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. 

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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.

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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.

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Mitel Seeks to Enhance Mobile Productivity

WebRTC World | TMCNet

PREVIOUSLY PUBLISHED TO TMC NET’S WEBRTC WORLD

Aimed to meet the growing requirements of a mobile-first world, Mitel has revealed new mobile solutions for real time communications.

The new Mitel Mobile Cloud Suite is empowering stronger communication and more productive collaboration amongst enterprise businesses, project teams and small firms. In fact, the suite allows Tier 2 and Tier 3 mobile carriers to provide more effective, rapid and cost-efficient hosting to VoLTE, ViLTE and VoWiFi technologies, in addition to advanced messaging services.

The Multi-ID, for example, allows users to easily attach all contact numbers and means of communication to be streamlined into a single device. Users are able to open a native application on any mobile device to make calls, listen to voicemail, send and receive text messages.

Evolving to meet the ongoing needs of today’s Executive and Project Lead, Mitel has established the Embedded Communications solution, the first product to emerge from the Mitel Accelerator, allowing businesses to integrate voice, video and messaging directly into mobile business SaaS applications. This streamlines mobile communications by allowing team members to stay in one app, as opposed to many, while communicating and collaborating in real-time without delaying, missing or overlooking very important details.

The Embedded Communications tool was created to enhance the FieldAware experience, already adopted by many field service organizations around the world for field-service scheduling.

Other tools include the Mi-Team portfolio solution that allows collaboration between a team with the mobile-first mindset. This solution includes real-time voice and video meeting, in addition to mobile whiteboarding and integrations of business applications. This method of communication claims to drop the average need for e-mail engagement by 40 percent. This could mean a great deal for enterprise businesses that connect thousands of employees at once. Virtual conference rooms allow for topic-based discussion, corporate meeting space and project-centered meetings.

Within the Mi-Team solution, team members will also be able to approve and sign documents, voice tag archived meetings and integrate file sharing from external cloud storage. Integrating project management workflow into the Mi-Team solution, Mitel allows users to assign tasks within virtual rooms, screenshare and schedule future meetings.

Finally, the Mitel Mobile Cloud Suite presents the mobile workforce with a solution that expands new cloud services and enables productivity within business itself, arming both enterprises and small businesses with enterprise-level tools and resource to expand business initiatives and streamline daily tasks. This solution is called the Mitel Global Cloud Expansion. It’s what brings all solutions full circle and helps Mitel to reach its strategic vision. 

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Empire Access Ditches Legacy Systems, Implements GENBAND

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

PREVIOUSLY PUBLISHED TO TMC NET’S REAL TIME COMMUNICATIONS

GENBAND, provider of real-time communications solutions, recently announced the release of a Network Transformation solution through Empire Access, a state-of-the-art provider of fiber optics. The Network Transformation tool, a software-based solution, has implemented the GENBAND C15 Call Controller in maximizing and upgrading Empire’s communications systems, taking them into the new generation of telecommunications capabilities.

The C15 Call Controller has made a name for itself in the past, supporting a variety of standard protocols, interfaces and features that enable both IP and legacy servicing for its Class 5 predecessor that have allowed for better clarity, innovative video calling and call logging abilities and even mobility.

With the implemented Network Transformation rollout, Empire Access now finds itself with better network efficiencies and the ability to offer clientele advanced communications servicing. The addition of the C14 Call Controller allows the Network Transformation solution to consolidate network infrastructures and enhance all previous IP-based technologies.

Empire Access would now be able to facilitate applications servers, webRTC, wireless access gateways, intelligent messaging and session routing. They will now be able to engage virtualizing networking functions and implement cloud-based “as a Service” options. We all know the power of the cloud, especially on telecommunications in a globalized world.

In a world that relies on rich media content, the Network Transformation solution delivers rich communications servicing that “blend voice, video messaging and presence.” This solution allows previous tools and solutions to be integrated in order to facilitate an easier migration to the new system.

The GENBAND integrations will allow Empire Access to offer businesses with more complex and reliable scalability. They will now be able to offer new services to both residential and business customers, opening doors for new market potential for the company, as it enters a new playing field. Empire Access will also find that energy costs will be reduced through improved power saving efficiencies.

