Guiding you with the latest unified communications and collaboration insight
Due to the current climate our ongoing theme will be the future of work. Keep an eye on the regular insights we will be sharing to support you with all of your current challenges and issues. Your role is now more important than ever as an enabler of remote working it is crucial for you to roll out a business as usual culture in a productive and collaborative way. So, no matter how big or small your organisation is, or which vertical you operate in, keep reading more articles and find out how UC EXPO can aid your UC strategy.
The year 2020 has been transformative for people, economies and industries around the world, and Unified Communications and Collaboration (UC&C) is no exception. Under the weight of the global Coronavirus pandemic, people and businesses have risen to the ultimate challenge of staying connected and productive in a time where the rules for human interaction have been rewritten entirely.
Microsoft Exchange Server 2019 and Office 365 no longer have Unified Messaging. If you still rely on an on-premises PBX and plan to upgrade to Exchange 2019 or Office 365, you must either switch to a third party UM solution or replace your PBX with a full Microsoft Cloud solution. Don't lose voicemail functionality! If you're not ready to move to Cloud Voicemail, or are looking to leverage your third-party on-premises PBX, this webinar is for you.
The unexpected surge in telework has caught many organizations by surprise and left many office phone message lights blinking unnoticed. How can your organization give your employees the communications tools they need so important calls and messages aren’t missed?
The UC&C market has become business critical in 2020. Every company has needed to rapidly put in place a solution to keep its employees working. This has led to some short term solutions and stop gaps. Businesses will soon need to focus on a long term plan, keeping an eye on the ever changing vendor landscape while ensuring they partner with companies that support their culture and unique user needs.
“Shall we play a game?”
Growing up in the 80’s taught me all I need to know about artificial intelligence: Computers will become sentient with childlike naivety and try to take over the world. Certainly, it is implied with this question found in the movie WarGames where a military supercomputer threatens humanity. If a network like Skynet becomes self-aware, will cyborgs take over as suggested in the movie series Terminator?
The earth’s oceans play a central role in sustaining life on our planet. They supply the food chain, provide other life-sustaining natural resources, and regulate our global climate. And because they enable shipping that connects people and countries everywhere, oceans facilitate 90% of the world’s trade. Studying, protecting, and preserving our oceans is a vital mission for humanity.
But as the COVID-19 lockdowns appeared increasingly inevitable across the UK, the Institute of Marine Engineering, Science and Technology (IMarEST) feared that much of its important work would be temporarily in jeopardy—because its phone system wasn’t built to support a remote workforce.
Once a high-growth segment, the video conferencing equipment market (H.323- and SIP-based endpoints and infrastructure) has struggled, producing uneven growth as economic issues affected various regions and customers and as product segments such as immersive telepresence and hardware-based multipoint control units (MCUs) fell out of favor. As a result, the market for standards-based video conferencing equipment has been relatively muted since 2017. However, COVID-19 is breathing new life into this market and driving broad-based demand for video equipment of all types across all regions.
It’s a scenario we all know too well and one that has happened in workplaces around the world. As colleagues gather together in the board room to start an important video meeting with a client, they’re stopped in their tracks when they realise they are waiting in a Microsoft Teams Room and the client is on Google Meet.
When American Blue Ribbon Holdings simplified operations with a corporate restructure, they knew that setting a digital transformation agenda would be at the front of their list of challenges to tackle. With issues managing a landscape of legacy PBXs and outdated systems, finding a new telecom solution was top of mind. So, they turned to a trusted partner, Cisco, for help.
One of my passions as a business communications industry analyst is end user adoption and training for unified communications and collaboration (UCC) products and services. You can deploy the best technology in the world, but if your end users don’t actually use the technology, it’s worthless. End user adoption is critical, yet many organizations tend to simply ignore it. Focusing on usage and adoption leads to greater success than simply focusing on making technology work.
Look back just six months and the world looked more than a little different. Before citizens around the globe entered previously unheard-of national lockdowns. Before the phrase ‘social distancing’ became an everyday idiom. And before Unified Communication’s biggest universal embracement to date. In a few short weeks, the adoption of conferencing and collaboration tools reached heights previously predicted to take years as business continuity plans were swiftly put into action. In fact, the web and video conferencing category alone saw a 500% increase in buyer activity in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak [i]. Decisions had to be made quickly. Some had to do in 72 hours what would normally take 12 months +.
Rome, it seemed, was built in a day…
Future Processing is an IT partner that provides companies with high-quality technical expertise and software solutions perfectly tailored to their needs. As a technology focussed business, it has always offered home working to its employees, which is why the company already had remote IT services in place prior to the Coronavirus pandemic. However, under normal circumstances, there would be no more than 200 employees at home and Future Processing knew it had to modify the existing infrastructure to withstand the load of 800 people working remotely at the same time during the COVID-19 crisis.
With so much happening in the world around us, many of us have overlooked the technology that has allowed us to maintain some structure to our daily lives and enabled us to seamlessly work from home. Cloud technology has been at the forefront of this and provided many of us with the ideal remote working solution, giving us the collaboration, access and security that we all need when working from home.
