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Learn How Data Quality Can Help You Have a Happy and More Profitable Holiday Season

The holidays are approaching and for many businesses, this is the busiest and most profitable time of the year. During this high-stress season, customers are relying on their orders being delivered on time. To make sure this happens, having correct shipping addresses is vital for merchants to maintain a high level of customer service; after all, lost packages equals lost sales and lost shoppers.

Register for this 45 minute webinar and learn:

  • The scope of the address problem in US and International markets
  • The tangible and intangible costs associated with bad contact data
  • How to identify potential customer data problem areas that prevent optimal customer service
  • How your business can automatically verify and validate customer data when an order is placed
  • Future trends that will impact the way your business ships packages

Register today and learn how to make this your best holiday season ever.

Cisco and Salesforce Announce Global Strategic Alliance
Cisco and Salesforce announced a strategic alliance to enable business users to be more productive than ever before. The two market leaders in customer service are teaming up to deliver a complete customer service solution, from communications infrastructure to an integrated, intelligent agent desktop experience. Cisco’s Unified Contact Center Enterprise delivers intelligent contact routing, call treatment, network-to-desktop computer telephony integration and multichannel contact management. The Salesforce Service Cloud provides agents with a 360-degree view of the customer to deliver fast, smart customer service. With these two solutions seamlessly integrating, companies will be able to manage call centers more efficiently.

Talkdesk Launches Interactive Real-Time Reporting Experience, Talkdesk Live
Talkdesk, a cloud-based call center software provider, announced the launch of Talkdesk Live. Talkdesk Live is the first reporting experience to be built on top of Talkdesk’s new predictive insights platform. In addition to providing customers with real-time call center insights, Talkdesk Live also makes it easy to monitor and maintain KPIs for both sales and service teams. Optimized for both sales and service teams, Talkdesk Live enables companies to leverage data to improve their customer communication strategies. Talkdesk Live's drill-down graphics provide both big-picture insights as well as granular details to help teams understand the factors that drive their call center's performance.

Free Report: Tiered Support is Dead!

Managing customer support using tiers, or levels, is not good business. In today’s customer-centric marketplace there is a better way to differentiate and improve the customer experience.

Get your copy of the full report here!

IDC: Worldwide IT Spending Forecast to Reach $2.7 Trillion in 2020 Led by Financial Services, Manufacturing, and Healthcare

A newly published update to the Worldwide Semiannual IT Spending Guide: Vertical and Company Size from International Data Corporation (IDC) finds that worldwide revenues for information technology products and services will grow from nearly $2.4 trillion in 2016 to more than $2.7 trillion in 2020. This represents a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 3.3% for the 2015-2020 forecast period.

Among the trends in the forecast is the positive momentum displayed in big industries like financial services and manufacturing, where companies continue to invest in 3rd Platform solutions (e.g. cloud, mobility, and Big Data) as part of their digital transformation efforts. The telecommunications industry is forecast to remain relatively sluggish, although spending levels are expected to gradually improve compared to the past several years. Combined, these four industries (banking, discrete manufacturing, process manufacturing, and telecommunications, which are also the industries with the largest IT expenditures) will generate nearly a third of worldwide IT revenues throughout the forecast.

Consumer purchases accounted for nearly a quarter of all IT revenues in 2015, thanks to the ongoing smartphone explosion. But consumer spending for PCs, tablets, and smartphones has been weakening, which will have a dampening effect on the IT market overall. Looking ahead, even the moderate growth forecast for the tablet market will be driven by commercial segments rather than consumer tablet sales.

Healthcare will remain the fastest growing industry with a five-year CAGR of 5.7% despite concerns that spending growth may have peaked. Banking, media, and professional services will also experience solid growth with CAGRs of 4.9% and combined revenues of more than $475 billion in 2020. Elsewhere, gradual improvement is expected in the public sector, although government purchases of technology will continue to lag behind much of the private sector. Similarly, IT expenditures in the natural resources industry are forecast to recover as the price of oil rebounds from recent lows.

In terms of company size, more than 45% of all IT spending worldwide will come from very large businesses (more than 1,000 employees) while the small office category (the 70-plus million small businesses with 1-9 employees) will provide roughly one quarter of all IT spending throughout the forecast period. Medium (100-499 employees) and large (500-999 employees) business will see the fastest growth in IT spending, each with a CAGR of 4.4%.


ComptTIA: Information technology (IT) jobs across the U.S. economy rebounded after several months of sluggishness

According to an analysis by CompTIA, the nonprofit association for the technology industry, of today’s Bureau of Labor Statistics Employment Situation report, an additional 205,000 IT professionals reported employment during August. That brings the total base of core IT occupation employment to more than 4.6 million.

Modest Gains in August for IT Sector Employment
The IT sector added 4,800 jobs last month, to approximately 4.4 million jobs at the end of August. IT sector employment has increased by 54,100 jobs for the year, with gains recorded in seven of the first eight months of 2016.

Employment in computer systems design and IT software and services experienced another strong month in August, with 6,100 jobs added. Other information services, including search portals, added 1,100 jobs in August. The data processing, hosting and related services category saw a gain of 900 jobs last month.

Offsetting those gains were August job losses in telecommunications (down 2,600) and computer and electronic products manufacturing (down 700).

The IT workforce includes two components: employment within the IT sector and IT occupations across all other industries. About 44 percent of IT sector positions are in IT; the remaining 56 percent are non-IT jobs.

For the overall economy, total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 151,000 in August. The unemployment rate remained at 4.9 percent for the third consecutive month, with the number of unemployed persons essentially unchanged at 7.8 million.
CompTIA’s report on U.S. tech employment is based on an analysis of today’s Employment Situation report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Data for July and August is considered projected and subject to revision by the BLS.


