Go Beyond Phone Calls for Sales Success

While it may be true that picking up the phone remains one of the best ways to reach an organization's senior executives, in terms of sales and lead generation, we’re living in a different era. While the cold call is a technique that can lead to a meeting, a pitch, and an actual sale or sales relationship, the fact of the matter is today’s customers are much more savvy and have developed identities all over the social playground of the Internet, so it behooves sales professionals to adopt a social approach.

That’s not to say you should just hop on Twitter and Facebook (News - Alert) and start garnering “likes” and re-tweets. Social selling is a little more complex than that. While the aforementioned is good for exposure, obtaining leads the social way requires strategy and thought.

What does that mean? Instead of focusing on direct mail marketing, set your sights on content marketing. Content marketing means creating and sharing valuable free content to attract and convert prospects into leads, and leads into customers who then become repeat buyers. The magic lies in the type of content you share, as it is closely related to what you sell. You’re basically educating people so that they know, like, and trust you enough to do business with you.

While it is certainly the “in” thing to do now, it’s imperative to remember that you must make the content work in order to have social media remain an effective tool in your toolbox.  To make social content work for you, be sure to base your content on your key performance indicators (KPIs) and use that information to drive better written material. Consider your audience, your brand, profit and revenue.

Once you’ve come up with the magic formula for optimal content, get social with it. Creating content is only part of content marketing. The other half is promoting it. Get online, send out email blasts, tweet about it, start a conversation on Facebook, see what other pros on LinkedIn (News - Alert) have to contribute. Create chatter.

So, how do you go about getting leads since you’re not on the phone making those cold calls? It’s simple. Take part in the conversations you’ve started online and see who responds. By eliciting feedback and input from your social fans, you may draw in others with similar interests and needs, and there you’ll have some new leads.

It’s time to just admit that cold calling is a thing of the past, and maybe that makes some sales pros happy. Lead generation has evolved with technology. Use it to revamp your operation and everyone on your sales team will see positive results.

Edited by Rory J. Thompson

M2M Evolution Magazine Transitions to The IoT Evolution Magazine

Leading publication will cover hot topics within the IoT and M2M industries

Norwalk, CT—January 22, 2015TMC and Crossfire Media announced today that M2M Evolution Magazine is now The IoT Evolution Magazine. The rebranded magazine will cover the breadth of the Internet of Things (IoT) and machine to machine (M2M) community.

The newly expanded quarterly publication presents IoT use cases, which reveal the latest and greatest in sensor and M2M device solutions, and offers news and analysis on advances in network architectures. The IoT Evolution Magazine also provides coverage about a wide variety of industries and organizations including agriculture, education, energy, finance, health care, insurance, manufacturing, municipalities, retail, and transportation.

“The industry keeps evolving and our commitment is to keep our readers informed of the changes,” said Carl Ford, CEO, Crossfire Media. “Reflecting the trend that machine to machine is a benefitting from Internet connectivity and that the machines are being attached to all sorts of things, we will continue to focus on the applications and opportunities that have been at the core of the magazine,” Ford continued.

From service provider issues to consumer- and business-focused end user IoT applications, The IoT Evolution Magazine explores the entire IoT ecosystem and full range of implementation considerations including: architectures; applications; business cases; connectivity and aggregation devices; data collection, analysis, and usage strategies; endpoints; integration; platforms; sensors; networks; and more.

“As we move increasingly into a more connected society, machine-to-machine communication has laid the groundwork for a more complex Internet of Things, reflecting the interactivity between devices, systems and people,” said Erik Linask, Group Editorial Director, TMC. “IoT Evolution magazine will build upon its expertise in M2M with a comprehensive exploration of the opportunities that lie ahead,” added Linask.

Interested readers can subscribe to this complimentary magazine by completing the form found here. To learn more, visit www.IoTEvolutionMagazine.com.

The IoT Evolution Magazine welcomes its readers to leverage the publication to tell their own stories about challenges and successes they've experienced in exploring and implementing Internet of Things initiatives. Professionals interested in submitting editorial content for The IoT Evolution Magazine, may contact Paula Bernier at pbernier@tmcnet.com.

