All posts by Skype914

AI Social and Contextual UC #420 – Real AI SalesForce Soldiers- Team Tech Board with Skype for Business

 (c) AI Forum & Unified Communications

 TeamsUserForum.com 
October 20 – 2017 – Issue #420

AI Forum – Exploring the Wild World of Artificial Intelligence and other Communications, Mobile, Contextual-Intelligence and other communications companies.
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Advertising, social media, blog articles, webinars and other services available.
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 Twitter Users Never get stuck at 140 or 280 or … characters again!
 

 

HashNewsGram 2.5 breaks the Twitter 140 or 280 character limitation barrier. You can post essentially unlimited text, videos, pics, audio recordings including pre-recorded music and audio from the HashNewsGram library, created freehand paintings or drawings using the drawing features and library, multimedia images called 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.

 

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If you don’t understand Why Twitter is important !
Here are 4 simple reasons and 10 ways to be a good Tweeter
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Tech Team Board – Skype for Business Integration

I saw this board approach while doing research into MS Teams.  According to KanBo (click on image for website), “it provides deep and powerful functionality but with a user experience that is beautiful in its simplicity. You and your team enjoy a host of features and each member can learn to use the KanBo way of working quickly. The KanBo Board consist of Lists where you create cards that will be moved from list to list when tasks are processed. Lists are used to create and monitor (task) workflows but can also be used as containers to store ideas and information within a context.”
Content, context and conversations in one place. Whether you’re completing a project or closing a sales lead – getting everything related to the job on one page, instantly makes collaboration easier. Attach files, view the status and add comments – everything’s updated in real time. Use activity streams to work out loud, follow only these contexts you are interested in, use file-sharing and tasks to collaborate across your business. Ultimately watch this real-time in-context-communication make email a thing of the past.  Whenever a user is displayed in KanBo you can see his/her presence information (Available, In a meeting, Away, etc. ) based on his Skype for Business status. Of course you are able to start a private chat or a video-call right from the KanBo card. You can even see when this person is available based on his Outlook calendar.
Bottom-line – Visualizing anything makes management better especially project management which has suffered for so long with MS Project – nice idea bad execution.  Adoption is another matter.

Smart Soldiers – Smart Sales Things

In my never-ending battle for less BS about AI and more real understanding of the sales process.  I smashed these two articles together to show how little we know about smart soldiers and smart sales.  First, Benioff the lord of SalesForce says this in an article (click on image for article but do not waste time reading it – it’s far too long and too full of annoying popup ads), From Fortune magazine, “Similarly, Benioff explains the company’s move into artificial intelligence as his realization that “a lot was happening in A.I. But I also realized it wasn’t clear what Salesforce’s role in A.I. was. That’s when we started acquiring quite a few artificial intelligence companies, maybe a dozen.” That’s also when, according to Benioff, the owner of the website Einstein.com contacted him out of the blue and offered to sell it. To Benioff, it was a sign. “Right then I’ll always say to myself, ‘Why is somebody doing that?’ And then I’ll have an intuitive response, This could be our AI brand.” Today, Einstein is the Salesforce-branded product that’s integrating machine learning and other A.I.-related technologies into the rest of the company’s offerings.”  Clearly, he as they say is “grasping for straws” in any attempt to show investors that SalesForce is more than a simple CRM.
If Benioff was less on promoting SalesForce and more on AI he would be looking at what DARPA is going.  Before being vocalized, speech exists as word-specific neural signals in the mind. Darpa wants to develop technology that would detect these signals of “pre-speech,” analyze them, and then transmit the statement to an intended interlocutor. Darpa plans to use EEG to read the brain waves. It’s a technique they’re also testing in a project to devise mind-reading binoculars that alert soldiers to threats faster the conscious mind can process them.  The project has three major goals, according to Darpa. Click on image of the soldier for complete article.  First, try to map a person’s EEG patterns to his or her individual words. Second, see if those patterns are generalizable – if everyone has similar patterns. Third, “construct a fieldable pre-prototype that would decode the signal and transmit over a limited range.”  Sadly, the soldiers killed recently in Niger were told that there was “no hostiles expected.”
The same applies in sales — you will never know who is the real-decision-maker and the real enemy.
Bottom-line – What we really need is not more machine learning but an entirely new approach to ergonomics (human-machine interface) in designing and using knowledge. A flexible approach to understanding the needs and desires of the changing user is demanded. Software must be able to learn and adapt to the user, rather than the user learn and adapt to vague, uncertain, and complex command key sequences.  In sales and soldiering knowing that the person facing you is not the real decision-maker or the real enemy as many others are likely involved in your “death of a salesman” or soldier.

TECHtionary Named Finalist IQ Awards HashNewGrams

HashNewsGram

By TECHtionary.com

Click on IQ image for details.

This free app is only available on the App Store for iOS devices.
Approved today is version 2.8 of HashNewsGrams which further expands features with a Twitter post Library and Log. You can post and save all Twitter posts to the Library each time you post. You can either Tweet or Tweet and Save each posts. Then you can easily repost each Twitter post or edit and then post them.
 The real key to HashNewsgrams is the multi-media features which allow you to post an essentially unlimited amount of text far beyond the 140 or 280 characters now available. You can add up to 4 images as you can with Twitter but also add a video, a custom free hand drawing, audio recording or Acticon(tm) which are “action-icons” to add emphasis to your Twitter posts. Background – Never get stuck at 140 or 280 or … characters again! HashNewsGram 2.5 breaks the Twitter 140 or 280 character limitation barrier. You can post essentially unlimited text, videos, pics, audio recordings including pre-recorded music and audio from the HashNewsGram library, created freehand paintings or drawings using the drawing features and library, multimedia images called 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, iSeekSugar, MedsMinders, BaseballFansClub, RewardsVIPClub, and others from TECHtionary.

Microsoft Teams Gluon Neural Net with Amazon 

Another deep learning attempt between two major “competitors” was revealed.  Notwithstanding yet another developers “honey pot” for pseudo AI, you wonder who is really going to provide the “deep learning” between Amazon and Microsoft.

 From GeekWire, comes this “Deep learning involves training a computer to recognize patterns or unlock insights based on a set of rules for parsing a massive pool of data. As you might expect, this is an extremely complicated and time-consuming process that requires a fair amount of skill. Cloud companies offer ways to speed up the process, but a fair amount of skill is required to get meaningful results.”  Click on the image for complete article.

It is hard to say that they are using the same platform Gluon to work together or what they are telling each other the goal will be.  I would have been more excited if there was a more specific goal focused on an vertical issue or use case or global issue.  Here are a few thoughts on what they should be done such as focus on reasoning.

Reasoning, in essence, discourages openness, surprise, or ambiguity. It is a process, mental or mechanical, that works through a series of pieces of evidence to new data until the problem is solved. In certain circumstances, reasoning is a process set against time: All answers are known; it is just that time eludes them. Reasoning is also a natural language issue because language is often the means on which the evidence is built. In the field of learning languages, the building process is often a history of ideas gathered together into stories. These stories are told in order to pass on information or reasoning processes. In stories, as in reasoning processes, clues are included or omitted to frustrate the process.

Neural Networks
From the press release, click on image, “With the Gluon interface, developers can build machine learning models using a simple Python API and a range of pre-built, optimized neural network components. This makes it easier for developers of all skill levels to build neural networks using simple, concise code, without sacrificing performance. AWS and Microsoft published Gluon’s reference specification so other deep learning engines can be integrated with the interface.”   This is a lot of techno-babble saying they have no idea what they are doing or predict any results, if any.
What a Neural Network
The term neural networks, as proliferated by AI researchers, explains how the networks of the brain work together to allow thinking to take place. Examinations of people with low intelligence versus those with high intelligence do not biologically demonstrate any clear neurological distinction. Perhaps at some point, intelligence in humans might effectively be understood, and the development of machine intelligence might be a requirement for this understanding. The development of machine-based neural networks might also give rise to a greater understanding of human thinking processes.
To simplify the process look at the Figure which shows the following a library of books with hyperlinks or crosspoint between ideas, text, images and other content.
First, a cross/point (intersection point) is composed of different types of information, including text, graphics, or data.
Second, each grid of different types of information can be changed as necessary. Additions, deletions, and modifications can be easily incorporated into the cross/point grid.
Third, each grid of information can be expanded “to the nth degree.” The structure of the cross/point is n-dimensional. Its boundaries can be expanded.
Fourth, a cross/point idea network allows for n-dimensional linking by connecting any number of nodes together at any point, top-bottom and/or side-to-side.
Fifth, a cross/point can be represented in a simple expression.
Structurally, administration can be viewed as a configuration of thought patterns that relate individuals and collectives of varying sizes, shapes, and degrees of understanding, cohesion, and stability. Dynamically, administration appears as a patterned swirl and flow of ideas. Many of them channel through transactional circuits between persons and persons, persons and groups, and groups and other groups. For our purposes, communication patterns and flows are particularly important. Patterns relate communication to organization, and flow relates communication to decision-making. Thus, the concepts networking, thought processing, and decision making are inexorably interwoven.
In other words, this it is the same image from three different angles just like the way three different people would look at the same problem each from their own perspective.
Bottom-line – Really don’t expect anything because in reality, Amazon and Microsoft both want world domination.  However, neural networks do offer the means to bridge the man-machine interface, however, more “code” won’t help you solve what you want for lunch.

Not a Headset but an AI Personal Assistant  

In case you think Apple is asleep at the enterprise wheel, here is an exciting solution for any desktop phone, contact center agent, mobile/car route sales person or even factory floor.  Check out these specs to impress anyone –

Beats Solo3 Wireless delivers up to 40 hours of battery life driven by the efficiency of the Apple W1 chip. Or, with Fast Fuel, a quick 5-minute charge provides 3 hours of playback to quickly get you back on track. Integrated on-ear controls, coupled with dual beam-forming mics, allow you to take calls, play music, adjust volume and activate Siri while on the go.  Click on image for more.
In other words, you can integrate voice recognition into your voice conversation and then even add an app for that to listen and guide agents or sales or even the CEO in their conversation. Also, reports from users also said it has good noise cancellation. And, at $299 quite a bargain.
Bottom-line – Deskphones only have one ear speaker, Beats has two speakers, people have two ears, you can decide which one is better.

Google Carpet Bombs AI – American Fear AI 

Google, Amazon, Apple and others are all “carpet bombing” their funny little boxes in order to capture customer mind share.  This is a long video but the first few minutes will give you a good idea of what is really going on.

If you need more ammo on what Americans really think there is a new Pew Research report that says “Americans are rather worried that computer (AI) algorithms will replace humans in choosing job candidates-even though researchers have shown clearly that algorithms do a better job than humans at choosing job candidates. Americans fear losing control if they’re forced to ride in autonomous vehicles. These same Americans fly in airplanes every day that largely are flown by computers, and impressively efficient ones at that.

Fretful respondents are unsurprisingly willing to engage in cognitive dissonance about coming automation. While 77% of Americans think robots will take over many jobs in coming decades, just 30% think robots will replace their jobs. That reminds me off all the old surveys about Americans thinking Congress was filled with a bunch of bums-but not their representatives.”
Bottom-line – Yes AI will replace many things, even more things you can’t understand or don’t need but AI is just another machine and machines break, get hacked, solve old problems not new ones and can’t really think about solving complex problems.

Top of Mind Keeps You First in Line  

This is a webinar presentation available for sales teams at a nominal fee.
Key points are:
1 – Know Thy Customer
2 – Be the Thought Leader
3 – Create Calls-To-Action often
4 – Decide Marketing Methods
5 – Build a Calendar & Commit
Are you really in the line at all or just think you are?
Click on image for the complete presentation and contact Tom Cross at cross@gocross.com for details and scheduling.

From UC to IC – Intelligent Communications

This is from MS Office 365 blog “customers can take advantage of the capabilities in Microsoft Teams starting today. We are committed to providing visibility into the Teams product roadmap, so our customers can assess when Teams is right for them. We intend to make an updated roadmap for Teams available in October.  Click on the image for the complete article.
We plan to continue to offer and support Skype for Business in Office 365 and Skype for Business Server on-premises. For customers who are not yet ready to move their PBX and advanced calling capabilities to the cloud, we will release a new version of Skype for Business Server targeted for the second half of calendar year 2018.”
 
Nice doubletalk – buy what we want you to buy today or wait until late 2018 or never.

Via The Street Microsoft Just Made a Slew of Announcements — Here Are the 5 Most Important

If you don’t know about The Street, well it’s time you did because this may be the most important news service for the financial industry and CEO/CFO. So read what they read and here’s what they said about Microsoft’s announcements at Ignite.  Click on the image for the rest and signup for their newsletters.

As I don’t want to steal The Street’s thunder but wanted to focus on UC.  At least Skype made the Top-5 as #4. “Microsoft Teams might be replacing Skype for Business. Microsoft’s workplace chat app and Slack competitor, Microsoft Teams, is being integrated into Office 365. Teams will replace the Skype for Business plugin in Office 365, which marks a major transition for Microsoft, since Skype has been its flagship messaging app for a long time.

The company did say that it intends to release an updated Skype infrastructure next year that will be targeted to companies that aren’t using the cloud and have on-premises data centers.”
But if you read other stories and watch presentations which I did a lot of them, there is a huge gap in what is being said and what will likely happen.  Why because MS really doesn’t understand the UC business and buying Skype did not help.  If you remember Response Point their very cool but ill-fated answer to the SMB, they jump around like a hot potato without a single strategy much less one that fits with customers and the marketplace.  Hence the growth in Broadsoft, 8×8, RingCentral and many others such as Comcast.  Last count there were more than 500 (no typo) VoIP providers and an amazing list of international players who given high speed internet you can have your server in Antarctica and provide service to remote Kansas.  Clearly MS is looking through their telescopes at Slack worried more about that that the hundreds of VoIP players.
Bottom-line – For a decade, Microsoft throws darts at the UC dartboard hoping something will stick. Now this, they keep tossing the salad frankly making a mess of it causing no end of hair-pulling by partners. Sadly, few other players are left to pick up the slack (no pun intended).  But wait the Cisco UC system works, works well and from the customers I have spoken with they love it.

First Multi-Media Calendar Planner App for iPhone & iPad Approved

SleepTracsPro 3.4 is approved for iPhone and iPad.  Among the many benefits is an exciting new multi-media planner.  While planner and calendar apps abound, we added features that are not found in others.  We also will be adding even more features that in addition to support for iOS 11, here are the key features in SleepTracsPro 3.4 NOTE: due to Apple removing AppStore from iTunes you are now forced to get your apps from the AppStore app on your iPhone or App – it wasn’t our idea.
– Sleep Scheduling,
– Snooze Nap features,
– Snap Alert
– Actical – action calendar
– ZoomLite
– Dream Diary journal/log,

NEW – Multi-media Planner with multi-colored text, pics, videos, drawings, audio messages and acticons for iPhone and iPad.

Please visit http://sleeptracs.com/ for tips, applications and ideas.

Key features of SleepTracsPro are:

– Actical – Action calendar with Acticons-action icons and first calendar with drawings. Add drawings and images to your calendar to improve tracking and performance.

– Snooze – The Snooze feature is designed to let you get your “power nap” or “cat nap” anytime; you can select your snooze time and a wakeup vibration or tone/tune or your own voice or that of a friend or child.

– Snap – feature is a new feature not found in any sleep app we have found so far. Snap is really a “snap out of it” feature that you put in your shirt pocket and when no motion or limited motions are detected, it gives you a vibration or tune/tone. Designed to help you overcome falling asleep in class or on the job, it should not be used while driving.

Sleep – feature offers you a scheduling tool You can select your sleep time and a wakeup vibration or tone/tune or your own voice or that of a friend or child.

Weather – current weather is displayed when user awakes.

ZoomLite is an exciting weather center, camera, large format clock and 3-level magnifying flashlight app. You are able to see weather, large font clock, take a picture and easily read labels, meds bottles, check meds, cuts/sores, household issues and other fine print articles and other hard to read documents or any other reason to see something closeup with 3-step magnifying flashlight.

Dream Diary journal has unlimited notepads with multi-color drawing features, text notes, audio recording, backgrounds with pictures from camera or gallery and sharing features for email, social sites, gallery and other ways.

Planner – everyone needs to get organized and nothing is better than having it all in the same place. The new version 3.4 in the first to include all forms of multi-media including multi-colored text (you can choose what color text you like to indicate priorities or other personal notations), you can include pictures and videos from either camera or gallery, you can add freehand drawings, audio recordings like “Get organized” and our own proprietary Acticons™ which are “action icons and emojis” to emphasize an event or activity.

Independent Reviews

“Sleep apnea is a serious health issue and solutions are scarce often making sleep worse than better. SleepTracsPro journal/diary is a significant help where I can take pics, even videos and including detailed notes where I can track diet, temp, weather and other factors which I know impact sleep. I strongly recommend SleepTracsPro for any one with sleep apnea or just wants to better understand their sleep habits and patterns.” R.S. – Atlanta

“SleepTracsPro gives me great insights on my sleep habits as I am able to use the Dream Diary to write notes, even make drawings of my dreams as well as share them with others. SleepTracsPro is a must-have for any one struggling with all the challenges of getting better sleep.” S.C. – Seattle

SleepTracsPro is one of the many apps such as SleepTracs, ZoomLite, Baseball Fans Club, Basketball Fans, ReallyReal, Sports Fans Club, Football Fans Club, iSeekSugar, BiEyes, iFlipTips, iSeekSugar, MedsMinders, RewardsVIPClub, HashNewsGram and many others from TECHtionary.com.

Wireless Charging Vase – No Flowers !
 
“Wireless charging as a concept has been around since Nikola Tesla, a Croatian inventor, first suggested in the 19th century that you could transfer power between two objects via an electromagnetic field.”  Soon wireless charging will be available in almost any concept — who knows what happens to your brain with all that electronic magnetism in the air.

 

Personal Speakerphone
 
One of the many things I really don’t like is webinar speakers using a speakerphone.  They really don’t care how much room echo there is and sounds like they are speaking in a warehouse.  Polycom may have a solution for this with a personal speakerphone.  While no speakerphone can eliminate room echo, road noise, HVAC noise and other noises, this may help. 
  • Polycom HD Voice and industry-leading full duplex, echo cancellation
  • Polycom NoiseBlock technology automatically eliminates non-speech background noise
  • Bluetooth and USB connectivity
  • 4 microphones and 10-foot (3-meters) microphone range – 2 to 3 times more coverage than most personal speakerphones
  • Rugged and stylish cast aluminum case – won’t break like plastic speakerphones if dropped
  • Spill resistant – IP64 dust and water-resistance rated
  • Security cable included for fixed meeting room and huddle room deployments

It is waterproof too, rather coffee proof.

I asked for pricing and they said it will be released in 4Q.

 

Turing Test 
Summer is often a good time to catch up on great reading and while we are really too busy to read, reading on your iPhone is really great even at the DMV which I did yesterday.  Both books on Turing are great but the Copeland book is even better. You really realize that many of you who are reading this would not be here at all except for what Alan and his colleagues.  Why you ask.  If they hadn’t broken then Enigma and other codes, WWII would have taken much longer costing millions of lives including my dad and his brothers who were all in Europe.  Anyway, great insights on computing, AI and the future even though he died 73 years ago.  Click on image for either book and see if you could pass your own Turing Test.

Interview with Evan Kirstel #1 UCaas Influencer
Here is an interview with Onalytica click on images for complete interview.
As a long-time expert and thought leader in the Cloud, Security, IoT, Big Data, AI and other technologies, I’ve been following their emergence in the health landscape with great interest. I believe we are on the cusp of an unprecedented convergence of technologies, one that could bring about sustained disruption and allow us to solve the most pressing issues in healthcare.
I was also drawn to the incredible energy of the health tech community here in Boston. Home to several premier teaching hospitals and prestigious universities, there is a vibrant community of health tech innovators here, as well as a natural test-bed to pilot these innovations in real healthcare settings.  Be it physician entrepreneurs, hospital leaders rethinking the entire patient care system, digital health startups and accelerators, public-private partnerships, or empowered patients and their vocal advocates, Boston is home to a world-class health tech innovation ecosystem and a growing digital healthcare industry.
I wanted to bring my technical expertise, industry experience, and social business know-how to help accelerate the growth of the digital health economy. To achieve this, I recently partnered with health tech innovation catalyst, patient experience expert, and former Google technology manager Irma Rastegayeva to form eViRa #HealthTech Strategies. Boston-based and globally-connected B2B experts, we are a trusted social media partner to clients across the health tech landscape. Whether it’s enabling startups to get discovered and introduced to potential partners and investors, guiding companies to expand their thought leadership, or helping clients to grow massive online audience and deepen user engagement, we are here to serve the health tech community.
WHAT AREAS OF HEALTH TECH ARE YOU MOST PASSIONATE ABOUT?
  • AI, Cognitive Computing, Big Data, IoT and predictive analytics – combination of these technologies will open up a new era of early diagnostics and disease prevention.
  • Telemedicine/Telehealth – this will become a mainstay of patient care delivery, vastly reducing costs.
  • 5G connectivity – this 5th generation of mobile technology will be a truly “disruptive innovation” and will offer much to fields of medicine and healthcare. One application of 5G I am excited about is rural hospitals collaborating with urban teaching hospitals to offer world-class training and care delivery. It’s important to note that 5G is an enabling technology, it will make the advancements of all the other technologies I mentioned possible.
  • Wearables 2.0 and Mobile Health – these improved medical wearables devices and drug delivery systems will be widely used, allowing remote patient monitoring of chronic conditions, also reducing costs and improving patient comfort and clinical outcomes.
  • AR and VR – Augmented and Virtual Reality technologies will have a wide range of applications, including medical training, life sciences, real-time surgery assist, mental health treatment, and many more.
IF A BRAND WANTED TO WORK WITH YOU, WHAT OFFLINE / ONLINE ACTIVITIES WOULD YOU BE MOST INTERESTED IN?
  • Social Media engagement, thought leadership, brand message amplification
  • Podcast/video interviews
  • Content development (e.g. short-form/long-form blog posts, feature articles, whitepapers)
  • Events (promoting, covering/attending)
WHAT WOULD BE THE BEST WAY FOR A BRAND TO CONTACT YOU?
Mobile: 978-761-1524 or Email: kirstel@gmail.com
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Hololens Partner Program
Hololens is a cool idea tech but not the only one going after VR/AR and what Microsoft calls Mixed Reality.  Here are some examples of what they are targeting as key market opportunities and if you are involved with any of them you might begin contacting customers to explore how they can take advantage of the technology regardless of tech as there are other viable solutions.

If you are not in a hurry and want 90 days for Microsoft tell you that your idea is something they would rather build themselves like what they did to Slack, click on the image below.
They say, “Please provide yourself 30 minutes to complete the application form

to help us better understand your business and current HoloLens activities. Upon submission, you will receive an update regarding your application within 90 days.”
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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.

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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.

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AI Social and Contextual UC #419 – HashNewsGrams Named IQ Awards – Microsoft Teams with Amazon for Gluon Neural Net

 (c) AI Forum & Unified Communications

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October 13 – 2017 – Issue #419

AI Forum – Exploring the Wild World of Artificial Intelligence and other Communications, Mobile, Contextual-Intelligence and other communications companies.
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HashNewsGram 2.5 breaks the Twitter 140 or 280 character limitation barrier. You can post essentially unlimited text, videos, pics, audio recordings including pre-recorded music and audio from the HashNewsGram library, created freehand paintings or drawings using the drawing features and library, multimedia images called 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.

 

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TECHtionary Named Finalist IQ Awards HashNewGrams

HashNewsGram

By TECHtionary.com

Click on IQ image for details.

This free app is only available on the App Store for iOS devices.
Approved today is version 2.8 of HashNewsGrams which further expands features with a Twitter post Library and Log. You can post and save all Twitter posts to the Library each time you post. You can either Tweet or Tweet and Save each posts. Then you can easily repost each Twitter post or edit and then post them.
 The real key to HashNewsgrams is the multi-media features which allow you to post an essentially unlimited amount of text far beyond the 140 or 280 characters now available. You can add up to 4 images as you can with Twitter but also add a video, a custom free hand drawing, audio recording or Acticon(tm) which are “action-icons” to add emphasis to your Twitter posts. Background – Never get stuck at 140 or 280 or … characters again! HashNewsGram 2.5 breaks the Twitter 140 or 280 character limitation barrier. You can post essentially unlimited text, videos, pics, audio recordings including pre-recorded music and audio from the HashNewsGram library, created freehand paintings or drawings using the drawing features and library, multimedia images called 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, iSeekSugar, MedsMinders, BaseballFansClub, RewardsVIPClub, and others from TECHtionary.

Microsoft Teams Gluon Neural Net with Amazon 

Another deep learning attempt between two major “competitors” was revealed.  Notwithstanding yet another developers “honey pot” for pseduo AI, you wonder who is really going to provide the “deep learning” between Amazon and Microsoft.

 From GeekWire, comes this “Deep learning involves training a computer to recognize patterns or unlock insights based on a set of rules for parsing a massive pool of data. As you might expect, this is an extremely complicated and time-consuming process that requires a fair amount of skill. Cloud companies offer ways to speed up the process, but a fair amount of skill is required to get meaningful results.”  Click on the image for complete article.

It is hard to say that they are using the same platform Gluon to work together or what they are telling each other the goal will be.  I would have been more excited if there was a more specific goal focused on an vertical issue or use case or global issue.  Here are a few thoughts on what they should be done such as focus on reasoning.

Reasoning, in essence, discourages openness, surprise, or ambiguity. It is a process, mental or mechanical, that works through a series of pieces of evidence to new data until the problem is solved. In certain circumstances, reasoning is a process set against time: All answers are known; it is just that time eludes them. Reasoning is also a natural language issue because language is often the means on which the evidence is built. In the field of learning languages, the building process is often a history of ideas gathered together into stories. These stories are told in order to pass on information or reasoning processes. In stories, as in reasoning processes, clues are included or omitted to frustrate the process.

Neural Networks
From the press release, click on image, “With the Gluon interface, developers can build machine learning models using a simple Python API and a range of pre-built, optimized neural networkcomponents. This makes it easier for developers of all skill levels to build neural networks using simple, concise code, without sacrificing performance. AWS and Microsoft published Gluon’s reference specification so other deep learning engines can be integrated with the interface.”   This is a lot of techno-babble saying they have no idea what they are doing or predict any results, if any.
What a Neural Network
The term neural networks, as proliferated by AI researchers, explains how the networks of the brain work together to allow thinking to take place. Examinations of people with low intelligence versus those with high intelligence do not biologically demonstrate any clear neurological distinction. Perhaps at some point, intelligence in humans might effectively be understood, and the development of machine intelligence might be a requirement for this understanding. The development of machine-based neural networks might also give rise to a greater understanding of human thinking processes.
To simplify the process look at the Figure which shows the following a library of books with hyperlinks or crosspoint between ideas, text, images and other content.
First, a cross/point (intersection point) is composed of different types of information, including text, graphics, or data.
Second, each grid of different types of information can be changed as necessary. Additions, deletions, and modifications can be easily incorporated into the cross/point grid.
Third, each grid of information can be expanded “to the nth degree.” The structure of the cross/point is n-dimensional. Its boundaries can be expanded.
Fourth, a cross/point idea network allows for n-dimensional linking by connecting any number of nodes together at any point, top-bottom and/or side-to-side.
Fifth, a cross/point can be represented in a simple expression.
Structurally, administration can be viewed as a configuration of thought patterns that relate individuals and collectives of varying sizes, shapes, and degrees of understanding, cohesion, and stability. Dynamically, administration appears as a patterned swirl and flow of ideas. Many of them channel through transactional circuits between persons and persons, persons and groups, and groups and other groups. For our purposes, communication patterns and flows are particularly important. Patterns relate communication to organization, and flow relates communication to decision-making. Thus, the concepts networking, thought processing, and decision making are inexorably interwoven.
In other words, this it is the same image from three different angles just like the way three different people would look at the same problem each from their own perspective.
Bottom-line – Really don’t expect anything because in reality, Amazon and Microsoft both want world domination.  However, neural networks do offer the means to bridge the man-machine interface, however, more “code” won’t help you solve what you want for lunch.

