Member Since
January 8, 2014

Search Members





Frost & Sullivan


Information & Communications



Blog Posts

Blog Posts Posted on
Feb 05, 2016
Jul 14, 2016


Viewing 1 to 11 (11 Total)
Aloft Hotels Brings Robotics to Room Service

The Aloft hotel chain, part of Starwood Hotels, just announced that it will be using robots in some of its properties to deliver "room service" to its guests--including everything from pre-packaged snacks to toothbrushes and razors. The robots, manufactured by a Santa Clara start-up called Savioke, can reach speeds of up to four miles and hour and can negotiate elevators to make travel around a hotel pretty easy. Once it reaches a guest's room, the system calls the room to alert the guest that his requested item has arrived. Instead of leaving a tip, guests can rate the service using the robot's built-in screen and UI; if the rating is high enough, the robot does a little dance of appreciation. This seems like a pretty straight-forward use of a robot; perhaps it will save Starwood Hotels money, although it's hard to see how--my guess is that today, most Aloft hotel guests simply go to the front desk when they need the items the robots will now deliver free. More likely it will add a little tech flare to a hotel chain that has built a brand on being hip and savvy. Still, in my opinion the robots would be much better if they also offered video capabilities, allowing guests to interact not with the machine, but with actual people. What do you think? Is this the wave of the future, or just a cute marketing play? What are the best use cases? And how could UCC make the experience even better?

Posted on August 13, 2014 at 3:29 PM
Flexible Workplaces Demand Cultural Change

A recent Frost & Sullivan survey of more than 1,000 IT decision makers in the US and Europe reveals that, on average, more than 1/3 of employees work either remotely (typically from a home office) or from the road (i.e. mobile workers) on a regular basis. This won't come as news to anyone who has been following workplace trends over the past few years. What's more surprising, frankly, is the fact that that number hasn't changed much since we've been asking the question. Why is the move toward a flexible workplace so slow to grow? Certainly, there are some industries which are simply not suited to virtual workers--retail stores need clerks on site, restaurants need servers, production lines need actual hands, and so on. But among companies with a large base of so-called knowledge workers, the issue is likely cultural: many managers and execs still can't seem to figure out how to handle remote workers. This article at HuffPo offers some good insight into some of the changes required. What do you think?

Posted on July 15, 2014 at 4:15 PM
Join me for a Webinar on Making the Multi-Channel Contact Center Work for Your Mid-Size Business

A multi-channel contact center is a “must” for mid-size organizations looking to deliver best-in-class customer experience. By integrating traditional contact points with newer forms like social media and cloud-based services, mid-size businesses can differentiate themselves, compete head-to-head with their larger competitors, and drive greater customer satisfaction, retention, and growth. Frost & Sullivan research shows that to succeed in their efforts, companies must prioritize key strategies, consider operational needs, and deploy enabling technologies that will help deliver a seamless multi-channel customer experience.

We’ll discuss:

•Benefits of a multi-channel contact center
•Key drivers and challenges companies must consider as they embark on this approach
•Best practices for success

Register here:

Posted on April 01, 2014 at 4:55 PM
Interactive Intelligence will Remake Your Contact Center--Free!

Interactive Intelligence is launching a contest for a customer contact center makeover. Instead of a new home, bedroom or body, contestants can enter to win a complete contact center overhaul--free of charge. The makeover will include Interactive Intelligence cloud contact center technology, along with associated hardware, phones, headsets, CRM software, workstations, monitors, furniture, interior design services, and training and consulting services.
A panel of Interactive Intelligence judges will determine the Customer Experience Makeover contest winner. Interactive Intelligence will announce the winner at its annual global customer and partner event, INTERACTIONS 2014, held June 2-5, 2014 in Indianapolis, Indiana, U.S.A. The winner need not be present to qualify.
Interactive Intelligence will supply all contact center software and hardware delivered via a cloud deployment model. It will also supply training and consulting services. Interactive Intelligence partner sponsors will provide additional technologies, equipment and services. Participating sponsors to-date include Contact Center Compliance, OrgSpan, Plantronics and Zendesk.
Contest candidates can submit an entry form now through April 30. Contest rules and the application form are available at

Posted on March 06, 2014 at 5:33 PM
More Social Changes to Office 365

In other news from Microsoft’s SharePoint 2014 event, the vendor announced some additional changes to Office 365:
1. Extending Groups across Office 365, creating a group anywhere in Office 365 will automatically provision a corresponding inbox, social feed, calendar, and document library. The group’s Yammer feed and inbox will both display the same conversation, so users can work in their preferred environment. Groups also are set as “open” by default, although privacy settings can be changed as needed.
2. Offering Inline Social Experiences in Office 365, Microsoft Dynamics, and any other application or service. That means adding Yammer conversations to documents in SharePoint Online and OneDrive for Business; making it easy to post updates, documents, and emails to Yammer from SharePoint Online and Outlook; and enhancing the integrated social capabilities in Microsoft Dynamics CRM. Future plans call for integrating Yammer with Lync and Skype, too.

Posted on March 04, 2014 at 3:16 PM
Re: Where is Facebook Headed with the WhatsApp Acquisition?

