WebDAM’s Brand Connect shatters industry with visual content management features

Shutterstock's WebDam is a highly effective content management system that allows teams to work remotely in a collaborative platform.

PREVIOUSLY PUBLISHED TO EXAMINER

It’s been a week since the release of WebDAM’s latest features to their brand management solution, Brand Connect. On Tuesday, May 3, Examiner sat down with Jody Vandergriff, Co-Founder and CEO of WebDAM, to find out more about this game-changing platform and how it not only affects marketing teams and designers, but how it’s creating impact for the enterprise with individual contributors all over the globe!

As globalization takes over the business world, the standard multinational organization is finding itself competing with scalable business structures that have centralized headquarters and thousands of work-at-home contributors. Some of these companies don’t even have a central headquarter location. The multinational now has to work in double time, making sure that overheads are covered in each location, while innovating to protect their position in the marketplace and keeping with consistency across the board.

But, guess what? WebDAM, a Shutterstock company, has now created a solution that just may put them at greater odds against one another.

If you remember, WebDAM released a Fifty Shades of Branding SlideShare last year to introduce their Brand Connect platform. We even covered it here. Since its release, WebDAM has been working extra hard to expand upon feedback from the initial release and provide better solutions that service remote teams. The solution was to create a social branding platform to engage multidisciplinary teams and cross-departmental groups in conversation over branding and deliverables.

Towards the end of 2015, we have learned that many organizations are integrating WebRTC, a form of Unified Communications, in creating seamless production amongst their cross-continental teams. WebDAM is no different, as they encourage communications between team members by providing better tools for conversation and collaboration. Their new platform features e-mail, instant messaging and more.

The efficiency of WebDAM’s new features is priceless, and this launch has been the biggest one yet. For example, Embargo Dates and Image Carousels synchronize the release of materials, based on roles, privacy settings and location-based specifics. What’s even better than this is the fact that anything released through the Image Carousel can be released cross-platform and distributed to specific sites, on specific dates and in specific cities or countries!

This is very important, because it eliminates the need to create and recreate multiple codes that display a mixture of shared and unique-to-site imagery. In fact, there will be little need to ever change the code – unless a web property is being redesigned – and even then, the code will still never have to change. This is visual content management at its finest!

It is to be noted that with video becoming one of the fastest growing content assets, this platform is completely capable of managing video, as well. This is important, as so many websites rely on videos to better tell their brand’s story or to sell a product.

Allowing social functionality, team members and decision makers all get to join in the design process. They will be able to better explain what works, what doesn’t work and what should be implemented to cater to specific demographics and location-based populations. This is done in real time and across various platforms. This means that Johnny-on-the-Go will be interacting from his mobile device, while Stationary Sally makes changes in Australia from her desktop computer.

The “collective wisdom” in asset management is becoming very popular, because it better cultivates a corporate vision, especially across territories and amongst those who may never meet each other face-to-face, allowing for the design process to be maximized and project management to be completely streamlined to ensure clients are continuously receiving projects on time, on task and on budget.

In fact, companies may opt to include their clients within the platform, keeping them involved in the design process every step of the way. This saves time and also ensures higher rates of satisfaction to the end user.

The new features are set up in a visual style guide and mood board scenario. Textures, visuals, colors, fonts… They are all displayed in such a fashion that not only harvests productivity, but they will also inspire. Stakeholders now have influence.

“Usually, when creatives are distributed to teams and client brands, they are distributed through a .PDF file inthe form of a style guide. We are changing all of this and making things easier for teams, especially those spread out geographically,” states Jody Vandergriff.

“Many companies are struggling to manage their brands in this new digital environment,” she continues “They rely on static brand guidelines in PDF documents that become outdated quickly, and distribute creative assets through network servers or cloud storage that put an immense burden on marketing teams to approve and fulfill requests. Brand Connect and these newly launched features equip teams with smarter, simpler technology built for digital marketing.”

A smart solution for cloud-based systems, building, organizing and distributing brand assets and guidelines, the automation speaks for itself. But, everyone wants to know about the analytics. How well is this platform performing?

In the previous release of the platform, analytics were spread across social channels and web domains. It was the essential brand management platform. The upgraded version allows “graphic details that display key measures and trends to better understand asset feedback and use.” Analytics have better allowed us to understand the external details of our brands – but what about the internal stakeholder? WebDAM has allowed us to access these details and find out what our team members really think – whether they admit it or not.

