Voice Broadcast Coming Soon To Phase I

We’re settling into a routine now with GroupCaller™.  It will still be some weeks before we’re running at full capacity (for our existing little server farm), but at least we’re into a regular dialing routine now.  We’re not yet running a full day of calling with a single server for any single day. The best we have done thus far is about 6 hours of call time with an average of less than 2 agents (i.e. only 1 agent was present part of that time).  Nonetheless, our Proxies are adding to their operational hours nearly every day now and the multitude of adjustments are beginning to have a positive effect on the number of properly transferred calls.

I have been working with Ahmed in Pakistan to get our voice broadcast facility up to snuff and operational.  To date, we still don’t have it working properly.  However, I’m expecting that either Ahmed or one of the other engineers with whom we work will complete this part of our campaign functionality very soon.  Once the voice broadcast program is ready to use, I expect we’ll run it a minimum of 12 or 13 hours daily, 6 days each week, running 50 to 100 concurrent channels (phone lines).  I’m planning to average about 100,000 calls daily after testing and debugging the system, in the very near future.

The voice broadcast system will run hand-in-hand with the Remote Agent system. The great thing about voice broadcast is the fact that the system will run very long hours each day without tiring, taking breaks or going home. This system will likely out-perform the live agent system in terms of the numbers of inquiries received for the time expended.  Naturally this is the “up” side of using voice broadcast.

The “down” side is the fact that all these leads and responses we get to this campaign must be transcribed. This means somebody has to sit there and listen to each and every response received, enter the information into a database and prepare it for us by our Remote Agents. This is an expensive and time-consuming job.  Nonetheless, I’m excited to try it out and the Remote Agents are excited to talk to those who inquire through the voice broadcast facility.

I expect we’ll have it ready to go within a week of today’s date, and maybe sooner.  It could be ready to use any day now so keep watching and you’ll soon see me quoting statistics about the voice broadcast as well as the Remote Agent system.

First Stats are “IN” – Good News!

I’m very happy to report that during the first three weeks of rolling out the beta version of GroupCaller™ things are looking great!  Although there’s bad news along with the good, I’m basically thrilled with the results!  I was very surprised after completing my analysis today because I was becoming  a little discouraged with all the bugs and problems that still remain to be worked out of this application. Let me give you the bad news first.

The biggest issue we’re facing has to do with the PBX system we chose for GroupCaller™.  For those of you that don’t already know, the PBX is the system that actually makes the phone call.  This is a completely software-driven system. It used to be that PBX’s were a combination of hardware and software, but with the advent of VoIP, the industry has changed dramatically. We chose an “open source” PBX called Asterisk which is very popular all over the world. But it comes with some built in problems that are exacerbated when using it to conduct mass voice broadcast of the type we’re doing. We discovered a better system that reputedly has cured the problems of Asterisk. The most obvious problem is the fact that the majority of attempts to press 1 and transfer to an agent, fail. There are a number of other issues, too, but correcting this one problem will triple the number of leads we get.  We’ve decided to install a much better PBX, but to do that, we’ll have to re-write our entire application from the ground up. The bottom line:  MONEY!  It’s going to cost a lot more than we anticipated partly because the entire system must be re-written, and partly because it’s a very complex and difficult system to write.  But the up-side is that once it’s completed, the system should deliver 3 times the response rate! And that leads me to the GOOD news for today!

The Numbers

It seems that, even with the anemic response rate brought on purely by technical issues, we’re getting enough response right now to exceed my original projections for Phase I of our marketing strategy!  I spent most of the day today studying the call results in the days since July 5, 2011.  From July 5 to July 23 (Saturday), we made exactly 119,175 calls.  Naturally, the vast majority of calls never connect with  a live person. Here are the call results from that 18-day period:

Call Statistics for Period July 5 to July 23, 2011

This shows a current Conversion Rate of 0.14% (Fourteen Hundredths of One Percent). There’s all kinds of good news around this number!  First is the fact that by correcting the technical issues, we’ll automatically triple this percentage. Even with all the problems remaining to fix during the next couple of months with the GroupCaller™ technology, let me give you some very exciting stats:  First, consider the following Pie Chart:

