SHARE



ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Matt Brunk
Matt Brunk has worked in past roles as director of IT for a multisite health care firm; president of Telecomworx,...
Read Full Bio >>
SHARE



Matt Brunk | September 26, 2008 |

 
   

What's Wrong With Telecom?

What's Wrong With Telecom? Considering the metrics that we're held up to- keeping the systems up and running, delivering acceptable call quality, reasonable costs and the ongoing expectations of customers wanting improvements: better, faster, cheaper, simpler; well, I've got to ask, Is telecom's complacency and slow-to-change mentality the core reason for Cisco's success? I dunno, but I bet someone else has thought so.

Considering the metrics that we're held up to- keeping the systems up and running, delivering acceptable call quality, reasonable costs and the ongoing expectations of customers wanting improvements: better, faster, cheaper, simpler; well, I've got to ask, Is telecom's complacency and slow-to-change mentality the core reason for Cisco's success? I dunno, but I bet someone else has thought so.

I love telecom and still argue that telecom is the place for entrepreneurs. Of course I know the old saying "love is blind" and even still in every love relationship there's always a little bit of less loving and hopefully more forgiving. With that, hopefully my criticisms are forgiven.My first gripe is the lack of drive, that seems akin to an ancient memory, of providing service to the customer. Large enterprise management can exercise their contractual power, but for the most part and in many cases you take a number, get in line and you may get help if a) you know the system, b) you know what you're talking about and c) you're lucky. The carriers have long been too shielded by the FCC and the PUC/PSC's and it's not too hard to understand why since they (the providers) pretty much write their own rules. I don't know about you but I don't see any indications of insolvency. So why is customer service so lousy?

My second complaint is directed at cellular companies and their services and practices that stink. Why? In the age of putting Martha Stewart in lock down and later being able to track her movements and position on the planet, you'd hope that your cell service was just as good. Dropped calls, poor call quality and lack of service availability needs to be a thing of the past instead of what we all deem as tolerable. The mantra that cellular companies cannot possibly design better cell networks because "costs would be too high" pretty much has everyone paying premiums for services that are too unreliable.

My last concern is just that--a concern. For the past several weeks I've been dealing with an executive that wants to get his DID calls on his cell phone when he's out traveling and visiting other factories. Trunk-to-trunk transfer doesn't always provide "acceptable" call quality and it's permissive, meaning it lacks call supervision. It's amazing how many manufacturers state they support PRI - no you don't. You support BASIC PRI and not all the features and capabilities of PRI including TBCT (2 Bearer Channel Transfer). I argue that TBCT is glue needed to not only unify communications but also get the communicators communicating. Desktop phones, no matter who argues for or against them, won't be a quick kill for the simple reason that people don't like change and the ones that do, well, they do only to a degree. Then, fixed mobile convergence (FMC) doesn't exactly glue desktop phones to cell phones.

But to really understand my last concern you need to understand my compliment. My tribute goes to Cisco for understanding details. Over many years I've read plenty of Cisco publications and documents including their call transfer and call handling of PRI calls that include advanced features such as TBCT. Long ago, I enjoyed (it's okay to laugh) reading Bell Labs documentation on echo or quantizing noise and a host of other things. Cisco understands how TBCT works and they understand a lot of other things including details in how things work in telecommunications. This and more has earned Cisco a number one standing. My theory is Cisco has taken every, or nearly every piece of telecom apart, reconstructed it for their pleasure and made a fortune. Now, if Microsoft would do the same thing to itself, well, I'd be tipping my hat to them instead.

A lot of the groundwork has been laid and built upon with developing IPT to provide better, faster, cheaper and simpler means of communicating and providing services to glue people to home or work whenever and wherever they want. Gauging the resistance of customer/user or provider/carrier -my bet is that the greatest amount of resistance to change isn't from the users but from the carriers themselves. Nortel's MEN sell off is just one significant indicator of how much change we will see in telecommunications.

