AI Social and Contextual UC #407 – Amazon Sparks UC – Omni Channel Customer Engagement – Universal Communications Architecture – Smart Meeting Scheduler

 

 (c) AI Forum & Unified Communications Forum

July 21 – 2017 – Issue #407

AI Forum – Exploring the Wild World of Artificial Intelligence and other Communications, Mobile, Contextual-Intelligence and other communications companies.
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Universal Communications Architecture
Click on image for White Paper on UCA.  Many factors are driving large enterprises to migrate their legacy voice infrastructure to IP-based unified communications.
AudioCodes’ Universal Communications Architecture delivers a highly efficient and cost-effective solution for large enterprise voice modernization that
  • Consolidates SIP trunk connectivity across the enterprise
  • Reduces communications costs
  • Alleviates security headaches
  • Simplifies dial-plan and routing policy management
Click on image for complete white paper:

Amazon Sparks UC
If you thought Amazon doesn’t want to be everything, have you buy everything and now socialize everyway you like, you missed the email.  Indeed, with Alexa listening to your every word and making telephone calls who knows what they will do with their new Spark social service.  With nearly 50% (Gallup) of workers working at home at least some of the time and more and more full-time at home, it makes sense that Amazon Spark with Alexa be part of your business life as well.  There is no doubt that there are many UC features that make sense and add-in expert systems tech you will find that when Amazon ships you a drone to fetch and your Alex or Alexa Robot to vacuum your floors.  When will they invent a robot to do the dishes and empty the dishwasher, clean the toilet, wash the windows and the real problems instead of annoying us with more “time-saving” read as time-wasting tech.

Omnichannel Customer Engagement Integrated in Kirstel Social Selling Strategy
Kirstel Social Selling Strategy (KSS) is now available.  Evan Kirstel noted, “this is just the latest efforts in building “thought leadership” in sales and social selling.  “Engagement via social selling is more than just social media requiring enhanced sales training, communications skills and new technology.  Omnichannel customer engagement is integrated deeply within KSS.  With KSS the next-gen sales staff can “meet” new B2B prospects, gain revenue, lower costs and importantly shorten the sales cycle. With KSS business partners can also benefit by adding new, relevant social business customer engagements per month. The combination of current selling technologies such as CRM and other tech tools, social media influence, social business know-how, and passion for sales is key to social selling.   The KSS strategy drives visibility & engagement with customers, influencers, key opinion leaders, analysts, journalists, CXOs and others while cutting through the noise to generate leads and set up an ongoing social selling strategy.”
Here are highlights of Kirstel Social Selling Strategy:
– Social selling is not just selling via technology.  As we have integrated CRM and other custom/public tools into our selling processes, social selling is expanding use of technology to enhance the communications process, reduce sales cycle, reduce order confusion, accelerate customer acceptance throughout the lifecycle, enhance long-term “gain” ratio thereby reduce customer churn, enhance customer experience, increasing product/solution margin, integration of selling technology into products and services and other factors.
– The Kirstel Social Selling Strategy KSS is a professional services engagement to begin the process of engaging with corporate and channel sales (if any) to enhance their ability to use social selling as part of their sales process. In addition, KSS can optionally be involved in improving sales processes, compensation plan, marketing communications and other aspects of the business.
– KSS is a multi-phase project with Go/No-go points to limit risk while expediting the process to maximize corporate performance and efficiency.
Here are the 7 Phases of KSS with Go/No-go points at each stage:
  • Phase 1 – Determine – End-to-end customer assessment of sales process and cycle
  • Phase 2 – Develop – Integration of social media strategy and technology into business culture
  • Phase 3 – Deliver – Pilot social selling strategy and deployment of new KSS into pilot environment
  • Phase 4 – Deploy – Expand social selling into key markets and segments (channel, international, etc.)
  • Phase 5 – Detect – Detect, monitor and track performance and present KPIs to management
  • Phase 6 – Discuss – Discuss and explore performance at the Center for Social Selling Excellence
  • Phase 7 – Discover – Explore social selling integration into future selling and products.
Click on image for complete details on each KSS Phases:
About  
Evan Kirstel and other teammates represent more than 300,000 Twitter followers and 30,000 on Linkedin and other social media platforms.  We have proven social selling and professional development skills to assist your organization now and in the future.
To get started in social selling today, contact:
m: 978-761-1524 | e: mailto:kirstel@gmail.com
Twitter @EvanKirstel
Schedule a call via https://calendly.com/kirstel
Subscribe to newsletter – http://bit.ly/2hYsAis

Compare Outlook Free/Busy Times Across Companies – Free Trial Now Available from Microsoft AppSource

Approved Contact allows you to compare your open times in Microsoft Outlook with contacts outside your company to easily find open times for everyone.

