HealthTech Zone Week in Review

Welcome to the end of another week, which means it’s time to wrap up the news of the week in the HealthTech Zone.

Within the last decade, wireless connectivity via Wi-Fi has become integrated into nearly every aspect of life. That high level of integration means many people and businesses are heavily invested in the quality and consistency of their wireless connectivity. Testing the reliability of wireless networks can be difficult and requires significant expertise. Ixia’s IxVeriWave software suite looks to make that process significantly easier by helping network administrators simulate and measure many important elements of Wi-Fi service, allowing them to optimize their devices for their own network’s performance.

Million Heart, a public-private collaboration of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, created a challenge for its contenders to create a heart related app in a competition called the Risk Check Challenge. The winning mobile app, Heart Health Mobile, was developed by Wisconsin’s Marshfield Clinic Research Foundation, which will help consumers assess their risk of heart attack or stroke and direct them to participating health screening locations in their community.

As the price of medical care keeps growing, healthcare professionals are trying to find ways to provide high-quality treatment while saving money. Until recently, this has been a losing battle, but the advent of mobile and wireless technology is giving healthcare providers a tool they can use to cut some of the cost associated with the treatment of patients. In its recent study, “Wireless Patient Monitoring Technologies - Evaluation of Funding Prospects,� Frost & Sullivan assessed the viability of investing in this technology.

It was recently shown that patient-care settings – such as nursing homes – with less advanced technology may see lower levels of care and less privacy for their patients. In a recent study, Greg Alexander, who teaches at the nursing school at the University of Missouri, concludes that healthcare practitioners use information technology to “help make clinical decisions, electronically track patients' care and securely relay medical information,� the university said.

3D, full-body imaging is now available at Shriners Hospitals for Children-Portland (Oregon) featuring the EOS Imaging System. Easier on young patients, it provides full-body images whether the child is standing or in a sitting position. It also only exposes patients to low doses of radiation.

Perhaps one of the most compulsory functions of any healthcare system is the examination of microscopic tissue samples and cells. Virtual microscopy has become a very popular way to digitize the slide samples. It is also a very clear-cut method of investigating the spread and presence of cancer in tissue. The problem with virtual microscopy, though, is the automated image analysis process and any sort of Web publishing of digital imagery, mostly due to the fact that the digital images produced are enormous. Read more here.

Assurant Health and Zensar Technologies have just formed a strategic alliance  that will span five years and enable the companies to work on the development and implementation of information technology support for a new suite of business applications. This newly inked agreement comes months after the government unveiled a set of new health-related regulations including: Patient Protection and the Affordable Care Act.

That’s all for this week in the HealthTechZone. Have a great weekend!


TMCnet Call Center Software Week in Review

February 16, 2013

Welcome to the weekend, which means it’s time for another wrap-up of the week’s events in call center software.

MyReportInfo.com has implemented a piece of cutting-edge predictive software that can anticipate customers’ questions and concerns. The solution is expected to boost the firm’s customer service efforts in a number of ways. The software considers the time of the call, the source location of the call and initial keywords spoken by the customer when they communicate with the customer service professional.

SalesPortal has unveiled a proprietary offer personalization engine. Customers will be able to receive offers related to specific products that are applicable to their instantaneous requirements after the conclusion of sales and service calls based on offering customization. Customers are divided on the basis of demographics, purchase history, and/or predispositions by the latest customization engine.

ReD, a source of global fraud prevention solutions for merchants and payment service providers, has a huge clientele across six continents. The company has recently introduced an interactive, self-service Business Intelligence portal for all its customers, subscribing to the company’s ReD Shield fraud prevention service.

CRM solutions providers Zurmo Inc. of Chicago and Sooptoo of the Netherlands have joined forces. Sooptoo will resell product -- and provide professional services including customization, installation, integration, maintenance, support and training -- for Zurmo deployments in the Netherlands.

X2Engine, Inc., a company that provides software and cloud hosting services for X2CRM, a next-generation open source sales management system, has rolled out X2CRM Version 2.8. X2CRM is a sales and marketing application designed for companies that require a focused customer information system. With a special emphasis on sales force speed and process optimization, according to the company, X2CRM is remarkably compact and easy to use, yet incredibly flexible and cost efficient.

Good customer service is a sound investment for any company; satisfied customers help create brand value, and in the current economic scenario, customers need to go away happy and come back for more. RecordFee, which offers a customer service solution for public records reports, is making a huge effort to keep customers happy and satisfied by introducing its new Gold Star customer service program, which helps ensure that the company’s service reps work to their full potential.

SoCoCare, a company specializing in cloud-based customer service software solutions, recently unveiled Social CIM, its new all-in-one social engagement package for professional customer care teams. This new cloud-based social engagement offering is aimed at offering customer care agents, supervisors and managers with rich social feeds including blogs, articles and social network posts, the ability to reply and direct-message authors all on one, unified platform.

