It's about time.
Insights and musings about customer service and managing a SaaS software company


Archive for May, 2010

It’s officially a new era…

May 26, 2010 by Yuval Brisker

Apple Passes Microsoft as No. 1 in Tech

From One Side to Another

May 12, 2010 by Yuval Brisker

Yesterday I was at The Cable Show in LA mingling with elite of the industry at  receptions where all the CEOs (Comcast, Time Warner Cable, Cox, etc.)of the industry were present.

It was interesting to hear that there was a lot of thinking and talking about the future of the business. Clearly people devoting mind time to how they can stay ahead.

I attended a very interesting conversation with Brian Roberts with Peter Chernin. It was clear he was thinking about the business all the time -(in fact he said that he is constantly thinking that the whole edifice would come down on him – he said “that’s what I have Steve Burke for, he always see the glass half full and I ALWAYS see the glass half empty – I thought that was interesting). He was talking about how Comcast is dedicating a lot of thought on how to improve the customer experience both in terms of content and technology.  He was very proud to show off Comcast’s new interactive guide interface,  which was indeed impressive.  It was clear how much thinking is going on about the customer experience at the level of the customer interaction with the content.

But WE know that the most important interaction is the human connection.

And though Brian Roberts did say that the cable industry is the industry people “love to hate” – he offered clue into how Comcast is intending to transform the customer experience as it relates to the one time that people will actually see a Comcast person face-to-face, i.e  the in-home appointment.

So today I went to check out how things are going at the level of the earth, not the stars – from the pinnacle of glamour and power, to a day spent with a tech – with one of TOA’s customers’ people in the field.

And somehow there were a lot of things that seemed the same to me. He was also thinking about how to make the customer experience better. Crawling in attics and closets… drilling, hooking and thinking how best to do things. But the difference was that he was there on the front lines – in people’s homes, under their carpet and inside their kitchen. It’s amazing how intimate this job is. People let you into the most private parts of their home and life without much reservation, exposing their most intimate physical space. Maybe it’s because, at the end of the day, the cable guy is just another sort of handyman, I don’t know… but it’s a fact that you get to see a LOT when you’re on this job. And it’s a hard job, both physically and mentally, to be the front line of the industry that ‘people love to hate’ as Brian Roberts put it and do a great job – which the guy did!

And if that’s the case, and you have great people doing a tough job, working one by one to transform the image of customer service – it behooves the leaders to provide them the best tools and the best methodologies to help them do their job with the least annoyance and disruption – to search and find the most innovative technology – software and hardware – to take away the burdens of the job and let them focus on what they do best and need to do best. Interacting with the customer well. It will pay dividends more than any great menu driven interactive guide – as well thought as it might be.

It’s Not a Matter of If But When: Reflections on Disaster Recovery and the BP Oil Spill

May 10, 2010 by Yuval Brisker

Here’s a post penned by TOA’s CTO and my co-founder and partner, Irad Carmi:

The BP crude oil spill is turning into one of the worst environmental disasters in history and it is becoming clear that the mighty BP had no DR plans in place to deal with what is by any measure a likely scenario!

The R&D effort poured into the offshore drilling in the Gulf of Mexico is said to eclipse the NASA research efforts. Yet – in their rush to reach the black gold 10,000 feet below sea level – no one stopped to ask the question “what are we really going to do if something goes wrong?”

At TOA we ask that question every day.

It is completely clear to us that we can only offer a mission critical enterprise solution from the Cloud if reliability is 100%.

We achieve that goal by employing best of breed technology and implementing proven processes and enormous discipline.  Our Service Assurance team conducts regular Disaster Recovery exercises and is up-to-date on all the latest thinking on this subject and they get measured on their ability to provide uninterrupted service.  Many of our clients discovered that our Cloud-based service can be more reliable than any of their installed solutions.

Let’s hope that the BP oil spill serves as a loud wake up call for the world to take DR seriously when it comes to protecting not only the business but our fragile environment. We know those two are, at this point, interconnected.

The 12 most annoying things about flying

May 10, 2010 by Yuval Brisker

I agree with this assessment.

Notice how 3 of the 12 (i.e. 25%) are about simple communications and customer service issues that could be easily resolved with some basic communications :

The 12 most-annoying things about flying – Flights: Airfare, flight tracker, delays, miles tracker & airport news – Today in the Sky –