A few years ago I commented on the shift of traffic from voice to IP and the move of that traffic traversing the Internet and not the PSTN. More importantly I also noted the question that is more relevant today -what happens to those Central Offices as customers abandon wireline services for the web and/or cellular? I am just as concerned about the reliability and accessibility of the PSTN, but how far and how long will the carriers be allowed to continue to hide behind the PSTN? Meaning they play public safety and the public well-being cards very well and still, not forgetting that the Telcos have done a great job in an overly legislated industry whose primary purpose for the government seems to be to raise revenue. Thinking that things will stay the same in the carrier network with huge losses in wireline business is a bit risky. So the meaning is, expect carrier contraction with loss of wireline business and not just on the staff support. Aside from all this, where are the statistics of the Telcos implementing their own hosted telephony solutions? Lastly, I question and ponder: "just how public is the PSTN anymore?" In other words, relevancy has changed.

Considering the metrics that we're held up to- keeping the systems up and running, delivering acceptable call quality, reasonable costs and the ongoing expectations of customers wanting improvements: better, faster, cheaper, simpler; well, I've got to ask, "what about telecommunications?" Is telecom's complacency and slow-to-change mentality the core reason for Cisco's success? I dunno, but I bet someone else has thought so.Considering the metrics that we're held up to- keeping the systems up and running, delivering acceptable call quality, reasonable costs and the ongoing expectations of customers wanting improvements: better, faster, cheaper, simpler; well, I've got to ask, Is telecom's complacency and slow-to-change mentality the core reason for Cisco's success? I dunno, but I bet someone else has thought so.





COMMENTS




May 23, 2018

If Cisco is a critical strategic supplier for you, then its vital for you to understand the most recent announcements around Webex Teams, and how to build your migration path for the next generatio

April 25, 2018

Yesterdays simple phone call to a contact center or business location is rapidly becoming todays interactive session, spanning multiple channels and devices. If you need to know how Omnichannel can

March 7, 2018

Video collaboration is experiencing significant change and innovation-how can your enterprise take advantage? In this webinar, leading industry analyst Ira Weinstein will present detailed analysis

