My Apple Watch

Yup I am getting an Apple Watch. Why you say?
I admit it. I’m an early adopter. So here are a few of my questions that I have about the Apple watch, and plan on following up with my answers to each of the questions below.

Will the Apple watch actually help me improve my health?
Since I have used many wearables over the course of a few years ( Nike, Jawbone and Garmin), I have a pretty good idea what has worked for me in the past. Is the Apple watch going to be that much better than the other wearables I have had? I will update you on my progress and try to give you an update every couple of weeks. 

Will I see a decrease in iPhone usage?
Primarily, I use iMessage, Twitter, Instagram, Weather and email apps and I will provide a report . I am curious to how much more I will use Siri since now she is on my wrist. 

Will I see an improvement in productivity, or just enjoy being productive?
This may be a strange question, but think of it. At what point does technology actually make you productive. True, technological advancements have made us more productive, but that does not necessarily mean that you are happier or even enjoy using the technology. Is the Apple watch really the "most personal device" that has been made yet? If I am still productive with the apps I use with the Apple Watch and enjoy working with those apps more, then I will have my answer to the question.

I am also going to be looking at how a wearable will effect enterprise applications in healthcare, which is probably the area that the Apple watch could impact the most. Just for a moment, imagine if a device like this could monitor diabetes and notify the person when they have a low or high blood sugar. Continuous monitoring would be a fantastic way to control diabetes. Taking it even further, what if the Apple watch could talk to the diabetic pump that you have on your side and make micro adjustments to get the perfect dose of insulin.

Imagine if a device like this could be tuned to monitor chemical changes in your body that could be identified and that a seizure is about to take place and notify you, your doctor and guardian. With data like time, location, weather condition, heart rate and surrounding environment that you are in at the moment is powerful data to analyze. This data can then be compared to other relevant sources of data and stored. Once you have a large enough database to compare with, you could begin to look for triggers as to "why" or "what" causes an onset like this and then move to control it more or eliminate it all together. The early adopters are the ones that look to what a technology can be and some early adopters set out to make what "can be" into a reality. 

What can SIP do for you

Session Initiation Protocol, better known as SIP, or as some say, "Still Isn't Perfect".  With that said, it’s true that nothing is perfect, but you should have SIP in your plans for real-time communications. 

Why is SIP needed?  In short, it is what allows for interoperability between different vendors’ real-time communication systems and is the common protocol that allows transmission of real-time communications like voice, IM, presence, video etc. SIP runs across private data networks, can be secured to run across the Internet, and can scale up or down dynamically.  Why is that important?  Because it reduces costs and/or the need to have a dedicated T1 between two systems.  With SIP, I can speak to any other SIP system and/or endpoint "dynamically."  As long as I am allowed to connect to other SIP systems, and know the SIP address, I can send an "INVITE" to communicate with that SIP end point.  Think of it in terms of when you email someone. If you know their email address, you can communicate with them. If you know the SIP address, you can request to communicate with the other SIP endpoint.  

SIP also allows for enterprises to quickly consume hosted applications like smart voice messaging, allowing them to reduce the administration time and upkeep of a legacy voicemail system.  SIP also allows adding highly productive applications like speech to text, which also makes it convenient for the caller.  A service like this allows for new features as they come online. For example, now that you have the audio in text, you can begin to analyze the transcribed audio. This is powerful since you can begin to understand the content of the messages that are being left though the analysis of the text. Another feature that a service like this can enable is gender or emotion recognition from an analysis of the audio.  This is really important because in most texting, there really is no way to convey emotion. With newer text analytics engines, emotion in the audio is analyzed and flagged in the text output for a more accurate communication experience.

You will notice that until now, I never used the word PBX or QSIG; instead I used "real-time communications" and "SIP".  PBX is purpose built and that is for Voice; QSIG is purpose built for interoperating between PBX’s.  SIP is dynamic and is more than just voice. Taking advantage of SIP will open your enterprise to many more possibilities and keep you on the front of real-time communication strategies.

After Enterprise Connect

It has taken me some time to go through all of the notes from Enterprise Connect, but I wanted to talk about some of the high points of the event as well as some personal observations.

