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10 telemarketing tips for 2021

The telemarketing landscape has changed so much from the days of the black rotary phone and yellow phone directory pages to the outbound call center era and mass telephone listings. One thing’s for sure—some of the most remarkable sales rallies were achieved by teams of telemarketing staff relentlessly dialing those phone numbers and engaging potential customers.

So much for that nearly superhuman achievement, but things are about to go through a massive shift again in the world of telemarketing. One of the innovations in telemarketing, which has been around for several years now is the autodialer. This technology is quite popular among organizations for remote dialing operations because of the need to make sure their dialers are not used for other purposes aside from telemarketing campaigns.

Telemarketing in an automated world

With the advent of automation in all sorts of business operations and the development of Artificial Intelligence (AI) tools, the use of automation technology in telemarketing is changing the industry even more. Here are a few things you can do to stay on top of the telemarketing field in 2021.

1. Don’t sound like a telemarketer

Yes, you read that right. The first thing you have to know to become an effective telemarketer is not to sound like a typical telemarketer. Be spontaneous and warm, if appropriate. Use everyday words, not jargon.

The call recipient has most likely received similar dozens, if not hundreds of sales calls. Spiels are very common, so try to be different. Try to sound like you really want to connect with the person you’re calling.

2. Use mass texting

Another innovation you can employ to create mass awareness about your marketing campaign is the mass text app. Although mass texting has been around for quite some time now, most of it was done through phone subscription arrangements with telephone carrier companies. The mass texting app takes telemarketing to the next level because everything is now done through an app that sends out your messages to target recipients.

Incorporating empathy into telemarketing engages the prospects and conveys an image of an organization that’s genuinely interested in helping meet the clients’ needs through the solution presented by the product or service you’re offering. Mass texting, in a nutshell, disseminates basic information about your product or campaign.

3. Stay ahead of regulatory compliances

There are current laws and regulations on the telecommunications industry that can affect telemarketing operations. And new and upcoming ones get added each year. Call centers and telemarketers need to be actively aware of the impact and of these rules and regulations.

These regulations are not just for big companies, since these can affect anyone in the business of contacting consumers. Thus, telemarketing and call center operations need to be more careful and think about how their operations can avoid fines and lawsuits by staying compliant with the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA).

4. Work around call blocking

One of the biggest challenges for telemarketers is the difficulty in getting potential customers to pick up the phone. Several factors contribute to this challenge, and the most common one is that phone carriers can now configure their systems to block calls based on certain algorithms. Also, some consumers download 3rd party apps that can block calls or report specific numbers as spam.

A procedural change that can affect telemarketing operations is a standard framework called Secure Telephone Identity Revisited/Signature-based Handling of Asserted Information using toKENs (STIR/SHAKEN). There’s no easy way to go around this obstacle. If your call center is not prepared for this change, then it could negatively impact and even potentially devastate your operational ability to effectively contact leads. You can work around this through smarter outreach strategies and effective management of Dialer IDs based on call volume and geography.

5. Leverage reliable data and analysis

The best telemarketing operations don’t just make phone calls and then close sales calls based on simple questions and basic information. The smartest telemarketing teams also ensure that their database consists of reliable data. The data fed to your dialers have to be verified and vetted if you want to get the best results from your dialing operations.

Reliable data is also critical for efficiency. This is why telemarketing managers need a dialer to provide flexibility in real-time and historical reporting. To be able to improve the Return-on-Investment (ROI), dialer managers need to be able to track the right call center Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), with detailed reports so they can optimize lead generation and track agent performance.

6. Integrate Artificial Intelligence (AI)

It’s been quite a while now since predictive dialers and AI technology tools were introduced to the call center industry. Presently, more and more telemarketing operations are adapting and actively employing AI to become more effective in engaging with their potential customers. With data flooding, AI also plays a pivotal role in giving you a competitive edge.

One of the key advantages of AI is its ability to sift through mountains of data and pre-qualify, sort, and farm out your leads. Even though people prefer to talk to live human agents, AI can radically streamline your inbound operations by simply sorting out leads and sending them to agents they’re familiar with. For outbound operations, AI can arm your telemarketers with more focused information about the potential customer.

7. Provide support for remote teams

The ongoing global pandemic has only hastened what was already a steady shift towards offsite work and remote collaboration. Because of the need to stay connected, telemarketers are learning to apply the first advantage provided by telemarketing— connecting agents to prospects through distance communications technology. More are shifting to remote collaboration arrangements.

Due to the need for call centers to stay on top of their operations through effective monitoring of their agents and teams, they are also starting to realize the need for internal communication and collaboration platforms and tools more suited to remote work and collaborative projects.

For instance, they’re realizing the need for technology that can support what used to be done through face-to-face team meetings, side-by-side (SBS) call monitoring, peer interaction and support, supervisor calls, and one-on-one engagement with leaders.

8. Study your analytics

One of the advantages of digital telemarketing is that phone calls are recorded. Phone calls are then listened to by a team of Quality Analysts (QAs) who go over the calls to find out if the telemarketing agent followed the spiels, best practices, as well as upselling tips given by the trainers and team leads. It’s also an opportunity to find gaps in call handling and identify missed opportunities and areas for improvement.

Taken together, all the phone recordings collated and reviewed by the quality assurance team consist of calls, data, figures, and statistics. All of these data can prove to be very useful if the management can sift through the massive information to learn more about their prospects, know their usual complaints, and study effective ways to overcome the resistance to sales or offers.

This is where analytics comes in. The best telemarketing teams would study the analytics of all the data available to predict the behavior of their prospects. They utilize all the strong analytics tools to make sense of the information, and how to move forward with their telemarketing campaigns and operations.