About TMC
TMC is a global, integrated media company that supports clients' goals by building communities in print, online, and face to face. TMC publishes multiple magazines including Cloud Computing, M2M Evolution, Customer, and Internet Telephony. M2Mevolution is the leading source of news and articles for the communications and technology industries, and is read by as many as 1.5 million unique visitors monthly. TMC produces a variety of trade events, including ITEXPO, the world's leading business technology event, as well as industry events: Asterisk World; AstriCon; ChannelVision (CVx) Expo; Currency 2.0; Customer Experience (CX) Hot Trends Symposium; DevCon5 - HTML5 & Mobile App Developer Conference; FreePBX World; LatinComm Conference and Expo; IoT Evolution Conference & Expo; SmartVoice Conference; Software Telco Congress; Super Wi-Fi Summit - The Global Spectrum Sharing and TV White Space Event; SIP Trunking, Unified Communications & WebRTC Seminars; Wearable Tech Conference & Expo III; Fitness and Sports Wearable Technology (FAST) Expo II, WebRTC Conference & Expo IV; and more. Visit TMC Events for additional information.

About Crossfire Media

Crossfire Media is an integrated marketing company with a core focus on future trends in technology. We service communities of interest with conferences, tradeshows, webinars and newsletters. Crossfire Media has a partnership with Technology Marketing Corporation (TMC) to produce events and websites related to disruptive technologies. Crossfire Media is a division of Crossfire Consulting, a full service Information Technology company based in New York.

TMC Contact:    
Rebecca Conyngham
Marketing Manager
203-852-6800, ext. 287
rconyngham@tmcnet.com

Edited by Maurice Nagle

Back to m2m Evolution Home

New Zealand on Telehealth Radar

January 22, 2015


By Michelle Amodio
TMCnet Contributor

Recent headlines tell us that New York was most recently made the 22nd state to enact a telehealth bill that will change how doctors and patients communicate, and now it looks as though New Zealand is getting on board with it, too.

The buzz is that telehealth has reached a tipping point in New Zealand, thanks to recent years of widespread telehealth adoption. Research suggests that “all DHBs (district health boards) are using telehealth to some degree, although most are introducing it to improve service models rather than to reshape the way patients receive care,” according to Pulse (News - Alert) IT.

Telehealth is sometimes confused with telemedicine, but the former is different because it refers to a broader scope of remote healthcare services. While telemedicine refers specifically to remote clinical services, telehealth can refer to remote non-clinical services, such as provider training, administrative meetings, and continuing medical education, in addition to clinical services.

Telehealth is changing healthcare leveraging technology to successfully manage complex conditions, decrease avoidable acute care hospitalizations and provide better outcomes for patients.

Recent research from the National Health IT Board (NHITB) shows that “almost all of the DHBs are making use of telehealth technology to some degree, with Northland, West Coast and Canterbury most active in using telehealth technologies for clinical services involving care of patients.”

Home care nursing already benefits considerably from the use of telehealth technology in the form of interactive video systems and monitoring technology using plain old telephone lines, integrated services digital networks, digital subscriber lines and the Internet.

“DHBs are also using text messaging tools for communications between health professionals and for appointment reminders,” according to the report. “Two DHBs have provided VC links for GPs to participate in tele-consultations with specialist services and two are planning to provide links.”

Edited by Rory J. Thompson

Yealink Joins ITEXPO Miami 2015 as Platinum Sponsor

Yealink brings innovative point-of-view to leading business technology event

Norwalk, CT – January 22, 2015 – TMC today announced that Yealink has signed on to become a Platinum Sponsor of ITEXPO Miami 2015, held January 27-30, 2015, at the Miami Beach Convention Center in Miami, Florida. ITEXPO is the business technology event that brings together IT professionals and experts to explore the latest technology and trends in M2M, SDN, cloud, VoIP, WebRTC, unified communications and much more.

At this industry-leading business technology event, Yealink will present brand new products to the global audience, including the ground-breaking conference phone system CP860 and foundation-level gigabit IP Phone T2 Series. The high-selling, ultra-elegant T4 Series and DECT phone will also be on display. Visitors will also have the opportunity to experience Yealink IP phone, SMB, UC and ITSP solutions in action.

“We welcome Yealink to ITEXPO, as the company is a valuable addition to the event. Yealink is a global leader in the IP Communications industry, and will share its expertise and innovative new solutions with expo attendees,” said Rich Tehrani, TMC CEO and conference chairman.

For visitors who would like to know more about Yealink’s development philosophy, and what the expanding range of Yealink’s products and services can achieve, should visit ITEXPO Booth #1000.

ITEXPO is also supported by Diamond Sponsor Digium; additional Platinum Sponsors 888VoIP, Content Boost, Fiber Mountain, NETXUSA, Sansay, Schmooze Com Inc., Whoa.com and Windstream; and Gold Sponsors ABP Tech, ADTRAN, Grandstream, LogiSense, NetSapiens, Taqua, Vitelity, Voxbone, Voxox and Xmartek.