Not a Headset but an AI Personal Assistant 

In case you think Apple is asleep at the enterprise wheel, here is an exciting solution for any desktop phone, contact center agent, mobile/car route sales person or even factory floor.  Check out these specs to impress anyone –

Beats Solo3 Wireless delivers up to 40 hours of battery life driven by the efficiency of the Apple W1 chip. Or, with Fast Fuel, a quick 5-minute charge provides 3 hours of playback to quickly get you back on track. Integrated on-ear controls, coupled with dual beam-forming mics, allow you to take calls, play music, adjust volume and activate Siri while on the go.  Click on image for more.
In other words, you can integrate voice recognition into your voice conversation and then even add an app for that to listen and guide agents or sales or even the CEO in their conversation. Also, reports from users also said it has good noise cancellation. And, at $299 quite a bargain.
Bottom-line – Deskphones only have one ear speaker, Beats has two speakers, people have two ears, you can decide which one is better.

Google Carpet Bombs AI – American Fear AI

Google, Amazon, Apple and others are all “carpet bombing” their funny little boxes in order to capture customer mind share.  This is a long video but the first few minutes will give you a good idea of what is really going on.

If you need more ammo on what Americans really think there is a new Pew Research report that says “Americans are rather worried that computer (AI) algorithms will replace humans in choosing job candidates-even though researchers have shown clearly that algorithms do a better job than humans at choosing job candidates. Americans fear losing control if they’re forced to ride in autonomous vehicles. These same Americans fly in airplanes every day that largely are flown by computers, and impressively efficient ones at that.

Fretful respondents are unsurprisingly willing to engage in cognitive dissonance about coming automation. While 77% of Americans think robots will take over many jobs in coming decades, just 30% think robots will replace their jobs. That reminds me off all the old surveys about Americans thinking Congress was filled with a bunch of bums-but not their representatives.”
Bottom-line – Yes AI will replace many things, even more things you can’t understand or don’t need but AI is just another machine and machines break, get hacked, solve old problems not new ones and can’t really think about solving complex problems.

Top of Mind Keeps You First in Line 

This is a webinar presentation available for sales teams at a nominal fee.
Key points are:
1 – Know Thy Customer
2 – Be the Thought Leader
3 – Create Calls-To-Action often
4 – Decide Marketing Methods
5 – Build a Calendar & Commit
Are you really in the line at all or just think you are?
Click on image for the complete presentation and contact Tom Cross at cross@gocross.com for details and scheduling.

From UC to IC – Intelligent Communications

This is from MS Office 365 blog “customers can take advantage of the capabilities in Microsoft Teams starting today. We are committed to providing visibility into the Teams product roadmap, so our customers can assess when Teams is right for them. We intend to make an updated roadmap for Teams available in October.  Click on the image for the complete article.
We plan to continue to offer and support Skype for Business in Office 365 and Skype for Business Server on-premises. For customers who are not yet ready to move their PBX and advanced calling capabilities to the cloud, we will release a new version of Skype for Business Server targeted for the second half of calendar year 2018.”
 
Nice doubletalk – buy what we want you to buy today or wait until late 2018 or never.

Via The Street Microsoft Just Made a Slew of Announcements — Here Are the 5 Most Important

If you don’t know about The Street, well it’s time you did because this may be the most important news service for the financial industry and CEO/CFO. So read what they read and here’s what they said about Microsoft’s announcements at Ignite.  Click on the image for the rest and signup for their newsletters.

As I don’t want to steal The Street’s thunder but wanted to focus on UC.  At least Skype made the Top-5 as #4. “Microsoft Teams might be replacing Skype for Business. Microsoft’s workplace chat app and Slack competitor, Microsoft Teams, is being integrated into Office 365. Teams will replace the Skype for Business plugin in Office 365, which marks a major transition for Microsoft, since Skype has been its flagship messaging app for a long time.

The company did say that it intends to release an updated Skype infrastructure next year that will be targeted to companies that aren’t using the cloud and have on-premises data centers.”
But if you read other stories and watch presentations which I did a lot of them, there is a huge gap in what is being said and what will likely happen.  Why because MS really doesn’t understand the UC business and buying Skype did not help.  If you remember Response Point their very cool but ill-fated answer to the SMB, they jump around like a hot potato without a single strategy much less one that fits with customers and the marketplace.  Hence the growth in Broadsoft, 8×8, RingCentral and many others such as Comcast.  Last count there were more than 500 (no typo) VoIP providers and an amazing list of international players who given high speed internet you can have your server in Antarctica and provide service to remote Kansas.  Clearly MS is looking through their telescopes at Slack worried more about that that the hundreds of VoIP players.
Bottom-line – For a decade, Microsoft throws darts at the UC dartboard hoping something will stick. Now this, they keep tossing the salad frankly making a mess of it causing no end of hair-pulling by partners. Sadly, few other players are left to pick up the slack (no pun intended).  But wait the Cisco UC system works, works well and from the customers I have spoken with they love it.

First Multi-Media Calendar Planner App for iPhone & iPad Approved

SleepTracsPro 3.4 is approved for iPhone and iPad.  Among the many benefits is an exciting new multi-media planner.  While planner and calendar apps abound, we added features that are not found in others.  We also will be adding even more features that in addition to support for iOS 11, here are the key features in SleepTracsPro 3.4 NOTE: due to Apple removing AppStore from iTunes you are now forced to get your apps from the AppStore app on your iPhone or App – it wasn’t our idea.
– Sleep Scheduling,
– Snooze Nap features,
– Snap Alert
– Actical – action calendar
– ZoomLite
– Dream Diary journal/log,

NEW – Multi-media Planner with multi-colored text, pics, videos, drawings, audio messages and acticons for iPhone and iPad.

Please visit http://sleeptracs.com/ for tips, applications and ideas.

Key features of SleepTracsPro are:

– Actical – Action calendar with Acticons-action icons and first calendar with drawings. Add drawings and images to your calendar to improve tracking and performance.

– Snooze – The Snooze feature is designed to let you get your “power nap” or “cat nap” anytime; you can select your snooze time and a wakeup vibration or tone/tune or your own voice or that of a friend or child.

– Snap – feature is a new feature not found in any sleep app we have found so far. Snap is really a “snap out of it” feature that you put in your shirt pocket and when no motion or limited motions are detected, it gives you a vibration or tune/tone. Designed to help you overcome falling asleep in class or on the job, it should not be used while driving.

Sleep – feature offers you a scheduling tool You can select your sleep time and a wakeup vibration or tone/tune or your own voice or that of a friend or child.

Weather – current weather is displayed when user awakes.

ZoomLite is an exciting weather center, camera, large format clock and 3-level magnifying flashlight app. You are able to see weather, large font clock, take a picture and easily read labels, meds bottles, check meds, cuts/sores, household issues and other fine print articles and other hard to read documents or any other reason to see something closeup with 3-step magnifying flashlight.

Dream Diary journal has unlimited notepads with multi-color drawing features, text notes, audio recording, backgrounds with pictures from camera or gallery and sharing features for email, social sites, gallery and other ways.

Planner – everyone needs to get organized and nothing is better than having it all in the same place. The new version 3.4 in the first to include all forms of multi-media including multi-colored text (you can choose what color text you like to indicate priorities or other personal notations), you can include pictures and videos from either camera or gallery, you can add freehand drawings, audio recordings like “Get organized” and our own proprietary Acticons™ which are “action icons and emojis” to emphasize an event or activity.

Independent Reviews

“Sleep apnea is a serious health issue and solutions are scarce often making sleep worse than better. SleepTracsPro journal/diary is a significant help where I can take pics, even videos and including detailed notes where I can track diet, temp, weather and other factors which I know impact sleep. I strongly recommend SleepTracsPro for any one with sleep apnea or just wants to better understand their sleep habits and patterns.” R.S. – Atlanta

“SleepTracsPro gives me great insights on my sleep habits as I am able to use the Dream Diary to write notes, even make drawings of my dreams as well as share them with others. SleepTracsPro is a must-have for any one struggling with all the challenges of getting better sleep.” S.C. – Seattle

SleepTracsPro is one of the many apps such as SleepTracs, ZoomLite, Baseball Fans Club, Basketball Fans, ReallyReal, Sports Fans Club, Football Fans Club, iSeekSugar, BiEyes, iFlipTips, iSeekSugar, MedsMinders, RewardsVIPClub, HashNewsGram and many others from TECHtionary.com.

NFC Forum Adds NFC Tag Certification to Certification Program 

For anyone who sells anything, connects to anything including customers NFC-near-field communications is a must-have.  With iOS 11, the NFC Forum announced today the addition of Near Field Communication (NFC) tag and reader certification to its global certification program. This means that tag/inlay, NFC reader and handset manufacturers for the first time will be able to test and verify the performance and interoperability of all the key components in the NFC eco-system.

With the release of iOS 11 this week from Apple, two billion smartphones in the world will be NFC-enabled – this means that a third of the population on Earth will have the ability to interact with NFC tags. To be sure that these tags are enabled seamlessly, the NFC Forum Tag Certification Program will allow for tags to interoperate, and work the way consumers want, when they want it.

Wireless Charging Vase – No Flowers !
 
“Wireless charging as a concept has been around since Nikola Tesla, a Croatian inventor, first suggested in the 19th century that you could transfer power between two objects via an electromagnetic field.”  Soon wireless charging will be available in almost any concept — who knows what happens to your brain with all that electronic magnetism in the air.

 

Personal Speakerphone
 
One of the many things I really don’t like is webinar speakers using a speakerphone.  They really don’t care how much room echo there is and sounds like they are speaking in a warehouse.  Polycom may have a solution for this with a personal speakerphone.  While no speakerphone can eliminate room echo, road noise, HVAC noise and other noises, this may help.
  • Polycom HD Voice and industry-leading full duplex, echo cancellation
  • Polycom NoiseBlock technology automatically eliminates non-speech background noise
  • Bluetooth and USB connectivity
  • 4 microphones and 10-foot (3-meters) microphone range – 2 to 3 times more coverage than most personal speakerphones
  • Rugged and stylish cast aluminum case – won’t break like plastic speakerphones if dropped
  • Spill resistant – IP64 dust and water-resistance rated
  • Security cable included for fixed meeting room and huddle room deployments

It is waterproof too, rather coffee proof.

I asked for pricing and they said it will be released in 4Q.

 

iOS Game Platform 

Who knew that Jim Cramer is a gameboy.  Indeed he is and thinks that iPhone X is the next game platform.  Take a listen.
And, when you are really ready to get serious check this out.  As an Apple app developer, we are excited about new platforms for new realities.  However, the really real limitation is that we just converted to Swift4 and iOS11 and not matter how large your development team is – it is nearly impossible to keep UP much less DO more.
Bottom-line – Apple is a seriously great platform for nearly everything and as other devices and platforms may still have some presence. it is not realistic that developers will have any excess capacity other than to just develop them.

Gartner on UCaaS – Eye Test
Never been a big fan of research reports because I used to research and publish them. Research reports like Gartner, IDC, Frost and all the others are written by people who do not have to “do it.”  They sit in nice rooms and gather information and then write stuff that really doesn’t help people really implement anything.  It is amazing to me that CIOs look to Gartner and the reason is they do not trust their own staff to tell them the truth or frankly know what they are doing.  Sad but true.  The idea of some “pin chart”  will help anyone figure out why SIP trunk has only one-way audio is a farce.  Here for example is what they are saying about Microsoft:

CAUTIONS

  • The SfBO telephony capabilities lag behind most competing UCaaS offers, and Microsoft has been slow to advance this element of its portfolio. While there has been progress in the last year, Microsoft has also been slow to overcome some critical limitations, including limitations in the CCE product and SfBO APIs.
  • Microsoft’s advancement in the market has been hindered by its changing marketing messages to customers and partners about the roadmap for Skype. For instance, while the hybrid option can be more effective for many enterprise requirements, it may not be adequately promoted by Microsoft partners, which may instead recommend a rapid migration to a complete online solution.
  • Connecting users to a UCaaS solution via the public internet may result in poor performance for audio and video for some users and locations. To mitigate risk, customers should execute a network assessment as part of their SOF process.
  • Microsoft recently introduced its Teams workstream collaboration product that has overlapping communications functionality redundant to Skype. While integrating communications into Teams is part of Microsoft’s workstream collaboration strategy, this redundancy can create confusion with customers trying to understand the roles of Skype and Teams.
Click on the image to get the chart via 8×8 who I like because of all their technical expertise but there is much more on ATT, Google, Fuze, Mitel and others.  Interesting Vonage and ShoreTel were dropped – go figure.
Bottom-line – There must be a large enough market to support all these companies.  However, I know of another 20 that are not on this list and still seem to be thriving.  Clearly there is a nice road but running out of road always comes at the worst time even if it doesn’t curve and you run completely off it.

Facebook Business UC 

Building for People, and Now Businesses

This is from the WhatsApp blog, “Over 1 billion people use WhatsApp every day to stay connected with their family and friends, and over time, more people are using the app to communicate with businesses they care about too.

In fact, many connections are already taking place every day, whether it’s someone placing an order with a local bakery or looking at new styles from a clothing store. But the way this happens now on WhatsApp is pretty rudimentary. We’ve heard stories of shopkeepers who use WhatsApp to stay in touch with hundreds of customers from a single smartphone, and from people who are unsure about whether or not a business on WhatsApp is authentic. In the coming months, we’ll be testing new features that aim to solve some of these challenges, and make it easier for people to communicate with the businesses they want to reach on WhatsApp. Our approach is simple – we want to apply what we’ve learned helping people connect with each other to helping people connect with businesses that are important to them.

We know businesses have many different needs. For example, they want an official presence – a verified profile so people can identify a business from another person – and an easier way to respond to messages. We’re building and testing new tools via a free WhatsApp Business app for small companies and an enterprise solution for bigger companies operating at a large scale with a global base of customers, like airlines, e-commerce sites, and banks. These businesses will be able to use our solutions to provide customers with useful notifications like flight times, delivery confirmations, and other updates.
Whether someone is communicating with a business around the corner or around the globe, people expect WhatsApp to be fast, reliable, and secure. We’ll be listening carefully to feedback during our test phase and keeping people informed as we make these tools more widely available. It’s important that we get this right and are thoughtful about the new experiences we’ll provide for businesses and our users.”
Bottom-line – WhatsApp is on the rise while Skype seems to be slipping (see below).  Facebook took a page out of Microsoft’s “playbook” to destroy competition (WordPerfect, Novell, Lotus, etc.) by any means possible.   Facebook has two billion Facebook users to promote anything they want.  Gaining access to enterprise a long haven for Microsoft is vulnerable to many different types of attacks.  If MS cannot get Skype fixed and engaged with user again, the Facebook WhatsApp “Trojan Horse” is a game-changer they may not recover from.

Facial UC  
Finally, the end of passwords in theory if only all places where you have to enter a password would allow facial passwords.  This is a cool story on how KFC is using facial ordering.  Time for all UC providers to up their game in adding this to their feature sets.

Skype iOS Sucks  
Since Facebook is coming after Skype, you would think they would make major improvements in their apps.  I don’t have Android but below are also my feelings about the new UI and functionality on iOS.
Click on image and click on Reviews Tab to read all of them.  They are from 9/7 and you can see mainly one star.

Skype iOS App First Look – Not Looking Good 

I love regular Skype using it for more than decade on my PC and often use the iOS app on my iPhone which generally works better than the PC version.  I was excited to try the new iOS version and my first look is a real disappointment.  Why do app developers turn simple smartphone apps into bloatware found in most PC/MAC apps.  As a developer it is really hard to NOT want to add

MORE and MORE but sometimes more is really less and this is the case so far with the Skype iOS app.  The biggest issue was in the old version it was really easy to change your Presence with many options like on the PC version.  The new version assumes you are ONLINE all the time and makes it really difficult to change your presence.  Click on either image for details on changing presence.
Bottom-line – Please tell me what I missed, you like, I was wrong about or anything else you want to say.

Really Real Presence  
This is a great read on the benefits of presence.  It’s really too bad that there is not one universal presence app that bridges the gaps in UC as UC applications are not the only way you want to show presence.

Turing Test 
Summer is often a good time to catch up on great reading  and while we are really too busy to read, reading on your iPhone is really great even at the DMV which I did yesterday.  Both books on Turing are great but the Copeland book is even better. You really realize that many of you who are reading this would not be here at all except for what Alan and his colleagues.  Why you ask.  If they hadn’t broken then Enigma and other codes, WWII would have taken much longer costing millions of lives including my dad and his brothers who were all in Europe.  Anyway, great insights on computing, AI and the future even though he died 73 years ago.  Click on image for either book and see if you could pass your own Turing Test.

Securing the Internet of Things
I doubt you have a lot of IoT devices but you do have a lot of mobile devices.  As mobile devices morph into what’s next or turn into components (which I would do if I was Google or Apple) to run on common OS rather the new OS for all devices including desktops, teleconferencing, building controls, etc. You will need a security systems approach and while I prefer iOS because of great admin services from Apple Developer Team and other reasons.  This paper is from Cisco and there are a lot of good ideas to consider.  For example, they write, “Even industrial controllers that operate in every industrial environment lack basic security controls like authentication and encryption. That means most industrial control system (ICS) attacks don’t need to exploit software vulnerabilities. They just need to access the controllers, and then they can change configuration, logic, and state.”  By building on a common OS that you use for all your employees can use, you maximize protection, minimize development costs and provide a common management approach that makes sense.

Interview with Evan Kirstel #1 UCaas Influencer
Here is an interview with Onalytica click on images for complete interview.
As a long-time expert and thought leader in the Cloud, Security, IoT, Big Data, AI and other technologies, I’ve been following their emergence in the health landscape with great interest. I believe we are on the cusp of an unprecedented convergence of technologies, one that could bring about sustained disruption and allow us to solve the most pressing issues in healthcare.
I was also drawn to the incredible energy of the health tech community here in Boston. Home to several premier teaching hospitals and prestigious universities, there is a vibrant community of health tech innovators here, as well as a natural test-bed to pilot these innovations in real healthcare settings.  Be it physician entrepreneurs, hospital leaders rethinking the entire patient care system, digital health startups and accelerators, public-private partnerships, or empowered patients and their vocal advocates, Boston is home to a world-class health tech innovation ecosystem and a growing digital healthcare industry.
I wanted to bring my technical expertise, industry experience, and social business know-how to help accelerate the growth of the digital health economy. To achieve this, I recently partnered with health tech innovation catalyst, patient experience expert, and former Google technology manager Irma Rastegayeva to form eViRa #HealthTech Strategies. Boston-based and globally-connected B2B experts, we are a trusted social media partner to clients across the health tech landscape. Whether it’s enabling startups to get discovered and introduced to potential partners and investors, guiding companies to expand their thought leadership, or helping clients to grow massive online audience and deepen user engagement, we are here to serve the health tech community.
WHAT AREAS OF HEALTH TECH ARE YOU MOST PASSIONATE ABOUT?
  • AI, Cognitive Computing, Big Data, IoT and predictive analytics – combination of these technologies will open up a new era of early diagnostics and disease prevention.
  • Telemedicine/Telehealth – this will become a mainstay of patient care delivery, vastly reducing costs.
  • 5G connectivity – this 5th generation of mobile technology will be a truly “disruptive innovation” and will offer much to fields of medicine and healthcare. One application of 5G I am excited about is rural hospitals collaborating with urban teaching hospitals to offer world-class training and care delivery. It’s important to note that 5G is an enabling technology, it will make the advancements of all the other technologies I mentioned possible.
  • Wearables 2.0 and Mobile Health – these improved medical wearables devices and drug delivery systems will be widely used, allowing remote patient monitoring of chronic conditions, also reducing costs and improving patient comfort and clinical outcomes.
  • AR and VR – Augmented and Virtual Reality technologies will have a wide range of applications, including medical training, life sciences, real-time surgery assist, mental health treatment, and many more.
IF A BRAND WANTED TO WORK WITH YOU, WHAT OFFLINE / ONLINE ACTIVITIES WOULD YOU BE MOST INTERESTED IN?
  • Social Media engagement, thought leadership, brand message amplification
  • Podcast/video interviews
  • Content development (e.g. short-form/long-form blog posts, feature articles, whitepapers)
  • Events (promoting, covering/attending)
WHAT WOULD BE THE BEST WAY FOR A BRAND TO CONTACT YOU?
Mobile: 978-761-1524 or Email: kirstel@gmail.com
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Hololens Partner Program
Hololens is a cool idea tech but not the only one going after VR/AR and what Microsoft calls Mixed Reality.  Here are some examples of what they are targeting as key market opportunities and if you are involved with any of them you might begin contacting customers to explore how they can take advantage of the technology regardless of tech as there are other viable solutions.

If you are not in a hurry and want 90 days for Microsoft tell you that your idea is something they would rather build themselves like what they did to Slack, click on the image below.
They say, “Please provide yourself 30 minutes to complete the application form

to help us better understand your business and current HoloLens activities. Upon submission, you will receive an update regarding your application within 90 days.”

Emojis Communications

As a long-time fan of hieroglyphics, the power of visual communications has always been of interest.  Snapchat may be onto something with “cartoon greetings that feature customizable avatars and can be inserted into any number of chat apps.” They go on: “Having a digital extension of yourself is a necessity,” creative director and CEO Jacob Blackstock says, “and we’re working to give people the best possible version.” But even in visually infectious cartoon form, negative expressions present a challenge for Bitmoji’s creative team, who might be thought of as millennial Cyranos-charged with helping the app’s millions of daily users bring just the right mix of wit, topicality, and emotional nuance to their online repartee.”
There is much more: “He’s spent more than a decade now thinking about cartoons as a visual language. As he sees it, the swiftly approaching merger of the real and the virtual will only make such tools more essential. “We’re in a world now where we live in these,” he says, lifting his iPhone from the table. “Not only am I always on it,” he says, growing more animated, “but in terms of everyone I know, I mostly see them here. If you’re going to live in here, you’ve got to make this a better place to live.” Click on image for complete article.
Bottom-line – As you will read in the next section, visual communications is evolving actually back to the first form of communicated communications – communications that can be understood by more than the creator.  The Egyptians pioneered this approach as they realized that people were not going to learn how to read but like any “stop” sign people can quickly understand concepts even complex ones rather quickly.
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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.

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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.

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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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Certified Training – Affordable, Available, Actionable & Tax Deductible
WebRTC-SIP Certification, Social Media Contact Centers, Sales Professionals and Business
Custom and Complete SIP Professional Certification Program
Follow us on Twitter

TECHtionary Knowledge Source

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Click here for TECHtionary — World’s First and Largest Animated Library on Technology with more than 3,015 animated tutorials.

Lync is a Trademark of Microsoft.  Unified Communications Apps & Cloud Communications Forum is an independent forum.

Advertising, Exhibiting, Training and other Marcom Programs, call 303-594-1694 or click here.

The User Forum provides classroom and webseminar training as well as a non-production environment for those IT departments without additional equipment, budget or time.  This allows planners and users to test ideas, dial in and dial back out, IM file transfers, remote desktop sharing, video conferencing, run scenarios, review logs, break linkages and learning about new telephony features and network access.  The User Forum is also designed for both the system integrator/consultant who wants to learn about tech without having to build their own system as well as the enterprise customer who doesn’t have the time, resources or knowledge to develop one.  Coming soon, User Forum Labs are designed to be “hands-on” or “over-the-shoulder” with experts available for Q&A and classes for feature-specific review.

About User Forum

The User Forum is a vendor-independent laboratory environment designed for learning, technical guides, knowledge resources and online “live” services.  The User Forum provides planning, project management, consulting, training, case studies, white papers, speaking engagements, market/customer research, network planning and other services.
Click here to contact.

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SIP, Unified Communications Apps & Cloud Communications Forum, 2525 Arapahoe E-4-313, Boulder, CO 80302
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Constant Contact

AI Social and Contextual UC #418 – Breakthrough Twitter 140/280 Barrier – Apple’s New Deskphone AI in Your Head – Google Carpet Bombs AI Wars

 (c) AI Forum & Unified Communications

 Forum- NEW TeamsUserForum.com 
October 6 – 2017 – Issue #418

AI Forum – Exploring the Wild World of Artificial Intelligence and other Communications, Mobile, Contextual-Intelligence and other communications companies.
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Advertising, social media, blog articles, webinars and other services available.
 cross@gocross.com
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 Twitter Users Never get stuck at 140 or 280 or … characters again!
 

 

HashNewsGram 2.5 breaks the Twitter 140 or 280 character limitation barrier. You can post essentially unlimited text, videos, pics, audio recordings including pre-recorded music and audio from the HashNewsGram library, created freehand paintings or drawings using the drawing features and library, multimedia images called 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.

 

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  “Come Home Safe”
Free iPhone Text Free Drivers 
App
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Siri can’t open iPhone Flashlight but say
ZoomLite and you get Flashlight, Magnifying Camera, Large Format Clock and Local Weather – Free.

Best app for reading anything close up including restaurant menus and receipts.

Not a simulation – real screenshot.

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If you need an iPhone/iPad app, click on image.
If you don’t understand Why Twitter is important !
Here are 4 simple reasons and 10 ways to be a good Tweeter
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 We can help in developing webinars, customer studies, social media and sales, marketing

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Rewards programs are proven to increase revenues and customer engagement.

Rewards/VIP App
Custom mobile app for rewards/loyalty programs

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More than 3,000 Free animated tutorials in tech at

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For advertising and other marcom options,

Click here

or call 303-594-1694

 

 

Follow us on Twitter
Welcome to the SIP, UC Apps & Cloud Communications Forum
@Techtionary Twitter account topped 16,700+ followers up 100 followers this week and if you are on Twitter, please follow and we will follow you back.  Get proven results in gaining-retaining Twitter and other social media followers – click here.

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Not a Headset but an AI Personal Assistant 

In case you think Apple is asleep at the enterprise wheel, here is an exciting solution for any desktop phone, contact center agent, mobile/car route sales person or even factory floor.  Check out these specs to impress anyone –

Beats Solo3 Wireless delivers up to 40 hours of battery life driven by the efficiency of the Apple W1 chip. Or, with Fast Fuel, a quick 5-minute charge provides 3 hours of playback to quickly get you back on track. Integrated on-ear controls, coupled with dual beam-forming mics, allow you to take calls, play music, adjust volume and activate Siri while on the go.  Click on image for more.
In other words, you can integrate voice recognition into your voice conversation and then even add an app for that to listen and guide agents or sales or even the CEO in their conversation. Also, reports from users also said it has good noise cancellation. And, at $299 quite a bargain.
Bottom-line – Deskphones only have one ear speaker, Beats has two speakers, people have two ears, you can decide which one is better.

Google Carpet Bombs AI – American Fear AI

Google, Amazon, Apple and others are all “carpet bombing” their funny little boxes in order to capture customer mind share.  This is a long video but the first few minutes will give you a good idea of what is really going on.

If you need more ammo on what Americans really think there is a new Pew Research report that says “Americans are rather worried that computer (AI) algorithms will replace humans in choosing job candidates-even though researchers have shown clearly that algorithms do a better job than humans at choosing job candidates. Americans fear losing control if they’re forced to ride in autonomous vehicles. These same Americans fly in airplanes every day that largely are flown by computers, and impressively efficient ones at that.

