Archive for the ‘TOA Customers’ Category
October 12, 2012 by Yuval Brisker
Did I say I love Brazil?? Well I do!
TOA Brazil is growing and growing stronger every day - 0ur great team here is kicking it out of the ball park and today we proudly announced that TIM Brasil- a subsidiary of Telecom Italia Mobile – and the second largest telecom operator in Brazil is a customer of ours. We are not tourists here – TOA and our team is here and here to say – we are Brazilian!
Our momentum is significant and keeps accelerating – at Futurcom we exhibited had two speaking session – one by our customer GVT’s CIO Alessandra Bomura – and you could feel the excitement – the excitement of being able to offer something to customers and meet those commitments and the TIM story in this respect is incredible and is pretty nicely delineated in the press release.
A journalist here asked me today what are the three things that TOA is focused on broadcasting to the Latin American market and my response was:
1) Embracing the Cloud: Businesses across the continent are skipping over a generation of software and demanding Cloud-based solution and we are here to tell them that by committing to a true, native and only Cloud-based solution – they are getting the best of the best – advanced technology solutions that always current, always the latest version and technology that are easy to deploy, easy to use, and easy to pay for. And on top of that customers don’t need to deal with the hassle of running or maintaining software – and they get even more – a solution that is rock-solid, secure and provides the ultimate in reliability.
2) Enhancing customer service: This is a great moment for businesses in countries like Brazil – the economic environment continues to be very positive, people have more disposable income and an appetite to buy and are evolving as consumers – so companies across Latin America need to step up and take control of the customer service experience. They need to leap over a whole generation of companies who did or are not doing it well and take advantage of technology to enhance that aspect of their business and now – so that they can reap the rewards of service differentiation in a more and more competitive market.
3) Lastly, it’s all about trust and the ability to deliver and deliver with the highest quality and consistency – companies here need to look for long-term partners who they can trust in a new generation of business.
Obrigado to the great TOA team in Brazil!
A little tidbit -
TOA’s Brazil team at Futurecom 2011:
And TOA’s Brazil Team at Futurecom 2012:
March 29, 2012 by Yuval Brisker
Today, TOA and DISH are announcing the successful completion of TOA’s ETAdirect deployment at DISH Network. DISH is the 3rd largest nationwide Pay TV provider in the US and one of the largest companies of its kind on the planet.
This is a milestone in an exciting and fulfilling phase in our partnership with a great company. This partnership has yielded a landmark deployment of ETAdirect that has many firsts and many records that I am extremely proud of, including:
The largest deployment of a natively Cloud-based Mobile Workforce Management SaaS solution in the world! TOA’s solution was deployed to well over 16,000 users across the US, from Maine to San Diego; from Alaska and Hawaii to Puerto Rico. No other company in our space has ever managed to pull off such an amazing feat or can even get close to handling that kind of scale of a Cloud deployment. DISH bet on the Cloud, on SaaS, and has not bought any licensed software since 2008 and has not looked back. That’s vision! But their bet on TOA has brought about the largest deployment of SaaS that they (or almost anyone) has done yet in an extremely complex and multifaceted environment and a fast-paced business. We changed the engines while the plane was in flight, so to speak, we kept it all afloat while the passenger had their drinks on the deck and didn’t feel a thing…and we did this together without skipping a beat… what a great joint achievement it is!!
The largest deployment of a robust HTML5-based Mobility App - and the largest single Android-based tablet deployment to a mission critical mobile workforce. With the support and encouragement of our great DISH partners, TOA’s Technology Group headed by our CTO, Irad Carmi, has been pushing the envelope on HTML5 to the absolute limit (and beyond). The things that our HTML5 development team has managed to get the old browser to do are just plain amazing and rank as true world-class innovation…a special feat is the complete and robust offline functionality that lets the ETAdirect Mobility App sustain full functionality and all the related data while it’s offline and not connected to the Internet…including if the device crashes or runs out of battery – it comes back fully loaded with functionality and data – when it’s out of coverage. A true miracle!