Registration for ITEXPO Miami 2015 is now open. Contact Frank Coppola at 203-852-6800 x131 for more information. For media inquiries, contact Ashley Baster. Companies interested in exhibiting, sponsorship or advertising packages for ITEXPO should contact TMC's Joe Fabiano at 203-852-6800 x132 or Maureen Gambino at 203-852-6800 x109.

For the latest ITEXPO news, updates and information follow the event on Twitter at @ITEXPO.

About Yealink:

Founded in 2001, Yealink is a leading provider of VoIP Phone and IP communication solution. For more than ten years, Yealink has focused on VoIP products characterized by rich performance, reliable equality, easy deployment and competitive price. Yealink benefits customers from flexibility and broad interoperability with the major IP-PBX, softswitch and IMS in the market. Chosen by famous carriers, enterprises and clients from over 140 countries, Yealink provides Carriers, Enterprises, IPCC, SMB and diversified customers from all over the world a best choice to extend the value of network communication. More information, please visit: http://www.yealink.com

Yealink Contact:

Owen Liu

pr@yealink.com

+86-592-5702000 E.8707

About TMC
TMC is a global, integrated media company that supports clients' goals by building communities in print, online, and face to face. TMC publishes multiple magazines including Cloud Computing, M2M Evolution, Customer, and Internet Telephony. TMCnet is the leading source of news and articles for the communications and technology industries, and is read by as many as 1.5 million unique visitors monthly. TMC produces a variety of trade events, including ITEXPO, the world's leading business technology event, as well as industry events: Asterisk World; AstriCon; ChannelVision (CVx) Expo; Customer Experience (CX) Hot Trends Symposium; DevCon5 - HTML5 & Mobile App Developer Conference; FreePBX World; LatinComm Conference and Expo; M2M Evolution Conference & Expo; SmartVoice Conference; Software Telco Congress; SIP Trunking, Unified Communications & WebRTC Seminars; Wearable Tech Conference & Expo III; Fitness and Sports Wearable Technology (FAST) Expo II, WebRTC Conference & Expo V; and more. Visit TMC Events for additional information.

TMC Media and Analyst Contact:            

Ashley Baster   

Connect2 Communications        

(919) 435-9112  

ashley@connect2comm.com

Edited by Maurice Nagle

Energisa Improves Customer Service With Cisco

January 22, 2015

When it comes to the call center world, there is one thing that most companies are looking to accomplish. Customer service is the number one goal for call centers in the 21st century after having spent decades believing that getting through as many customers as possible was more important. Call centers in the United States especially have started embracing customer service as a must have and this has led to the growing reshoring trend that has benefitted one state after another.

The United States is far from the only country in the world that has figured out that call centers need to be able to establish fantastic customer service. Energisa Group, a Brazillian energy distributor has recently managed to optimize its customer service approach thanks to the Cisco (News - Alert) Unified Contact Center Solution.

The company has managed to deploy a set of Cisco’s solutions that are able to integrate its communications channels such as telephone, email and real time chat. There are also a number of different social network applications that the solution offers up. Among other features the solution offers is an Outbound Dialer. All of these features are combined into one thin-client collaborative desktops that are easily usable for agents and supervisors.

Energisa is a company that is certainly in need of making sure it has a good customer service offering. It has installed more than 280 positions in its companies throughout Brazil. By using Cisco to combine all of its positions and upgrade its offerings, the firm is that much better and has actually increased the reach it has when it comes to making sure its customer service is among the best in the world. Being able to interact with its customers through a variety of different channels means that customer satisfaction will likely stay rather high and the company can take a longer look at expanding even more in the very near future.

Edited by Maurice Nagle

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Apple Watch Expected to Boost Mobile Charging Market Big Time

The global market for wireless power and charging devices is expected to explode in 2015, according to some rather prominent industry analysts. IHS (News - Alert) Technology has actually said that this particular market is going to grow by more than 3,000 percent compared to 2014 and this massive amount of growth is going to be spurred by the eventual launch of the Apple Watch.

In total, the revenue for wireless power receivers and transmitters in wearable applications are expected to pass the $480 million this year. That number will be a rather massive growth from the $15 million last year. The growth from 2014 to 2014 appears to be just the tip of the iceberg. IHS says that the revenue numbers for this particular market will actually top $1 billion by the time we get to 2019.

“Growth this year will be remarkable for wireless charging in wearable electronic devices, even if in reality the overall penetration of wireless charging into wearables is relatively low given the billions of wearables  that are shipped into the consumer market every year,” Vicky Yussuff, analyst for wireless charging at IHS Technology said in a recent statement. Yussuff said that interest in this particular market is very, very high when it comes to wearable technology providers and this is the biggest reason why her company believes that market penetration is going to grow rather rapidly in the next five years.

