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Choose The Right Call Center And The Best Contact Center Solutions of 2019

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Contact Center Solutions

The Ins And Outs Of Business Communication Management

For your business to exist in today’s world, you must know how to serve the “2019 Customer,” whose expectations are much different from a decade ago. They need to receive convenience, high-quality, immediacy, availability, and an exceptional buying experience.

Every interaction that occurs between your business and the customer must be outstanding, or they will switch to the competition.

Make sure you choose the right call center and the best contact center solutions of 2019, to ensure the management of your company’s communications is adequately done.

As a business owner, you recognize the rapid growth in the number of customer communications can cause clients to experience longer wait times, resulting in a lack of quality service and support.

To keep your customers satisfied, you need to act fast.

Always keep in mind the old retail adage: Customers remember the service a lot longer than they remember the price.” – Lauren Freedman

At your company, the “customer relationship” is a top core value, and you recognize the importance of having customer management processes in place to build trust and to strengthen client loyalty.

The thought of a communication breakdown is unbearable, but the rise in customer communications has far outgrown the capacity your employees can handle.

As a result of experiencing this high volume of customer calls, text messages, and emails, you notice the communication issue does not only lie with the clients but among your employees, as well.

With having employee-to-customer and employee-to-employee communication management issues, keeping track of conversations and interactions becomes extremely difficult to do, causing vital aspects of your business to become fragile.

You realize your company’s current communication management process needs to change and that the time to act is now, but are unsure of what to do next.

There is no doubt, your subsequent move is a crucial one, for what you decide now will either help or hurt your company further.

You should know, your business is not alone in this matter for many companies experience the same communication issues as you.

According to Sales Hacker, the average call time in January 2016 was 119 seconds, which grew to be 254 seconds per call, in January 2017, an increase of 113%.

For you to lower your average call time, the best route is to use a call center, but first, you must choose which type is right for your business.

The center must be able to meet your company’s shortages and be fully equipped to help with specific communication management issues.

Which Call Center Is Right For Your Business

There are various styles of call centers, but the two main types are in-house and outsourced. The significant differences between the centers involve costs and ownership.

In-house Call Centers:

The in-house call center is owned and operated by the company.

This type of call center is often the more expensive one since the business must deal with all of the overhead costs associated with hiring employees and in buying communication management software, platforms, and systems.

There are several advantages to choosing an in-house call center, but the biggest one is its physical proximity to the core business.

Having your call center nearby allows for a better rapport between the call center agents and the business operation employees. Customer issues can be discussed, reviewed, and resolved faster.

Outsourced Call Centers:

The outsourced call center is often the cheaper option because the company does not own it, but, non-ownership can be a good thing.

The time and money it takes to hire agents, train them, and pay for their overhead expenses, associated with having an in-house call center, is not your company’s problem.

You can choose to have your outsourced call center be international or overseas, and depending on the currency rate and the center’s location; you will have the option to spend less.

There are significant components that will affect your call center decision making,

  1. Company Budget
  2. Call Center Location Preference
  3. Specific Communication Management Issues

The traditional call center uses the Private Branch Exchange (PBX) equipment that the call center operators, own, host, and maintain themselves.

However, with advancements in technology your company now has more selections. You can choose to have a Virtual, Cloud-based, or Web-enabled call center.

The next step is to uncover and breakdown your company’s specific communication issues, which you will need to choose the right call center for your business.

What Does Your Company Need Help With?

Choose if your in-house or outsourced call center will handle inbound, outbound, or omni-channel communications.

Inbound Communication

  • Customer Service
  • Technical Troubleshooting
  • Appointment Management

Outbound Communication

  • Lead Generation
  • Market Research
  • TeleSales

Omni-Channel Communication

This style of communication provides customers with a seamless experience across their devices– desktop, mobile device, telephone, or in person.

Omni-Channel Communication is often the client’s preferred choice, as research shows, companies with omni-channel customer engagement retain 89% of their customers.