9. Train agents how to handle objections

Another thing you should do to improve the performance of your telemarketing operations is to train your agents some ways of handling objections. Objections are very common in sales calls. This is especially true in telemarketing since it’s easier to say no or hang up the phone.

telemarketing tips

Train your agents to embrace objections as part of the selling process. Objections will always be present in calls. Some people will definitely say no to what you’re selling, some even impolitely. You can teach your agents to work out the possible objections and prepare answers ahead as far as practicable, based on the key advantages and best features of the product or service offered. This way, they wouldn’t be surprised when a prospect objects.

10. Plan your operations

Plan your operations way ahead of time. Don’t just randomly assign prospects to your teams. Once you’ve sifted through the database, instructed your quality assurance team to review the call handling skills of your teams, studied analytics, and trained your agents on how to handle objections and follow through with upselling—then you also have to plan how to go forward with your operations.

You shouldn’t randomly farm out the prospects to your teams. Farm them out based on the call handling skills of your agents and the predicted behavior of the prospects. Use the data from your analytics to predict the typical objections based on the prospect’s profile and train your agents on how to overcome these specific objections using persuasive language.

Staying ahead of telemarketing

There are various ways of staying ahead in the telemarketing industry even with the technological and regulatory changes in the past several years. You can do so by following the given tips.

These tips will help streamline your operations and allow your team to engage with the clients smoothly. You can also read more on the current telemarketing techniques and update yourself with the latest trends.

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Interviews

“CloudFest will be the place to meet the international cloud ecosystem” – Christian Jäger, CEO, CloudFest

CloudFest is considered the #1 business-to-business event for the cloud, hosting and internet infrastructure professionals across the globe. Taking place online for the first time ever, CloudFest 2021 runs March 23-25. It is the best way to engage with customers, partners, and peers: with over 7,000 professionals eager to do business, it’s no surprise that so many brands use CloudFest as the launchpad for their latest solutions.

We recently interviewed Christian Jäger– CEO, CloudFest. Read on.

J: CloudFest is an intriguing event, especially for hosters, domainers and data center service providers who are now an integral part of the cloud industry. With time, World Hosting Days also graduated to CloudFest. Please shed some light on this progression.

C: We started the event as a ‘round-table’ for other hosting providers in our hometown, Cologne. Shortly after, we invited suppliers and software providers to attend our meetings as well so we could benefit from a consolidated product update and exchange our views and learnings. Even in these old days, the focus has already been laid on networking and great content. As the event grew, we decided that we need to add some secret sauce to stick out as an event and our solution was simple: Don’t use typical congress hotels or trade fair areas – use something special – and that’s how the idea to run the show in a theme park came along!

But we did not only grow, but we also attracted a more diverse audience. And on top of that, our attendees altered their product offerings from plain (web) hosting towards sophisticated cloud solutions. The name change to CloudFest should symbolize the journey we went with our partners: the event became a festival of friends and our products shifted towards the cloud. The name CloudFest was born.

J: Now many advanced technologies like Artificial Intelligence (AI), Internet of Things (IoT), Big Data are taking the world by storm. Being in the IT space for so long, how do you see the IT industry shaping up? Which technology or technologies is/are going to trend?

C: Indeed, the topics are gaining momentum, and this is also why we dedicated an entire day at this year’s online edition of CloudFest towards AI. Devices have become smart; computers and scripts have become intelligent. The backbone to enable this intelligence is our industry. The same is true for IoT and especially big data.

In my previous role in the investment sector, we analysed huge companies with extensive data sets coming from different streams. Without intelligent computing allocation and software tools that are capable to handle such an amount of data, we would never be able to do a fair analysis of any company. So big data is no longer a buzz word, it has become reality years ago already.

J: You were a part of CloudFest a few years back. Then you moved on to work for PlusServer, GoDaddy, and now BrainWeb Investment. In 2021, you have again associated with CloudFest in a big way. Tell us about this fascinating journey of yours.

C: Returning to CloudFest feels really like coming home. I still know many of the team members personally and was in an exchange with them during the shows while I worked at other companies.

In a retro perspective, my journey has helped me to better understand the needs of hosting companies as well as the needs of our partners. PlusServer is one of the leading managed hosting providers in Europe while GoDaddy is targeting end-customers and web professionals. Later, we invested in companies like cPanel or Plesk – who are exhibitors of CloudFest and again have very different expectations of an event.

I was able to learn a lot and experience the industry from various angles and I am positive this will help in the future.

J: CloudFest 2021 kicks off on March 23. What industry trends or topics will be covered for 2021? How many attendees are you expecting?

C: CloudFest will cover three main topics.

Day 1 will talk about the intelligent cloud. We will learn how infrastructure evolves over time becoming smarter, applying the latest AI and IoT technologies.

Day 2 is actually my personal favourite as we talk about web pros. It is a super diverse topic that really drives our industry. Wix.com, GoDaddy Pro or DigitalOcean are changing the way how the customers use cloud services. We have invited Aaron Draplin to speak, the name may not directly ring a bell, but he designed logos for Obama, Nike or Ford. So, the day will not only talk about technology but will have the actual user, the actual web pro in mind.

The last day covers security topics and what’s really cool: We can all meet the former boss of James Bond. Sir Alex Younger was responsible for cyber protection at the British intelligence service MI6 – if there is one person that knows about cyber threats, it’s him.

Attendee figures are difficult to estimate but we expect them to be in line with what we know from offline events. We can already see how diverse our audience got and from where our attendees’ login.

J: As the event is completely online, things are going to be different this year. What kinds of changes can attendees expect this year? Also, what kind of networking possibilities and marketing opportunities are there?

C: The biggest change is of course people cannot meet at the Collosseo Bar in Europa-Park ?. Online events have a lot of strengths but indeed also limitations. The team worked hard and chose the platform we use carefully to deliver a digital version that is really close to the on-site experience. The agenda is full of first-class content in different locations, just as people know it from the offline world.