Gartner: Organizations Must Update Their Network Access Policy to Address Attack of IoT Devices
By 2020, 21 billion of Internet of Things (IoT) devices will be in use worldwide. Of these, close to 6 percent will be in use for industrial IoT applications. However, IT organizations have issues identifying these devices and characterizing them as part of current network access policy, said Gartner, Inc. Infrastructure and operations (I&O) leaders must therefore update their network access policy to seamlessly address the onslaught of IoT devices.

Many IoT devices will use the established bandwidth of the enterprise network provided by the IT organization. However, it is important that the IT organization works directly with facilities management (FM) and business units (BUs) to identify all devices and projects connected to the enterprise infrastructure and attaching to the network.

Once all of the devices attached to the network are identified, the IT organization must create or modify the network access policy as part of an enterprise policy enforcement strategy. This should determine if and how these devices will be connected, as well as what role they will be assigned that will govern their access.

In order to monitor access and priority of IoT devices, I&O leaders need to consider additional enterprise network best practices. These can be defining a connectivity policy, as many IoT devices will be connected via Wi-Fi; performing spectrum planning -- many IoT devices may be using 2.4GHz, but may not be using 802.11 protocols such as Bluetooth, ZigBee or Z-Wave, which may create interference; or considering packet sniffers to identify devices that may do something undesirable on the network.

While more IoT devices are added to the enterprise network, I&O leaders will need to create virtual segments. These will allow network architects to separate all IoT assets (such as LED lights or a video camera) from other network traffic, supporting each FM application or BU process from other enterprise applications and users.


New Global Research Study Reveals 90% of Organizations Cite Malicious Insiders As A Major Threat

Mimecast Limited, an email and data security company, released new data* today revealing that organizations globally believe they are their own worst enemy when it comes to cybersecurity, with 45 percent saying they are ill-equipped to cope with the threat of malicious insiders and twice as many, 90 percent, calling malicious insiders a major threat to the organizations’ security.

Mimecast initially found as part of its Business Email Threat Report: Email Security Uncovered that 65 percent of IT security decision makers globally feel their email security systems are inadequately equipped to handle cyber threats; and, this new data makes it clear that malicious insiders represent a major source of this risk and anxiety over security preparedness.

By concentrating predominately on perimeter defense and outside threats, organizations around the world struggle with the risk that comes from their own people, emphasizing the need for organizations to implement employee awareness and education as well as creating a cyber resilience strategy that includes both technology- and human-based defenses. This is evident especially considering this study revealed that nearly half of the organizations polled felt exposed to malicious insider attacks.

Mimecast’s research also uncovered that:

  • Over half (53 percent) of IT security decision makers view malicious insiders as a moderate or high threat to their organization.
  • One in seven IT security decision makers view malicious insiders as their number one threat.
  • Those who say they’re very equipped on cybersecurity feel virtually just as vulnerable to insider threats as those who believe they aren’t equipped at all (16 percent vs. 17 percent), indicating that the risk of malicious insiders trumps perceptions of security confidence. 


Click here for more Industry Stats

4 Essentials for Going Global with your Contact Center
There are a number of reasons for organizations to expand their contact centers globally. For growing companies, the need to support customers and prospects around the world becomes more apparent, as does the fact that there is a wide availability of highly skilled, lower cost talent in many places abroad. While running a global organization can be exciting, opening a contact center in another part of the world introduces a whole new set of challenges. Here are the top four things to consider when going global with your contact center.

Putting the R back in CRM

CRM is not all about making your business more efficient; it gives you the power to develop meaningful business relationships that drive sales and retention. With the customer experience being top of mind for most organizations, relationship management should be the priority.

5 Ways to Lighten Your Helpdesk's Workload
One company evaluated almost 730,000 help desk requests and discovered the five most common reasons employees submitted help desk tickets.

Five Elements of a Customer Success Program
Having a Customer Success Program clearly communicates to customers and prospects what they can expect if they buy your company’s product or service. This article presents five key elements to consider when developing your Customer Success Program.

Listen to Your Employees, Not Just Your Customers
Many companies love customer feedback, but only a handful have devoted as much energy to employee feedback systems. Companies rarely connect the two systems. But, connecting them can create powerful feedback loops that engage employees.

Why Embracing Consumer Messaging Solutions is Good for the Enterprise
Not only do workers want to use collaborative tools and platforms, it’s also been proven that their use can greatly improve productivity because they allow for simplified access to information.

6 Things Customer Service Should Monitor on Social Media
As long as your social customer service team is looking out for the right things, you'll be able to keep up with social traffic and respond accordingly. Here's what your team should be tracking.

Competing Against Luck: The Story of Innovation and Customer Choice 
by Clayton M. Christensen, Karen Dillon, Taddy Hall, David S. Duncan

After years of research, Christensen and his co-authors have come to one critical conclusion: our long held maxim--that understanding the customer is the crux of innovation--is wrong. Customers don't buy products or services; they "hire" them to do a job. Understanding customers does not drive innovation success, he argues. Understanding customer jobs does. The "Jobs to Be Done" approach can be seen in some of the world's most respected companies and fast-growing startups, including Amazon, Intuit, Uber, Airbnb, and Chobani yogurt, to name just a few. But this book is not about celebrating these successes--it's about predicting new ones. 

This book carefully lays down the authors' provocative framework, providing a comprehensive explanation of the theory and why it is predictive, how to use it in the real world--and, most importantly, how not to squander the insights it provides.

Click here for more information!

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