IVR Technology announced the release of a new hosted omnichannel contact center solution priced for small to medium-sized businesses, Xteams, following its partnership with XCALLY.
The new contact center product offers smaller companies a full suite of multi-channel features, such as chat, text, and fax, with the call quality and performance of a dedicated server.
Xteams offers includes Integrated Contact Management, Visual IVR (Interactive Voice Response) Builder, Whisper Messages, Custom Reporting, Call Recording, Personalized Dashboards and Integration with Business Intelligence Tools.
The company touts that Xteams is the first full-featured contact center solution to be offered at an affordable price for smaller customer service teams looking to compete in the new customer experience economy. With a dedicated install on a secure cloud platform and a guaranteed call quality, the company expects Xteams to enable a smaller business to compete on the same customer experience playing field as Fortune 500 companies.
Synchronoss Technologies, a global leader and innovator of cloud, messaging, digital and IoT products and platforms, announced it has completed the acquisition of the honeybee software business from UK-based multinational electrical and telecommunications retailer, and services company Dixons Carphone.
honeybee is a market-leading digital experience platform that enables companies to design and launch optimized omni-channel customer journeys for their end users. honeybee supports telecommunications and other technology companies with fully interactive CRM capabilities for point-of-sale, call center and online customer interactions.
The honeybee approach is to simplify the process, allowing customers to start and stop buying journeys at any point in the process while giving agents and customer care representatives real-time data transparency. Its differentiated, simplistic approach to interfacing with legacy systems of record makes it easy to implement quickly. It also manages constantly changing offers and other factors, giving it the ability to design and launch frictionless, simple end-user experiences for use across all customer engagement channels.
The global optical network hardware revenue totaled $3.1 billion in the first quarter of 2018 (Q1 2018), declining 25 percent sequentially and remaining flat on a year-over-year basis, according to the latest report by IHS Markit.
After a strong close to 2017, the optical equipment market got off to a lackluster start in 2018, said IHS Markit. Total optical equipment market spending was down 25 percent on a sequential basis, with all regions seeing quarter-over-quarter declines.
Wavelength-division multiplexing (WDM) continues to be the growth engine for the market. In Q1 2018, the WDM segment totaled $2.9 billion, up 3 percent year-over-year, thanks to gains in EMEA and Asia Pacific. Both the metro and long haul segments experienced low single-digit year-over-year growth in Q1 2018.
Synchronous optical networking (SONET)/synchronous digital hierarchy (SDH) continued its overall decline; global revenue came to $206 million in Q1 2018, down over 25 percent year over year. This segment represented less than 10 percent of the total optical network equipment market in the quarter.
Huawei continued to lead the total optical equipment market by a wide margin in Q1 2018. Nokia secured second place based on continuing strength in EMEA and increasing business in Asia Pacific. Ciena maintained its leadership position in North America and remained number three overall in the global market. ZTE rounded out the top four, but faces a difficult journey ahead with the impact of US sanctions and a subsequent halt in major operations.
IHS Markit anticipates a continuing ramp in network capacity to address growing bandwidth demand. In the metro, the primary driver is burgeoning bandwidth demand—to, from and between data centers.
Not to be ignored is the coming broader introduction and adoption of consumer 4K and higher video content and services on a variety of devices. The shift from data to video to virtual reality (VR)/augmented reality (AR) will add yet another set of bandwidth-intensive and latency-sensitive services to the mix toward 2022.
Finally, a further evolutionary shift in mobile network architectures in preparation for 5G and a range of new fixed and mobile machine-to-machine (M2M) and Internet of Things (IoT) applications will set the stage for an investment cycle at the farthest reaches of the optical access network.
Based on these industry trends, the optical equipment market will grow at a CAGR of 4.5 percent from 2017 to 2022, according to IHS Markit forecasts.