I have been attending Enterprise Connect from the time it was called VoiceCon., and since the name changed to Enterprise Connect it seems to have grown to a point that it is now generally considered THE place to be for our industry.  The content is very good, the speakers are at the top of our industry, and the panels are top of the class.  Let’s start with some of the high points.

Reality check on the progress toward UC

This was an interesting panel of speakers, and good questions were brought up.  Jim Burton was the moderator, and his first questions was, "User interfaces are different between all systems; how are you going to get to one size fits all?"  The response from the panel was similar: "We are making open API's,” or, “We are working on integration between the systems so that there is better interoperability.” I think the most interesting comment came from Adam Swidler from Google. "We are NOT going to have a single Interface - it isn't going to happen.”  Adam went on to explain and used a term "De-Unification,” going on to explain that people are using apps that are purpose-built for the task.  When you try and add all of the possible features to create a UC interface, people just do not use all of them; they only use one or two features in the UC app, and the app is not efficient.  When an app is built for a purpose it is far more focused on the task and more efficient, and you find yourself using it more and more.  Cisco's Rowan Trollope quickly agreed.  I, too, completely agree that when apps are built with a focus and a purpose, users get it, fully understand it, use it with confidence, and then tell others about it.

Another high point of this conversation was what came from Zig Serafin from Microsoft regarding Skype for business.  Microsoft Lync has been around for a long time, and it is aging.  Microsoft is going to replace Lync with Skype... Period.  Skype is way more familiar to pretty much any communication tool worldwide and to more people than Lync could ever be.  True, Skype has multiple features, but it has been in the consumer market for so long that it is a staple on the Internet, and consumers and businesses alike have no fear using it, and boy is it used LOTS.  50 Billion Min per month of conversations!!! If you take anything away from this session, it is the term "De-Unification" that sticks out the most, and the need to pay attention to it is critical.  Even in a small company of 10 - 30 employees, communication is a challenge, and it is very important to keep your mind open even if you have to "De-Unify" some of your communication to focus on the communication that drives results.

“Mobile First”- A Slogan or a Strategy?

Michael Finneran  and Eric Krapf were the moderators of the session.  The panel included Scott Allen, Lee Wagner, BJ Haberkorn, Mike Pritchard, and Mike Fitz.  Wearables was almost the first thing that came up, and Mike Pritchard explained that notifications are absolutely key when it comes to wearables.  I tend to agree, but what are you going to do with the notifications when they show up on the device...  The wearable industry is going to skyrocket and I personally can't wait to see what developers do with them.  After listening to this session, it is clear that more and more work is being done on Mobile, and it is not going to stop.  So is it a Strategy or a Slogan?  To me it is a "must have"..  if you are not tied into mobility, you have fallen by the wayside.


The keynotes were handled by Avaya, Cisco, Microsoft and Google.  This is the first time Google presented a keynote at Enterprise Connect.  Cisco, and Microsoft were the highlights in the keynotes.  The demos that both of them gave were top notch and fresh, pushing communication in ways that gain focus around teams.  Cisco's new Spark is their entry into the team collaboration software space.  Team Collaboration software is a way to bring the Agile environment into the business.  Examples of Team Collaboration software - Asana or Slack come to mind.  Software developers have been using the Agile method for building software for some time. Mutare has been using Agile for the past 5 years.  When using this method, developers are able to streamline processes and have large teams working together in a very cohesive way to hit goals on time with a highly reliable product with very few issues.  Not only that, Agile gives teams complete visibility to what is taking place, what tasks are assigned, and due dates.  Basically when following an Agile method, you are able to make changes more efficiently and iterate very quickly, as well as uncover issues and fix them with speed.  If you can apply the Agile method to your sales and C-Level teams, you will have the ability to do the same for your business goals and projects.  Companies do not have the luxury of time, and any efficiencies that you can put into place will help you drive the future.  Google's keynote was more around stats, and that is not surprising considering the type of business that they are in.  Again, the term De-Unification was sounded, and points on this were brought out, showing that focused apps with purpose are what is going to win.  Avaya did show an interesting slide of how they are giving the power to those that may not know how to develop software, but can use a flow chart type program to create communications path.  I was a bit disappointed that Avaya's tool looked very dated....


