Report: Sales Teams Spend Only 23 Percent of Time Actively Selling

March 30, 2015

The latest report from Seismic, a developer of sales productivity software, recently released its Sales Enablement Industry Report and Survey.

The survey shows that sales teams waste a lot of time completing tasks that are not part of the active selling process. Instead of engaging with clients, they spend a lot of time on administrative and secondary presentation tasks. For example, the report shows that sales reps, on average, spend 20 percent of their time creating and assembling presentation materials. It also shows that they only spend 23 percent of their time selling goods and services to clients.

Considering that active sales is the most important part of the process, the report suggest that there is a need for software that can better handle administrative tasks. By spending less time organizing materials, reps can focus more on their clients. Seismic Founder and CEO Doug Winter commented in the report's accompanying news release that his company's software is able to help sales reps in exactly that manner.

“In today's fast-moving, mobile-first world, sales and marketing teams need an effective and efficient way to manage, create and deliver content wherever they are,” Winter said. “Our customers are at the forefront of the sales enablement market having deployed an end-to-end sales enablement solution that allows them to shorten sales cycles, improve win rates, and increase customer satisfaction by consistently delivering the right content to the right person at the right time.”

The problem that appears to surround sales materials is that they are always out of date. Once used to impress a client, materials that contain time-sensitive information must be altered to reflect the current date. New research from companies like Seismic and other influential market researchers are necessary to show why a product or service can benefit a client, so consequently, sales reps put a lot of care (and time) into updating their materials. Seismic cites its own research when it says that 62 percent of the companies it surveyed find it difficult to keep their materials up to date. At the same time, at least 69 percent of the companies it surveyed said it was important for them to keep their content current and their information timely.

Overall, Seismic builds the case for sales enablement software that can help make sales materials more effective and update them in less time than completing that same task without the aid of such software. TMC (News - Alert) notes that choosing the right sales enablement software can be a daunting task because of the number of options in the market. Most important to the process, it notes, is paying attention to how a piece of software handles analytics. Many products can gather large portions of data, but not all of them produce effective reports that show useful information in an intuitive way.

Winter also said in his statement that the market for this type of software is valued at $600 million in growth for the next five years. With that sort of potential, there are bound to be a lot of products on the market. With variety can come pitfalls, so it is wise for companies to spend time making the correct choice.

Edited by Dominick Sorrentino

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Cypress TrueTouch Used in vivo Y29 Smartphone

Cypress Semiconductor has announced that the Chinese smartphone maker vivo has selected its TrueTouch capacitive screen controller for its new Y29 smartphone.

"The vivo Y29 is another strong example of TrueTouch bringing industry-leading features and reliability to a top-of-the-line smartphone," Joe Montalbo, vice president of the Cypress’s TrueTouch Business Unit. "China's smartphone market is the largest in the world and the vivo brand has earned recognition as a leading innovator there. This design win aligns with our strategy to enable our customers to differentiate their products in this competitive market."

One feature of the Y29 is the ability to unlock the phone using a gesture, such as tracing the letter “C,” which can be easier to remember than locking a phone with a password. Other features of the phone include a 13-megapixel camera and high-quality audio.

The screen can also detect movement using gloved fingers, which is something that has previously been difficult for touchscreens to do. The screen also allows for thinner smartphones that have greater battery life.

The touchscreen also attempts to mitigate problems caused by electronic noise that can wreak havoc with a touchscreen. This noise can be cause by using aftermarket chargers and the phones’ display itself. Cypress ChargerArmor claims a 40 volt peak-to-peak (Vpp) charger noise immunity from 1 to 500 khz using a 0.5-mm cover lens and a finger size of up to 22 millimeters. Cypress said that these standards were the most stringent in the industry.

Mobile devices take a lot of abuse, and Cypress has added greater waterproofing with its DualSense technology. DualSense uses both self-capacitance and multi-capacitance. The technology aims to defend against rain, condensation and sweat.

The company has also recently launched an initiative to allow stylus support for capacitive touchscreens. As these screens get more flexible, they’ll offer greater opportunities for user interactions.

Edited by Dominick Sorrentino

Novotel Acquires Feeney Wireless to Push Toward IoT Domination

In a move that doubled its IoT assets, Novotel Wireless announced March 30 that it bought Finney Wireless for $26 million in cash and stock in order to further pursue the brand’s journey toward being the brand that offers the M2M industry the broadest, most comprehensive portfolio of product and execution. The deal also stipulates an additional $25 million in payments over four years, based on Feeney’s revenue and profit performance.

Founded in 1999, Feeney makes IoT products, performs systems integration and services for M2M executions. The company makes its bread and butter on cellular-based wireless IoT solutions, and it has a strong base of enterprise and government customers. It’s also got a 250,000 subscriber carrier SaaS-based management platform.