The Apple (News - Alert) Watch is the newest piece of wearable technology that is getting quite a bit of attention and this is the reason IHS believes portable and wireless chargers are going to get so much more popular. In total, the company believes that the Apple Watch will make up about 70 percent of the market when it comes to wireless charging capable devices. That massive amount of the market will actually drive the entire market and make it an incredibly lucrative one in 2015.

Edited by Maurice Nagle

Hosted VoIP Gaining New Fans

The cost of doing business tends to be top of mind for any business leader, especially in intensely competitive markets. How do you stand out from the competition while still protecting healthy margins? Marketing and sales strategies play a part here, but so, too, do the technology implementations that streamline processes and positively impact the bottom line. Hosted VoIP is one technology that tends to be at the top of everyone’s list.

Companies throughout the global landscape are searching for cloud-based solutions that allow them to reduce costs, improve phone and data services and keep CapEx infrastructure at a minimum level. According to a recent Broadvox (News - Alert) blog, business customers are also getting much savvier when it comes to the technology and what service providers should be able to deliver.

VoIP clients don’t just want to reduce the cost of communications, they want other proven benefits, such as reliability from their service provider. They also want a provider with proven growth, lower pricing, more functionality, better quality, better support, cutting edge solutions, remote accessibility, demonstrated security and a solution that is easy to use.

It’s also not uncommon for customers to want service providers to be serving companies just like theirs, demonstrating they have the expertise and experience to properly serve the business and not just retail clients with minimal demands. As such, the enterprise also wants clear and upfront costs so that budgeting is much easier to manage and there aren’t any surprises.

As mobility is becoming increasingly important in the corporate strategy, organizations have to be able to integrate the mobile devices with the corporate network. The hosted softswitch provider needs to be able to accommodate the challenging demands of Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) strategies, a variety of devices and platforms and still maintain the necessary level of availability and reliability for the organization in-house.

Hosted providers are generally much better equipped to meet these demands as they aren’t restricted to the corporate infrastructure alone. They aren’t limited to a single geographic area or smaller bandwidth levels. Plus, the off-site design and built-in redundancy means that in the event of a disaster that renders other services unavailable, the organization will still have access to their hosted softswitch.

Even with these benefits, the hosted softswitch provider still needs to be able to meet high customer expectations when it comes to service and support. This means offering robust Service Level Agreements (SLAs) and responding to customer requests in a timely manner. Given the number of providers in the market, it’s too easy for a company to make a switch if they aren’t happy. Understanding the higher level of expectations and delivering accordingly is essential to achieving the competitive advantage.

Edited by Rory J. Thompson

Corporate Video Usage Widens and Gets Creative

At least 40 percent of organizations that use real-time video applications are employing it in more than a dozen use cases.

That’s the word from Wainhouse Research, which has completed a study regarding how video is being used as a communications tool in the enterprise. Of the organizations that use video, the most common application is for employee training events (51 percent), followed by executive presentations (47 percent) and customer service (47 percent).

Those numbers get further beefed up when one considers subsets of these top three are also common. For instance, Wainhouse Research found that professional accreditation training (45 percent), customer training (44 percent) and distance learning (40 percent) are all popular video uses. Similarly, video shareholder meetings—a subset of executive communications—is meanwhile used by 41 percent. Under the customer service rubric, IT support is video-enabled in 45 percent of respondents.

These top applications are rather classic; it must be said—video has been part and parcel of many online training courses and certifications for years. And, executive messages to shareholders during earnings calls, or to employees for company updates, have been more and more video-enabled over the past two years. And, in the era of multichannel customer service, video chat or the sharing of video tutorials with customers is but another vector to communicate with subscribers and clients, along with chat options, email, mobile app messaging, Twitter and of course, plain old phone calls.

However, as companies gain experience with video for internal or customer applications like these, executive comfort level and creativity grows. The Wainhouse Research study showed a growing trend amongst experienced enterprise video users towards external applications and even new business models built around video.

For instance, using video for brand awareness activities is on the rise. Video-enabled marketing presentations (46 percent), advertising product launches (43 percent) and tradeshow presentations (40 percent) are all making inroads, as is offering video product tours online (43 percent).

"A primary barrier to entry in using video is a lack of knowledge on how easy, scalable and powerful it can be," said Brad Hunstable, CEO at Ustream, which sponsored the report. "Once they realize they can easily and securely communicate with powerful, engaging content to their entire organization at any location on any device, they see that it can be used as powerful tool to engage partners and customers as well."