The development of cloud technology that allows us to work anywhere, just like in the office, has changed the way we work, and nothing has illustrated this more than recent events. Thanks to cloud-based solutions, we can use a private, or personal device, and have the same access to our work as if we were in the office, both productively and securely. From the company's point of view, the fact that using the cloud reduces today's IT costs by up to 70% is extremely impressive.
When the COVID-19 pandemic forced many workers across the planet into remote working, Unified Communication & Collaboration (UC&C) tools played a significant role in facilitating that. Since then, we’ve seen user adoption rates in these technologies increase significantly, but what comes next for the UC&C industry as we become accustomed to working from home?
We spoke to Blair Pleasant, President & Principal Analyst at COMMfusion, to find out...
Remote work used to be something that included a minority of the workforce. However, we all now know that the coronavirus disrupted that routine. While many are anxious to get back to the office, the whole notion of how we work is being reevaluated.
The new future of work is not without many strong opinions. Many articles claim that going forward, we will all be remote workers in some form or fashion. Others claim that while the office may not be what it once was, the notion in and of itself will not completely go away.
Many employees are becoming sick of video calls. Nearly every person I speak to is at least getting a little bit bored of them (even though the tech is fantastic) as there are so many of them. But as the workplace changes, what is the right culture when it comes to remote working?
COVID-19, and the lockdown that ensued, has made many businesses rethink where and how they are investing their money. When the UK lockdown was announced back in March, many organisations had to not only adapt and mobilise their workforce using new technologies, but had to do it in a fast and efficient manner in order to keep operations ongoing.
Months later, we’re seeing that remote working at scale can actually be a huge success, and the buying habits of these businesses are proving that we can expect to see a shift towards long-term home working after COVID-19 has passed. But what technologies are most in demand as a result?
Over the last few months, pressure to keep employees connected remotely has forced the hand of many decision makers, accelerating their investment in unified communications and collaboration (UC&C) solutions. Embracing a remote working setup was a first for many and left a number of businesses changing their course of spending, facilitating company-wide home working and staying collaborative through a challenging time.
Imagine the events of the last few months taking place a few short years earlier. Before superfast broadband. Before Steve Jobs changes our lives irrevocably. The connectivity foundations simply wouldn’t have stretched to the same levels of success in enabling remote working and such speed and scale. Returning to the office would have been the straightforward choice.
The COVID-19 pandemic has without a doubt had an indelible impact on the workplace, both on the environment and the routines that underpin daily lives globally. Organisations have had to adapt both rapidly and radically to survive, deploying digital technology and platforms to keep business moving, as the definition of normal continues to be redefined.
According to a study conducted by Salesforce, 86% of executives and employees believe that the lack of collaboration or ineffective communication is one of the biggest workplace failures. Collaboration is a serious challenge for businesses and it’s often difficult to get team members to communicate both within departments and between individual employees. As companies expand to multiple locations or introduce remote working, the scope of these challenges will only continue to grow and become more problematic.
Everyone I have spoken to recently, from a major enterprise CIO to an analyst, or vendor, is thinking about what the Future of Work looks like. I felt it was about time we got some experts together to discuss it so we convened the UCX Digital event on this topic, with brands like Google, RingCentral, TSB Bank and the British Heart Foundation.
The Times Newspaper (in association with UC EXPO) has published a second Special Report on Connected Business.
Check out this UC story on how a top-50 law firm rapidly deployed LoopUp to keep their lawyers and clients connected during the COVID-19 pandemic.
For over 125 years, Freeths has provided its clients with outstanding service and legal expertise. As a top-50 full service commercial law firm with over 970 staff across 13 UK offices, keeping employees connected with each other and with their clients is essential to Freeths.
As the audio visual community adjusts rapidly to the new normal and ponders post-pandemic life, we examine the impact Covid-19 has had on the AV world, the measures being taken to adapt and what the industry might look like when it emerges on the other side.
In part one of this blog, we took a look at how Unified Communications and Collaboration (UC&C) are consistently changing the technological landscape for the better, exploring the impacts of streamlined customer contact and remote support, as well as the need for reliability and usability. In part 2, we delve into the role that security can play, as well as where UC&C is heading in the future.
Earlier this year we conducted a market insight survey (pre-Covid) to really understand how the unified communication and collaboration landscape is changing.
Following the outbreak of Covid-19, we replicated the survey, allowing us to share with you a clear and precise glimpse of the initial impacts on the industry.
Over the course of the last few months, Unified Communications and Collaboration (UC&C) have proven a vital part of business. A total necessity to working life. With the vast majority of the working world currently operating from home, UC&C are being heavily relied upon in order to keep organisations running. This in turn has resulted in an increased demand for UC, which is driving innovation in a way that we’ve never seen before, with new technologies being implemented on a regular basis across the communications board. UC&C is being pushed to the very limits of its own capabilities, and these evolutionary advancements are helping technology to keep up with demand. In many ways, the successful integration of newly developed UC&C solutions has kept industries moving and families connected during the COVID-19 isolation period.
There has been no end to the recent discussions of how we will work once this is all over.
Many employees are enjoying the productivity benefits remote working brings, as they face significantly less distractions and have more spare time that isn’t spent stuck on a train or behind the wheel of a car commuting. If you have kids, you may not have found it as easy but that may change when schools reopen.