“With this strategic combination, we create a new model positioning Novatel Wireless as a total IoT solutions and services leader, from hardware to SaaS to connectivity. This transaction creates a powerful engine for generating immediate and long-term value for our shareholders,” said Alex Mashinsky, CEO, Novatel Wireless. “[Feeney’s] recently released IoT application framework, Crossroads, is … already being deployed with key anchor customers.”

Including a solid and growing base of recurring revenue, Feeney Wireless plans to generate at least $38 million in revenue in 2015. To listen to the announcement, click here

Edited by Dominick Sorrentino

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Panoramic Videoconferencing Now Possible for Microsoft Lync Users

March 26, 2015

By Dominick Sorrentino Editor

David Bowie, in the first part of the chorus of  “Starman,” sings “There’s a starman waiting in the sky, he’d like to come and meet us, but he thinks he’d blow our minds.” Altia’s PanaCast panoramic video solution is the “Starman” of the videoconferencing world—it has in fact come to meet Microsoft (News - Alert) Lync users and it may or may not blow their minds. 

Altia PanaCast’s distinguishing feature is its ability to rotate up to 200 degrees, allowing for a panoramic view of the office, conference room, lecture hall, studio, what have you, from a remote desktop. This gives Microsoft Lync users a greater degree of interactivity from remote environment, for example, by rotating the camera to face whoever is speaking, or in the direction of a certain visual aid. All controls are touch-enabled.

One of the possible benefits of this type of system is not having to crowd around a screen for the sake of being visible for remote members of the conference. It might come in handy in other very specific situations, such as a remote product pitch that involves everyone going around the table with his or her idea for a client or someone in upper management. Another plausible application is in academia, as higher education continues to virtualize. Professors can lecture or orchestrate a workshop remotely in the event that they can’t be on campus.

Otherwise, the tool doesn’t exactly revolutionize video communications, and any “mind-blowing" going on for Microsoft Lync users—soon to be Skype for Business users—is minimal and probably related to the novelty aspect.

At the very least, if anyone ever says “look at me when I’m talking to you,” during a videoconference, they can now be met with the cold mechanical eye of Altia’s PanaCast.

Edited by Maurice Nagle

Accedian Unveils SkyLIGHT VCX

Accedian Networks has come out with a network functions virtualization solution that uses what the company calls “bite-sized” programmable hardware modules. Called SkyLIGHT VCX, it delivers the performance of appliances within hardware modules that are up to 70 percent less expensive, use 90 percent less power, and don’t take up valuable real estate at the customer premises.

SkyLIGHT VCX can be used for bandwidth metering, bandwidth regulation and policy enforcement, multi-connection performance monitoring, real-time service level agreement reporting, service activation testing, and service quality analytics for hybrid cloud connection applications.

Keith Donahue, vice president of product management and services says this is Accedian’s way of helping provide its customers with data center connectivity more cost effectively while enabling them to differentiate themselves in the cloud marketplace.

“Our approach fuses the best NFV-based engineering principles with the highest-performing programmable processing,” he says.

Accedian, which specializes in real-time performance results collection and reporting, service activation testing, and workflow automation, for the past few months has been pushing its NFV and SDN stories. The company in May of last year talked about its SkyLIGHT NFV & API architecture, which interface with solutions from Cyan and others to optimize SDN performance.

In addition to the telcos, Accedian caters to the cablecos. The company in February of 2014 unveiled an NFV solution aimed at these service providers.

Called the antMODULE, this cableco solution can be combined with Accedian’s V-NID to allow for end-to-end service activation testing, troubleshooting, and visibility.

“Our solutions have been integral to many of the world’s mobile operators and service providers to assure the performance of their networks and drive faster time to market. The needs of the cable industry are no different; they too require SLA measurement tools and network performance solutions with a low-risk investment strategy,” said Patrick Ostiguy, president and CEO of Accedian Networks, which the antMODULE was introduced last year.

Edited by Maurice Nagle

Huawei, SAP Power Sinopec Financial Data Warehouse

Energy and chemical giant Sinopec, which has the world’s largest data warehouse, has tapped Huawei (News - Alert) for the hardware and SAP for the data warehouse technology to power its financial reporting system.

The combined solution, which leverages Huawei FusionCube and SAP HANA technology, has accelerated data processing (by four to six times), improved user satisfaction, and significantly reduced the system response time (database loading is improved 60 percent and data upload time that had been four hours is now 30 minutes), according to Sinopec’s Li Jianfeng, deputy director of information management.

Huawei, which is SAP’s first global technology partner in China, introduced FusionCube for SAP HANA last year at the CeBIT (News - Alert) event in Germany. 

