25 May 2017

Outsmarting cyberattackers: are you protected from ransomware?

Written by Christopher Liko, Posted in Technology, ComputerTalk

The WannaCry ransomware attack began on May 12, 2017, quickly infecting more than 230 000 computers in 150 countries. This attack was considered unprecedented in scale, targeting a vulnerability in Microsoft's SMB protocol. The WannaCry virus demanded a $300 bitcoin ransom to unlock infected computers and allow access to personal data. In the wake of this (still ongoing) ransomware attack, what can we do to protect ourselves?

How do we do it?

Here at ComputerTalk, we follow a very stringent set of cyberprotection guidelines. As the provider of a PCI-DSS compliant private cloud, our organization must adhere to strict policies inside and outside of our cloud environment. One such measure is a software update policy. We ensure that all computers on our network are running the most recent software updates, to protect from any and all vulnerabilities. A Windows patch was released by Microsoft on March 14, 2017, to address the same vulnerability targeted by the WannaCry virus. Had an update policy not been in place, it would be possible that some machines on the network would be vulnerable, opening up the entire network to the threat. Some organizations suffered thousands of dollars in losses from the attack; this can often be attributed to a lackadaisical attitude toward software updates on the company network. There are many other ways to protect your network from cyberattacks, but implementing a software update policy is an excellent first step.

04 May 2016

To Cloud or Not To Cloud - On Premises vs Cloud

Written by Vivian Pow, Posted in Technology, Contact Center, ComputerTalk

Organizations have many technology choices when it comes to contact centers. Both on-premises and cloud solutions deliver potential benefits, as illustrated in the comparison table below. 

Regardless of your decision, choose your providers carefully, as contact centers have complex requirements. If you need an expert to help walk you through your requirements, leave us a message here

22 May 2015

Increase Customer Satisfaction with WebRTC

Posted in Technology, Contact Center

 

WebRTC is all about convenience and creating a seamless transition from your website to your organization. webrtc.org defines WebRTC as a “free, open project that provides browsers and mobile applications with Real-Time Communications (RTC) capabilities via simple APIs.” It allows your customers to make browser-based voice and video calls without the need for a third party plugin.

WebRTC will have a huge impact on the future of the contact center and universal communications industry. Customers will be able to open a browser or mobile app to start a voice or video call and add screen sharing to receive real-time support. WebRTC allows for seamless escalations between channels to communicate with customers in the most effective medium.

Agents answering the calls will receive the contextual information surrounding the customer and be able to provide faster and better customer service. Previously the customer would need to go through layers of IVR menus or re-provide contextual and personal information to a contact center agent, slowing down the service and creating frustration.

WebRTC brings benefits to your contact center:

Seamless communication – A company’s website is the first point of contact for many customers. If they are unable to find the information they require, some customers will try to find it through your organization’s contact center, while others will stop the search at your website. WebRTC removes the barriers by creating a seamless user experience from your website to a voice or video call, so that no one stops the search at your website.

Preserved context – When a customer calls a contact center using a webpage or mobile app the context from the page or log in information can be preserved. For example, initiating a call from within a product support page can pass in information about the logged in user, which page they are looking at, or where they have been before the current page on your site.  If you’ve already authenticated the user on the web, this information can also be passed into the Audio/Video contact, which means bypassing time consuming customer identification questions in IVR or with an agent. 

05 November 2014

November must reads

Written by Vivian Pow, Posted in Technology, Contact Center, ComputerTalk, Unified Communications

This month's must-reads are focused on Microsoft UC and updates to the product.

  1. Unified Communications was just the first step. Microsoft is bringing Universal Communications in the coming years - a dramatic transformation that "enable people everywhere to take advantage of rich communications for all the important relationships in their work and personal lives. Microsoft is planning to deliver Universal Communications using these strategies:
    • Consistent experience for work and life
    • Context and Application Intelligence
    • Across All devices
    • Video Everywhere
    • Global Reach through the cloud

    Read more here: http://blogs.microsoft.com/blog/2014/02/18/from-unified-to-universal-the-next-stage-for-communications/

  2. Regardless of whether you are planning on incorporating Unified Communications or Universal Communications in your contact center, it is important to think about the questions brought up in this blog: http://searchunifiedcommunications.techtarget.com/tip/How-to-add-UC-to-your-call-center-design?utm_medium (scroll down to read)

  3. New to Microsoft Lync? Here are 10 things that you might not know you can do with Lync 2013!
  4. http://www.networkcomputing.com/unified-communications/microsoft-lync-10-ways-to-do-more/d/d-id/1204531

  5. Thinking about Office 365? Microsoft has released their roadmap for the product:
  6. http://www.pcworld.com/article/2365294/microsoft-reveals-office-365-roadmap-heres-whats-coming.html.

  7. Dynamics - Cortana (Window's version of Siri) integration is getting shipped with Dynamics 2015. read about the implications of this tie-in here: http://www.computerworld.com/article/2842778/cortana-to-give-voice-and-ears-to-dynamics-crm.html

If you have questions, type them in the comment section below! For information on how ComputerTalk's ice adds value to Lync, O365, and Dynamics, visit http://www.computer-talk.com/en/solutions/lync-with-ice, http://www.computer-talk.com/en/solutions/office-365-with-ice, and http://www.computer-talk.com/en/solutions/dynamics-crm-with-ice

09 April 2014

Security Announcement - ice is NOT affected by OpenSSL bug Heartbleed.

Written by Martin Borowski, Posted in Technology, Microsoft, Lync, Troubleshooting

Heartbleed is a security bug in OpenSSL, the most popular software code that encrypts and protects sensitive data such as passwords and banking info. Websites that use this code show a green lock in the URL bar. According to researchers at Codenomicon, a Finnish firm, this bug can be exploited by malware and cyber criminals - they could look at the memory of the bug-affected code, enabling them to grab the keys needed to decode and read data.

We are happy to announce that the versions of OpenSSL that ComputerTalk uses in ice Contact Center solutions are not affected by this vulnerability.

If you wish to check if the web services you're using are vulnerable to this, you can test it here: Visit the Heartbleed test site

Information about Heartbleed came from http://www.cbc.ca/news/technology/heartbleed-web-security-bug-what-you-need-to-know-1.2603988

09 December 2013

5 tips on counteracting nightmare interactions in the contact center

Written by Bianca Zeppa, Posted in Technology, Contact Center

Customer Service – those words are so frequently thrown around in the business world that they may start to lose their meaning. Customer service – to serve a customer… what does that really mean?  Essentially the ultimate goal of customer service is customer satisfaction – a happy costumer in turn means a continued consumer and possible recommendations for future clientele. This sounds simple enough – until you get a difficult customer.

Difficult customers can be a nightmare when agents are ill-prepared for them. Realistically, there’s no way to be completely primed for any disaster that can occur during a business-client relationship, here are some guidelines that could help. (If you can think of others, please let us know in the comment box below the article.)