Analysis

This chart represents the 0.14% of calls that turn into calls transferred to our Remote Agents. Notice that more than 42% of those who actually got through to speak to us (22% divided by 52% we spoke to) made an appointment, despite the fact that a full 48% of all those KNOWN attempted transfers actually failed.  The true number of people who attempted to get through was far higher than the amounts shown here.  Last week I completed an in-depth study listening to hundreds of call recordings.  I discovered that fully 66% of all attempted transfers actually failed.  I had suspected this was  happening and confirmed it through the study.  It was during the 2-week period of this study that I discovered the flaw in the PBX system that causes this problem.

Because the system was only passing through 34% of the attempted transfers, and 48% of THOSE transferred calls were in fact FAILED transfers (shown in the pie chart above), we would need to multiply the 0.14% times approximately 3 to come up with the “real” conversion percent, which would then mean we’re really getting an effective conversion percent of 0.42% (about four tenths of one percent).  When we replace the current PBX with the new-and-improved PBX, I fully expect to see a real conversion rate of about four tenths of one percent.

We know we can increase the efficiency of our PBX and nearly eliminate the technical problems with the system. That’s a given. We know the issues and how to correct them. It’ll take about 2 months and more money than we care to invest, but it must be done and it will be done. But here’s what’s REALLY exciting:  Our current statistics tell us that the projections I originally made were remarkably accurate, and in fact will exceed our expectations for the Phase I marketing campaign!

Here’s how we know this:  The calls since July 5, while filled with technical problems, still produced a very real 0.42% Conversion (but transferring only 0.14% until the PBX is replaced).  These are the people who want to know something about us (our LEADS) and press 1 to get more information.  More than 40% (42.31%) of those people who got through to an Agent actually made an appointment to come to a webinar.  To be realistic, only about 33% of those who commit to show up at a webinar actually attend the meeting. Let’s apply those numbers to the databases we’re calling:

  1. Business Database: We have about 8,000,000 records to call.  Using the existing sales pitch, and once we replace the PBX (estimated as soon as August 20) we’ll tell 33,600 (that’s 0.42%) prospects about us when they inquire.  About 42.31% of those people will commit to attend a webinar.  That gives us 14,216 who agree to attend.  But because only 1/3 of those who commit actually show up, we expect about 4,739 to be in attendance.

  2. In Consumer Database:  We have about 80,000,000 phone numbers to call in this database.  By applying the same formula as above to those 80 million database records, we’ll see about 47,390 actually show up for a webinar.

So the total “NET” attendees to the webinar, assuming we upgrade the PBX during the next month or so, and without making any other improvements to the script or the technology, including a number of other bugs we’ve located, We’ll close at least 8.11% of the attendees (that’s our closing percentage for the period under discussion, July 5 to July 23).  Please note that although the current closing percent is 8.11% of all attendees during the past 18 days, that number WILL increase simply because we’re only half finished with the follow up on those attendees.  But assuming the 8.11% closing rate does not change, by applying it to the 52,129 estimated attendee’s, we’ll recruit a total of 4,228 Remote Agents who join us during Phase I.

WHAT !?!

Conclusion

Our goal is 2,500.  If the 4,228 buy an average of a Gold License (which is about where we are right now), with some of them financed and some of them paid in full, the average “per sale” revenue is about $5,000.  That brings us to a total of $21,140,000 in revenue during Phase I.

The message is this:  If you’re not actively using a GroupCaller™ Remote Agent License, you are missing out!  If you are, congratulations!  You’re one of the earliest users and as such, you’ve got one of the best chances of making it to a sizeable monthly income in record time, just by following the plan we’re teaching in our Orientation and Training meetings.  Today’s economic climate in the USA and world-wide mean that we’re in the business of rescuing thousands and thousands of people from their own financial problems.

Stay tuned. I’ll be posting stats on a regular basis here. After years of development, this is the summer that we’re finally able to create a real sales volume and it looks like the wait has been well worth while!