In Marketing and in Branding, design is a must. Visually appealing platforms keep us on our toes and force us to be better creators. Decision makers can privately discuss marketing collateral and content distribution. Once a decision has been reached, they can send those assets directly through the channels of their choice – saving time and manpower in the process. Because content needs to be pushed out to each network only once, hosting is cut dramatically, especially in the case of large content, as it is now integrated into various web properties from one location

Discoveries allow for detailed information, relating to tools, that can be used and how to use them. Guidelines are displayed to teach stakeholders where creatives can be used and shared. Basically, this centralized “location” better dictates to teams the “can dos” and “can’t dos” in each brand campaign.

Project management has also been made easier, as various workflows are supported within the platform, itself. Dates for submission and deadlines for publication are set in stone — but are also customizable. User profiles allow each team member to be unique, while able to be grouped and assigned tasks. There is a persona behind each set of keys. Products will be introduced, and product releases can be better managed through product management strategies within the workflow process.

Finally, WebDAM has partnered with some pretty amazing organizations and mainstream media companies to provide the optimal experience to each user of this platform. Fully integrating, WebDAM has partnered with companies, such as Adobe’s Creative Cloud to allow in-the-cloud editing. Using a program such as InDesign, users will find that assets are directly pulled into the system. Creative content can be moved directly from the desktop and into the cloud – or in reverse. Layers can be saved automatically to the cloud, while the entire project is accessible cross-platform.

WebDAM has partnered with other great companies, such as Box, WordPress and Drupal, to allow similar functionality. Soon, WebDAM will be releasing information on their new partnerships and will only further enhance content management experiences, driving industry change even further. Companies that utilize proprietary information will be happy to note that WebDAM has also made allowances for customizable API utilization.

Changing the game for marketers, brand managers, content developers and product owners, WebDAM continues to amaze us with their innovations. They have taken the business out of the business and allow us to become more creative. We have been hindered in such an evolved world that some of us have forgotten how to be creative. This is not only shifting industries, but it is opening our minds.

Continue Reading

Technavio predicts significant trends in television ad-spending through 2019

Cross-Platform Marketing | Market Trend Report 2016 to 2019

ORIGINALLY APPEARED ON EXAMINER ON APRIL 3, 2016 BEFORE THE SITE WENT DOWN

With traditional media being replaced by digital streams, major agencies are starting to wonder if their advertising dollars are being put to good use. At a time where we pre-record our shows, only to fast forward through the commercials – or when we wait for them to show on-demand – we prefer short 15-20 second videos overdrawn out commercials that we can’t click to skip after so many seconds.

Because digital television allows agencies to redirect new customers to a call of action, digital television should be an obvious priority within advertising efforts. We are relaxing after a long day of work and school. Show us. Don’t make us do more work!

On the April 1, Technavio highlighted three key trends in market growth:

  • Data and Audience-Driven TV Advertising
  • Popularity of Programmatic Advertising
  • Real-Time Bidding

These trends are known as addressable TV advertising.

According to Soumya Mutsuddi, a lead analyst for Technavio, “Addressable TV advertising is gaining immense popularity in the US. It is helping advertisers reach out to their target audiences and generating great results in terms of ROI. Within a common program or navigation screen, this technique is capable of serving different ads or ad pods.

“These ads are targeted by demography, customer behavior, geography-centric, or through a self-selected individual household method. These ads are delivered through satellite, cable, Internet protocol TV, or set-top boxes.”

Addressable TV advertising is made possible across platforms, including digital television and traditional transmissions alike. The company predicts that TV ad spending will only increase with the aggressive political events and upcoming world competitions, such as the 2016 Rio Olympics, European Leagues, FIFA World Cup and the United States Presidential Election 2016. Trends in television consumption are already showing sharp increases at this time.

Taking a step back and looking at the overall picture, one can clearly see that, while targeting specific demographics, traditional media is actually quite broad-based and caters to multiple subgroups or to those, who have shared interest across demographic boundaries. Digital media, however, is customized to the user experience, targeting specific data points and providing tailored content to individual viewers. Digital TV advertising is then able to tap into psychographics on a much more powerful scale.