The Chinese IT and telecom equipment vendor, which reported $46.3 billion in revenue last year, continues to make strides in a number of areas both in China, in the U.S., and elsewhere. Huawei is now the world’s No. 2 network equipment maker, according to Dell’ (News - Alert)Oro Group, which says it’s second only to Ericsson. A few years back Huawei made headlines when it surpassed the revenues of Ericsson. And Huawei “stands out as a leader” and is “steadily gaining market share in major telecom infrastructure segments and staking out a strong position in software-defined networks and network functions virtualization,” according to a March report by Infonetics (News - Alert) Research.

Last year Huawei was among the top three vendors in terms of global LTE network infrastructure market share, according to Dell’Oro, which has lauded the vendor for its pioneering efforts in small cell products. Huawei is also the market leader in optical networking and containerized data centers, according to Infonetics Research and its parent company, IHS. A Gartner (News - Alert) report released in December ranked Huawei the No. 3 provider of smartphones worldwide. And Huawei last year overtook Panasonic to become the top applicant for international patents with the World International Property Organisation.

Edited by Maurice Nagle

Conexus Members Establish IPX Business Collaboration

March 26, 2015

Collaboration and interoperability are two words we are hearing a lot about these days in the communications business. Whether it be in Europe where regulators are trying to have a one market approach and various projects are underway to spur European Community innovation, or in other parts of the globe where as mobile networks become increasingly IP-based interoperability for connectivity and roaming are top of mind.   It is thus not surprising that Asia’s largest mobile coalition, The Conexus Mobile Alliance, has announced establishment of a taskforce to enhance IPX business among members by interconnecting existing and potential new IPX networks.

The significance to coalition members is that this collaborative move grants all participating alliance members the potential to lower cost of data roaming by making full use of their own mobile, international and IPX network infrastructure. 

Source: True, Thailand

A roadmap to the future

 The IPX collaboration will be established in two phases.

  • Phase-1:  will interconnect participating Conexus members and help facilitate members’ provision of 3G/4G roaming services, including signaling and data roaming traffic.
  • Phase-2 : will see a more integrated network solution made available to members in order to expand the Conexus IPX footprint. The range of services supported can be extended to include HD voice and video, VoLTE, Signaling Connection Control Part (SCCP) and other features all over the world.

In making the announcement Conexus explained that its membership believes that IPX, “is the best solution to meet 5G data traffic exchange needs into the future.” They also noted that it the best way to take care of the explosion of data traffic that is accompanying the accelerating rollout of 4G in the region. 

The objective is straight forward.  As the phases kick in members’ utilization of their own networks for interconnection will enable better cost control, resulting in better pricing for end customers.  This includes interconnecting their own IPX platforms to make full use of their own local and international networks.  Conexus says, “This enables their mobile arms to better utilize resources, while enjoying improved network control and enhancing interconnection quality.” They are also emphasizing that the alliance is pursuing the possibility of interconnecting with other major IPX hubs, large mobile groups and MNOs, with the aim of delivering more traffic and extending network reach via Conexus networks.

Jeffey Gee, Conexus Board Chairman, said: “With more alliance members and other communities of mobile networks worldwide interconnected to Conexus IPX networks, respective customers will be able to deliver traffic on an expanded global footprint, enabling end customers to roam seamlessly across the IPX platform and enjoy a better roaming experience. The Conexus IPX network is also well positioned to become one of the world’s largest IPX hubs in the future.”

Formed to primarily develop and enhance international roaming and corporate mobile services, Conexus has a combined customer base of about 280 million mobile subscribers in members’ markets, and approximately 714 million when combined with its partner, Vodafone.  In addition, in line with the interoperability objectives, the alliance promotes voice, video and data roaming via its members' GSM, W-CDMA, and LTE networks.

The recognition that replicating the connectivity interoperability of the good old PSTN  on all levels including things like billing in general, and because of mobility in roaming specifically,  in an increasingly mobility-preferred and all IP world is the driver of collaboration. The adage that “all boats rise when the tide comes in” is extremely relevant to what Conexus is trying to accomplish.  All of its members will gain both operational efficiency and competitive advantage through the collaboration initiative.  And, it should not be over-looked that the ability to do so arises from the adoption of Diameter signaling solutions as driven by 4G and VoLTE. 

Edited by Dominick Sorrentino

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Bullhorn CRM Pulse Tool Examines Relationships by Scanning Email

March 26, 2015

By Casey Houser
Contributing Writer

Customer relationship management software developer Bullhorn recently announced its latest tool for providing businesses with a direct look at their ongoing relationships with their customers.

This new tool, called Pulse, automatically scans the contents of businesses' email communications in order to reveal information about how deeply engaged those customers are with their chosen brands. It can look back into the entire history of a customer's emails in Outlook, Office 365, and Gmail and provide insight, in real time, for customer service agents on the other end. A brief overview of that history and the health of any relationship can be essential even for the most experienced agents.