Call Results Showing Signs Of Life

I’ll find a way to show call stats on this website in the near future. For the moment, I’ve got to embed them in an article. But I’m looking for a way to give you a quick link, or some kind of snap shot so the moment you log in you can see exactly where we stand regarding stats such as call volume conversion percentage, cash flow, top earnings, closing percentages, progress toward the 400 Remote Agent and 2,500 Remote Agent milestones and other such pertinent statistics.

But for today, I’ll show you a couple of important stats. The system continues to suffer some bugs that won’t be fixed until we can afford to replace the underlying PBX system. I learned that the existing PBX system has a few known issues, one of which is just killing our inquiries.  It seems the existing system has an “issues” when called parties press 1 to speak to an agent, during the call transfer to live agent, it simply drops the call. Once this issue is fixed, we should have about 3 times more people responding to the campaign than we have right now.  This is a known issue, we know how to correct it, but we’re going to have to sell a few Platinum Licenses before it gets fixed.  I’m estimating we’ll have to live with the problem until about the middle to end of August. If we’re lucky, maybe we can get it corrected by the 10th of August or so … we’ll see.

Having said that, there’s a LOT to celebrate! The system absolutely DOES work and it IS producing results! Here’s a snapshot of the actual call results for July 19, 2011:

The column chart shows the percentage of valid leads that scheduled themselves into a webinar.  This is a low percentage conversion rate and should improve significantly. In fact as of today’s date, it has already nearly tripled. Over time we’ll have a good idea of exactly what to expect as a conversion rate. This way, we’ll be able to predict on a fairly reasonable basis the number of attendees to expect at our webinars.  The pie chart shows the number of good, valid transfers compared to the system errors. Since we’re still in “beta” with GroupCaller, we cannot expect near-perfect performance yet.  The PBX system errors are showing up here. As you can see, there are a significant number of errors. By listening to recordings of all the calls, I have determined there are many times more people who press 1 and fail to get through to an agent than what you see here. My current estimate is that there are about 3 times as many failed transfers as you see here. Naturally, this is a very serious problem and will ultimately be corrected. But not until we can pay for that correction (programmers don’t work for free, right?).

At any rate, it’s gratifying now to see the system in operation after years of development. This is a complex and very robust system and it’s bound to have a number of issues in these early stages of use. Don’t be discouraged, we’re not! In fact, I’ve never been more motivated or encouraged than I am right now!  Sales are being closed even as I write these words. I expect within 30 days you’ll be seeing us close one or more new RA License sales every day; and from there, we’ll increase to multiple closings each day. The sales volume will continue to increase at a rapid pace throughout 2011.

Of course, fast growth like this brings on its own set of problems. But I’m looking forward to them. Look for GlobalTmail™ to become one of the fastest-growing private American companies during the next two or three years.

Off To The Races!

Now that I’ve officially announced this blog site, I’ll be updating and improving it often. It took some doing to get it set up over the past 10 days but now that I’m hosting it on our own alternate website instead of on Typepad’s servers, I’ve go  so much more flexibility in what I can do to keep you fully informed.  And by the way, when I say “alternate website”, I do have some pretty ambitious plans for www.globaltmail-usa.com, but none of them have been implemented yet. If you go to the homepage for this website,  you’ll see a blank page  right now. By the end of this year, you’ll know the purpose of this website. But for now, I’ll keep that under wraps and let you know once it’s ready to go.  But starting today, this blog section of that website is going to be very active.