I encourage anyone in our industry to attend this event if possible.  The content is very relevant and up to date.  The Expo floor is HUGE, and it is a great place for customers, partners and vendors to meet and see new technology.  Enterprise Connect has become a top shelf event and it should not be missed,



Cloud Contact Centers – Are the Rewards Worth the Risks?

It is no surprise that the cloud contact center market continues on an upward trajectory, with analysts predicting industry growth from  $4.15 billion in 2014 nearly $11 billion in 2019.

When delivered via Software as a Service (SaaS), cloud contact center services are economical since you pay only for what you use and there is no hardware or software to buy, maintain or upgrade. Services in the cloud are quick to deploy, easy to scale, and offer a broad range of service options and current technologies like omni-channel customer interaction and “big data” utilization for enhanced customer experience.  And, because cloud services are not bound by the limitations of traditional phone networks, they have great appeal for multinational enterprises that want to consolidate their contact center operations under a single hosting provider.

But before you jump on the cloud bandwagon for your contact center operations, it’s important to recognize where there may be risks and what you can do to minimize them.

The biggest risk, as with anything cloud, is security. While companies usually keep customer data on premise, they need a connection to the cloud for certain activities, like data lookups. Make sure your provider is one that can ensure secure encryption on both ends.

Also pay close attention to your provider contract. Some include penalties if the number of seats falls below or goes above certain thresholds. In today’s corporate environment of mergers, downsizing and acquisitions, this could be a problem. Unless you know for a fact that your enterprise will never experience a sudden drop or rise in support service needs, seek out a provider that assures a consistent rate structure regardless of changes in usage.

Finally, if you are the person in your organization responsible for making the decision to go with cloud services, don’t be surprised if you get some push-back by those who fear loss of control or, worse, loss of jobs. The customers I’ve worked with report just the opposite. The move frees resources for investment in the business, stimulates business growth and new hiring through improved customer satisfaction and retention, and frees IT staff to work on more strategic and rewarding projects. It’s a win-win, as long as you’re careful with your choice.  

Getting Ready for Enterprise Connect?

I’m eager to attend this year’s Enterprise Connect, the leading conference and exposition on enterprise communications and collaboration, March 16-19 in Orlando, FL. I just wanted to point out some of the high points that I am looking forward to seeing. 

Keynote Speakers

Google's Adam Swidler,  “Technology Evangelist for Google for work,” will be speaking March 18th.  Adam is speaking on security and compliance with Google Apps. 100% of every enterprise will be using cloud based services in one way or another, even if it is only one application or service.  

I’m also looking forward to Microsoft’s Zig Serafin, “VP Skype for Business,” will be speaking March 18th. When Microsoft purchased Skype, we all had the feeling that they would be wrapping it into the enterprise somehow, but the move by Microsoft to replace Lync with Skype is probably the best move I have ever seen by Microsoft. Skype is leaps and bounds ahead of Lync, and familiar to the millions of Skype users globally.  If Microsoft can make it easy to integrate Skype into the enterprise business, it will grow much faster than Lync ever could.  Looking over this article from The Wall Street Journal, gives you an idea of the penetration that Skype already has in the market.  In 2013 alone, 214 billion minutes of on net international calls took place. 214 billion minutes is equal to 407,153 years!!!  This puts Skype at 40% of the international telecom market. The growth that Skype has is staggering.   

 General Sessions

I also plan on attending “Mobility First” on March 16th.  Regardless of what is said in this session, Mobility is not going away and is only going to become even deeper ingrained in to the business world.  So is it "Mobility First"?

I am hoping that we are going to see what is hot today, and what the future may bring at, “Is there a new model for Enterprise Communication and Collaboration,” on March 17. There will always be a new way to communicate and collaborate

“Live in a Cloud-based, Software-Intensive Future,” on March 18 will have a panel that will discuss what adaptations are going to be needed in the Enterprise.  

There are also a ton of breakout sessions, the WebRTC summit and the Expo.  If you’re new to Enterprise Connect, the Expo is really good to visit if you need to talk to some of the engineers that you don’t  usually have access to. If you can’t make the conference, I will also post my review after the show.