Approved Contact announced the availability of Approved Contact in Microsoft AppSource. Approved Contact allows you to see available times on any online calendar from Microsoft Outlook with Approved Contact’s patent-pending Calendar Comparison technology.

Approved Contact deployed its solution on Microsoft Azure and stores calendar data in Azure SQL Database so that calendar integrations with other technologies such as email, bots, text, and voice recognition systems are simple and more secure.

“Supporting Microsoft AppSource also meant integrating Microsoft Azure Active Directory for single sign-on. When new users sign in with their Microsoft account, we automatically create their account and sync their calendar after Microsoft authenticates the new user,” said Dana Sale, president, Approved Contact. “So, it is easy to start a trial of Approved Contact directly from Microsoft AppSource. We support every major calendar system, but our ‘Sign in with Microsoft’ integration has streamlined how new users come into Approved Contact.”

Rob Howard, director of Office 365 Ecosystem, Microsoft Corp. said, “Calendar management is a central pillar of business communication, so initiatives that make daily scheduling more effective are important business tools. We’re pleased to see Approved Contact’s commitment to Microsoft Services and offer its solution in Microsoft AppSource.”

(Without Approved Contact, you cannot see open times outside your company)

(With Approved Contact, you can see open times outside your company.)

New Calendar-Syncing Option: “Sign in with Microsoft”

Our newly available “Sign in with Microsoft” support allows you to use your Office 365 account for easy new user sign-in and calendar syncing. You can use your Office account to create your profile and grant access to your free/busy times. We keep your changes in sync automatically, so as you add/delete meetings, your online calendar is always kept up to date.

“Sign in with Microsoft” grants access to your free/busy times securely because it does not require your password to be stored on a third-party site. For enterprise sites, an Office administrator can establish your employees’ profiles and connect their calendars automatically from Azure Active Directory. Alternatively, you can easily create your own profile from your Office 365 account by navigating to www.approvedcontact.com.

Cloud Services Integrations: Open API Streamlines Scheduling

Approved Contact enables you to connect your calendar intelligently to almost anything used in digital communication: websites, text, email, mobile, voice recognition, CRM, and telephone systems. Although the Approved Contact API is available only to customers and partners, it is free to use to further automate the scheduling process into your business processes.

Every day millions of business users rely on their calendar to make them more productive. This new integration between Outlook and Approved Contact will reduce the untimely interruptions required to schedule your next meeting.

For more information, visit Microsoft AppSource to start your trial and then enable our add-in from the Microsoft Store.
Follow Approved Contact on Twitter at @approvedcontact.

About Approved Contact

Approved Contact is an innovative company that is improving productivity for companies large and small. Approved Contact allows you to easily share calendars with anyone. Changes you make to your calendar update automatically to Approved Contact. Using Approved Contact enables you to connect your calendar to websites, text, email, mobile, voice recognition, and telephone systems. For more information, visit www.ApprovedContact.com.

Here’s a new look at the way you deploy Skype for Business from Audio Codes.  User Management Pack 365 also consolidates and enhances the user management of cloud and on-premises users into a powerful yet simple web portal. This makes your Skype for Business operation more cost effective, by replacing the need for multiple management tools like PowerShell, Skype for Business control panel, and the need for on-staff masters.
  • Automates user life cycle management entirely
  • Increases productivity of IT staff
  • Lowers the TCO of Skype for Business operation
  • Reduces the requirement for advanced training courses
  • Simplifies the setup of hybrid voice over the Office 365 connector
  • Makes migration of users to Cloud PBX (Office 365) very easy
  • Provides full control over all Skype for Business user modalities including the Office 365 Cloud PBX users
  • Enhances user management by consolidating multiple tools into a single, powerful web portal
  • Improves security
  • Provides clear demarcation between customer environment and Skype for Business setup
  • Enables identity management over multiple forests
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Interactive Network Architecture

Here’s a new look at the way Cisco sees network architecture in an interactive diagram.