Traditional television platforms are starting to use these ideals in providing tailored experiences to local populations. Much like YouTube’s ability, for example, to allow users to broadcast their own advertising based on matrices, traditional television is driving local advertisers to engage in television broadcast in meeting their advertising needs. Limited budgets are even being catered to.

Cable companies have recently been adopting the technologies in optimizing online advertising strategies and synchronizing them with local broadcast television. This has been providing them with better visibility and awareness for brands that the local population is actually interested in.

Through programmatic advertising, the automated buying and selling of digital advertising is taking place. These data points are effective, because they are rolled out based on data collected online. But, they are also very efficient, because they save time and provide a great quality of service to the customer. Efficiency cuts costs to process for the company.

Advertising dollars are then optimized. Customers are getting a bigger bang for their buck. Increased quality in inventory allows advertising to allocate more budget for this form of advertising and actually grow their business.

Programmatic advertising has already seen the increase in spending dollars due to excellent placement, from 2014 to 2015. This is only expected to increase and become a primary choice for traditional advertising in a cross-platform type of world.

Finally, the advertising markets have learned that users not only want to enjoy a product or service, they want to have a good story that goes along with it. In marketing and branding, we learn that a good story will sell just about any product – especially to someone that doesn’t necessarily need it.

Trends in online purchases show we spend many of our hard earned dollars on bidding and eCommerce platforms such as eBay, Amazon, QuiBids, PropertyRoom.com and more. We have learned to trust bidding in real time and have learned to actually love it.

There is a certain rush, knowing you are getting a hard-to-find item or an item under its value – and trying to be the winning bidder, against hundreds of others across the country.

Real-time bidding has become that emerging trend in the US advertising market, and it allows us to interact with the brand, show our interests and allow them to gauge our demand. Real-time bidding has become so commonplace that it has “outpaced growth in other digital media platforms such as mobile and social in the past couple of years,” according to Technavio.

Because the digital infrastructure is so developed in the United States, we have become the largest market for real-time bidding in the world. Technavio expects real-time bidding to triple during the next three years and account for 50% of the United States digital ad spending market. This would include those doing business within the United States but are located elsewhere.

Because real-time bidding is an exciting interactive process, users will most likely spark awareness of bidding platforms through word-of-mouth efforts and businesses will be able to reduce advertising costs, model ads according to target audiences and provide better transparencies in ad delivery.

Continue Reading

Real-Time Messaging: To Be or Not to Be Productive

Healthcare Apps, Unified Communications, WebRTC, IoT, RFID, Healthcare Solutions

PREVIOUSLY PUBLISHED TO WEBRTC’S REAL TIME COMMUNICATIONS

BetterCloud, a blog community that periodically releases research data related to the Tech World, recently released findings of a survey covering the trends for cloud-related activity within the Enterprise realm. More than 1600 total IT professionals and end-users participated in the poll.

Of those surveyed, 76 percent of them came from small-to-medium sized businesses with 14 percent from large-sized organizations. Everyone else fell between the gaps. With such a gap in participants, it’s very interesting to see the correlation between both groups of adoption and the common denominators that fall in between them.

This survey focused on the data related to utilization of real time messaging, distractions and the overall organizational impact of real time communications. The end-goal was to help businesses make more intelligent decisions when it comes to choosing better business technologies.

With little need for additional phone services, most small-to-medium sized businesses choose not to increase investments for phone systems, as they are considered unnecessary to the organization. Yet, 57 percent of all groups surveyed use two or more real-time messaging applications for both internal and external communications.

Some organizations are using as many as five messaging services at a time, based on activity and client communication.  In fact, more than 20 percent of large enterprises admit that this is a very normal practice in their organization.

These same professionals strongly believe that real-time communications will totally replace e-mail as the primary method for immediate communication and collaboration. E-mail communications are still considered the preferred method for communications for obvious reasons, relating to storage, security and reference.

“As your company grows, expect the number of real-time messaging applications in your environment to grow too. This isn’t a phenomenon reserved only for real-time messaging either” said Scott Solomon of BetterCloud. He continued, “We’re seeing this trend unfold in many cloud application categories, from storage and collaboration to project management.”

Those three-fourths of professionals using Skype for Business and Google Hangouts tend to think highly of real time messaging platforms for collaboration, especially at a distance. Almost everyone using more a professional-grade platform confesses to drastic improvements in collaboration and workplace productivity through adoption.