2020 is poised to be an exciting year for hearables. Moving beyond the concept of an occasional gadget within the consumer world, hearables will now look to provide more advanced technology to improve the everyday life of the employee. This shift in focus will encourage many vendors to move towards the office hearable in a bid to master the growing opportunities in the workplace.
Unified communications as a service, or UCaaS, allows you to integrate multiple communication methods through a single cloud provider; including messaging, telephone, communication, video conferencing and more to facilitate team communication. With a team able to communicate effectively, your customers are sure to benefit and are much more likely to spend their money with you. Here are our top ways of adopting Unified Communication as a service (UCaaS) solution can boost your sales and customer service in 2020.
For most of us, work is a big part of our lives. It's where we spend a lot of your time, how we earn money to live, and where we meet friends. Having a fulfilling, enjoyable working life is important to your mental health and overall well-being. Certainly, everyone has points in their lives where they feel like things are getting the better of them; sometimes it's their health, relationships, finances, or their job.
Working In today’s digital-first world, businesses are expected to be more agile than ever before. Employees should be equipped to process a constant flow of queries across multiple channels, ensuring that they can deal with customer inquiries quickly and efficiently, no matter their location.
The Connected Business special report, published in The Times, touches on some of the most important issues facing business decision makers surrounding things like remote working, enterprise collaboration & customer experience.
While many are rushing to share tips on transitioning
operations and ensuring business continuity in a remote working environment, what seems
to be less prevalent is the focus on how to inject resilience into the Company’s community.
Companies, consumers, and the stock market – are all experiencing the anxiety associated with unpredictable events. In this time of disquiet, it’s more important than ever to give customers confidence you can continue to support them and deliver a consistent customer experience (CX).
Some industries – like those employing field engineers or on-site consultants – have no choice but to support mobile working. Others still have a choice about providing remote working, but possibly not at the moment.
The trends are crystal clear for remote working, but how to face challenges when it comes to managing a remote team? Let’s find out!
In a global economy with workforces dispersed across different locations and time zones, video conferencing has already seen a meteoric rise in adoption.
These days, there’s no reason to commit yourself to a 9-to-5 life of office cubicles – unless you want to. The internet and the cloud have transformed the meaning of work. Now, remote employees around the world are discovering what it means to make work something they “do” rather than a place they go.
The video conferencing industry has enjoyed a number of years of significant growth across the globe. However, the amount of companies adopting video conferencing technology does not equate to the same level of actual usage.
Why is BICS talking about musculoskeletal conditions? Because we’ve worked with another industry pioneer, the world’s first robot-as-a-service provider German Bionic, to launch and power a new solution designed to mitigate injuries and drive productivity for businesses.
Jon Arnold, Analyst, and all round UC guru shares his insight into how the world is changing and why organisations need to evolve to keep up!
In telecoms, compliance is a big deal and an even bigger problem. Setting up an international network comes with a mountain of legalese, forms, formatting, and data.
Speech technology has been evolving on many fronts, and while the changes are hard to follow, the benefits are very compelling. For enterprises, most of the use cases are in the contact centre where customer expectations are becoming harder to address with legacy voice technologies.
The best-laid plans of mice and men often go awry.”
This well-known saying adapted from an 18th Century Robert Burns poem ‘To a Mouse’ – reminds us that no matter how carefully we plan, things may well go wrong, and often due to circumstances beyond our control.
Perhaps the most rapidly growing type of software in corporate America is workstream collaboration (WSC) apps like Microsoft Teams and Slack. IDC estimates that the collaboration marketplace currently sits at approximately $4B and is projected to grow nearly 70% in the next 3 years.
It has become something of a buzzword. Like “green” and “sustainable”, “forward-thinking” and “progressive”, before it. Subsequently, many people think of “unified communications” in the same way; more of a cool concept than a tangible mode of improving businesses and services.
The great benefit, from an evolutionary perspective, is that information is passed on more quickly via a facial expression than by the spoken word. We can react at lightning speed.
We live in a world where the vast majority of us can check prices, order products and share our thoughts with the tap of a button.
Delivering a high-quality customer experience is increasingly becoming the difference between success and failure.
As we start 2020 security is a hot topic, and with the rise of fintech and AI there’s never been a more important time to protect your business communications.
Given that Microsoft Teams is swiftly becoming one of the most popular collaboration tools, the reality is that often pairing Zoom with Microsoft Teams is a probable path.
This webinar will explore how to scale your business comms without running into major obstacles.
Despite huge collaboration technology advances, it does not get the use it deserves in the workplace. It’s a pity and so with progress in mind, here are my three collaboration wishes for 2020.
2019 will be reflected upon as ‘the year of 5G’, but even more developments and deployments are expected in 2020 and beyond.
As a unified communication as a service (UCaaS) provider, RingCentral has been fully immersed in UC since its inception. Who better, then, to provide an introduction to UC, the role of the cloud, and the benefits of UCaaS?
Are you considering the transformation of your business processes and culture around digital technologies? Perhaps you want a new way for your staff to interact with your customers? Maybe you’re looking to transfer your paper processes into the digital domain?
More often than not, when upgrading to new versions of UC infrastructure many of our customers do not necessarily review their business processes to take advantage of new features and capabilities.