Since CloudFest is online, we can also have dedicated tracks for different time zones so please watch the Indian track carefully to learn about one of our largest and most interesting markets! Our platform also facilitates easy networking. We have dedicated networking time slots, speed-dating, and breakout rooms and tables where attendees can join other people who are “sitting” at a virtual table or bar and automatically start a group video call. We even took the concerts online and I can already reveal we are even trying to get the roller coasters digital – so it’s definitely a good idea to register for free with the DHN code today and join us!

J: Being the host of this event, what are you most looking forward to at the upcoming CloudFest 2021?

C: Besides the already mentioned speakers I am especially looking forward to the networking sections and digital booths of our partners. Though we are all in contact via email and whatnot, CloudFest will again be the place to meet the international cloud ecosystem and I cannot wait to talk to familiar faces and business partners that became friends over the year.

It’s really about time to see each other again, at least digitally.

J: Final question, if you had fifteen extra minutes each day, what would you do with them?

C: Clear answer: I became a father during the first wave of Corona in 2020. Every extra minute I have goes into spending time with my family and beloved ones. There is no such thing as family time but: CloudFest comes really really close to that. ?

Daily Host News (DHN) is the official media partner of CloudFest 2021. Don’t forget to register for this year’s virtual edition.

To stay always on top of the latest news in the cloud and data centre industry, follow @DailyHostNews now. You can also subscribe to our newsletter to receive all updates directly in your inbox.

Read Next: “Hyperscale workloads to be the biggest driver of demand for data center growth”- Michael DeVito, Iron Mountain Data Centers

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News

Jelastic and Togglebox announce partnership to spread advanced PaaS on US market

Jelastic, the multi-cloud Platform-as-a-Service company announced a partnership with Togglebox, a leading US provider of cloud computing, hosting services, and hosting infrastructure headquartered in Philadelphia, and data centers located in Texas and Pennsylvania.

The data centers of the Togglebox are audited under SSAE 18 SOC 2 Type II and PCI-DSS. Personalized, export support is available 24/7/365 to their customers, and the company controls 26,775 data points from their servers every 15 seconds to ensure high performance and identify any issues to resolve before affecting customers.

Ruslan Synytsky, CEO and co-founder of Jelastic says, “Companies across different industries accelerate their cloud adoption and require more sophisticated infrastructure management. Jelastic is empowering hosting service providers like Togglebox to be more competitive and exceed their customers’ expectations with a feature-rich PaaS and cost-effective pay-per-use pricing model.”

The Forrester Now Predictions 2021: Cloud Computing Report released in Q4 2020 estimates that at the end of 2021, the majority of companies (60%) will leverage containers on public cloud platforms and 25% of developers will take advantage of serverless platforms. Jelastic is assisting organizations like Togglebox and their customers to stay ahead of this curve.

With this partnership, Togglebox plans to offer Jelastic’s renowned auto-scaling, pay-for-use pricing model, and managed platform-as-a-service offerings to all of its customers.

Matthew AyresTogglebox CEO says “Jelastic was built for hosting providers so it provides Togglebox all the features we need to stay competitive and deliver the best technology and flexibility to our customers. Our partnership with Jelastic provides numerous next-generation features to our existing client base and will also deliver an economical alternative to AWS and Azure which will support our ongoing business growth.”

Most customers of Togglebox run WordPress and moving to a Managed WordPress Cluster will be the next step for them in order to scale, enhance uptime, and reduce page load times. The support that Jelastic already provides for WordPress will make this complete process seamless.

Togglebox’s partnership with Jelastic also gives an eagerly-anticipated response to requests from Togglebox customers for Kubernetes, Docker, and Database-as-a-Service products, which they will confidently offer now. In addition, as a result of the new collaboration, the Togglebox support team will be able to concentrate completely on application support, reducing the amount of server management requests, and improving customer satisfaction.

Read Next: Four hacks to get consumer insights for your brand

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News Partnership

Iron Mountain data centers to expand data center footprint to India

Iron Mountain, the storage and information management services company, has announced that it has agreed to form a joint venture with Web Werks, one of India’s leading colocation data center providers. Iron Mountain anticipates investing $ 150 million in the next two years and is projected to be a majority investor in the venture after the investment period. The first transaction stage is anticipated to close within the next 90 days, subject to customary closing conditions.

Web Werks serves three Tier 3, carrier-neutral data centers in Delhi NCR, Mumbai, and Pune. This investment allows Web Werks to quickly extend its operations to its three existing markets and later Hyderabad, Bangalore, and Chennai. Iron Mountain Data Center is investing this to support and expand its existing hyper scale, content, network, and enterprise customers in the rapidly growing pan-India region.

With a 225,000 square feet footprint, Web Werks maintains 6 Points of Presence (POPs) worldwide, delivering 4 megawatts (MW) of capacity, supporting 6,000+ servers and more than 850 clients. Web Werks gives access to strong, content and cloud providers, and a neutral interconnection ecosystem of carriers, involving more than 160 Internet service providers (ISPs) and 6 Internet exchanges.

As market leaders in hyper-connected data centers, Web Werks supports a wide base of well-known brands including banking, enterprises, insurance (BFSI), financial services, and small and medium enterprises (SMEs) who require efficiency in deployment to scale their businesses.

“This investment reflects Iron Mountain’s commitment to invest in high growth, good return global markets to continue to meet our customers’ requirements. The India data center market is projected to grow rapidly in the coming years and we are excited to be an early mover into a market where the demand is high and the supply is low,” stated Mark Kidd, Executive Vice President & General Manager, Iron Mountain Data Centers.

“Web Werks has a highly respected and seasoned leadership team and we are delighted to not only support their continued growth and success, but also to provide our existing Iron Mountain data center customers access to this growing and thriving market,” he added.