Fretful respondents are unsurprisingly willing to engage in cognitive dissonance about coming automation. While 77% of Americans think robots will take over many jobs in coming decades, just 30% think robots will replace their jobs. That reminds me off all the old surveys about Americans thinking Congress was filled with a bunch of bums-but not their representatives.”
Bottom-line – Yes AI will replace many things, even more things you can’t understand or don’t need but AI is just another machine and machines break, get hacked, solve old problems not new ones and can’t really think about solving complex problems.

Top of Mind Keeps You First in Line 

This is a webinar presentation available for sales teams at a nominal fee.
Key points are:
1 – Know Thy Customer
2 – Be the Thought Leader
3 – Create Calls-To-Action often
4 – Decide Marketing Methods
5 – Build a Calendar & Commit
Are you really in the line at all or just think you are?
Click on image for the complete presentation and contact Tom Cross at cross@gocross.com for details and scheduling.

From UC to IC – Intelligent Communications

This is from MS Office 365 blog “customers can take advantage of the capabilities in Microsoft Teams starting today. We are committed to providing visibility into the Teams product roadmap, so our customers can assess when Teams is right for them. We intend to make an updated roadmap for Teams available in October.  Click on the image for the complete article.
We plan to continue to offer and support Skype for Business in Office 365 and Skype for Business Server on-premises. For customers who are not yet ready to move their PBX and advanced calling capabilities to the cloud, we will release a new version of Skype for Business Server targeted for the second half of calendar year 2018.”
 
Nice doubletalk – buy what we want you to buy today or wait until late 2018 or never.

Via The Street Microsoft Just Made a Slew of Announcements — Here Are the 5 Most Important

If you don’t know about The Street, well it’s time you did because this may be the most important news service for the financial industry and CEO/CFO. So read what they read and here’s what they said about Microsoft’s announcements at Ignite.  Click on the image for the rest and signup for their newsletters.

As I don’t want to steal The Street’s thunder but wanted to focus on UC.  At least Skype made the Top-5 as #4. “Microsoft Teams might be replacing Skype for Business. Microsoft’s workplace chat app and Slack competitor, Microsoft Teams, is being integrated into Office 365. Teams will replace the Skype for Business plugin in Office 365, which marks a major transition for Microsoft, since Skype has been its flagship messaging app for a long time.

The company did say that it intends to release an updated Skype infrastructure next year that will be targeted to companies that aren’t using the cloud and have on-premises data centers.”
But if you read other stories and watch presentations which I did a lot of them, there is a huge gap in what is being said and what will likely happen.  Why because MS really doesn’t understand the UC business and buying Skype did not help.  If you remember Response Point their very cool but ill-fated answer to the SMB, they jump around like a hot potato without a single strategy much less one that fits with customers and the marketplace.  Hence the growth in Broadsoft, 8×8, RingCentral and many others such as Comcast.  Last count there were more than 500 (no typo) VoIP providers and an amazing list of international players who given high speed internet you can have your server in Antarctica and provide service to remote Kansas.  Clearly MS is looking through their telescopes at Slack worried more about that that the hundreds of VoIP players.
Bottom-line – For a decade, Microsoft throws darts at the UC dartboard hoping something will stick. Now this, they keep tossing the salad frankly making a mess of it causing no end of hair-pulling by partners. Sadly, few other players are left to pick up the slack (no pun intended).  But wait the Cisco UC system works, works well and from the customers I have spoken with they love it.

First Multi-Media Calendar Planner App for iPhone & iPad Approved

SleepTracsPro 3.4 is approved for iPhone and iPad.  Among the many benefits is an exciting new multi-media planner.  While planner and calendar apps abound, we added features that are not found in others.  We also will be adding even more features that in addition to support for iOS 11, here are the key features in SleepTracsPro 3.4 NOTE: due to Apple removing AppStore from iTunes you are now forced to get your apps from the AppStore app on your iPhone or App – it wasn’t our idea.
– Sleep Scheduling,
– Snooze Nap features,
– Snap Alert
– Actical – action calendar
– ZoomLite
– Dream Diary journal/log,

NEW – Multi-media Planner with multi-colored text, pics, videos, drawings, audio messages and acticons for iPhone and iPad.

Please visit http://sleeptracs.com/ for tips, applications and ideas.

Key features of SleepTracsPro are:

– Actical – Action calendar with Acticons-action icons and first calendar with drawings. Add drawings and images to your calendar to improve tracking and performance.

– Snooze – The Snooze feature is designed to let you get your “power nap” or “cat nap” anytime; you can select your snooze time and a wakeup vibration or tone/tune or your own voice or that of a friend or child.

– Snap – feature is a new feature not found in any sleep app we have found so far. Snap is really a “snap out of it” feature that you put in your shirt pocket and when no motion or limited motions are detected, it gives you a vibration or tune/tone. Designed to help you overcome falling asleep in class or on the job, it should not be used while driving.

Sleep – feature offers you a scheduling tool You can select your sleep time and a wakeup vibration or tone/tune or your own voice or that of a friend or child.

Weather – current weather is displayed when user awakes.

ZoomLite is an exciting weather center, camera, large format clock and 3-level magnifying flashlight app. You are able to see weather, large font clock, take a picture and easily read labels, meds bottles, check meds, cuts/sores, household issues and other fine print articles and other hard to read documents or any other reason to see something closeup with 3-step magnifying flashlight.

Dream Diary journal has unlimited notepads with multi-color drawing features, text notes, audio recording, backgrounds with pictures from camera or gallery and sharing features for email, social sites, gallery and other ways.

Planner – everyone needs to get organized and nothing is better than having it all in the same place. The new version 3.4 in the first to include all forms of multi-media including multi-colored text (you can choose what color text you like to indicate priorities or other personal notations), you can include pictures and videos from either camera or gallery, you can add freehand drawings, audio recordings like “Get organized” and our own proprietary Acticons™ which are “action icons and emojis” to emphasize an event or activity.

Independent Reviews

“Sleep apnea is a serious health issue and solutions are scarce often making sleep worse than better. SleepTracsPro journal/diary is a significant help where I can take pics, even videos and including detailed notes where I can track diet, temp, weather and other factors which I know impact sleep. I strongly recommend SleepTracsPro for any one with sleep apnea or just wants to better understand their sleep habits and patterns.” R.S. – Atlanta

“SleepTracsPro gives me great insights on my sleep habits as I am able to use the Dream Diary to write notes, even make drawings of my dreams as well as share them with others. SleepTracsPro is a must-have for any one struggling with all the challenges of getting better sleep.” S.C. – Seattle

SleepTracsPro is one of the many apps such as SleepTracs, ZoomLite, Baseball Fans Club, Basketball Fans, ReallyReal, Sports Fans Club, Football Fans Club, iSeekSugar, BiEyes, iFlipTips, iSeekSugar, MedsMinders, RewardsVIPClub, HashNewsGram and many others from TECHtionary.com.

NFC Forum Adds NFC Tag Certification to Certification Program 

For anyone who sells anything, connects to anything including customers NFC-near-field communications is a must-have.  With iOS 11, the NFC Forum announced today the addition of Near Field Communication (NFC) tag and reader certification to its global certification program. This means that tag/inlay, NFC reader and handset manufacturers for the first time will be able to test and verify the performance and interoperability of all the key components in the NFC eco-system.

With the release of iOS 11 this week from Apple, two billion smartphones in the world will be NFC-enabled – this means that a third of the population on Earth will have the ability to interact with NFC tags. To be sure that these tags are enabled seamlessly, the NFC Forum Tag Certification Program will allow for tags to interoperate, and work the way consumers want, when they want it.

Wireless Charging Vase – No Flowers !
 
“Wireless charging as a concept has been around since Nikola Tesla, a Croatian inventor, first suggested in the 19th century that you could transfer power between two objects via an electromagnetic field.”  Soon wireless charging will be available in almost any concept — who knows what happens to your brain with all that electronic magnetism in the air.

 

Personal Speakerphone
 
One of the many things I really don’t like is webinar speakers using a speakerphone.  They really don’t care how much room echo there is and sounds like they are speaking in a warehouse.  Polycom may have a solution for this with a personal speakerphone.  While no speakerphone can eliminate room echo, road noise, HVAC noise and other noises, this may help.
  • Polycom HD Voice and industry-leading full duplex, echo cancellation
  • Polycom NoiseBlock technology automatically eliminates non-speech background noise
  • Bluetooth and USB connectivity
  • 4 microphones and 10-foot (3-meters) microphone range – 2 to 3 times more coverage than most personal speakerphones
  • Rugged and stylish cast aluminum case – won’t break like plastic speakerphones if dropped
  • Spill resistant – IP64 dust and water-resistance rated
  • Security cable included for fixed meeting room and huddle room deployments

It is waterproof too, rather coffee proof.

I asked for pricing and they said it will be released in 4Q.

 

iOS Game Platform 

Who knew that Jim Cramer is a gameboy.  Indeed he is and thinks that iPhone X is the next game platform.  Take a listen.
And, when you are really ready to get serious check this out.  As an Apple app developer, we are excited about new platforms for new realities.  However, the really real limitation is that we just converted to Swift4 and iOS11 and not matter how large your development team is – it is nearly impossible to keep UP much less DO more.
Bottom-line – Apple is a seriously great platform for nearly everything and as other devices and platforms may still have some presence. it is not realistic that developers will have any excess capacity other than to just develop them.

Gartner on UCaaS – Eye Test
Never been a big fan of research reports because I used to research and publish them. Research reports like Gartner, IDC, Frost and all the others are written by people who do not have to “do it.”  They sit in nice rooms and gather information and then write stuff that really doesn’t help people really implement anything.  It is amazing to me that CIOs look to Gartner and the reason is they do not trust their own staff to tell them the truth or frankly know what they are doing.  Sad but true.  The idea of some “pin chart”  will help anyone figure out why SIP trunk has only one-way audio is a farce.  Here for example is what they are saying about Microsoft:

CAUTIONS

  • The SfBO telephony capabilities lag behind most competing UCaaS offers, and Microsoft has been slow to advance this element of its portfolio. While there has been progress in the last year, Microsoft has also been slow to overcome some critical limitations, including limitations in the CCE product and SfBO APIs.
  • Microsoft’s advancement in the market has been hindered by its changing marketing messages to customers and partners about the roadmap for Skype. For instance, while the hybrid option can be more effective for many enterprise requirements, it may not be adequately promoted by Microsoft partners, which may instead recommend a rapid migration to a complete online solution.
  • Connecting users to a UCaaS solution via the public internet may result in poor performance for audio and video for some users and locations. To mitigate risk, customers should execute a network assessment as part of their SOF process.
  • Microsoft recently introduced its Teams workstream collaboration product that has overlapping communications functionality redundant to Skype. While integrating communications into Teams is part of Microsoft’s workstream collaboration strategy, this redundancy can create confusion with customers trying to understand the roles of Skype and Teams.
Click on the image to get the chart via 8×8 who I like because of all their technical expertise but there is much more on ATT, Google, Fuze, Mitel and others.  Interesting Vonage and ShoreTel were dropped – go figure.
Bottom-line – There must be a large enough market to support all these companies.  However, I know of another 20 that are not on this list and still seem to be thriving.  Clearly there is a nice road but running out of road always comes at the worst time even if it doesn’t curve and you run completely off it.

Facebook Business UC 

Building for People, and Now Businesses

This is from the WhatsApp blog, “Over 1 billion people use WhatsApp every day to stay connected with their family and friends, and over time, more people are using the app to communicate with businesses they care about too.

In fact, many connections are already taking place every day, whether it’s someone placing an order with a local bakery or looking at new styles from a clothing store. But the way this happens now on WhatsApp is pretty rudimentary. We’ve heard stories of shopkeepers who use WhatsApp to stay in touch with hundreds of customers from a single smartphone, and from people who are unsure about whether or not a business on WhatsApp is authentic. In the coming months, we’ll be testing new features that aim to solve some of these challenges, and make it easier for people to communicate with the businesses they want to reach on WhatsApp. Our approach is simple – we want to apply what we’ve learned helping people connect with each other to helping people connect with businesses that are important to them.

We know businesses have many different needs. For example, they want an official presence – a verified profile so people can identify a business from another person – and an easier way to respond to messages. We’re building and testing new tools via a free WhatsApp Business app for small companies and an enterprise solution for bigger companies operating at a large scale with a global base of customers, like airlines, e-commerce sites, and banks. These businesses will be able to use our solutions to provide customers with useful notifications like flight times, delivery confirmations, and other updates.
Whether someone is communicating with a business around the corner or around the globe, people expect WhatsApp to be fast, reliable, and secure. We’ll be listening carefully to feedback during our test phase and keeping people informed as we make these tools more widely available. It’s important that we get this right and are thoughtful about the new experiences we’ll provide for businesses and our users.”
Bottom-line – WhatsApp is on the rise while Skype seems to be slipping (see below).  Facebook took a page out of Microsoft’s “playbook” to destroy competition (WordPerfect, Novell, Lotus, etc.) by any means possible.   Facebook has two billion Facebook users to promote anything they want.  Gaining access to enterprise a long haven for Microsoft is vulnerable to many different types of attacks.  If MS cannot get Skype fixed and engaged with user again, the Facebook WhatsApp “Trojan Horse” is a game-changer they may not recover from.

Facial UC  
Finally, the end of passwords in theory if only all places where you have to enter a password would allow facial passwords.  This is a cool story on how KFC is using facial ordering.  Time for all UC providers to up their game in adding this to their feature sets.

Skype iOS Sucks  
Since Facebook is coming after Skype, you would think they would make major improvements in their apps.  I don’t have Android but below are also my feelings about the new UI and functionality on iOS.
Click on image and click on Reviews Tab to read all of them.  They are from 9/7 and you can see mainly one star.

Skype iOS App First Look – Not Looking Good 

I love regular Skype using it for more than decade on my PC and often use the iOS app on my iPhone which generally works better than the PC version.  I was excited to try the new iOS version and my first look is a real disappointment.  Why do app developers turn simple smartphone apps into bloatware found in most PC/MAC apps.  As a developer it is really hard to NOT want to add

MORE and MORE but sometimes more is really less and this is the case so far with the Skype iOS app.  The biggest issue was in the old version it was really easy to change your Presence with many options like on the PC version.  The new version assumes you are ONLINE all the time and makes it really difficult to change your presence.  Click on either image for details on changing presence.
Bottom-line – Please tell me what I missed, you like, I was wrong about or anything else you want to say.

Really Real Presence  
This is a great read on the benefits of presence.  It’s really too bad that there is not one universal presence app that bridges the gaps in UC as UC applications are not the only way you want to show presence.

Turing Test 
Summer is often a good time to catch up on great reading  and while we are really too busy to read, reading on your iPhone is really great even at the DMV which I did yesterday.  Both books on Turing are great but the Copeland book is even better.  You really realize that many of you who are reading this would not be here at all except for what Alan and his colleagues.  Why you ask.  If they hadn’t broken then Enigma and other codes, WWII would have taken much longer costing millions of lives including my dad and his brothers who were all in Europe.  Anyway, great insights on computing, AI and the future even though he died 73 years ago.  Click on image for either book and see if you could pass your own Turing Test.

Securing the Internet of Things
I doubt you have a lot of IoT devices but you do have a lot of mobile devices.  As mobile devices morph into what’s next or turn into components (which I would do if I was Google or Apple) to run on common OS rather the new OS for all devices including desktops, teleconferencing, building controls, etc. You will need a security systems approach and while I prefer iOS because of great admin services from Apple Developer Team and other reasons.  This paper is from Cisco and there are a lot of good ideas to consider.  For example, they write, “Even industrial controllers that operate in every industrial environment lack basic security controls like authentication and encryption. That means most industrial control system (ICS) attacks don’t need to exploit software vulnerabilities. They just need to access the controllers, and then they can change configuration, logic, and state.”  By building on a common OS that you use for all your employees can use, you maximize protection, minimize development costs and provide a common management approach that makes sense.

Interview with Evan Kirstel #1 UCaas Influencer
Here is an interview with Onalytica click on images for complete interview.
As a long-time expert and thought leader in the Cloud, Security, IoT, Big Data, AI and other technologies, I’ve been following their emergence in the health landscape with great interest. I believe we are on the cusp of an unprecedented convergence of technologies, one that could bring about sustained disruption and allow us to solve the most pressing issues in healthcare.
I was also drawn to the incredible energy of the health tech community here in Boston. Home to several premier teaching hospitals and prestigious universities, there is a vibrant community of health tech innovators here, as well as a natural test-bed to pilot these innovations in real healthcare settings.  Be it physician entrepreneurs, hospital leaders rethinking the entire patient care system, digital health startups and accelerators, public-private partnerships, or empowered patients and their vocal advocates, Boston is home to a world-class health tech innovation ecosystem and a growing digital healthcare industry.
I wanted to bring my technical expertise, industry experience, and social business know-how to help accelerate the growth of the digital health economy. To achieve this, I recently partnered with health tech innovation catalyst, patient experience expert, and former Google technology manager Irma Rastegayeva to form eViRa #HealthTech Strategies. Boston-based and globally-connected B2B experts, we are a trusted social media partner to clients across the health tech landscape. Whether it’s enabling startups to get discovered and introduced to potential partners and investors, guiding companies to expand their thought leadership, or helping clients to grow massive online audience and deepen user engagement, we are here to serve the health tech community.
WHAT AREAS OF HEALTH TECH ARE YOU MOST PASSIONATE ABOUT?
  • AI, Cognitive Computing, Big Data, IoT and predictive analytics – combination of these technologies will open up a new era of early diagnostics and disease prevention.
  • Telemedicine/Telehealth – this will become a mainstay of patient care delivery, vastly reducing costs.
  • 5G connectivity – this 5th generation of mobile technology will be a truly “disruptive innovation” and will offer much to fields of medicine and healthcare. One application of 5G I am excited about is rural hospitals collaborating with urban teaching hospitals to offer world-class training and care delivery. It’s important to note that 5G is an enabling technology, it will make the advancements of all the other technologies I mentioned possible.
  • Wearables 2.0 and Mobile Health – these improved medical wearables devices and drug delivery systems will be widely used, allowing remote patient monitoring of chronic conditions, also reducing costs and improving patient comfort and clinical outcomes.
  • AR and VR – Augmented and Virtual Reality technologies will have a wide range of applications, including medical training, life sciences, real-time surgery assist, mental health treatment, and many more.
IF A BRAND WANTED TO WORK WITH YOU, WHAT OFFLINE / ONLINE ACTIVITIES WOULD YOU BE MOST INTERESTED IN?
  • Social Media engagement, thought leadership, brand message amplification
  • Podcast/video interviews
  • Content development (e.g. short-form/long-form blog posts, feature articles, whitepapers)
  • Events (promoting, covering/attending)
WHAT WOULD BE THE BEST WAY FOR A BRAND TO CONTACT YOU?
Mobile: 978-761-1524 or Email: kirstel@gmail.com
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Hololens Partner Program
Hololens is a cool idea tech but not the only one going after VR/AR and what Microsoft calls Mixed Reality.  Here are some examples of what they are targeting as key market opportunities and if you are involved with any of them you might begin contacting customers to explore how they can take advantage of the technology regardless of tech as there are other viable solutions.

If you are not in a hurry and want 90 days for Microsoft tell you that your idea is something they would rather build themselves like what they did to Slack, click on the image below.
They say, “Please provide yourself 30 minutes to complete the application form

to help us better understand your business and current HoloLens activities. Upon submission, you will receive an update regarding your application within 90 days.”

Emojis Communications

As a long-time fan of hieroglyphics, the power of visual communications has always been of interest.  Snapchat may be onto something with “cartoon greetings that feature customizable avatars and can be inserted into any number of chat apps.” They go on: “Having a digital extension of yourself is a necessity,” creative director and CEO Jacob Blackstock says, “and we’re working to give people the best possible version.” But even in visually infectious cartoon form, negative expressions present a challenge for Bitmoji’s creative team, who might be thought of as millennial Cyranos-charged with helping the app’s millions of daily users bring just the right mix of wit, topicality, and emotional nuance to their online repartee.”
There is much more: “He’s spent more than a decade now thinking about cartoons as a visual language. As he sees it, the swiftly approaching merger of the real and the virtual will only make such tools more essential. “We’re in a world now where we live in these,” he says, lifting his iPhone from the table. “Not only am I always on it,” he says, growing more animated, “but in terms of everyone I know, I mostly see them here. If you’re going to live in here, you’ve got to make this a better place to live.” Click on image for complete article.
Bottom-line – As you will read in the next section, visual communications is evolving actually back to the first form of communicated communications – communications that can be understood by more than the creator.  The Egyptians pioneered this approach as they realized that people were not going to learn how to read but like any “stop” sign people can quickly understand concepts even complex ones rather quickly.
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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.

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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.

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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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Certified Training – Affordable, Available, Actionable & Tax Deductible
WebRTC-SIP Certification, Social Media Contact Centers, Sales Professionals and Business
Custom and Complete SIP Professional Certification Program
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TECHtionary Knowledge Source

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Click here for TECHtionary — World’s First and Largest Animated Library on Technology with more than 3,015 animated tutorials.

Lync is a Trademark of Microsoft.  Unified Communications Apps & Cloud Communications Forum is an independent forum.

Advertising, Exhibiting, Training and other Marcom Programs, call 303-594-1694 or click here.

The User Forum provides classroom and webseminar training as well as a non-production environment for those IT departments without additional equipment, budget or time.  This allows planners and users to test ideas, dial in and dial back out, IM file transfers, remote desktop sharing, video conferencing, run scenarios, review logs, break linkages and learning about new telephony features and network access.  The User Forum is also designed for both the system integrator/consultant who wants to learn about tech without having to build their own system as well as the enterprise customer who doesn’t have the time, resources or knowledge to develop one.  Coming soon, User Forum Labs are designed to be “hands-on” or “over-the-shoulder” with experts available for Q&A and classes for feature-specific review.

About User Forum

The User Forum is a vendor-independent laboratory environment designed for learning, technical guides, knowledge resources and online “live” services.  The User Forum provides planning, project management, consulting, training, case studies, white papers, speaking engagements, market/customer research, network planning and other services.
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AI Social and Contextual UC #417 – UC to IC – MS Messes Up Skype Again, Rather UC Again

 (c) AI Forum & Unified Communications

 Forum- NEW TeamsUserForum.com 
September 29 – 2017 – Issue #417

AI Forum – Exploring the Wild World of Artificial Intelligence and other Communications, Mobile, Contextual-Intelligence and other communications companies.
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Advertising, social media, blog articles, webinars and other services available.
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  “Come Home Safe”
Free iPhone Text Free Drivers 
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Siri can’t open iPhone Flashlight but say
ZoomLite and you get Flashlight, Magnifying Camera, Large Format Clock and Local Weather – Free.

Best app for reading anything close up including restaurant menus and receipts.

Not a simulation – real screenshot.

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If you need an iPhone/iPad app, click on image.
If you don’t understand Why Twitter is important !
Here are 4 simple reasons and 10 ways to be a good Tweeter
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Top of Mind Keeps You First in Line 

This is a webinar presentation available for sales teams at a nominal fee.
Key points are:
1 – Know Thy Customer
2 – Be the Thought Leader
3 – Create Calls-To-Action often
4 – Decide Marketing Methods
5 – Build a Calendar & Commit
Are you really in the line at all or just think you are?
Click on image for the complete presentation and contact Tom Cross at cross@gocross.com for details and scheduling.

From UC to IC – Intelligent Communications

This is from MS Office 365 blog “customers can take advantage of the capabilities in Microsoft Teams starting today. We are committed to providing visibility into the Teams product roadmap, so our customers can assess when Teams is right for them. We intend to make an updated roadmap for Teams available in October.  Click on the image for the complete article.
We plan to continue to offer and support Skype for Business in Office 365 and Skype for Business Server on-premises. For customers who are not yet ready to move their PBX and advanced calling capabilities to the cloud, we will release a new version of Skype for Business Server targeted for the second half of calendar year 2018.”
 
Nice doubletalk – buy what we want you to buy today or wait til late 2018 or never.

Via The Street Microsoft Just Made a Slew of Announcements — Here Are the 5 Most Important

If you don’t know about The Street, well it’s time you did because this may be the most important news service for the financial industry and CEO/CFO. So read what they read and here’s what they said about Microsoft’s announcements at Ignite.  Click on the image for the rest and signup for their newsletters.

As I don’t want to steal The Street’s thunder but wanted to focus on UC.  At least Skype made the Top-5 as #4. “Microsoft Teams might be replacing Skype for Business. Microsoft’s workplace chat app and Slack competitor, Microsoft Teams, is being integrated into Office 365. Teams will replace the Skype for Business plugin in Office 365, which marks a major transition for Microsoft, since Skype has been its flagship messaging app for a long time.

The company did say that it intends to release an updated Skype infrastructure next year that will be targeted to companies that aren’t using the cloud and have on-premises data centers.”
But if you read other stories and watch presentations which I did a lot of them, there is a huge gap in what is being said and what will likely happen.  Why because MS really doesn’t understand the UC business and buying Skype did not help.  If you remember Response Point their very cool but ill-fated answer to the SMB, they jump around like a hot potato without a single strategy much less one that fits with customers and the marketplace.  Hence the growth in Broadsoft, 8×8, RingCentral and many others such as Comcast.  Last count there were more than 500 (no typo) VoIP providers and an amazing list of international players who given high speed internet you can have your server in Antarctica and provide service to remote Kansas.  Clearly MS is looking through their telescopes at Slack worried more about that that the hundreds of VoIP players.
Bottom-line – For a decade, Microsoft throws darts at the UC dartboard hoping something will stick. Now this, they keep tossing the salad frankly making a mess of it causing no end of hair-pulling by partners. Sadly, few other players are left to pick up the slack (no pun intended).  But wait the Cisco UC system works, works well and from the customers I have spoken with they love it.

First Multi-Media Calendar Planner App for iPhone & iPad Approved

SleepTracsPro 3.4 is approved for iPhone and iPad.  Among the many benefits is an exciting new multi-media planner.  While planner and calendar apps abound, we added features that are not found in others.  We also will be adding even more features that in addition to support for iOS 11, here are the key features in SleepTracsPro 3.4 NOTE: due to Apple removing AppStore from iTunes you are now forced to get your apps from the AppStore app on your iPhone or App – it wasn’t our idea.
– Sleep Scheduling,
– Snooze Nap features,
– Snap Alert
– Actical – action calendar
– ZoomLite
– Dream Diary journal/log,

NEW – Multi-media Planner with multi-colored text, pics, videos, drawings, audio messages and acticons for iPhone and iPad.

Please visit http://sleeptracs.com/ for tips, applications and ideas.

Key features of SleepTracsPro are:

– Actical – Action calendar with Acticons-action icons and first calendar with drawings. Add drawings and images to your calendar to improve tracking and performance.

– Snooze – The Snooze feature is designed to let you get your “power nap” or “cat nap” anytime; you can select your snooze time and a wakeup vibration or tone/tune or your own voice or that of a friend or child.

– Snap – feature is a new feature not found in any sleep app we have found so far. Snap is really a “snap out of it” feature that you put in your shirt pocket and when no motion or limited motions are detected, it gives you a vibration or tune/tone. Designed to help you overcome falling asleep in class or on the job, it should not be used while driving.

Sleep – feature offers you a scheduling tool You can select your sleep time and a wakeup vibration or tone/tune or your own voice or that of a friend or child.

Weather – current weather is displayed when user awakes.

ZoomLite is an exciting weather center, camera, large format clock and 3-level magnifying flashlight app. You are able to see weather, large font clock, take a picture and easily read labels, meds bottles, check meds, cuts/sores, household issues and other fine print articles and other hard to read documents or any other reason to see something closeup with 3-step magnifying flashlight.