The ESSEC Business School in France has chosen the Barco weConnect virtual classroom over traditional videoconferencing systems for the interaction that makes a virtual course successful.
Your phone is your business lifeline, it is also your customers’ preferred way to contact you quickly. The internet, email, Skype are good, but when it is an emergency – a plumber is needed, your car has broken down on the way to your child’s school play, you need to tell your bank your credit card has been stolen – only a phone will do.
The 2019 Global Workplace Survey found that 2 fifths of all professionals consider their daily commute to be the worst part of their job. The report also found that 40% of people dread coming to work every day.
One of the reasons end-users love workstream collaboration is the plethora of third-party apps that help them more efficiently do their work. However, not all apps are created equal.
The decommissioning of 2G and 3G networks is a worrying trend on the rise. Due to its effects, an estimated 820 million subscribers could be without voice services when roaming on LTE networks.
Video will spread far beyond work conferencing, appliances will enjoy a revival, WebRTC will run more smoothly, and 5G will make mobile working even more popular, writes Bobby Beckmann CTO of Lifesize.
Good data governance is essential in every organisation. Okay, so no surprise Sherlock on that one.
But obvious as it is, it’s a particularly important consideration where a business is perhaps looking to implement Microsoft Teams primarily as a telephony solution.
We live in an age where people can easily become self-employed in all sorts of industries. If millennials don’t like the workplace, they will probably leave. Therefore, building a positive workplace culture is crucial in today’s age.
As 2019 comes to an end, it’s a good time to look ahead to prepare for what the next 12 months will bring. For those managing enterprise collaboration and communication environments, it’s been a rapidly evolving ecosystem, and 2020 will be no different.
There are plenty of options and the idea of getting the best business phone number can soon become complicated.
Building a sense of team spirit can be a tough challenge to overcome. We take a closer look at some of the things your team should be doing to ensure their bond can rival that of any office.
Meeting rooms are where ideas are sparked, decisions are made and business is won, so
it’s important that users can come together and collaborate. Without easy to use and interactive AV technologies, meetings can become repetitive and uninspiring for attendees.
Now that 2019 is coming to an end, it’s a good time to look ahead into 2020 and consider how our environment is going to evolve going forward. Here are just some thoughts on what communication and collaboration will look like in 2020.
Barco have filled in the gaps as to how the growing presence of technology has boosted meeting room productivity and they delve a bit deeper into how this helps collaboration.
Microsoft and Cisco are now working together to make Microsoft Teams rooms and phone system interoperable with Cisco’s Webex Room devices and IP voice gateways.
Workstream collaboration platforms are a central tenet of digital transformation efforts. Gartner predicts that workstream collaboration will continue to proliferate, reaching 70% of companies by 2022.
Your mobile phone suddenly starts to ring, but stops almost as quickly – and before you’ve managed to answer the call. You don’t recognise the number; do you call back, intrigued? Or hope they’ll contact you again?
So what are the horror stories around communication regulation that should keep up the unassuming CIO at night?
Instant messaging was not considered to be a secure method of communication, many businesses were deterred by the impracticalities and problems of the technology. However, this is no longer the case.
Today’s students know digital solutions inside out. They expect technology to be present in every area of their lives. They spend plenty of time online and use digital apps every day, not only for fun but also to learn new skills.
This surely relates to business as well. With so many companies opting for text interactions over voice, how can anyone truly be certain of the sentiment on either agent or customer side. With voiceless interactions void of emotion, you could be catfishing your customers?
A familiar sight at user group and AV association gatherings, the former InfoComm president – the first from outside North America, founder-director of Paradigm AV, and now Visual Displays Ltd (VDL) talks to Clive Couldwell about AV, ‘good’ standards and UX.
Cloud telephony – like any other cloud-based service –not only can integrate with other applications or platforms, but also can allow for far greater accessibility and scalability than rigid PBX infrastructure.
Chris has over 20 years of experience building enterprise information security programs, holding positions at premier organisations including Nestlé and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
One particular role that could be enhanced by the opportunities of remote working is that of the call centre agent. VoIP and UC as a service technology, mean that businesses can deliver all of the tools that their agents need to interact with clients over the cloud.
Advances in the last few years have meant that working remotely is not only possible, but is increasing rapidly in popularity and showing absolutely no sign of slowing down.
Is your video conferencing activity safe and sound? The exposure of Zoom’s flaw has taken over the technology and business websites and rang the alarm for businesses using their software on Mac devices.
Each year people travel around the globe to join business meetings and events, leaving a footprint on the environment. Are green meetings and video conferences going to become a standard to minimise the society’s catastrophic impact on climate?
From all reports, we are experiencing a ‘retail recession’ and figures show that consumer confidence is plateauing. So now, more than ever, maintaining a healthy flow of sales is a matter of survival.
There was once a time when instant messaging was limited to use by only a few technologically-minded early adopters. Today, instant messaging is very much a mainstream pursuit.
Businesses have become increasingly global and with customers and business partners located all over the world, organisations must react to the new ways of working to stay competitive. Technology can help bridge that connection through the use of conference calls.
