Offshore Outsourcing & Scammer
Blog about offshore outsourcing and scammer in the outsourcing industry
Why Google denies us real end-to-end encryption?
by Rudolf Faix Monday, April 6, 2015 3:40 PM

Why did we still do not have easy-to-use end-to-end encryption? The standard answer is far too complicated! But this is nonsense; Apple shows how to make it simple.

AndroidThe technical challenges for true end-to-end encryption are solved for many years. In principle, one could make the simple. With it would be sure not just anybody can easily read along our private and business communications.

Nevertheless, emails, chats and phone calls are still almost always in plain text. They are secured for transport (SSL / TLS), but at least, the service provider can read everything and often does. This course also various other interested parties that attach to help him, the contents of confidential messages.

At this point I always hear, end-to-end encryption is still far too complicated. Alone to generate key, not to mention the checking and signing - end users don’t like do that. In fact, I'll never get anyone to use PGP. Nevertheless, the argument is simply wrong.

Because there is already end-to-end encryption, which is so simple that they use many millions of users and do not even know this: Apple's iMessage encrypts any message with a key that is only known by the recipient. Not Apple, not the network operator and not the NSA. And the highlight: Thanks to Apple's iMessage is a sophisticated design that not a bit more complicated than traditional SMS. Each iPhone owners use it easily and has not to worry about the encryption. The encryption is just there.

This one who wants to read along these messages has to attack this encryption. This also applies to Apple or someone standing there with a National Security Letter at the door. In practice this means: It is not enough that Apple or engage NSAs to the appropriate server to write there the plaintext with, as would be the case with Google, Skype and almost all other services. Instead, Apple would have to actively engage in communication and distribute counterfeit keys.

Of course, experts will argue that Apple does not satisfy the pure doctrine and the user himself has no control over his keys. Specifically, the system is not hedged against the fact that Apple itself eventually distributed as "Man in the Middle" wrong keys. But these are details that go past the actual heart of the matter. It can get improved without much effort. (The ignorance and arrogance of Apple is typical and with that the refuse demands for such extensions and perhaps the other side of the coin is that Apple like no other company can create easy-to-use products). Is crucial, however, Apple is the only major manufacturer and service provider offering such end-to-end encryption at all.

The real question is: Why does Google's Android has no a similar function and nourishes us with Hangouts without proper encryption? I seriously doubt that Google no one has come up with this idea or that technological pioneer in so many areas that could not be implemented just as elegant as Apple; Moxie Marlinspike shows with TextSecure how this might look like. There is only one plausible explanation for why Google has nothing to offer in this respect:

Easy to use end-to-end encryption is undesirable.

There is strong political interest to be able to read the communication of all Internet users at any time without much effort. We can only speculate as large as the pressure is exerted by politicians and authorities on the Group. But much harder probably weighs Google own economic interest: With functioning end-to-end encryption, Google would torpedo his own business model. This is in fact based on that the Group can read and analyze our data - and then to present, inter alia for suitable advertising. This of course applies equally to Facebook; so you can write off any hopes about WhatsApp.

Apple, however, earns his money is still with the sale of equipment and Commissions from business apps and content. And they deserve it obviously so good that they - unlike Google and Facebook - have the luxury to leave us our privacy.

What does that mean for us now? Not that we should buy now Apple products. There are too many things that you can refuse to Apple for good reason. But we must not be fobbed off with cloudy promise to respect our privacy and the protection of our business communications to us. Correct and above all simple end-to-end encryption for all could be done - we must demand only finite.

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Blog Rudolf Faix

Sperian Engergy - How call center marketing can go into the wrong direction
by Rudolf Faix Saturday, March 28, 2015 7:23 AM

From a posting in the social network Sperian Engergy has been coming into my focus. I decided to ask for more info and got the following response:

Thank you for reaching out, sorry I didn’t get back to you sooner. We are looking for centers that can commit more than 10 existing seats to selling electricity in our Pennsylvania, Illinois, Ohio, New Jersey, Maryland and/or New York markets. We pay a Cost per Acquisition commission and each center purchases their own leads. We consistently maintain competitive rate plans in all markets. If this is something you feel your center can assist in, let me know and I will send over commissions, agreements, etc. for your review. This year we are focusing on less partners and building up the production seats with the partners we choose to bring on. We want the best relationships with the best partners.

Sperian EnergySean Wise
Channel Manager
Sperian Energy
O: 702-757-2691
C: 408-355-3480
www.sperianenergy.com

On the first view the offer does not look so bad and does not differ to the standard offers at LinkedIn. As they are searching for a few call centers, which need to buy their own leads, are the following questions open:

 

  • How are the centers coordinate their leads?
  • How the centers can exclude already existing customers from Sperian Energy from calling them?