Dream Diary journal has unlimited notepads with multi-color drawing features, text notes, audio recording, backgrounds with pictures from camera or gallery and sharing features for email, social sites, gallery and other ways.

Planner – everyone needs to get organized and nothing is better than having it all in the same place. The new version 3.4 in the first to include all forms of multi-media including multi-colored text (you can choose what color text you like to indicate priorities or other personal notations), you can include pictures and videos from either camera or gallery, you can add freehand drawings, audio recordings like “Get organized” and our own proprietary Acticons™ which are “action icons and emojis” to emphasize an event or activity.

Independent Reviews

“Sleep apnea is a serious health issue and solutions are scarce often making sleep worse than better. SleepTracsPro journal/diary is a significant help where I can take pics, even videos and including detailed notes where I can track diet, temp, weather and other factors which I know impact sleep. I strongly recommend SleepTracsPro for any one with sleep apnea or just wants to better understand their sleep habits and patterns.” R.S. – Atlanta

“SleepTracsPro gives me great insights on my sleep habits as I am able to use the Dream Diary to write notes, even make drawings of my dreams as well as share them with others. SleepTracsPro is a must-have for any one struggling with all the challenges of getting better sleep.” S.C. – Seattle

SleepTracsPro is one of the many apps such as SleepTracs, ZoomLite, Baseball Fans Club, Basketball Fans, ReallyReal, Sports Fans Club, Football Fans Club, iSeekSugar, BiEyes, iFlipTips, iSeekSugar, MedsMinders, RewardsVIPClub, HashNewsGram and many others from TECHtionary.com.

NFC Forum Adds NFC Tag Certification to Certification Program 

For anyone who sells anything, connects to anything including customers NFC-near-field communications is a must-have.  With iOS 11, the NFC Forum announced today the addition of Near Field Communication (NFC) tag and reader certification to its global certification program. This means that tag/inlay, NFC reader and handset manufacturers for the first time will be able to test and verify the performance and interoperability of all the key components in the NFC eco-system.

With the release of iOS 11 this week from Apple, two billion smartphones in the world will be NFC-enabled – this means that a third of the population on Earth will have the ability to interact with NFC tags. To be sure that these tags are enabled seamlessly, the NFC Forum Tag Certification Program will allow for tags to interoperate, and work the way consumers want, when they want it.

Wireless Charging Vase – No Flowers !
 
“Wireless charging as a concept has been around since Nikola Tesla, a Croatian inventor, first suggested in the 19th century that you could transfer power between two objects via an electromagnetic field.”  Soon wireless charging will be available in almost any concept — who knows what happens to your brain with all that electronic magnetism in the air.

 

Personal Speakerphone
 
One of the many things I really don’t like is webinar speakers using a speakerphone.  They really don’t care how much room echo there is and sounds like they are speaking in a warehouse.  Polycom may have a solution for this with a personal speakerphone.  While no speakerphone can eliminate room echo, road noise, HVAC noise and other noises, this may help.
  • Polycom HD Voice and industry-leading full duplex, echo cancellation
  • Polycom NoiseBlock technology automatically eliminates non-speech background noise
  • Bluetooth and USB connectivity
  • 4 microphones and 10-foot (3-meters) microphone range – 2 to 3 times more coverage than most personal speakerphones
  • Rugged and stylish cast aluminum case – won’t break like plastic speakerphones if dropped
  • Spill resistant – IP64 dust and water-resistance rated
  • Security cable included for fixed meeting room and huddle room deployments

It is waterproof too, rather coffee proof.

I asked for pricing and they said it will be released in 4Q.

 

iOS Game Platform 

Who knew that Jim Cramer is a gameboy.  Indeed he is and thinks that iPhone X is the next game platform.  Take a listen.
And, when you are really ready to get serious check this out.  As an Apple app developer, we are excited about new platforms for new realities.  However, the really real limitation is that we just converted to Swift4 and iOS11 and not matter how large your development team is – it is nearly impossible to keep UP much less DO more.
Bottom-line – Apple is a seriously great platform for nearly everything and as other devices and platforms may still have some presence. it is not realistic that developers will have any excess capacity other than to just develop them.

Gartner on UCaaS – Eye Test
Never been a big fan of research reports because I used to research and publish them. Research reports like Gartner, IDC, Frost and all the others are written by people who do not have to “do it.”  They sit in nice rooms and gather information and then write stuff that really doesn’t help people really implement anything.  It is amazing to me that CIOs look to Gartner and the reason is they do not trust their own staff to tell them the truth or frankly know what they are doing.  Sad but true.  The idea of some “pin chart”  will help anyone figure out why SIP trunk has only one-way audio is a farce.  Here for example is what they are saying about Microsoft:

CAUTIONS

  • The SfBO telephony capabilities lag behind most competing UCaaS offers, and Microsoft has been slow to advance this element of its portfolio. While there has been progress in the last year, Microsoft has also been slow to overcome some critical limitations, including limitations in the CCE product and SfBO APIs.
  • Microsoft’s advancement in the market has been hindered by its changing marketing messages to customers and partners about the roadmap for Skype. For instance, while the hybrid option can be more effective for many enterprise requirements, it may not be adequately promoted by Microsoft partners, which may instead recommend a rapid migration to a complete online solution.
  • Connecting users to a UCaaS solution via the public internet may result in poor performance for audio and video for some users and locations. To mitigate risk, customers should execute a network assessment as part of their SOF process.
  • Microsoft recently introduced its Teams workstream collaboration product that has overlapping communications functionality redundant to Skype. While integrating communications into Teams is part of Microsoft’s workstream collaboration strategy, this redundancy can create confusion with customers trying to understand the roles of Skype and Teams.
Click on the image to get the chart via 8×8 who I like because of all their technical expertise but there is much more on ATT, Google, Fuze, Mitel and others.  Interesting Vonage and ShoreTel were dropped – go figure.
Bottom-line – There must be a large enough market to support all these companies.  However, I know of another 20 that are not on this list and still seem to be thriving.  Clearly there is a nice road but running out of road always comes at the worst time even if it doesn’t curve and you run completely off it.

Facebook Business UC 

Building for People, and Now Businesses

This is from the WhatsApp blog, “Over 1 billion people use WhatsApp every day to stay connected with their family and friends, and over time, more people are using the app to communicate with businesses they care about too.

In fact, many connections are already taking place every day, whether it’s someone placing an order with a local bakery or looking at new styles from a clothing store. But the way this happens now on WhatsApp is pretty rudimentary. We’ve heard stories of shopkeepers who use WhatsApp to stay in touch with hundreds of customers from a single smartphone, and from people who are unsure about whether or not a business on WhatsApp is authentic. In the coming months, we’ll be testing new features that aim to solve some of these challenges, and make it easier for people to communicate with the businesses they want to reach on WhatsApp. Our approach is simple – we want to apply what we’ve learned helping people connect with each other to helping people connect with businesses that are important to them.

We know businesses have many different needs. For example, they want an official presence – a verified profile so people can identify a business from another person – and an easier way to respond to messages. We’re building and testing new tools via a free WhatsApp Business app for small companies and an enterprise solution for bigger companies operating at a large scale with a global base of customers, like airlines, e-commerce sites, and banks. These businesses will be able to use our solutions to provide customers with useful notifications like flight times, delivery confirmations, and other updates.
Whether someone is communicating with a business around the corner or around the globe, people expect WhatsApp to be fast, reliable, and secure. We’ll be listening carefully to feedback during our test phase and keeping people informed as we make these tools more widely available. It’s important that we get this right and are thoughtful about the new experiences we’ll provide for businesses and our users.”
Bottom-line – WhatsApp is on the rise while Skype seems to be slipping (see below).  Facebook took a page out of Microsoft’s “playbook” to destroy competition (WordPerfect, Novell, Lotus, etc.) by any means possible.   Facebook has two billion Facebook users to promote anything they want.  Gaining access to enterprise a long haven for Microsoft is vulnerable to many different types of attacks.  If MS cannot get Skype fixed and engaged with user again, the Facebook WhatsApp “Trojan Horse” is a game-changer they may not recover from.

Facial UC  
Finally, the end of passwords in theory if only all places where you have to enter a password would allow facial passwords.  This is a cool story on how KFC is using facial ordering.  Time for all UC providers to up their game in adding this to their feature sets.

Skype iOS Sucks  
Since Facebook is coming after Skype, you would think they would make major improvements in their apps.  I don’t have Android but below are also my feelings about the new UI and functionality on iOS.
Click on image and click on Reviews Tab to read all of them.  They are from 9/7 and you can see mainly one star.

Skype iOS App First Look – Not Looking Good 

I love regular Skype using it for more than decade on my PC and often use the iOS app on my iPhone which generally works better than the PC version.  I was excited to try the new iOS version and my first look is a real disappointment.  Why do app developers turn simple smartphone apps into bloatware found in most PC/MAC apps.  As a developer it is really hard to NOT want to add

MORE and MORE but sometimes more is really less and this is the case so far with the Skype iOS app.  The biggest issue was in the old version it was really easy to change your Presence with many options like on the PC version.  The new version assumes you are ONLINE all the time and makes it really difficult to change your presence.  Click on either image for details on changing presence.
Bottom-line – Please tell me what I missed, you like, I was wrong about or anything else you want to say.

Really Real Presence  
This is a great read on the benefits of presence.  It’s really too bad that there is not one universal presence app that bridges the gaps in UC as UC applications are not the only way you want to show presence.

Turing Test 
Summer is often a good time to catch up on great reading  and while we are really too busy to read, reading on your iPhone is really great even at the DMV which I did yesterday.  Both books on Turing are great but the Copeland book is even better.  You really realize that many of you who are reading this would not be here at all except for what Alan and his colleagues.  Why you ask.  If they hadn’t broken then Enigma and other codes, WWII would have taken much longer costing millions of lives including my dad and his brothers who were all in Europe.  Anyway, great insights on computing, AI and the future even though he died 73 years ago.  Click on image for either book and see if you could pass your own Turing Test.

Securing the Internet of Things
I doubt you have a lot of IoT devices but you do have a lot of mobile devices.  As mobile devices morph into what’s next or turn into components (which I would do if I was Google or Apple) to run on common OS rather the new OS for all devices including desktops, teleconferencing, building controls, etc. You will need a security systems approach and while I prefer iOS because of great admin services from Apple Developer Team and other reasons.  This paper is from Cisco and there are a lot of good ideas to consider.  For example, they write, “Even industrial controllers that operate in every industrial environment lack basic security controls like authentication and encryption. That means most industrial control system (ICS) attacks don’t need to exploit software vulnerabilities. They just need to access the controllers, and then they can change configuration, logic, and state.”  By building on a common OS that you use for all your employees can use, you maximize protection, minimize development costs and provide a common management approach that makes sense.

Interview with Evan Kirstel #1 UCaas Influencer
Here is an interview with Onalytica click on images for complete interview.
As a long-time expert and thought leader in the Cloud, Security, IoT, Big Data, AI and other technologies, I’ve been following their emergence in the health landscape with great interest. I believe we are on the cusp of an unprecedented convergence of technologies, one that could bring about sustained disruption and allow us to solve the most pressing issues in healthcare.
I was also drawn to the incredible energy of the health tech community here in Boston. Home to several premier teaching hospitals and prestigious universities, there is a vibrant community of health tech innovators here, as well as a natural test-bed to pilot these innovations in real healthcare settings.  Be it physician entrepreneurs, hospital leaders rethinking the entire patient care system, digital health startups and accelerators, public-private partnerships, or empowered patients and their vocal advocates, Boston is home to a world-class health tech innovation ecosystem and a growing digital healthcare industry.
I wanted to bring my technical expertise, industry experience, and social business know-how to help accelerate the growth of the digital health economy. To achieve this, I recently partnered with health tech innovation catalyst, patient experience expert, and former Google technology manager Irma Rastegayeva to form eViRa #HealthTech Strategies. Boston-based and globally-connected B2B experts, we are a trusted social media partner to clients across the health tech landscape. Whether it’s enabling startups to get discovered and introduced to potential partners and investors, guiding companies to expand their thought leadership, or helping clients to grow massive online audience and deepen user engagement, we are here to serve the health tech community.
WHAT AREAS OF HEALTH TECH ARE YOU MOST PASSIONATE ABOUT?
  • AI, Cognitive Computing, Big Data, IoT and predictive analytics – combination of these technologies will open up a new era of early diagnostics and disease prevention.
  • Telemedicine/Telehealth – this will become a mainstay of patient care delivery, vastly reducing costs.
  • 5G connectivity – this 5th generation of mobile technology will be a truly “disruptive innovation” and will offer much to fields of medicine and healthcare. One application of 5G I am excited about is rural hospitals collaborating with urban teaching hospitals to offer world-class training and care delivery. It’s important to note that 5G is an enabling technology, it will make the advancements of all the other technologies I mentioned possible.
  • Wearables 2.0 and Mobile Health – these improved medical wearables devices and drug delivery systems will be widely used, allowing remote patient monitoring of chronic conditions, also reducing costs and improving patient comfort and clinical outcomes.
  • AR and VR – Augmented and Virtual Reality technologies will have a wide range of applications, including medical training, life sciences, real-time surgery assist, mental health treatment, and many more.
IF A BRAND WANTED TO WORK WITH YOU, WHAT OFFLINE / ONLINE ACTIVITIES WOULD YOU BE MOST INTERESTED IN?
  • Social Media engagement, thought leadership, brand message amplification
  • Podcast/video interviews
  • Content development (e.g. short-form/long-form blog posts, feature articles, whitepapers)
  • Events (promoting, covering/attending)
WHAT WOULD BE THE BEST WAY FOR A BRAND TO CONTACT YOU?
Mobile: 978-761-1524 or Email: kirstel@gmail.com
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Hololens Partner Program
Hololens is a cool idea tech but not the only one going after VR/AR and what Microsoft calls Mixed Reality.  Here are some examples of what they are targeting as key market opportunities and if you are involved with any of them you might begin contacting customers to explore how they can take advantage of the technology regardless of tech as there are other viable solutions.

If you are not in a hurry and want 90 days for Microsoft tell you that your idea is something they would rather build themselves like what they did to Slack, click on the image below.
They say, “Please provide yourself 30 minutes to complete the application form

to help us better understand your business and current HoloLens activities. Upon submission, you will receive an update regarding your application within 90 days.”

Emojis Communications

As a long-time fan of hieroglyphics, the power of visual communications has always been of interest.  Snapchat may be onto something with “cartoon greetings that feature customizable avatars and can be inserted into any number of chat apps.” They go on: “Having a digital extension of yourself is a necessity,” creative director and CEO Jacob Blackstock says, “and we’re working to give people the best possible version.” But even in visually infectious cartoon form, negative expressions present a challenge for Bitmoji’s creative team, who might be thought of as millennial Cyranos-charged with helping the app’s millions of daily users bring just the right mix of wit, topicality, and emotional nuance to their online repartee.”
There is much more: “He’s spent more than a decade now thinking about cartoons as a visual language. As he sees it, the swiftly approaching merger of the real and the virtual will only make such tools more essential. “We’re in a world now where we live in these,” he says, lifting his iPhone from the table. “Not only am I always on it,” he says, growing more animated, “but in terms of everyone I know, I mostly see them here. If you’re going to live in here, you’ve got to make this a better place to live.” Click on image for complete article.
Bottom-line – As you will read in the next section, visual communications is evolving actually back to the first form of communicated communications – communications that can be understood by more than the creator.  The Egyptians pioneered this approach as they realized that people were not going to learn how to read but like any “stop” sign people can quickly understand concepts even complex ones rather quickly.
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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.

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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.

__________________________________________________________
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.
__________________________________________________________
Certified Training – Affordable, Available, Actionable & Tax Deductible
WebRTC-SIP Certification, Social Media Contact Centers, Sales Professionals and Business
Custom and Complete SIP Professional Certification Program
Follow us on Twitter

TECHtionary Knowledge Source

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Click here for TECHtionary — World’s First and Largest Animated Library on Technology with more than 3,015 animated tutorials.

Lync is a Trademark of Microsoft.  Unified Communications Apps & Cloud Communications Forum is an independent forum.

Advertising, Exhibiting, Training and other Marcom Programs, call 303-594-1694 or click here.

The User Forum provides classroom and webseminar training as well as a non-production environment for those IT departments without additional equipment, budget or time.  This allows planners and users to test ideas, dial in and dial back out, IM file transfers, remote desktop sharing, video conferencing, run scenarios, review logs, break linkages and learning about new telephony features and network access.  The User Forum is also designed for both the system integrator/consultant who wants to learn about tech without having to build their own system as well as the enterprise customer who doesn’t have the time, resources or knowledge to develop one.  Coming soon, User Forum Labs are designed to be “hands-on” or “over-the-shoulder” with experts available for Q&A and classes for feature-specific review.

About User Forum

The User Forum is a vendor-independent laboratory environment designed for learning, technical guides, knowledge resources and online “live” services.  The User Forum provides planning, project management, consulting, training, case studies, white papers, speaking engagements, market/customer research, network planning and other services.
Click here to contact.

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SIP, Unified Communications Apps & Cloud Communications Forum, 2525 Arapahoe E-4-313, Boulder, CO 80302
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Constant Contact

AI Social and Contextual UC #416 – iOS Gets NFC – Multi-Media Calendar Planner – 5 Tips For Sales/Marketing Success – Personal Speakerphone

 

 (c) AI Forum & Unified Communications Forum
September 22 – 2017 – Issue #416

AI Forum – Exploring the Wild World of Artificial Intelligence and other Communications, Mobile, Contextual-Intelligence and other communications companies.
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Advertising, social media, blog articles, webinars and other services available.
 cross@gocross.com
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  “Come Home Safe”
Free iPhone Text Free Drivers 
App
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Siri can’t open iPhone Flashlight but say
ZoomLite and you get Flashlight, Magnifying Camera, Large Format Clock and Local Weather – Free.

Best app for reading anything close up including restaurant menus and receipts.

Not a simulation – real screenshot.

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If you need an iPhone/iPad app, click on image.
If you don’t understand Why Twitter is important !
Here are 4 simple reasons and 10 ways to be a good Tweeter
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 We can help in developing webinars, customer studies, social media and salesmarketing

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Rewards programs are proven to increase revenues and customer engagement.

Rewards/VIP App
Custom mobile app for rewards/loyalty programs

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More than 3,000 Free animated tutorials in tech at

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Follow us on Twitter
Welcome to the SIP, UC Apps & Cloud Communications Forum
@Techtionary Twitter account topped 16,600+ followers up 100 followers this week and if you are on Twitter, please follow and we will follow you back.  Get proven results in gaining-retaining Twitter and other social media followers – click here.

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Top of Mind Keeps You First in Line  

This is a webinar presentation available for sales teams at a nominal fee.
Key points are:
1 – Know Thy Customer
2 – Be the Thought Leader
3 – Create Calls-To-Action often
4 – Decide Marketing Methods
5 – Build a Calendar & Commit
Are you really in the line at all or just think you are?
Click on image for the complete presentation and contact Tom Cross at cross@gocross.com for details and scheduling.

First Multi-Media Calendar Planner App for iPhone & iPad Approved

SleepTracsPro 3.4 is approved for iPhone and iPad.  Among the many benefits is an exciting new multi-media planner.  While planner and calendar apps abound, we added features that are not found in others.  We also will be adding even more features that In addition to support for iOS 11, here are the key features in SleepTracsPro 3.4 (click on any image for iTunes app store)
– Sleep Scheduling,
– Snooze Nap features,
– Snap Alert
– Actical – action calendar
– ZoomLite
– Dream Diary journal/log,

NEW – Multi-media Planner with multi-colored text, pics, videos, drawings, audio messages and acticons for iPhone and iPad.

Please visit http://sleeptracs.com/ for tips, applications and ideas.

Key features of SleepTracsPro are:

– Actical – Action calendar with Acticons-action icons and first calendar with drawings. Add drawings and images to your calendar to improve tracking and performance.

– Snooze – The Snooze feature is designed to let you get your “power nap” or “cat nap” anytime; you can select your snooze time and a wakeup vibration or tone/tune or your own voice or that of a friend or child.

– Snap – feature is a new feature not found in any sleep app we have found so far. Snap is really a “snap out of it” feature that you put in your shirt pocket and when no motion or limited motions are detected, it gives you a vibration or tune/tone. Designed to help you overcome falling asleep in class or on the job, it should not be used while driving.

Sleep – feature offers you a scheduling tool You can select your sleep time and a wakeup vibration or tone/tune or your own voice or that of a friend or child.

Weather – current weather is displayed when user awakes.

ZoomLite is an exciting weather center, camera, large format clock and 3-level magnifying flashlight app. You are able to see weather, large font clock, take a picture and easily read labels, meds bottles, check meds, cuts/sores, household issues and other fine print articles and other hard to read documents or any other reason to see something closeup with 3-step magnifying flashlight.

Dream Diary journal has unlimited notepads with multi-color drawing features, text notes, audio recording, backgrounds with pictures from camera or gallery and sharing features for email, social sites, gallery and other ways.

Planner – everyone needs to get organized and nothing is better than having it all in the same place. The new version 3.4 in the first to include all forms of multi-media including multi-colored text (you can choose what color text you like to indicate priorities or other personal notations), you can include pictures and videos from either camera or gallery, you can add freehand drawings, audio recordings like “Get organized” and our own proprietary Acticons™ which are “action icons and emojis” to emphasize an event or activity.

Independent Reviews

“Sleep apnea is a serious health issue and solutions are scarce often making sleep worse than better. SleepTracsPro journal/diary is a significant help where I can take pics, even videos and including detailed notes where I can track diet, temp, weather and other factors which I know impact sleep. I strongly recommend SleepTracsPro for any one with sleep apnea or just wants to better understand their sleep habits and patterns.” R.S. – Atlanta

“SleepTracsPro gives me great insights on my sleep habits as I am able to use the Dream Diary to write notes, even make drawings of my dreams as well as share them with others. SleepTracsPro is a must-have for any one struggling with all the challenges of getting better sleep.” S.C. – Seattle

SleepTracsPro is one of the many apps such as SleepTracs, ZoomLite, Baseball Fans Club, Basketball Fans, ReallyReal, Sports Fans Club, Football Fans Club, iSeekSugar, BiEyes, iFlipTips, iSeekSugar, MedsMinders, RewardsVIPClub, HashNewsGram and many others from TECHtionary.com.

NFC Forum Adds NFC Tag Certification to Certification Program  

For anyone who sells anything, connects to anything including customers NFC-near-field communications is a must-have.  With iOS 11, the NFC Forum announced today the addition of Near Field Communication (NFC) tag and reader certification to its global certification program. This means that tag/inlay, NFC reader and handset manufacturers for the first time will be able to test and verify the performance and interoperability of all the key components in the NFC eco-system.

With the release of iOS 11 this week from Apple, two billion smartphones in the world will be NFC-enabled – this means that a third of the population on Earth will have the ability to interact with NFC tags. To be sure that these tags are enabled seamlessly, the NFC Forum Tag Certification Program will allow for tags to interoperate, and work the way consumers want, when they want it.

Wireless Charging Vase – No Flowers !
 
“Wireless charging as a concept has been around since Nikola Tesla, a Croatian inventor, first suggested in the 19th century that you could transfer power between two objects via an electromagnetic field.”  Soon wireless charging will be available in almost any concept — who knows what happens to your brain with all that electronic magnetism in the air.

 

Personal Speakerphone
 
One of the many things I really don’t like is webinar speakers using a speakerphone.  They really don’t care how much room echo there is and sounds like they are speaking in a warehouse.  Polycom may have a solution for this with a personal speakerphone.  While no speakerphone can eliminate room echo, road noise, HVAC noise and other noises, this may help. 
  • Polycom HD Voice and industry-leading full duplex, echo cancellation
  • Polycom NoiseBlock technology automatically eliminates non-speech background noise
  • Bluetooth and USB connectivity
  • 4 microphones and 10-foot (3-meters) microphone range – 2 to 3 times more coverage than most personal speakerphones
  • Rugged and stylish cast aluminum case – won’t break like plastic speakerphones if dropped
  • Spill resistant – IP64 dust and water-resistance rated
  • Security cable included for fixed meeting room and huddle room deployments

It is waterproof too, rather coffee proof.

I asked for pricing and they said it will be released in 4Q.

 

iOS Game Platform 

Who knew that Jim Cramer is a gameboy.  Indeed he is and thinks that iPhone X is the next game platform.  Take a listen.
And, when you are really ready to get serious check this out.  As an Apple app developer, we are excited about new platforms for new realities.  However, the really real limitation is that we just converted to Swift4 and iOS11 and not matter how large your development team is – it is nearly impossible to keep UP much less DO more.
Bottom-line – Apple is a seriously great platform for nearly everything and as other devices and platforms may still have some presence. it is not realistic that developers will have any excess capacity other than to just develop them.

Gartner on UCaaS – Eye Test
Never been a big fan of research reports because I used to research and publish them. Research reports like Gartner, IDC, Frost and all the others are written by people who do not have to “do it.”  They sit in nice rooms and gather information and then write stuff that really doesn’t help people really implement anything.  It is amazing to me that CIOs look to Gartner and the reason is they do not trust their own staff to tell them the truth or frankly know what they are doing.  Sad but true.  The idea of some “pin chart”  will help anyone figure out why SIP trunk has only one-way audio is a farce. Here for example is what they are saying about Microsoft:

CAUTIONS

  • The SfBO telephony capabilities lag behind most competing UCaaS offers, and Microsoft has been slow to advance this element of its portfolio. While there has been progress in the last year, Microsoft has also been slow to overcome some critical limitations, including limitations in the CCE product and SfBO APIs.
  • Microsoft’s advancement in the market has been hindered by its changing marketing messages to customers and partners about the roadmap for Skype. For instance, while the hybrid option can be more effective for many enterprise requirements, it may not be adequately promoted by Microsoft partners, which may instead recommend a rapid migration to a complete online solution.
  • Connecting users to a UCaaS solution via the public internet may result in poor performance for audio and video for some users and locations. To mitigate risk, customers should execute a network assessment as part of their SOF process.
  • Microsoft recently introduced its Teams workstream collaboration product that has overlapping communications functionality redundant to Skype. While integrating communications into Teams is part of Microsoft’s workstream collaboration strategy, this redundancy can create confusion with customers trying to understand the roles of Skype and Teams.
Click on the image to get the chart via 8×8 who I like because of all their technical expertise but there is much more on ATT, Google, Fuze, Mitel and others.  Interesting Vonage and ShoreTel were dropped – go figure.
Bottom-line – There must be a large enough market to support all these companies.  However, I know of another 20 that are not on this list and still seem to be thriving.  Clearly there is a nice road but running out of road always comes at the worst time even if it doesn’t curve and you run completely off it.

Facebook Business UC 

Building for People, and Now Businesses

This is from the WhatsApp blog, “Over 1 billion people use WhatsApp every day to stay connected with their family and friends, and over time, more people are using the app to communicate with businesses they care about too.

In fact, many connections are already taking place every day, whether it’s someone placing an order with a local bakery or looking at new styles from a clothing store. But the way this happens now on WhatsApp is pretty rudimentary. We’ve heard stories of shopkeepers who use WhatsApp to stay in touch with hundreds of customers from a single smartphone, and from people who are unsure about whether or not a business on WhatsApp is authentic. In the coming months, we’ll be testing new features that aim to solve some of these challenges, and make it easier for people to communicate with the businesses they want to reach on WhatsApp. Our approach is simple – we want to apply what we’ve learned helping people connect with each other to helping people connect with businesses that are important to them.