Edited by Maurice Nagle

Verscom Deploys GENBAND SBC Solution for Talk Today’s European Voice Network

Verscom Deploys GENBAND SBC Solution for Talk Today's European Voice Network

January 22, 2015

GENBAND, a global specialist in real time communications (RTC) software, recently announced that it has partnered with next-generation network (NGN) solutions provider and IP services enabler Verscom Solutions to deliver the GENBAND's QUANTiX Session Border Controller (SBC) to Talk Today's European voice network. Talk Today, an up-and-coming Wholesale Carrier Services aggregator, will use GENBAND's solution to augment its international wholesale services with advanced IP Peering and Interconnect capabilities.

"GENBAND, the unquestioned market leader in IP Peering in the EMEA region, together with Verscom offered a best-of-breed solution for our growing voice interconnect network," said Nasir Saleem, Managing Partner, Talk Today. "GENBAND’s intelligent peering technology and advanced session routing capabilities allow us to optimize bandwidth usage and deliver superior service quality as well as unsurpassed network security and scalability."

Verscom is GENBAND's value-added Master Reseller for the European, Middle Eastern and African markets and is responsible for overseeing deployment of the solution for Talk Today.

"This milestone deployment provides Talk Today with a distinct competitive advantage, allowing them to step into the premier league of Wholesale Voice Operators by leveraging one of the most proven SBC solutions on the market," said Alper Tunga Burak, Vice President of Sales for Middle East & Africa at Verscom. "GENBAND’s advanced IP Peering and Interconnect solution enables the secure and profitable exchange of voice and multimedia services across any network border and any technology and provides seamless connectivity between diverse networks."

The QUANTiX SBC next-generation solution is substantially less complex than most of its competition and effectively simplifies the network edge by securely managing, routing and controlling real-time voice and multimedia sessions across fixed, wireless and enterprise IP networks. With this product GENBAND addressed some of the major issues operators and enterprises are experiencing such as those surrounding security, interoperability, protocol compatibility, system complexity and service assurance. As a result, the QUANTiX SBC is able to promise a seamless communications experience covering SIP Trunking, IP eXchange (IPX), IP Peering, Intra-Network Interconnect, Unified Communications (UC), VoLTE and RCS solutions.

"Talk Today required a field-proven IP Peering solution, so we are delighted to team with our longstanding partner Verscom to deliver the latest technology to enable Talk Today to seamlessly exchange voice traffic and deliver superior user experiences," said David Hiscock, GENBAND’s Senior Vice President of Sales for EMEA. "Our peering solution has been deployed in some of the world’s largest and most well-known telecom companies’ networks and we continue to gain market share in EMEA."

Edited by Maurice Nagle

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Storacall Self-Monitoring System Aims to Minimize Downtime

Storacall Voice Systems, a subsidiary of the Storacall Group providing call recording solutions for call centers, recently announced the introduction of new self-monitoring features for its range of call recorders. Called Storacall-ProActive, the internal module ensures all components of a deployed call recording system to regularly check their connections with each other, looking to see if each component at a given moment is live and active.

The supporting central monitoring system then double-checks each component to see if they are operating and, if so, operating properly. If a component fails to respond to the monitoring system in time, a request is sent out for it to restart. After three failed attempts to contact the component with no sign of a response, the component's process is forcefully stopped in Windows and asked to re-run. If this fails to fix the problem, the PC itself is asked to perform a reboot.

The monitoring system resumes its activity as soon as the reboot is completed and immediately checks the problem component. If there is still an issue, with no other tools at its disposal the system enters alert mode to bring in outside help. When this situation arises, the Storacall-Proactive alerting system can be configured to notify the user and/or the central Storacall Help Desk via email for an instant update when something goes wrong with a component. This allows employees to be immediately aware when a problem arises and reduce downtime to a minimum.

"Storacall-ProActive is a next-generation customer support tool – developed in-house by Storacall – that allows the remote monitoring and proactive support of our clients’ Storacall recorder installation 24/7," commented Alex Leighton, Marketing Manager at Storacall Voice Systems.

Proactive systems such as the one offered by Storacall are a solid demonstration of the benefits of regular, proactive maintenance. Call recording in particular is an important area for this technology, as call centers rely on it for compliance, assurance and security. Unexpected or overlooked downtime can have serious repercussions on a business, a situation that can easily be avoided by systems that do the most they can to self-check, diagnose and heal.

Edited by Maurice Nagle