That’s all for this week in Call Center Software. See you again next week.

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TMCnet Business Process Outsourcing Week in Review

February 16, 2013

By Rachel Ramsey, TMCnet Web Editor

Turning to business process outsourcing allows companies to rest easy knowing their customer service is in the hands of experts and focus on what they do best – their business goals and needs.

This week in the business process outsourcing space, BMC Software (News - Alert), a provider of a comprehensive range of IT management solutions, announced the availability of a robust application performance monitoring (APM (News - Alert)) product portfolio designed to address the growing complexities of diverse and dynamic computing infrastructures and business-critical applications within the computing environments of enterprises. BMC’s APM tools provide greater insight into application performance and end-user experience, which also includes a 360-view of application, middleware and infrastructure layers within the data center. 

Xerox, an enterprise for business process and document management, announced that five employees will take a fully paid leave of absence to contribute to local not-for-profit organizations. The employees will be involved in activities like simplifying the business operations of a global not-for-profit for hospitalized veterans, among other causes. The paid leave is toward the Social Service Leave program, corporate America's first community service sabbatical program that has loaned more than 500 employees to not-for-profits since 1971.

In another coalition organization, the 100,000 Jobs Mission announced it is more than halfway to reaching its goal of hiring 100,000 U.S. military veterans by 2020. The coalition is made up of 94 companies, including business process outsourcer Alorica. Alorica has been lending a hand to Wounded Warriors and American Veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces through its AloriCares program, a division of Alorica that recruits and hires members from these groups to work in the call center environment.

Also this week, Adorama.com, a camera and film equipment E-commerce site, selected Needle, a provider of real-time expert shopping assistance, to enhance its sales and customer brand loyalty. The selection was made following successful test results obtained by its sister-site Leisure Pro. Needle leverages a method which recruits and certifies fans and product experts, and designates them as online salespeople. This process, known as fansourcing, will enable Adorama to use the expertise of photography experts across the country to help its online shoppers.

To stay up-to-date on the latest industry news and trends, be sure to visit the business process outsourcing community each week.

DonRiver Develops Platform to Allow Full Mobile OSS Support, Capabilities while Opening New Frontiers in Europe

Mobile device manufacturers are cramming more and more functionalities into their gadgets with every new release – a trend that demands their partners in the software programming end to come up with new apps that leverage these capabilities.

This has, in turn, yielded a cycle of improvements, which on the bright side leads to better user experiences.

One of the latest additions to the pool of innovations is DonRiver’s mobile Operational Support System (OSS) integration platform, aimed at delivering OSS functionalities to smart tablets and devices. Originally created to help field agents finish work orders, client feedback has unearthed new ways in which the innovation can improve client working experiences.

Going by the name, My Mobile OSS, the platform gives a modern way of accessing and manipulating data generated by systems that are currently not well-seated with emerging mobile applications.

Built using the latest Web and mobile technologies – and the ability to support, read, write and delete functionalities to an OSS – the platform gives virtually all the dynamics needed in the creation of fully interactive apps.

In addition to this, the My Mobile OSS platform supports HTML5 and native iPad functionalities, giving developers the power to create and deploy solutions that support loads of business processes. Such a build will allow field agents, OSS GM Directors and ticket managers to perform their tasks faster and more conveniently while on the move.

The solution will be on display alongside the DonRiver Network Inventory and Resource Management Platform at the 2013 GSMA Mobile Congress in Barcelona, Spain, from February 25 to 28.

To cater to the growing U.K. market, the company also announced it will be opening a European office in a bid to expand operations and nurture its U.K. client base.

Any expert will concur that the creation and implementation of OSS products is one of the trickiest tasks in the communications industry. Many solutions that are OSS builds exist, but none have a record of successful deployment – but the success in the deployment of My Mobile OSS platform is an achievement that serves as both a revelation and motivator in the field.

Edited by Braden Becker

Harris CapRock Partners with AIS on New Government Contract

 Harris CapRock has made a name for itself as a global provider of fully managed communications that work in harsh and remote locations. Now the firm has teamed up with AIS Engineering, Inc. The two firms will be working together to provide end-to-end solutions to an intelligence community customer. This particular contract has been handed out under the Custom Satellite Solutions (CS2) Small Business task order. 

This contract has a one year base and the option for up to four other years. Should the contract be extended to the full five years, the companies stand to make about $10 million. It will have the two companies provide the customer with a whole host of United States satellite, teleport, terrestrial and engineering services. The solutions the companies are offering up will also be made available for the customer to use them globally.