We know businesses have many different needs. For example, they want an official presence – a verified profile so people can identify a business from another person – and an easier way to respond to messages. We’re building and testing new tools via a free WhatsApp Business app for small companies and an enterprise solution for bigger companies operating at a large scale with a global base of customers, like airlines, e-commerce sites, and banks. These businesses will be able to use our solutions to provide customers with useful notifications like flight times, delivery confirmations, and other updates.
Whether someone is communicating with a business around the corner or around the globe, people expect WhatsApp to be fast, reliable, and secure. We’ll be listening carefully to feedback during our test phase and keeping people informed as we make these tools more widely available. It’s important that we get this right and are thoughtful about the new experiences we’ll provide for businesses and our users.”
Bottom-line – WhatsApp is on the rise while Skype seems to be slipping (see below).  Facebook took a page out of Microsoft’s “playbook” to destroy competition (WordPerfect, Novell, Lotus, etc.) by any means possible.   Facebook has two billion Facebook users to promote anything they want.  Gaining access to enterprise a long haven for Microsoft is vulnerable to many different types of attacks.  If MS cannot get Skype fixed and engaged with user again, the Facebook WhatsApp “Trojan Horse” is a game-changer they may not recover from.

Facial UC  
Finally, the end of passwords in theory if only all places where you have to enter a password would allow facial passwords.  This is a cool story on how KFC is using facial ordering.  Time for all UC providers to up their game in adding this to their feature sets.

Skype iOS Sucks  
Since Facebook is coming after Skype, you would think they would make major improvements in their apps.  I don’t have Android but below are also my feelings about the new UI and functionality on iOS.
Click on image and click on Reviews Tab to read all of them.  They are from 9/7 and you can see mainly one star.

Skype iOS App First Look – Not Looking Good 

I love regular Skype using it for more than decade on my PC and often use the iOS app on my iPhone which generally works better than the PC version.  I was excited to try the new iOS version and my first look is a real disappointment.  Why do app developers turn simple smartphone apps into bloatware found in most PC/MAC apps.  As a developer it is really hard to NOT want to add

MORE and MORE but sometimes more is really less and this is the case so far with the Skype iOS app.  The biggest issue was in the old version it was really easy to change your Presence with many options like on the PC version.  The new version assumes you are ONLINE all the time and makes it really difficult to change your presence.  Click on either image for details on changing presence.
Bottom-line – Please tell me what I missed, you like, I was wrong about or anything else you want to say.

Really Real Presence  
This is a great read on the benefits of presence.  It’s really too bad that there is not one universal presence app that bridges the gaps in UC as UC applications are not the only way you want to show presence.

Turing Test 
Summer is often a good time to catch up on great reading and while we are really too busy to read, reading on your iPhone is really great even at the DMV which I did yesterday.  Both books on Turing are great but the Copeland book is even better. You really realize that many of you who are reading this would not be here at all except for what Alan and his colleagues.  Why you ask.  If they hadn’t broken then Enigma and other codes, WWII would have taken much longer costing millions of lives including my dad and his brothers who were all in Europe.  Anyway, great insights on computing, AI and the future even though he died 73 years ago.  Click on image for either book and see if you could pass your own Turing Test.

Securing the Internet of Things
I doubt you have a lot of IoT devices but you do have a lot of mobile devices.  As mobile devices morph into what’s next or turn into components (which I would do if I was Google or Apple) to run on common OS rather the new OS for all devices including desktops, teleconferencing, building controls, etc. You will need a security systems approach and while I prefer iOS because of great admin services from Apple Developer Team and other reasons.  This paper is from Cisco and there are a lot of good ideas to consider.  For example, they write, “Even industrial controllers that operate in every industrial environment lack basic security controls like authentication and encryption. That means most industrial control system (ICS) attacks don’t need to exploit software vulnerabilities. They just need to access the controllers, and then they can change configuration, logic, and state.”  By building on a common OS that you use for all your employees can use, you maximize protection, minimize development costs and provide a common management approach that makes sense.

7 Steps to Optimize Business Performance by Unifying Contact Center and CRM Data 

I read a lot of white papers and much of this white paper has been published in other sources.  Yet there are a few “ah ha” moments and ideas to consider in your own contact center planning. I like the use of decision engine rather than call flow charts.  Do not take this as AI but more of an expert systems approach call flows and then add-on specific smart bots or smart aids to manage the process.

Interview with Evan Kirstel #1 UCaas Influencer
Here is an interview with Onalytica click on images for complete interview.
As a long-time expert and thought leader in the Cloud, Security, IoT, Big Data, AI and other technologies, I’ve been following their emergence in the health landscape with great interest. I believe we are on the cusp of an unprecedented convergence of technologies, one that could bring about sustained disruption and allow us to solve the most pressing issues in healthcare.
I was also drawn to the incredible energy of the health tech community here in Boston. Home to several premier teaching hospitals and prestigious universities, there is a vibrant community of health tech innovators here, as well as a natural test-bed to pilot these innovations in real healthcare settings.  Be it physician entrepreneurs, hospital leaders rethinking the entire patient care system, digital health startups and accelerators, public-private partnerships, or empowered patients and their vocal advocates, Boston is home to a world-class health tech innovation ecosystem and a growing digital healthcare industry.
I wanted to bring my technical expertise, industry experience, and social business know-how to help accelerate the growth of the digital health economy. To achieve this, I recently partnered with health tech innovation catalyst, patient experience expert, and former Google technology manager Irma Rastegayeva to form eViRa #HealthTech Strategies. Boston-based and globally-connected B2B experts, we are a trusted social media partner to clients across the health tech landscape. Whether it’s enabling startups to get discovered and introduced to potential partners and investors, guiding companies to expand their thought leadership, or helping clients to grow massive online audience and deepen user engagement, we are here to serve the health tech community.
WHAT AREAS OF HEALTH TECH ARE YOU MOST PASSIONATE ABOUT?
  • AI, Cognitive Computing, Big Data, IoT and predictive analytics – combination of these technologies will open up a new era of early diagnostics and disease prevention.
  • Telemedicine/Telehealth – this will become a mainstay of patient care delivery, vastly reducing costs.
  • 5G connectivity – this 5th generation of mobile technology will be a truly “disruptive innovation” and will offer much to fields of medicine and healthcare. One application of 5G I am excited about is rural hospitals collaborating with urban teaching hospitals to offer world-class training and care delivery. It’s important to note that 5G is an enabling technology, it will make the advancements of all the other technologies I mentioned possible.
  • Wearables 2.0 and Mobile Health – these improved medical wearables devices and drug delivery systems will be widely used, allowing remote patient monitoring of chronic conditions, also reducing costs and improving patient comfort and clinical outcomes.
  • AR and VR – Augmented and Virtual Reality technologies will have a wide range of applications, including medical training, life sciences, real-time surgery assist, mental health treatment, and many more.
IF A BRAND WANTED TO WORK WITH YOU, WHAT OFFLINE / ONLINE ACTIVITIES WOULD YOU BE MOST INTERESTED IN?
  • Social Media engagement, thought leadership, brand message amplification
  • Podcast/video interviews
  • Content development (e.g. short-form/long-form blog posts, feature articles, whitepapers)
  • Events (promoting, covering/attending)
WHAT WOULD BE THE BEST WAY FOR A BRAND TO CONTACT YOU?
Mobile: 978-761-1524 or Email: kirstel@gmail.com
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Level 3 Connections to AWS

Level 3SM eLynk, our layer 2 Ethernet offering, will offer this flexibility to Amazon Web Services. You’ll have the ability to add and delete VLANs over your Ethernet virtual circuit (EVC) to your AWS Virtual Private Clouds (VPC).* This portal-based, self-service functionality enables you to rapidly connect to your VPCs as you optimize and move your cloud-based workloads. Combine it with Level 3SM Dynamic Capacity and Level 3SM Enhanced Management to gain more control and visibility for on-demand cloud deployments and workload moves. Features Control: Self-service ability to add and remove VLANs to AWS in near real-time via the MyLevel3SM customer portal. Flexibility: Share bandwidth across AWS Virtual Private Cloud Instances. Security: Establish a private layer 2 connection via Level 3’s global network to your AWS multi-cloud environment.

Bottom-line – AWS IS the new cloud and connections to/from AWS IS a must-have.  I like the Layer 2 connection approach as well.

Hololens Partner Program
Hololens is a cool idea tech but not the only one going after VR/AR and what Microsoft calls Mixed Reality.  Here are some examples of what they are targeting as key market opportunities and if you are involved with any of them you might begin contacting customers to explore how they can take advantage of the technology regardless of tech as there are other viable solutions.

If you are not in a hurry and want 90 days for Microsoft tell you that your idea is something they would rather build themselves like what they did to Slack, click on the image below.
They say, “Please provide yourself 30 minutes to complete the application form

to help us better understand your business and current HoloLens activities. Upon submission, you will receive an update regarding your application within 90 days.”

Approved for iPhone and iPad, SleepTracsPro has Sleep, Snooze, Snap Alert, Zoomlite, Journal/Diary and Actical-Action Calendar.  Click on image for iTunes.

Key features of SleepTracsPro are:

NEW – Actical-Action calendar with Acticons-action icons and first calendar with drawings. Add drawings and images to your calendar to improve tracking and performance.

– Dream Diary Journal with drawing pads, audio recording, pics and notes with social sharing feature

– Zoomlite – Siri-enabled magnifying flashlight, weather, camera, large format clock. Unlike iPhone/iPad flashlight you can just say “Hey Siri Zoomlight” the flashlight will turn on with large format clock, weather, and zooming camera.

– Snooze feature is designed to let you get your “power nap” or “cat nap” anytime; you can select your snooze time and a wakeup vibration or tone/tune or your own voice or that of a friend or child.

– Snap feature is a new feature not found in any sleep app we have found so far. Snap is really a “snap out of it” feature that you put in your shirt pocket and when no motion or limited motions are detected, it gives you a vibration or tune/tone. Designed to help you overcome falling asleep in class or on the job, it should not be used while driving.

– Sleep mode feature offers you a scheduling tool You can select your sleep time and a wakeup vibration or tone/tune or your own voice or that of a friend

 or child.

– Weather – current weather is displayed when user awakes.

– ZoomLite is an exciting weather center, camera, large format clock and 3-level magnifying flashlight app. You are able to see weather, large font clock, take a picture and easily read labels, meds bottles, check meds, cuts/sores, household issues and other fine print articles and other hard to read documents or any other reason to see something closeup with 3-step magnifying flashlight.

Dream Diary journal has unlimited notepads with multi-color drawing features, text notes, audio recording, backgrounds with pictures from camera or gallery and sharing features for email, social sites, gallery and other ways.

We have also incorporated extensive sleep research into our app. New articles on getting better sleep are added daily, click on image to help you get better sleep and wellness.

SleepTracsPro is one of the many apps such as SleepTracs, ZoomLite, Baseball Fans Club, Basketball Fans, ReallyReal, Sports Fans Club, Football Fans Club, iSeekSugar, BiEyes, iFlipTips, iSeekSugar, MedsMinders, RewardsVIPClub, HashNewsGram and many others from TECHtionary.com.
Click on image http://sleeptracs.com/for tips, applications and ideas and Appstore image for iTunes and get better sleep now.

 

Emojis Communications

As a long-time fan of hieroglyphics, the power of visual communications has always been of interest.  Snapchat may be onto something with “cartoon greetings that feature customizable avatars and can be inserted into any number of chat apps.” They go on: “Having a digital extension of yourself is a necessity,” creative director and CEO Jacob Blackstock says, “and we’re working to give people the best possible version.” But even in visually infectious cartoon form, negative expressions present a challenge for Bitmoji’s creative team, who might be thought of as millennial Cyranos-charged with helping the app’s millions of daily users bring just the right mix of wit, topicality, and emotional nuance to their online repartee.”
There is much more: “He’s spent more than a decade now thinking about cartoons as a visual language. As he sees it, the swiftly approaching merger of the real and the virtual will only make such tools more essential. “We’re in a world now where we live in these,” he says, lifting his iPhone from the table. “Not only am I always on it,” he says, growing more animated, “but in terms of everyone I know, I mostly see them here. If you’re going to live in here, you’ve got to make this a better place to live.” Click on image for complete article.
Bottom-line – As you will read in the next section, visual communications is evolving actually back to the first form of communicated communications – communications that can be understood by more than the creator.  The Egyptians pioneered this approach as they realized that people were not going to learn how to read but like any “stop” sign people can quickly understand concepts even complex ones rather quickly.

European Visual Communications

There have been industry wide calls to improve the quality of digital ad inventory and develop more robust digital measurement techniques. This is considered a vital step towards delivering ‘realistic’ brand exposure metrics. More accurate and consistent viewability measurement will help to establish a

more reliable digital ‘opportunity-to-see’, supporting the need for enhanced comparability with TV and progress towards digital ‘gross rating points’.
These Principles will help our industry to achieve the following macro goals:
1. To raise minimum quality standards in digital advertising measurement
for all stakeholders across Europe.
2. To measure digital ad exposure which is deemed a key step to increasing confidence in digital ad trading.
3. To enhance the (internet) user experience in the context of changing user expectations.
4. To improve confidence in the digital ad environment.
The European Viewability Measurement Principles apply to measurement tools reporting the opportunity to see in-page display and in-stream video
ad content in an online desktop browser-based environment (this includes PCs and Laptops) and not mobile advertising. Mobile advertising will be
covered in the next iteration of these Principles towards the end of 2017. These Principles currently apply to the measurement of viewability only.
The EVSG could however, also be a useful platform to discuss, develop or contribute towards solutions for other digital advertising priorities within
the European market. Such considerations would need to be in line with the shared goals and demands of all markets across Europe, again mindful of
their varied characteristics and priorities.
Bottom-line – You can see where this is going that visual communications standards and guidelines will help cross communications boundaries among countries which is something we need more, not less of.
_____________________________

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.

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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.

__________________________________________________________
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.
__________________________________________________________
Certified Training – Affordable, Available, Actionable & Tax Deductible
WebRTC-SIP Certification, Social Media Contact Centers, Sales Professionals and Business
Custom and Complete SIP Professional Certification Program
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Lync is a Trademark of Microsoft.  Unified Communications Apps & Cloud Communications Forum is an independent forum.

Advertising, Exhibiting, Training and other Marcom Programs, call 303-594-1694 or click here.

The User Forum provides classroom and webseminar training as well as a non-production environment for those IT departments without additional equipment, budget or time.  This allows planners and users to test ideas, dial in and dial back out, IM file transfers, remote desktop sharing, video conferencing, run scenarios, review logs, break linkages and learning about new telephony features and network access.  The User Forum is also designed for both the system integrator/consultant who wants to learn about tech without having to build their own system as well as the enterprise customer who doesn’t have the time, resources or knowledge to develop one.  Coming soon, User Forum Labs are designed to be “hands-on” or “over-the-shoulder” with experts available for Q&A and classes for feature-specific review.

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The User Forum is a vendor-independent laboratory environment designed for learning, technical guides, knowledge resources and online “live” services.  The User Forum provides planning, project management, consulting, training, case studies, white papers, speaking engagements, market/customer research, network planning and other services.
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AI Social and Contextual UC #415 – iOS 11 Platform for ?? and ?? – Gartner Speaks UCaaS

 (c) AI Forum & Unified Communications Forum
September 15 – 2017 – Issue #415

AI Forum – Exploring the Wild World of Artificial Intelligence and other Communications, Mobile, Contextual-Intelligence and other communications companies.
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Advertising, social media, blog articles, webinars and other services available.
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Free iPhone Text Free Drivers 
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Siri can’t open iPhone Flashlight but say
ZoomLite and you get Flashlight, Magnifying Camera, Large Format Clock and Local Weather – Free.

Best app for reading anything close up including restaurant menus and receipts.

Not a simulation – real screenshot.

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iPhone User Forum
Best Sleep App
New Version Approved
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If you need an iPhone/iPad app, click on image.
If you don’t understand Why Twitter is important !
Here are 4 simple reasons and 10 ways to be a good Tweeter
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 We can help in developing webinars, customer studies, social media and salesmarketing

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Rewards programs are proven to increase revenues and customer engagement.

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iOS Game Platform 

Who knew that Jim Cramer is a gameboy.  Indeed he is and thinks that iPhone X is the next game platform.  Take a listen.
And, when you are really ready to get serious check this out.  As an Apple app developer, we are excited about new platforms for new realities.  However, the really real limitation is that we just converted to Swift4 and iOS11 and not matter how large your development team is – it is nearly impossible to keep UP much less DO more.
Bottom-line – Apple is a seriously great platform for nearly everything and as other devices and platforms may still have some presence. it is not realistic that developers will have any excess capacity other than to just develop them.

Gartner on UCaaS – Eye Test
Never been a big fan of research reports because I used to research and publish them. Research reports like Gartner, IDC, Frost and all the others are written by people who do not have to “do it.”  They sit in nice rooms and gather information and then write stuff that really doesn’t help people really implement anything.  It is amazing to me that CIOs look to Gartner and the reason is they do not trust their own staff to tell them the truth or frankly know what they are doing.  Sad but true.  The idea of some “pin chart”  will help anyone figure out why SIP trunk has only one-way audio is a farce. Here for example is what they are saying about Microsoft:

CAUTIONS

  • The SfBO telephony capabilities lag behind most competing UCaaS offers, and Microsoft has been slow to advance this element of its portfolio. While there has been progress in the last year, Microsoft has also been slow to overcome some critical limitations, including limitations in the CCE product and SfBO APIs.
  • Microsoft’s advancement in the market has been hindered by its changing marketing messages to customers and partners about the roadmap for Skype. For instance, while the hybrid option can be more effective for many enterprise requirements, it may not be adequately promoted by Microsoft partners, which may instead recommend a rapid migration to a complete online solution.
  • Connecting users to a UCaaS solution via the public internet may result in poor performance for audio and video for some users and locations. To mitigate risk, customers should execute a network assessment as part of their SOF process.
  • Microsoft recently introduced its Teams workstream collaboration product that has overlapping communications functionality redundant to Skype. While integrating communications into Teams is part of Microsoft’s workstream collaboration strategy, this redundancy can create confusion with customers trying to understand the roles of Skype and Teams.
Click on the image to get the chart via 8×8 who I like because of all their technical expertise but there is much more on ATT, Google, Fuze, Mitel and others.  Interesting Vonage and ShoreTel were dropped – go figure.
Bottom-line – There must be a large enough market to support all these companies.  However, I know of another 20 that are not on this list and still seem to be thriving.  Clearly there is a nice road but running out of road always comes at the worst time even if it doesn’t curve and you run completely off it.

Facebook Business UC 

Building for People, and Now Businesses

This is from the WhatsApp blog, “Over 1 billion people use WhatsApp every day to stay connected with their family and friends, and over time, more people are using the app to communicate with businesses they care about too.

In fact, many connections are already taking place every day, whether it’s someone placing an order with a local bakery or looking at new styles from a clothing store. But the way this happens now on WhatsApp is pretty rudimentary. We’ve heard stories of shopkeepers who use WhatsApp to stay in touch with hundreds of customers from a single smartphone, and from people who are unsure about whether or not a business on WhatsApp is authentic. In the coming months, we’ll be testing new features that aim to solve some of these challenges, and make it easier for people to communicate with the businesses they want to reach on WhatsApp. Our approach is simple – we want to apply what we’ve learned helping people connect with each other to helping people connect with businesses that are important to them.

We know businesses have many different needs. For example, they want an official presence – a verified profile so people can identify a business from another person – and an easier way to respond to messages. We’re building and testing new tools via a free WhatsApp Business app for small companies and an enterprise solution for bigger companies operating at a large scale with a global base of customers, like airlines, e-commerce sites, and banks. These businesses will be able to use our solutions to provide customers with useful notifications like flight times, delivery confirmations, and other updates.
Whether someone is communicating with a business around the corner or around the globe, people expect WhatsApp to be fast, reliable, and secure. We’ll be listening carefully to feedback during our test phase and keeping people informed as we make these tools more widely available. It’s important that we get this right and are thoughtful about the new experiences we’ll provide for businesses and our users.”
Bottom-line – WhatsApp is on the rise while Skype seems to be slipping (see below).  Facebook took a page out of Microsoft’s “playbook” to destroy competition (WordPerfect, Novell, Lotus, etc.) by any means possible.   Facebook has two billion Facebook users to promote anything they want.  Gaining access to enterprise a long haven for Microsoft is vulnerable to many different types of attacks.  If MS cannot get Skype fixed and engaged with user again, the Facebook WhatsApp “Trojan Horse” is a game-changer they may not recover from.

Facial UC  
Finally, the end of passwords in theory if only all places where you have to enter a password would allow facial passwords.  This is a cool story on how KFC is using facial ordering.  Time for all UC providers to up their game in adding this to their feature sets.

Skype iOS Sucks  
Since Facebook is coming after Skype, you would think they would make major improvements in their apps.  I don’t have Android but below are also my feelings about the new UI and functionality on iOS.
Click on image and click on Reviews Tab to read all of them.  They are from 9/7 and you can see mainly one star.

Skype iOS App First Look – Not Looking Good 

I love regular Skype using it for more than decade on my PC and often use the iOS app on my iPhone which generally works better than the PC version.  I was excited to try the new iOS version and my first look is a real disappointment.  Why do app developers turn simple smartphone apps into bloatware found in most PC/MAC apps.  As a developer it is really hard to NOT want to add

MORE and MORE but sometimes more is really less and this is the case so far with the Skype iOS app.  The biggest issue was in the old version it was really easy to change your Presence with many options like on the PC version.  The new version assumes you are ONLINE all the time and makes it really difficult to change your presence.  Click on either image for details on changing presence.
Bottom-line – Please tell me what I missed, you like, I was wrong about or anything else you want to say.

Really Real Presence  
This is a great read on the benefits of presence.  It’s really too bad that there is not one universal presence app that bridges the gaps in UC as UC applications are not the only way you want to show presence.

Turing Test 
Summer is often a good time to catch up on great reading and while we are really too busy to read, reading on your iPhone is really great even at the DMV which I did yesterday.  Both books on Turing are great but the Copeland book is even better. You really realize that many of you who are reading this would not be here at all except for what Alan and his colleagues.  Why you ask.  If they hadn’t broken then Enigma and other codes, WWII would have taken much longer costing millions of lives including my dad and his brothers who were all in Europe.  Anyway, great insights on computing, AI and the future even though he died 73 years ago.  Click on image for either book and see if you could pass your own Turing Test.

Securing the Internet of Things
I doubt you have a lot of IoT devices but you do have a lot of mobile devices.  As mobile devices morph into what’s next or turn into components (which I would do if I was Google or Apple) to run on common OS rather the new OS for all devices including desktops, teleconferencing, building controls, etc. You will need a security systems approach and while I prefer iOS because of great admin services from Apple Developer Team and other reasons.  This paper is from Cisco and there are a lot of good ideas to consider.  For example, they write, “Even industrial controllers that operate in every industrial environment lack basic security controls like authentication and encryption. That means most industrial control system (ICS) attacks don’t need to exploit software vulnerabilities. They just need to access the controllers, and then they can change configuration, logic, and state.”  By building on a common OS that you use for all your employees can use, you maximize protection, minimize development costs and provide a common management approach that makes sense.

7 Steps to Optimize Business Performance by Unifying Contact Center and CRM Data 

I read a lot of white papers and much of this white paper has been published in other sources.  Yet there are a few “ah ha” moments and ideas to consider in your own contact center planning. I like the use of decision engine rather than call flow charts.  Do not take this as AI but more of an expert systems approach call flows and then add-on specific smart bots or smart aids to manage the process.

Interview with Evan Kirstel #1 UCaas Influencer
Here is an interview with Onalytica click on images for complete interview.
As a long-time expert and thought leader in the Cloud, Security, IoT, Big Data, AI and other technologies, I’ve been following their emergence in the health landscape with great interest. I believe we are on the cusp of an unprecedented convergence of technologies, one that could bring about sustained disruption and allow us to solve the most pressing issues in healthcare.
I was also drawn to the incredible energy of the health tech community here in Boston. Home to several premier teaching hospitals and prestigious universities, there is a vibrant community of health tech innovators here, as well as a natural test-bed to pilot these innovations in real healthcare settings.  Be it physician entrepreneurs, hospital leaders rethinking the entire patient care system, digital health startups and accelerators, public-private partnerships, or empowered patients and their vocal advocates, Boston is home to a world-class health tech innovation ecosystem and a growing digital healthcare industry.
I wanted to bring my technical expertise, industry experience, and social business know-how to help accelerate the growth of the digital health economy. To achieve this, I recently partnered with health tech innovation catalyst, patient experience expert, and former Google technology manager Irma Rastegayeva to form eViRa #HealthTech Strategies. Boston-based and globally-connected B2B experts, we are a trusted social media partner to clients across the health tech landscape. Whether it’s enabling startups to get discovered and introduced to potential partners and investors, guiding companies to expand their thought leadership, or helping clients to grow massive online audience and deepen user engagement, we are here to serve the health tech community.
WHAT AREAS OF HEALTH TECH ARE YOU MOST PASSIONATE ABOUT?
  • AI, Cognitive Computing, Big Data, IoT and predictive analytics – combination of these technologies will open up a new era of early diagnostics and disease prevention.
  • Telemedicine/Telehealth – this will become a mainstay of patient care delivery, vastly reducing costs.
  • 5G connectivity – this 5th generation of mobile technology will be a truly “disruptive innovation” and will offer much to fields of medicine and healthcare. One application of 5G I am excited about is rural hospitals collaborating with urban teaching hospitals to offer world-class training and care delivery. It’s important to note that 5G is an enabling technology, it will make the advancements of all the other technologies I mentioned possible.
  • Wearables 2.0 and Mobile Health – these improved medical wearables devices and drug delivery systems will be widely used, allowing remote patient monitoring of chronic conditions, also reducing costs and improving patient comfort and clinical outcomes.
  • AR and VR – Augmented and Virtual Reality technologies will have a wide range of applications, including medical training, life sciences, real-time surgery assist, mental health treatment, and many more.
IF A BRAND WANTED TO WORK WITH YOU, WHAT OFFLINE / ONLINE ACTIVITIES WOULD YOU BE MOST INTERESTED IN?
  • Social Media engagement, thought leadership, brand message amplification
  • Podcast/video interviews
  • Content development (e.g. short-form/long-form blog posts, feature articles, whitepapers)
  • Events (promoting, covering/attending)
WHAT WOULD BE THE BEST WAY FOR A BRAND TO CONTACT YOU?
Mobile: 978-761-1524 or Email: kirstel@gmail.com
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Level 3 Connections to AWS

Level 3SM eLynk, our layer 2 Ethernet offering, will offer this flexibility to Amazon Web Services. You’ll have the ability to add and delete VLANs over your Ethernet virtual circuit (EVC) to your AWS Virtual Private Clouds (VPC).* This portal-based, self-service functionality enables you to rapidly connect to your VPCs as you optimize and move your cloud-based workloads. Combine it with Level 3SM Dynamic Capacity and Level 3SM Enhanced Management to gain more control and visibility for on-demand cloud deployments and workload moves. Features Control: Self-service ability to add and remove VLANs to AWS in near real-time via the MyLevel3SM customer portal. Flexibility: Share bandwidth across AWS Virtual Private Cloud Instances. Security: Establish a private layer 2 connection via Level 3’s global network to your AWS multi-cloud environment.

Bottom-line – AWS IS the new cloud and connections to/from AWS IS a must-have.  I like the Layer 2 connection approach as well.

Hololens Partner Program
Hololens is a cool idea tech but not the only one going after VR/AR and what Microsoft calls Mixed Reality.  Here are some examples of what they are targeting as key market opportunities and if you are involved with any of them you might begin contacting customers to explore how they can take advantage of the technology regardless of tech as there are other viable solutions.