5G technology is bringing about a sea change in wireless connectivity. Its performance capabilities will serve enterprises, consumers and the public sector in a seemingly limitless way. Naturally, the 5G revolution is in direct play with the massive uptake of wirelessly connected devices that require improved reliability, quality, performance and latency for communications.
5G will be connecting billions of devices, from smartphones and tablets to the Internet of Things (IoT). The Industrial IoT (IIoT) will also reach its full potential through the use of “5G” infrastructure by connecting factories, buildings, people, and devices. This will deliver new business opportunities and is in concert with the trend for deep analytics through machine learning and AI. Smart cities for example will see communications, entertainment, home management and security being provided via the Internet and cloud.
Yet, the real challenge is how to manage these dense deployments of connected devices to deliver the outcomes as set out in 5G. Collective experience gathered from the implementation of other connective technologies namely Wi-Fi comes to play as it shares a number of similar technical attributes as 5G.
What have we learned from Wi-Fi?
If the success and proliferation of Wi-Fi has taught the wireless industry anything, the challenges of a crowded RF spectrum, dominated by density and interference issues, cannot be repeated in 5G. The massive device adoption that 5G will result in, means the industry needs to solve the density and interference issues before they start.
With 5G, the industry cannot go blindly down the same path of Wi-Fi, where adding infinitely more uncoordinated Access Points to the wireless infrastructure reached critical mass. The process, repeated over many times, destroyed Quality of Service (QoS) and performance for mobile users.
The upcoming shift from LTE to 5G mobile technology will become wireless’ greatest challenge to date; as more 5G networks are deployed and thousands of users and devices jump on a network, the exponential increase of interference will severely impact performance, making the positives of the 5G spectrum erode into negatives. The 5G revolution must start with a focus on wireless network densification to reach mass adoption envisioned by all.
As other widely established wireless technologies such as Wi-Fi (IEEE 802.11), have taught us in high-density applications such as inside stadiums, convention centers, MDUs, and now the home, the challenges of addressing density and the associated interference issues are enormous.
The biggest challenges operating in dense environment are compounded in unlicensed spectrums and negatively impact the user experiences. As Wi-Fi has taught us, it doesn’t matter how fast wireless is, once the flood of users, devices and video feeds are crowding the same wireless radio – and the realities of addressing real-world interference issues sets in - the advertised ‘numbers on the box’ are never delivered.
Three ways to improve performance in dense environments
Increase ‘speed’ of wireless connection – association rate
Increase density of un-coordinated radios (i.e. multi-single channel APs) – negates speed of connection (IEEE report)
Increase channel density – only effective path forward in density
The common engineering answer had been to increase bandwidth of individual, un-coordinated radios by implementing complex techniques (MIMO, MU-MIMO). This increases channel width. Another way is by implementing high-density modulation (increased QAM), but, as found with Wi-Fi, the techniques struggle to deliver promised performance outside of a faraday chamber. Association rates rarely approach the on-the-box marketing numbers offered by vendors. In fact, the results are worse – similar to trying to increase the speed limit on a congested, single lane road.
Network engineers, now forced to work with legacy architectures, take to increasing the density of un-coordinated radios in attempts to offer more capacity. The results, particularly in the challenging unlicensed spectrum occupied by Wi-Fi, have been poor quality of service and frustrating user experience. This happens regardless of the network ‘radio resource management’ techniques, AI algorithms, or marginal gains techniques used.
For 5G, wireless network densification, building on a traditional single channel architecture, requires more radios – adding capital expense and operational expense and allowing minimal spectrum reuse. Scaling to meet the dream of wireless everywhere for everyone simply can’t be done.
Deploying multiple Access Points in close proximity is really about delivering more channel capacity in a given area. Increasing channel density in a given area is the holy grail: enabling better performance to be delivered to where it’s needed most, the end user. However, as we have learned in Wi-Fi, increasing channel density requires addressing interference, specifically co-channel and adjunct channel interference (CCI / ACI).