David Cavossa, president of government solutions for Harris CapRock (News - Alert) talked about what the partnership means for his company as well as for AIS “We have supported this intelligence community customer for more than a decade. Working with CS2 contract awardees, we continue to meet the critical communications needs of our longstanding customers.� Cavossasaid in a statement released about the new contract.

CS2 is a part of a larger called the Future Commercial SATCOMM Acquisition (FCSA) program. The General Services Administration (GSA) runs the program with support from the Defense Information Systems Agency (News - Alert). Harris CapRock is an approved vendor of satellite and terrestrial communications systems for the CS2 program. Harris CapRock owns and uses a rather robust global communication infrastructure that stretches across six continents.

The company even boasts five different customer contact centers. Harris CapRock now has a presence in more than 23 countries and service personnel that are working in the United States, Central and South America, West Africa, Europe and Asia Pacific.

Edited by Amanda Ciccatelli

ePlus Satisfies its Customers, Receives Gold Star from Cisco

In any industry, the most important aspect is making sure that its customers are satisfied, whether it is for a retail service, contact center or VoIP provider. This is especially important for users operating a mobile device, as it seems to have become an essential part of both our home life and workplace, thanks to BYOD.  ePlus has responded to the importance placed on customer service, and to prove it, has received the Customer Satisfaction Excellence Gold Star from Cisco (News - Alert).

In order for Ciscos’ partners to receive an award – with the three levels being Gold, Silver and Premier – they must provide outstanding expertise in the Cisco Resale Channel Program and Cisco Lifecycle Service. Through the program’s specializations and certifications, Cisco can recognize the level of skill that its partners are deploying while using the solutions. By using a third-party audit process, the program is able to validate partner qualifications such as technology skills, business best practices and customer satisfaction, as well as pre- and post-sales support capabilities – both critical factors in choosing a trusted partner.

ePlus has demonstrated the highest level of customer service satisfaction that Cisco, which Ciscos’ senior vice president was very excited to announce.

"We're proud to be recognized by Cisco for the ninth time with this significant award," said the very proud Jerry McIntosh, vice president of advanced technology solutions for ePlus Technology.  "We consider customer service to be a key indicator of our success, and we are committed to delivering excellence at every stage and with every engagement. Achieving Cisco Channel Customer Satisfaction Excellence is objective evidence that ePlus provides an exceptional customer experience when planning, designing, deploying, and managing Cisco advanced technology solutions."

 This is not the first accomplishment for ePlus, as it also achieved Cisco Master Specializations in Security and Unified Communications (News - Alert), as well as a Cisco Managed Services Master Certification.

ePlus is a highly trusted partner of Cisco, and it seems that, with all of the success that it has already achieved, they have a very bright future ahead of them in the industry.

For more information about ePlus, click here.

Edited by Allison Boccamazzo

Facebook Wins Legal Battle in Germany Over Use of Pseudonym, Jurisdiction

February 15, 2013

By Ed Silverstein, TMCnet Contributor

Facebook (News - Alert) has won a legal battle in Germany that relates to jurisdictional issues and whether users can register with a pseudonym. The case will likely be appealed, but it is being carefully watched because it could impact other social media sites and businesses.

The ruling relates to Facebook wanting new users to register with their legal name. That is different from Twitter (News - Alert) and YouTube which do let users register with a pseudonym.

A data protection body (affiliated with the Independent Center for Privacy Protection) (ULD) in the German state of Schleswig-Holstein at first disagreed with Facebook. It said the policy violates Germany’s privacy laws and European free speech policy.

But an administrative court recently ruled the Germany privacy rules do not apply to Facebook, because its headquarters for Europe are located in Ireland, and other laws would apply.

“The regulator wrongfully based its order on German data protection law,� the judges said in a ruling translated by Bloomberg News. “Irish data protection law exclusively applies.� Facebook handles the relevant data in Ireland.

The data protection body will appeal the ruling, claiming its view is backed by German law. Thilo Weichert, head of the regional data protection office in Schleswig Holstein, argues that companies should not search for “low level of data protection jurisdiction. This was not the intention of the European Union regulation.�

Facebook requires its users to specify when they register their real user information, such as first name, last name, e-mail address, gender and birth date, the judges said in a statement. If new users have to show their real names, Facebook contends it protects other users on the site by making them responsible for any comments, The Next Web said.

Also, the other question of what laws from which judicial jurisdiction apply here could impact businesses with multiple locations in Europe. 

Edited by Amanda Ciccatelli

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Amazon Redshift and Birst Join Forces

In effort to fix the glitches in Amazon’s Web Services (AWS), which could cause companies vested in it to potentially lose millions of dollars, it has made Redshift available to all of its customers.

On January 31, the Amazon homepage was done for 49 minutes, and for a one billion dollar project, this could mean the potential loss of millions of dollars. Although the company didn’t make public the reasons for the interruption, figures in the industry are speculating it may have to do with the switch Amazon made to AWS.  