UCaaS is one of the most exciting new technologies in the communication environment. Not only does it provide businesses with the combination of critical connectivity solutions they need in one cohesive environment, but it also simplifies the management of that communication stack too.
There is a growing trend in the industry where customers are looking to modularise their communications services. And with Bring Your Own Carrier (BYOC) becoming a common topic in the cloud comms industry.
3D audio may be hot in consumer tech, but it is important that professional users have the tools needed to create compelling content and drive uptake, writes Véronique Larcher of Sennheiser.
The question is what the Bring Your Own Meeting trend means for your organisation and the equipment in your meeting rooms?
The Digital Health publication reported that 40% of the NHS organisations are using slow and unreliable internet supplied through copper lines.
Like many public sector bodies, they told us that making efficient use of existing resources was a key priority. The organisation's old contact centre system was not fit for purpose. The agency was receiving over 20,000 inbound calls per month — and citizens complained of long queues.
Despite an increase in the adoption of digital communications, the telephone is still the prevalent choice when it comes to reaching out.
As we get ready to enter a new decade, businesses large and small face a long list of strategic challenges – and technology will play a vital role in meeting them, particularly when it comes to communications infrastructure.
Teams vs SharePoint is a question that a lot of IT teams ask at the very beginning stages of considering a Microsoft Teams deployment.
June 2019 saw the publication of our most recent research project, the Fuze Communications Index, which incorporates global usage data reflecting engagement with the Fuze platform across 14 countries.
Enterprises are busy embracing the cloud on their transformation journey, but failing to stay compliant is an obstacle for brands that rely on delivering a great CX strategy.
You wouldn’t present a new offering to a client before planning your approach first, yet many companies jump straight into meetings without thinking about what they want to accomplish.
If you keep up with the latest news in the business world, you’ll know that huddle rooms are pretty much essential for all forward-thinking companies.
With Microsoft Teams available in your organisation, you’re providing users with a rich tool-set from Office 365. A tool-set that supports different job roles and tasks, and making the service adoption easier.
If you were to believe some of the more extreme marketing hype, you might think SD-WAN is the silver bullet for all of your WAN-related woes. But like any technology solution, the actual benefits and possibilities of SD-WAN will depend heavily on a number of factors unique to your organisation.
Workplace by Facebook is a relative newcomer to the workplace collaboration category, but with marque customers like Walmart and Starbucks its gaining ground quickly on Slack and Microsoft Teams.
Today’s clients expect more than ever from the businesses that they connect with. It’s not enough for companies to simply give their consumers basic service over the phone.
In a world where businesses grow more alienated from their customers every day, the rise of AI and chatbots threaten to cut out human connection entirely.
How many times have you picked up a landline phone to communicate with a customer, client or colleague today? My guess is that most people would be able to count the number of times on one hand. The workplace in changing, and that means the way that we communicate at work is changing too.
Following on from the recent UC EXPO webinar in association with Gamma, there were some unanswered questions that came in from some of the attendees.
Quite clearly a workplace can’t address all the stresses and strains of earning a living, but knowing your employer is trying to help you achieve your career and business goals through investment in the best technology and well-designed spaces contributes positively to employee productivity.
Researchers have established that those who multitask a lot are better at switching between different tasks, because they do it regularly (practice). However, they do the task less well than those who are not distracted by irrelevant information.
As a SIP trunk supplier, we often keep an eye on what our customers are looking for in the VoIP marketplace, and free SIP trunks for testing and trials are probably the most requested.
Technological changes continue to progress at an unprecedented speed, influencing how workplaces function and evolve across Asia Pacific and the world. The proliferation of mobile technologies, along with a new generation of millennials entering the workforce, requires business leaders to address changing workers’ expectations.
Four years ago, the right to request flexible working became UK law. Since then, flexible working has become more prevalent, to the point that half of the UK workforce is predicted to work remotely by 2020.
As an increasing number of companies begin to support the trend of remote working, BYOD is on the rise. BYOD, or Bring Your Own Device, allows organisations to empower their workers, by allowing them to use the devices they feel most confident and familiar with.
Slack is a workstream collaboration (WSC) platform designed to help make teams more productive. Under the hood exists a host of features that can help you take your personal workspace to the next level. Here are seven Slack hacks to help transform you into an expert user.
There are some factors that mark out groups that have the greatest success with virtual meetings: trust, reliability, belonging and emotional closeness.
Striving to do more with less is nothing new to most SMEs. Whether it’s maximising efficiency by empowering staff to work flexibly, or carefully plotting budgets to get the most from every last penny, it’s all part and parcel of the small business journey
The doors to the Excel Centre were opened once again for UC EXPO 2019, Europe’s largest unified communications and collaboration event, and it proved to be another year of fruitful discussions.
Webinar: There’s no future in service providers avoiding user complaints about poor app responsiveness and not meeting new requirements for rich communication and collaboration services. There’s no progress without the right foundations.
People’s experiences with customer service hotlines, hold queues, unhelpful advisors, and being passed endlessly from one person to the next. Often in the space of one interaction – have lowered customers’ expectations. This has resulted in phone calls evolving to become a last resort. The antidote, according to some tech-focused news spaces, is AI-powered customer services like chatbots.
Organisations are adopting Unified Communications (UC) – a combination of voice, video and messaging platforms around a shared IP-based infrastructure – to boost productivity and enhance collaboration.