However, having a call center alone is not enough, especially when aspiring to meet or exceed the needs of the “2019 Customer”.

How To Decide If Your Company Needs A Contact Center Solution

You want to avoid experiencing the same communication issues your company had before incorporating a call center, and it is best to implement a contact center solution or to choose a center that does.

Otherwise, employees will continue to be dissatisfied with work, want to quit their jobs, resulting in providing poor customer service, and it will only increase over time.

Having a call center and using a contact center solution does not work unless the employee and agents do. Their role is vital in making the entire process work.

There is a 37% rate of attrition among call center employees during the first six months on the job.

Never forget, when employees are unhappy, everyone will feel the effects of it, including your customers.

Clients will still have to wait for service and call back several times due to their issues not being resolved the first time.

Being on par in terms of price and quality only gets you into the game. Service wins the game.” – Tony Allesandra

For performance to improve at your business, the communication process must become better, and a contact center solution will help.

Some solutions provide employees with call scripting and other methods on how to perfect phone pitches, which is essential, especially when it is estimated that mobile devices will place 162 billion calls to businesses by 2019.

Take note; the 162 billion calls does not include ones made by landline phones or any other form of communication.

A significant increase in your company’s communications will inevitably be too much for employees or agents to handle, causing more dropped calls, incorrect call routing, and a rise in wait and hold-times.

The longer you put off providing a solution to resolve the communication issues at your company, the harder it will be for your business to bounce back, later on down the road.

It is difficult to see your business in such a state, but denial will not improve your critical situation, and it is critical.

Every minute that passes, while your company’s communications are in peril, is costing your business, customers, employees, sales, and, ultimately, money.

Once your company loses too many people and dollar bills, you will no longer have a business to run, which is why you must find a solution now.

Without a contact center solution for your call center, your communication issues will not change, continuing to cause damage to your company’s reputation, client satisfaction, employee retention, and to its bottom line.

What Happens Now That You Know You Need A Contact Center Solution?

Your company’s two vital relationships, which ultimately hold it together, are falling apart, and understandably, you do not feel completely comfortable with putting the managing of your business communication in just anybody’s hands.

To start bridging the communication gaps happening at your company, you must find the best solution, but first, you need to learn your options to become comfortable with your choice.

Here are the five best contact center solutions of 2019, to help you decide which one is the most qualified to resolve your company’s communication issues, quickly and responsibly.

The Five Best Contact Center Solutions Of 2019

1. Nextiva

Nextiva Best Contact Center Solution 2019

A telephone company with Cloud-based communication services, helps businesses of all sizes, with their communication management.

Here are a few of the products and services Nextiva offers,

  • VoIP Phone Service
  • Business Phone Service
  • Live Customer Chat Software
  • Multi-Channel CRM
  • VoIP Phones
  • Business Intelligence Software
  • Campaigns And Email Marketing Automation
  • Online Survey Software

Nextiva provides businesses with unlimited calling, as well as, multiple useful features that will help build and maintain your company’s relationships.

Nextiva Reviews

Nextiva has amazing reviews across the board:

Some of their features include,

An Automated Greeting

Their automated greeting is an answering service that directs customers to the appropriate department based on their needs, in a timely fashion.

Text Messaging

Nextiva offers unlimited business texting from one platform, and this service makes it easier to text employees, specific groups, team members, departments, and even customers.

You will have the convenience of your text messages existing all in one place, keeping your company organized and connected to each conversation.

Voicemail To Email

When you miss an important client call, and the contact leaves a voicemail, your company can choose to have it sent as an email to a specific phone, keeping you on top of your communication game.

Call Queuing

Professionalism is critical to customers and to your company, which is what Nextiva offers with their high-tech phone system.

Not only will it put callers into an organized Queue, but it also helps in providing each caller with exceptional customer service and care.

An “On-The-Go” Communication Management App

The Nextiva App connects and syncs the company’s devices to make communicating seamless and easy to master, even while on-the-go.