Personal Mobile Devices in Healthcare

BYOD. Bring Your Own Device. With so many professionals turning to this convention,  how does it affect the healthcare environment?  For IT and security leaders in a hospital, BYOD is what keeps them up at night.  So what’s the big deal?  As a patient, I love it since my doctor and I talk about the latest apps that we use to track health. Smartphones and the applications that make them "smart" is what ‘s driving the BYOD influx to the enterprise.  For example, did you know that 14 of the top 23 U.S. hospitals are already using Apple’s Health Kit, which is a repository for patient-generated health information?  This is not slowing down anytime soon and is only going to move faster. The IT and security leaders of the healthcare environment need to find ways to keep up since patients will demand it.  So what will IT leaders do to keep information secure and also meet HIPAA requirements?  An article that I recently read  sheds some light on the challenges and will give you a glimpse into what hospitals are facing with BYOD. 

Voicemail’s Back, and it’s Time to Start Feelin’ the Love

So you hear the word “voicemail” and you’re thinking “Wasn’t that something people did back in the 80s?” 

At its inception, voicemail technology revolutionized the way business people communicated, freeing both caller and call recipient from the dreaded “phone tag” spiral.  The popularity of voicemail has since been greatly diminished by the relative ease and convenience of email, text messaging and chat exchanges.

But here’s the dilemma. When you have a really pressing business issue you need to discuss, you reach for the phone, right? But according to a recent AT&T survey, 75% of all business calls fail to reach their intended recipient. You’d love to just leave a voice message, if only you were sure the person on the other end would get it and respond right away.

The fact is, traditional voicemail is the quickest and easiest way to leave a message, but among the most cumbersome ways to retrieve it. People just don’t want to watch for that red light, dial in and listen to a queue of long rambling messages to find the one that actually matters. Talk about an annoying waste of time! Even Coke took the drastic measure of disabling its enterprise voicemail system in an attempt to improve employee productivity. I, for one, think that was incredibly short-sighted.

Because the fact is, we now have the technology to transform voicemail from a necessary evil into a truly powerful strategic asset, building on the capabilities we already have to transcribe the voice message to text and deliver as an email and/or text message to the intended recipient. Mutare’s EVM3 takes it a step further, adding links to the transcribed message that allow the recipient to remotely control the content of their voicemail inbox. Mutare’s solution also includes a mobile app that provides a visual summary of all waiting voicemail messages with their text transcriptions, so users on the go know immediately when a message is left and can quickly scroll through and priority response to the most urgent. It’s the best of both worlds, preserving the caller’s choice to simply leave a voice message while giving the recipient the ease, convenience, and increased responsiveness of retrieving voice messages delivered as text to the devices of their choice.

If you’re still thinking, “Yeh, but you still need an enterprise voicemail system and they are a pain to administer and expensive to maintain,” think again. Companies with legacy systems have much to gain by replacing their outdated hardware with today’s new cloud based solutions via SIP trunking, that can be SAS-delivered. It’s a win-win, saving administration time and cost while providing state-of-the-art functionality and capabilities for their employees.

And now you’re saying, “OK, but what about the security of my data in the cloud?”  Of course the level of security required depends on the organization. Some, like defense contractors, go so far as to put enhanced voicemail capabilities behind their firewall as part of their private cloud.  For others, ensuring that the voicemail data has a high-level of security with data encrypted both in transit and at rest make sense.  When considering a hosted voicemail solution, be sure to talk with your provider about your organization’s security needs and the various encryption options available for your specific IT systems and configuration.

The bottom line – rumors about the death of voicemail have been greatly exaggerated. Forward-thinking companies are seeing voicemail, in its latest and still developing incarnation, as an indispensable tool for enhanced employee productivity, business collaboration and customer responsiveness.  

How Mobile Apps Will Transform Contact Center Operations

The explosive growth of data sharing through mobile devices reached another milestone in 2014 according to CNNMoney, which reports mobile Internet traffic has now surpassed usage by PCs and is continuing to surge. Just as significant, nearly 50% of all Internet traffic is being generated through the use of mobile apps.

Facebook and Instagram aside, numbers like that cannot be ignored by companies hoping to capture the attention of their mobile first customers if they want to build better relationships and continued loyalty.