Considering the world spent $20B on "an audacious plan to create a new energy source could save the planet from catastrophe," the price tag for What's App does seem a bit high...

Posted on March 03, 2014 at 5:12 PM
Is Microsoft Saying So Long to SharePoint?

When Microsoft acquired Yammer, many analysts wondered how the company would integrate the new service—social to its core—with internal efforts to make its vast product suite more “social.” SharePoint social, which the vendor starting talking about in earnest a couple of years ago, is clearly taking a back seat to Yammer and the new features in Office 365. In fact, in a blog post on the topic, Jared Spataro, GM of Enterprise Social at Microsoft, said, “Go Yammer! While we’re committed to another on-premises release of SharePoint Server—and we’ll maintain its social capabilities—we don’t plan on adding new features.”
Which kind of begs the question: if “social” is the direction the enterprise world is headed in (and I and Spataro both believe it is) why would anyone continue to invest in SharePoint?

Posted on March 03, 2014 at 5:08 PM
Oslo--Making Office 365 More Like Facebook?

As Microsoft kicked off its SharePoint 2014 conference in Vegas this week, one of the more interesting announcements was that Office 365—the cloud version of the vendor’s productivity and communications applications—will start to look a lot more like Facebook (and, one hopes, a lot less like SharePoint).
Thanks to more robust integration with Yammer, Microsoft is able to extend Yammer’s Enterprise Graph to create Office Graph—essentially mapping the relationships between people, apps and information. Codenamed Oslo, the feature is designed to give employees the information they need when they need it—even if they are not aware, at the time, that they do. It’s a nice idea—but the proof will be in the validity of the results. How many times have you wondered about what, exactly, is showing up in your Facebook feed—and why? Will Oslo do a better job at not just mapping, but also evaluating the need for and relevance of, specific connections? Will it serve up data and relationships users can actually use, or will it just make the “feed” seem even more random? Tell us what you think!

Posted on March 03, 2014 at 4:40 PM
Re: Leaning In or Leaning Out

When I read this last week, it struck such a chord. While I admire and respect Sheryl Sandberg and her efforts to make it easier for women to succeed at work, we as a society need to remember that not everyone wants to be a CEO, or entrepreneur, or even someone who lives to work; some people really do work to live. I feel extremely blessed that, as an analyst at Frost & Sullivan, I get to work from home in Colorado and enjoy all the flexibility that brings--especially when it comes to juggling work and kids and home. But I can't help but wonder about the fact that, while technology of all kinds continues to make us more productive, it has not actually lessened our workload--it really just let's us work more. (I say, as I write this from my home office at 8:30pm.) As a woman, I find this falls on my especially hard, but I imagine that as trends around parenting and men continue to show them equally involved in childcare and house work, it will become a gender-neutral issue--which is what we need, I imagine, if we are ever to make a change.

As an aside, I studied anthropology in college, and I'll never forget a video we saw in class one day, of several tribesmen who were themselves shown a video of what is was like to live in 20th-century America. They could NOT believe how much time people spent working. I mean, they just did not get it. (They also laughed hysterically at the idea that anyone would voluntarily run for no reason, on a treadmill, at a gym.) Food for thought.

Posted on February 27, 2014 at 8:40 PM
Men Benefit More From Flexwork Than Women

A recent survey of more than 500 full-time workers conducted by the Work+Fit Strategy Group reveals that men are more likely to take advantage of, and benefit from, flexible work options than women. While the ways in which all employees get their jobs done is changing—thanks in large part to technology that enables telecommuting and open offices—men are more likely to work in a traditional office than from home.
While 31 percent of respondents said they do most of their work outside of a corporate location, three out of four of them are men. There was no measurable difference among teleworkers with or without kids, or of different ages. Among those working at an office, about one third work in open cubicles—but women are more likely than men to do so. Interestingly, 31 percent of home-based workers say they have less work-life balance today than they did a year ago, although they are more likely to receive training on how to achieve that goal.
There are, presumably, many reasons for all the differences; the biggest, I assume, is the continued gap between men and women when it comes to seniority and pay within the workplace. Many people who want to work from home or improve their work-life balance need to be aggressive in their requests, and in their attempts at keeping the lines between work and home clear. Also, men working at home remain less likely to spend time on house work and child care than their female counterparts (according to the most recent data), so those men who do have the option of telecommuting probably reap bigger work-life balance than women who still have to juggle home and child care duties.
What do you think about these results? Do we need to focus more on making it possible for everyone to get the flexibility they need? Is there a better way to ensure telework delivers better balance? Join the conversation below!

Posted on February 27, 2014 at 7:57 PM
Re: True or False: One Billion People will be Using Microsoft Universal Communications in this Decade

One billion in 10 years seems like a very high goal. Not least because, in 10 years, what percentage of employees will be using any kind of enterprise communications system? Seems just as likely that we will all be bringing our own devices to work, and using whatever (open) comms apps and services we like and choose.

For instance, in a recent survey of IT staff and end users who have deployed Google Apps at the office, two-thirds of IT respondents and 58 percent of end users said they are willing to spend their own money on technology that will make their work lives easier and/or more productive. That's a HUGE shift and will have a big impact on what "enterprise" IT looks like in 2024.

Posted on February 20, 2014 at 7:27 PM