GroupCaller™ Prototype Development

We’ve been struggling with GroupCaller™ for many weeks now trying to get it tuned and tweaked just right so it will be effective for all Remote Agents (and us!).  Of course, we’re all thrilled that we actually HAVE this great tool at our disposal after years of development so I don’t want to say disparaging things about it. But at the same time, as a prototype developing company, part of my responsibility is to keep you informed regarding the actual performance of the products we develop. When originally discussing the use of GroupCaller™ with many of you, I cautioned you to not expect too much from it initially.  I said that, just like any software product, when it’s first introduced, it must go through a period of Beta Testing and use in the real world before its certified as “ready for prime time.” I said it would take a MINIMUM of one month, and likely more than that, before we can really use it to its full potential. Those words have proven to be accurate. It’s NOT yet ready for prime time. We’re very frustrated with some of the performance issues, but we’re not at all surprised, nor are we discouraged.  Quite to the contrary. I’m absolutely thrilled that we’re now generating “real” sales from the operation of this great product which has been in the development and planning stages for years. To see it now as an operating reality is most gratifying.  What we’re experiencing right now is the “Beta” period; it’s a part of the normal development cycle.

New System Capacity

Having said that, I want you to also know that this has turned out to be a very sophisticated and versatile application. It’s much more robust than I originally anticipated.  It’s designed to have massive dialing and message delivery capacity and we’re just now beginning to scratch the surface of its capabilities!  Originally, we were going to use it only as a voice broadcast solution.  But in the end, we wound up with a full-featured call center application designed to provide the most wonderful telecommuting work-at-home experience for thousands of Remote Agents.  But it also fills that original vision of a very sophisticated “robo-caller” (i.e. voice broadcast system) capable of competing head to head with the biggest and best in the industry.

Last Friday, we acquired new servers and installed them in a state-of-the-art data facility in Dallas, Texas for the purpose of carrying GroupCaller™ to the level and capacity that’s needed for the Phase I campaign together with all the new Clients we’ll begin servicing (the goal is to roll out the do-it-yourself module in the last Quarter of 2011). The new servers have massive computing capacity with the latest Intel Xeon Quad Core processors, 8 gig or greater RAM, terabytes of hard drive space and … get THIS:  100 MEG “upload” capacity! This is MASSIVE! Right now, this gives us the capacity of dialing THOUSANDS of concurrent channels. In other words, when our capability to service the leads we generate warrants it, we can instantly ramp up to calling 1,000’s of phone lines AT THE SAME TIME!  It only takes a matter of 4 hours or less to install new and additional servers when we need them. I can hardly believe at this early stage of rolling out this core product (GroupCaller™) we already have that kind of capacity! In my mind, it’s a stunning development.  I have stated to many people that our goal is to have the capacity of calling 12,000 concurrent channels by early next year.  Guess what?  We already HAVE that capacity in our VoIP lines.  All we have to do is install additional servers. Each dialing server can call on about 225 lines at one time. With our aggressive Phase I growth strategy, I expect we’ll grow from the present 2 beefy servers to more than 50 servers by January 2012.

Near-Term Goals and Usage

One of our very near-term goals is to get the user interface for the voice broadcast module up and operational in time for the up-coming political season in the USA.  This user interface is the module that allows us to accept Clients and give them a portal through which they can run their own auto-dialing voice broadcast campaigns.  I’ve already negotiated a deal with some developers in India to accomplish this task. It’s surprisingly inexpensive.  The core of that project will take about 2 to 3 weeks to complete once we start.  Of course, we cannot begin to build the UI’s (User Interfaces) for voice broadcast until we have sufficient funds to do so. There’s good news there as well.  It takes only 3 Platinum Licenses sold in any 10-day period to fund that expansion!  Jump in and help us DO that!

There’s even more coming from the next expansion of the UI’s:  Bulk SMS. (SMS = Text Messaging). This is great news! Not only will we provide our Clients with do-it-yourself voice broadcast to their subscriber database as well as a general broadcast facility, but in the same 3-week U.I. development period we’ll ALSO include the bulk-texting capability for all Clients. I can scarcely believe how quickly some of these functions are coming together, but they are.

My next article will contain some stats from our very recent dialing effort and my analysis of bugs and issues to correct.  There’s a good chance that article will be posted later today or tonight so check back if you have the chance. I’m behind in posting articles here so I’ll try to catch up a bit.