With the ability to provide customers with the latest in IP-based solutions, they can now ditch the dinosaur-based technologies and really ensure customer satisfaction through stronger connections, longer connection times and remote troubleshooting capabilities.

Because many clients are shifting from outdated systems, it has been important for GENBAND to focus on the improvements to current systems, while shifting to a totally new system altogether. The transition allows clients to protect previous systems and investments, while extending into new territories and making a complete shift in technologies. This is done while minimizing service disruptions to the end customer.

Less downtime means less impact on financials. It also keeps the customer from jumping ship at a time where companies are merging to offer the latest in technologies at more affordable pricing. For Empire Access, this was an important investment. It will pay off quickly, as previous expenses are replaced by savings.

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Predictions for Real Estate 2016: How Agents and Facilities Managers Will Benefit

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

PREVIOUSLY PUBLISHED ON TMCNET’S REAL TIME COMMUNICATIONS

Planon, a software provider in support of workplace optimization and Integrated Workplace Management Systems (IWMS), has released their predictions in Real Estate and Facility Management efficiencies for 2016.

“Many of the trends that will come into focus in 2016 already exist today, but their significance is expected to grow and become mainstream in the near future,” states David Karpook, Strategic Business Consultant at Planon. “Today’s facilities management and real estate managers face an increasing need to respond to the evolution of technology and sustainability, ensure compliance, and increase cost efficiency.” 

Planon predicts that IoT opportunities will be made more applicable to the Real Estate spectrum in 2016. Therefore, it will be increasingly adopted by agents all over the world. Bottom lines will increase with the placement of affordable sensor technologies. Analytics data will be easily collected through occupancy of the workplace or meeting room. Additional IoT implementations point to better utilization of smart screens triggered by in app functionality or by room sensors, alone.

In the case of real estate, the amount of time an onlooker spends in each room may translate to sales potential, funneling sales interest data collected during the time spent in each room, individually. This data can be used to physically enhance the features that potential buyers enjoy the most and call out the needs for improvement in areas that guests most dislikes on the property. Doing so will lead real estate companies towards increased sales and shortened periods of closing. It will also provide insight as to where, exactly, a visitor may actually lose interest.

Workspaces can be checked for availability within a facility through the scanning of QR codes or the swiping of RFID tags.  This will save time and face, while meeting with clients in a busy conference space.

Much of 2016 will see an increase in the use of mobile technologies for just about every phase in daily process. Not only are individuals now using mobile devices to make and accept payments on the go, but also team collaboration and communication can more frequently be made feasible. Integrations in communications tools are now allowing for better project management and workforce productivity through in-app tools and centralized clouds, allowing users to stay in just one application all day without the need to toggle between apps to complete a single function.

In fact, Cloud delivery models will continue to transform the workplace,” claims the Boston-based software company. They will cut costs significantly for IT departments and eliminate the need for big-bulky equipment. Although true, there are many big businesses that are still skeptical about adopting cloud-based technologies in storing proprietary information.

Through mobility, employers are seeing more stretch-room in the physical workplace and may even save on operating costs with the ability to downgrade unnecessary expenditures. With flexible schedules, the workforce is being made more available at untraditional business hours and increasingly made available through “always on” technologies.

Workers are less stressed and therefore more productive. According to Planon, “More than 90 percent of respondents in research agreed that new workplace concepts will improve employee productivity.”

Finally, Planon predicts that building information modeling, BIM, will continue to increase in adoption. Their claim is that it will hold great promise for facilities management and real estate in the very near future.

Applying BIM and its methodologies to operations will allow more efficiency in management of the building space. This includes maintenance and construction during lifecycle process in providing a platform for real-time collaboration, logistics and quality management. Agents and construction superintendents will, themselves, be able to better predict the future of their own real estate empire.

Smart businesses and smart buildings will continue to make their presence known through the adoption of IoT and cloud technologies, allowing employees to be more mobile and embracing the alternative workplace. BIM-culture will become a norm, as teams will be impacted by better communications and interactive visuals in which promote efficiency.

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