 

I also have taken a look at the website of Sperian Engergy for getting some price information. There you'll find that you have enter the zip code for a price information. Ok, take it easy and revoke a few zip codes from the US. The site mapsofworld.com let you select the country, state and town/city. 

I have taken tried three cities from Illionois:

County/BoroughTown/CityZipcode
Montgomery Hillsboro 62049
Rock Island Hampton 61256
Washington Nashville 62263

The result has been negative: We do not currently offer service in the area for the zip code entered. Please check back soon or call us for immediate assistance at 888.682.8082.

How a call center can offer in such a case a change of the energy provider, if the prices cannot get announced? To say only that we are the best and cheapest is not enough to convince people.

My summary: The same way like Sperian Engergy is searching for the best call center, the call centers are searching for the best partners. The problem is only that Sperian Engergy is at the moment even not a good partner for a call center as long as they are not doing their homework. Maybe they even don't have enough income to update their own database or they like to find customers, which like to change their energy provider first. In both cases is this not a good campaign for a call center. Call Centers can expect that they not getting paid for their work, because their referred customers are not living in the supported area from Sperian Energy. The referred customers are kept by them for a future expansion. As they don't expect to pay something, they even did not offer any amount per referred customer in their offer.

I think that the way Sperian Energy is making their offer, that they are only time waster or they are even not sure what they like. The information given in the email could be written in their posting at LinkedIn too. In such a case they would make some better impressions to their future partners. I expected to get more information then only marketing blah blah on my request.

The first impression a company makes is important for a business relationship. Sperian Energy made the impression of a time waster for me. Call centers have something better to do than to beg for more information.

I think too, that the same way they handle the call centers they are handling their customers, which does not lead them to a good reputation. Sperian Energy need to get more than a very good call center. They need to replace at least their marketing manager and the responsible staff, which has sent me such an email.

Gmail - LinkedIn - Sperian Energy is looking to add Call Centers.pdf (220.8KB)

 

Tags: , , , , ,

Call Center

Open Source Call Center Software: GOautodial - easy and FREE OF CHARGE
by Rudolf Faix Saturday, March 14, 2015 7:25 AM

GOautodial is an open source web based call center system based on CentOS. It automatically installs the GOautodial applications (GOadmin, GOreports and GOagent), Vicidial, Mysql, PHP, Asterisk, Limesurvey and other open source software to have a fully functional call center system. An open source predictive dialer and inbound IVR + ACD system that rocks.

GOautodial is based on the Asterisk framework, which is sponsored by Digium. The Asterisk project started in 1999 when Mark Spencer released the initial code under the GPL open source license. Since that time, it has been enhanced and tested by a global community of thousands. Today, Asterisk is maintained by the combined efforts of Digium and the Asterisk community.

Today, there are more than one million Asterisk-based communications systems in use, in more than 170 countries. Asterisk is used by almost the entire Fortune 1000 list of customers. Most often deployed by system integrators and developers, Asterisk can become the basis for a complete business phone system, or used to enhance or extend an existing system, or to bridge a gap between systems.

GOautodial Major Features:

  • Inbound, Outbound and Blended call handling
  • Broadcast and survey dialing
  • Web-based applications
  • Wizard based configurations
  • Full call recording
  • Scalable to hundreds of seats
  • USA, UK and Canada call compliance
  • VoIP trunks and standard Telco lines
  • Support for Sangoma and Digium cards
  • Open-Source GPLv2 licensed, with no software licensing cost

 

Full Features List (based from the Vicidial engine):