2. VanillaSoft Pro

VanillaSoft Pro Logo

An inside sales software and engagement solution platform, VanillaSoft Pro, offers a variety of services to help manage the sales side of your business along with customer communication.

Here are a few of the products and services VanillaSoft Pro offers,

  • Sales Engagement Software
  • Guided Selling Tools
  • ‘Queue-Based’ Routing Technology That Prioritizes Leads
  • Integrated Communication Tools
  • Content Management

If you feel like your company’s sales team needs a boost to increase profits, VanillaSoft Pro has a suite of helpful sales tools that your business can benefit from using.

Some of their features include,

  • Call Scripting
  • Automated Lead Routing
  • Sales Cadence Management
  • Lead And Sales Tracking
  • A Content And Document Library
  • Personalized Templates

VanillaSoft Pro also provides engagement support to assist your team with various methods of communication, whether it be with clients or one another.

  • Email
  • Phone
  • Auto-Dialing
  • SMS Text
  • Call Logging
  • Call Recording
  • Group Conferencing

You can make the communication process and management at your company much easier to do with the help of VanillaSoft Pro.

3. ChaseData

ChaseData Logo

A cloud-based call center software for sales and telemarketing teams, ChaseData works with companies to make the call center, profitable.

No matter the company’s size, big or small, ChaseData’s software helps companies grow their call centers in a variety of ways.

Here are a few products and services ChaseData offers,

  • Sales Cadence And Strategy Automation
  • Live Chat
  • Call Scripting
  • Pre-Recorded Calls
  • List Management
  • Escalation Management

ChaseData offers cloud-based scalability with sales and marketing support tools to help you better reach and connect with your customers.

Some of their features include,

  • Lead Routing And Integration
  • Productivity Apps Integration
  • CRM Integration
  • Reporting And Analytics  
  • Appointment Setting
  • VoIP

Their software allows your business to track customer sales, order history, and manage contact information, as well as, schedule client callbacks.

You can choose to use their telemarketing services, inbound sales, direct response teams, and sales professionals.

ChaseData helps cultivate contacts, generate leads, and can support your team in closing more deals. They will work with you and the call center agents to create a better customer experience.

4. DialPad Call Center Platform

DialPad Logo

An all-in-one call center platform, with real-time sentiment, DialPad, is designed to power your company’s communication methods, and to efficiently manage it across existing devices through the use of the Cloud.

Here are a few of the products and services DialPad Call Center Platform offers,

  • Voice
  • Videos
  • Messages
  • Coaching
  • Reporting
  • Meetings

Their platform and support will enable your team to continue using their devices, not to disrupt the current way employees work and can keep communicating with their already built client relationships, which exist on their mobile phones.

DialPad Call Center Platform also allows integration to the sites, services, and software your team already uses, such as, LinkedIn, Salesforce, and Gmail.

They provide an easy to use phone system with a multitude of features, making your company’s communication, uncomplicated and more manageable for the entire team.

5. Five9

Five9 Logo

A virtual call center solution made to increase your team’s productivity, Five9, uses the Cloud to offer multiple products and features to help your company waste less time and provide more availability to its customers.

Here are a few of the products and services Five9 offers,

  • Sales And Marketing
  • On-Screen Caller Info & History
  • Call Routing & Agent Matching
  • Smart Dialers
  • Intelligent Routing

Some of the features they offer are,

  • Minimize Agent Waiting
  • CRM Integration

After reviewing the five best contact center solutions of 2019, you will need to narrow it down to just one, but it has to be the right one.

There are specific components and factors to look over before deciding on which solution will provide your business the help it needs with providing a better work environment and customer experience.

How To Choose The Best Contact Center Solution For Your Company

Before making any arrangements or commitments, look carefully at the state of your current communication process and its multiple issues to ensure you choose the best contact center solution for your company.