A lightning-fast deployment – So fast, it smokes anything our competition (or many an enterprise software vendor) has ever achieved at this scale – a record 11 months and 24 days from kick-off to completion of deployment. This included a complex integration with many DISH back-end systems.
Real-time appointment booking - In an industry first, DISH customer service agents using DISH CRM systems have extended visibility into the field when they book appointments with customers. Booking is now done in direct relation to real capacity and technician availability which is based on real historical usage and performance patterns and our patented predictive analytics, rather than estimations and guess work. This means that when time commitments are made to a customer at booking – the promise will be kept 100 percent of the time.
One view of the customer operations - DISH now has something no nationwide provider of service has – One View of their customer operations no matter who is delivering the service and where they are, with a focus on quality of service and the best customer experience in the U.S. DISH’s goal was to find a way to bring all the many different stakeholders, service delivery partners and the various parts of the Dish Network Services together to guarantee a unified operation and a consistent customer experience. An operation the size of DISH can only do that with automation and an intelligent web-based communications hub and that’s the role that ETAdirect is playing. Dish Network Services is leveraging ETAdirect Manage and ETAdirect Mobility to its fullest.
Keeping customers in the loop - DISH’s stated aim is to be the best provider of customer service in America. A central pillar of that goal is to provide customers with total transparency and choice with on-going, relevant and continuously available information about the status of their appointment from the moment an appointment is booked up to the moment service is delivered to their home. DISH and TOA’s joint philosophy – that an informed customer will always be a more satisfied customer – is supported by a visionary approach to using state-of-the-art technology which employs ETAdirect’s predictive software and proactive customer communications (PCC) and every available means of communication and information to bring customers into the loop of the appointment event throughout.
Partnership - It’s been (and is) a pleasure and great privilege to work with a world-class customer like DISH and call them, and be called, a partner. An organization that works together at the highest levels and stays focused on what’s important, DISH Network is a intense place of achievement, innovation and reach. It has great people at all levels pushing the envelope without fear in a smart and strategic way. That is the great kind of customer/partner one needs to have to make a big leap forward. TOA’s solution and people, coupled with the vision and panache of the DISH Team, has been an unbeatable combination.
DISH’s amazing team is headed by Erik Carlson, EVP Ops and Mike McClaskey, CIO, two of the most visionary, brilliant and ambitious leaders that I (and TOA) have ever had the honor of working with. They have led their team with a call to work with TOA as true partners and everyone followed in their wake. Leadership is not just a word here, and I saw how that kind of leadership can set the tone for incredible large-scale business transformation. In Mike and Erik, DISH has two great leaders who lead with their mind and a sharp eye and are the kind of people who just make things happen. To have true partners who have a clear vision of what they want, a vision you share, partners who are willing to go the distance, to take the kind of risks that it takes to move the world ahead – that’s a business essential. Leadership needs to be totally and outspokenly committed, and with DISH, we had it all.
To the people who have worked with us on the TOA side at every level and on the DISH side at every level – thanks for all the great and hard work!
Because at the end of the day this is all about people: the people we serve, the people we work for and work with, the people we partner with. And in this case, partnership was, and continues to be, the key to success.
That’s my biggest takeaway from this adventure – that an undertaking of this scale, scope and ambition cannot truly succeed without real synchronicity, and the dedication and commitment of everyone involved to foster hard work and a frank and open exchange of ideas. This is how great things, great business is done and we had that here aplenty – at all levels.
When Irad and I founded this company we had a dream of partnering with big companies in a broad range of industries to really innovate and transform their mobile business and their customer experience – but even more than that, to transform the relationship and the reputation that enterprise software vendors had with enterprise customers. Having found a customer like DISH here and built the kind of partnership that we have and seen the results, the fruits of that partnership ripen - I feel that one significant part of our dream has come true.
May 12, 2011 by Yuval Brisker
Today, TOA announced that it raised $17.2M in a Series D lead by Sutter Hill Ventures with the participation of Tim Draper, Fort Washington and existing shareholders Intel Capital, Draper Triangle Ventures and private investors.
It’s an exciting moment for us - as we look at the rapidly evolving technology market and see only opportunity at every level and I want to talk a little bit about that.
