Archive for the ‘Communication Enabled Business Process’ Category

Telecom 2.0 - Where We’re Headed

Monday, January 26th, 2009

Last Wednesday at PTC ‘09 in sunny Honolulu, Hawaii, our CEO and President, Pete Pattullo, participated in a Telecom 2.0 panel moderated by Gary Kim of IP Business magazine. Joining Pete on the panel were IntelePeer CEO Frank Fawzi and Jeff Lattomus, Area VP of MetaSwitch.

Pete shared with Gary and the audience that NetworkIP formed in 1997 as a Telecom 2.0 company; we built our platform from a “clean sheet of paper” and pioneered a revolutionary business model (at the time) of providing hosted voice applications for customers. Back then, the Telecom 2.0 label didn’t exist, and analysts often categorized us as a CLEC (competitive local exchange carrier).

Now, 10 years later, our core voice and transaction services platform is highly evolved. Our patented software has matured through 8 iterations. Our hosted services model makes it easy for customers to run and manage all varieties and complexities of business applications. And while we process over 25 million API transactions a month, we realize that those APIs are only the table stakes of Telecom 2.0.

For we are all about enabling frictionless transactions and solutions for the enterprise that enable customers to easily and cost-effectively solve complex business problems and drive efficiency, especially in this challenging economic climate.

Pete further elaborated that In 2009, our subsidiary, Jaduka, will be working closely with partners like IBM and initiating new relationships to meet the growing demands of Fortune 2000 companies. We’ll also integrate our real-time transaction processing engine, our billing solution, and provisioning capabilities in ways that save our customers money and enhance their business processes.

Telecom 2.0: that’s where we’re headed.

Brian Kirk
VP Business Development
NetworkIP & Jaduka

New Year, New Business Processes

Friday, January 2nd, 2009

I just received a recorded message from the local Toyota dealership in Austin. The message indicated that my vehicle is due for service and then provided me with the dealership phone number so I could call and schedule an appointment.

The approach Toyota is taking in proactively reaching out to their customer is good, but it’s not good enough and, in this instance, it wasn’t frictionless enough to get me to stop what I was doing and make a service appointment.

What might Toyota have done better?

1. Indicate which car required service. I own two Toyota vehicles so how about listing the year, make, and model of the vehicle that requires service.
2. Provide more specific information. Indicate type of service that is due and the cost.
3. Provide a more convenient call to action. Give me the option to connect to a customer service person by pressing a button, or to schedule the appointment via an IVR while I am still on the line.

Telling me which car required service and giving me the specific service information is good. Better is connecting me directly to a customer service agent (press 1 to connect schedule an appointment now) or allowing me to schedule an appointment via an IVR; either of those two options would have likely sealed the deal.

A call to action needs to be seamlessly integrated with convenience and one-click actions to enable the feeling of convenience. In lieu of that, if a customer doesn’t capture the number that is quickly rattled off, it’s less likely the customer will call the dealer. In my case I won’t make the call to the dealer until I have a problem with one of my cars or I remember that it’s time to change the oil.

In 2009 you will see more companies – from major enterprises to suppliers and distributors to brick and mortar establishments – deploying communications enabled business processes (CEBP) in ways that improve customer experience and drive sales. The NetworkIP Jaduka Intelligent Platform and our APIs enable businesses to deploy low-cost, efficient CEBP solutions and accrue benefits from day one. With CEBP, every sale has a far greater chance of being completed, and the customer experience will be both richer and frictionless.

Brian Kirk
VP Business Development
NetworkIP & Jaduka

Positive ROI with Voice APIs

Wednesday, August 20th, 2008

Jaduka’s APIs enable much more than slick innovative voice-enabled web applications. When aligned with a company’s business objectives, voice-enabled solutions can result in significant savings. I applaud Datran Media for their ability to identify a business need where adding voice can enhance their services all while saving their company money.

According to Jason Oates, Vice President of Media Services at Datran Media, it was an easy decision to choose Jaduka. Jason adds, “Jaduka’s solution provides a positive ROI by helping Datran Media improve campaign success & drive greater revenue for our advertisers & publishers.”

These new voice-enabled solutions are not only beneficial for businesses; they are also useful tools & provide consumers with convenient & efficient ways of communicating. As more companies realize the value in adding voice to existing applications, business processes, & CRM services we are going to see an explosion of new voice-enabled solutions deployed.