India is the second largest telecom market all over the world. As per JLL’s recent report, India’s Colocation Data Center market size is anticipated to increase by 20% (from 375MW in 2020 to 1,078MW in H1 2020). As of December 2020, the Global Data Center Colocation and Interconnection Report, by Structures Research (SR), the Asia Pacific region will account for half of the global colocation market by 2025 driven by large emerging markets such as India.

The SR report identifies Pune and Mumbai as major opportunity markets in India, with a combined estimated MW of significant IT load capacity growth to reach more than 470MW by 2025. “India provides an important next step in expanding our Asia Pacific footprint,” stated Michael Goh, General Manager Asia Pacific at Iron Mountain Data Centers. “We have seen very strong regional demand from our global customers following the grand opening of our Singapore data center, SIN-1, in 2019.”

“Joining forces with the Iron Mountain Data Center team will further solidify Web Werk’s leadership position in the pan-India region and among the broader set of global customers,” stated Nikhil Rathi, CEO, Web Werks. “Web Werks and Iron Mountain Data Centers are fully committed and aligned to grow and scale in order to meet the digital transformation and interconnection needs of our customers. The Joint Venture is expected to be among the select few data center operators with assets across all major cities and also have both Hyperscale and dense interconnection expertise. We look forward to the collaboration and continued success.”

Deutsche Bank acted as the exclusive financial advisor to Web Werks on the fund raise. Khaitan & Co and EY acted as the exclusive advisors to Web Werks respectively.

Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas and PWC India acted as advisors to Iron Mountain on this transaction. JLL acted as an introducing partner to both parties.

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Articles

Questions to ask before selecting an Automation Testing Provider

By now, you already know that automation testing tools form an essential component of successful software development projects. They will speed up the test process by allowing you to simulate time-intensive tasks to ensure that your software meets the required metrics before launching.

While automated testing will give you an insight into what performs as expected and what needs more work, it might be overwhelming to select a software testing tool. There are too many options out there, all with varying features and price tags. And for that reason, you might get spoilt for choice if you are on the market for an automation testing tool.

But there’s no need to feel upset, asking your vendor these questions before you sign the purchase order will help you get the right tool for the job.

Is the testing tool compatible with existing OSes and apps?

Compatibility of your existing OSes and apps with the testing tool you want to acquire is one key thing you need to understand. Your provider should tell you whether their tool supports test management and test automation on all platforms.

If a provider claims to offer a one size fits all solution, run! Getting a Linux tool to work with a Windows-based build server can be problematic. Remember that every software has unique needs, and there’s no way an effective tool will be everything for everyone.

Therefore, do some due diligence to establish what the tool is designed to support. A good rule of thumb is to get one that lines up with your current app or OS. Doing this will ensure that the tool you select perfectly integrates with your current platform and workflow.

How much will it cost me?

Cost is another critical aspect when choosing a vendor for an automation testing tool. For some teams with little or no budget, open-source options are best suited to their product. But that often requires the team to handle the basics of automation testing in terms of installation, patches and maintenance.

If your organization requires customizations that exceed what an open-source tool can offer, a “paid for” solution might be a good fit. However, you must ensure that your saved-up budget aligns with the tool and the support and training offered by the provider.

Does the tool require knowledge of special languages or additional training?

Training is often unnecessary if your software development team can use the selected testing tool in their native or desired language. Java, .NET, Python, and Ruby are some of the basics of automation testing tools. However, these are not always the languages used for tools.

If, for instance, the tool requires a proprietary language or syntax, it might limit your team’s ability to integrate it with other tools, especially if the testers and analysts in your team don’t understand the tool’s language.

The best thing to do is ensure that the tool you select uses well-known and readily available languages. This will make life a lot easier for your team, particularly if they understand the basics of automation testing.

Other possible questions may include:

  • What is the lifespan of your automation suite?
  • How well does the tool integrate with your workflow?
  • Are there any technologies and third-party dependencies that we need to integrate?
  • How will a testing software help solve my problems?
  • Can I try before I buy?

Parting shot

Choosing the right automation testing tool is no easy feat. However, asking the right questions before selecting a vendor will help you avoid many issues during your software development cycle. More specifically, it will help you get a tool that aligns perfectly with your software, thus ensuring your product’s quality.

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Articles

Email Authentication: What it is and how it works.

There is a rising prevalence of email attacks nowadays. Just last 2020, phishing and ransomware attacks took spots in the top 8 of cyber threats. These attacks commonly happen when users open fraudulent emails that impersonate legitimate businesses by copying their domain names or mimicking their employees’ email addresses.

Because of these threats, email and internet service providers have increased security measures in keeping their client’s critical data secure, resulting in many email marketing campaigns sent to the spam box. As a responsible business owner and email marketer, you need to comply with these security measures through setting up email authentication.

This will protect your customer’s critical information and your business’s reputation while ensuring every email you send goes straight to your customers’ inboxes.

What is Email Authentication?

Email authentication is a collection of cybersecurity protocols designed to make legitimate emails from businesses and marketers more secure. This is done by email senders setting rules in the domain and mail servers where the emails are sent from. The rules, policies, and instructions are then sent to the receiving party to view for authentication and what action to take during the verification process.

To explain email authentication simply, think about you sending a physical mail to someone. Then you have to call your mail receiver through the phone telling them the watermarks they should check for on the envelope. If the receiver confirms that the watermarks are complete as described, they should open the letter and read it. Otherwise, they can choose to send back, trash, ignore the letter, or report it to the postal authorities.

What are the advantages of Email Authentication?

Because of email authentication, spammers can easily be filtered out by the internet and email service providers (ISPs and ESPs) who try to impersonate businesses in performing nefarious deeds.