I for one love being able to locate items in a store, download coupons, print photos, scan barcodes and compare prices all from company apps on my smartphone. Those apps save me hours of time, not to mention plenty of money. So how come, when I actually need to contact customer service, I have to resort to the old-fashioned phone call and waiting in queue for an agent? Sure, many companies provide the opportunity to text with a customer service rep from their websites, but SMS has its limitations. For one it’s expensive, and for another it is unsecured so inappropriate if I need to share sensitive financial, medical, or other personal information.

Thankfully, all that is about to change as innovative software developers like Mutare, Inc., are finding ways to add encrypted, secure chat capabilities directly into a mobile application.

Mutare has developed a Smart Chat application which is designed for easy embedding in a company’s existing mobile app. Smart Chat can also be integrated with the company’s existing CRM/ERP and contact center software so agents have instant access to their customers’ profiles and history, resulting in less time spent gathering information and an easier time resolving problems.

The application also takes advantage of capabilities inherent in the mobile experience, like location awareness, ability to take and share ad hoc photos and video, and identity awareness.

It’s just a win-win for companies and their app-loving customers (who, by the way, tend to be their most valuable customers). Faster service and issue resolution means happier customers who express their satisfaction through their purchasing power. It also means lower costs for contact center operations because of quicker and more effective service delivery.

I predict 2015 to be the year when mobile applications emerge as the preferred method of contact for customers seeking support. Smart companies will take heed and make sure their contact centers have the tools they need to fulfill that promise.

How to Capitalize on the Speech to Text Revolution

Let’s face it – when we have information that we know is valuable to our business, we make sure it’s in writing so it can be easily shared, stored and referenced. Yet there is so much more, and potentially valuable, information contained in everyday business conversations, voice messages, video conferences and face-to-face presentations that is rarely captured in any usable form, and that is a terrible waste…  

… which is why speech to text technology is going to revolutionize the way we do business.

When speech to text first emerged as an enterprise solution for transcribing voicemail messages around 2009, it was treated more as a novelty than a serious business tool. That’s because the transcription was pretty poor unless produced by live transcription agents –an expensive proposition and one that generated all kinds of privacy concerns. Since then, automated transcription engines have become far more sophisticated and cost-effective, and the accuracy of transcription has dramatically improved to the point where major businesses can easily recognize the possibilities of speech to text applications for improving operational efficiency and service delivery.

Today, unified messaging with text transcription of voicemail-to-email like Mutare’s EVM3 is pretty much a must-have for companies that place a high value on responsiveness to customers and clients. Whether on the road, on other calls, in meetings or courtrooms, employees who have been enabled with voicemail to email with speech to text transcription know when a voice message has been left, can quickly see the content of the message from their smartphones, gauge  its importance, and respond quickly and  appropriately from wherever they are. And that results in better decision making, happier customers and increased business opportunity.

But the truly exciting new frontier for speech to text is its potential when integrated with other business management tools. The fact is, once you have the text transcription, you can use it to trigger events inside any database, and that takes the value of voice transcription to a whole new level.

For instance, Mutare developed an app that helps state government agencies detect incidences of unemployment fraud, saving taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars in what would otherwise have been unearned benefit payment. The app runs transcribed voice messages of job-search results against a database of actual available jobs, flagging bogus reports. Pretty amazing.

Companies with highly mobile workforces are also using applications like Mutare’s Voice Mobility so their sales people can record and store transcribed customer meeting notes directly to their CRMs. Likewise, doctors can use the application to record follow-up reports and add the transcribed notes directly to patient records through integration with their EMR systems.

And then there is endless potential for contact center operations. For instance, by having a speech-to-text voice message mailbox integrated with the contact center software, customer voice messages can be transcribed to text and routed to an appropriate agent or specialist based on keywords in the message. Not only does the caller get a quicker response, but the agent can make the callback already armed with the caller’s stored contact information and history for faster handling.

My next prediction –with automated speech to text approaching the speed of manual transcription, I can see media companies looking to use this s technology for real-time closed captioning on the fly. What a valuable tool for television, radio shows, or for recording and transcribing conference sessions at tradeshows. While they’re at it, they could make sure the session is time stamped so the entire catalog of spoken word content becomes searchable by keyword.