The malfunction brings to light issues that may surround companies that use AWS, as it has experienced interruption in the past with other big companies like NetFlix, Instagram and Foursquare (News - Alert). Or, others are suspecting a cyber-attack. Whichever it is, users are waiting for Amazon to come forward with an explanation of this event.  

However, instead of explaining why it happened, Amazon wasted no time to release its newest solution.

Amazon Redshift was made possible by the partnership between Amazon and Birst (News - Alert) Inc., a business analytics company. The new solution will help businesses build, manage and analyze relational full data warehouses, and is built for the cloud, which runs alongside AWS without requiring any type of expensive or slow cloud-to-cloud integration.

“With order of magnitude improvements in price/performance, Amazon Redshift makes big data analytics accessible to more people, allowing large organizations to analyze more of their data and smaller ones to afford fast, scalable data warehousing technology," said Raju Gulabani, vice president of database services at Amazon Web Services (News - Alert), as AWS announced that Amazon Redshift is available for use. 

Birst will work simultaneously with Amazon Redshift to create a business analytics platform that provides a full data warehouse automation solution.

To join Birst and Amazon for a webinar on March 28, click here.

Edited by Allison Boccamazzo

Kodak, Satori Agreement to Strengthen Document Management

For more than 15 years, Satori has provided fax, image and document management solutions for enterprise organizations, and has constantly been enhancing them to continuously adapt to user-specific needs. That’s why the strategic reseller agreement with Kodak’s (News - Alert) document imaging business is of tremendous significance.

Satori solutions will provide its customers KODAK Capture software, hardware and solutions along with its fax, image and document management solutions. Satori is also certified in KODAK Software Solutions, and hence has the option to implement either on-premise or cloud-based installations.

 According to a Gartner (News - Alert) study, paper documents account for an estimated 80 percent of corporate data. But paper documents are risky. They are easy to copy and distribute, are likely to be misplaced or lost and if not destroyed at expiry, could lead to legal tangles. So, it’s easy to see why the agreement between Satori and Kodak imaging will benefit customers.

Customers can now store their paper documents as digital images in the cloud, share them with only authorized personnel and also trash them easily when they are no longer needed.  

Satori chose Kodak because of its continued innovation in document and image management. Kodak’s ongoing mission has been to develop technologies that optimize business processes by converting information into forms that can be accessed by the end user in a centralized environment.

Kodak’s technology supports Satori’s state-of-the-art, fully-customized enterprise solution and Satori Solutions utilizes KODAK and other hardware, software and cloud-based sources and services, providing dependable, stable, affordable solutions to its customers.

Recently, Eastman Kodak Company has completed a transaction for the sale and licensing of its digital imaging patents for net proceeds of $527 million.

Edited by Amanda Ciccatelli

Apple Updates Processors and Prices of MacBook Pro with Retina Display

CUPERTINO, California—February 13, 2013—Apple® is making the MacBook Pro® with Retina® display faster and more affordable with updated processors and lower starting prices. The 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display now starts at $1,499 for 128GB of flash, and $1,699 for a new 2.6 GHz processor and 256GB of flash. The 15-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display now features a faster 2.4 GHz quad-core processor, and the top-of-the-line 15-inch notebook comes with a new 2.7 GHz quad-core processor and 16GB of memory. Apple today also announced that the 13-inch MacBook Air® with 256GB of flash has a new lower price of $1,399.

The MacBook Pro with Retina display features the world’s highest resolution notebook display. Whether you’re reading emails, writing text, editing home movies in HD or retouching professional photography, everything appears vibrant, detailed and sharp, delivering an unrivaled viewing experience. The MacBook Pro with Retina display features flash storage that is up to four times faster than traditional notebook hard drives, and delivers improved reliability, instant-on responsiveness and up to 30 days of standby time.

Pricing & Availability
The updated MacBook Pro with Retina display and MacBook Air models are available today through the Apple Online Store (www.apple.com), Apple’s retail stores and Apple Authorized Resellers. Pricing details, technical specifications, configure-to-order options and accessories are available online at www.apple.com/macbook-pro and www.apple.com/macbookair.

Apple designs Macs, the best personal computers in the world, along with OS X, iLife, iWork and professional software. Apple leads the digital music revolution with its iPods and iTunes online store. Apple has reinvented the mobile phone with its revolutionary iPhone and App Store, and is defining the future of mobile media and computing devices with iPad.

Press Contacts:
Colin Smith
Apple
colins@apple.com
(408) 862-1171

Jacqueline Roy
Apple
jacqueline_roy@apple.com
(408) 862-4386

Apple, the Apple logo, Mac, Mac OS, Macintosh, MacBook Pro, Retina and MacBook Air are trademarks of Apple. Other company and product names may be trademarks of their respective owners.