March 12, 2018
An effective E-911 implementation doesn't just happen; it takes a solid strategy. Tune in for tips from IT expert Irwin Lazar, of Nemertes Research.
March 9, 2018
IT consultant Steve Leaden lays out the whys and how-tos of getting the green light for your convergence strategy.
March 7, 2018
In advance of his speech tech tutorial at EC18, communications analyst Jon Arnold explores what voice means in a post-PBX world.
February 28, 2018
Voice engagement isn't about a simple phone call any longer, but rather a conversational experience that crosses from one channel to the next, as Daniel Hong, a VP and research director with Forrester....
February 16, 2018
What trends and technologies should you be up on for your contact center? Sheila McGee-Smith, Contact Center & Customer Experience track chair for Enterprise Connect 2018, gives us the lowdown.
February 9, 2018
Melanie Turek, VP of connected work research at Frost & Sullivan, walks us through key components -- and sticking points -- of customer-oriented digital transformation projects.
February 2, 2018
UC consultant Marty Parker has crunched lots of numbers evaluating UC options; tune in for what he's learned and tips for your own analysis.
January 26, 2018
Don't miss out on the fun! Organizer Alan Quayle shares details of his pre-Enterprise Connect hackathon, TADHack-mini '18, showcasing programmable communications.
December 20, 2017
Kevin Kieller, partner with enableUC, provides advice on how to move forward with your Skype for Business and Teams deployments.
December 20, 2017
Zeus Kerravala, principal analyst with ZK Research, shares his perspective on artificial intelligence and the future of team collaboration.
December 20, 2017
Delanda Coleman, Microsoft senior marketing manager, explains the Teams vision and shares use case examples.
November 30, 2017
With a ruling on the FCC's proposed order to dismantle the Open Internet Order expected this month, communications technology attorney Martha Buyer walks us through what's at stake.
October 23, 2017
Wondering which Office 365 collaboration tool to use when? Get quick pointers from CBT Nuggets instructor Simona Millham.
September 22, 2017
In this podcast, we explore the future of work with Robert Brown, AVP of the Cognizant Center for the Future of Work, who helps us answer the question, "What do we do when machines do everything?"
September 8, 2017
Greg Collins, a technology analyst and strategist with Exact Ventures, delivers a status report on 5G implementation plans and tells enterprises why they shouldn't wait to move ahead on potential use ....
August 25, 2017
Find out what business considerations are driving the SIP trunking market today, and learn a bit about how satisfied enterprises are with their providers. We talk with John Malone, president of The Ea....
August 16, 2017
World Vision U.S. is finding lots of goodness in RingCentral's cloud communications service, but as Randy Boyd, infrastructure architect at the global humanitarian nonprofit, tells us, he and his team....
August 11, 2017
Alicia Gee, director of unified communications at Sutter Physician Services, oversees the technical team supporting a 1,000-agent contact center running on Genesys PureConnect. She catches us up on th....
August 4, 2017
Andrew Prokop, communications evangelist with Arrow Systems Integration, has lately been working on integrating enterprise communications into Internet of Things ecosystems. He shares examples and off....
July 27, 2017
Industry watcher Elka Popova, a Frost & Sullivan program director, shares her perspective on this acquisition, discussing Mitel's market positioning, why the move makes sense, and more.
July 14, 2017
Lantre Barr, founder and CEO of Blacc Spot Media, urges any enterprise that's been on the fence about integrating real-time communications into business workflows to jump off and get started. Tune and....
June 28, 2017
Communications expert Tsahi Levent-Levi, author of the popular BlogGeek.me blog, keeps a running tally and comprehensive overview of communications platform-as-a-service offerings in his "Choosing a W....
June 9, 2017
If you think telecom expense management applies to nothing more than business phone lines, think again. Hyoun Park, founder and principal investigator with technology advisory Amalgam Insights, tells ....
June 2, 2017
Enterprises strategizing on mobility today, including for internal collaboration, don't have the luxury of learning as they go. Tony Rizzo, enterprise mobility specialist with Blue Hill Research, expl....
May 24, 2017
Mark Winther, head of IDC's global telecom consulting practice, gives us his take on how CPaaS providers evolve beyond the basic building blocks and address maturing enterprise needs.
May 18, 2017
Diane Myers, senior research director at IHS Markit, walks us through her 2017 UC-as-a-service report... and shares what might be to come in 2018.
April 28, 2017
Change isn't easy, but it is necessary. Tune in for advice and perspective from Zeus Kerravala, co-author of a "Digital Transformation for Dummies" special edition.
April 20, 2017
Robin Gareiss, president of Nemertes Research, shares insight gleaned from the firm's 12th annual UCC Total Cost of Operations study.
March 23, 2017
Tim Banting, of Current Analysis, gives us a peek into what the next three years will bring in advance of his Enterprise Connect session exploring the question: Will there be a new model for enterpris....
March 15, 2017
Andrew Prokop, communications evangelist with Arrow Systems Integration, discusses the evolving role of the all-important session border controller.
March 9, 2017
Organizer Alan Quayle gives us the lowdown on programmable communications and all you need to know about participating in this pre-Enterprise Connect hackathon.
March 3, 2017
From protecting against new vulnerabilities to keeping security assessments up to date, security consultant Mark Collier shares tips on how best to protect your UC systems.
February 24, 2017
UC analyst Blair Pleasant sorts through the myriad cloud architectural models underlying UCaaS and CCaaS offerings, and explains why knowing the differences matter.
February 17, 2017
From the most basics of basics to the hidden gotchas, UC consultant Melissa Swartz helps demystify the complex world of SIP trunking.
February 7, 2017
UC&C consultant Kevin Kieller, a partner at enableUC, shares pointers for making the right architectural choices for your Skype for Business deployment.
February 1, 2017
Elka Popova, a Frost & Sullivan program director, shares a status report on the UCaaS market today and offers her perspective on what large enterprises need before committing to UC in the cloud.
January 26, 2017
Andrew Davis, co-founder of Wainhouse Research and chair of the Video track at Enterprise Connect 2017, sorts through the myriad cloud video service options and shares how to tell if your choice is en....
January 23, 2017
Sheila McGee-Smith, Contact Center/Customer Experience track chair for Enterprise Connect 2017, tells us what we need to know about the role cloud software is playing in contact centers today.