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January 21, 2009

Altitude Software VP Talks About Contact Center Vendor Business, ITEXPO and More

By Rich Tehrani, CEO, Technology Marketing Corporation


John Kelly, Altitude Software (News - Alert) regional vice president of Sales North America, recently took the time to discuss with TMC his company's Altitude uCI solution, the overall growth of UC in the contact center industry, and what people can expect from Altitude at the ITEXPO (News - Alert).

 
Altitude Software is an independent contact center vendor for unified interaction solutions. Altitude uCI (unified customer interaction) suite over IP manages, measures and improves relationships with each interaction from small to large organizations worldwide.
 
Who has influenced you most in your career and why?
Mark Lepko, President of Altitude Software North America.  I’ve worked for Mark at a few companies.  His business acumen has helped me develop as a business person.
 
What excites you most about our industry?
The paradigm shift from TDM to IPT.  Working to helping clients do more than just a technology refresh.  The inverse of this question would be what least excites me; the filtering of business requirements from LOB executives that reduces the value of technology acquisition objectives.
 
What areas do you wish you could devote more energy/attention/resources?
Business process reengineering design sessions.  Working through business problems and gaining consensus on solutions that deliver value is energizing.
 
What pain does your company take away for customers?
Retaining most of the infrastructure and application investments during deployment process of Altitude uCI.  We focus on the gaps and develop solutions that leverage investments and minimize disruptions to the front line employees.
 
How did your company get to where it is and where is it headed?
Conservatively managed with 20 percent compounded growth over the past five years.  Our solutions are customer driven and we continue to expand capabilities relevant to contact center optimization.
 
What does your dream mobile device look like?
Blackberry that is small, offers high speed internet and has great visual graphic capabilities.
 
If you were forced to head Nokia, Google (News - Alert), Yahoo, Microsoft, GM, Cisco, Nortel or the US… Which would you pick and why?
Nortel, this is a company that can use a change in culture.  They don’t play well with others and have used tactics that are hard to forget.
 
Poof – you become President Obama’s top advisor on tech. What should he do to foster more technology use in the US and abroad?
Force all government employees to take a basic communications technology proficiency course and maintain good standing. 
Relax HIPPA standards to modernize the health care industry. Hire a technology czar that removes corruption from technology acquisition decisions.
 
How has open-source changed our space and what more can it do for us?
Finally taking advantage of open standards to deliver innovative technology based solutions.  Commoditize legacy hardware based vendors and open the market to thought leaders.  Ease the cost to transition to more innovative solutions.
 
When does Microsoft (News - Alert) become a major force in communications?
They already are.  The trick will be to see if they’re open to all vendors to be complimentary or if they try to dominate the market with a few partners.
 
Apple? RIM, Nokia (News - Alert)?
RIM; mobile email that works is critical to my productivity.  The applications are getting better; I can see weather reports, sports scores and current events very easily.  My iPod and Garmin aren’t going away any time soon.
 
What surprised you most about 2008?
Financial meltdown and how much manipulation was done by the few that severely impacted the masses.  Hard to believe anyone can pull off a $50B ponzi scheme.  How did we let oil get manipulated 3x by people that never took delivery of a barrel?  How did the mortgage crisis happen to the extend it did without the people that have oversight responsibility heading it off?
 
Assuming we need it (and who couldn’t use some extra cash), what do we tell Congress to get a multibillion dollar US government communications bailout?We don’t need a bailout; we need to let innovators innovate and consolidate all the regulatory agencies (both state and federal) into one entity that understands technology.  Too many agencies stifle innovation.  States regulating the communication sector is not longer relevant.
 
Is the green movement dead now that oil is plummeting in cost?
No, the memories of $4 gas and the dependence of Iran, Venezuela and Russia for world oil supplies will not be easily forgotten.  The shift to “green” technology based energy will drive job growth and innovation for the US.
 
How does IP communications help in a recession?
The paradigm shift in technology provides solid ROI’s for investment.  The productivity gains should be focused on enhanced service delivery that drives top line revenue growth versus just reduction in costs.
 
You are speaking at ITEXPO which takes place Feb 2-4 2009 in Miami. Why do people need to hear what you say, live and in person?
The topic is relevant (UC in the CC) and I offer practical experience for applying technology to solve business problems.  We have a panel discussion that will focus on audience participation; we should respond directly to attendees questions of interest.
 
Make some wild predictions about 2009/10.
Countries that rely on petroleum (Mexico, Venezuela, Iran, and Russia) for the majority of their revenues will have major unrest.  Crazy stuff will happen that destabilize their regimes.  These events could create major distractions that impact domestic initiatives. 
 

Rich Tehrani is President and Group Editor-in-Chief of TMC. In addition, he is the Chairman of the world’s best-attended communications conference, INTERNET TELEPHONY Conference & EXPO (ITEXPO). He is also the author of his own communications and technology blog.

Edited by Tim Gray


 
 
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