Gokul Blog — A conversation on VoIP, IMS, Cisco and Just about Anything

Deeper analysis of VoIP

Archive for February, 2008

What is Gokul doing in a SOA meet?

Posted by tggokul on February 28, 2008

Some of you might know that I am not exactly a fan of web services companies and also that terms like SOA/SAAS are all just new terminologies to dupe the innocent public.

So trust me, when I was nominated to go to a SOA seminar for two days (today and tomorrow), there was a lot skepticism from my side. But though I am not convinced enough to be forced into the dark side, I am convinced enough about SOA to atleast spare a second thought to it.

My initial thoughts of this being old wine in a new bottle is still valid, but I appreciate the effort to package it in a bottle that would be accepted by the Business guys as well and not restricted to the techies. I am a huge fans of APIs and SOA fits right into that.

Btw couple of my colleagues have patented the right to the new expansion of the SOAP protocol. According to them it is SOA Protocol 🙂 So if you are using that, you can be sued by Gopinath Bailur and Kamesh ( Guys, I gave you the credit. So quit complaining now 🙂 )


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Contact Center gone wrong?

Posted by tggokul on February 19, 2008

I had a broadband outage this weekend and I called up Bharti Airtel’s customer service. I was met with an IVR which calmly collected all my information. ( Account Number/Problem Description etc). I was pleasantly surprised that I was going to have my problem recorded by the IVR itself and I did not have to go to an agent.

My assumption was that the case would be recorded by the IVR and a complaint would be raised and an complaint id would be smsed to my mobile phone. I couldn’t be happier. That would save me time to talk to an agent. But then the worst happened. After the IVR collected all the details, I was asked to wait in queue to be transferred to an agent. I still thought it was fair enough; maybe the telcos need me to talk to the agent for auditing purposes.

So I wait and I am put on to an agent. The agent asks me the SAME questions the IVR asked. So I ask the agent, I just entered these details in the IVR, don’t you have a screen pop of these. And he says ‘No’. So what is the point of me spending my time on the IVR? So I register my complaint with the Agent on my broadband outage and also registered another complaint that their IVR/ACD integration sucked.

The good guys from Airtel called me the next day and wanted to know what the problem was. I started of asking whether they were employees from Airtel or just some bozo from an outsourced call center. I don’t want to be talking to another agent who has no clue what an IVR/ACD is. So he assures me that he is proficient on these and asked me again what the problem was.

I told how skewed his IVR application was ( Btw, my call was also dropped on the IVR 2-3 times when I was in the queue) and this is not the way an IVR needs to be written and surely not the way an ACD integrates with the IVR. I asked him what was the ACD/IVR they were using and he said Nortel. I asked him to inform his higher ups to move to better platforms 🙂 Maybe Cisco 🙂

If you are an Airtel executive reading this post, make sure that the IVR applications are written well. If you want call completion on IVR to be maximised, atleast give us consumers a chance to complete it. I am never going to access your IVR for bill information. I will do it online. The only reason I will call into your IVR is for complaints, and since you already have menus for that, why can’t you integrate it properly?

I would be more than willing to help you if you get in touch with me.

Posted in Cisco, General, Voice 2.0 | 1 Comment »

It is about the Consumers, Stupid!!!

Posted by tggokul on February 19, 2008

I was watching the India-Srilanka cricket match when there was an ad break. I normally would have switched channels, but the remote was not there with me and so had to watch the ads.

For the first time in my life, I actually saw an ad by Cisco touting its “Human Networks”. This got me thinking. Why in the world would a Networking company want to announce itself to the general consumers? Why would Cisco want to be consumer facing? Let’s say Cisco’s next big bet is on Unified Communication. Still, they would need to target the enterprises and not the end consumer.

They are not going IPO. So it cannot be a marketing ploy. Why would Cisco want to get into the public eye? I have some views. But I would like to hear yours , please.

Posted in Cisco | 1 Comment »

Year of the underdog?

Posted by tggokul on February 4, 2008

With the greatest upset of all times, the Giants have heralded in the year of the underdogs. India already have stood up to the world champion in the recently ended cricket Test series down under and now the Giants have upstaged the Patriots at the final frontier.

Maybe the big telcos would be taken down by the smaller startups? Maybe!!! But as of now lets celebrate Mannning and co’s amazing victory. Now bothe the mannings ( Payton and Eli) have a super bowl ring in two years. Maybe next year we will see the Manning bowl?

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