In a world where we have so many outstanding collaboration technologies at our disposal, there are still traditional managers who think employees are only at work if at their office desk.
There are some basic do’s and don’ts that can be good to know before you set up a video conference in the meeting room or sitting by yourself. We will try to summarise them in eight bullet points.
As a business communications provider with a focus on helping people connect, we have announced the expansion of our unified communications as a service (UCaaS) offering to include EMEA, to help businesses positively revolutionise meetings and optimise employee productivity
A topical Q&A with a leading light within the unified communications community, discover more about what Dave's day to day consists of, why he chose UC as an industry, how to be successful, and his predictions for the future...
Microsoft Teams seems to have had a significant impact on the unified communications (UC) market since its release in early 2017, and Microsoft claims that Teams is the fastest growing product it has ever released.
A topical Q&A with a leading light within the unified communications community, discover more about what Brian's day to day consists of, why he chose UC as an industry, how to be successful, and his predictions for the future...
The ways organisations collaborate vary these days more than ever. The generational divide in the workplace has many employees working with a mix of device types and preferring different modes of interaction
UC EXPO 2019 is just around the corner, discover 7 top reasons why it should be two days in your calendar that should not be missed!
As the unified communications market moves away from on-premise installations and towards the cloud, smaller vendors have their chance to make a name for themselves in a rapidly growing space. However, despite the expansion of the industry, the number of vendors continues to fall.
A topical Q&A with a leading light within the unified communications community, discover more about what Dave's day to day consists of, why he chose UC as an industry, how to be successful, and his predictions for the future...
Across development methodologies there is a good amount of buzzwords that you hear used - and somewhat abused - frequently. One of the single most abused buzzwords is Agile.
A growing number of large organisations now use AV to support collaboration between staff and business partners, and also for daily communication with customers.
A topical Q&A with a leading light within the unified communications community, discover more about what Christopher's day to day consists of, why he chose UC as an industry, how to be successful, and his predictions for the future...
Consistently meeting your Incident Management KPIs and matching SLAs is something we all contend with on a monthly, weekly and sometimes daily basis. Meeting Incident Management targets is integral, but what targets should you aim for? And what metrics should you be focusing on? Let's have a look at KPIs: the classics, some new ones and some overall best practices.
There is a new generation in the workplace – Generation Z. These employees have grown up with devices like iPads being commonplace in their schools and they expect everything to be just a click away. From ordering Ubers to accessing any film on Netflix, this generation has an always on attitude. But how can businesses reflect this in the workplace to cater for their needs?
A topical Q&A with a leading light within the unified communications community, discover more about what Jonathan's day to day consists of, why he chose UC as an industry, how to be successful, and his predictions for the future...
Earlier this year, The TechSonic Team, stationed in South Africa was challenged with providing sound and video coverage for three large Zoom™ Room-enabled meeting spaces for a top law firm in South Africa. Team leader Eric had an idea that ceiling-mounted microphones would be perfect for the job.
What does the future of work look like? How will new technologies reshape our office life? And which tools will facilitate work-life balance while the border between private and job sphere is fading?
Q-SYS™ enables large meeting room integration across multiple corporate campuses. As one of the world’s fastest growing social media platforms, LinkedIn has become an essential part of how more than 500 million people build and curate their business networks.
The Workstream Collaboration (WSC) market is on track for massive growth. Recent data suggests that within three years, 70 percent of teams in the digital workplace will primarily use workstream collaboration platform apps to communicate, coordinate, cooperate, and connect.
With the continuing advancement in digital technology in office spaces, networked audio remains key to establishing unified communications and improving decision-making and collaboration in the global workplace.
Unified Communications (UC) and Software as a Service (SaaS) are terms that have now become increasingly common, but a relatively newer term hitting the industry agenda is Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS).
A topical Q&A with a leading light within the unified communications community, discover more about what Tom's day to day consists of, why he chose UC as an industry, how to be successful, and his predictions for the future...
We have already seen several contact centre acquisitions in the unified
communications space as other players finally realise that UC and contact
centre should never have developed as separate products.
It is a given in most technology fields that if you task 25 engineers to
work towards a result, you will see at least 10 unique approaches emerge in
order to achieve that same goal. When looking to introduce automation by
deploying UC management tools, this is an important factor in the early days of
any technical engagement.
Dr. Tim Sharp, Chief Happiness Officer at The Happiness
Institute, explains: “I think the reason some can’t apologise isn’t actually
because they don’t like to be wrong, but because it’s seen as an inherent
Employees’ experience as consumers have changed their expectations
towards collaboration technology in their workplaces. As consumers, they
already expect easy integration and compatibility with other devices.
The topic of “Millennials in the workplace” has been discussed by business executives for almost a decade now, as employers began to appreciate that those born in the early 1980s to the mid-1990s had a significantly different approach to work than the typical Baby Boomer and Generation X employees.
Unobtrusive, outdoor-rated, digitally steerable arrays from Renkus-Heinz have been installed as part of a high-end AV system for movie nights, corporate messages, and meetings at PayPal HQ.
Remote work has experienced a huge boom in the last few years, and people ditching traditional offices for the flexibility to work where they please is certainly a trend that isn’t slowing down.