Not only that, the rules, policies, and instructions in emails cannot be tampered with during transport. If so, it will be noticed. So, if a hacker, spammer, scammer, or phisher were to hijack an email during delivery, the receiving end will know about it and block the email.

As a business owner, it’s safe to assume that your business’s reputation will be safe as well as your customer’s data and experience. In addition to these advantages, your emails will reach your customer’s inbox instead of the spam box because email authentication increases your email campaign’s deliverability.

Email Authentication protocols you should know about

1. Sender Policy Framework (SPF)

SPF is an authentication protocol specifically designed to prevent domain spoofing – the act of attackers using a company’s domain name to send malicious emails while impersonating the business itself or the employees in it.

Usually, domain spoofing is done by making the emails appear from a legitimate sender by using a legitimate business’s domain name with email headers that have their characters slightly altered.

For example, if the email address of an employee from a legitimate business is tylertechsupport@business.com, attackers will use Tylertechsupport@business.com

to impersonate that said employee while using the business’s domain name.

This can trick a customer into giving the attackers their private data. Sometimes, attackers also use false domain names that are close to a legitimate business’s name, like business.com being the legitimate domain and business.c0m being the false domain. This may be an obvious indication that an email is fraudulent, but it still manages to trick many innocent users.

With SPF authentication set up in your domain, you can choose which email addresses are authorized to send emails using your business’s domain. ISPs and ESPs will then verify the policies and rules of the domain name used in your email to see if that email address is authorized for sending emails by that said domain.

2. DomainKeys Identified Mail (DKIM)

Another type of email fraud is intercepting a sent email and altering or tampering with it before it reaches the intended receiver. This is called a Man in the Middle Attack (MITM). Attackers of this style usually insert malware, phishing links, spoof, or spam in the sent emails.

To prevent this attack from happening, DKIM authentication allows you to publish a cryptographic key in your domain name system (DNS) records. When your mail has been sent towards your recipient, your email sending server will then generate a unique DKIM signature for the header of your email and your DNS records.

Before your email reaches the receiver, the receiver’s email service/server will access the domain where your email is sent from the public cryptographic key. This key will be used to detect and decrypt your email’s DKIM signature and compare it against the version which was generated for your DNS records.

Phishing attackers can tamper with an email for malicious purposes, but they can’t do so without changing the DKIM signature. In the event when an email is proven to have been tampered with, the email will not reach the intended receiver.

3. Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting, and Conformance (DMARC)

It isn’t just attackers that cause your emails to be rejected by receiving servers. Even simple mistakes such as typos in setting up your SPF record can cause your emails not to reach your customers.

The question is, what happens to the rejected emails you have made as well as the tampered and spoofed ones? Through DMARC authentication, both your SPF and DKIM authentication policies are merged. You can set specific instructions on what to do with the rejected emails sent from using your domain name.

You can configure your DMARC authentication to let the receiver’s server return spoofed emails to you and identify who your spoofers are. You can also configure this authentication protocol to reject, block, flag, send to the spam box, and ignore emails that fail the authentication process.

It is highly advisable to go for the latter because your email receivers are at a high risk of getting attacked, which could destroy your business’s reputation. However, the best part of DMARC authentication is that you’re immediately notified if an authentication error occurs so that you can make quick adjustments to your marketing emails and ensure your messages reach your customers.

Conclusion

Email authentication is a must-have for all email marketers. Not only does it increase the email deliverability rate of all your future campaigns, but it also protects your customers’ private data, which in turn safeguards your business’s reputation.

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News

TeleGeography’s WAN Geography Benchmarking tool reveals the top hyperconnected enterprise networking hubs

TeleGeography, a worldwide telecommunications market research and consulting company, has introduced its WAN Geography Benchmark tool to let customers to spot the most connected data center facilities across the world and choose local and global hubs based on more than a million data points.

The WAN Cost Benchmark offers detailed analysis of which data centers are the best fit for an enterprise’s preferences and locations. It offers customized recommendations for optimizing network architecture for the cloud, with a methodology that ranks data centers based on priorities set by the enterprise user.

A sample dataset shared by TeleGeography evaluated data center connectivity and cost using 10 global cities based on their prevalence in real multinational enterprise networks. Cities included were Frankfurt, London, Hong Kong, New York, Los Angeles, Tokyo, Shanghai, Sydney, Mumbai, and Mexico City.

In this scenario, Equinix FR5 (Frankfurt), Telehouse London Docklands West (London), CoreSite LA1 (Los Angeles), MEGA-I (Hong Kong), and Equinix HK 1 (Hong Kong) had the highest number of carriers present at their facilities. Equinix FR5 leads the segment with 166 carrier networks available and 37 cloud access providers, offering enterprises a hyperconnected hub for local, global, and cloud connectivity.

“Each data center facility has its own unique characteristics and offers different advantages. Network designers and managers have over 4,000 data centers and hundreds of carriers to consider when growing their international presence. The WAN Geography Benchmark delivers bespoke scoring for each facility based on an enterprise’s individual requirements. It removes the complexity from decision making and enables enterprises to develop business cases with reliable and trusted data,” said Greg Bryan, Senior Manager, Enterprise Research at TeleGeography. “We give enterprises the tools to understand the opportunity in each facility and build the networks they need.”

Top data center locations from this sample scenario, based on the model’s scoring system, which considers distance (i.e., location within the metro area), cloud connectivity, carrier connectivity, and price—were: Coresite (in Los Angeles), TELEHOUSE (London), SUNeVision (Shanghai and Hong Kong), GPX Global Systems (Mumbai), and Equinix (Frankfurt, London, New York, Mexico City, and Sydney).

The WAN Cost Benchmark is powered by TeleGeography’s extensive research into the geography of carrier point of presence locations, data centers, cloud regions and on-ramps, and global bandwidth pricing.