If you are not in a hurry and want 90 days for Microsoft tell you that your idea is something they would rather build themselves like what they did to Slack, click on the image below.
They say, “Please provide yourself 30 minutes to complete the application form

to help us better understand your business and current HoloLens activities. Upon submission, you will receive an update regarding your application within 90 days.”

Approved for iPhone and iPad, SleepTracsPro has Sleep, Snooze, Snap Alert, Zoomlite, Journal/Diary and Actical-Action Calendar.  Click on image for iTunes.

Key features of SleepTracsPro are:

NEW – Actical-Action calendar with Acticons-action icons and first calendar with drawings. Add drawings and images to your calendar to improve tracking and performance.

– Dream Diary Journal with drawing pads, audio recording, pics and notes with social sharing feature

– Zoomlite – Siri-enabled magnifying flashlight, weather, camera, large format clock. Unlike iPhone/iPad flashlight you can just say “Hey Siri Zoomlight” the flashlight will turn on with large format clock, weather, and zooming camera.

– Snooze feature is designed to let you get your “power nap” or “cat nap” anytime; you can select your snooze time and a wakeup vibration or tone/tune or your own voice or that of a friend or child.

– Snap feature is a new feature not found in any sleep app we have found so far. Snap is really a “snap out of it” feature that you put in your shirt pocket and when no motion or limited motions are detected, it gives you a vibration or tune/tone. Designed to help you overcome falling asleep in class or on the job, it should not be used while driving.

– Sleep mode feature offers you a scheduling tool You can select your sleep time and a wakeup vibration or tone/tune or your own voice or that of a friend

 or child.

– Weather – current weather is displayed when user awakes.

– ZoomLite is an exciting weather center, camera, large format clock and 3-level magnifying flashlight app. You are able to see weather, large font clock, take a picture and easily read labels, meds bottles, check meds, cuts/sores, household issues and other fine print articles and other hard to read documents or any other reason to see something closeup with 3-step magnifying flashlight.

Dream Diary journal has unlimited notepads with multi-color drawing features, text notes, audio recording, backgrounds with pictures from camera or gallery and sharing features for email, social sites, gallery and other ways.

We have also incorporated extensive sleep research into our app. New articles on getting better sleep are added daily, click on image to help you get better sleep and wellness.

SleepTracsPro is one of the many apps such as SleepTracs, ZoomLite, Baseball Fans Club, Basketball Fans, ReallyReal, Sports Fans Club, Football Fans Club, iSeekSugar, BiEyes, iFlipTips, iSeekSugar, MedsMinders, RewardsVIPClub, HashNewsGram and many others from TECHtionary.com.
Click on image http://sleeptracs.com/for tips, applications and ideas and Appstore image for iTunes and get better sleep now.

 

Emojis Communications

As a long-time fan of hieroglyphics, the power of visual communications has always been of interest.  Snapchat may be onto something with “cartoon greetings that feature customizable avatars and can be inserted into any number of chat apps.” They go on: “Having a digital extension of yourself is a necessity,” creative director and CEO Jacob Blackstock says, “and we’re working to give people the best possible version.” But even in visually infectious cartoon form, negative expressions present a challenge for Bitmoji’s creative team, who might be thought of as millennial Cyranos-charged with helping the app’s millions of daily users bring just the right mix of wit, topicality, and emotional nuance to their online repartee.”
There is much more: “He’s spent more than a decade now thinking about cartoons as a visual language. As he sees it, the swiftly approaching merger of the real and the virtual will only make such tools more essential. “We’re in a world now where we live in these,” he says, lifting his iPhone from the table. “Not only am I always on it,” he says, growing more animated, “but in terms of everyone I know, I mostly see them here. If you’re going to live in here, you’ve got to make this a better place to live.” Click on image for complete article.
Bottom-line – As you will read in the next section, visual communications is evolving actually back to the first form of communicated communications – communications that can be understood by more than the creator.  The Egyptians pioneered this approach as they realized that people were not going to learn how to read but like any “stop” sign people can quickly understand concepts even complex ones rather quickly.

European Visual Communications

There have been industry wide calls to improve the quality of digital ad inventory and develop more robust digital measurement techniques. This is considered a vital step towards delivering ‘realistic’ brand exposure metrics. More accurate and consistent viewability measurement will help to establish a

more reliable digital ‘opportunity-to-see’, supporting the need for enhanced comparability with TV and progress towards digital ‘gross rating points’.
These Principles will help our industry to achieve the following macro goals:
1. To raise minimum quality standards in digital advertising measurement
for all stakeholders across Europe.
2. To measure digital ad exposure which is deemed a key step to increasing confidence in digital ad trading.
3. To enhance the (internet) user experience in the context of changing user expectations.
4. To improve confidence in the digital ad environment.
The European Viewability Measurement Principles apply to measurement tools reporting the opportunity to see in-page display and in-stream video
ad content in an online desktop browser-based environment (this includes PCs and Laptops) and not mobile advertising. Mobile advertising will be
covered in the next iteration of these Principles towards the end of 2017. These Principles currently apply to the measurement of viewability only.
The EVSG could however, also be a useful platform to discuss, develop or contribute towards solutions for other digital advertising priorities within
the European market. Such considerations would need to be in line with the shared goals and demands of all markets across Europe, again mindful of
their varied characteristics and priorities.
Bottom-line – You can see where this is going that visual communications standards and guidelines will help cross communications boundaries among countries which is something we need more, not less of.
_____________________________

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.

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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.

__________________________________________________________
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.
__________________________________________________________
Certified Training – Affordable, Available, Actionable & Tax Deductible
WebRTC-SIP Certification, Social Media Contact Centers, Sales Professionals and Business
Custom and Complete SIP Professional Certification Program
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The User Forum provides classroom and webseminar training as well as a non-production environment for those IT departments without additional equipment, budget or time.  This allows planners and users to test ideas, dial in and dial back out, IM file transfers, remote desktop sharing, video conferencing, run scenarios, review logs, break linkages and learning about new telephony features and network access.  The User Forum is also designed for both the system integrator/consultant who wants to learn about tech without having to build their own system as well as the enterprise customer who doesn’t have the time, resources or knowledge to develop one.  Coming soon, User Forum Labs are designed to be “hands-on” or “over-the-shoulder” with experts available for Q&A and classes for feature-specific review.

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The User Forum is a vendor-independent laboratory environment designed for learning, technical guides, knowledge resources and online “live” services.  The User Forum provides planning, project management, consulting, training, case studies, white papers, speaking engagements, market/customer research, network planning and other services.
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AI Social and Contextual UC #414 – Facebook Business on the Rise – Skype iOS Slumps – Facial UC

 (c) AI Forum & Unified Communications Forum
September 8 – 2017 – Issue #414

AI Forum – Exploring the Wild World of Artificial Intelligence and other Communications, Mobile, Contextual-Intelligence and other communications companies.
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Advertising, social media, blog articles, webinars and other services available.
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Free iPhone Text Free Drivers 
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Siri can’t open iPhone Flashlight but say
ZoomLite and you get Flashlight, Magnifying Camera, Large Format Clock and Local Weather – Free.

Best app for reading anything close up including restaurant menus and receipts.

Not a simulation – real screenshot.

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iPhone User Forum
Best Sleep App
New Version Approved
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If you need an iPhone/iPad app, click on image.
If you don’t understand Why Twitter is important !
Here are 4 simple reasons and 10 ways to be a good Tweeter
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Facebook Business UC 

Building for People, and Now Businesses

This is from the WhatsApp blog, “Over 1 billion people use WhatsApp every day to stay connected with their family and friends, and over time, more people are using the app to communicate with businesses they care about too.

In fact, many connections are already taking place every day, whether it’s someone placing an order with a local bakery or looking at new styles from a clothing store. But the way this happens now on WhatsApp is pretty rudimentary. We’ve heard stories of shopkeepers who use WhatsApp to stay in touch with hundreds of customers from a single smartphone, and from people who are unsure about whether or not a business on WhatsApp is authentic. In the coming months, we’ll be testing new features that aim to solve some of these challenges, and make it easier for people to communicate with the businesses they want to reach on WhatsApp. Our approach is simple – we want to apply what we’ve learned helping people connect with each other to helping people connect with businesses that are important to them.

We know businesses have many different needs. For example, they want an official presence – a verified profile so people can identify a business from another person – and an easier way to respond to messages. We’re building and testing new tools via a free WhatsApp Business app for small companies and an enterprise solution for bigger companies operating at a large scale with a global base of customers, like airlines, e-commerce sites, and banks. These businesses will be able to use our solutions to provide customers with useful notifications like flight times, delivery confirmations, and other updates.
Whether someone is communicating with a business around the corner or around the globe, people expect WhatsApp to be fast, reliable, and secure. We’ll be listening carefully to feedback during our test phase and keeping people informed as we make these tools more widely available. It’s important that we get this right and are thoughtful about the new experiences we’ll provide for businesses and our users.”
Bottom-line – WhatsApp is on the rise while Skype seems to be slipping (see below).  Facebook took a page out of Microsoft’s “playbook” to destroy competition (WordPerfect, Novell, Lotus, etc.) by any means possible.   Facebook has two billion Facebook users to promote anything they want.  Gaining access to enterprise a long haven for Microsoft is vulnerable to many different types of attacks.  If MS cannot get Skype fixed and engaged with user again, the Facebook WhatsApp “Trojan Horse” is a game-changer they may not recover from.

Facial UC  
Finally, the end of passwords in theory if only all places where you have to enter a password would allow facial passwords.  This is a cool story on how KFC is using facial ordering.  Time for all UC providers to up their game in adding this to their feature sets.

Skype iOS Sucks  
Since Facebook is coming after Skype, you would think they would make major improvements in their apps.  I don’t have Android but below are also my feelings about the new UI and functionality on iOS.
Click on image and click on Reviews Tab to read all of them.  They are from 9/7 and you can see mainly one star.

Skype iOS App First Look – Not Looking Good 

I love regular Skype using it for more than decade on my PC and often use the iOS app on my iPhone which generally works better than the PC version.  I was excited to try the new iOS version and my first look is a real disappointment.  Why do app developers turn simple smartphone apps into bloatware found in most PC/MAC apps.  As a developer it is really hard to NOT want to add

MORE and MORE but sometimes more is really less and this is the case so far with the Skype iOS app.  The biggest issue was in the old version it was really easy to change your Presence with many options like on the PC version.  The new version assumes you are ONLINE all the time and makes it really difficult to change your presence.  Click on either image for details on changing presence.
Bottom-line – Please tell me what I missed, you like, I was wrong about or anything else you want to say.

Really Real Presence  
This is a great read on the benefits of presence.  It’s really too bad that there is not one universal presence app that bridges the gaps in UC as UC applications are not the only way you want to show presence.

Turing Test 
Summer is often a good time to catch up on great reading and while we are really too busy to read, reading on your iPhone is really great even at the DMV which I did yesterday.  Both books on Turing are great but the Copeland book is even better. You really realize that many of you who are reading this would not be here at all except for what Alan and his colleagues.  Why you ask.  If they hadn’t broken then Enigma and other codes, WWII would have taken much longer costing millions of lives including my dad and his brothers who were all in Europe.  Anyway, great insights on computing, AI and the future even though he died 73 years ago.  Click on image for either book and see if you could pass your own Turing Test.

Securing the Internet of Things
I doubt you have a lot of IoT devices but you do have a lot of mobile devices.  As mobile devices morph into what’s next or turn into components (which I would do if I was Google or Apple) to run on common OS rather the new OS for all devices including desktops, teleconferencing, building controls, etc. You will need a security systems approach and while I prefer iOS because of great admin services from Apple Developer Team and other reasons.  This paper is from Cisco and there are a lot of good ideas to consider.  For example, they write, “Even industrial controllers that operate in every industrial environment lack basic security controls like authentication and encryption. That means most industrial control system (ICS) attacks don’t need to exploit software vulnerabilities. They just need to access the controllers, and then they can change configuration, logic, and state.”  By building on a common OS that you use for all your employees can use, you maximize protection, minimize development costs and provide a common management approach that makes sense.

7 Steps to Optimize Business Performance by Unifying Contact Center and CRM Data 

I read a lot of white papers and much of this white paper has been published in other sources.  Yet there are a few “ah ha” moments and ideas to consider in your own contact center planning. I like the use of decision engine rather than call flow charts.  Do not take this as AI but more of an expert systems approach call flows and then add-on specific smart bots or smart aids to manage the process.

Interview with Evan Kirstel #1 UCaas Influencer
Here is an interview with Onalytica click on images for complete interview.
As a long-time expert and thought leader in the Cloud, Security, IoT, Big Data, AI and other technologies, I’ve been following their emergence in the health landscape with great interest. I believe we are on the cusp of an unprecedented convergence of technologies, one that could bring about sustained disruption and allow us to solve the most pressing issues in healthcare.
I was also drawn to the incredible energy of the health tech community here in Boston. Home to several premier teaching hospitals and prestigious universities, there is a vibrant community of health tech innovators here, as well as a natural test-bed to pilot these innovations in real healthcare settings.  Be it physician entrepreneurs, hospital leaders rethinking the entire patient care system, digital health startups and accelerators, public-private partnerships, or empowered patients and their vocal advocates, Boston is home to a world-class health tech innovation ecosystem and a growing digital healthcare industry.
I wanted to bring my technical expertise, industry experience, and social business know-how to help accelerate the growth of the digital health economy. To achieve this, I recently partnered with health tech innovation catalyst, patient experience expert, and former Google technology manager Irma Rastegayeva to form eViRa #HealthTech Strategies. Boston-based and globally-connected B2B experts, we are a trusted social media partner to clients across the health tech landscape. Whether it’s enabling startups to get discovered and introduced to potential partners and investors, guiding companies to expand their thought leadership, or helping clients to grow massive online audience and deepen user engagement, we are here to serve the health tech community.
WHAT AREAS OF HEALTH TECH ARE YOU MOST PASSIONATE ABOUT?
  • AI, Cognitive Computing, Big Data, IoT and predictive analytics – combination of these technologies will open up a new era of early diagnostics and disease prevention.
  • Telemedicine/Telehealth – this will become a mainstay of patient care delivery, vastly reducing costs.
  • 5G connectivity – this 5th generation of mobile technology will be a truly “disruptive innovation” and will offer much to fields of medicine and healthcare. One application of 5G I am excited about is rural hospitals collaborating with urban teaching hospitals to offer world-class training and care delivery. It’s important to note that 5G is an enabling technology, it will make the advancements of all the other technologies I mentioned possible.
  • Wearables 2.0 and Mobile Health – these improved medical wearables devices and drug delivery systems will be widely used, allowing remote patient monitoring of chronic conditions, also reducing costs and improving patient comfort and clinical outcomes.
  • AR and VR – Augmented and Virtual Reality technologies will have a wide range of applications, including medical training, life sciences, real-time surgery assist, mental health treatment, and many more.
IF A BRAND WANTED TO WORK WITH YOU, WHAT OFFLINE / ONLINE ACTIVITIES WOULD YOU BE MOST INTERESTED IN?
  • Social Media engagement, thought leadership, brand message amplification
  • Podcast/video interviews
  • Content development (e.g. short-form/long-form blog posts, feature articles, whitepapers)
  • Events (promoting, covering/attending)
WHAT WOULD BE THE BEST WAY FOR A BRAND TO CONTACT YOU?
Mobile: 978-761-1524 or Email: kirstel@gmail.com
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Level 3 Connections to AWS

Level 3SM eLynk, our layer 2 Ethernet offering, will offer this flexibility to Amazon Web Services. You’ll have the ability to add and delete VLANs over your Ethernet virtual circuit (EVC) to your AWS Virtual Private Clouds (VPC).* This portal-based, self-service functionality enables you to rapidly connect to your VPCs as you optimize and move your cloud-based workloads. Combine it with Level 3SM Dynamic Capacity and Level 3SM Enhanced Management to gain more control and visibility for on-demand cloud deployments and workload moves. Features Control: Self-service ability to add and remove VLANs to AWS in near real-time via the MyLevel3SM customer portal. Flexibility: Share bandwidth across AWS Virtual Private Cloud Instances. Security: Establish a private layer 2 connection via Level 3’s global network to your AWS multi-cloud environment.

Bottom-line – AWS IS the new cloud and connections to/from AWS IS a must-have.  I like the Layer 2 connection approach as well.

Hololens Partner Program
Hololens is a cool idea tech but not the only one going after VR/AR and what Microsoft calls Mixed Reality.  Here are some examples of what they are targeting as key market opportunities and if you are involved with any of them you might begin contacting customers to explore how they can take advantage of the technology regardless of tech as there are other viable solutions.

If you are not in a hurry and want 90 days for Microsoft tell you that your idea is something they would rather build themselves like what they did to Slack, click on the image below.
They say, “Please provide yourself 30 minutes to complete the application form

to help us better understand your business and current HoloLens activities. Upon submission, you will receive an update regarding your application within 90 days.”

Approved for iPhone and iPad, SleepTracsPro has Sleep, Snooze, Snap Alert, Zoomlite, Journal/Diary and Actical-Action Calendar.  Click on image for iTunes.

Key features of SleepTracsPro are:

NEW – Actical-Action calendar with Acticons-action icons and first calendar with drawings. Add drawings and images to your calendar to improve tracking and performance.

– Dream Diary Journal with drawing pads, audio recording, pics and notes with social sharing feature

– Zoomlite – Siri-enabled magnifying flashlight, weather, camera, large format clock. Unlike iPhone/iPad flashlight you can just say “Hey Siri Zoomlight” the flashlight will turn on with large format clock, weather, and zooming camera.

– Snooze feature is designed to let you get your “power nap” or “cat nap” anytime; you can select your snooze time and a wakeup vibration or tone/tune or your own voice or that of a friend or child.

– Snap feature is a new feature not found in any sleep app we have found so far. Snap is really a “snap out of it” feature that you put in your shirt pocket and when no motion or limited motions are detected, it gives you a vibration or tune/tone. Designed to help you overcome falling asleep in class or on the job, it should not be used while driving.

– Sleep mode feature offers you a scheduling tool You can select your sleep time and a wakeup vibration or tone/tune or your own voice or that of a friend

 or child.

– Weather – current weather is displayed when user awakes.

– ZoomLite is an exciting weather center, camera, large format clock and 3-level magnifying flashlight app. You are able to see weather, large font clock, take a picture and easily read labels, meds bottles, check meds, cuts/sores, household issues and other fine print articles and other hard to read documents or any other reason to see something closeup with 3-step magnifying flashlight.

Dream Diary journal has unlimited notepads with multi-color drawing features, text notes, audio recording, backgrounds with pictures from camera or gallery and sharing features for email, social sites, gallery and other ways.

We have also incorporated extensive sleep research into our app. New articles on getting better sleep are added daily, click on image to help you get better sleep and wellness.

SleepTracsPro is one of the many apps such as SleepTracs, ZoomLite, Baseball Fans Club, Basketball Fans, ReallyReal, Sports Fans Club, Football Fans Club, iSeekSugar, BiEyes, iFlipTips, iSeekSugar, MedsMinders, RewardsVIPClub, HashNewsGram and many others from TECHtionary.com.
Click on image http://sleeptracs.com/for tips, applications and ideas and Appstore image for iTunes and get better sleep now.

 
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GoDaddy Telephone App
The world really doesn’t need another VoIP provider but GoDaddy introduced a new second line service but it really is NOT VoIP after all, not even WiFi.  Click on image for more details and after reviewing the features is misses out on so many issues you wonder what were they thinking.
  • Can I use the app with either an iOS or Android phone?
    Yes, there are both iOS and Android apps available.
  • How good is the call quality with SmartLine?
    We use your phone carrier’s network, so the quality and reliability is the same as your personal mobile number.
  • Can I send text messages from my SmartLine number?
    Yes, you can send and receive texts from the app, so you don’t have to disclose your personal number to customers.
  • What happens if I go over my monthly allotment?
    Any minutes over your monthly allotment will be billed in 6-second increments at $0.03 per minute. Any texts over your monthly allotment will be charged at $0.01 per text (applies only to outgoing texts on the SmartLine Basic plan).
  • Can I make and receive calls from outside the U.S.?
    You can receive calls from any phone number, including phone numbers outside the U.S. At this time, you can make calls to U.S. phone numbers only.
  • Can my second phone number be toll free?
    Not at this time, but we will be offering toll free numbers soon.
  • Can I use my current number with the SmartLine app?
    Yes. In most cases, we can port (transfer) your current number. Call a SmartLine expert at (480) 505-8877 for more information.
  • Can I get a second phone number for personal use?
    Of course! SmartLine isn’t just for business. A second phone number is great for little league coaches, listing items for sale online and more.
  • Does SmartLine use my phone plan’s minutes?
    Yes. When you make and receive calls, SmartLine uses the minutes included in your cellular phone plan. Since most people have unlimited minutes, this is rarely an issue.
  • Does SmartLine use WiFi for calling?
    No. SmartLine uses your cellular phone network to make and receive calls, which helps ensure the best possible call quality.
  • Is SmartLine a VoIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol) phone service?
    No. SmartLine calls use your cellular phone network for incoming and outgoing calls.

Emojis Communications

As a long-time fan of hieroglyphics, the power of visual communications has always been of interest.  Snapchat may be onto something with “cartoon greetings that feature customizable avatars and can be inserted into any number of chat apps.” They go on: “Having a digital extension of yourself is a necessity,” creative director and CEO Jacob Blackstock says, “and we’re working to give people the best possible version.” But even in visually infectious cartoon form, negative expressions present a challenge for Bitmoji’s creative team, who might be thought of as millennial Cyranos-charged with helping the app’s millions of daily users bring just the right mix of wit, topicality, and emotional nuance to their online repartee.”
There is much more: “He’s spent more than a decade now thinking about cartoons as a visual language. As he sees it, the swiftly approaching merger of the real and the virtual will only make such tools more essential. “We’re in a world now where we live in these,” he says, lifting his iPhone from the table. “Not only am I always on it,” he says, growing more animated, “but in terms of everyone I know, I mostly see them here. If you’re going to live in here, you’ve got to make this a better place to live.” Click on image for complete article.
Bottom-line – As you will read in the next section, visual communications is evolving actually back to the first form of communicated communications – communications that can be understood by more than the creator.  The Egyptians pioneered this approach as they realized that people were not going to learn how to read but like any “stop” sign people can quickly understand concepts even complex ones rather quickly.

European Visual Communications

There have been industry wide calls to improve the quality of digital ad inventory and develop more robust digital measurement techniques. This is considered a vital step towards delivering ‘realistic’ brand exposure metrics. More accurate and consistent viewability measurement will help to establish a

more reliable digital ‘opportunity-to-see’, supporting the need for enhanced comparability with TV and progress towards digital ‘gross rating points’.
These Principles will help our industry to achieve the following macro goals:
1. To raise minimum quality standards in digital advertising measurement
for all stakeholders across Europe.
2. To measure digital ad exposure which is deemed a key step to increasing confidence in digital ad trading.
3. To enhance the (internet) user experience in the context of changing user expectations.
4. To improve confidence in the digital ad environment.
The European Viewability Measurement Principles apply to measurement tools reporting the opportunity to see in-page display and in-stream video
ad content in an online desktop browser-based environment (this includes PCs and Laptops) and not mobile advertising. Mobile advertising will be
covered in the next iteration of these Principles towards the end of 2017. These Principles currently apply to the measurement of viewability only.
The EVSG could however, also be a useful platform to discuss, develop or contribute towards solutions for other digital advertising priorities within
the European market. Such considerations would need to be in line with the shared goals and demands of all markets across Europe, again mindful of
their varied characteristics and priorities.
Bottom-line – You can see where this is going that visual communications standards and guidelines will help cross communications boundaries among countries which is something we need more, not less of.

If you make anything, sell anything, impacted by weather, traffic or other events driven by nature or man, you need a plan.  For purposes of this article, terrorism are events perpetrated by others against you and trust are events or efforts of goodwill or negligence/incompetency by you.  Recall communications occurs by what you make or sell to the public and need a plan to stop others from selling it and consumers from buying it.  There is one other category such as Katrina falls under trust because it’s about what you do when there is a crisis. We hear every day of hacker attacks but seem a bit blasé” about them until they impact you directly. Few would argue that Identity theft is certainly one of the new growth industries. There are also an increasing amount of gawkers, hackers, attackers whose profession is to ruin you. In addition, there are others like the person who caused the Tylenol poison scare in the 1986 yet still impacting the product today. It may also be blasé’ to say that privacy is gone and the more you use social media and indeed, the less privacy you have. It is also easy enough to understand is theft of credit cards and user account information perpetrated by evildoers.
It’s not that you will be attacked, you already are being attacked, your IT security staff and others are already at work trying to stop them. The question is when hackers succeed and the odds are they will, do you have a crisis strategy plan already in place to respond to it. Because the way you respond to the attack in the new social media, you may have already lost the trust of your customers. We worked on building a strategy process plan ahead of the crisis so everyone knew what do to when it did. Like a fire evacuation plan, except for any attack response plan.
As with the concept of terrorism, you don’t get a second chance to make a first impression. In fact, the problem is that if you are not speaking on the social media soapbox, then someone else is speaking and they may not be saying what you want them to say. Or worse, trust once lost is seldom regained. The price to regain trust is also more than the cost of the original mistake. Last summer we all watched millions of gallons of oil a mile deep everyday on nearly media source.
If you are not learning from and acting upon all the details and consequences from these instances of corporate negligence it will certainly happen to you. In addition, your own gross negligence and incompetence may be fatal to your career and also never forgiven. Remember the world is all in “ink” and it’s not a “dress rehearsal.” There are now great tools that track social media (Actiance) and provide corporate tracking of both internal and external media threads. Moreover, with an increasing amount of corporate compliance requirements, social media marketing must be in a position to respond in a crisis. Whether an attack on corporate systems or epic disaster such as BP or Exxon oil spills or other disasters, you need to anticipate and build plans or models to be ready for every social media situation. No one would doubt that Tony Hayward the former BP CEO who made the situation even worse with his comment about “waiting his life back.” The internet is also “ink” and everything will always be there and you can delete it, so plan your content and respond to your crisis carefully.
Click here to get immediate help with designing and building a push notification solution for business and crisis communications.
Bottom-line – You cannot wait until the “oil” is washing on the shore to react.  If you do, you will lose your CEO, your stock value and be another Wells Fargo, Target, BP and others who are yet another brand and stockholder “road kill.”
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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.

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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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Certified Training – Affordable, Available, Actionable & Tax Deductible
WebRTC-SIP Certification, Social Media Contact Centers, Sales Professionals and Business
Custom and Complete SIP Professional Certification Program
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Click here for TECHtionary — World’s First and Largest Animated Library on Technology with more than 3,015 animated tutorials.

Lync is a Trademark of Microsoft.  Unified Communications Apps & Cloud Communications Forum is an independent forum.

Advertising, Exhibiting, Training and other Marcom Programs, call 303-594-1694 or click here.

The User Forum provides classroom and webseminar training as well as a non-production environment for those IT departments without additional equipment, budget or time.  This allows planners and users to test ideas, dial in and dial back out, IM file transfers, remote desktop sharing, video conferencing, run scenarios, review logs, break linkages and learning about new telephony features and network access.  The User Forum is also designed for both the system integrator/consultant who wants to learn about tech without having to build their own system as well as the enterprise customer who doesn’t have the time, resources or knowledge to develop one.  Coming soon, User Forum Labs are designed to be “hands-on” or “over-the-shoulder” with experts available for Q&A and classes for feature-specific review.

About User Forum

The User Forum is a vendor-independent laboratory environment designed for learning, technical guides, knowledge resources and online “live” services.  The User Forum provides planning, project management, consulting, training, case studies, white papers, speaking engagements, market/customer research, network planning and other services.
Click here to contact.