There were 25 percent of users, including IT professionals, who said they feel their organizations are less productive due to real-time messaging services. It makes  you wonder if they are just telling the truth or if there is an internal issue, such as bad management or low-grade platforms, in the mix – or, if they just don’t know how to use them. Let’s not fail to mention, 13 percent of those surveyed aren’t even using real-time communications in the workplace.

When it comes to IT professionals and real-time communications, not only do they go outside the boundaries of approved real-time messaging platforms, they are also 12 percent more likely to adopt this form of communication for productivity’s sake.

Consensus rings in. With lack of training and discipline when using tools that connect people in real-time, there will obviously be distraction and loss in productivity. Let’s not label this as a technology fault. This is a factor that organizations need to take into consideration when implementing a power technology into their daily operation – period.

When we use real-time communications as a tool, we must remember to stay disciplined. It’s easier to gab when no one can hear us, but it’s not different than sitting next to your best friend when trying to meet deadlines for a major project.

In the future, it is most likely real-time messaging will be the primary choice for communication in the workplace. Some say, the future is already here. 

Continue Reading

It’s 2016, and We Still Lack Preference for Virtual Meetings. Here’s Why.

Healthcare Apps, Unified Communications, WebRTC, IoT, RFID, Healthcare Solutions

PREVIOUSLY PUBLISHED TO TMC NET’S REAL TIME COMMUNICATIONS

With the mobile workforce revolutionizing businesses, both small and large, it’s becoming more conventional to meet our clients and business partners for a quick chat over the wire. While it’s pretty cool to think back to where we were just ten years ago, we’re still not as far as we would think.

In fact, GFK, a firm dedicated to market research in Technology, reveals that only a quarter of U.S. consumers are regularly engaging in digital interaction and consider it just as good as being face-to-face. Overseas consumers reflect similar sentiments.

Globally, women are more apt to welcoming virtual interactions than men. In the United States, it’s the men, who more strongly agree with the fact that meeting face to face is “just as good.”

While it is true that nothing compares to human interaction, one can argue that with collaborative tools, productivity is actually maximized through evolved technologies and real-time communications. One could also argue that corporate dollars are being saved, where they previously splurged on luxurious business trips, both cross-country and cross continental.

Not so surprisingly, only 20-30 percent of all consumers completely disagree. This leaves a majority of overall consumers indifferent. They simply consider it convenient and not a preferred method of communication.

Also not surprisingly, it’s the Millennial and Gen-X consumers are more positive about virtual communications than are the more senior of professionals. Actually, with Gen-X crowds being the largest group of consumers in digital media, it makes sense.

Millennials, while many agree that virtual interactions are “just as good” are more of the adventurous crowd. They’re more social. They are also ultra-sensory, so while digital interaction is amazing, the five senses call for more.

The type of consumer being identified is very important in consideration of this topic. After all, 32-percent of Internet users were reported to be content with finding a lifelong partner through online dating. This number has since increased with the acceptance of virtual communications in every day life.

Some consider business relationships a marriage of two companies, it would only make sense the same would be true amongst business professionals. Perhaps when it comes to money, we are less “open” than when it comes to matters of the heart. We can be over protective, especially when more than just our heart is at stake. It’s the reputation of the business. It’s the funding of our next project. It could be the end of our career.

This may reflect those professionals indifferent to acceptance and preference. They might actually prefer real-time communication and virtual meetings for increased productivity and convenience in the work environment. Confidence in this method, however, may be lacking. Perhaps, empowerment is key to increasing preference amongst the business community; and one day, it really will be just as good.

Continue Reading

Consider SEO & SEM Bones, Social Media the Soul That Embraces

Mad Marketer, creative project management tools, marketing program management, marketing projects management, project management for marketing, project management marketing

PREVIOUSLY PUBLISHED TO TMC NET’S MAD MARKETER

In a globalized economy and a world where customer relationships are everything, businesses are finding that “branding socially” is still the most effective means of retaining valuable customers and in acquiring new ones.

Traditionally, high ranking sales professionals found that they did well by keeping in regular contact with those in their Rolodex or their top-secret black book. To keep in contact with hundreds of people on a daily basis  — holding one on one conversation with everyone in that Rolodex – was a difficult and even impossible task to carry out. As the digital world exploded, this all changed.