The fact is, once the spoken word is turned into usable data, the only limit is your imagination.

What are you seeing out in the market? How are businesses you aware of leveraging speech-to-text technologies to create business opportunity. Let us know in the comment box below.

Finding your way at CES

I recently attended the Consumer Electronics Show (CES), and I was in awe of this convention’s sheer size. With 3,600 exhibitors and between 150,000 to 160,000 attendees, I asked myself, how am I going to find my way around? Sure I had a map, but we are talking about 2.2 million net square feet of exhibit space. I downloaded the CES app and found the maps tab. I’m sure you’re thinking, how is it possible that I would have access to GPS, LTE, or Wi-Fi in a building and find the next booth I need to get to? With instructions to turn on Bluetooth it became clear. CES was littered with beacons so the map was fast and accurate. Now, I had no problem finding my way around, but they could have made it so much better. Way-finding would have helped if it was added to the app.  My colleague featured an interesting article on “Engaging Patients with Mobile Way-Finding and Notification.” This article shows how powerful way-finding really is.  For more information on our other solutions, visit us at

What Coke got right…kind of..

Recently, Coca Cola decided to remove voicemail all together from their corporate office, stating it is not a productive tool. If a person calls and needs to leave a message, they are told to contact the person they are calling in a different way, via text etc… 

Scott Brown, our Director of Sales and Marketing, and I had a discussion on this very topic. While this was not a surprise, we were surprised that Coca Cola did not look further into how voicemail is being transformed by technologies that are available.

Roger:  I think that Coca Cola got it right when they said one of the reasons to get rid of its “old fashioned" voicemail is because it is one big waste of time. People in companies just do not have the time to plow through a stack of 15 - 25 messages in a day. How much time do you spend plowing through 25 voicemail messages?

Scott: I actually don't need to dial into a system to listen to my voicemail. I just read the voice messages that people leave me in text form. Vishy Gopalakrishnan, Product Marketing - Unified Communications and Collaboration for AT&T said, "Most people have it, but they don't end up using it. There are ways to get around it.” I agree with that, voicemail isn't the problem, it's accessing and responding wherever you are.

Roger: I agree, and this is where I think Coca Cola got it wrong, Coca Cola is making the customer responsible to get in contact with the Coca Cola employee by telling them to hang up and basically track the person down that they are looking for by a text, IM or email.  

Scott: Yes, and when people need information, they will grow impatient if they cannot get in contact with the right person. People do have choices with how they message and communicate, and the best companies are seeking way to give choices to their employees and customers. Choice is a key imperative.

Roger: You make a good point Scott. When people do choose to leave a message and you listen to a person, you are able to get the emotion out of what they are saying, speech to text technology will be able to do the same thing by using text formatting methods in the transcription, thus allowing for a person who is reading the voicemail, sees emotion in the text.

Scott: That will be a major innovation and step forward for speech to text utilization, no doubt.

Roger: I expect that advance to be available mid-year.

Scott: What other trends are you seeing with messaging applications in general?

Roger: believe all these messaging apps and network ubiquity are coming together at the precise point employees are demanding mobility and universal access to create a new standard communication idea. One that doesn't use premise base land lines and legacy applications, but rather is designed based on mobile access, and smart applications that insure rapid access and response to critical messages. These messages aren't just external, they are also employee-to-employee and the messages are typically vital to completing mission critical work for the business. Customers not thinking this way about how their employees and their customers communicate will fall behind. Anything else you would like to add Scott?

Scott: One last thing I will say, if you aren't positive about the criticality of messaging and responsiveness to each other and customers, try to get work done and/or deliver customer service when you send messages out to your organization for urgent response and no one gets back to you. Virtually all business comes to a halt. This, ultimately, will result in very unhappy customers who are relying on the responsiveness of a business.

For more information on our speech to text solution, visit us here.

