Dominick Keenaghan, President of Insights, Middle East, commented – ‘Many consider converging communications to be IP telephony and for sure, IP telephony is one part of the overall converged solutions portfolio.’ But there are many other, advanced products within the portfolio. These products include carrier-class products as well as enterprise, commercial and even domestic solutions. Call Centre operators, in particular, have been quick to take advantage of converging communications to reduce costs, increase functionality and maintain their focus on Customer Relationship Management (CRM).
Keenaghan has been following the CT explosion around the world and cites recent, regional ITU initiatives as one of the strongest indicators yet that Computer Telephony is the way forward. ‘These developments are a bonanza for end users and corporates alike in that they offer easier, more efficient, usually cheaper and often new ways to communicate. Witness the explosion in growth of SMS texting and other forms of Instant Messaging. However they are also a major challenge to existing public telephone operators who must both migrate their delivery platforms to take advantage of the efficiencies of the new technologies but also gear up to provision these new telephony-oriented services that customers are now clamouring for.”
The region’s 8th, annual converging communications exhibition opens at the Dubai Chamber of Commerce 26th May. Organised by Insights, the Middle East Computer Telephony Exhibition 2002 (MECT 2002) is a treasure trove of exciting technologies, advanced processes and experienced advisers. MECT (along with its accompanying conference) is both exhilarating and refreshing. It has become a regional launch pad for advanced Computer Telephony systems as well as an annual gathering point for the region’s most influential industry players. Visitors and exhibitors alike, return year after year for every year brings something new and=20 progressive.
Computer Telephony experts GlobiTel will expand their MECT presence this year with their captivating array of converged products, including PABX/ACD systems, dialers and Unified messaging solutions. Timna Electronics & telecommunications will also return to provide invaluable advice on customer retention as a lower-cost alternative to acquisition with contact centre call quality monitoring tools and call accounting solutions.
N-Soft have a history of exciting MECT visitors with their pre-paid calling card solutions and for this year, they add a host of value-added services such as Interactive Voice Response advertising. Converged solutions owe their lifeblood to value added services and N-Soft show us how to make it work. If you are concerned about missing some vital communication as a result of the MECT-driven, heightened sense of excitement, you should talk to the people at Captaris who will show you how to literally conduct your business from anywhere at any time. You do no need to wait for 3G. Captaris give you the power to manage voice mail, email, fax and other communications from any WAP enabled phone, anywhere in the world Now, that’s convergance!
The MECT family is growing and each year sees many new companies taking part. This year will be no different. Converging communications is a relatively new concept and as a result in can be difficult to find experience. MECT will benefit this year from the 200,000 lines of converged communications experience, brought to us by C3. C3 have been providing NT and SQL based communications platforms since 1990. Their modular, multi-application platform covers all requirements, including IVR, VOIP and unified messaging. Artilium Communications will demonstrate their multi-service, multi-protocol switching platforms running on Windows NT-based systems. Artilium will also show off their multimedia contact centre and alarm server products with the latter able to cope with all sorts of emergency call out situations and the former primed to handle multi-threaded queues containing telephone calls, emails, fax messages and web forms, all at the same time.
Another new area of focus for the MECT event this year is Optical Communications. Whilst many companies now have direct fibre connections to their building, one of the most recent innovations is a technology called “optical wireless”- using light as a transmission medium but without the need for fibre. This technology has far-reaching possibilities for efficiency, reliability and flexibility and is being demonstrated at the event by Lightpointe, a USA-based innovator that is rapidly making its mark in the region.
Some of the most exciting new products on display at MECT 2002 will be an automatic speech recognition (ASR) system. ASR’s are speaker-independent, speech recognition systems that have paved the way for the deployment of ‘voice portal’ solutions. Imagine, if rather than engaging in a lengthy telephone call, chat session, email or even an Interactive Voice Response session, customers could simply ‘speak to your web site via any telephone and ask for the service they want. Then, just to make it more dynamic, the web-site ‘reads’ information back to your customer using a text to speech engine. Not only is this technology available and in use in many parts of the world already, Arabic ASR’s are being released AND you can try the technology for yourself at MECT.
Concluded Keenaghan, “The worldwide economic downturn of last year has actually been beneficial for particular communications sectors, most notably, computer telephony, IP telephony and video conferencing. Like all good technology, invention is born out of need and as the need for lower cost, more flexible, more reliable, feature-rich communications options grew, the Converging Telecom industry moved into warp speed and developed new products in very short timeframes”. Visitors to MECT 2002 will have an excellent opportunity to sample a wide range of these business-boosting ideas & solutions.”
The MECT 2002 show is being held at the Dubai Chamber of Commerce & Industry from May 26-28. For more information contact:
Saturday, May 25- 2002 @ 10:25 UAE local time (GMT+4) Replication or redistribution in whole or in part is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Mediaquest FZ LLC.