Now, we can keep thousands of people in the loop at once. We can interact as a group, and short conversations are now the norm. With social media, we can carry many short, private conversations at once. The downfall is, however, that many traditional business models aren’t up to speed and they’re throwing thousands of dollars away just to find no return on their marketing investments.

Social media influences our lives, whether we want to admit it or not. It can influence us for the better. It can influence us for the worse. It can simply be our entertainment. But, it definitely changes our ways of thought.

Chris Sewell, Creative Director and Chief Strategist of Chris Sewell Digital Media in Brooklyn, New York, pulled this concept into the work of cosmetic surgery. He recently released a video for plastic surgeons, breaking down the cold hard facts of marketing in the digital world. In this video, he discusses the reasons some surgeons are reporting a 40% decrease in customer retention and how they are ultimately throwing money into the garbage through their current marketing strategies.

Sure, billboards, for example, are powerful marketing tools. The problem, however, is that most target markets have become spoiled and want everything instantaneously. They have also become so distracted that every time they return to the billboard to grab the details, they either forget that they meant to take down the information or it just so happens to be that moment that their Facebook just got a notification. Consumers want to access information immediately after it cross their minds.

No one uses the yellow pages anymore, because it’s not personal enough. We want to see visuals, check out pricelists and even reach out semi-anonymously at 3 a.m. AdWords is effective, but only if the company knows what they are doing. With Google’s recent removal of sidebar advertisements, SEM advertising has to take advantage of the correct criteria to find themselves ahead. Trust is a major factor in this process.

We want to see what experiences others had with this company, before we waste any of our precious time contacting them. We don’t want to risk being put into the spam or scam loop, either. We’re frightened to give our phone numbers to just anyone anymore… We don’t want to be haunted for months to years later.  

With many companies now paying people to leave biased reviews, personal experiences are more valuable than ever. Interactions with brands and businesses continue to be more meaningful and impactful. We are able to evaluate the caliber of business we are dealing with, as well gauge the people within their walls.

 In the case of life-altering industries, such as Plastic Surgery, almost 50% of patients surveyed admit that that their influence was, indeed, social media. Peer pressure was a major contributor, as selfies have made us take a deeper look at the flaws we want to perfect.

Likewise, it is the actual media content being shared by social savvy clinics that have caused patients to travel hundreds of miles to take advantage of their services. Photos, videos, client testimonials… these all influenced the decision for patients to take advantage of certain treatments at specific facilities. We can blame it all on Facebook and Instagram.

With YouTube’s monetized video platform, more videos from local businesses are being seen on a regular basis. They are low cost advertising, and the younger generations are okay with consuming them before watching a video that interests them. For this, videos on social media channels are equally disruptive. The days of SEM and SEO are more numbered than you think. While they are the basis for more impactful and more aggressive marketing efforts, it’s going to take more – way more – for most businesses to not just be seen but to also be adopted.

Continue Reading

Web Leaders Team to Provide Better WebRTC, Broadcast Capabilities

Conferencing, Revolabs, Audio conferencing, Yamaha, Video Conferencing, VoIP

PREVIOUSLY PUBLISHED TO TMC NET’S CONFERENCING ZONE

For the last 10 or so years, Oxagile has been a trusted provider of custom and mobile application development services for some of the world’s most Web-prominent multinationals and media powerhouses. The company’s primary focus has always been on video-streaming solutions, but in the most recent years has also been centered on real-time communications.

With TokBox as a leader in the WebRTC community, it almost comes as no surprise that the two companies would team up to provide companies with better real-time communications in leading organizations into better communications and collaboration within the workplace.

As a partner of TokBox’s partner program, Oxagile is able to better embed WebRTC through the company’s signature OpenTok platform. They are able to better broadcast directly into their client’s applications. This means Oxgile will be able to offer their clientele better capabilities to hold Web conferencing and corporate training within their applications and Web portals. OpenTok enables multi-party calling, meaning that project teams can operate face-to-face, even at a distance.

For remote teams, especially those in multinational positions, this platform will bring more unification through regular team huddles and group discussion. A plus for members unable to make meetings, all video calls are able to be recorded, archived and played back through a secure firewall and protection of proprietary information.