In recent years with increasing competition, quality of experience (QoE)
has become more and more important to service providers.
Despite the best-laid plans, holiday gift season doesn’t always go as expected. No one knows this better than a retail contact centre agent. This is the moment for those associates to shine — saving the sale, the brand reputation and the chance to draw that customer back for future purchases.
If there’s one thing SMEs can’t afford to do, it’s waste hours in the day. As the old saying goes, time is money – and with limited people resource to rely on, employees at smaller organisations can’t be tied up on tasks that aren’t adding business value.
that are looking to improve collaboration and communication are increasingly turning
to the UC&C industry. According to Gartner, global spending on
UC&C in 2021. As
medium sized and global organisations accelerate their adoption of unified
communications and collaboration technology, the industry needs to adapt and
exceed the rising expectations of end-users.
With the rise in such a variety of communication devices, does the Contact Centre really have a future?
Test your unified communications pop culture knowledge, share your score with colleagues, and see if you could do with a visit to UC EXPO this May!
A major aim of many enterprises embarking on their digital transformation journey is to reduce costs via new solutions and processes. And the implementation of unified communications brings various opportunities for such a cost reduction.
What will the data centre look like in 2019 and beyond? That’s one of the most pressing questions facing data centres. The IT environment continues to evolve rapidly to support changing business requirements, making it difficult to conceptualise a data centre infrastructure that can meet tomorrow’s demands.
AI won’t replace human meetings but, by taking care of the routine and time-consuming, it will make them more productive, inspiring and inclusive, writes Peter Jackson, CEO of Bluescape.
Here are some of the best business collaboration ideas for both inside and outside of the office, skyrocketing business growth along the way!
More UK customers are buying online than any other country in the world. This means the rise of customers interacting with faceless companies that have little to no human interaction and the need to rely on Twitter for complaints. But for these organisations, customer service is actually more important than ever.
Local phone calls are still the most effective way for a business to speak with its customers, regardless of their age and despite the growing popularity of emerging communications technologies. That’s the headline finding of our new survey of US consumers, which reveals that nearly two-thirds (60%) prefer picking up the phone to receiving text messages when it comes to communicating with businesses.
Unify Square recently shared some of the biggest learnings from their
customers who were in the midst of piloting Microsoft Teams. One of the major
areas of focus centered on Microsoft Teams governance, compliance, and
Five Benefits of Desktop as a Service from VMWare. As cloud-based solutions become more accessible, many organisations are investigating the transition from physical desktops towards desktop as a service.
Bradlee Allen from Fuze discusses the importance of flexible working and not creating barriers for communication within organisations. With fewer people commuting to a traditional office every day of the week, how should you re-evaluate productivity?
When I was younger, I was taught to respect my elders and yet in 2018, we don’t appear to respect anyone. We’re expected to converse with machines and not get frustrated when the machine doesn’t understand our response. When enquiring personally at my bank, I’m told to go online and solve the problem, rather than the enquiry just being handled there and then.
For many of those in traditionally office-based roles, the notion of the workplace is changing, employees are no longer slaves to their desks and restricted by desktop landline phones. Digitalisation, including the increasing use of and reliance on smartphone and apps, plus ubiquitous connectivity, low-cost data services and the portability of traditionally cumbersome hardware, have helped pave the way for new, flexible means of working, and agile, mobile workforces.
When choosing communications and collaboration technology, a key factor is the user experience (UX). This includes a well-designed user interface (UI) to enable intuitive collaboration. The UI comprises all the visual elements used to interact with conferencing platforms - from screens to pages, buttons and icons.
If you sometimes wonder what your communications team actually does, apart from sharing corporate news, earnings announcements and dealing with the odd crisis you may want to think again. Often viewed as the dark horse of the business, internal communications, the wizards with words have the ability to transform your organisation and employee engagement for the better.
The diverse classroom settings of education are well schooled in enabling digital teams to build and share knowledge easily, and in catering for the widest range of need. What lessons do they hold for interactive technology in the corporate workplace?
Education providers need to deliver top-class teaching in modern facilities if they are to attract fee-paying students. Steve Montgomery reports on the refurbishment of the Clerici building on the Oxford Brookes site.
There’s more to calculating the total cost of ownership (TCO) for communications systems than you might think. Here’s what you need to know and how unified communications as a service (UCaaS) can drive your communications TCO down.
The rise of social, mobile, data and cloud technology has transformed
every aspect of our personal and business lives, making them increasingly
connected and digital. We live in what is known as the digital era. One area
that has seen deep transformation is the workplace. Indeed, gone are the days
when the workplace was a physical space employee occupied during regular office
hours. Today’s always connected instant access environment has blurred the
lines between the physical office and the place where work actually happens.
Elaine Murray interviews Zach Katsof, Director of UC and Microsoft Teams advocate at Arkadin, about tips and tricks for Microsoft Teams deployment in enterprises.
Microsoft Teams is the company’s fastest growing business app of all time. A messaging and online meetings solution, Teams simplifies connections and collaboration inside your organisation. BlueJeans brings modern, trusted, secure video calling to popular tools and services so people can meet from anywhere, from any device. By integrating their video conferencing platform with Teams, they’re helping tailor processes, increase teamwork and productivity.