Massive Upgrade This Weekend

Get ready. Maybe I’m too hopeful and too optimistic. We’ve had so many false starts and failed experiments I’m afraid of over-promising and under-delivering. But the upgrade we’re accomplishing this weekend is by far the biggest we’ve done since the concept for GlobalTmail was created. It’s something so special that I couldn’t resist the chance to tell you about it so that perhaps you’ll be able to watch the result of what I think will be the biggest game-changer to date in our development history.

On Friday night, I put two brand new servers online with processing capabilities many, many times higher than our previous servers. One has an Intel Core 2 Duo Quad processor with 8 gig of RAM and a 500 gig hard drive. While this isn’t by any stretch of the imagination “huge” in terms of massive server capability, it’s capabilities are so far beyond that of our existing servers that I can’t really express it accurately here.

This first server will be used for the intensive dialer applications.  We also increased our UPSTREAM bandwidth for this server to 100 mbs and if we need it we can instantly burst that up to 1 Gig.  When you consider that a typical DSL connection has a an upstream of typically around 0.6 Mbs and high speed cable doesn’t usually exceed 2 or 3 Mbs upstream, you’ll realize this is truly a massive upgrade.  I put the dialer on a connection with 6 Terabytes of monthly data transfer as well, and we can upgrade that instantly to any amount needed to fill our requirements.  I can’t imagine coming anywhere close to that amount of data transfer at this stage. The second server isn’t quite as powerful but it still has a 3.2 gig clock speed with 4 gig RAM and the same size hard dirve, with a 3 Terabyte  monthly data transfer and 10 meg upstream limit. This is the server that is  hosting the website on which all Remote Agents, Managers and Administrators will register and perform their work.

I’m really on pins & needles with anticipation for tomorrow’s dialing efforts. Between Jeff, Ahmed and myself, we have come to the conclusion that our hardware simply wasn’t adequate to handle the load we tried to push through there during our attempts to operate the system and make it more efficient during the past two and a half months. Another tell-tale sign that tipped us off was the fact that 100% of our small test calls, which were all sent to 6 of us who regularly test functions on the dialer system, were “perfect”. There were never any problems. But as soon as we began multi-line dialing for multiple agents at the same time, the system simply broke down and refused to operate properly. This is a very big indicator that we simply didn’t have sufficient processing power and RAM to handle the intense operation of dialing on 30, 40, 60 or 100 lines at one time.

Now we have more than enough server and bandwidth capabilities. I won’t be able to make any accurate estimate of our upper capacity until I study the system under a real calling load. But I suspect we’ve currently got the ability to dial on several hundred concurrent channels (i.e. phone lines).  That’s more than enough to plow through Phase I of our marketing strategy and support 30 to 40 agents logged into the system at the same time. Although we’ll have 2,500 Remote Agents by the time Phase I is completed, I don’t expect we’ll host more than 100 to 150 at any single time online. This is because the vast majority of RA’s are part timers. Furthermore, those who are actively selling will spend far more time in follow-ups than they do generating new leads and prospects. And finally, I fully expect the majority of RA’s to simply retain a competent Proxy instead of making all the sales themselves.

Since this is the first real article for this new blog, you can expect a number of changes and improvements to the blog site over the next month or two.  I’m still setting it up and creating new functions and services.  This blog is hosted 100% on our new GlobalTmail USA, Inc. website.  I’m the administrator and have created it and configured it myself from scratch so any criticism or helpful comments should be directed to me personally because I wish to make continual improvements. I specifically set up the comment section to be more pronounced and easy to understand so you can make your own comments directly to me at any time.  I’m excited to have a better blog site and look forward to keeping all of you up to date on a regular basis. I don’t think I’ll be able to post articles every day, but most weeks, I should be able to post articles at least all 5 week days.

Finally, I wish to emphasize once again that this blog is not intended for public consumption.  It’s specifically designed for those of you who are paying customers of GlobalTmail, who have a vested interest in the long-term success of the company.  I may establish another blog designed for the public at large. But as you can see, this one is a “Members Only” site to which users gain access by invitation only.  I hope you enjoy this new blog site and I’m looking forward to your comments, questions and any helpful suggestions you might have.  See you in the next article!