  • Ability for an agent to call clients in succession from a database through a web-client
  • Ability to display a script for the agent to read with fields like name, address, etc. filled-in
  • Ability to set a campaign to auto-dial and send live calls to available agents
  • Ability to dial predictively in a campaign with an adaptive dialing algorithm
  • Ability to dial on a single campaign across multiple Asterisk servers, or multiple campaigns on a single server
  • Ability to transfer calls with customer data to a closer/verifier on the local system or a remote Asterisk server
  • Ability to open a custom web page with user data from the call, per campaign
  • Ability to autodial campaigns to start with a simple IVR then direct to agent
  • Ability to broadcast dial to customers with a pre-recorded message
  • Ability to park the customer with custom music per campaign
  • Ability to send a dropped call to a voicemail box, queue or extension per campaign if no agent is available
  • Ability to set outbound CallerID per campaign or per list
  • Ability to take inbound calls gathering CallerID
  • Ability to function as an ACD for inbound and fronter/closer verification calls
  • Ability to have an agent take both inbound and outbound calls in one session(blended)
  • Ability to start and stop recording an agent's calls at any time
  • Ability to automatically record all calls
  • Ability to manually or automatically call upto two other customer numbers for the same lead
  • Automatically dial unlimited alternate numbers per customer until you get an answer
  • Ability to schedule a callback with a customer as either any-agent or agent-specific
  • Ability in Manual dial mode to preview leads before dialing
  • Ability for agents to be logged in remotely anywhere with just a phone and a web browser
  • Faster hangup and dispositioning of calls with one key press (HotKeys)
  • Definable Agent Wrapup-time per campaign
  • Ability to add custom call dispositions per campaign
  • Ability to use custom database queries in campaign dialing
  • Recycling of specified status calls at a specified interval without resetting a list
  • Dialing with custom TimeZone restrictions including per state and per day-of-the-week
  • Dialing with Answering Machine Detection, also playing a message for AM calls
  • Multiple campaigns and lead-lists are possible
  • Option of a drop timer with safe-harbor message for FTC compliance
  • Variable drop call percentage when dialing predictively for FTC compliance
  • System-wide and per-campaign DNC lists that can optionally be activated per campaign
  • All calls are logged and statuses of calls are logged as well as agent time breakdowns
  • Load Balancing of call across multiple inbound or outbound Asterisk servers is possible
  • Agent phone login balancing and failover across multiple ViciDial servers
  • Several real-time and summary reports available
  • Real-time campaign display screens
  • 3rd party conferencing(with DTMF macros and number presets)
  • 3rd party blind call transfer
  • 3rd party conferencing with agent drop-off
  • Custom Music-On-Hold and agent alert sound for inbound calls
  • Estimated hold time, place in line, overflow queues and several other inbound-only features
  • Skills-based ranking and call routing per inbound group(queues) and campaign
  • Queue Prioritization per campaign and inbound group
  • Single agent call queueing
  • Ability to set user levels and permissions for certain features and campaigns
  • Ability for managers to listen-in on agent conversations
  • Ability for managers to enter conversations with agents and customers
  • Ability for managers to change the selected queues for an agent
  • Ability for agents to select a Pause Code when they are not active
  • Ability for agents to view the statuses of other agents on the system
  • Ability for agents to view details for calls in queue that the agent is selected to take calls from
  • Ability for agents to select and click to take calls in queue from their agent screen
  • Several Vtiger integration features: user-sync, account-sync, data interconnection (deprecated)
  • Full integration with Sangoma Call Progress Detection(CDP) for better Answering Machine Detection(AMD)
  • Web-based data export utilities
  • Web-based administration
  • DID, phone and carrier trunk provisioning through the web interface

 

GOautodial can be downloaded for free from http://goautodial.org/
CentOS can get downloaded for free from http://www.centos.org/ 

In combination with the outbound provider Voicetrading and Voicebuy you'll get a very cheap solution for your call/contact center.

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Call Center

Top Outsourcing Concerns
by Rudolf Faix Monday, March 2, 2015 1:30 AM

Hiring an offshore call center provider can make even the most seasoned executive a little bit nervous. In reality, there are many reasons to be nervous. An external company is being hired to speak directly with your customers on your behalf. However, these concerns can be overcome by hiring the right call center. 

Here are the top outsourcing concerns:

  1. Scam
    You'll find scam everywhere where business is done. Especially by doing business over the Internet. For this make a background check about your future business partner. Scammer are lazy, they are even to lazy that they are informing themselves about the business. For this are able to find out if you are talking with a real business partner by asking him specific questions about his work. A scammer will not be able to give you a suitable answer to your questions.

  2. Quality
    You know your product best. If you provide quality by a good presentation of your product, a good FAQ, the differences to your competitors and good sales arguments then it will be easy to get the telemarketers trained to sell your product.

    Don't choose cheap Internet offers for buying the data, which the telemarketer shall call. This data are already heavy used and for this is it difficult to sell something by calling. People, which are already angry at the time picking up their phone, will very seldom take an advantage of even a good offer. The most good data provider are only selling their data packages only inside the country. For this is it very hard for an offshore call center to get such quality data.
    You get what you pay for - nobody is able to work for free for you and a call center is not a data provider. Quality call centers will use your data only for your campaigns.

    So many outsourcing companies do not provide dialing data. Reason is they don't wanna mess with keeping the center up to date, because the company have their agents and other tons of center they work with. In many cases company pays huge amount to other companies in place of giving them data . That is exactly the wrong way for a successful outsourcing. 