In Wi-Fi, defeating CCI and ACI has led to a raft of innovations, from complex network designs where Access Points are physically deployed under seats in stadia adding $1,000s per cable pull; to advanced beam-forming techniques which attempt to ‘focus’ transmit energy to the end user; to controller based ‘radio resource management’ algorithms which attempt to centrally manage the dynamic spectrum; and now, multi-Access Point mess solutions. The list goes on and on. While some of these techniques deliver marginal gains, they continue to struggle to address the physics of interference.
Delivering capacity in dense environments requires increasing channel density in network. Unlocking better frequency re-use across deployments requires the delivery of multiple channels in a coverage area.
The path to a better future with 5G and its wireless everywhere approach requires RF optimization and engineering better frequency re-use. It is achieved by allowing for the use of multiple, concurrent channels in a given location, offering true wireless network densification. The answer for 5G is to utilize a multi-channel single radio (MCSR) architecture. This coordinates multiple, concurrent channels from a single, standards compliant radio. MCSR mitigates the impacts of ACI and CCI while extracting the maximum usable capacity from limited spectrum.
A better answer
With the massive influx of wireless devices and connectivity everywhere, the very foundation of 5G must be based on efficient spectrum utilization – and efficient spectrum utilization is about packing more and more useable channels of capacity in a given area. Building an effective 5G standard simply must include advanced radio architectures which deliver multiple, concurrent channels from a single radio.
5G must, both co-exist with established technologies such as Wi-Fi, and compete to provide a compelling migration to the new platform. As a result, network operators and vendors alike must focus on optimizing spectrum utilization to deliver the compelling user experience we deserve.
We all, as in the wireless industry, need to do better. In the real-world of wireless, there are precious few greenfield deployments and network operators must prepare for the cold hard realities of density and interference.
Turkcell and Russia’s leading innovative internet company Mail.ru Group announced their cooperation in efforts to expand their digital footprint globally.
Turkcell Group, including its subsidiary Lifecell Ventures, and Russian Mail.ru Group have begun to evaluate cooperation on internet services such as social media and e-mail solutions.
Headquartered in Turkey, Turkcell is serving its customers with its unique portfolio of digital services along with voice, messaging, data and IPTV services on its mobile and fixed networks.
Mail.Ru Group owns Russia’s leading email service and one of Russia’s largest internet portals, Mail.Ru; three of the major Russian language social networks, VKontakte (VK), Odnoklassniki (OK) and Moi Mir (My World); Russia's largest online games; and instant messaging services ICQ, Agent Mail.Ru and TamTam.
Mail.Ru Group has recently developed a platform for Mastercard enabling money transfers from online bank account to bank cards associated with a phone number, an email or an account of biggest Russian social networks ok.ru and vk.com.
The platform is powered by Tarantool DBMS and application server and infrastructure as a service provided by Mail.Ru Cloud Solutions.
In this partnership with Mastercard, Tarantool has created an innovative platform for banking services that can operate a large number of concurrently executed operations in real-time.
The platform allows users to safely exchange information about specific bank cards and user IDs in the form of a mobile phone number, email or an account on social networks. In addition, an external platform shell an API was created that allows any bank client able to connect to Mastercard.
The technical solution is horizontally scalable. Tarantool architecture allows the fast development of transactional services, including its rapid database and an application server, all located in a single address space. The project can be rapidly expanded and supplemented in accordance with the objectives of the customer.
Within the platform, banks can realize services for their cardholders, as well as non-cash transfers through mobile phone number, email or social network accounts. After connecting the bank to the platform, the user will simply go to the website or to the mobile application of the bank and perform the transaction in a few clicks. This can be done without knowing the number of the recipient's bank card.
Tarantool is an open source database management system. Tarantool brings together the speed of cache systems with the reliability of industrial solutions. Tarantool also operates an IIoT platform for the industrial internet of things that collects data from millions of sensors at industrial, transport or agricultural sites, and sends the data to data centers to be analyzed online.
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