50 Forbes World’s Most Influential CMOs 2017 by Twitter Followers 
Forbes put together a list of Most Influential CMOs, I went through the list to see how involved in Twitter they are. A bit surprising found that most CMOs are really not involved in Twitter.  If you look at the CEO Scoreboard (see below), CEOs are taking Twitter and really expanding the “marketing brand reach” of the companies they work for to new horizons.  It may be Forbes didn’t really explore CMO’s Twitter presence as part of their methodology which was “CMO influence is defined as the impact a chief marketer’s actions and words have on his or her internal organization’s motivation and performance corporate brand perception; broader marketing and advertising industry shifts and trends; and, ultimately, corporate financial performance, including stock price.”
Moreover, Forbes said they evaluated the CMO’s social media influence which may have not have had an impact on the overall rating of a CMO – “To assess influence, CMOs were evaluated based on brand performance indicators, such as engagement rate on brand posts on social media; personal impact on brand awareness, such as total direct and indirect Twitter mentions; and industry and internal influence, such as a CMO’s volume of LinkedIn connections.”
In comparison, CEOs are viewed like this:
From Jack Dorsey – “When a leader, CEO or someone in a leadership position takes to the platform they have the opportunity to humanise their organisation, make it feel smaller and relatable to people.”
The Winner in our CEO Scoreboard is !
The top Twitterer is Richard Branson @richardbranson with 10.9 million gaining 1.3 million followers and certainly the most engaged CEO with 3-Star rating.  As reported by Entrepreneur magazine, here are:
1. He connects on the most human of levels.
2. He uses social media to drive traffic to the Virgin website.
3. He has fun.
4. He welcomes input from customers.
In today’s business-political-social world, you are measured by many factors including the number of Twitter followers you have.  In fact, many surveys have found that websites in general are perceived as passive customer communication tools with Twitter being a far more proactive customer-engaging tool.  These surveys have also found an increasing number of customers go to your Twitter account before they go to your website doing “due diligence” on you looking for call-to-actions, thought leadership and content useful in their purchasing as well as customer complaints regarding your solution.  Your client may not have a Twitter business account but they may have a personal account and their advisors may as well.  In some small way John Legere’s Twitter efforts have also impacted the price of the stock.
As noted Twitter expert Evan Kirstel just named Top B2B-Business-to-Business Influencer with 128K followers stated, “Twitter is not just way to meet new prospects and partners, it IS the way you run your company. If you aren’t engaged, your competition likely is!”
That is, CEO’s are beginning to see the real value of Twitter not just for their company but for their role as CEO in the company they run.
If you need help in gaining-retaining and having a major social media influence, contact Evan @evankirstel or click on image.
Bottom-line – CMO’s should get engaged with Twitter the same want they hope to do with their customers, otherwise customers will evaluate them on their own Twitter efforts which may not be a good thing.
Bottom-line – If you are asking why I added this and why this is important is that UC and every other technology is driven more by marketing than any other factor.  With more than 500 UC providers, there is only room for a few and those few capture the “minds of the customers” more than all the technology you may have.  So if your CEO and CMO do NOT have a presence on Twitter then likely you will fall farther and farther behind.

Top-10 Reasons for Gateway
 
Here are just some of the Top-10 reasons to seriously consider a gateway or premise appliance if you prefer.  Click on image for all 10.
Here are my favs:

4 – Simple to monitor and operate.

An easy to understand dashboard clearly shows you everything that’s happening and lets you configure your Mediant CCE appliance without needing to use PowerShell scripts. In addition, the appliances are natively integrated with the AudioCodes One Voice Operations Center (OVOC), so you don’t have to tie up financial and human resources in developing proprietary monitoring tools.

5 – Easy to update and upgrade.

The AudioCodes wizard and dashboard have automatic Cloud Connector Edition version detection and self-adjustment for forward and backward compatibility. This makes it easy to schedule updates and upgrades, including on a per site basis. Again, all this can be done without ever having to write a single PowerShell script.