“When it comes to selecting data centers and carriers to support a wide-area network, two major challenges are scale and competing priorities. Network designers and managers need to take a lot of factors into consideration such as office proximity, cost and connectivity. This can be a very timely and costly process without the right tools,” said Tim Stronge, Vice President of Research at TeleGeography. “Our WAN Geography Benchmark simplifies and automates the process and makes mission-critical data and insights immediately available. This empowers enterprises and enables them to find the right facilities for meeting their business objectives.”

Read Next: How does a day in the life of a CEO looks like?

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Articles

Four hacks to get consumer insights for your brand

Most marketers put in a lot of effort to generate and nurture promising leads and push them down into the sales funnel. While developing new clients through different marketing strategies is a crucial step to generate revenue, it is also essential to keep track of your existing customers. Your current users can help you in more ways than you can imagine.

An existing user gives you an insight into how your business relates to them. You can understand your brand value and brand awareness through your current customers and understand the areas of your marketing strategy that requires improvement. This information is referred to as consumer insight, which is an important SEO and marketing tool. It can be easily extracted through one of the consumer insight platforms available in the market.

People use several consumer insights platforms to determine how their consumer feels about their business and use that information to develop their marketing campaigns. For instance, Revzu is a great B2B solution for your business that can help you gather consumer insight and integrate it into your SEO strategy.

A consumer insights platform can help you quickly gather all the information you require and segment it to provide only relevant data. Typically, collecting this data takes even months, and these platforms can do it in a matter of hours. A consumer insight platform is a one-stop solution for you to understand consumer behavior.

While several platforms can help you obtain consumer insights, it is essential to understand where they come from. These are few hacks that you can use to gain consumer insights for your brand.

●  Social Listening

You can obtain consumer insights from several places like forums, reviews, and opinion sites. You can find relevant data from websites that have the same genre as your own brand.

Social listening acts as an alternative for companies to obtain consumer insights in real-time. Every day, several people share their experiences when interacting with a brand. When they see a brand’s new advertisement, they immediately start sharing their opinion about it and its effect on them.

This information is beneficial for consumer-dependent industries such as retail, consumer goods, insurance, banking, and healthcare. Any company can gain a significant edge over their competition if they utilize this information and develop creative marketing campaigns.

Social listening helps several business departments, such as product development, operations, marketing, and helps in international growth of the brand.

●  UGC

User-generated content (UGC) has become an essential part of any business’s content marketing strategy. Due to the recent growth of the social media industry, people rave about any brand’s products and services online. All the hype, negative and positive comments about any brand is known as user-generated content. Any content that a brand’s user generates can be used to get a consumer insight.

When a customer talks about any product or service online, they are sharing their experience of interactions with the brands. They share the good and the bad about their experience, which helps you gain insight into how the brand performs in the market. This type of content is unbiased and directly generated by consumers. User-generated content is considered to be the most authentic and honest consumer insights any business can obtain.

UGC acts as the social proof for your brand’s image, and it works even better than the word of mouth strategy. It can reach a larger audience and help boost the brand’s overall image on a large scale.

●  Call Centers

Call centers are the oldest and among most used ways to collect consumer insights. You gain an understanding of consumer behavior by directly contacting the customer and asking about their experience with the product or service. This technique has been used since traditional marketing because of its effectiveness and is still relevant in today’s world.

By contacting the consumer directly, you can ask about their experience first-hand and gain insight. You can even ask them particular questions about what you would want to know. Using this data, you can collect information about the sales trends, product or process issues, and negative or positive feedback.

●  Live Chat / Chatbots

Live chat can be a useful tool to gain consumer insight because, according to a study, 90% of the customers prefer to converse with the support team using a live chat. Whenever a customer faces some issue or has any question, they contact customer support.

You can collect this data and information shared by the customers to understand your services and products deeply. You can understand where the user is facing the most problems and provide a permanent solution to them.

Providing a quick solution to your users through a live chat will not only resolve their queries but also help build a working relationship with them. You will be able to gain the user’s trust and confidence and ensure a long-term relationship.

Conclusion

Consumer insight is vital for your business as it helps you to understand consumer behavior deeply. As collecting all this data manually can be a tedious task, you can use consumer insight platforms to make it easier for you. Collecting consumer insight data, you can make educated and creative marketing strategies for better conversion statistics.

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Articles

5 critical processes an effective AML reporting software should be capable of

As the world continues to shift toward digitization, the effectiveness of a program is no longer simply ideal, but a standard. This is especially important when it comes to fintech applications that are meant to detect and prevent crime, especially for anti-money laundering (AML) protection. Since the success of financial services relies on customer trust and satisfaction, it is a requirement that any bank or agency use some form of regulatory technology to prevent fraudulent activity and protect data.

Some institutions hire their own in-house team to create their software while others outsource and contract the services of companies that specialize in the technology. If you are in the process of selecting or developing an AML reporting software for your company, here are a few processes that you cannot go without:

Integration of Application Programming Interface (API)

Many top companies and agencies are leaders in the financial sector because their AML software remains updated and compliant. This consistency is because of API integration, which automates all scanning processes without human intervention. Having people screen thousands of transactions every day is not only labor-intensive, but it is also costly and can still lead to errors. Automating this process eliminates this problem by expediting the process with fewer mistakes.

The only workforce that may be needed is a team of programming experts who can maintain operations and tune up the system, as necessary. Otherwise, the control processes can be left to operate in the background while the bank’s employees focus on other tasks.

Advanced Search Algorithms

To aid with screening, the software has to be calibrated with advanced search algorithms. Doing so will ensure that any suspicious activity is properly flagged, eliminating any false positives and negatives. This is where a knowledgeable person needs to be involved in improving the software to continually tweak and enhance the match rate determination of the algorithm. It is important to pay close attention to the algorithm so any issues can be corrected sooner rather than later.