Helen Lancaster from Arkadin interviews Paul Ewasuik from Zoom.ai in the run-up to their joint presence at this year’s Gartner Digital Workplace Summit.
It’s hard to believe that less than 50 per cent of CRM sale updates actually make their way into the CRM, but that’s what a recent article on SalesforceBen revealed about how automatic logging of activity into Salesforce can improve data quality.
Within the span of a decade, the smartphone, followed by smart communications, has become so pervasive in the modern social fabric that it has become common wisdom that the traditional workspace needs a digital overhaul. Trends driven by the cloud and social communities, which gave rise to working styles that are increasingly agile and flexible, have even led to the ideation of the bleisure concept
Good question! This is something I have been asked a lot in the past when companies are rolling out a new system or making an organisational change. “Surely, we just need to let our employees know that the change is coming, and provide training?”
Yesterday's inflexible IT infrastructure is providing diminishing returns. It’s relatively costly, and employees are challenged to communicate, collaborate and respond to customers as quickly as they need. As digital technology transforms the way services are delivered, the imperative now is to have the ability to join the dots between any number of communication platforms and information access points.
In a world of sensitive data and tightening regulations, discover what you should do as an organisation!
The saying “the customer is always right” is one that has been drilled into those who work in customer service for as long as we can remember. Initially coined in the early 1900’s by pioneering retailers including Harry Gordon Selfridge, Job Wanamaker and Marshall Field, it placed great emphasis on why businesses should always aim to improve the customer experience.
What does the remote office look like? You are in a comfortable place, whether it’s at home, a coffee shop or a work hub, with a cup of tea and your favorite music playing. These days, having a single office isn’t so common anymore.
Collaboration is key for driving business forwards. But, enabling collaboration across different generations of workers is a challenge nearly every business will face. From Baby Boomers, to Millennials and Gen Xers, the requirements they need in workplace and the way they interact with technology can be vastly different.
Demand for smarter and more intuitive ways of working are on the rise. We now want to connect with colleagues easily, regardless of time zone or location. As a result, many organisations are adopting Unified Communications (UC) and collaboration tools, which deliver the productivity boosting and collaboration enhancing benefits businesses want.
There’s an unguarded doorway into your organization that by-passes perimeter security and puts customers’ personal information and employee records in jeopardy. While your IT department focuses its energy on preventing direct hacking attacks or email phishing scams, hackers have found another way in –it’s invisible, yet in plain sight.
In today’s digital-first era, it’s not surprising that more and more people are disinclined to pick up the phone, especially when it seems that the majority of calls tend to come from telemarketers or scammers. Additionally, many companies are increasingly turning to chatbots, virtual assistants and social media to interact with their customers.
The advent of cloud computing was a huge inflection point in the history of technology. It has led to increasingly software driven businesses – gone are the days of bulky hardware, brick style mobile phones and saving data onto floppy disks
As the workplace continues to evolve, we see new technologies and services entering the business environment all the time. The office of the future is being shaped by factors like flexible working hours, shared information, and cloud technology. How can businesses that depend on voice, messaging, presence, and collaboration better utilise technology to support employee productivity, irrespective of location and device?
The inexorable advance of technological progress. Think smartphones, easily portable laptops and tablets which let you work anywhere. Working on projects in real time with colleagues connecting remotely from the other end of the planet. Surely with such advances and conveniences we must be entering one of the most productive eras in history?
The cloud has transformed the way businesses operate, allowing flexible working hours and improving collaboration between employees. It has boosted productivity and communication, giving employees the opportunity to participate more, organise their teams and delegate tasks to individuals in a more efficient manner.
The vSolution MATRIX solution from WolfVision represents a significant step forward in learning space design, enabling intuitive control, distribution, and sharing of video and audio between multiple workstation monitors using multiple Cynap, and Cynap Core units connected using network infrastructure.
In this blog, we run through the steps that businesses need to take to put them on the path of true communication transformation, enabling them to create far more engaging customer and business experiences.
There was a time when IT systems were formed of discrete islands, invariably unconnected, and therefore only partially productive. Tools were chosen to help staff do their jobs. However, their selection didn’t necessarily take into consideration whether they would help to get the job done in a way that matched consumers’ actual service preferences.
Q&A with Michael Affronti VP Product - Fuze, Michael shared his insight as to how AI can lead to smarter collaboration and how Fuze can help you to embrace collaboration better in your organisation using reliable, scalable digital technology.
The introduction of GDPR legislation marks a crackdown in terms of where data is stored in the cloud, with stricter fines for businesses in breach of those regulations. However, a recent report by security firm Blue Coat found that 98% of cloud-based applications do not comply with GDPR legislation. It’s a combination of human error and lack of visibility or control over applications, and shadow IT or shadow data that is the largest risk factor for security breaches and non-compliance.
Who would have thought that in 2018, with all the technological evolution's we have already lived through in the past 10-15 years, from Cloud Computing, Smartphones, Social Media, Drones, Big Data, Virtual Reality (VR), Artificial Intelligence (AI) and the Internet Of Things (IOT) that customer experience could still be slow, put work on the customers shoulders and often let customers down.