Because Oxagile works with more than just enterprise businesses, it is quite possible for other streaming video services to take place through the platform. Streaming video broadcasts, both live and on-demand, is also made possible through this service.

Disney, for example, is one of Oxagile’s major clientele. They provide videos through each of their streaming media properties. Imagine Disney Junior for a moment. Children are able to access Disney-related videos through an authorized mobile platform. The only thing is this: Disney’s video platforms are available on multiple broadcast platforms, including Roku, Xbox, Tablets, Smartphones and more. Oxagile is a force behind the power of streaming Disney.

“We are proud to have become a TokBox Development Partner,” Mihail Romanovsky, Oxagile’s Head of Marketing said about the official partnerships. He continues, “I’m certain the partnership will provide us with new ways to hone our WebRTC expertise. It will also open the door to new business opportunities based on mutual benefit. We’ve got a pool of top quality engineers ready to build custom WebRTC solutions based on OpenTok. As we speak, our team is actively testing the technology’s bleeding edge, including WebRTC annotations.”

A scalable solution for video-streaming platforms, TokBox claims that their OpenTok solution allows software engineers to “deploy WebRTC applications ten times faster compared to vanilla WebRTC API.”

TokBox and competitor Polycom, kicked off the New Year with integrations and partnerships that gave them a head start in leading faster, more productive tech and conferencing experiences in 2016.

Continue Reading

YouVisit Contributes Major Change to VR Markets

Wearable Tech World | TMC Net

PREVIOUSLY PUBLISHED TO TMCNET’S WEARABLE TECH NEWS

While virtual reality has been available to consumers for more than 20 years, it doesn’t seem like it caught on too well until recently. Companies like Google Cardboard, Oculus Rift and Samsung Gear VR have made virtual reality more mainstream, and now everyone is trying to get some action.

YouVisit, a company with the mission of showing you the world, has developed one of the world’s largest collections of interactive virtual reality content. In fact, they have made it possible for user-generated virtual reality experiences, giving individuals, educational institutions and business all over the world the opportunity to create their own virtual reality content.

Providing what some are quoting to be the “industry’s highest resolution VR experience,” YouVisit has formulated an algorithm said to be viewed at almost five times the resolution of other standard virtual reality content. The visuals are said to be so realistic, that users almost forget that they never left their living room.

YouVisit’s algorithm cuts down download times and allows each experience to be powered at a higher resolution but at a much lower bandwidth. This takes place by allowing the user experience to transform how the algorithm actually works. The solution is creating the natural human vision from the user’s perspective. The algorithm is based on the direction that the user is looking and maps itself, based on the peripherals outside of the user’s view.

Most devices are simply not compatible with quality resolutions when it comes to virtual reality. This technology requires too much bandwidth and resolution for virtual reality to reach its full potential. For this, YouVisit went straight to the chopping block and came up with their solution to those problems within the virtual space. The solution will be made public during the second quarter.

As it’s a wide-open market, there are many opportunities for businesses entering the virtual reality marketplace. Real estate companies, for example, may better show off properties to onlookers without wasting time meeting with clients, who aren’t serious about buying. Travel agencies can better show off resorts and landmark locations.

Educational institutions are already presenting students with virtual field trips at many museums and locations around the world. In fact, Google has been working with many school districts around the world, testing and optimizing their virtual reality experiences by providing students with cutting-edge “field trip” technologies, making virtual reality a part of their daily educational experience.

In more recent news, Quantico, a television series on ABC’s primetime starring “Miss World” Priyanka Chopra, partnered with Lexus and kicks off a midseason premiere with a scripted 360-degree experience. The Takedown episode is a three-and-a-half minute experience that leads tech-savvy viewers through a virtual reality tour within the backseat of the new Lexus LX 570 SUV. The viewers will become a part of the team at Quantico and get closer to solving case through the virtual reality experience, as a new recruit.  

A Disney-owned broadcast network, ABC is one of the first to bridge virtual reality to such an engaging television event. With companies like Disney, Google, YouVisit Sony and Samsung leading the virtual reality markets, technologies are sure to evolve at a rapid pace. With YouVisit’s solution for better quality experiences, other organizations have a starting place in creating next solutions in virtual reality experiences.  

Continue Reading

Could Phishing Expeditions Stop Cold with Deeper Insight?

