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Fairchild said it is taking an equity stake in the company and entering into an exclusive relationship to co-develop, manufacture, and market RF power semiconductors for cellular phones and wireless base stations. The investment is being made with a combination of cash, R&D and marketing services. Silicon Wireless will work directly with Fairchild's Discrete Power and Signal Technologies Division under the new alliance.

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Fairchild said it is taking an equity stake in the company and entering into an exclusive relationship to co-develop, manufacture, and market RF power semiconductors for cellular phones and wireless base stations. The investment is being made with a combination of cash, R&D and marketing services. Silicon Wireless will work directly with Fairchild's Discrete Power and Signal Technologies Division under the new alliance.

To reduce the amount of time customers had to wait to receive assistance, the bank began building a knowledge base from March through April last year using Servicesoft's (Natick, MA) Web Advisor. If the knowledge base doesn't answer customers' questions, Citizens Bank routes customers' e-mail messages to agents with Servicesoft's eMail Contact.

The information in Citizens Bank's knowledge base includes the bank's hours and descriptions of different types of accounts. If customers ask questions that are not already in the knowledge base, the agent who originally received the question refers it to a supervisor and drafts a response. The supervisor then edits and supplements the response and forwards it to the knowledge base administrator, who is among the higher-level support reps.

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Roach says that the turnaround time for adding items to the knowledge base is usually 48 hours from the moment when the agent receives the question to the moment the answer becomes available on-line. In addition to agents and supervisors, others at the bank, such as those in the compliance and legal departments, also review new entries to the knowledge base.

The knowledge base is currently the same for agents and customers, although the bank is considering the creation of a more detailed internal on-line knowledge base that could include, for example, procedures that agents currently look up in their manuals.

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Last November, I visited the bank's on-line knowledge base. The home page displayed a list of the five most common questions. Two of the top three questions concerned where customers could log on to do on-line banking and where they could contact Citizens Bank.

I had the option of typing my own questions. The question I asked was What checking accounts do you offer?” I then saw a list of answers in order of potential relevance. The first answer provided information about all types of checking accounts and the second answer gave me information about business checking accounts. I was also able to restate my question if the answer had not been sufficient.

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When I selected an answer, whether it came from the list of the five most common inquiries or my inquiry about checking accounts, a question on the bottom of the Web page asked whether Web Advisor had helped me. I had the choice of indicating that the answer was helpful, of continuing to look up answers myself, or of completing an on-line form, which would ultimately reach an agent by e-mail. I was also able to review my search through the knowledge base, including the pages I had visited, the questions I had asked and whether I wanted to refer any questions to agents. This review appeared to be more useful to agents than to customers.

At press time, Citizens Bank was testing Servicesoft's Servicesoft 2001 Chat software. Glenn Morin, the bank's director of on-line services, expects that Citizens Bank will start offering live text chat from its Web site this spring, and he says that the bank intends to provide a knowledge base in languages other than English.

-How Leo Li led Spreadtrum’s turnaround

-Inside Huawei’s HiSilicon

I’ve been following the development of LTE and LTE-A for some time, and suggested that, as more designers need to work with MIMO, it would be a good topic for a webinar. Well, recognizing the need for more information on LTE, Aeroflex took me up on it. Shusina Ngwa, Ph.D., Product Manager, Aeroflex has agreed to answer our questions on the topic.

To flesh out the story, I also asked Chris Pearson, of 4G Americas, to participate. I’m hoping he will fill us in on where LTE is at and what the enabling technologies mean going forward.

So, how close are we to achieving LTE-A? What challenges are designers facing in terms of MIMO? What tests are required during development and before deployment?

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