Email With Accomplishment

I'm continuously looking for time saving features. Mutare's EVM3 application send all my voicemails to email saving me hours in a day, but a majority of my messages are looking for my availability.  I recently became aware of a fantastic iOS / Android app called Acompli. For example, how times are you asked what times you are open over the next week for a meeting?  You look at your calendar, write them down and try to remember them.  Instead of going through this timely process, what if you could reply and have full access to your calendar, while in the email. This app allows me to look at each day, and adds a chart with my available times to my email. The recipient now can see the times that you are available, and set up the meeting.  Not only did you simplify this very common task, but you made it easy for the person that asked for the times that you were open. 

Below are four screen shots and quick directions on how to send your available times via email.

1. Reply to the email that you received, or create a new one while in the Acompli app

2. Touch the small icon that has a '+' inside of the square

3. On the next screen touch the 'send availability' button

4. Your calendar will now display

5. Touch the times that you are available

6. Select done

A clean chart is added in the email, and you are now ready to email your availability.

Plagued by the Pager?

Yup, your doctor probably uses a pager daily. Texting just turned 20, and this method of communication, along with secure chat clients, is growing rapidly.  Articles from 2006 point to the decline of pagers, yet they are still here!  Why are pagers still being used?  How can we move away from the pager, that is very limited in its usefulness like a message waiting light on a desk phone to a platform that does not limit the usefulness of notifying and moving people to act upon an alert?  Take a look at this recent article from The UCbuyer on how to replace your pagers and add performance to your employee's and ultimately to communicate smarter to your customers.

Have you been Throttled?

I have been "Throttled" on my unlimited data plan could it happen to you?  Bandwidth throttling is the intentional slowing of Internet service by a service provider. For the past 10 days I am getting an average of .5Mbps download speeds on my LTE connection, and .5Mbps upload. Yup, I have kept my unlimited data plan for years, and will not give it up. I hit 5Gig on my downloaded data about 10 days ago. I did not get any warning. I just noticed that my speeds were much slower than normal when I was on LTE with three to five bars. I used the speed test app by OOKLA, running the test five times to get my average speed for download and upload in an area where my normal speeds are an average of 15Mbps down. As you can see in the photo below, the photo on the left was taken on November 3, 2014, and on the right the "non" throttled speed photo was taken November 4th, 2014. NOTE: the billing period ended on November 4th, thus leading me to believe that since I am in my new billing period, I am no longer being throttled. Remember, I have been dealing with .5 Mbps for the past 10 days. This is not the first time. This has happened to me multiple times with no warning or SMS from the carrier telling me that I am approaching a threshold, and I am going to be throttled. Until this issue is addressed, so called "unlimited data users” will need to deal with this. What can you do to monitor your data usage? I have a quick reference below:

  1. AT&T: Dial *3282# on your phone and hit send. You will receive a text with your usage.
  2. Verizon: Dial #3282 on your phone and hit send. You will receive a text with your usage.
  3. T-Mobile: Dial: #932# on your phone and hit send. You will receive a text with your usage.
  4. Sprint: Download the Sprint Zone app.

Ever had your Text Message Misinterpreted?

Words are what we live by, but once we take our conversations to text, there’s a tendency for words to get misinterpreted.  Forester reported in 2011 there were 6 billion SMS messages sent daily equating to 2.2 trillion text messages sent that year. As more smartphones are purchased, texting usage will easily increase . There were 92 million smartphone users in the US in 2011, and approaching 163 million smartphone users in US as of 2014.

Recently, messaging app EMU, an IM client with Siri-like intelligence, had exited beta earlier this year and snapped up by Google.

 Emu creators recognized the problem of text was the lack of emotion, and went beyond just words, with a machine that recognized the context of the conversation.  By analyzing the text, Emu was able to anticipate what the user would need to do next.  This was a very clever approach, since SMS does “NOT” do this. You needed to have a more robust platform with some sophisticated analytics behind it.

Just look at “Google Now”.  To me, Emu will be an enhancement to an already great feature. However, it's more than that. Google is interested in what people are thinking and having the ability to spot trends quickly, Google can serve up a better experience to the user and anticipate next steps that need to be taken, even giving useful suggestions to the end user.

To analyze the audio efficiently, you need to have the ability to transcribe audio to text in near real-time.  Once you have the text of any audio file, you can now search, analyze and draw useful information that can be applied to many parts of the user experience and or customer service.  Stay tuned to what Mutare is bringing to you next…. real-time, with emotion and bio-metrics.