First and foremost this is about extending TOA’s leadership in cloud-based on-demand enterprise Software-as-a-Service – or what we call “eSaaS“.
Secondly – it’s about maximizing the potential of mobile internet and mobility applications.
And third – it’s about taking advantage of the opportunity of the awakening global market for mobility applications for mobile employees – a previously sleepy market that has been undervalued and underinvested in to date.
1) eSaaS – TOA has near perfected the art of enterprise SaaS. Enterprise SaaS is NOT just about a web-based solution or producing software that’s accessible via a browser – Enterprise SaaS or eSaaS (as I like to call it) – is about something completely different. It’s about:
- integration – and the availability of the sophisticated tools to allow for the complex interweaving of SaaS with legacy software systems with ease. Emphasis on sophisticated and ease! Without these – there is no chance for a SaaS solution to be viable for the large enterprise.
- flexibility – the ability to provide a solution that has the kind of malleability to literally morph with the clients’ business and respond to the ever changing business and technological environments that is the reality for most enterprises – definitely OUR clients and their businesses.
- reliability – as we witnessed a few weeks ago with amazon web service big event – providing a system that is 100% there for the enterprise is NOT easy and doing so is a huge responsibility and needs a high degree of expertise. This is not easy to come by or easy to deliver. Don’t let anyone fool you. TOA does it with expertise.
- scalability – the ability to support huge distributed businesses with high volumes, and to continue to support their growth into the long term
In 2004 – when we launched TOA and the first version of ETAdirect, we took enormous inspiration and even guidance from Marc Benioff – we bet our future on many of the ideas he espoused and beyond. We knew that it would be risky to go after the big enterprises with SaaS and that many IT departments would look at us and think that we were out of our minds to try and provide a system for them from outside their firewall. But the tide of technology is relentless and things have definitely moved in our direction. SaaS is here to stay and more – 10 years from now – it’s going to power the majority of businesses – not only small but medium, large and extra large. We made the right decision at the absolute right time back then to bet on SaaS. Betting on eSaaS as the next frontier was betting beyond SaaS for the SMBs – and it has given us the experience, the expertise and the track record a software company MUST have in order to successfully sell to large enterprise IT. We are excited about the many amazing new things that we are doing and will be unvaling in the coming months and years.
eSaaS is different from regular SaaS in very many ways and as software is delivered more and more via the SaaS model – the needs for eSaaS solution to replace the old legacy enterprise software solutions that run businesses today and in the past – will only grow and become dominant and only way – and TOA is well positioned to expand to meet the challenge and the opportunity.
2) This is about mobility and the Mobile Internet – maybe if you were living in a cave in Tora Bora (which obviously you weren’t) you might not be aware of the real revolution that is happening in people’s lives. Everyone is connected in multiple ways via multiple devices and many channels. The smart-phone and the tablet is in its infancy as a business device and TOA is well positioned via its early adoption of the smart-phone / iPad as THE platform of choice and a completely browser-based application to take advantage of many new developments that are here and coming soon. Mobility is king and device and platform agnostic apps will lead the way to the many platforms we intend to make the most of our early leadership providing eSaaS via the mobile Internet to millions of users worldwide who do work in the field. Those users are the same users who have iPhones and Androids and use them addictively in their personal lives. They expect nothing less from software when they go to work – and yet in many (or most) cases they are still using antiquated systems on antiquated platforms on antiquated devices. Opportunity abounds.
3) Lastly, this is about the needs of the global market of mobile employees – the mobile workforce management software market has been around for a long time but has been, to date, underserved and undervalued – the convergence of many of the trends that I described above provides a real inflection point for a market that has seen little change in the past decade. TOA’s solution has a patented predictive technology and an approach and completeness that provides relevant and transformative value to the many satisfied customers and users it serves. We want to bring that to every enterprise that has people working in the field. They all deserve the best. The market of mobile employees is huge and they deserve TOA and we intend to bring it to every corner of the globe.