    Choose a call center where the agent is immediately on the phone when he calls you. Playing a prerecorded message first will tell to the called one, that a call center is calling, which likes to sell something to him. The most of the dialer are working in a different way. There the agent picks up the phone only if the called one is already in the line.

  3. Loss of control
    Quality call centers are offering features, which are giving you the same possibilities like at an inhouse call center. You can can get:
    * actual status of the calls done for you
    * a spy connection where you can listen the actual call
    * recordings immediately after the hangup of the call
    * actual online call detail records after the call ended
    * a direct connection to the agents working for you
    Use all this possibilities for make the best out of your outsourcing process. The only difference to an inhouse call center is that you can communicate with "your" agents only over the phone or by using some messenger like Skype, Viber, Whatsapp, etc.

  4. Language
    The accent is not so important like the sales talent of the agent. Our best telemarketer in Austria is coming from Romania. If your mother tongue is German, than you hear that she is not a native German speaker, but it does not matter if she sell something to a customer coming from Austria, Germany or Switzerland. She has in any case success. So don't overweight the language barrier. The sale can be even be easier for such people than for native speakers.

  5. Price
    Offshore outsourcing is cheaper than to run your own call center, but don't expect that the big savings are already during the first month. You have to invest some time into the training of "your" agents and you have to listen to the recordings and tell them where they are making failures and give them some information how they can improve their performance. It is the same work like you need to do by hiring a new staff. The savings are coming with the time. Mostly they are starting during the second month.

 

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Call Center Quality Guidelines

Different kinds of dialer for call centers
by Rudolf Faix Sunday, March 1, 2015 1:37 PM

Preview Dialer: In Preview mode, the agent starts by himself the next call (semi-automatic preview dialing) on a software-based selection process. The preview dialing ensures that the call center staff can preview the record from the customer database. If the agent triggers the call attempt by himself, he has also opportunity to prepare for the interview and detailed view (for example the contact history). The employee initiates the call either by using software or by manually dialing the telephone number.

Power Dialer: The dialer software automatically dials the next phone connection as soon as the processing of the previous record was completed by the agent. This can be done by the software on the client or on the central server. It can be set with an "overdial factor" that not only one but several telephone lines per agent get to be established. The dialing attempts are doing mostly displayed in the selection preview on the workplace of the agents. The first successful selection is presented. Other successful dialing attempts are distributed by chance on the next available agent. In the calculations involved, that usually not all numbers dialed indicate a dial tone, but might be busy or unavailable for other reasons. 

Predictive Dialer: Even with predictive dialing the telephone numbers of the contact list or database of the company or service provider get selected automatically. In addition, the dialer software monitored by mathematical methods continually in several ways, such as the current availability or the average call duration of each employee, and includes this in the calculation for the selections. The Predictive dialing is thus a forward-looking, self-adjusting dial. The predictive dialer controls the number of dial attempts per agent, taking into account the current and historical accessibility of customers and on the basis of the derived prediction. This not only minimizes the waiting time between two contacts of the agent, but also provides the ideal case that as many calls as possible are made without call attempts must be canceled. Lost connections causing the called phone rings, after picking up is no caller on the other end available or it rings only for a very short time (dropped call). Consumers perceive this as harassing or threatening.

Regulations:

In the UK, Ofcom requires that predictive dialers abandon less than 3% of answered calls on a daily basis. Ofcom also requires that if an agent is not available within 2 seconds the call is considered "abandoned" and an automated message is played. The automated message must identify the company making the call, the purpose of the call, a free phone or basic rate phone number to call back on and must not contain any form of marketing. A phone call to the return number must not be treated by the company as an opportunity to market, but to be removed from the calling list. In the UK "abandoned" calls must not be called back within 72 hours unless there is a dedicated agent available.

In the USA, if someone answers but no agent is available within 2 seconds of the person's greeting, Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regulations consider the call "abandoned" and require the dialer to play a recorded message. The FCC requires that predictive dialers abandon less than 3% of answered calls.

In Canada, the maximum abandon rate is 5%, and calls cannot be made to numbers registered with the National Do Not Call Registry, emergency or health care providers.

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Call Center Quality Guidelines

Filter by APML

AboutMe

I'm since more then 35 years in the computer business (programming and technical support) and using the Internet since it has started. Since 2002 I'm programming solutions for Asterisk and since 2004 I'm in the call center industry.

Disclaimer

All data and information provided on this site is for informational purposes only. I make no representations as to accuracy, completeness, currentness, suitability, or validity of any information on this site and will not be liable for any errors, omissions, or delays in this information or any losses, injuries, or damages arising from its display or use. All information is provided on an as-is basis and is only representing my own opinion. By browsing or using content from this site you accept the full legal disclaimer of this website.