, or service experience’ said they followed up with positive action, with 57 percent communicating about their positive experience with others, and 41 percent recommending that someone make a purchase. Moving forward, unified communications will enable enterprises to find the best person to address customer issues—inside or outside the contact center.”
  2. Data is king. “Contact centers need to have a 360-degree view of the customer to accurately predict and anticipate customers' needs. All communication streams should be captured, indexed, tagged, and harvested for customer intelligence (a more effective voice-of-the-customer model). Traditional operational metrics are taking a backseat to the ‘gold rush’ of contextual and behavioral data provided by the proliferation of new customer end points, such as smartphones or tablets.”
  3. Contact centers are going mobile. “The adage that ‘everyone is in sales’ or ‘everyone services customers’ is more true than ever. The walls that surround the traditional contact center are crumbling as organizational silos meld into a cohesive, collaborative environment. Mobility and social media will help people find the best resources regardless of where they're located. The future of the contact center will likely include a combination of the traditional centralized location and the newer model of people sitting in their living rooms addressing questions on chat-enabled Web sites, for example.”

New contact center hubs are sprouting up as a result of trends like these. Over at ZDNet, Ryan Heung gives us this interesting look at Thailand’s up-and-coming contact center industry.

Want to revolutionize your contact center and take advantage of these trends? Start with this article on 5 tips for effective contact center scripts from 1to1 Media.

What other trends are you seeing in the contact or call center industries? How is your business working to leverage those trends for growth and profitability? Be sure to let us know in the comments.

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Topics: call center, Carlos Lahrssen