Start by asking yourself, your team, and call center agents, the following questions,

  1. How long are customers waiting to speak with a representative?
  2. Are customers satisfied with the service they receive?
  3. Is the company’s customer communication organized or all over the place?
  4. Do customers have to call in multiple times for the same reason?
  5. How often are customers placed on hold?
  6. Are customers reaching the right department and representative every time?

You and your team may need to conduct the screening of phone calls, and other forms of communication, to get accurate responses.

The next important component in finding the right solution is to learn what your employees or agents customer management capabilities are and what areas need improvement.

The questions below will help you in making this assessment.

  1. What are the top three items employees struggle with the most when communicating with customers?
  2. What is the current employee-to-customer communication ratio? Break it down by methods.
  3. How long does it take for your employee to respond to text messages and emails?
  4. Do employees sound professional and confident when speaking to customers?
  5. Are employees struggling to close deals?
  6. Do employees find it difficult to communicate with other team members?
  7. Is the sales team regularly hitting or missing their quotas?

To receive real answers from call center agents and employees, you may need to conduct anonymous questionnaires or one-on-one meetings.

Some of the information you are searching for can also be found amoung company reports, analytics, and in speaking with management.

The last important factor to review before choosing the right contact center solution, are your company’s finances.

Learn if your company can financially afford and sustain a long-term agreement to use a contact center solution.

To avoid causing future interruptions in the service your customers will become accustomed to receiving from your call center is why you need to make a realistic budget.

Having a deeper understanding of what is required to meet client expectations and what areas are causing your business communication issues, will help you find and choose the right solution.

The very moment a potential or existing customer communicates with your company, the buyer’s journey begins and is why you need to make a good impression.

Although you need to address a communication breakdown immediately, do not rush the process of choosing a contact center solution.

When conducting your online research, you will discover there are plenty of solutions floating around the internet, but you want only the very best for your employees and customers.

Therefore, you must be one-hundred percent sure of your decision and the fact that not all contact center solutions are equal, makes the process far from being a “one size” fits all situation.

To help with your decision making, you will need to review your call center needs, online searches, research results, and the five best contact center solutions of 2019.

The more information you gather, the better it will be to grasp the full scope of what requirements your company, the call center, and contact center solution will be; thus, it is time to create a list.

To narrow down your search of all that is needed, write down what it is you are looking to gain from using a contact center solution and your expected outcomes.

Take the necessary steps to shop around for solutions and make comparisons, until you find the one that checks off most, if not all, of the boxes on your list.

The time to open your checkbook is close, but before grabbing a pen or swiping the company’s card, reach out to speak with a representative from each of your chosen communication management solutions, to request a Demo.

Once you set up a date and time to receive a Demo of the software or platforms you are interested in, you will need to create another list.

What you need to include in this list is every question and concern you have about each contact center solution, and what you will want to ask during the Demos.

Share with the representative all of the current issues your company and call center is experiencing, along with the goals, objectives, expectations, and desired results you hope to achieve from using their solution.

It is best to prep the representative on the areas needing improvement at your company to allow them the opportunity to show you how their system can resolve it.

Some of the questions to ask when meeting with the contact center solution representative are,

  1. How will their system help improve both client and employee communication?
  2. What are the software or platform features and how are they useful to your company’s specific situation?
  3. Can they provide a step-by-step process of the system to show the customer’s journey, and how employees will benefit from using it?
  4. Will it help improve company sales?
  5. Can they provide information to back up the effectiveness of their solution?

It is also a great idea to ask the representative the same questions you used to pinpoint your company’s pain-points.

Request that they show you which of their products and feature(s) will assist in addressing each of your issues and concerns.

This process may seem like a long one, but it is a significant investment, especially since the solution you choose to use, is what will help your business manage your vital relationships, therefore, leave no stone, unturned.

Pay close attention to every part of the Demo, and ensure the right people from your company are invited to the meeting, included on the call, and can visually see all of what the software or platform can do for the business.