Thanks to Andy Sheehan from Sutter Hill Ventures who showed immediate and unflagging enthusiasm for us and our vision- I know he sees what we see. Thanks also to Tim Draper for his great intuition and continued inspiration. A big and special thanks to our long term supporters at Draper Triangle Ventures, Early Stage Partners and Intel Capital, as well as the private investors and friends who saw the vision from day one and have stuck with us from the start. Lastly – I want to thank our immensely dedicated employees and our great customers – this just validates what they already know.
As Jeff Bezos says: It’s Always Day One!
September 20, 2010 by Yuval Brisker
“Besides perhaps a root canal or a tax audit, few things can be more frustrating than making an appointment to have a cable technician visit your home. You’re given a four-hour window and find yourself waiting and waiting, with no idea when the technician will arrive. Inevitably, it seems, he does not show up until just before the window expires. Or, despite the four-hour time frame, he arrives late.”
- “Cable Contract Has Fines for Late Service”, Fernanda Santos, New York Times, September 14th, 2010
In honor of TOA’s 7th birthday last week – The New York Times reported eloquently that the City of New York (the place where the idea for TOA was actually born) gave its citizens a long needed present by officially recognizing “The Cable Guy Problem” and codifying into law that cable companies have to provide a Time of Arrival (TOA) and then need to arrive on time or face a serious penalty (losing a month’s subscriber fees).
As all those who read this blog know – TOA Technologies, my company, has made it its mission to solve this problem : i.e. the problem of customers stranded at home, frustrated, waiting without knowing when, or even if, the cable technician will arrive. TOA’s advanced technology solution helps our clients manage customer appointments and the technicians in the field serving those customers with one goal in mind – to make sure that customers’ time is respected and customers’ needs and preferences come first. Our patented solution has been adopted by many companies around the country and the world to specifically address the problem (including some in the NY Tri-State area).
Irad Carmi (my partner) and I recognized years ago that this problem was not ‘just another customer service annoyance’ but rather a greater sociological, economic issue that reflects a deep systemic operational problem that most service providers who run a mobile workforce have ignored. It is ingrained in their legacy systems and processes and based on just plain taking the customer and their time for granted. But it ultimately ends up backfiring and producing a lot of inefficiency along the way.
This problem isn’t trivial because it ends up costing many millions of people, the customers waiting at home, a lot of their precious time, their hard earned money, vacation time, their freedom, etc. It produces aggravation, at the least and, many times, even animosity towards these service providers and their employees. It also actually costs these companies their brand equity, the goodwill of their customers and a lot of wasted revenue money lost on missed appointments, unproductive technician time, unnecessary calls to the call center and, most of all, the ultimate price: customers leaving them when better service is offered by someone else.
[In fact, TOA just completed its annual Cost of Waiting Survey, which we will publish shortly and which I will be blogging about. This survey examines this very issue and its economic and social effects in three countries (US, UK and Germany), and the results are incredibly interesting, so stay tuned].
TOA has been blessed by many visionary clients who ‘got it’. They are the trailblazers, the early adopters, who gave us a chance at every point along the way, and who like us, just could not sit around and see their companies waste tens of millions, even hundreds of millions, of dollars AND not provide great service to their customers.
There are always visionaries in every company. But all it takes is one person. One person, I know, can change a culture, a company, the world entire. And we have met many of these. These visionary leaders know that they had to make a change and they were and are willing to fight for that change themselves, against the machinations of their organizations. They do this because they know that they are right. They know that there is a better way – and using a cross section of technology and mind to transform the customer appointment experience (using TOA, of course) – and they KNOW: if it is there, then they have to make a better experience available to their customers. It takes a lot to make change in big companies, but there are always people who do.
We are grateful to them (and you know who you are…) for standing up to the status quo and for giving us a great opportunity to (in our small way) help make life better for your customers in many places around the country and the world. So it is to these leaders that I am dedicating this post, and about them that I am actually writing the response to the NY Times article AND today’s editorial about this issues (yes, the Times wrote an editorial about this). Because these clients of ours did not need legislation to choose positive change for their companies and their customers.
We have a lot more companies and many more leaders to convince that we have THE solution for them. But with the help of my great team and the help of our fantastic set of current bold visionary clients (who all become evangelists too…) I know that we will.
Oh, and thank you, City of New York!