Plugging Starbucks into Telephony

Tuesday, August 5th, 2008

Every time I walk into Starbucks I’m hit in the face with a new sales promotion. Howard Shultz & crew are doing all that they can to turn Starbucks around. If successful, their current promotion will have consumers visiting a Starbucks twice a day. The approach with this promotion is that if the consumer returns with their morning receipt after 2:00 PM, they will be offered any grande (that is a ‘medium’ for you folks that have yet to pick up on the Starbucks lingo) iced drink for $2.00 instead of the usual $3.50 & above price tag.

I can’t help but look at a promotion like this & imagine the benefits that Starbucks could achieve if they would simply use communication & transaction based technologies to market & manage this promotion. The problem is that too many companies perceive such an integration to either be impossible, or if possible then too expensive.

My morning coffee was paid for using my Starbucks credit card. Talk about a loyal Starbucks’ customer… I earn Starbucks points with all of my purchases instead of miles or cash back. Since Starbucks has already “signed me up” why not alert me of this promotion via text message or better yet with a phone call rather than catching me only after I’ve walked through their doors? It wasn’t until I purchased my coffee & then asked for my receipt that the clerk even notified me about the promotion. What if I wouldn’t have asked for my receipt? Would the clerk even have told me about the promotion?

Even if I do decide to return later today it is now my responsibility to remember the promotion & I’m also forced to keep track of my receipt for the rest of the day. With the use of communication & transaction based technologies I wouldn’t have to do either. Since I’m already a loyal customer & I’m using a Starbucks card I shouldn’t need to hang on to my receipt. My purchases could be tracked on-line & when I return later in the day my Starbucks card could be scanned to validate that I made a purchase earlier that morning. As for forcing me to remember the promotion, since Starbucks already has my mobile phone number I could be sent a text message or recieve a voice call around 1PM to remind me about the promotion. Both of these solutions could easily be enabled through the use of Jaduka’s Voice & Transaction Services APIs.

Again, it’s obvious that too many companies do not realize how easy & inexpensive it is to add these types of technologies to their applications & promotions. This is especially true for companies wishing to add voice.

The Public Switch Telephone Network (PSTN) for too long now has been inaccessible to companies that do not have huge telephony equipment or deep pockets. With Jaduka’s Voice API we have removed these barriers & we have made it easy & inexpensive to plug in to that telephony network. With our APIs you can make your applications & promotions heard.

Technology Can Save Your Business Too

Monday, July 28th, 2008

I commented last week on how many businesses are turning to innovative telephony services such as conferencing to avoid the high costs associated with employee travel. Today while reading about Netflix’s second-quarter net income, which climbed 3.8%, I thought to myself “How did they do it?”

In the middle of googling for other reports about Netflix it hit me - technology is saving their business!

As the price of gas continues to rise, so do the cost of going to the movies. As a result, more consumers are staying at home to watch movies & many of them are renting those movies through Netflix. Unfortunately for Netflix, higher fuel prices are also driving up the costs to deliver movies to the consumer’s mailbox. Netflix’s margin is already pretty thin & those margins can be completely eaten up if you have a consumer base that is exchanging movies almost as fast as they get them. Netflix’s subscritpion model allows their users to exchange as many movies as he/she wants per month & their subscription fee stays the same. This model works very well for the consumer & until recently worked for Netflix too.

Rather than drastically changer their model & risk loosing existing subscribers, Netflix responded with an innovative solution using technology to their advantage. This new solution actually provides more to the consumer & cleverly works in Netflix’s advantage too!

First Netflix began offering a “Watch Instantly” option from their website. Users were allowed a certain amount of hours per month to watch streaming movies to their PC for free. Netflix realized very quickly that this feature resulted in the shipment of less movies to their consumers because they were watching more movies on-line. The costs for Netflix to offer live streaming videos versus mailing movies was significantly less & they quickly removed any maximum on the amount of viewing hours they offered to their users in hopes that the number of shipments required would continue to drop while usership would continue to rise.

Netflix also just announced a deal with Microsoft to stream movies directly to a user’s Xbox 360 game console. It obvious that Netflix is looking to offer their consumers as many options as possible to view movies as long as it doesn’t involve shipping that movie to the consumer. Again, the rationale being that as more users view their movies on-line, the less likely they are to order their movies through the mail & the net result is higher margins & ultimately more profits for Netflix.

Each day I imagine more things that companies can do with technologies to save their company time, money, & resources. One of my greatest pleasures at work is seeing so many companies actively taking advantages of the technologies that we & Jaduka have developed to save money & improve their business processes with communications.