VoIP, Partners, SMB Solutions, call center, certification, voip services, voip equipment, Media Processing, hardware, middleware, opensource, SIP, SBC, Wireless, ims, Triple Play, Switching, VoIP Peering, regulation

PREVIOUSLY PUBLISHED TO TMC NET SECURITY

Easy Solutions, a fraud protection company, recently did some research into phishing attacks against a Top 25 US Bank during a three-month period. From September of 2015 until December, it seems these “phishermen” were quite busy. What’s most alarming is that these attacks were done during a season that leaves us most vulnerable to attack and where many of us won’t even realize that have been a victim until much later on.

During such a busy time in commerce, many of us won’t even know we were victims until much later down the road. This next bit of information might tell us why.

Easy Solutions broke down over 3,030 cases at just that one bank. What’s most interesting about this finding is that in each case, the common denominator was that each instance targeted around 190 people on average.

If we factor in how many banks there are – not just in the United States, but all over the world – and consider that this is a yearlong plague, we start to see the bigger picture.

Easy Solutions grouped the attacks into three main categories. Parameters were based on how sites were created as well as whether or not the domains are registered – including the domain provider and the location of each server.

The company decided that many of these sites were created as traps, only meant to serve a few stragglers at a time.  These people would accidently stumble upon the site or be directed there through some other devious means. And, it has been proving successful.

Each group of sites were then broken down. Location was a big factor in the next step of the process. Other factors were Whois information, the types of phishkits used and the strategy for getting people to the site.

Daniel Ingevaldson, CTO of Easy Solutions, states, “When institutions can more effectively characterize their attackers, they can then more successfully combat phishing attacks – by tuning consumer education campaigns, changing web site countermeasures, or adjusting risk scoring during phishing campaigns.”

Armed with new information, consumers can better differentiate between a genuine source and a scam. They will know which sites to stay away from, and gain confidence in those that they trust.

In a day where we are including our entire business on a cloud platform, there are still many that refuse to use their credit card online for these purposes. Institutions, such as the IRS, PayPal (NewsAlert) and Bank of America, are repeat victims of fraud. Customers and those who aren’t even affiliated with the organizations are often tricked through scare tactics and extortion strategies.

By understanding the source, it’s easier to shut fraud down – one scammer at a time. By better understanding domains and locations that are frequently associated with this fraud, it’s easier to pinpoint all source of fraud on a regular basis… stopping it cold in its own tracks. 

Continue Reading

ShoreTel Expands Globalization Growth Through HYBRID System and Voxbone Partnership

Unified Communications | TMCNet

PREVIOUSLY PUBLISHED TO TMCNET’S UNIFIED COMMUNICATIONS

ShoreTel, provider of unified communications solutions and phone systems, has decided to partner with Voxbone in extending the reach of its Cloud PBX Service. Voxbone is a global provider of virtual local and business-centric telephone numbers, serving both individual and enterprise consumers.

Impacting global expansion strategies, ShoreTel’s partnership with Voxbone will enhance enterprise operations, by allowing clients to be reached by customers outside of their current territories and markets.  

ShoreTel recently launched the Connect CLOUD, providing fully hosted management to benefit collaboration and unified communications experiences. This not only establishes a centralized universe for companies working across continents, but it also allows them to receive direct inward dialing (DID) extensions that facilitate global demand through a carrier-grade network.

Voxbone, an industry choice for many, has partnerships with national carriers all over the world, providing service possibilities to the end-customer.  They not only assign traditional geographic-based numbers, but they also provide regional 800 numbers and the ability to receive text via virtual mobile numbers. This is extremely important for organizations that are switching from strict call center models to contact call centers in keeping with modern progression.

This move also facilitates customer contact through multiple platforms. Delivering the means to communicate through a central source provides continue efficiency and fosters proactivity in the workplace. It also establishes brand trust and loyalty. Which means, ShoreTel is providing clients with more convenient way to serve their customers.

Striving to better serve a globalized workforce, ShoreTel has been working to evolve their solutions in meeting the needs of companies operating in obscure locations and geographical regions, while connecting remote teams throughout.

In other news, the rollout of the ShoreTel Connect™ HYBRID is allowing sites to mix-and-match efforts towards more effective UC deployment. Companies are be able to move all communications within the cloud – or route them to where it most benefits their daily activities. Directory synchronization allows for extension-to-extension dialing, pairing virtual extensions with actual extensions in the physical realm.