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SIP, Unified Communications Apps & Cloud Communications Forum, 2525 Arapahoe E-4-313, Boulder, CO 80302
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AI Social and Contextual UC #413 – Turing Test – CCTR Decision Engine – Securing IoT

 (c) AI Forum & Unified Communications Forum

September 1 – 2017 – Issue #413

AI Forum – Exploring the Wild World of Artificial Intelligence and other Communications, Mobile, Contextual-Intelligence and other communications companies.
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Advertising, social media, blog articles, webinars and other services available.
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  “Come Home Safe”
Free iPhone Text Free Drivers 
App
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Siri can’t open iPhone Flashlight but say
ZoomLite and you get Flashlight, Magnifying Camera, Large Format Clock and Local Weather – Free.

Best app for reading anything close up including restaurant menus and receipts.

Not a simulation – real screenshot.

_____________________________
iPhone User Forum
Best Sleep App
New Version Approved
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If you need an iPhone/iPad app, click on image.
If you don’t understand Why Twitter is important !
Here are 4 simple reasons and 10 ways to be a good Tweeter
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 We can help in developing webinars, customer studies, social media and salesmarketing

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Rewards programs are proven to increase revenues and customer engagement.

Rewards/VIP App
Custom mobile app for rewards/loyalty programs

Click on image for more

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Add Ad Here

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@Techtionary Twitter account topped 16,300+ followers up 100 followers this week and if you are on Twitter, please follow and we will follow you back.  Get proven results in gaining-retaining Twitter and other social media followers – click here.

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Turing Test 
Summer is often a good time to catch up on great reading and while we are really too busy to read, reading on your iPhone is really great even at the DMV which I did yesterday.  Both books on Turing are great but the Copeland book is even better. You really realize that many of you who are reading this would not be here at all except for what Alan and his colleagues.  Why you ask.  If they hadn’t broken then Enigma and other codes, WWII would have taken much longer costing millions of lives including my dad and his brothers who were all in Europe.  Anyway, great insights on computing, AI and the future even though he died 73 years ago.  Click on image for either book and see if you could pass your own Turing Test.

Securing the Internet of Things
I doubt you have a lot of IoT devices but you do have a lot of mobile devices.  As mobile devices morph into what’s next or turn into components (which I would do if I was Google or Apple) to run on common OS rather the new OS for all devices including desktops, teleconferencing, building controls, etc. You will need a security systems approach and while I prefer iOS because of great admin services from Apple Developer Team and other reasons.  This paper is from Cisco and there are a lot of good ideas to consider.  For example, they write, “Even industrial controllers that operate in every industrial environment lack basic security controls like authentication and encryption. That means most industrial control system (ICS) attacks don’t need to exploit software vulnerabilities. They just need to access the controllers, and then they can change configuration, logic, and state.”  By building on a common OS that you use for all your employees can use, you maximize protection, minimize development costs and provide a common management approach that makes sense.

7 Steps to Optimize Business Performance by Unifying Contact Center and CRM Data 

I read a lot of white papers and much of this white paper has been published in other sources.  Yet there are a few “ah ha” moments and ideas to consider in your own contact center planning. I like the use of decision engine rather than call flow charts.  Do not take this as AI but more of an expert systems approach call flows and then add-on specific smart bots or smart aids to manage the process.

Interview with Evan Kirstel #1 UCaas Influencer
Here is an interview with Onalytica click on images for complete interview.
As a long-time expert and thought leader in the Cloud, Security, IoT, Big Data, AI and other technologies, I’ve been following their emergence in the health landscape with great interest. I believe we are on the cusp of an unprecedented convergence of technologies, one that could bring about sustained disruption and allow us to solve the most pressing issues in healthcare.
I was also drawn to the incredible energy of the health tech community here in Boston. Home to several premier teaching hospitals and prestigious universities, there is a vibrant community of health tech innovators here, as well as a natural test-bed to pilot these innovations in real healthcare settings.  Be it physician entrepreneurs, hospital leaders rethinking the entire patient care system, digital health startups and accelerators, public-private partnerships, or empowered patients and their vocal advocates, Boston is home to a world-class health tech innovation ecosystem and a growing digital healthcare industry.
I wanted to bring my technical expertise, industry experience, and social business know-how to help accelerate the growth of the digital health economy. To achieve this, I recently partnered with health tech innovation catalyst, patient experience expert, and former Google technology manager Irma Rastegayeva to form eViRa #HealthTech Strategies. Boston-based and globally-connected B2B experts, we are a trusted social media partner to clients across the health tech landscape. Whether it’s enabling startups to get discovered and introduced to potential partners and investors, guiding companies to expand their thought leadership, or helping clients to grow massive online audience and deepen user engagement, we are here to serve the health tech community.
WHAT AREAS OF HEALTH TECH ARE YOU MOST PASSIONATE ABOUT?
  • AI, Cognitive Computing, Big Data, IoT and predictive analytics – combination of these technologies will open up a new era of early diagnostics and disease prevention.
  • Telemedicine/Telehealth – this will become a mainstay of patient care delivery, vastly reducing costs.
  • 5G connectivity – this 5th generation of mobile technology will be a truly “disruptive innovation” and will offer much to fields of medicine and healthcare. One application of 5G I am excited about is rural hospitals collaborating with urban teaching hospitals to offer world-class training and care delivery. It’s important to note that 5G is an enabling technology, it will make the advancements of all the other technologies I mentioned possible.
  • Wearables 2.0 and Mobile Health – these improved medical wearables devices and drug delivery systems will be widely used, allowing remote patient monitoring of chronic conditions, also reducing costs and improving patient comfort and clinical outcomes.
  • AR and VR – Augmented and Virtual Reality technologies will have a wide range of applications, including medical training, life sciences, real-time surgery assist, mental health treatment, and many more.
IF A BRAND WANTED TO WORK WITH YOU, WHAT OFFLINE / ONLINE ACTIVITIES WOULD YOU BE MOST INTERESTED IN?
  • Social Media engagement, thought leadership, brand message amplification
  • Podcast/video interviews
  • Content development (e.g. short-form/long-form blog posts, feature articles, whitepapers)
  • Events (promoting, covering/attending)
WHAT WOULD BE THE BEST WAY FOR A BRAND TO CONTACT YOU?
Mobile: 978-761-1524 or Email: kirstel@gmail.com
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Level 3 Connections to AWS

Level 3SM eLynk, our layer 2 Ethernet offering, will offer this flexibility to Amazon Web Services. You’ll have the ability to add and delete VLANs over your Ethernet virtual circuit (EVC) to your AWS Virtual Private Clouds (VPC).* This portal-based, self-service functionality enables you to rapidly connect to your VPCs as you optimize and move your cloud-based workloads. Combine it with Level 3SM Dynamic Capacity and Level 3SM Enhanced Management to gain more control and visibility for on-demand cloud deployments and workload moves. Features Control: Self-service ability to add and remove VLANs to AWS in near real-time via the MyLevel3SM customer portal. Flexibility: Share bandwidth across AWS Virtual Private Cloud Instances. Security: Establish a private layer 2 connection via Level 3’s global network to your AWS multi-cloud environment.

Bottom-line – AWS IS the new cloud and connections to/from AWS IS a must-have.  I like the Layer 2 connection approach as well.

Hololens Partner Program
Hololens is a cool idea tech but not the only one going after VR/AR and what Microsoft calls Mixed Reality.  Here are some examples of what they are targeting as key market opportunities and if you are involved with any of them you might begin contacting customers to explore how they can take advantage of the technology regardless of tech as there are other viable solutions.

If you are not in a hurry and want 90 days for Microsoft tell you that your idea is something they would rather build themselves like what they did to Slack, click on the image below.
They say, “Please provide yourself 30 minutes to complete the application form

to help us better understand your business and current HoloLens activities. Upon submission, you will receive an update regarding your application within 90 days.”

Skype iOS App First Look – Not Looking Good 

I love regular Skype using it for more than decade on my PC and often use the iOS app on my iPhone which generally works better than the PC version.  I was excited to try the new iOS version and my first look is a real disappointment.  Why do app developers turn simple smartphone apps into bloatware found in most PC/MAC apps.  As a developer it is really hard to NOT want to add

MORE and MORE but sometimes more is really less and this is the case so far with the Skype iOS app.  The biggest issue was in the old version it was really easy to change your Presence with many options like on the PC version.  The new version assumes you are ONLINE all the time and makes it really difficult to change your presence.  Click on either image for details on changing presence.
Bottom-line – Please tell me what I missed, you like, I was wrong about or anything else you want to say.

Approved for iPhone and iPad, SleepTracsPro has Sleep, Snooze, Snap Alert, Zoomlite, Journal/Diary and Actical-Action Calendar.  Click on image for iTunes.

Key features of SleepTracsPro are:

NEW – Actical-Action calendar with Acticons-action icons and first calendar with drawings. Add drawings and images to your calendar to improve tracking and performance.

– Dream Diary Journal with drawing pads, audio recording, pics and notes with social sharing feature

– Zoomlite – Siri-enabled magnifying flashlight, weather, camera, large format clock. Unlike iPhone/iPad flashlight you can just say “Hey Siri Zoomlight” the flashlight will turn on with large format clock, weather, and zooming camera.

– Snooze feature is designed to let you get your “power nap” or “cat nap” anytime; you can select your snooze time and a wakeup vibration or tone/tune or your own voice or that of a friend or child.

– Snap feature is a new feature not found in any sleep app we have found so far. Snap is really a “snap out of it” feature that you put in your shirt pocket and when no motion or limited motions are detected, it gives you a vibration or tune/tone. Designed to help you overcome falling asleep in class or on the job, it should not be used while driving.

– Sleep mode feature offers you a scheduling tool You can select your sleep time and a wakeup vibration or tone/tune or your own voice or that of a friend

 or child.

– Weather – current weather is displayed when user awakes.

– ZoomLite is an exciting weather center, camera, large format clock and 3-level magnifying flashlight app. You are able to see weather, large font clock, take a picture and easily read labels, meds bottles, check meds, cuts/sores, household issues and other fine print articles and other hard to read documents or any other reason to see something closeup with 3-step magnifying flashlight.

Dream Diary journal has unlimited notepads with multi-color drawing features, text notes, audio recording, backgrounds with pictures from camera or gallery and sharing features for email, social sites, gallery and other ways.

We have also incorporated extensive sleep research into our app. New articles on getting better sleep are added daily, click on image to help you get better sleep and wellness.

SleepTracsPro is one of the many apps such as SleepTracs, ZoomLite, Baseball Fans Club, Basketball Fans, ReallyReal, Sports Fans Club, Football Fans Club, iSeekSugar, BiEyes, iFlipTips, iSeekSugar, MedsMinders, RewardsVIPClub, HashNewsGram and many others from TECHtionary.com.
Click on image http://sleeptracs.com/for tips, applications and ideas and Appstore image for iTunes and get better sleep now.

 
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GoDaddy Telephone App
The world really doesn’t need another VoIP provider but GoDaddy introduced a new second line service but it really is NOT VoIP after all, not even WiFi.  Click on image for more details and after reviewing the features is misses out on so many issues you wonder what were they thinking.
  • Can I use the app with either an iOS or Android phone?
    Yes, there are both iOS and Android apps available.
  • How good is the call quality with SmartLine?
    We use your phone carrier’s network, so the quality and reliability is the same as your personal mobile number.
  • Can I send text messages from my SmartLine number?
    Yes, you can send and receive texts from the app, so you don’t have to disclose your personal number to customers.
  • What happens if I go over my monthly allotment?
    Any minutes over your monthly allotment will be billed in 6-second increments at $0.03 per minute. Any texts over your monthly allotment will be charged at $0.01 per text (applies only to outgoing texts on the SmartLine Basic plan).
  • Can I make and receive calls from outside the U.S.?
    You can receive calls from any phone number, including phone numbers outside the U.S. At this time, you can make calls to U.S. phone numbers only.
  • Can my second phone number be toll free?
    Not at this time, but we will be offering toll free numbers soon.
  • Can I use my current number with the SmartLine app?
    Yes. In most cases, we can port (transfer) your current number. Call a SmartLine expert at (480) 505-8877 for more information.
  • Can I get a second phone number for personal use?
    Of course! SmartLine isn’t just for business. A second phone number is great for little league coaches, listing items for sale online and more.
  • Does SmartLine use my phone plan’s minutes?
    Yes. When you make and receive calls, SmartLine uses the minutes included in your cellular phone plan. Since most people have unlimited minutes, this is rarely an issue.
  • Does SmartLine use WiFi for calling?
    No. SmartLine uses your cellular phone network to make and receive calls, which helps ensure the best possible call quality.
  • Is SmartLine a VoIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol) phone service?
    No. SmartLine calls use your cellular phone network for incoming and outgoing calls.

Emojis Communications

As a long-time fan of hieroglyphics, the power of visual communications has always been of interest.  Snapchat may be onto something with “cartoon greetings that feature customizable avatars and can be inserted into any number of chat apps.” They go on: “Having a digital extension of yourself is a necessity,” creative director and CEO Jacob Blackstock says, “and we’re working to give people the best possible version.” But even in visually infectious cartoon form, negative expressions present a challenge for Bitmoji’s creative team, who might be thought of as millennial Cyranos-charged with helping the app’s millions of daily users bring just the right mix of wit, topicality, and emotional nuance to their online repartee.”
There is much more: “He’s spent more than a decade now thinking about cartoons as a visual language. As he sees it, the swiftly approaching merger of the real and the virtual will only make such tools more essential. “We’re in a world now where we live in these,” he says, lifting his iPhone from the table. “Not only am I always on it,” he says, growing more animated, “but in terms of everyone I know, I mostly see them here. If you’re going to live in here, you’ve got to make this a better place to live.” Click on image for complete article.
Bottom-line – As you will read in the next section, visual communications is evolving actually back to the first form of communicated communications – communications that can be understood by more than the creator.  The Egyptians pioneered this approach as they realized that people were not going to learn how to read but like any “stop” sign people can quickly understand concepts even complex ones rather quickly.

European Visual Communications

There have been industry wide calls to improve the quality of digital ad inventory and develop more robust digital measurement techniques. This is considered a vital step towards delivering ‘realistic’ brand exposure metrics. More accurate and consistent viewability measurement will help to establish a

more reliable digital ‘opportunity-to-see’, supporting the need for enhanced comparability with TV and progress towards digital ‘gross rating points’.
These Principles will help our industry to achieve the following macro goals:
1. To raise minimum quality standards in digital advertising measurement
for all stakeholders across Europe.
2. To measure digital ad exposure which is deemed a key step to increasing confidence in digital ad trading.
3. To enhance the (internet) user experience in the context of changing user expectations.
4. To improve confidence in the digital ad environment.
The European Viewability Measurement Principles apply to measurement tools reporting the opportunity to see in-page display and in-stream video
ad content in an online desktop browser-based environment (this includes PCs and Laptops) and not mobile advertising. Mobile advertising will be
covered in the next iteration of these Principles towards the end of 2017. These Principles currently apply to the measurement of viewability only.
The EVSG could however, also be a useful platform to discuss, develop or contribute towards solutions for other digital advertising priorities within
the European market. Such considerations would need to be in line with the shared goals and demands of all markets across Europe, again mindful of
their varied characteristics and priorities.
Bottom-line – You can see where this is going that visual communications standards and guidelines will help cross communications boundaries among countries which is something we need more, not less of.

If you make anything, sell anything, impacted by weather, traffic or other events driven by nature or man, you need a plan.  For purposes of this article, terrorism are events perpetrated by others against you and trust are events or efforts of goodwill or negligence/incompetency by you.  Recall communications occurs by what you make or sell to the public and need a plan to stop others from selling it and consumers from buying it.  There is one other category such as Katrina falls under trust because it’s about what you do when there is a crisis. We hear every day of hacker attacks but seem a bit blasé” about them until they impact you directly. Few would argue that Identity theft is certainly one of the new growth industries. There are also an increasing amount of gawkers, hackers, attackers whose profession is to ruin you. In addition, there are others like the person who caused the Tylenol poison scare in the 1986 yet still impacting the product today. It may also be blasé’ to say that privacy is gone and the more you use social media and indeed, the less privacy you have. It is also easy enough to understand is theft of credit cards and user account information perpetrated by evildoers.
It’s not that you will be attacked, you already are being attacked, your IT security staff and others are already at work trying to stop them. The question is when hackers succeed and the odds are they will, do you have a crisis strategy plan already in place to respond to it. Because the way you respond to the attack in the new social media, you may have already lost the trust of your customers. We worked on building a strategy process plan ahead of the crisis so everyone knew what do to when it did. Like a fire evacuation plan, except for any attack response plan.
As with the concept of terrorism, you don’t get a second chance to make a first impression. In fact, the problem is that if you are not speaking on the social media soapbox, then someone else is speaking and they may not be saying what you want them to say. Or worse, trust once lost is seldom regained. The price to regain trust is also more than the cost of the original mistake. Last summer we all watched millions of gallons of oil a mile deep everyday on nearly media source.
If you are not learning from and acting upon all the details and consequences from these instances of corporate negligence it will certainly happen to you. In addition, your own gross negligence and incompetence may be fatal to your career and also never forgiven. Remember the world is all in “ink” and it’s not a “dress rehearsal.” There are now great tools that track social media (Actiance) and provide corporate tracking of both internal and external media threads. Moreover, with an increasing amount of corporate compliance requirements, social media marketing must be in a position to respond in a crisis. Whether an attack on corporate systems or epic disaster such as BP or Exxon oil spills or other disasters, you need to anticipate and build plans or models to be ready for every social media situation. No one would doubt that Tony Hayward the former BP CEO who made the situation even worse with his comment about “waiting his life back.” The internet is also “ink” and everything will always be there and you can delete it, so plan your content and respond to your crisis carefully.
Click here to get immediate help with designing and building a push notification solution for business and crisis communications.
Bottom-line – You cannot wait until the “oil” is washing on the shore to react.  If you do, you will lose your CEO, your stock value and be another Wells Fargo, Target, BP and others who are yet another brand and stockholder “road kill.”
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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.

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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.

__________________________________________________________
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.
__________________________________________________________
Certified Training – Affordable, Available, Actionable & Tax Deductible
WebRTC-SIP Certification, Social Media Contact Centers, Sales Professionals and Business
Custom and Complete SIP Professional Certification Program
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Lync is a Trademark of Microsoft.  Unified Communications Apps & Cloud Communications Forum is an independent forum.

Advertising, Exhibiting, Training and other Marcom Programs, call 303-594-1694 or click here.

The User Forum provides classroom and webseminar training as well as a non-production environment for those IT departments without additional equipment, budget or time.  This allows planners and users to test ideas, dial in and dial back out, IM file transfers, remote desktop sharing, video conferencing, run scenarios, review logs, break linkages and learning about new telephony features and network access.  The User Forum is also designed for both the system integrator/consultant who wants to learn about tech without having to build their own system as well as the enterprise customer who doesn’t have the time, resources or knowledge to develop one.  Coming soon, User Forum Labs are designed to be “hands-on” or “over-the-shoulder” with experts available for Q&A and classes for feature-specific review.

About User Forum

The User Forum is a vendor-independent laboratory environment designed for learning, technical guides, knowledge resources and online “live” services.  The User Forum provides planning, project management, consulting, training, case studies, white papers, speaking engagements, market/customer research, network planning and other services.
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AI Social and Contextual UC #412 – Interview with #1 UCaaS Influencer – Jump onboard Hololens – Cloud AWS Realities – Come Home Safe

 

 (c) AI Forum & Unified Communications Forum

August 25 – 2017 – Issue #412

AI Forum – Exploring the Wild World of Artificial Intelligence and other Communications, Mobile, Contextual-Intelligence and other communications companies.
_____________________________
Advertising, social media, blog articles, webinars and other services available.
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_____________________________
  “Come Home Safe”
Free iPhone Text Free Drivers 
App
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Siri can’t open iPhone Flashlight but say
ZoomLite and you get Flashlight, Magnifying Camera, Large Format Clock and Local Weather – Free.

Best app for reading anything close up including restaurant menus and receipts.

Not a simulation – real screenshot.

_____________________________
iPhone User Forum
Best Sleep App
New Version Approved
_____________________________
If you need an iPhone/iPad app, click on image.
If you don’t understand Why Twitter is important !
Here are 4 simple reasons and 10 ways to be a good Tweeter
_____________________________

 We can help in developing webinars, customer studies, social media and salesmarketing

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Rewards programs are proven to increase revenues and customer engagement.

Rewards/VIP App
Custom mobile app for rewards/loyalty programs

Click on image for more

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@Techtionary Twitter account topped 16,300+ followers up 100 followers this week and if you are on Twitter, please follow and we will follow you back.  Get proven results in gaining-retaining Twitter and other social media followers – click here.

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Level 3 Connections to AWS

Level 3SM eLynk, our layer 2 Ethernet offering, will offer this flexibility to Amazon Web Services. You’ll have the ability to add and delete VLANs over your Ethernet virtual circuit (EVC) to your AWS Virtual Private Clouds (VPC).* This portal-based, self-service functionality enables you to rapidly connect to your VPCs as you optimize and move your cloudbased workloads. Combine it with Level 3SM Dynamic Capacity and Level 3SM Enhanced Management to gain more control and visibility for on-demand cloud deployments and workload moves. Features Control: Self-service ability to add and remove VLANs to AWS in near real-time via the MyLevel3SM customer portal. Flexibility: Share bandwidth across AWS Virtual Private Cloud Instances. Security: Establish a private layer 2 connection via Level 3’s global network to your AWS multi-cloud environment.

Bottom-line – AWS IS the new cloud and connections to/from AWS IS a must-have.  I like the Layer 2 connection approach as well.

Hololens Partner Program
Hololens is a cool idea tech but not the only one going after VR/AR and what Microsoft calls Mixed Reality.  Here are some examples of what they are targeting as key market opportunities and if you are involved with any of them you might begin contacting customers to explore how they can take advantage of the technology regardless of tech as there are other viable solutions.

If you are not in a hurry and want 90 days for Microsoft tell you that your idea is something they would rather build themselves like what they did to Slack, click on the image below.
They say, “Please provide yourself 30 minutes to complete the application form

to help us better understand your business and current HoloLens activities. Upon submission, you will receive an update regarding your application within 90 days.”

Skype iOS App First Look – Not Looking Good 

I love regular Skype using it for more than decade on my PC and often use the iOS app on my iPhone which generally works better than the PC version.  I was excited to try the new iOS version and my first look is a real disappointment.  Why do app developers turn simple smartphone apps into bloatware found in most PC/MAC apps.  As a developer it is really hard to NOT want to add

MORE and MORE but sometimes more is really less and this is the case so far with the Skype iOS app.  The biggest issue was in the old version it was really easy to change your Presence with many options like on the PC version.  The new version assumes you are ONLINE all the time and makes it really difficult to change your presence.  Click on either image for details on changing presence.
Bottom-line – Please tell me what I missed, you like, I was wrong about or anything else you want to say.

Approved for iPhone and iPad, SleepTracsPro has Sleep, Snooze, Snap Alert, Zoomlite, Journal/Diary and Actical-Action Calendar.  Click on image for iTunes.

Key features of SleepTracsPro are:

NEW – Actical-Action calendar with Acticons-action icons and first calendar with drawings. Add drawings and images to your calendar to improve tracking and performance.

– Dream Diary Journal with drawing pads, audio recording, pics and notes with social sharing feature

– Zoomlite – Siri-enabled magnifying flashlight, weather, camera, large format clock. Unlike iPhone/iPad flashlight you can just say “Hey Siri Zoomlight” the flashlight will turn on with large format clock, weather, and zooming camera.

– Snooze feature is designed to let you get your “power nap” or “cat nap” anytime; you can select your snooze time and a wakeup vibration or tone/tune or your own voice or that of a friend or child.

– Snap feature is a new feature not found in any sleep app we have found so far. Snap is really a “snap out of it” feature that you put in your shirt pocket and when no motion or limited motions are detected, it gives you a vibration or tune/tone. Designed to help you overcome falling asleep in class or on the job, it should not be used while driving.

– Sleep mode feature offers you a scheduling tool You can select your sleep time and a wakeup vibration or tone/tune or your own voice or that of a friend

 or child.

– Weather – current weather is displayed when user awakes.

– ZoomLite is an exciting weather center, camera, large format clock and 3-level magnifying flashlight app. You are able to see weather, large font clock, take a picture and easily read labels, meds bottles, check meds, cuts/sores, household issues and other fine print articles and other hard to read documents or any other reason to see something closeup with 3-step magnifying flashlight.

Dream Diary journal has unlimited notepads with multi-color drawing features, text notes, audio recording, backgrounds with pictures from camera or gallery and sharing features for email, social sites, gallery and other ways.

We have also incorporated extensive sleep research into our app. New articles on getting better sleep are added daily, click on image to help you get better sleep and wellness.

SleepTracsPro is one of the many apps such as SleepTracs, ZoomLite, Baseball Fans Club, Basketball Fans, ReallyReal, Sports Fans Club, Football Fans Club, iSeekSugar, BiEyes, iFlipTips, iSeekSugar, MedsMinders, RewardsVIPClub, HashNewsGram and many others from TECHtionary.com.
Click on image http://sleeptracs.com/for tips, applications and ideas and Appstore image for iTunes and get better sleep now.

 

Interview with Evan Kirstel #1 UCaas Influencer
Here is an interview with Onalytica click on images for complete interview.
As a long-time expert and thought leader in the Cloud, Security, IoT, Big Data, AI and other technologies, I’ve been following their emergence in the health landscape with great interest. I believe we are on the cusp of an unprecedented convergence of technologies, one that could bring about sustained disruption and allow us to solve the most pressing issues in healthcare.
I was also drawn to the incredible energy of the health tech community here in Boston. Home to several premier teaching hospitals and prestigious universities, there is a vibrant community of health tech innovators here, as well as a natural test-bed to pilot these innovations in real healthcare settings.  Be it physician entrepreneurs, hospital leaders rethinking the entire patient care system, digital health startups and accelerators, public-private partnerships, or empowered patients and their vocal advocates, Boston is home to a world-class health tech innovation ecosystem and a growing digital healthcare industry.
I wanted to bring my technical expertise, industry experience, and social business know-how to help accelerate the growth of the digital health economy. To achieve this, I recently partnered with health tech innovation catalyst, patient experience expert, and former Google technology manager Irma Rastegayeva to form eViRa #HealthTech Strategies. Boston-based and globally-connected B2B experts, we are a trusted social media partner to clients across the health tech landscape. Whether it’s enabling startups to get discovered and introduced to potential partners and investors, guiding companies to expand their thought leadership, or helping clients to grow massive online audience and deepen user engagement, we are here to serve the health tech community.
WHAT AREAS OF HEALTH TECH ARE YOU MOST PASSIONATE ABOUT?
  • AI, Cognitive Computing, Big Data, IoT and predictive analytics – combination of these technologies will open up a new era of early diagnostics and disease prevention.
  • Telemedicine/Telehealth – this will become a mainstay of patient care delivery, vastly reducing costs.
  • 5G connectivity – this 5th generation of mobile technology will be a truly “disruptive innovation” and will offer much to fields of medicine and healthcare. One application of 5G I am excited about is rural hospitals collaborating with urban teaching hospitals to offer world-class training and care delivery. It’s important to note that 5G is an enabling technology, it will make the advancements of all the other technologies I mentioned possible.
  • Wearables 2.0 and Mobile Health – these improved medical wearables devices and drug delivery systems will be widely used, allowing remote patient monitoring of chronic conditions, also reducing costs and improving patient comfort and clinical outcomes.
  • AR and VR – Augmented and Virtual Reality technologies will have a wide range of applications, including medical training, life sciences, real-time surgery assist, mental health treatment, and many more.
IF A BRAND WANTED TO WORK WITH YOU, WHAT OFFLINE / ONLINE ACTIVITIES WOULD YOU BE MOST INTERESTED IN?
  • Social Media engagement, thought leadership, brand message amplification
  • Podcast/video interviews
  • Content development (e.g. short-form/long-form blog posts, feature articles, whitepapers)
  • Events (promoting, covering/attending)
WHAT WOULD BE THE BEST WAY FOR A BRAND TO CONTACT YOU?
Mobile: 978-761-1524 or Email: kirstel@gmail.com
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GoDaddy Telephone App
The world really doesn’t need another VoIP provider but GoDaddy introduced a new second line service but it really is NOT VoIP after all, not even WiFi.  Click on image for more details and after reviewing the features is misses out on so many issues you wonder what were they thinking.
  • Can I use the app with either an iOS or Android phone?
    Yes, there are both iOS and Android apps available.
  • How good is the call quality with SmartLine?
    We use your phone carrier’s network, so the quality and reliability is the same as your personal mobile number.
  • Can I send text messages from my SmartLine number?
    Yes, you can send and receive texts from the app, so you don’t have to disclose your personal number to customers.
  • What happens if I go over my monthly allotment?
    Any minutes over your monthly allotment will be billed in 6-second increments at $0.03 per minute. Any texts over your monthly allotment will be charged at $0.01 per text (applies only to outgoing texts on the SmartLine Basic plan).
  • Can I make and receive calls from outside the U.S.?
    You can receive calls from any phone number, including phone numbers outside the U.S. At this time, you can make calls to U.S. phone numbers only.
  • Can my second phone number be toll free?
    Not at this time, but we will be offering toll free numbers soon.
  • Can I use my current number with the SmartLine app?
    Yes. In most cases, we can port (transfer) your current number. Call a SmartLine expert at (480) 505-8877 for more information.
  • Can I get a second phone number for personal use?
    Of course! SmartLine isn’t just for business. A second phone number is great for little league coaches, listing items for sale online and more.
  • Does SmartLine use my phone plan’s minutes?
    Yes. When you make and receive calls, SmartLine uses the minutes included in your cellular phone plan. Since most people have unlimited minutes, this is rarely an issue.
  • Does SmartLine use WiFi for calling?
    No. SmartLine uses your cellular phone network to make and receive calls, which helps ensure the best possible call quality.
  • Is SmartLine a VoIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol) phone service?
    No. SmartLine calls use your cellular phone network for incoming and outgoing calls.