Art Papas, the founder and CEO of Bullhorn, spoke in his company's announcement about enterprises' demand for systems that can quickly display necessary information without a lot of input from the user.

“There’s a significant shift underway of companies realizing that traditional cloud-based CRM systems are difficult to use and only designed for management and reporting,” Papas said. “In today’s world, users want a system that automatically tells them where their strongest relationships are and where opportunities lie, not systems that require heavy data input. Pulse solves these problems by providing the information that matters to nurture and expand relationships.”

Users can also dig deep into the links between customers and businesses by examining the length of relationships, the connections between customers and employees in more than one department, as well as the quality of relationships with all those people. If agents are unable to properly assist a customer from their own desks or mobile devices, they can quickly find out who has helped in the past and use those resources which are right at their fingertips.

Papas points to two key features of the Pulse software that make it tailored to the demanding enterprise client. First, it is able to scan emails automatically. It knows where to look for emails and what to look for when it gets there. And what emerges from those scans is packets of information that users can find from any device. The second key feature of Bullhorn products, he notes, is that there is a focus on mobile, so agents can access data on any device from anywhere they need it.

Bullhorn CRM and Pulse are compatible with a number of salesforce automation tools such as those from vendors, Microsoft, and Siebel. It can also operate as a stand-alone system that provides data analytics alongside the real-time reporting of customer health mentioned above.

Edited by Dominick Sorrentino

Report: VoIP Market Strong and Getting Stronger

March 26, 2015

By Rory J. Thompson,
Web Editor

If it seems like you’ve been hearing more and more about the growth and advantages of VoIP these days, there’s a reason for that; the market is exploding.

According to a new report from Future Market Insights, “The global VoIP services market is driven by industry participants focusing intensely on pushing VoIP solutions across corporate and individual consumer sectors. This has led to multi-pronged developments, especially in network infrastructure and cloud-based models.”

If FMI’s numbers are to be believed, this is an expanding market with no end in sight. The research suggests that the growth of the global VOIP services market is being driven by technological advancements, which in turn lead to a rollout of advanced networks and increased usage of these service over various networks.

For example, the study shows that in 2012, the corporate consumer segment accounted for $43.27 billion of the global VoIP services market in terms of revenue. But the forecast is that that number will spike to around $86.20 billion by 2020.

Other segments are expected to rise as well:

The computer-to-computer segment of the VoIP services market registered revenue at $20.74 billion with 57.4 million subscribers in 2012. By 2019 however, this segment is expected to account for $24.74 billion with 72.2 million subscribers.

The phone-to-phone segment of VoIP was worth nearly $16 billion in 2012, and is projected to hit nearly $45 billion by 2019.

The individual consumer VoIP market was at $20.7 billion just three years ago, and is expected to grow so quickly that researchers are hesitant to put a number on it.

According to the research, this growth is attributed largely to service providers transitioning from circuit-switched networks to packet-switched networks. Hence the market has been witnessing a shift from traditional telephony using CDMA or GSM technology, to VoIP services using cellular networks such as 3G and 4G.

Edited by Dominick Sorrentino

Dialogic PowerMedia XMS Awarded 2015 WebRTC Product of the Year

March 24, 2015

Dialogic announced on Monday that it had received TMC’s 2015 WebRTC Product of the Year Award for its Power Media XMS media server. The cost savings, reduced development time and better performance from having the server do all the heavy lifting when it comes to processing media are among the product’s many benefits.

Parsippany, New Jersey-based Dialogic Corporation develops hardware and software for communications and media processing. Its Power Media XMS media server provides a centralized mechanism for delivering multimedia communications compliant with WebRTC standards.

Server-side media processing, according to Dialogic’s website, is better-suited for delivering media in a few different situations. Areas with low bandwidth; devices on low power; data plans that have caps or charge per gigabyte, and systems subject to regulatory control all either benefit from or require server-side media processing.

Power Media XMS also functions as a developer platform, allowing creation of new solutions or extension of existing ones in cloud or non-hosted environments. There are APIs to handle recording, conferencing and call progress. Developers have other resources to educate themselves on Power Media XMS like training videos, code samples and a JavaScript WebRTC client.

VoltDelta, a provider of contact center solutions, used PowerMedia XMS as a platform to develop the DeltaACD 2.0 cloud contact center solution that supports remote agents and uses skill-based routing for a high performing contact center. The company is no lightweight as its solutions handle more than 2 billion calls a year.

Receiving a product of the year award in your field is something that any company would like to have and Dialogic will certainly benefit from their award. So many companies offer contact center solutions that it is hard to stand out. By developing a WebRTC-compliant solution in PowerMedia XMS, Dialogic has provided a solution that won’t bog down in some environments and that can be leveraged by developers to make even more powerful solutions. 

Edited by Dominick Sorrentino

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