Ask to see all of the features of the solution, or at least cover the most prominent ones, to get a better sense of its usability, trainability, sustainability, and in determining if it is the right solution for you.

When speaking with the representative find out if they are willing to participate in a role-play scenario, which is to occur during the demonstration, where you pretend to be the customer and the employee.

During the role-play session, observe the representative, and watch their system, to see its effectiveness.

Not only will you learn if it can help your company’s customer service, but if it can also improve the employee’s job performance.

Ultimately, it is the best method to gain real insight into the system’s capabilities and responsiveness.

Having the opportunity to see and hear about what the contact center system offers, is essential, but, it is just as important to experience the customer’s journey and how the employees benefit from using their solution, which only role-playing can truly accomplish.

After you have gathered all of the information from your research and the Demo, call a team meeting to speak with department heads, decision makers, and with those who watched the Demo with you.

Go over your information and discuss the system, in detail, to receive team feedback and to gain an overall consensus.

Once all the steps are complete, and you have all you need to make a knowledgeable decision, comfortably, it is time to choose which solution is perfect in meeting all of your call center, team members, company, and customer needs.

It would be best if you continued working towards creating a less overwhelming environment for employees, and to provide necessary tools to improve the customer experience and to increase employee sales.

You will also be able to organize your business communication, and seamlessly handle a high volume of phone calls, emails, and text messages from clients, like never before.

Make the ultimate decision and choose to improve your company’s communication methods and skills, with a contact center solution.

Once you choose which of the five contact center solution is the right one, make sure you pay close attention to how its features help grow the company and do a regular check-up on its progress, to ensure you are consistently receiving a return on investment.

As you gain hands-on experience, you will become more familiar with the solution’s products and features, giving you an even better understanding of what works and what does not.

Eliminate whatever your company, employees, and customers are not benefiting from when using the solution, and replace them with other features that will bring better results.

Improvements to your company’s communication will come after you add a contact center solution to your call center, but to keep them coming, rests solely on your shoulders.

Do not make the mistake of “setting and forgetting it.” Be vigilant in knowing all of your business communication processes and how much of its new success comes from using the solution’s software or platform.

Since currency comes in many forms, it is essential to look beyond the dollar figures and to make sure time and training are not going to waste.

Forgetting to review each method of communication and its performance on every level, even after the addition of a solution to your center, can cause your business to experience the same communication issues as it did before if you are not careful.

One day everything may look like it is running smoothly, and the next, you learn, that in fact, it is not.

Communication management is critical to the health of any business, and it is of utmost importance that you never underestimate its power.

Using a contact center solution will help your company resolve customer issues, retain customers, convert calls into leads, and maintain a positive reputation.

However, if your call center and business lack in the proper execution of the solution, its products, features, and tools, the issues you are experiencing will remain.

If you choose to add a solution to your call center or use an existing one that does, be involved during every stage of the process, even years after the contact center solution becomes a part of your company

Converting prospects into buyers is your overall goal and whenever a customer contacts your business the opportunity of a sale exists, therefore, overlooking even the smallest detail or a specific communication method can cause significant money loss.

According to Invoca, your company is almost three times more likely to get a customer to contact you over the phone than through a web form.

In knowing how customers prefer to connect with your business, helps your company conduct priority troubleshooting, provide better customer service, and gain insight into which part(s) of the contact center solution is the most important.

You will impress your customers by offering better communication and improve company morale when you use the contact center solution to supply employees with the tools they need to experience success.

When you use the right solution, it will have a positive impact on your reputation, customer service, support team abilities, and company profits.

You have done all you can do to improve communications at your company and can be confident in your choice of implementing a contact center solution.  

Congratulations, you can now begin reaping the rewards from all your hard work and commitment. Your efforts has set your company up for greatness, and you are well on your way to making 2019, its best year yet.

A seasoned Remote Digital Marketer and an enthusiastic Freelance Writer, Amanda Ryan produces only high-quality work and is entirely dedicated to the happiness of her clients.