While the program may be automated, it still needs to be programmed according to the needs of your company. Otherwise, trivial and mundane bits of information (such as customer info and business names) may be wrongly flagged by the system.

Thorough and Legal Framework

It should go without saying that all your software processes should be legal and do not violate any rules. Given the nature of the finance niche, all AML reporting software must be compliant with industry standards and government regulations. It may be essential for banks and other financial institutions to seek counsel from compliance experts to ensure that whatever software they invest in or develop is effective, updated, and completely legal. This may require experts to be an active part of creating the framework and screening the entire program every step of the way.

Indeed, every country has its own set of laws when it comes to detecting and preventing criminal activity, especially those that involve money. As such, getting insights from compliance experts from time to time helps ensure that an AML reporting system is thoroughly compliant to avoid any fines as a result of breaking the law.

Exhaustive Screening Programs

While the risk of people making accounts for nefarious reasons will never completely go away, the software system can do something to mitigate it. The best way to do so is to develop a scrupulous screening process so that these accounts can be found and reported before the owners can commit a crime. This can come in the form of an extensive identity verification check from the moment someone opens an account with your bank.

Many cybercriminals rely on faulty and shallow security checks to carry out their crimes. A system that deters such individuals from the very beginning ensures better protection for customers and data. In addition to customer portals, you might also want your software to screen for other suspicious activity like sudden increases in transaction frequency, any spikes in amounts transferred, and transfers related to entities with money-laundering history. If your screening program is especially sensitive to these red flags, you can prevent any fraudulent activity from ever occurring.

AML Compliance Monitoring

In the ever-changing world of technology and industry compliance, your software needs to be continually regulated and improved. For employees in charge of said software, they must follow industry practices to ensure any system updates are timely and legal. Even the most advanced automated software will still need human evaluation and judgment for special cases. That being said, having a platform in your system for testing, improving, and investigating errors will make the monitoring process more thorough and effective. That way, you won’t have to spend as much time manually investigating suspicious activity.

Wrapping up

A good AML reporting software always includes the functions mentioned above. Including these processes does more than just increase productivity and efficiency. Doing so also ensures that your software is compliant with rules and regulations. As such, your company and your customers can rest assured that it is working as it should be in crime prevention.

Read Next: Top 11 Cyber Protection Solutions for Businesses – a comparison

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Interviews

“The future of security is integration – one system that understands what is happening.” Katya Ivanova, VP Worldwide Inside Sales, Acronis.

Technology is running the world. Especially today in the wake of COVID-19, we are witnessing how businesses who are not technologically equipped are getting wiped off. However, as more and more businesses rely on technology, a lot of data is being generated on a global scale. While data holds value for all major industries and customer-facing businesses, this data is also vulnerable to cyberattacks.

Cybercriminals are always on the lookout to exploit vulnerabilities in a system and get access to the company’s crucial data. Consequently, companies rely on cybersecurity service providers to protect their clients’ data.

We recently interviewed Katya Ivanova – Vice-President, Worldwide Inside Sales, Acronis.

 

Katya comes with a vast international experience. Her team supports a strong partner ecosystem that reaches customers in more than 150 countries worldwide. Katya is responsible for the execution of sales strategy and the development of critical programs to help Acronis attract new service providers and support the growth of existing partner network.

Read on as she shares her thoughts on changing cyber threat landscape and what Acronis has in-store for service providers and customers to enhance their business’s cybersecurity status.

J: Acronis Global Cyber Summit 2020 got over recently. How was the experience? Also, share with our readers the idea behind hosting a hybrid event.  

K: We hosted the event hybrid – both virtual and in-person. The virtual event was for those professionals who were pushed to work from home due to COVID-19 restrictions, while the live event saw a few partners in the office who took all the necessary precautions.

The virtual event gave a very natural vibe to the whole atmosphere of the event throughout all three days.

During the event, we also had a community meeting. Despite the fact that a lot of people and most of the audience were virtual, we were still communicating with our partners through the channel and we had several leaders, sales executives, and technical specialists in different regions, who were commenting on the questions from the audience, which kind of also replicated the natural experience from the event that we had last year where people could actually communicate throughout the event, and not just watch through the video.

J: Okay. Great! During the summit, Acronis launched a CyberFit Academy – to train IT managers and users, security specialists, and more. So, are the courses available for free? How will it help partners and resellers?

K: We believe at Acronis that knowledge is power, and if you look at the current cybersecurity threats – they are happening not because the attack is at IT department but it’s actually happening with employees. So, that’s why we really conduct courses on not only educating people about our solution but also on the general threat landscape and best cybersecurity practices.

The academy is focused on three different angles:

  1. Product and overall technology
  2. Marketing and sales – how to sell Acronis solutions
  3. Developers – because we have a platform where our partners can integrate with our solution

In 2020, they are available free of any charges. In 2021, only a few courses would be free, others might be on a paid module. Acronis also has Acronis CyberFit Academy (accessible via partner portal) where our partners can get certified free of charge. This is because we don’t want to limit our partners in accessing these training sessions.

J: So, are there some regional restrictions to join these courses or they are available worldwide?

K: Anyone can join from any country. For signed partners, we have a wider variety of courses. At the end of the day, we are educating a lot of people through these courses. We even have an Acronis foundation where we invest a lot into building schools for children in third-level countries.

J: There’s a quick rise in cybersecurity cases during these trouble times. You have been in the cyber protection space for over a decade now. How do you think has the threat landscape evolved? Is it just me or you know everyone is noticing that there’s a change in this threat landscape?

K: I think that’s obvious that in the past decade the amount of data has increased, the number of applications has increased. Ten years back, we didn’t really have the access to so much data from any device.

