Ken Smith


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The Cloud is Dead.  Long live the Cloud!

By Ken Smith on Apr 18, 2017 3:10:05 PM

Recently, I’ve seen articles that basically declare that cloud computing is such a normal part of our daily lives that everyone knows what it is, how it works, and the benefits it brings to individuals and organizations.  And while that may be true for many, some people still don’t really understand cloud computing.

In many people’s minds, it’s an intangible, nebulous place – somewhere in the world – where their very critical, valuable, and sensitive information is stored.  But is it secure?  Who can access the data?  If I want my data, can I download it?  If I store my data in the cloud, is it still mine? How do I use my applications if I’m offline?  Do I have a choice to place my data in the cloud?  Why would I do that if what I currently have works just fine?

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How Istonish Can Help You Focus on What Matters Most for Your Business

By Ken Smith on Jan 26, 2017 3:10:57 PM

In an earlier article, I outlined 5 reasons why you should outsource your IT service desk. While all five of the points outlined in that article are valid, one other benefit of using an external IT service desk solution is that it frees up your internal IT teams to focus on truly strategic, transformative work that can bring more value to your business. 

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5 Reasons to Outsource Your IT Service Desk

By Ken Smith on Oct 13, 2016 1:38:16 PM

An IT service desk is a vital resource for companies of all sizes.  While the smallest companies may get by with part-time IT staff or other limited support options, many companies with more than 100 employees often rely on an internal IT help desk to get the technical support they need.

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Top 2 Things To Implement In Your IVR System's Top Menu

By Ken Smith on Mar 11, 2015 8:41:28 AM


Our friends at Software Advice, a VoIP market research and reviews website, recently conducted their own survey by calling the Interactive Voice Response (IVR) systems of 50 customer service-oriented Fortune 500 companies. They collected metrics on how those companies implement their IVR technology. Software Advice then interviewed specialists in operations research and call center bench-marking (the scientific comparison of call center performance metrics) to get their thoughts on best practices for IVR design. Here is one component of their findings:

Depending on a company's business model, the number of options callers are offered in the top menu will change. The average number of menu options for Software Advice's survey was 4.16. But if your company needs numerous options on the top menu, there are two key elements on which to focus.

Eliminate Submenus By Using Open-Ended Questions and ‘Next’ Options

Two of the companies Software Advice called simply prompted the caller for an open-ended response instead of offering a menu. Eric Tober, principal speech solutions scientist for Interactive Intelligence (a leading supplier of contact center solutions), explains that this sort of structure, known as “natural language understanding (NLU),” uses “statistical language models and call routing [to] greatly expand the number of distinct selections (150-plus) a caller can make, while enabling a more natural, open dialog.”

Such structures are ideal for companies that offer numerous services through their IVRs, he adds, since they streamline IVR systems by effecting “greater flattening of the menu structure for many callers.” In other words, callers don’t have to go nearly as deep into IVR submenus to complete a task. Continue reading article...

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