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Cryptocurreny

Are Hackers Friends Of Crypto Industry Or Are They Enemies?

Hackers have been paid more than $30,000 for exposing and fixing security issues in crypto companies but at the same time, hackers are also the reason why some of them lose money. Click To Tweet

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Hackers have been paid more than $30,000 for exposing and fixing security issues in crypto companies but at the same time, hackers are also the reason why some of them lose money.
Hackers have been paid by crypto companies to fix bugs. Photo: Christoph Scholz | Flickr | CC BY-SA 2.0

The unregulated universe of cryptocurrencies have found its unlikely allies among hackers in solving systemic problems and fixing bugs, a report reveals.

Crypto companies including crypto exchanges have paid a lump sum of at least $32,150 to different white-hat hackers by fixing the security flaws in popular crypto and blockchain platforms such as TRON, Brave, EOS, and Coinbase.

The data revealed that 15 blockchain and crypto-related firms had made hefty payments as rewards to security researchers between March 28 and May 16. The said rewards were made concerning 30 publicly-released bug reports during the entire duration.

Among all the companies who had the security threats, Omise, the software firm behind cryptocurrency OmiseGo, need the most fixes with six disclosed bugs and security issues. Blockchain-powered prediction market Augur disclosed three reports, as did Brave Software, makers of the Brave browser, which features its own native token.

Crypto and blockchain technology has since been criticized by different financial institutions for being volatile and vulnerable to technology and cyber crimes, making the technology not conducive to become a working technology. It only makes sense that in time when they need help the most, white-hat hackers and security researchers are there to help them – for a price.

According to the study, he payment varies depending on the severity of the bug. They adjust their HackerOne rewards depending on how easy or difficult it is for the white-hat hacker to reolve a security issue. For instance, majority of Omise’s disclosed security flaws were only worth around $100 each, there are other payments that amounted to a lot more, the study suggests.

Both Block.one, the company that owns the EOS “blockchain,” and budding network Aeternity paid one hacker with more than $10,000 for a single issue that the hacker paid. TRON also paid $3,100 to the researcher who realized the network was susceptible to being flooded with malicious smart contracts, something thatcould jeopardize the future of the company.

Most of cryptocurrency companies and blockchain firms, just like other tech-based companies, have set up a reward or bounty system that would pay anyone that can point out any form of security issue in their systems; a bigger reward is also provided to those who can fix them.

While hackers who decided to use their skills to improve the technology stratosphere are increasing in number steadily, they could at any time decide to use their skills to exploit the vulnerabilities they have discovered for bigger take home money.

Just like how last week, cryptocurrency exchange Binance announced that hackers had successfully stolen 7,000 BT (then $40 million, now $55 million) from its own wallets.

Similarly crypto exchange company Cryptopia announced last week that the company is going into liquidation following the attack that lost the company millions of dollars worth of crypto money in January.

According to a blockchain data analytics firm, their investigation allowed them to estimate the loss caused by the cyber attack to be as much as $16 million in ether and ERC-20 tokens. While the company has restarted their trading services in March, no one is still certain of the actual damages that the cyber attacked caused the company. Until now, the company is still recovering from the aftermath of the breach and still having banking issues.

According to the liquidation firm, Grant Thornton, since the damages caused by the hacking was too “severe” and has impacted the company massively in terms of trade, and amidst the effort of its management to regain composure by reducing costs and returning the business to profitability, they have decided that liquidation is the best option for the company and all stakeholders moving forward.

It is still unclear whether or not Cryptopia is running its own bounty program but coincidentally, Binance has a bounty reward of $100,000 for anyone who can solve the mystery of their stolen crypto money, but until now, the perpetrator is still at large and unidentified.

“At Binance, the security of our users is our number one priority. As such, we strive to provide the most secure platform possible. We will evaluate reported security issues based on the security impact to our users and the Binance ecosystem.”

In the end, the question still remains: Are hackers friends of the crypto industry or are they the enemy?