6 – The AudioCodes Helpdesk and the Microsoft Office 365 Service Operations Center have integrated support procedures.

AudioCodes is certified by Microsoft to provide support for the Skype for Business Cloud Connector Edition. This collaborative approach assures that any technical issues that might arise can be dealt with very quickly, bringing you real peace of mind.

7 – Effective High Availability (HA) configuration functionality.

The Mediant CCE appliances support HA configuration, which can be easily set up using the AudioCodes wizard. They also support SBC floating licenses. Importantly, the Microsoft live upgrade process does not negatively affect your service or traffic.

8 – Part of an advanced Cloud PBX Networking Solution.

The Mediant CCE appliances natively integrate with AudioCodes Routing Manager (ARM) topologies, enabling global call routing and policy enforcement to be centrally managed from a single location. The appliances also include support for the One Voice Resiliency (OVR) cloud resiliency solution, bringing you a level of dependability that you know you can rely on.

Skype’s New Skin  

Rebuilt from the ground up, the new Skype vastly improves the ways you can connect with your favorite people and, of course, chatting is front and center. We’ve made group chats more lively, expressive, and-most importantly-personalized, so you can chat the way you want. With the new Skype, you’ll have countless ways to share life’s moments together, every day. Wherever life takes you, Skype allows you to seamlessly create, play, share, and do more with the people you care about most.
Highlights lets you create a highlight reel of your day with photos and videos, so you can share everyday moments. To post a Highlight, swipe to access your camera, take a photo or video, then post it to your Highlights or send it directly to your contacts or groups. Once you post a Highlight, your friends and family can react to it with emoticons or by jumping into a conversation. The new Skype is your canvas, and now you’re free to share in more expressive ways with your closest friends, family and groups.
With the new Skype, it’s even easier to turn talk into action with group conversations, add-ins, and bots*. The new “Find” panel takes center stage, and makes Skype infinitely searchable. Looking for seats to a big game? Pull ticket pricing and seating options directly into the chat with the StubHub bot. Trying to find the perfect recipe for the brunch you’re hosting? Discover the latest trends with the BigOven add-in and learn the many ways you can make that avocado toast. Planning a weekend getaway with old friends? Chat with the Expedia bot to check flight times and pricing. And that’s just the start. New add-ins and bots will continue to be added, making your Skype experience even more rich and robust. With the ability to connect to your favorite businesses and brands from within the app, the simplest conversations can pave the way to lasting memories.
Bottom-line – Changing your fashion does not change the fact that you are over-weight or any other issue.  User adoption grinds to a halt when new features are added just for the enjoyment of the product manager without adding real value.  I would put all of them on a major “weight loss” program instead of more “bloatware.”

Acticons Adding Action Images for Faster-Better Communications as “A Confused Mind Always Say No!” 

There are three apocryphal events in human communications, in my humble opinion.  First, was drawings.  In the beginning, cave dwellers made drawings on the wall to tell stories, share ideas and be creative.  The Egyptians formalized drawing into a language which can be shared both across distances and time – from one generation to the next.  Probably the most dramatic use of language was the Ten Commandments delivered to Moses. Of little note was probably one of Jerry Seinfeld’s distance ancestors thinking to himself while Moses was presenting these commandments – “thank goodness there was only 10 commandments, one more commandment would have been too heavy to carry.”
Thus, stone tablets and pyramids make great and very long-lasting devices for storing information but a very difficult and lengthy for newspaper writer to carve their stories and the paperboy to deliver – imagine a load of stone newspapers.
Second, the next apocryphal communications technology was the creation of the printing press by Gutenberg around 1450 which made the job of printing much easier.  However, the creation and delivery of the content was still expensive, lengthy and potentially lethal (book burning and censorship – banned books).  However, today there are probably two billion books published annually with billions more stored in libraries.
Third, major apocryphal communications technology came in the form of the internet.  With 4+ billion users accessing the internet worldwide daily, the internet can distribute almost any kind of information, whether music, video, art, graphics, animation as well as spam.  If Jerry Seinfeld were to say something, among other things, he might say “putting static text on the internet is a waste of the internet.”  However, the vast majority of web sites have no animation, video and little content worthy viewing by anyone.