Emojis Communications

As a long-time fan of hieroglyphics, the power of visual communications has always been of interest.  Snapchat may be onto something with “cartoon greetings that feature customizable avatars and can be inserted into any number of chat apps.” They go on: “Having a digital extension of yourself is a necessity,” creative director and CEO Jacob Blackstock says, “and we’re working to give people the best possible version.” But even in visually infectious cartoon form, negative expressions present a challenge for Bitmoji’s creative team, who might be thought of as millennial Cyranos-charged with helping the app’s millions of daily users bring just the right mix of wit, topicality, and emotional nuance to their online repartee.”
There is much more: “He’s spent more than a decade now thinking about cartoons as a visual language. As he sees it, the swiftly approaching merger of the real and the virtual will only make such tools more essential. “We’re in a world now where we live in these,” he says, lifting his iPhone from the table. “Not only am I always on it,” he says, growing more animated, “but in terms of everyone I know, I mostly see them here. If you’re going to live in here, you’ve got to make this a better place to live.” Click on image for complete article.
Bottom-line – As you will read in the next section, visual communications is evolving actually back to the first form of communicated communications – communications that can be understood by more than the creator.  The Egyptians pioneered this approach as they realized that people were not going to learn how to read but like any “stop” sign people can quickly understand concepts even complex ones rather quickly.

European Visual Communications

There have been industry wide calls to improve the quality of digital ad inventory and develop more robust digital measurement techniques. This is considered a vital step towards delivering ‘realistic’ brand exposure metrics. More accurate and consistent viewability measurement will help to establish a

more reliable digital ‘opportunity-to-see’, supporting the need for enhanced comparability with TV and progress towards digital ‘gross rating points’.
These Principles will help our industry to achieve the following macro goals:
1. To raise minimum quality standards in digital advertising measurement
for all stakeholders across Europe.
2. To measure digital ad exposure which is deemed a key step to increasing confidence in digital ad trading.
3. To enhance the (internet) user experience in the context of changing user expectations.
4. To improve confidence in the digital ad environment.
The European Viewability Measurement Principles apply to measurement tools reporting the opportunity to see in-page display and in-stream video
ad content in an online desktop browser-based environment (this includes PCs and Laptops) and not mobile advertising. Mobile advertising will be
covered in the next iteration of these Principles towards the end of 2017. These Principles currently apply to the measurement of viewability only.
The EVSG could however, also be a useful platform to discuss, develop or contribute towards solutions for other digital advertising priorities within
the European market. Such considerations would need to be in line with the shared goals and demands of all markets across Europe, again mindful of
their varied characteristics and priorities.
Bottom-line – You can see where this is going that visual communications standards and guidelines will help cross communications boundaries among countries which is something we need more, not less of.

The Top 10 iPhone Apps in the U.S.
 And a little trivia:

Blue Screen of Death
In case you haven’t moved completely to Apple, here’s a reminder of the plight of Windows users of something that has existed for decades and still to this day.  Can’t wait for Bezo’s to take over from Gate as the richest person on the planet so I won’t have to hear from that windbag again who should be jailed for the awful products Microsoft still makes.

If you make anything, sell anything, impacted by weather, traffic or other events driven by nature or man, you need a plan.  For purposes of this article, terrorism are events perpetrated by others against you and trust are events or efforts of goodwill or negligence/incompetency by you.  Recall communications occurs by what you make or sell to the public and need a plan to stop others from selling it and consumers from buying it.  There is one other category such as Katrina falls under trust because it’s about what you do when there is a crisis. We hear every day of hacker attacks but seem a bit blasé” about them until they impact you directly. Few would argue that Identity theft is certainly one of the new growth industries. There are also an increasing amount of gawkers, hackers, attackers whose profession is to ruin you. In addition, there are others like the person who caused the Tylenol poison scare in the 1986 yet still impacting the product today. It may also be blasé’ to say that privacy is gone and the more you use social media and indeed, the less privacy you have. It is also easy enough to understand is theft of credit cards and user account information perpetrated by evildoers.
It’s not that you will be attacked, you already are being attacked, your IT security staff and others are already at work trying to stop them. The question is when hackers succeed and the odds are they will, do you have a crisis strategy plan already in place to respond to it. Because the way you respond to the attack in the new social media, you may have already lost the trust of your customers. We worked on building a strategy process plan ahead of the crisis so everyone knew what do to when it did. Like a fire evacuation plan, except for any attack response plan.
As with the concept of terrorism, you don’t get a second chance to make a first impression. In fact, the problem is that if you are not speaking on the social media soapbox, then someone else is speaking and they may not be saying what you want them to say. Or worse, trust once lost is seldom regained. The price to regain trust is also more than the cost of the original mistake. Last summer we all watched millions of gallons of oil a mile deep everyday on nearly media source.
If you are not learning from and acting upon all the details and consequences from these instances of corporate negligence it will certainly happen to you. In addition, your own gross negligence and incompetence may be fatal to your career and also never forgiven. Remember the world is all in “ink” and it’s not a “dress rehearsal.” There are now great tools that track social media (Actiance) and provide corporate tracking of both internal and external media threads. Moreover, with an increasing amount of corporate compliance requirements, social media marketing must be in a position to respond in a crisis. Whether an attack on corporate systems or epic disaster such as BP or Exxon oil spills or other disasters, you need to anticipate and build plans or models to be ready for every social media situation. No one would doubt that Tony Hayward the former BP CEO who made the situation even worse with his comment about “waiting his life back.” The internet is also “ink” and everything will always be there and you can delete it, so plan your content and respond to your crisis carefully.
Click here to get immediate help with designing and building a push notification solution for business and crisis communications.
Bottom-line – You cannot wait until the “oil” is washing on the shore to react.  If you do, you will lose your CEO, your stock value and be another Wells Fargo, Target, BP and others who are yet another brand and stockholder “road kill.”

Chatbots Real or Surreal Contact Center Agents 
I really like what [24]7 does in their research as they get to the point quickly.  Since chatbots are the new way we will communicate with others as surrogates we need to be prepared for them taking over our lives.
Here are some highlights from the [24]7 research and you can click here for their short report for more.  “With chatbots, you don’t need to wait for a customer to contact you to resolve an issue. Intelligent chatbots can determine customer intent before a customer even types a question. For instance, a chatbot knows when a customer logs in to a company website to view a bill. The chatbot can then proactively engage with the customer with statements such as, “I notice your bill is higher this month than last month. I can help you understand why this is and how to avoid this in the future.” The customer no longer needs to speak with a live agent, saving your company costs while improving customer satisfaction and retention.
Another example: blocked credit cards. A customer logs in because his card has been blocked. An intelligent chatbot can know this and immediately help him unblock the card. First, the chatbot provides a visual view of suspicious charges for the customer to review and verify. If all charges are valid, the chatbot can unblock the card without the customer needing to call and speak with an agent.
There’s a big difference between simplistic chatbots that don’t understand intent and those that are intelligent (able to integrate with enterprise systems, leverage big data, and use artificial intelligence). For the greatest savings and overall results, employ an intelligent chatbot that can
– Present user-specific responses based on data from back-end systems.
– Emulate human conversation and understand context.
– Execute transactions on behalf of users.
– Handle complex intents.

– Expedite resolution through proactive service.

Bottom-line – Get your chatbot hat on and get going on this asap.  If you want get started Mastercard has an API for their chatbot, so here you go.

Skype for Business Topologies supported with Modern Authentication
As a SIP security expert I am always amazed when companies find a security solution like they were the first explorers on the moon.  What they don’t realize especially at Microsoft is the real reason why there have not been more SIP security attacks is frankly a shortage of hackers.  Hackers go for the gold like ransomware and until they find some gold to go after in SIP calls then they will leave it alone for now.  Meanwhile, MS added this to Skype for Business “can leverage security advantages of Modern Authentication. Because Skype for Business works closely with Exchange, the login behavior Skype for Business client users will see will also be effected by the MA status of Exchange. This will also apply if you have a Skype for Business split-domain hybrid. That’s a lot of moving parts, but the aim here is an easy to visualize list of supported topologies.”
Bottom-line – Click on the graphic for their article.  I can only say if what they are doing is the ONLY thing you are doing you are surely going to be hacked and they may end up getting the gold.
_____________________________

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:

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.

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.

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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AI Social and Contextual UC #411 – New Skype IOS App – New Godaddy Phone App – Actical Action Calendar App

 

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August 18 – 2017 – Issue #411

AI Forum – Exploring the Wild World of Artificial Intelligence and other Communications, Mobile, Contextual-Intelligence and other communications companies.
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Siri can’t open iPhone Flashlight but say
ZoomLite and you get Flashlight, Magnifying Camera, Large Format Clock and Local Weather – Free.

Best app for reading anything close up including restaurant menus and receipts.

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Skype iOS App First Look – Not Looking Good 

I love regular Skype using it for more than decade on my PC and often use the iOS app on my iPhone which generally works better than the PC version.  I was excited to try the new iOS version and my first look is a real disappointment.  Why do app developers turn simple smartphone apps into bloatware found in most PC/MAC apps.  As a developer it is really hard to NOT want to add

MORE and MORE but sometimes more is really less and this is the case so far with the Skype iOS app.  The biggest issue was in the old version it was really easy to change your Presence with many options like on the PC version.  The new version assumes you are ONLINE all the time and makes it really difficult to change your presence.  Click on either image for details on changing presence.
Bottom-line – Please tell me what I missed, you like, I was wrong about or anything else you want to say.

Approved for iPhone and iPad, SleepTracsPro has Sleep, Snooze, Snap Alert, Zoomlite, Journal/Diary and Actical-Action Calendar.  Click on image for iTunes.

Key features of SleepTracsPro are:

NEW – Actical-Action calendar with Acticons-action icons and first calendar with drawings. Add drawings and images to your calendar to improve tracking and performance.

– Dream Diary Journal with drawing pads, audio recording, pics and notes with social sharing feature

– Zoomlite – Siri-enabled magnifying flashlight, weather, camera, large format clock. Unlike iPhone/iPad flashlight you can just say “Hey Siri Zoomlight” the flashlight will turn on with large format clock, weather, and zooming camera.

– Snooze feature is designed to let you get your “power nap” or “cat nap” anytime; you can select your snooze time and a wakeup vibration or tone/tune or your own voice or that of a friend or child.

– Snap feature is a new feature not found in any sleep app we have found so far. Snap is really a “snap out of it” feature that you put in your shirt pocket and when no motion or limited motions are detected, it gives you a vibration or tune/tone. Designed to help you overcome falling asleep in class or on the job, it should not be used while driving.

– Sleep mode feature offers you a scheduling tool You can select your sleep time and a wakeup vibration or tone/tune or your own voice or that of a friend

 or child.

– Weather – current weather is displayed when user awakes.

– ZoomLite is an exciting weather center, camera, large format clock and 3-level magnifying flashlight app. You are able to see weather, large font clock, take a picture and easily read labels, meds bottles, check meds, cuts/sores, household issues and other fine print articles and other hard to read documents or any other reason to see something closeup with 3-step magnifying flashlight.

Dream Diary journal has unlimited notepads with multi-color drawing features, text notes, audio recording, backgrounds with pictures from camera or gallery and sharing features for email, social sites, gallery and other ways.

We have also incorporated extensive sleep research into our app. New articles on getting better sleep are added daily, click on image to help you get better sleep and wellness.

SleepTracsPro is one of the many apps such as SleepTracs, ZoomLite, Baseball Fans Club, Basketball Fans, ReallyReal, Sports Fans Club, Football Fans Club, iSeekSugar, BiEyes, iFlipTips, iSeekSugar, MedsMinders, RewardsVIPClub, HashNewsGram and many others from TECHtionary.com.
Click on image http://sleeptracs.com/for tips, applications and ideas and Appstore image for iTunes and get better sleep now.

 


Interview with Evan Kirstel
Here is an interview with Onalytica click on images for complete interview.
As a long-time expert and thought leader in the Cloud, Security, IoT, Big Data, AI and other technologies, I’ve been following their emergence in the health landscape with great interest. I believe we are on the cusp of an unprecedented convergence of technologies, one that could bring about sustained disruption and allow us to solve the most pressing issues in healthcare.
I was also drawn to the incredible energy of the health tech community here in Boston. Home to several premier teaching hospitals and prestigious universities, there is a vibrant community of health tech innovators here, as well as a natural test-bed to pilot these innovations in real healthcare settings.  Be it physician entrepreneurs, hospital leaders rethinking the entire patient care system, digital health startups and accelerators, public-private partnerships, or empowered patients and their vocal advocates, Boston is home to a world-class health tech innovation ecosystem and a growing digital healthcare industry.
I wanted to bring my technical expertise, industry experience, and social business know-how to help accelerate the growth of the digital health economy. To achieve this, I recently partnered with health tech innovation catalyst, patient experience expert, and former Google technology manager Irma Rastegayeva to form eViRa #HealthTech Strategies. Boston-based and globally-connected B2B experts, we are a trusted social media partner to clients across the health tech landscape. Whether it’s enabling startups to get discovered and introduced to potential partners and investors, guiding companies to expand their thought leadership, or helping clients to grow massive online audience and deepen user engagement, we are here to serve the health tech community.

WHAT AREAS OF HEALTH TECH ARE YOU MOST PASSIONATE ABOUT?

  • AI, Cognitive Computing, Big Data, IoT and predictive analytics – combination of these technologies will open up a new era of early diagnostics and disease prevention.
  • Telemedicine/Telehealth – this will become a mainstay of patient care delivery, vastly reducing costs.
  • 5G connectivity – this 5th generation of mobile technology will be a truly “disruptive innovation” and will offer much to fields of medicine and healthcare. One application of 5G I am excited about is rural hospitals collaborating with urban teaching hospitals to offer world-class training and care delivery. It’s important to note that 5G is an enabling technology, it will make the advancements of all the other technologies I mentioned possible.
  • Wearables 2.0 and Mobile Health – these improved medical wearables devices and drug delivery systems will be widely used, allowing remote patient monitoring of chronic conditions, also reducing costs and improving patient comfort and clinical outcomes.
  • AR and VR – Augmented and Virtual Reality technologies will have a wide range of applications, including medical training, life sciences, real-time surgery assist, mental health treatment, and many more.

IF A BRAND WANTED TO WORK WITH YOU, WHAT OFFLINE / ONLINE ACTIVITIES WOULD YOU BE MOST INTERESTED IN?

  • Social Media engagement, thought leadership, brand message amplification
  • Podcast/video interviews
  • Content development (e.g. short-form/long-form blog posts, feature articles, whitepapers)
  • Events (promoting, covering/attending)

WHAT WOULD BE THE BEST WAY FOR A BRAND TO CONTACT YOU?

Mobile: 978-761-1524 or Email: kirstel@gmail.com
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GoDaddy Telephone App
The world really doesn’t need another VoIP provider but GoDaddy introduced a new second line service but it really is NOT VoIP afterall, not even WiFi.  Click on image for more details and after reviewing the features is misses out on so many issues you wonder what were they thinking.
  • Can I use the app with either an iOS or Android phone?
    Yes, there are both iOS and Android apps available.
  • How good is the call quality with SmartLine?
    We use your phone carrier’s network, so the quality and reliability is the same as your personal mobile number.
  • Can I send text messages from my SmartLine number?
    Yes, you can send and receive texts from the app, so you don’t have to disclose your personal number to customers.
  • What happens if I go over my monthly allotment?
    Any minutes over your monthly allotment will be billed in 6-second increments at $0.03 per minute. Any texts over your monthly allotment will be charged at $0.01 per text (applies only to outgoing texts on the SmartLine Basic plan).
  • Can I make and receive calls from outside the U.S.?
    You can receive calls from any phone number, including phone numbers outside the U.S. At this time, you can make calls to U.S. phone numbers only.
  • Can my second phone number be toll free?
    Not at this time, but we will be offering toll free numbers soon.
  • Can I use my current number with the SmartLine app?
    Yes. In most cases, we can port (transfer) your current number. Call a SmartLine expert at (480) 505-8877 for more information.
  • Can I get a second phone number for personal use?
    Of course! SmartLine isn’t just for business. A second phone number is great for little league coaches, listing items for sale online and more.
  • Does SmartLine use my phone plan’s minutes?
    Yes. When you make and receive calls, SmartLine uses the minutes included in your cellular phone plan. Since most people have unlimited minutes, this is rarely an issue.
  • Does SmartLine use WiFi for calling?
    No. SmartLine uses your cellular phone network to make and receive calls, which helps ensure the best possible call quality.
  • Is SmartLine a VoIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol) phone service?
    No. SmartLine calls use your cellular phone network for incoming and outgoing calls.

Emojis Communications

As a long-time fan of hieroglyphics, the power of visual communications has always been of interest.  Snapchat may be onto something with “cartoon greetings that feature customizable avatars and can be inserted into any number of chat apps.” They go on: “Having a digital extension of yourself is a necessity,” creative director and CEO Jacob Blackstock says, “and we’re working to give people the best possible version.” But even in visually infectious cartoon form, negative expressions present a challenge for Bitmoji’s creative team, who might be thought of as millennial Cyranos-charged with helping the app’s millions of daily users bring just the right mix of wit, topicality, and emotional nuance to their online repartee.”
There is much more: “He’s spent more than a decade now thinking about cartoons as a visual language. As he sees it, the swiftly approaching merger of the real and the virtual will only make such tools more essential. “We’re in a world now where we live in these,” he says, lifting his iPhone from the table. “Not only am I always on it,” he says, growing more animated, “but in terms of everyone I know, I mostly see them here. If you’re going to live in here, you’ve got to make this a better place to live.” Click on image for complete article.
Bottom-line – As you will read in the next section, visual communications is evolving actually back to the first form of communicated communications – communications that can be understood by more than the creator.  The Egyptians pioneered this approach as they realized that people were not going to learn how to read but like any “stop” sign people can quickly understand concepts even complex ones rather quickly.

European Visual Communications

There have been industry wide calls to improve the quality of digital ad inventory and develop more robust digital measurement techniques. This is considered a vital step towards delivering ‘realistic’ brand exposure metrics. More accurate and consistent viewability measurement will help to establish a

more reliable digital ‘opportunity-to-see’, supporting the need for enhanced comparability with TV and progress towards digital ‘gross rating points’.
These Principles will help our industry to achieve the following macro goals:
1. To raise minimum quality standards in digital advertising measurement
for all stakeholders across Europe.
2. To measure digital ad exposure which is deemed a key step to increasing confidence in digital ad trading.
3. To enhance the (internet) user experience in the context of changing user expectations.
4. To improve confidence in the digital ad environment.
The European Viewability Measurement Principles apply to measurement tools reporting the opportunity to see in-page display and in-stream video
ad content in an online desktop browser-based environment (this includes PCs and Laptops) and not mobile advertising. Mobile advertising will be
covered in the next iteration of these Principles towards the end of 2017. These Principles currently apply to the measurement of viewability only.
The EVSG could however, also be a useful platform to discuss, develop or contribute towards solutions for other digital advertising priorities within
the European market. Such considerations would need to be in line with the shared goals and demands of all markets across Europe, again mindful of
their varied characteristics and priorities.
Bottom-line – You can see where this is going that visual communications standards and guidelines will help cross communications boundaries among countries which is something we need more, not less of.

The Top 10 iPhone Apps in the U.S.
 And a little trivia:

Blue Screen of Death
In case you haven’t moved completely to Apple, here’s a reminder of the plight of Windows users of something that has existed for decades and still to this day.  Can’t wait for Bezo’s to take over from Gate as the richest person on the planet so I won’t have to hear from that windbag again who should be jailed for the awful products Microsoft still makes.

If you make anything, sell anything, impacted by weather, traffic or other events driven by nature or man, you need a plan.  For purposes of this article, terrorism are events perpetrated by others against you and trust are events or efforts of goodwill or negligence/incompetency by you.  Recall communications occurs by what you make or sell to the public and need a plan to stop others from selling it and consumers from buying it.  There is one other category such as Katrina falls under trust because it’s about what you do when there is a crisis. We hear every day of hacker attacks but seem a bit blasé” about them until they impact you directly. Few would argue that Identity theft is certainly one of the new growth industries. There are also an increasing amount of gawkers, hackers, attackers whose profession is to ruin you. In addition, there are others like the person who caused the Tylenol poison scare in the 1986 yet still impacting the product today. It may also be blasé’ to say that privacy is gone and the more you use social media and indeed, the less privacy you have. It is also easy enough to understand is theft of credit cards and user account information perpetrated by evildoers.
It’s not that you will be attacked, you already are being attacked, your IT security staff and others are already at work trying to stop them. The question is when hackers succeed and the odds are they will, do you have a crisis strategy plan already in place to respond to it. Because the way you respond to the attack in the new social media, you may have already lost the trust of your customers. We worked on building a strategy process plan ahead of the crisis so everyone knew what do to when it did. Like a fire evacuation plan, except for any attack response plan.
As with the concept of terrorism, you don’t get a second chance to make a first impression. In fact, the problem is that if you are not speaking on the social media soapbox, then someone else is speaking and they may not be saying what you want them to say. Or worse, trust once lost is seldom regained. The price to regain trust is also more than the cost of the original mistake. Last summer we all watched millions of gallons of oil a mile deep everyday on nearly media source.
If you are not learning from and acting upon all the details and consequences from these instances of corporate negligence it will certainly happen to you. In addition, your own gross negligence and incompetence may be fatal to your career and also never forgiven. Remember the world is all in “ink” and it’s not a “dress rehearsal.” There are now great tools that track social media (Actiance) and provide corporate tracking of both internal and external media threads. Moreover, with an increasing amount of corporate compliance requirements, social media marketing must be in a position to respond in a crisis. Whether an attack on corporate systems or epic disaster such as BP or Exxon oil spills or other disasters, you need to anticipate and build plans or models to be ready for every social media situation. No one would doubt that Tony Hayward the former BP CEO who made the situation even worse with his comment about “waiting his life back.” The internet is also “ink” and everything will always be there and you can delete it, so plan your content and respond to your crisis carefully.
Click here to get immediate help with designing and building a push notification solution for business and crisis communications.
Bottom-line – You cannot wait until the “oil” is washing on the shore to react.  If you do, you will lose your CEO, your stock value and be another Wells Fargo, Target, BP and others who are yet another brand and stockholder “road kill.”

Chatbots Real or Surreal Contact Center Agents 
I really like what [24]7 does in their research as they get to the point quickly.  Since chatbots are the new way we will communicate with others as surrogates we need to be prepared for them taking over our lives.
Here are some highlights from the [24]7 research and you can click here for their short report for more.  “With chatbots, you don’t need to wait for a customer to contact you to resolve an issue. Intelligent chatbots can determine customer intent before a customer even types a question. For instance, a chatbot knows when a customer logs in to a company website to view a bill. The chatbot can then proactively engage with the customer with statements such as, “I notice your bill is higher this month than last month. I can help you understand why this is and how to avoid this in the future.” The customer no longer needs to speak with a live agent, saving your company costs while improving customer satisfaction and retention.
Another example: blocked credit cards. A customer logs in because his card has been blocked. An intelligent chatbot can know this and immediately help him unblock the card. First, the chatbot provides a visual view of suspicious charges for the customer to review and verify. If all charges are valid, the chatbot can unblock the card without the customer needing to call and speak with an agent.
There’s a big difference between simplistic chatbots that don’t understand intent and those that are intelligent (able to integrate with enterprise systems, leverage big data, and use artificial intelligence). For the greatest savings and overall results, employ an intelligent chatbot that can
– Present user-specific responses based on data from back-end systems.
– Emulate human conversation and understand context.
– Execute transactions on behalf of users.
– Handle complex intents.

– Expedite resolution through proactive service.

Bottom-line – Get your chatbot hat on and get going on this asap.  If you want get started Mastercard has an API for their chatbot, so here you go.

Skype for Business Topologies supported with Modern Authentication
As a SIP security expert I am always amazed when companies find a security solution like they were the first explorers on the moon.  What they don’t realize especially at Microsoft is the real reason why there have not been more SIP security attacks is frankly a shortage of hackers.  Hackers go for the gold like ransomware and until they find some gold to go after in SIP calls then they will leave it alone for now.  Meanwhile, MS added this to Skype for Business “can leverage security advantages of Modern Authentication. Because Skype for Business works closely with Exchange, the login behavior Skype for Business client users will see will also be effected by the MA status of Exchange. This will also apply if you have a Skype for Business split-domain hybrid. That’s a lot of moving parts, but the aim here is an easy to visualize list of supported topologies.”
Bottom-line – Click on the graphic for their article.  I can only say if what they are doing is the ONLY thing you are doing you are surely going to be hacked and they may end up getting the gold.
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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:

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.

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.

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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Lync is a Trademark of Microsoft.  Unified Communications Apps & Cloud Communications Forum is an independent forum.

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The User Forum provides classroom and webseminar training as well as a non-production environment for those IT departments without additional equipment, budget or time.  This allows planners and users to test ideas, dial in and dial back out, IM file transfers, remote desktop sharing, video conferencing, run scenarios, review logs, break linkages and learning about new telephony features and network access.  The User Forum is also designed for both the system integrator/consultant who wants to learn about tech without having to build their own system as well as the enterprise customer who doesn’t have the time, resources or knowledge to develop one.  Coming soon, User Forum Labs are designed to be “hands-on” or “over-the-shoulder” with experts available for Q&A and classes for feature-specific review.

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