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Business

Researchers Found Exposed Database Containing HCL Employee Passwords, Client Management Record, And Internal Reports

Researchers from UpGuard found a database that contains HCL employee data, internal reports and project information. The database is now inaccessible. Click To Tweet

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Researchers from UpGuard found a database that contains HCL employee data, internal reports and project information.
HCL has exposed employee and project data in an unprotected database. Photo: Mike MacKenzie | Flickr | CC BY 2.0

Notable IT services company, HCL, has left a database online that includes identifiable and sensitive data of its employees, and the database is open for download from an HCL-linked domain, cybersecurity research organization UpGuard revealed.

The discovery was made on May 1st, 2019 and revealed that the public data exposed included personal information and plaintext passwords of new hires, reports on installations of customer infrastructure, and web application for managing personnel. Following the disclosure to HCL, the company has already made the exposed database inaccessible and secured the known data exposures.

“On May 6, after reaching a reasonably complete level of analysis of the public pages and data, the researcher sent a notification to HCL’s Data Protection Officer at privacy@hcl.com. That notification included links to five subdomains hosting pages with some kind of business information and two URLs for pages as examples of what could be found on those subdomains. On May 7, the analyst confirmed that those two pages could no longer be accessed without authentication but that pages on the other subdomains were still accessible. The analyst sent a followup email linking to other pages with HCL data, and on the next day, May 8, the analyst confirmed that those pages were also no longer accessible to anonymous users,” said the announcement from UpGuard.

UpGuard reveals that the said accessible data were located after days of work because the exposed data were included in multiple subdomains and had to be accessed through a web UI. One of the accessible subdomains located by the researchers contained pages for various HR administrative tasks. While not all pages in the subdomain were accessible, the team said that access to the subdomain also allowed anonymous access to substantial amounts of personal information, “some of it very recent.”

A dashboard for new hires included records for 364 personnel. The oldest was from 2013, but over two hundred records were from 2019. Fifty-four of the records were for people who joined on May 6, 2019. The exposed data included candidate ID, name, mobile number, joining date, joining location, recruiter SAP code, recruiter name, created date, user name, cleartext password, BGV status, offer accepted, and a link to the candidate form.

A redacted sample of employee records who have joined in 2019. Photo: UpGuard

“Among those data points, the most obvious risk is that the passwords could be used to access other HCL systems to which these employees would be given access,” the post reads.

HCL Technologies Limited (Hindustan Computers Limited) is an Indian multinational information technology (IT) service and consulting company headquartered in Noida, Uttar Pradesh. It is a subsidiary of HCL Enterprise. Originally a research and development division of HCL, it emerged as an independent company in 1991 when HCL ventured into the software services business. The company offers a vast tech-related product portfolio from software development to cybersecurity, to Infrastructure Management and Engineering. They also provide IoT and cloud services.

Their relationship with their clients is also one of the things that were compromised by the recent exposure of data as customer installation reports were also exposed online for anonymous users to consume.

“The ASP framework used on this site had a security feature that prevents requests from being submitted if they are not from the UI. This prevents the alteration of requests to go beyond the scope of what the user is authorized to access. Because the UI was fully available to anonymous users, this did not protect the data but did prevent bulk downloading of all data by calling the APIs directly. None of the data here included credentials, but there were substantial amounts of information about HCL projects.”

Screenshot of the report index . Photo: UpGuard

Internal analysis reports were also compromised exposing 5700 incidents of “detailed incidences report with the following labels: VSAT ID, Location, ATM ID, Start time, End time, Duration, Reason, and Description. The “Service Window Uptime Report” includes VSAT ID, Consignee, City, Accountable Uptime, Comnet Issue, Non-HCL Comnet, Customer issue, Uptime. There were 450 records for April of 2019, 450 records for January of 2019, and 521 records for January 2018, matching the regularity one would expect from some kind of standard monthly report.