“The hybrid architecture is a destination, instead of a transitional strategy,” states Dave Michels, Analyst of UC Strategies.

ShoreTel is taking an initiative in upselling existing solutions by helping companies exceed their current growth and business models. With growth comes the need to upgrade servicing and ShoreTel is working to help them get there.

“Many customers want to take advantage of UCaaS capabilities, and at the same time they want to leverage their existing assets and business processes,” states Eugenia Corrales, SVP of product at ShoreTel. She continues by discussing new subscription-based model targeting the specific needs of each business. “Businesses now have the flexibility to optimize communications services and applications while migrating payments to a subscription-based model.”

A few benefits of the ShoreTel Connect™ HYBRID and the move to integrate Voxbone technologies include little or no expense in:

  • Adding additional offices and office expansions in remote locations
  • Providing seasonal teleworkers with their own extensions without interfering with IT operations
  • Simplifying communications
  • Centralizing communications
  • Transitioning operational models and existing solutions
  • Reaching customers outside existing markets or market reach
  • Providing flexibility in the communications model
  • Protecting sensitive communications and identities of workforce

This shift in solution servicing allows on-site and remote workforces to work together in synch, while facilitating productivity and collaboration in day-to-day business operations. It’s almost like they’re down the hall from each other. 

Continue Reading

Telefonica and Juniper Networks Enforce Rich Content Delivery Through New Infrastructure Delivery

NFVZone, Network Functions Virtualization | TMC Net, Technology Marketing Corporation

PREVIOUSLY PUBLISHED TO TMC NET’S NFVZONE

Content providers strive to provide the best experience to the end-user. This means speed, resolution and easy access to on-demand content. As content gets bigger, bulkier and part of larger conglomerate of in-demand content, there is often a sacrifice in load times, the amount of content that can be displayed at once and even the availability of content from time to time.

Last week, Telefónica Spain joined forces with Juniper Networks, yet again, to combat the disruptions we often face in content consumption across several channels and platforms. This partnership aims to rollout a new solution in support of enhanced delivery of rich content and cloud-servicing.

Telefónica, service provider to over 329M customers around the world, teams up with Juniper Networks in transforming the current Fusíon Network infrastructure to provide better services to clients through television, high speed Internet and mobile services from a single IP network. The companies aim to better serve enterprises, providing rich cloud services, as well.

One focus of interest is providing better interconnectivity to content providers, content delivery networks and data centers, who rely on such systems to work seamlessly and without interruption. There is nothing worse than losing quality in content during consumption – unless, of course, you are interacting with a customer and trying to provide them with an enhanced customer experience, while showing them why they need your brand. Solid service translates to reliability for a service provider.

Telefónica will provide better service to their enterprise clientele, who are able to provide service to their customers in confidence.

“Our customers expect a fast, always-on, secure experience, as they connect to cloud-based business services, access bandwidth-hungry TV, video and music content for download and streaming, or use social media sites,” states Joaquin Mata, CTO of Telefónica Spain. “Development of a superfast core that can match Fusión Network’s service edge network with scale, reliability and minimal latency, is the next step. Juniper Networks is a valued partner to Telefónica as we drive Spain’s digital transformation forward.”

The two teamed up Last September for a next generation multi-terabit IP/MPLS solution for metro services delivery through the new MX Series 3D Universal Edge Routers, covering the entire Fusíon Network.  These routers have provided high performance, scalability and intelligent SDN control. The quality of ingoing and outgoing traffic is enhanced through routing capacity and connectivity in all Internet Exchange locations.

The new addition to the MX series, MX2020, is an industrial-level router, providing clients with over 32Tbps of capacity, feeding millions of consumers at once. With secure and fully redundant architecture, this solution is set to rollout in 2019 and will be automated through Juniper’s proprietary Junos OS system. The network, itself, is highly automated.

The entire MX Series scales up to 80Tbps of system capacity, utilizing the same Junos operating system and powered with a programmable Junos chipset. The newly evolved networks will not change the way television is viewed or how content is consumed, however it will unlock the doors that will, through better connectivity, reliability and complex functionality. Data will be more secure. And, Telefónica will continue transforming content delivery through their highly consumed platforms.

Continue Reading
1 2 3 11