In the spirit of incorporating visuals into human and business communication, we created more than 150 Acticon-Action-Icons to depict business and other activities to help speed communications and reduce confusion as visual communications is the fastest form of communications.   We react visually faster than by any other means.  You see a “Stop Light” and you instinctively know what to do without even thinking about it.  In addition, as communication is more global, multi-lingual, cultural, religious, ethical, etc. other issues come into play when attempting to convey thoughts, beliefs and actions.  My own saying is “communication will always fail except by chance” in hope for the best but assume the worst when communicating with another person.  We have incorporated these “acticons” into our new app that you can include in any Twitter post in hope that it will reduce confusion and enhance communication.

Never get stuck at 140 characters again!
With HashNewsGrams you can break through the Twitter 140 character limitation barrier. You can post essentially unlimited text, videos, pics, audio recordings, freehand paintings and drawings, multimedia images and Acticons-Action Icons.

  In addition, #HashNewsGram is a FREE #hashtag news Twitter gathering app for iPhone and iPad. You can select your favorite #hashtag topics and put them in folders and subfolders and organize your Twitter news gathering and personal newsfeed. Then tap on the selected folder subfolder and see the posts in the categories selected. This is a great way to simplify your Twitter news feed.

HashNewsGram is one of the many apps such as ZoomLite, Basketball Fans, Baseball Fans Club, ReallyReal, Sports Fans Club, Football Fans Club, iSeekSugar, BiEyes, iFlipTips, SleepTracs, iSleepTrack, iSeekSugar, MedsMinders, RewardsVIPClub, and many others from TECHtionary.
Acticons(TM) are more than emoji’s they are actionable communications images.
Click here for ALL Acticons:

HashNewsGrams 2.3 Adds FreeHand Drawings, Audio Recordings, Video & Pics 
 

Breakthrough the 140 Character Text Barrier

You can post essentially unlimited text, videos, pics, audio recordings, freehand paintings and drawings, multimedia images and Acticons-Action Icons.
#HashNewsGram is a FREE Twitter #hashtag news gathering app for iPhone and iPad. You can select your favorite #hashtag topics and put them in folders and subfolders and organize your Twitter news gathering and personal newsfeed. Then tap on the selected folder subfolder and see the posts in the categories selected. This is a great way to simplify your Twitter news feed.
HashNewsGram is one of the many apps such as ZoomLite, Basketball Fans, ReallyReal, Sports Fans Club, Football Fans Club, iSeekSugar, BiEyes, iFlipTips, SleepTracs, iSleepTrack, iSeekSugar, MedsMinders, RewardsVIPClub, and many others from TECHtionary.

Chirp-Chirp Post to Twitter – Voice memos, Tunes, Songs, Interviews, News, Podcasts with Boundless Text, Videos and more

One of the more exciting features in HashNewsGram is the easy way post on Twitter voice memos, Tunes, Songs, Interviews, News, Podcasts with Boundless Text, Videos and more via an easy to use iPhone app.  Here are a few screenshots on “how to” do it.  Click on the image for iTunes.

You can also see from the image the Gettysburg Address which is 271 words. This is an example of how you can use the Notes App to record using Siri a speech or interview which is captured and translated from voice to text.

You can easily Copy-All and Paste the complete text in HashNewsGram to be posted along with a picture or audio recording to Twitter. What is really means is that you can create Twitter posts of essentially unlimited text length beyond 140 characters.

HashNewsGram will put up to about 110 characters on Twitter like this:

If a user clicks through More at they will see the complete post along with audio, video and more.

Soon you will be able to add “free hand” drawings or sketches to complement pics, audio or acticons-action-items to your twitter feed.

Click on any image for iTunes to get HashNewsGram and explore the world beyond 140 characters.

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Linkedin Selling Unified Communications Group – Buyers Welcome
Please join our Linkedin Group if you are selling and even buying UC gear/gizmos/gadgets/gagals and more.  Beyond networking opportunities, news, and educational resources, this group is about helping its members increase sales. Vendors, VARs, Agents and anyone selling and marketing unified communications solutions are welcome. If you are a buyer, you join and see what’s available.
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