Other data that were anonymously accessed by the researchers are the company’s Weekly Customer Reports, Installation Reports, Escalation matrix for transportation service, and administrative panel for recruiting approval chain.

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Business

What’s The Next Move For Huawei?

Huawei assures users that they will still be receiving security updates and after-sales services amidst the Google/Android ban. Sources also revealed that company is poised to launch its own OS, Hongmeng, anytime soon. Click To Tweet

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Huawei assures users that they will still receive security updates and after-sales services following the Google/Android ban.
Sources revealed that Huawei is poised to release its own OS, Hongmeng. Photo: Open Grid Scheduler | Flickr | CC0 1.0

Following the decision of Google and Android to ban Huawei from contracting their services in conjunction of the government-led war against the Chinese tech giant and the executive order released by President Donald Trump, Huawei crumbles to assure users that current owners of both Huawei and Honor phones will still be receiving security updates and after-sales services.

In a short, unsubstantiated statement, Huawei highlight’s the company’s contribution to the growth of Android globally as Android phones from the company has seen unprecedented growth while other smartphone vendors are shrinking or stagnant. While the company promises the continuance of the services provided by Android to their smartphone users, and the promise extends to those units that were already shipped and in stock in stores globally, no additional guarantees were made beyond that.

“Huawei has made substantial contributions to the development and growth of Android around the world. As one of Android’s key global partners, we have worked closely with their open-source platform to develop an ecosystem that has benefitted both users and the industry,” said a statement from Huawei.

“Huawei will continue to provide security updates and after-sales services to all existing Huawei and Honor smartphone and tablet products, covering those that have been sold and that are still in stock globally […] We will continue to build a safe and sustainable software ecosystem, in order to provide the best experience for all users globally,” they added.

The revocation of Huawei’s license follows after the heightened crackdown by the U.S. government on Chinese companies. Previously, the Trump administration has been lobbying to its allies to ban Huawei’s 5G technology citing that the Chinese government can use the company for espionage and economic sabotage.

The latest blow against Huawei is the decision of Google to revoke the Android license of Huawei, forcing the company to use only the open source version of the operating system. A Google spokesperson confirmed that “Google Play and the security protections from Google Play Protect will continue to function on existing Huawei devices.”

Because of the ban, Huawei is now restricted from using the Android Open Source Project (AOSP), cutting the company off from critical Google apps and services that consumers outside of China expect on Android devices.

While existing phones from Huawei would probably be not affected by the decision, the future of updates and for those phones as well as any new phones Huawei would produce remains in question. But it seems like Huawei has prepared for the day that this would happen and already has a plan B in mind.

Earlier today, the China-based company released its very own operating system, Hongmeng. A source has confirmed that Huawei is set to officially launch Hongmeng, as the company has been working on it since 2012. The company has been testing the new OS on selected devices under closer door and closed environment. The source also said that the testing was accelerated for the new operating system to be ready for situations just like this.

Nonetheless, it is still unclear whether Hongmeng will be the official name of the OS from Huawei. Experts note that even if Huawei can successfully launch its operating system, the company will still be faced with the challenge of establishing an app ecosystem. It would take Huawei a lot of time to build apps that are compatible with the new operating system.

Huawei accounted for 19% of the worldwide smartphone market and became the second largest smartphone manufacturer, overtaking Apple, in Q1 2019.

The blunder faced by Huawei following the Google ban has caused severe market instability not only for Huawei but for the volatile US tech markets as stocks drop following the shocking decision. Huawei is dragging the entire tech industry with it as market uncertainty brought upon by the apparent tech trade wars. As Huawei’s future remains at the limbo, it brings with it the rest of the tech world.

“If this remains enforced, it’s going to create some opportunity, but companies are working with their compliance departments to get out of the way of this Huawei situation,” said Quincy Krosby, chief market strategist at Prudential Financial. That’s difficult because “Huawei has its tentacles in so many parts of the technology sector. That’s why this is not a one-day event.”

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