Right now, especially in COVID, people are working from home and as a result, we as employees become more and more vulnerable which makes hackers even better equipped to steal data from us.

If you look at the cyber stats, 95 per cent are happening because of human error which means that people are not really aware of what they are doing – they are opening some email which they shouldn’t be opening, clicking some links providing information, their personal information on some websites and therefore, they give access to cybercriminals to the company which can be stolen.

So, the past decade just really changed and expanded the companies’ threat surface because of the multitude of devices through which this data can be accessed.

J: Okay. Let’s now discuss a specific product of Acronis – Acronis cyber platform. What exactly is that? And what’s in it for service providers that makes it unique?

K: Acronis cyber platform was designed for ISVs (Independent Software Vendors), developers, and Managed Service Providers (MSPs).  This platform gives them the possibility to customize, integrate, and expand applications and services. We did this because we wanted to give our partners the ability to increase their revenues, to be more competitive in the market, and also to reduce the churn.

This platform comes with APIs and SDKs powered by Acronis and can be integrated into whatever solution or application they (partners) are developing themselves.

And overall, what we have seen with Acronis is that the fastest growing partners are the ones who have integrations with us. Because right now, with a multitude of applications and different software that companies are using – integration is the key to decrease the TCO (total cost of ownership).

Suggested Reading: “Standalone security products are dying”- Serguei Beloussov, Founder, Acronis

J: Virtual workspace is now a reality. Acronis and Citrix are developing an integrated solution for managed service providers, designed to enhance the protection of their client’s Citrix workspace assets no matter where they sit. So, can you please shed some light on that?

K: I think that Acronis and Citrix realize that right now distractions are coming from the fact that we are using so many tools, that are not really integrated. With virtual workspace, they (MSPs) can integrate whatever applications the employee is using into one platform.

Acronis Cyber Protect is a logical addition to this because we will be able to transcend the security of this platform and make sure that no matter where this employee is – in the office, at home, or working from wherever the location – they will be still protected in the protected environment which is right now of course very hard to do just because these people are outside of the corporate networks.

J: That’s great. We would like to know more about it as it sounds like the need for the new normal that we are living right now.

K: For sure, and we’ll see that more and more companies will be investing into such solutions just because they realize that one tool or a multitude of tools that are not integrated with each other is not enough.

You can think of it as the army. You might have millions of soldiers but if these soldiers are not talking to each other and there’s no unified force, they have lesser chances to win.

With this new integrated solution with Citrix, our platforms are talking to each other. Whatever happens to the Citrix or whatever happens to the client-side, we understand these changes and therefore we are faster and much more efficient in blocking or remediating the threat.

So, for example, active protection, that we have in this solution, if there was a ransomware attack, which your antivirus wasn’t able to stop, Acronis will be able to automatically restore the data without user interference.

What does this mean? It means zero-downtime for you as a customer. And as a company, it is extremely important because there are various industries like banking where every minute counts. So, that’s why this integration with Citrix is extremely important right now. This is something they will need not only today, but in the future as well, because cyber threats will only increase, and they are not going away. By 2023, it is expected to rise by 6 trillion dollars.

J: Acronis also recently announced building more than 100 new data centers around the world. How will this expansion benefit the enterprises? What are the Acronis plans behind this expansion?

K: One thing that we noticed recently is that countries are more and more sensitive to where the data is located. For example, before globalization, everybody was welcoming and was investing in, right now it is something countries look into.

For example, in India, there have been a lot of recent legislations in terms of data protection – where data needs to be stored. When we asked our customers – how can we become better? Most of them want to have a data center in their country.

Thus, we plan to build 111 data centers around the world, including India.

This is to make sure that we give the customer and partner the freedom of choice as in where they want to store their data.

J: That sounds like a great plan. So, where in India, will be the data centers of Acronis? If you have any idea.

K: Right now, we are just looking at that. We will be able to communicate later but of course, we are looking for a major space like Mumbai or Delhi. But again, we would see where it will be.

J: Okay, fine. We have all heard that passwords are not the future. There is a rise in technologies like Multi-Factor Authentication, bio-metrics other advanced technologies like AI and blockchain. What do you think is the future of cyber protection going to be and some final words on what role will Acronis play in this?

K: I think that unfortunately cyber-attacks are rising and therefore cyber-protection will be even more and more important. A couple of years back, a lot of companies and analysts were asking us why you do this cyber protection. People already have security products, people already have some backup products, why do you merge them together? Why do you need this integration?

And right now, if you even look at our competitors, they are making more and more emphasis on cyber protection, on cybersecurity despite the fact that they are backup vendors.

The future is in integration, the future is in having that one system that understands what is happening and if something did happen then it should automatically restore the data.  Right now, different analytics reports take nearly 6 months to detect that some data breach has happened. It takes a company 6 months to realize that their data is compromised and by then, most of the losses have already been incurred.

For the future, companies must focus on investing more into- first of all protecting and preventing the data and then on rolling back the damage.

Because, right now, it’s one thing if you rolled back to the previous state in one minute and the other thing if it took you 10 days.  It is not only loss of data but the loss of reputation as well. Because it’s something that was public all over the news. We saw a lot of great companies hit by different attacks and in just recent years.

J: Okay, so where do you see Acronis in Indian markets as such as you have got distributors. Like ZNet Technologies is a distributor of Acronis in India so how do you foresee the future of Acronis in India.

K: We will say that we have actually invested in the Indian market. We have hired a larger team and we saw that we are really picking up. A lot of people are approaching us themselves expressing interest in becoming our resellers or service providers.

A lot of customers see the value of our products which is a great sign that what we do is right, and people really see the value which was our number one priority.

Where I see us in India, we have expanded the number of partners that we work with and it’s actually increasing 100 per cent year over year and also in data that we are storing in a number of workloads that we are protecting and in few years, this will be one of our key markets.

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